Odds are that if you’re looking for help with homeowners insurance, then you’re probably buying your first home. Congratulations, and we wish you the best with finding the right property and handling the financials. But our expertise is in the insurance market, so we can do more than wish you luck with home insurance; we can help you get the best deal!
Most homeowners insurance companies in Pennsylvania rely upon the industry standard – the HO-3 policy – to help residents get proper coverage for their home. The great thing about the HO-3 special form is that it offers very comprehensive coverage (including your dwelling, personal property, liability, and more) for a fairly affordable rate when compared to similar policies.
|Types of Coverage||Coverage Amount|
|Replacement Cost (Dwelling)||$200,000|
|Replacement Cost (Contents)||$100,000|
The vast majority of Pennsylvania is both inland and rarely vulnerable to severe weather – with the exception of Philadelphia, obviously. It’s a port city located right along the Delaware river, near the heart of where disastrous hurricanes have been hammering the northeast in recent years. You then have the added dangers that come with older, densely populated cities such as theft, fire, and vandalism. All of these reasons contribute to the fact that Philadelphia homeowners insurance premiums are nearly double, on average, compared to the rest of the state.
Even though the majority of Pennsylvania cities have fairly affordable rates, you could potentially save yourself around $400-$500 each year on premiums by shopping around. And if you live in the City of Brotherly Love, your savings could amount to $800 or more. But you have to put in the footwork. You’re going to need to gather several quotes from different companies, as well as compare what sort of coverage they are willing to offer you for the price that they want to charge.
There aren’t any laws on the books that will compel you to purchase a home insurance policy; but that’s because there don’t need to be. Your bank will do the job for them. If you’re in the overwhelming majority of future or current homeowners who are making mortgage payments on your home, then it will be a requirement imposed on you by your lender. In the end, though, having homeowners insurance is a great way to protect yourself whether it’s mandated or not. Even if you own your home for 20 or 30 years, your policy will pay for itself overnight in the event that something seriously disastrous happens to your home.
Do you know how much your personal property is worth? No, really, do you actually know how much your personal belongings would cost to replace? Because without an itemized list of your home’s contents and an accurate estimation of each item’s worth, you’re making a blind guess. Such inaccurate estimations are bad for you when it comes time to finalize a policy. Either you’ll end up purchasing too much coverage, which will cost you a ton of money in elevated premiums, or you won’t have enough coverage if you need to file a claim. And you’ll end up footing a bigger portion of the bill.
The basic HO-3 policy that many Pennsylvania home insurance companies offer is really only the tip of the iceberg. On top of your basic policy, there are many other factors to consider. Such as:
To understand these terms, let’s take a look at the following example: someone breaks into your home and steals your brand new 4K 65″ QLED flat screen TV. If you have replacement cost coverage on it, and there aren’t any coverage limits for electronics on your policy, then your insurance will pay out the full cost that it will take to replace that TV minus the cost of your deductible. Your insurance company will foot the vast majority of the bill, leaving very little of the financial responsibility at your feet.
Actual cash value, on the other hand – which is usually the payout condition assigned to personal property – incorporates depreciation into the payout amount. If your TV is several years old, then your insurer will take that into account and pay you what the TV would be worth if you sold it today – not what it was worth when it was brand new. So after your deductible and your insurance claim payout, however much it costs to replace your stolen television with a new one of equal stature will be your responsibility.
Do you know what the difference is between your credit score and your insurance score? In Pennsylvania, you’ll need to. And you’ll need to figure it out before you start your insurance shopping. Insurance scores are a snapshot of your credit history over the past several years, and tend to reflect more favorably upon you. Your full credit score, on the other hand, is an extensive and detailed history of your credit. When you ask for a quote from an insurance company, ask if they evaluate you based on your credit score or your insurance score. You may be able to save money on your premiums if you choose a company that’s willing to evaluate your credit in a more favorable way.
For more information, feel free to click any of the links you see in this article. They all lead to more detailed information about homeowner’s insurance, specifics on purchasing a policy, and how to find the best deal. You should also contact local resources in your state, such as:
Or contact them directly through the following resources:
Pennsylvania Insurance Department
1326 Strawberry Square
Harrisburg, PA 17120
Toll-Free, Automated Consumer Hotline: 1-877-881-6388