You’re buying your first home? Congrats! Now put the stress ball down, because the experts at Ashley Insurance are here to help with all-things insurance. We have a full-transparency policy, meaning we don’t hide anything from you. Our team created this guide to make buying home insurance for the first time as easy as possible. By the time you’ve finished reading, you’ll have all the information you should know before buying homeowners insurance for the first time, and OUR SECRET TO SAVING YOU MONEY! Let’s jump right in.
What’s Included in Homeowners Insurance?
The majority of first-time homeowners purchase single-family homes. That means your policy will likely be an HO-3. This standard policy protects your home and personal belongings, as well as your liability as a homeowner. An HO-3 policy typically includes:
- Dwelling coverage – To protect the main structure and attached structures, such as a porch or garage.
- Other structures coverage – To protect any detached structures, such as a shed or pool.
- Personal property coverage – To protect your personal items, such as clothing and furniture.
- Liability coverage – To protect you from legal liability and fees if someone gets injured on your property.
- Medical payments coverage – To help pay for medical expenses if a guest gets injured on your property.
- Additional living expenses – To help pay for lodging, food, parking, and other expenses in the event of a covered peril damage.
Open Perils vs. Named Perils
There are two different losses covered by home insurance: open perils and named perils. Your home and structure are both ‘open perils,’ meaning coverage is included for any disaster, unless your policy states otherwise. Named perils include coverage for losses specifically listed in your policy.
If you have an HO-3, your personal property is on a named-perils basis. Common perils include:
- Fire damage
- Water damage
- Ice & snow damage
- Wind damage
- Freezing Pipes
There may be some exclusions depending on where you live, but an Ashley Insurance expert will let you know in-advance so there are no surprises. Additional policies, such as flood insurance, may be able to cover some of these exclusions.
Cost of Home Insurance For First-Timers
Everyone’s insurance rates are different. It all depends on your location and risk level. Insurance.com reported the average cost of homeowners insurance in Maryland at $1,694 a year or $141 a month. The national average is $2,777 a year. Get a quote from Ashley Insurance to find out how much it will cost you to buy home insurance for the first time.
When To Buy Homeowners Insurance
Your home insurance should begin immediately after closing on your first home. Your risk begins as soon as the home is in your name. Keep in mind that while your home insurance policy will not be effective before your closing date, it should be put into effect on that date. Provide your mortgagee clause and closing date to your Ashley Insurance agent, and we’ll help you get everything in place.
Get All Your Questions Answered
These are just a few things to keep in mind before you purchase home insurance for the first time. When you work with Ashley Insurance, your agent will ensure that you have everything you need and explain every aspect of your policy in detail. If you have any questions or concerns, just ask your agent. If you are ready to buy homeowners insurance for the first time, click the link below to get a quote!