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Sorting Through Home Contents Insurance

Home and contents insurance and home contents insurance is sometimes used synonymously but can be different things depending on your circumstances. Home and contents insurance is an all-inclusive home insurance policy that will protect the home itself and the personal belongings inside the home. Home contents insurance is a policy that includes only personal belongings and is also known as renter's insurance. Okay, this sounds simple enough, and it would be except that there are a number of different policy decisions and coverage limits that must be understood to make the best purchasing decision possible for your insurance policy. And, to that end, here's what you need to know.

Different Levels of Home Protection

Home and contents insurance has become the most common form of home insurance and is also more common than renter's insurance. But not all home and contents insurance is created equal, either. Along with a basic recognition that not all home insurance policies cover contents, it's important to understand the different levels of home protection.

HO-1 and HO-2: These are the basic types of home insurance. HO-2 covers more perils than HO-1 policies, but neither typically cover the contents of your home. In rare cases, it may be cost-effective to buy a supplemental insurance rider for contents insurance, but most of the time, a more comprehensive policy is the way to go.

HO-3 and HO-5: When it comes to home and contents insurance, HO-3 is the most confusing, although also the most popular form of home insurance. HO-3 policies will cover any damage to your home not explicitly excluded in the policy (typical exclusions cover things like nuclear war, acts of God, governmental action). But most HO-3 policies only cover personal belongings in specific, enumerated cases. HO-5 policies, by contrast, are the most comprehensive types of home insurance policies and typically cover home and contents in all cases not explicitly excluded in the policy.

Don't Underestimate Home Contents Insurance

Whether it's part of a home insurance policy or a separate renter's insurance policy, too many people underestimate the importance of home contents insurance in light of how much stuff they actually own. You probably know the price tag for your television and computer, but once you take an honest look at your closet, furniture, golf clubs, exercise equipment, vacuum cleaner, etc. you have many thousands of dollars worth of belongings. Keep in mind that in the event of a fire, burglary, or other insured peril, you will need a check for the replacement costs, not current market value, to get your life back in order.

Home Contents Insurance Tips

  • If you're renting a property and already have auto insurance, you may be able to obtain home contents insurance for just a few dollars a year. Most insurance companies offer multiple policy discounts, and by applying this discount to a renter's policy, the leftover costs may be peanuts compared to the financial protection
  • One of the biggest policy decisions you'll need to make is whether you want the coverage to account for the actual contents of your home or a set dollar amount. If you have high-value assets, you may need to give the insurance company an inventory of the items you want insured. If, on the other hand, you have but the usual clothes, TV, computer, etc., a fixed ten-thousand dollar coverage limit might be the easiest and most effective policy.
  • Don't take renewal for granted. Not only should you look at different quotes each policy term, but if your insurance includes an itemized list, it can be critical to keep your insurance company updated on any significant changes in value, such as antique that has appreciated over the last year.

Finding Home and Contents Insurance Quotes

The best way to find quotes for either home and contents or just home contents insurance is with an online referral service, like NetQuote. To get the best deal and insurance value possible, you need to get quotes from several different reliable insurance companies. This is precisely what we offer at NetQuote when you take but a few minutes to fill out a simply online form with some very basic information. Better yet, you can review quotes and talk to insurance agents from the comfort of your own home, giving you the home field advantage and reducing overhead costs for the insurance companies, allowing them to offer more competitive rates.

See how much you could save today on your home insurance. Get your free home insurance quotes today!

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