Educating yourself on the particulars of Alabama Home Insurance is a must for anybody that calls the Yellowhammer State home. For starters, the Cotton state's weather alone should be enough to convince most homeowners and renters to cut a monthly check to protect what's theirs. Southern Alabama claims more serious thunderstorms per year than anywhere else in the United States, with northern Alabama not too far behind. And if you call the Gulf Coast home, where the possibility of a hurricane is always lurking around the corner, you know better than most that Mother Nature doesn't fool around. Weather aside, non-meteorological threats such house fires, burglary, and even a litigious house guest slipping on a slick back patio, are all reasons that home insurance should be on every Alabaman's radar.
Is Homeowner Insurance a Necessity in Alabama?
Legally, the answer is no (unless your mortgage company requires it, which most do in order to protect their investment). At the risk of oversimplifying things, however, you should think long and hard if you're inclined to roll the dice and hope for the best. Why? If you're a homeowner you need to protect your home, property, and everything in and on it from disastrous events that we too often assume only happen to somebody else. If you rent, home insurance (often called renters insurance in this case) provides the same level of protection for your personal belongings if should the worst happen. In addition to replacement costs, a good policy will also cover medical expenses in the event that a member of your family gets injured in your home due to negligence, and it will help protect you from financial disaster if somebody else gets hurt on your property and seeks compensation (the dog bites the mailman, for example). In short, unless you live under a bridge, or secretly dream of living a life free of the confines of material possessions (robes and sandals, anyone?), then Alabama home insurance is the right choice for you.
Understanding Alabama Home Insurance
If you're ready to start seeking out some Alabama home insurance quotes, the biggest favor you can do for yourself is to undertake a little research. Nothing is going to help you more when it comes to finding the best coverage at the best rates than doing your homework and knowing the ins and outs of the business. What exactly do you need to know? Here's a quick hitting primer of basic coverage you'll need to consider:
- Alabama Home Insurance Quotes for Property Damage -- Property Damage Coverage is what it sounds like. Whether a spring thunderstorm rips the shingles off your roof, your kid burns down the house playing with matches, or a burglar makes off with the family silver, Property Damage pays for any and all losses that you might incur. Make sure you understand the difference between "replacement cost" and "actual cash value," however. If you opt for the first, your insurance company will cover the cost of replacing everything that you've lost or need repaired. Actual cash value, on the other hand, only requires the insurance provider to reimburse your for the real value of what your lost items or property was worth. What does that mean in layman's terms? If you file a claim on a hail damaged roof that's 20 years old, your insurance company will compensate you for the depreciated value of a 20 year old roof, not a new one, leaving you with a hefty bill to pay to in order to keep your head dry.
- Alabama Home Insurance Quotes for Additional Living Expenses -- Additional Living Expenses pay for all those unforeseen costs you'll incur if the damage to your residence is so severe that you can't live in it for any period of time. Your insurance carrier will provide you with help paying for hotel stays, meals out, and the cost of a storage facility to house any personal belongings that survived the initial event unscathed.
- Alabama Home Insurance Quotes for Personal Liability and Medical Payments -- Personal Liability covers you and yours, including any injuries sustained on the property, or property damage caused by your own negligence. For instance, say the dead limb on that Southern Longleaf Pine that you've been meaning to trim for a few months comes down in a storm and takes the neighbor's fence down with it: your Personal Liability coverage will pick up the tab. Medical Payments come into play when you invite that neighbor over for an oat soda as a peace offering afterwards and he trips on the loose board on your deck and breaks his leg. Sit back, relax, and crack open another, because with Medical Payments Coverage, you'll be covered for his medical expenses too.
How to Get the Best Alabama Home Insurance Quotes
Once you know what you're looking for, the next step is shopping around for the best deal. Some factors influencing the price of different policies are beyond your control, such as the age of your home, the distance to the nearest fire hydrant, the amount of coverage you opt for and how high of a deductible you decide you can live with, and even your credit rating. All that aside, not all homeowners insurance providers price out coverage equally, so it pays to shop around and get as many quotes as possible to ensure you're getting the best deal possible before you sign any papers.