How Much Homeowners Insurance Do I Need

Dated: 03/18/2019

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Homeowners insurance covers more than just your house in the event of a disaster — it also protects your belongings, savings, and more. And even though every home is unique, there are ways to estimate the amount of coverage you should consider carrying on your homeowners policy.

Know the value of your home and belongings

The 2 main factors to consider when calculating the amount of homeowners insurance to get are your house itself and the personal belongings you keep there.

Estimate the cost of rebuilding your home

It's a terrifying thought, but imagine if a covered incident were to destroy your entire house. When thinking about how much coverage you want to select on your policy, it's important to make sure the amount of dwelling coverage is at least enough to cover the current cost of rebuilding your home (and not necessarily what you actually paid for it).

The cost of rebuilding your home after a disaster is typically higher than what it cost to build it the first time around. This is due to a number of factors, including the inflated cost of materials used, a higher demand for construction in the area (if a major storm hit other houses besides yours), and others.

Take an inventory of all of your belongings

Most home insurance policies provide protection for belongings in your home such as furniture, electronics, appliances, and more. Coverage for your personal property is typically 40 to 75 percent of your dwelling coverage. The amount of coverage you choose should depend on how much you own, what your items are worth, and if you have insurance riders for higher-ticket items.

Of course, your items vary in terms of value and replacement cost. The best way to estimate how much personal property protection you need is to take a home inventory. If your home is ever burglarized or hit by a fire, it helps to have enough coverage to replace all of your personal belongings.

Consider looking beyond default coverage limits

A home policy provides coverage for more than just your house and belongings, like structures unattached to your main house and additional living expenses (for up to 12 months) if you're forced to live somewhere else after a covered incident.

These coverages can be invaluable if disaster strikes, but it's good to note that the default coverage limit for other structures insurance is typically 10 percent of your dwelling protection. However, you can always choose to increase or decrease your limits as your needs change.

Be aware of your assets and liability

Another factor to consider when estimating how much coverage on your policy you need is your assets. A standard home policy could protect you from lawsuits for bodily injury and property damage that you or someone on your policy causes.

Most policies offer a minimum of $100,000 worth of liability insurance, but in the event of a costly lawsuit, that isn't always enough to safeguard your savings.

In addition to choosing more than the minimum amount of liability protection, you might consider buying umbrella insurance, which protects your assets if you exceed the limits of your primary policies (like home and auto).

Understand your deductibles

All peril deductible

You don't necessarily have to choose a deductible for every situation. With Esurance home insurance, you have the convenience of choosing one amount you're comfortable paying (between $1,000 and 5 percent of your dwelling coverage), and that's all you're responsible for in nearly any covered loss.

As long as the incident is covered, you just take care of the deductible and your policy takes care of the rest. And if you set your deductible higher, your premium will typically shrink.

If you're ever unsure about choosing the right deductible amount, call our licensed agents at 1-800-ESURANCE (1-800-378-7262). We're here to help at these times.

Wind and hail deductible

The 2 exceptions to the all peril deductible are wind and hail. For these risks, you set a separate amount to pay out of pocket.

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Alan Hoffman

A native from New Jersey, I moved to the Myrtle Beach area in 2016. I have pursued my dream of becoming a Realtor, and have had an amazing experience doing so! My goal is to fulfill you and your f....

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