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Home Insurance FAQs

Home Insurance FAQs

Do you have questions about homeowners insurance? Check out our home insurance questions and answers by clicking one of the linked topics below.

General Home Insurance Information

What does home insurance cover?

Many home insurance policies will protect you from unexpected events, from damage from basic weather to theft. The main types of policies are:

  • Dwelling
  • Contents
  • Personal Liability
  • Additional living expenses
  • Dwelling
  • Contents
  • Personal liability
  • Additional living expenses

There are many other additional coverages, including umbrella insurance, that can be added to these policies.

How much home insurance do you need?

In every case, you want the limits on your policy to be high enough to cover the cost of rebuilding your home. Standard homeowners policies provide coverage for disasters such as damage due to fire, lightning, hail and explosions, but those who live in areas where there is risk of flooding or earthquake will need coverage for those disasters as well.

The price you paid for your home—or the current market price—may be more or less than the cost to rebuild. And if the limit of your insurance policy is based on your mortgage (as some banks require), it may not adequately cover the cost of rebuilding.

How much is home insurance?

The cost of home insurance depends on a variety of things. Rates are based on many factors such as the age of your home, where you live, updates to your house and many other factors.

What isn’t included in a home insurance policy?

While homeowners insurance differs from state-to-state and person-to-person, damage from natural disasters such as earthquakes, tornadoes and floods is typically not covered. There are a number of other cases your home insurance might not cover, in which case we’d recommend looking into an add-on for your existing policy. We can help you figure out where there are gaps in your insurance and how your policy might be impacted by region.

How do you get homeowners insurance?

There are so many types of home insurance, it’s crucial to shop around. At SelectQuote, we’ll do it for you in just minutes, finding you the best price for the coverage you need.

What other insurance does SelectQuote cover?

We also offer solutions for renters and condo insurance, as well as flood and earthquake protection. Be sure to inquire about an umbrella policy, which adds additional protection to your home or auto insurance.

Home Insurance Costs & Discounts

How much does home insurance cost?

The average home insurance cost is almost $1,200 a year, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ latest home insurance report. Average home insurance rates vary by state and the amount of insurance purchased. Texas and Florida tend to have the most expensive average home insurance costs while Utah and Oregon have the least expensive.

When you’re getting home insurance quotes, you want an insurance amount that covers the cost of rebuilding your home from the ground up. That’s an amount for a worst-case scenario, such as a fire or tornado. To make a homeowners insurance estimate for rebuilding costs, multiply the square footage of your house by the local cost per square foot of construction.

Do you qualify for any type of home insurance discounts?

There’s a good chance you qualify for discounts, whether it’s through bundling auto and home insurance, being a long-time customer to a carrier, having a history of no claims, choosing a higher deductible or paying in one lump sum. You could potentially qualify for additional discounts if you’re:

  • A member of the military
  • A first-time homeowner
  • Married or widowed
  • Living in a Homeowners Association (HOA)

Homeowners insurance policies also consider what you’ve already invested into your home, including home improvements, where you live, your health status and how you secure and monitor your home.

How can I save money when buying auto and home insurance?

Locking in lower premiums on your insurance can be as easy as tackling your honey-do list, but if you’re not ready to take on any home improvement projects or auto upgrades, we can help you get the best bang for your buck. A higher deductible could potentially lower your monthly premium, and if you have a good credit score, your opportunity to save could increase. Many insurance companies portray individuals with a 700+ credit score as a positive risk, which simply means less risk often equals lower premium costs on home insurance and car insurance.

Is home insurance tax deductible?

While your homeowners insurance premiums may be included in your property payments, they are considered nondeductible expenses according to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). That means you unfortunately cannot itemize any payments for home insurance—including fire, theft and comprehensive coverage; nor title insurance as deductions—on your tax return.

Home Insurance Coverage

What kind of coverage can you get for your home?

There are four basic types of home insurance:

  • Dwelling – This type of coverage pays for damages resulting from events over which you have no control.
  • Contents – This coverage plan reimburses you if personal items in your home are damaged or destroyed by a covered cause of loss, such as a fire. This includes clothes, furniture, sporting goods, electronics and other noted items of value in your home.
  • Personal liability – If you or a permanent resident of your household cause bodily injury to—or damage the property of—another person in your home, this insurance will cover legal fees that might transpire from such events. It also provides no-fault medical coverage if someone is injured on your property. Also known as Umbrella insurance.
  • Additional living expenses – This type of coverage will pay for your lodging, meals, animal boarding, and other limited expenses in the event you are unable to stay in your home due to a natural disaster or other unpredictable events.

There are many other additional coverages, including umbrella insurance, that can be added to these policies.

Does your homeowners insurance policy cover all of your personal belongings?

To protect your personal property, always start with a detailed home inventory. Having a list of your possessions and their value will help an agent recommend if your belongings need to be insured separately for coverage beyond a standard policy. Just know that a lump sum payout from a standard insurance policy may not be enough to replace high-value items such as expensive jewelry, antiques, art or certain electronics.

When does homeowners insurance not cover water damage?

Water damage isn’t always covered by your home insurance if it’s not the result of an accident or sudden, unexpected occurrence. Neglect or lack of maintenance resulting in water damage will mean you’re responsible for the cost of repairs. Certain situations where homeowner’s insurance might not cover water damage are:

  • Ground seepage
  • Water or sewer pipe backups
  • Flooding
  • Poorly-maintained pipes leading to leaks

Standard policies won’t cover water damage resulting from a flood, either; for that, you’ll need to purchase additional flood insurance, especially if you reside in a high-risk area prone to flooding.

Does homeowners insurance cover water damage?

Standard home insurance policies require water damage to be sudden and internal, with the requirement that the water has never touched the outside ground. This means the water damage must be the result of one of the 16 perils covered by homeowner’s insurance, such as sudden and accidental tearing, cracking, burning or bulging of a steam, heating, AC or automatic fire protection system. Your policy will likely cover damage from:

  • Rain or snow storm
  • Plumbing: Burst pipes, frozen plumbing, faulty plumbing, accidental overflow
  • Water damage from extinguishing a fire
  • A leaking roof (coverage would extend only to the home interior, not the roof itself)
  • An accidental overflow of an appliance or fixture (toilet, washing machine, bathtub, etc.)
  • Mold (only when it’s the result of covered water damage)
  • Vandalism

There are many other additional coverages, including umbrella insurance, that can be added to these policies.

Which losses aren’t covered by your homeowners policy?

The answer depends on many factors and how much your policy does cover. We can help you navigate through specific examples of losses not covered by a standard homeowners insurance policy and determine the best coverage for you.

Does your homeowners insurance policy cover replacement cost or actual cash value?

Your homeowners insurance policy might have either replacement cost coverage or actual cash value coverage included. Actual cash value policies figure in depreciation, so you’ll likely receive less back than initially declared. Replacement coverage might be more expensive upfront, but it will give you the exact cost you determined at the beginning of coverage.

We do the shopping. You do the saving.