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Understanding the Basics of
Homeowners Insurance for New Buyers

Homeowners insurance is a vital financial safety net that provides coverage for your home and personal belongings in the event of unforeseen perils such as fire, theft, vandalism, windstorms, or water damage caused by burst pipes or other covered events. Additionally, it offers liability protection if someone is injured on your property and decides to take legal action against you.

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What Does a Standard Policy Cover?

A standard homeowners insurance policy typically includes the following types of coverage:

Dwelling Coverage: This covers the physical structure of your home in case of damage or destruction. Be sure to choose a coverage amount that adequately reflects the cost to rebuild your home, not its market value.

Personal Property Coverage: This protects your belongings, such as furniture, appliances, electronics, and clothing, against covered perils. It’s essential to take an inventory of your possessions and consider any high-value items that might require additional coverage.

Liability Coverage: Liability insurance is crucial as it protects you if someone is injured on your property and sues you for medical expenses and other damages.

Additional Living Expenses (ALE) Coverage: If your home becomes uninhabitable due to a covered event, ALE coverage will help with temporary living expenses such as hotel bills and food costs.

Flood and Hurricane Insurance

Living in Hampton Roads exposes homeowners to the risk of hurricanes and flooding. It’s crucial to be aware that standard homeowners insurance policies typically do not cover damage caused by floods. Therefore, it’s wise to consider purchasing a separate flood insurance policy through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) or a private insurer.

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Windstorm Coverage

Due to its coastal location, the Tidewater region of Virginia is also susceptible to strong winds associated with hurricanes and other weather events. While standard homeowners insurance policies usually provide coverage for wind damage, some insurers may require separate windstorm deductibles. Discuss these details with your insurance broker to ensure you have adequate protection.

The Importance of Deductibles

A deductible is the amount you must pay out of pocket before your insurance coverage kicks in. Choosing a higher deductible can help lower your insurance premiums, but be sure to opt for a deductible that you can comfortably afford in case of a claim.

Discounts and Bundling

As a new homeowner, you might be eligible for various discounts, such as a new homebuyer discount or a bundling discount if you purchase both home and auto insurance from the same provider. Always inquire about available discounts to maximize your savings without compromising coverage.

Purchasing a home is a significant investment, and protecting it with the right homeowners insurance policy is essential. By understanding the basics of homeowners insurance, you can make informed decisions to safeguard your property, belongings, and financial well-being. Tidewater Insurance Brokers are here to help you navigate the intricacies of insurance policies and find the coverage that best suits your needs. Feel free to reach out to discuss your options and get peace of mind as you embark on this new chapter of homeownership. Happy home buying!

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