You made it! After months of browsing through homes for sale in La Quinta, CA, you’ve found the perfect one for you. Buying a home – whether for the first time or otherwise – is always an achievement. But while you may stop to celebrate, you quickly need to take on the role of being a responsible homeowner.
As such, one of the first things you need to focus on is insuring your home.
Understanding home insurance
A house is a significant financial investment, so it is essential to protect your property by insuring it. Repairs and renovations from damages are inevitable, so it would be wise to insure for those future costs – and even wiser to protect yourself for any possible liability.
Home insurance policies greatly vary per company, but a policy generally covers the following:
- Dwelling coverage encompasses the physical structure of your home as well as its plumbing, wiring, and heating/cooling systems.
- Other property refers to non-dwelling structures such as driveways, fences, and sheds.
- Personal property coverage protects your belongings such as furniture, jewelry, and clothing. Do note that if you own anything of considerable value, it is recommended that you expand your coverage.
- Liability coverage refers to visitor injuries that occur within your property. Situations like this are unlikely, but this can be a lifesaver should the unexpected occur.
- Additional living expenses provide you with the resources to live elsewhere for a period of time in the event that your house becomes uninhabitable.
It is best to start browsing for home insurance policies as soon as you sign the contract for your home as this gives you adequate time to determine which is best for you.
Knowing the coverage you need
While you want to ensure that you get full coverage for your home, you also want to avoid over-insuring as this would mean paying a higher premium than necessary.
Start by figuring out the replacement value of your home, which is how much it would actually cost to rebuild the entire property. Remember not to use market value as that accounts for factors unrelated to rebuilding the property.
From here, you can estimate the value of your personal property – the standard is 50-70% of the dwelling coverage – as well as the liability coverage ($100,000 is standard, but $300,000 is recommended).
If your home is located in a disaster-prone area, such as one disposed to floods, earthquakes, or windstorms, remember to get additional coverage as they are usually not included in the main home insurance policy. Make sure to also check other exclusions in your policy so you are not blindsided when the time comes to make a claim.
Call us today
There is no universal policy that perfectly suits everyone, so your best bet at choosing the right insurance policy is by doing your own research and consulting experienced La Quinta Realtors.
Kathleen O’Keefe Galigher has the experience and insight to help you navigate the complex world of La Quinta real estate. Get in touch with Kathleen at 760.567.7822 or at okeefe(dotted)kathleen(at)gmail(dotted)com for sound advice on home insurance.