Home Insurance

Find and compare a wide range of home insurance options from our panel of trusted insurers here today with zaving

Last updated by Zaving Editorial Team, on April 4th, 2024

Home insurance is essential for protecting your property and belongings from unexpected events like fires, theft, or natural disasters. It provides financial coverage and peace of mind when you need it most. With zavings, you can easily compare home insurance policies from top providers in the USA. Our user-friendly service allows you to compare coverage options, premiums, and benefits all in one place. We make it convenient for you to find the right policy that fits your needs and budget, ensuring your home is well-protected. This enables you to make an informed decision and find the best home insurance policy that provides the right level of protection for your home.

By using zavings's comparison service, you can ensure that your home is adequately protected with a home insurance policy that is just right for your personal situation. Here we take you through the fundamentals of home insurance and show you how zavings can simplify the process of finding the perfect policy for your home. You can save time and effort by accessing all the information you need here in one place. We strive to provide you with a seamless and convenient way to compare and choose the right home insurance policy, ensuring that you have the necessary coverage to protect your most treasured and valuable asset.

What is home insurance? 

Home insurance, also known as homeowner's insurance, is an important form of protection that covers your home and its contents in case of unexpected events. It's a contract between you and an insurance company. You pay a premium, and in return, the insurer promises to help you financially if your home is damaged or your belongings are lost.

Home insurance offers different types of coverage. It can include protection for the physical structure of your home, like walls and the roof, as well as protecting your personal belongings. If your home is damaged by events like fire, storms, or theft, the insurance policy will provide funds to repair or rebuild it. It also covers the cost of replacing your belongings if they are stolen or destroyed.

In addition, home insurance offers liability coverage. This means that if someone gets injured on your property and sues you, the insurance can help cover the costs. It can also include coverage for additional living expenses if your home becomes uninhabitable, such as paying for temporary accommodation while repairs are being made.

Having home insurance is crucial because it safeguards you from unexpected financial burdens. If you have a mortgage, your lender may require you to have home insurance. It's important to compare different home insurance policies through zavings, understand what they cover and what they exclude, and choose one that suits your needs and fits your budget.

Home insurance provides peace of mind knowing that you're financially protected in case of unforeseen circumstances that could otherwise be financially devastating. It's a responsible and necessary step to protect your most valuable asset – your home.

What does home insurance cover? 

Home insurance provides coverage for various aspects related to your home and its contents. Let's take a closer look at what home insurance typically covers:

Dwelling Coverage: This component protects the physical structure of your home, including walls, roof, floors, and other permanent fixtures. If your home is damaged or destroyed by covered perils such as fire, windstorm, or vandalism, the insurance policy will provide funds to repair or rebuild the dwelling.

Personal Property Coverage: Home insurance covers your personal belongings, such as furniture, appliances, electronics, clothing, and jewelry. If your personal property is stolen, damaged, or destroyed due to covered risks, the insurance policy will help reimburse you for the loss.

Liability Coverage: Home insurance includes liability coverage, which protects you if someone is injured on your property and decides to sue you for medical expenses or other damages. It can help cover legal fees, settlements, and judgments up to the policy limit.

Additional Living Expenses: If your home becomes uninhabitable due to a covered event, such as a fire or severe storm, home insurance can provide coverage for additional living expenses. This includes temporary accommodations, meals, and other related costs while your home is being repaired or rebuilt.

Other Structures: Home insurance may also cover other structures on your property, such as detached garages, sheds, barns or fences. The coverage amount for these structures is typically a percentage of the dwelling coverage.

It's important to note that home insurance policies may have certain limits, deductibles, and exclusions. Common exclusions include damage caused by floods or earthquakes, which may require separate coverage. It's essential to review your policy carefully and understand the specific coverage and limitations provided.

Remember, the specific coverage and terms of home insurance policies can vary, so it's crucial to read and understand the details of your policy. It's advisable to consult with an insurance professional or use a comparison service like Zavings to explore different policies, compare coverage options, and find the best home insurance policy that suits your needs and offers adequate protection for your home and belongings.

What is not covered by home insurance?  

Home insurance provides valuable coverage for homeowners, protecting them from various risks and perils. However, it's important to understand that not all incidents and situations are covered by home insurance policies. Knowing what is not covered can help homeowners make informed decisions and take additional steps to protect themselves financially. Here are some common examples of what is typically not covered by home insurance:

1. Floods: Standard home insurance policies usually do not cover damage caused by floods. Homeowners residing in flood-prone areas may need to purchase a separate flood insurance policy to protect their property against flood-related damages.

2. Earthquakes: Similarly, earthquake damage is typically not covered by standard home insurance. Homeowners in earthquake-prone regions may need to obtain separate earthquake insurance to ensure adequate protection.

3. Routine maintenance: Home insurance does not cover the cost of routine maintenance or repairs that are needed due to wear and tear, neglect, or age-related deterioration. It is the homeowner's responsibility to properly maintain their property.

4. Home business liabilities: If you run a business from your home, any liabilities related to the business may not be covered under your home insurance policy. A separate business insurance policy may be required to protect against business-related risks.

5. Certain high-value items: While home insurance covers personal belongings, there are usually coverage limits for high-value items such as jewelry, artwork, or collectibles. If you have valuable possessions, you may need to purchase additional coverage or a separate policy to adequately protect them.

6. Damage from certain perils: Home insurance policies may have specific exclusions for certain perils like acts of war, nuclear accidents, or intentional acts. It's important to review the policy documents to understand the exclusions and limitations.

7. Non-resident structures: Structures on your property that are not intended for residential use, such as detached garages or sheds rented out to others, may not be fully covered by standard home insurance.

It's crucial for homeowners to carefully review their policy documents, including the coverage limits, exclusions, and endorsements. If there are specific risks or items that require additional protection, homeowners may consider purchasing separate insurance policies or riders to ensure comprehensive coverage. Consulting with an insurance professional can help homeowners understand their options and make informed decisions about their insurance needs.

How much does home insurance cost? 

On average, homeowners in the United States pay around $1,200 to $2,500 per year for home insurance. It is recommended to obtain quotes from multiple insurance providers through savings and compare their coverage and rates to find the policy that best fits your needs and budget.

What factors affect the cost of home insurance?

The cost of home insurance varies depending on several factors. Insurance providers take into account various elements to determine the premium you will pay for your home insurance coverage. Here are some key factors that influence the cost of home insurance:

1. Location: The location of your home plays a significant role in determining the cost of insurance. Insurance providers assess factors such as the local climate, the risk of natural disasters, and the crime rate in your area. Homes in high-risk areas may have higher premiums to account for the increased likelihood of claims.

2. Dwelling value: The value of your home, including the cost of rebuilding or repairing it, is a crucial factor in determining your insurance premium. Higher-value homes generally have higher premiums, as the potential cost of repairs or replacement is greater.

3. Coverage limits: The level of coverage you choose for your home insurance policy also affects the cost. Higher coverage limits result in higher premiums. It's important to strike a balance between adequate coverage and affordability.

4. Deductible amount: The deductible is the amount you must pay out of pocket before your insurance coverage kicks in. Choosing a higher deductible can lower your premium, but it means you will have a larger financial responsibility in the event of a claim.

5. Home features and construction: The age, size, and construction materials of your home can impact the cost of insurance. Newer homes or those built with more durable materials may qualify for lower premiums due to their lower risk profile.

6. Safety and security measures: Insurance providers often offer discounts for homes equipped with safety features such as smoke detectors, fire alarms, burglar alarms, and security systems. These measures can reduce the risk of accidents or theft, resulting in lower premiums.

7. Claim history: Your past insurance claims history can influence the cost of your home insurance. If you have a history of frequent or high-value claims, insurance providers may view you as a higher risk and charge higher premiums.

8. Credit score: In some states, your credit score may be a factor in determining your home insurance premium. Insurance companies use credit-based insurance scores to assess the likelihood of future claims.

It's important to note that these factors can vary among insurance providers, and each provider may have its own methodology for calculating premiums.

To get an accurate estimate of the cost of home insurance, it's advisable to obtain quotes from multiple insurance companies through zavings and compare the coverage and prices they offer. By considering these factors and exploring different options, homeowners can find a home insurance policy that provides adequate coverage at a cost that fits their budget.

How should I compare home insurance policies to find the best one?

When comparing home insurance policies, it's crucial to consider several factors to find the best coverage for your needs. At zavings, our simple comparison service can help you navigate the process effectively. Here's a step-by-step guide to comparing home insurance policies:

1. Assess your coverage needs: Evaluate your specific requirements, such as the value of your home and the belongings you want to protect. Determine if you need additional coverage options, such as flood insurance or coverage for high-value items.

2. Get multiple quotes: Request quotes from different insurance providers through zavings. We make it easy to gather and compare quotes from reputable insurers, saving you time and effort.

3. Review coverage options: Examine the coverage options offered by each policy. Ensure they meet your needs, including coverage for your dwelling, personal property, liability, and additional living expenses.

4. Evaluate policy limits and deductibles: Assess the policy limits to ensure they are sufficient to cover your home and belongings adequately. Consider the deductibles, which are the amounts you need to pay before insurance coverage kicks in.

5. Consider premium costs: Compare the premium costs of different policies, keeping in mind the coverage provided and deductibles. Look for a balance between affordability and comprehensive coverage.

6. Explore discounts and benefits: Take advantage of any discounts or benefits offered by insurance providers. Look for discounts for safety features, multiple policies, or loyalty programs. These can help reduce your premium or provide additional coverage benefits.

8. Understand policy terms and conditions: Carefully read and understand the terms and conditions of the policies you are comparing. Pay attention to any exclusions, limitations, or special provisions that may impact your coverage.

By following these steps and utilizing the expert comparison advice available through zavings, you can effectively compare home insurance policies and choose the one that provides the best coverage and value for your home and personal belongings.

What is dwelling coverage in home insurance? 

Dwelling coverage is one of the most vital components of home insurance. It protects the physical structure of your home. It provides financial assistance in the event of damage or destruction caused by covered perils, such as fire, windstorm, hail, or vandalism. Dwelling coverage typically includes the following:

Coverage for the Structure of Your Home

Dwelling coverage specifically focuses on the main structure of your home, including walls, roof, floors, foundation, windows, and built-in fixtures. It ensures that if your home sustains damage, you will have the financial support to restore it to its pre-loss condition.

Rebuilding Costs and Replacement Value

Dwelling coverage typically provides coverage for the cost to rebuild your home in case of a total loss. The coverage amount is based on the estimated cost of rebuilding your home using similar materials and construction methods. It's important to note that the rebuilding cost may differ from the market value or the purchase price of your home.

Additional Structures

In addition to the main dwelling, dwelling coverage often extends to other structures on your property, such as detached garages, sheds, fences, or guesthouses. These additional structures are typically covered up to a certain percentage of the total dwelling coverage limit.

Coverage Limits and Policy Terms

When selecting dwelling coverage, it's crucial to choose a coverage limit that accurately reflects the cost of rebuilding your home. Insurance companies may offer different coverage limits and policy options to accommodate various needs. Understanding the terms and conditions of your policy, including any exclusions or limitations, is essential to ensure you have the right level of protection.

What is personal property coverage in home insurance?

Personal property coverage is an important component of home insurance that helps protect your belongings from covered perils. It provides financial reimbursement for the repair, replacement, or loss of personal items such as furniture, appliances, electronics, clothing, and jewelry. 

Coverage for Your Belongings

Personal property coverage extends to the belongings inside your home, including items that are not permanently attached to the structure. It typically covers a wide range of perils, such as fire, theft, vandalism, and natural disasters, subject to certain policy exclusions.

Coverage Limits and Valuation Methods

When selecting personal property coverage, it's important to choose a coverage limit that adequately reflects the value of your belongings. Insurance companies may offer different coverage limits and valuation methods. Some policies provide coverage based on actual cash value, which takes into account depreciation, while others offer replacement cost coverage, which reimburses you for the full cost of replacing the items with new ones of similar kind and quality.

Itemized Valuables and Additional Coverage

For high-value items such as expensive jewelry, artwork, or collectibles, standard personal property coverage may have limitations. In such cases, you may need to schedule these items separately or add additional coverage to ensure they are fully protected. This process involves providing detailed descriptions, appraisals, and valuations for each item to be covered.

Loss of Use Coverage

In addition to covering the cost of your belongings, personal property coverage often includes coverage for loss of use. If your home becomes uninhabitable due to a covered event, this coverage helps pay for temporary accommodations, meals, and other related expenses while your home is being repaired or rebuilt.

Understanding Exclusions and Deductibles

Like other components of home insurance, personal property coverage has exclusions and deductibles. Exclusions refer to specific perils or circumstances that are not covered by the policy. Deductibles are the amount you must pay out of pocket before the insurance coverage kicks in. It's important to review these policy details and understand the terms and conditions to ensure you have the appropriate level of coverage.

In summary, personal property coverage in home insurance is designed to protect your belongings from a range of risks. By providing financial reimbursement for repair, replacement, or loss, this coverage ensures that your valued possessions are safeguarded and helps you recover from unexpected events with greater peace of mind.

Do I need home insurance if I rent my house?  

While home insurance is typically associated with homeowners, renters can also benefit from insurance coverage tailored to their specific needs. Rental home insurance, also known as renters insurance, provides protection for tenants living in rented properties. It offers financial coverage for personal belongings, liability, and additional living expenses in case of covered perils.

Protection for Personal Belongings

One of the main reasons to consider renters insurance is to protect your personal belongings. Your landlord's insurance policy typically covers the physical structure of the building but does not extend coverage to your personal items. Renters insurance provides coverage for belongings such as furniture, appliances, electronics, clothing, and other valuables in case of perils like fire, theft, vandalism, or natural disasters.

Liability Coverage

Renters insurance also includes liability coverage, which protects you in case someone is injured while on your rental property and decides to file a lawsuit. If a visitor sustains injuries or their property gets damaged, your liability coverage can help cover their medical expenses or repair costs and protect you from potential legal claims.

Additional Living Expenses Coverage

In the event that your rental unit becomes uninhabitable due to a covered loss, renters insurance can provide coverage for additional living expenses. This coverage helps pay for temporary accommodations, meals, and other related expenses while your rental unit is being repaired or made habitable again. It can provide peace of mind and financial assistance during a challenging time.

Affordability and Value

Renters insurance is generally affordable and offers significant value for tenants. The cost of renters insurance depends on factors such as the coverage limits, deductible amount, location, and your individual circumstances. However, compared to the potential financial losses you could face without insurance, the premiums are typically reasonable and well worth the investment.

Required by Landlords

In some cases, landlords may require tenants to have renters insurance as a condition of the lease agreement. This requirement helps protect both the tenant and the landlord's interests. Renters insurance provides tenants with financial protection, reducing the risk of disputes or liability claims that could impact the landlord. It also demonstrates the tenant's responsibility and commitment to safeguarding their personal belongings and liabilities.

Peace of Mind and Security

Renters insurance offers peace of mind and security for tenants. It provides a safety net in case of unexpected events, ensuring that you are financially protected from losses or liabilities. Whether it's damage from a fire, a burglary, or a liability claim, renters insurance can provide the necessary support to help you recover and move forward.

In conclusion, while home insurance is typically associated with homeowners, renters can also benefit from the protection offered by rental home insurance. Renters insurance provides coverage for personal belongings, liability, and additional living expenses, ensuring that tenants are financially protected and have peace of mind while living in a rented property.

More of your frequently asked questions about home insurance

What is loss of use coverage in home insurance?

Loss of use coverage, also known as additional living expenses coverage, helps cover temporary living expenses if your home becomes uninhabitable due to a covered event. It can provide reimbursement for costs like hotel accommodations, meals, and transportation while your home is being repaired or rebuilt.

Does home insurance cover water damage?

Yes, home insurance typically covers water damage caused by sudden and accidental events, such as burst pipes or an overflowing washing machine. However, coverage may vary depending on the specific policy and the cause of the water damage. It's important to review your policy and understand the coverage limits, exclusions, and any additional endorsements or riders that may be needed for comprehensive water damage protection. Consulting with your insurance provider can help clarify the extent of coverage for water damage in your home insurance policy.

 

 
What is a deductible in home insurance?

A deductible is the amount you are responsible for paying out of pocket before your home insurance coverage kicks in. It is a fixed dollar amount or a percentage of the total claim value that you agree to when purchasing the policy. For example, if you have a $1,000 deductible and file a claim for $5,000 in damages, you would pay the first $1,000, and the insurance company would cover the remaining $4,000. Choosing a higher deductible often results in lower premium costs, while a lower deductible means higher premiums.

What is liability coverage in home insurance?

Liability coverage in home insurance provides financial protection if you are found legally responsible for injuries to others or damage to their property. It helps cover the associated medical expenses, legal fees, and potential settlement or judgment costs. For example, if a visitor slips and falls in your home and sues you for their injuries, liability coverage can help protect your assets by covering the expenses related to the incident. It is an essential component of a comprehensive home insurance policy.

Does home insurance cover mold?

Home insurance may provide coverage for mold damage, but it depends on the cause of the mold and the policy terms. Most standard home insurance policies exclude coverage for mold resulting from long-term neglect, maintenance issues, or gradual deterioration. However, if the mold is caused by a covered peril, such as water damage from a burst pipe, the resulting mold remediation and repairs may be covered. It's important to review your policy or consult with your insurance provider to understand the specifics of mold coverage in your home insurance policy.

Is home insurance tax deductible?

In general, home insurance premiums are not tax deductible for personal residences. However, there may be certain circumstances where a portion of the premium can be deductible. For example, if you use part of your home for business purposes, you may be able to deduct the portion of the premium that corresponds to the business use of the property. It's advisable to consult with a tax professional or accountant to determine if you qualify for any tax deductions related to your home insurance.

Can I get home insurance with a bad credit record?

Yes, it is possible to get home insurance with bad credit. However, bad credit may affect the availability of insurance options and the cost of premiums. Insurance companies consider credit history as a factor when determining insurance rates, as it is seen as an indicator of potential risk. It's important to shop around and compare quotes from different insurers to find the best coverage options and rates available for your specific situation.

Can I bundle home insurance with my auto insurance?

Yes, bundling home insurance with auto insurance is a common practice that many insurance companies offer. By combining both policies with the same insurer, you may be eligible for discounts or other benefits. Bundling can simplify your insurance management and potentially save you money. Contact your insurance provider to explore bundling options and determine if it's suitable for your needs.

What is the difference between replacement cost and cash value?

Replacement cost refers to the amount it would take to replace or repair damaged property with new materials of similar kind and quality, without factoring in depreciation. Actual cash value, on the other hand, takes depreciation into account and represents the current market value of the property at the time of the loss. The coverage you have will determine which valuation method is used for reimbursement.

Are home insurance premiums refundable?

Home insurance premiums are generally non-refundable if you cancel your policy midterm. However, if you cancel your policy before it becomes effective or within a certain grace period, you may be eligible for a refund of the premium paid. It's best to consult your insurance provider for specific details regarding premium refundability.

 
How do I file a home insurance claim?

To file a home insurance claim, follow these steps. First, contact your insurance company to report the incident and initiate the claims process. Provide detailed information about the damage or loss, including date, location, and a description of the event. The insurer will assign a claims adjuster to assess the damage and determine coverage. Document the damage with photos or videos, and keep records of any related expenses. Submit all necessary documentation and cooperate with the adjuster throughout the process. The insurance company will review the claim and provide a resolution, which may involve repair, replacement, or financial compensation.

Can I cancel my home insurance policy anytime?

Yes, you can typically cancel your home insurance policy. However, the process and potential penalties may vary depending on your insurance provider and policy terms. It's important to review your policy documents or contact your insurer directly to understand the cancellation process and any associated fees.