Homeowners Insurance in Vermont
What is Homeowners Insurance?
Purchasing a house requires a substantial investment, and most Vermont residents will never own a physical asset that’s worth more than their house. Because houses cost so much, homeowners need to protect them. Part of protecting a home includes purchasing homeowners insurance that covers it.
Homeowners insurance offers multiple coverages for homes, but houses aren’t all that this insurance normally protects. Most policies also come with protections for personal belongings and against certain liability lawsuits, as these are common additional protections that the vast majority of homeowners can benefit from.
Who in Vermont Should Have Home Insurance?
Most people who have a house in Vermont should carry home insurance. After all, few homeowners have the financial resources to rebuild their house if it’s substantially damaged or destroyed in a disaster. Even those who do would have to sustain a major expense and therefore, are likely wise to purchase a policy.
Do Mortgage Lenders Require Homeowners to Have Home Insurance?
For homeowners who have an outstanding mortgage, home insurance frequently isn’t optional. In order to make sure their financial investment in a property is protected against loss, mortgage lenders commonly require homeowners who take out a mortgage to carry a certain level of insurance. If a homeowner fails to carry sufficient coverage, the lender may purchase a policy.
When home insurance is required by the terms of a mortgage, there are multiple reasons to purchase a policy through an insurance agent. If a lender does have to purchase a policy, they usually:
- Only get enough coverage for their investment in the property
- Don’t shop around for a competitively priced rate
- Pass on the full cost to the homeowner through increased payments
Thus, homeowners who don’t purchase an adequate policy or let their policy lapse often end up not being sufficiently covered and overpaying for insurance. Seeking the help of a knowledgeable agent who can provide informed coverage advice and compare multiple policies generally results in a better policy solution.
What Coverages Should Homeowners Consider When Comparing Policies?
As mentioned, homeowners policies usually come with multiple coverages that offer an array of protections. Some of the more common and significant ones are:
- Dwelling Coverage, which normally insures the house
- Secondary Structure Coverage, which normally insures other installations a property has
- Personal Property Coverage, which normally insures belongings in the house
- Loss of Use Coverage, which normally covers alternative accommodations after a disaster
- Personal Liability Coverage, which normally covers a variety of liability lawsuits
Homeowners who are away from their property for an extended amount of time may also need vacant property coverage. Policies’ standard coverages often have a stipulation that a house isn’t vacant past a certain amount of time, possibly making this add-on protection necessary if a home is unoccupied for longer than the set duration.
What Kinds of Policies Are Available for Single-Family Homes?
Insurance professionals frequently use abbreviations for various types of homeowners policies. While there may be some variations between policies of the same abbreviation, they tend to provide comparable levels of protection.
A few abbreviations that are often used for single-family homes are:
- HO-1, which typically is a closed-perils policy with fairly limited protections
- HO-2, which typically is a closed-perils policy with a few additional protections
- HO-3, which is a common open-perils policy that adds substantially more protections
- HO-5, which is an even more robust open-perils policy
- HO-8, which is similar to HO-3 but has adjustments appropriate for older homes
The difference between closed- and open-perils policies lies in how the policies determine what perils they cover. Closed-perils policies generally list the perils they cover and restrict their protections to those risks, while open-perils policies usually list the perils they exclude and cover all non-excluded risks.
How Can Vermont Homeowners Get Homeowners Insurance?
For help insuring a house that’s in Vermont, contact the independent insurance agents at T.S. Peck Insurance. Our agents have assisted many homeowners in the state with their coverage needs, and we’re ready to help you find a homeowners insurance policy.