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    • All your questions about buying car insurance online

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Frequently asked questions

FAQ

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    Insurance Definitions

    • What is an insurance premium?
    • How does additional interest differ from additional insured?
    • What is reinsurance?
    • What does subrogation mean?
    • What is Proof of Insurance?
    • What is NAIC?
    • What is hurricane insurance?
    • What is personal liability insurance for homeowners?
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    Auto Insurance Basics

    • What’s the best way to compare auto insurance rates?
    • How much time do you have to get insurance on a new car?
    • What kind of vehicle does car insurance usually cover?
    • Can I switch insurance companies in the middle of a policy term?
    • What is a standard versus non-standard insurance policy?
    • What amount of car insurance does a person need?
    • Do car insurance companies use credit scores?
    • Is car Insurance a tax-deductible expense?
    • Does my policy cover pre-existing damage?
    • Does car insurance follow the driver or car?
    • How is fault determined in a car accident?
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    Auto Insurance Coverage

    • What is SR-22?
    • Who is an excluded driver?
    • What is an FR-44 form?
    • What is bodily injury liability insurance?
    • What is property damage liability insurance?
    • What is Med Pay or Medical Payments Coverage?
    • What is collision insurance?
    • What is PIP insurance?
    • What is No-Fault insurance?
    • What is non-owner insurance?
    • What is property and casualty insurance?
    • What is umbrella insurance?
    • What kind of insurance policy should a driver use after a car accident?
    • What is No-Pay, No-Play Insurance?
    • What is Property Protection Insurance (PPI)?
    • What is permissive use car insurance?
    • What is agreed value vs stated value insurance?
    • What is CPI or Collateral Protection Insurance?
    • What is Gap Insurance?
    • What is the difference between comprehensive and collision auto insurance coverage?
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    Homeowners Insurance Basics

    • What is homeowners insurance?
    • How does home insurance work?
    • What does homeowners insurance cover?
    • What homeowners insurance doesn't cover
    • Who is covered under homeowners insurance?
    • What are the different types of homeowners insurance?
    • How do I buy homeowners insurance?
    • What does home insurance deductible mean?
    • How does the deductible work on homeowners insurance?
    • How do I switch my homeowners insurance companies?
    • How do I read my homeowner insurance policy?
    • How much homeowners insurance do I need?
    • How do I file a claim on my home insurance?
    • How do I cancel my homeowners policy?
    • Is homeowners insurance tax-deductible?
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    Homeowners Insurance Coverage

    • Does homeowners insurance protect your home from flooding?
    • Does regular home insurance cover earthquake damage?
    • Is water damage covered by homeowners insurance?
    • When is water damage not covered?
    • Is mold covered by homeowners insurance?
    • When is mold not covered by homeowners insurance?
    • Are roof leaks covered by homeowners insurance?
    • When are roof leaks not covered?
    • Is tree damage covered by homeowners insurance?
    • When is tree damage not covered?
    • Is theft covered by homeowners insurance?
    • When is theft not covered by home insurance?
    • Are dog bites covered by homeowners insurance?
    • When are dog bites not covered by homeowners insurance?
    • Is termite damage covered by homeowners insurance?
    • What does personal property insurance cover?
    • What is not covered by personal property insurance?
    • Does homeowners insurance cover damage from carpenter ants?
    • Does home insurance cover ice damage?
    • Is wind damage covered by home insurance?
    • is rodent damage covered by homeowners insurance?
    • Is a blown-over fence covered by home insurance?
    • Are fences covered by a home insurance policy?
    • Are slab leaks covered by homeowners insurance?
    • Are frozen pipes covered by home insurance?
    • Is my garage covered under homeowners insurance?
    • Does home insurance cover guitars?
    • Does my home insurance policy cover jewelry?
    • Is landscaping covered under my homeowners insurance policy?
    • Does homeowners insurance cover loss of use?
    • Are pools covered by home insurance?
    • What is covered under other structures on homeowners insurance?
    • Does my homeowners insurance policy cover my home business?
    • What does hurricane insurance cover?
    • Do I need to purchase personal liability insurance?
    • What is loss of use coverage?
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    Homeowners Insurance Pricing

    • How much does homeowners insurance cost?
    • What states have the highest home insurance rates?
    • What states are the least expensive for home insurance?
    • Why are my home insurance quotes so high?
    • Are there ways to lower your home policy rates?
    • Are there any home insurance discounts?
    • Does making a claim increase my homeowners insurance rates?
    • What factors affect home insurance costs?
    • Does bad credit affect my home policy rate?
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    Renters Insurance

    • What is renters insurance?
    • When should I consider renters insurance?
    • What does renters insurance cover?
    • Who is covered on my renters insurance policy?
    • What is not covered on my renters policy?
    • Does renters insurance cover theft?
    • How much does renters insurance cost?
    • Are there ways to lower my renters insurance rates?
    • Can I increase or decrease my renters policy?
    • Will making a claim affect my renters insurance policy?
    • What is liability protection for renters and do I need it?
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    All your questions about buying car insurance online

    • How do I find the best car insurance rates online?
    • How can I compare auto insurance rates and companies online?
    • Is it possible to purchase car insurance online?
    • Can anyone buy auto insurance online?
    • Are car insurance rates cheaper online?
    • How many drivers can I cover if I buy my car insurance online?
    • What if I have unique needs, can I still buy insurance online?
    • Is it smart to look for auto insurance online?
    • How do I know I’m getting the best auto insurance rates online?
    • Are the online auto insurance rates more expensive?
    • What is the best website to shop for car insurance?
    • Will I have to go in person to an office if I decide to buy online car insurance?
    • Is it hard to buy car insurance online?
    • How long does it take to buy car insurance online?
    • How secure is it to buy auto insurance online?
    • How soon will my car be covered if I buy auto insurance online?
    • Can I get proof of coverage if I purchase online car insurance?
    • How long does it take to get my policy?
    • How many cars will my car insurance cover if I buy online?
    • Can I bind my car insurance policy online?
    • Can I talk to a licensed insurance agent if I buy auto insurance online?
    • What will I need to buy vehicle insurance online?
    • Will I have to upload documents to purchase online car insurance?
    • Can I buy car insurance online for a new vehicle?
    • What steps are involved when buying car insurance online?
    • Will I need to pay car insurance all at once if I buy it online?
    • Can I make payments for my auto insurance if I purchase it online?
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    Misc

    • What are the differences between car insurance and a car warranty?
    • Can you get your vehicle out of impound without insurance?
    • Does a failed auto inspection affect your car insurance?
    • What is a home warranty an insurance policy?
    • Do I need home warranty insurance?

Insurance Definitions

What is an insurance premium?

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A premium for car insurance is what you pay regularly for coverage on your car. Depending on your carrier, you may be able to pay monthly or by another payment plan. Paying your premium provides coverage by your insurer for liability and/or collision coverage as described in your policy.

How does additional interest differ from additional insured?

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The terms “additional interest” and “additional insured” refer to whether or not someone has interest and/or ownership of property. If you have a vested interest in an insured property/item but have no ownership, this is called “additional interest.” An additional insured typically has a stake or part ownership in the insured item or property. The additional insured can also be the beneficiary of the policy. Additional interests may be a company or other party that has a vested interest in the property’s protection. However, the additional interest is not covered by the insurance policy.

What is reinsurance?

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Think of it as the “insurance of insurance companies.” This is how the Reinsurance Association of America describes the concept of no carrier having too much exposure. It deals with the risks due to a huge disaster or event. This type of coverage is important to companies when a disaster or another incident occurs. It can limit the losses incurred by these large carriers during such an event. Reinsurance happens when multiple carriers share risk. This occurs when these carriers buy policies from other insurers to cap or limit their own loss should disaster strike.

What does subrogation mean?

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The word “subrogation” describes the right by insurance companies to pursue a third party through legal means. This third party is typically responsible for causing the insured to sustain an insurance loss.

What is Proof of Insurance?

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Proof of insurance is evidence that proves you have an active policy. Similar to your health card, it lists details that verify you have coverage. This is important since all, but one state requires auto insurance. New Hampshire, however, does require that drivers prove they are financially able to cover an accident they may have caused.

What is NAIC?

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The NAIC is a United States organization that sets insurance standards and provides regulatory support. NAIC stands for the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. The organization was created and governed by head insurance regulators who represent all fifty states, DC, and five U.S. territories.

What is hurricane insurance?

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A standard homeowners insurance policy does not cover damages from a hurricane. If you live in a location that experiences hurricanes, you will need to purchase different coverages as there is no one “hurricane insurance” policy that will cover losses due to wind, rainstorm, and flooding. For example, wind damage may be limited or not covered by your standard homeowners insurance if you live in a hurricane-prone area. In addition, damage from flooding will likely be denied without the appropriate type of coverage to meet your specific needs. Check with your insurer on what types of additional coverages or endorsements you will need to protect your home.

What is personal liability insurance for homeowners?

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As a homeowner, there is always the possibility that you or members of your household may become liable for claims of body injury or property damage. You or your covered residents may be sued if found legally responsible. Personal liability insurance, as part of your home insurance policy, will protect you financially against such losses. Examples of such claims can involve someone tripping on a step or falling in your driveway. Payouts are typically reimbursements paid on your behalf to the harmed individual.

Auto Insurance Basics

What’s the best way to compare auto insurance rates?

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First, take into consideration your personal situation. Determine what your needs are before you shop. Get quotes from reputable companies and review what they are offering.
Shopping online to compare companies and rates will save you a lot of time. A good website source will provide you with instant quotes from at least three major carriers, each of which may consider driving records differently.

As you compare quotes, remember that price should not be the only determining factor. Many auto policies include extra features and will give their best quote to attract more customers. Check what each company provides in additional services and any exclusions. The best insurance quote may not necessarily be the best deal for your needs.
Finally, your age can impact your rates. Teen drivers, for example, have some of the highest auto coverage rates. However, other age ranges can also affect rates.

How much time do you have to get insurance on a new car?

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The coverage on a vehicle you trade-in can be extended to your new vehicle in “good faith.” This policy will let you drive your new car home and call your insurer quickly thereafter. The timeframe will vary by your current insurance company. If a grace period is offered, it may be as little as 2 days but not more than 30 days.

If you’re buying your first car and don’t have insurance, you’re required to buy coverage before driving your car. It’s illegal to drive an uninsured car, and proof of insurance is required in almost every state. The consequences can be severe for driving or being involved in an accident without proper coverage.

What kind of vehicle does car insurance usually cover?

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Any vehicle legally registered for the road including cars, vans, SUV trucks, RVs, and trailers can obtain coverage.

Can I switch insurance companies in the middle of a policy term?

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Yes. You can change insurance companies anytime. You can switch carriers in middle of your policy term, at the end of your term or even two days into your term. If you already paid for future coverage, you would receive a refund from the date of cancellation. Often times, when your current policy is expiring in a few days, you'll set the new coverage to start in the future. This simplifies the need to wait for a refund from the previous carrier.

If you have an open insurance claim, your current carrier will still be responsible when your switch companies.

What is a standard versus non-standard insurance policy?

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Drivers considered to be a low risk by insurance companies are covered by a standard policy. Low-risk drivers include those with good driving records and good credit. They typically drive moderate cars and can obtain affordable rates for coverage from large carriers. Good drivers can expect lower rates if they do not have a history of accidents, violations, or serious infractions. Non-standard insurance, on the other hand, accommodates drivers with poor driving records. Unfortunately, these policies charge higher rates.

What amount of car insurance does a person need?

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The amount of car insurance you need depends on your personal situation. For example, your needs will depend on the state you live in, your vehicle’s value, and what you can afford. In addition, if you have a loan on your vehicle, comprehensive and collision coverage will be required. Of course, there are other types of coverages available that you might need to protect you financially.

Do car insurance companies use credit scores?

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Most insurance companies view credit scores as a rating factor that helps inform and evaluate the risk of loss. For example, Federal Trade Commission data shows that more claims are filed by drivers with poor credit ratings. These claims are also more costly. Many companies DO use a credit-based insurance score. This score is different from the traditional fico score and evaluates the consumer’s risk of insurance loss. Scores range from low to high with the higher score seen as a lower risk factor.

Is car Insurance a tax-deductible expense?

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Certain individuals, for example, who are self-employed can deduct car insurance from their taxes. It may be part of their business-related expenses. It may also depend on whether an individual will itemize deductions. Others who can deduct coverage include specific individuals such as qualified performing artists. Armed forces reservists may also deduct their car insurance from their taxes. If you are self-employed, you’re allowed to deduct premium costs as part of your “actual car expenses.” But premiums are just one item in potential deductions you can claim when using this method. For example, let’s say you were involved in an accident that resulted in damage to your property. In this case, you would need to file a claim prior to entering as a deduction on your taxes. You can only claim a deduction that is equal to the amount your insurance company didn’t cover. This amount represents your actual loss amount.

Does my policy cover pre-existing damage?

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Unlike health insurance, car insurance policies do not usually cover pre-existing damages. Pre-existing damage refers to any damages that your vehicle already had before you bought your insurance policy. For damages to be covered by an auto insurance provider, the damage needs to have occurred after the policy start date. If the preexisting damage to your vehicle is extensive, many companies won’t offer vehicle coverages, i.e., comprehensive and collision coverages.

Does car insurance follow the driver or car?

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Typically, car insurance will follow the car. For example, let’s say that you let someone drive your vehicle and they end up in a car accident. In this case, and depending on your coverages, your carrier would likely be responsible for covering the claim. You can guarantee that you and the driver are covered along with the vehicle by adding complementary policies. You can obtain a “named driver policy.” This policy covers any driver you wish to cover while driving your vehicle by adding them to your policy. If the driver is not part of your household and driving your car, they may consider getting a “non-owner policy.” This will cover them and your car.

How is fault determined in a car accident?

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Finding fault in a car accident can be tricky. Deciding who caused an auto accident requires evidence and witnesses. Sometimes, blame may not be clear at all. Photographs of the incident and damage can be very useful and key to figuring out what happened. You may also rely on things like recorded traffic camera footage to decide which driver is at fault.

Auto Insurance Coverage

What is SR-22?

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SR-22 refers to a form that proves you carry your state’s required minimum liability coverage. Although the form has the word “insurance” in its name, SR-22 is not a policy. It is an official document that is also known as a “certificate of financial responsibility.” When buying an auto policy, the SR-22 is sent to your state as proof you have the minimum required coverage.

Who is an excluded driver?

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The term “excluded driver” is in reference to a driver you’ve asked not to be covered in your policy. Why would someone ask to remove a driver from their coverage? In most cases, driver exclusion boils down to risk. When removed from your insurance, they won’t be covered under your policy and can no longer drive your car.

What is an FR-44 form?

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FR-44 (or FR44) proves you carry active liability coverage at the legal minimum or in excess of the requirement. It’s a certificate that provides this information but is not to be confused with an actual form of auto insurance. Instead, the FR-44 form is proof of your auto policy. The letters “FR” stands for financial responsibility and this form carries stricter requirements than the SR-22. FR-44 is typically used for more severe offenses while driving that result in requirements for higher liability coverage.

What is bodily injury liability insurance?

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Required by most states, bodily injury liability insurance covers medical expenses and resulting lost income due to an accident. It may also cover and pay your legal fees should you have to go to court as a result of the accident. This type of coverage helps to pay medical expenses such as hospital and ambulance costs, or canes, walkers, etc.

What is property damage liability insurance?

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As part of an auto policy, property damage liability insurance helps cover costs for damage you cause to another’s vehicle/property. This type of coverage is required in most states and covers repair expenses if you’re found at fault.

What is Med Pay or Medical Payments Coverage?

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The term, Medical Payments Coverage, refers to the part of an auto policy that helps pay medical expenses. This can include you or your passengers’ medical expenses due to injury from a car accident. It doesn’t matter who was at fault. Sometimes this medical payment coverage is called medical expense coverage or med pay. Typically, there is no deductible, and you will find it expressed as a coverage limit on your policy. This type of med pay coverage is currently required in Maine, New Hampshire, and Pennsylvania. Other states may include it as optional coverage.

What is collision insurance?

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If your car is damaged due to an accident, collision insurance helps pay for your repairs or replace your vehicle. This includes accidents with other vehicles or other objects like a wall or pole. This type of coverage is not required by law as is liability. However, collision protection may be required if you lease or finance a vehicle. Under this coverage, you will need to pay a deductible before your policy covers the remaining expenses.

What is PIP insurance?

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Personal Injury Protection (PIP) covers medical bills, loss of wages, even funeral costs following an accident. This type of coverage is also known as “no-fault insurance” as it covers expenses regardless of who’s at fault. Requirements for PIP vary from state to state. Availability of PIP auto coverage is in states that have enacted no-fault laws or similar auto reparation reform laws. It covers the treatment of your injuries and your passengers’ injuries.

What is No-Fault insurance?

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No-fault insurance refers to PIP (Personal Injury Protection) coverage. It helps to cover your (and passengers) medical bills and loss of wages when you’re involved in an accident. This type of coverage kicks in no matter who is at fault. The insured driver’s own policy covers the losses that occurred regardless of the accident’s cause. This is similar to first-party coverage. The goal of no-fault insurance is to lower premium costs by avoiding expensive litigation over collision causes. It also provides for quick payments for any injuries or property loss.

What is non-owner insurance?

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Drivers who don’t own a car can be covered by non-owner car insurance, which provides liability coverage. This inexpensive policy provides liability coverage when you rent or borrow a car or file an SR-22 without a vehicle. Rates for this type of coverage are often 5% to 15% less than standard policy rates. This type of policy isn’t for everyone. This is especially true if living with a car owner. Or if you are required to be listed as a driver on a primary policy. Non-owner insurance only covers the damage and injuries you incur to other drivers and their property. It does not provide collision or comprehensive coverage for your vehicle. In addition, it doesn’t offer bodily injury coverage for you or your passengers.

What is property and casualty insurance?

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Also known as P&C, Property and Casualty insurance is coverage that protects you, your belongings, and your property. Both property and casualty are usually “bundled” together into one policy. Property insurance typically covers things that you own. This can include your house, car, or other belongings. This policy will protect you against loss or damage of your belongings or property from many types of risk. These perils can include (but are not limited to) fire, lightning, tornado, windstorm, rain, hail, or water damage. Explosion, riot, civil commotion, business interruption, loss of rents, glass breakage, or damage from aircraft or vehicles are also covered. Casualty provides liability coverage that protects you in an accident when you’re found legally responsible. This policy covers another person’s injuries and damage to their belongings.

What is umbrella insurance?

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Umbrella insurance provides you extra liability coverage to help cover you against being underinsured when that accident happens. You’ll get significantly more liability coverage when you need it most and at a low cost. That’s why a personal umbrella policy gives you peace of mind that you won’t lose your life savings. So, although most Property and Casualty policies include liability coverage, the limits could fall short of covering all your assets.

What kind of insurance policy should a driver use after a car accident?

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Deciding on which insurance (health versus car) to use after a car accident is a great question. In fact, these two types of coverage do have similarities. For example, they are both required by law. They involve private industries and are both regulated at the state level and federal level. Options for coverage and policy procedures are also similar. One form of coverage, PIP or Personal Injury Protection, reimburses you for medical bills and lost wages following an accident. With this type of coverage, you don’t need to prove who was at fault and can receive a faster reimbursement. With other car policies, you would need to prove you were not at fault.

What is No-Pay, No-Play Insurance?

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No-Pay, No-Play Laws are state laws that prohibit uninsured drivers from collecting certain damages from “negligent insured drivers.” The idea is, that drivers who don’t buy insurance should not benefit from someone else who responsibly purchases insurance.

What is Property Protection Insurance (PPI)?

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Property Protection Insurance or PPI is required in the state of Michigan for car owners. It is a type of liability protection that provides up to $1 million of coverage. This coverage helps with expenses should you and your vehicle accidentally cause damage to another Michigan resident’s property while in Michigan. If you damage someone’s property outside of Michigan, costs would then be covered by your liability property damage coverage.

What is permissive use car insurance?

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Permissive use in car insurance means that you allow someone to drive your car who is not listed on your policy by name or category (such as ‘household member’). If you allow a friend to borrow your car, that is permissive use. You have given your friend your permission to use your car. However, not all automobile insurance policies cover permissive use. Some policies that cover permissive use might provide limited coverage or have higher deductibles for a permissive user’s insurance claim. In most states, your car insurance does not automatically cover every traffic accident that your vehicle is involved in. Typically, the driver must be either specifically listed by name on the automobile insurance policy, listed by category on the policy (i.e., household member), or otherwise fall under the category of a permissive user.

What is agreed value vs stated value insurance?

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Stated value allows you to insure your vehicle for less than it’s worth to get a lower premium. The stated value is a dollar amount that was ‘stated’ by the client as the value of the vehicle. Agreed value sets the maximum coverage at the predetermined agreed-upon number. Stated value covers whichever is lower between the stated value, and the actual cash value. The actual cash value is the cost to replace the item and is sometimes called the market value.

What is CPI or Collateral Protection Insurance?

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CPI or collateral protection insurance is lender-placed coverage that is forced when a borrower fails to adequately insure their vehicle. The lender will enforce their own coverage in order to protect the vehicle since they technically own the car. Collateral protection covers the lender’s loan balance should there be a loss of collateral if not insured.

What is Gap Insurance?

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Gap insurance covers accidents resulting in severe damage or a totaled vehicle. But it doesn’t cover the entire costs of such an accident. It actually covers the difference between what your car is worth and the balance you owe on your car. Your standard policy typically covers what your car is worth. But in the early years of your car loan, the loan balance may exceed your vehicle’s market value. This is especially true if you put down a small deposit on your car. It is also required by finance and leasing companies.

What is the difference between comprehensive and collision auto insurance coverage?

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The difference between comprehensive and collision insurance relates to how the damage was caused to your vehicle. Both coverages, however, only provide physical coverage to your car. Comprehensive insurance will pay expenses for damage caused by vandalism, hail, theft etc. when damage is not related to a collision. Collision coverage helps pay for damages to your car due to a covered accident that involves colliding with another vehicle or object. Most insurance companies consider hitting an animal as a comprehensive claim and not collision.

Homeowners Insurance Basics

What is homeowners insurance?

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A homeowners policy is insurance coverage that protects the structure of a home (not a condominium, rental or mobile) that you own. This insurance pays to repair or replace foundation, walls, and/or roof in case of a damaging or destructive event such as fire, smoke, lightning strikes, storms, wind, hail, and vandalism.

How does home insurance work?

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Home insurance covers (according to your limits) devastation and damage to your property caused by a covered peril. Theft and personal liability may also be covered. This protection is stated in a homeowners insurance policy, which provides compensation up to coverage limits by insurance companies for covered losses. Homeowners pay for this insurance in the form of premiums. These premiums can be paid in full, via payments, or through property escrow.

What does homeowners insurance cover?

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Homeowners insurance covers your house, yard, other structures, and your belongings in case of certain destructive perils like fire, theft, smoke, or if someone is injured on your property. A homeowners policy repairs or replaces your home and is typically comprised of various coverages including dwelling, personal property, other structures, personal liability, loss of use, med payments to others, and other options.

What homeowners insurance doesn't cover

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Your homeowners policy will protect your house structure should certain events occur like fire or theft, but there are instances in your policy that are not part of your coverage. Risks that are not covered in your homeowners policy are called exclusions. These exclusions on a standard homeowners policy that are not covered can typically include instances such as flood, earthquakes, war, wear and tear, neglect, certain dog bite injuries, freezing pipes, mold, corrosion, intentional acts, and others. That’s why it’s always a good idea to review your coverages and add options like earthquake or flood depending on your circumstances and location.

Who is covered under homeowners insurance?

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Those residing in your home (members of your household) are typically covered on your homeowners insurance policy. Each person who resides in your household may be named in your policy including your spouse, children, other family members, even pets. Your child who may be living on campus and away from home may also be covered depending on the insurer and limitations. If your away-from-home student (under 21) is not covered in your policy, your child may want to consider renter’s insurance.

What are the different types of homeowners insurance?

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There is more than one type of homeowners insurance so it’s important to review your policy to be sure that you are adequately covered to meet your needs. A standard policy typically includes Dwelling, Other Structures, Personal Property, and Loss of Use. Dwelling insurance pays to repair or rebuild your house and attached structures up to your policy limits in case of damage or destruction due to certain events like fire, smoke, or vandalism. Your home’s structure includes the foundation, walls, ceilings, roof, and attached structures like a garage. Other structures on your property can include structures like a detached garage or tool shed. Personal Property covers your belongings such as furniture, household goods, clothing, jewelry (limits apply), and electronics in the event of a covered loss, such as theft, vandalism, or fire. Loss of Use covers your necessary and reasonable living expenses during your home’s replacement. Other types of insurance coverage for homeowners include Personal Liability to cover another person’s injuries or damages whether on your property or elsewhere. In addition, Medical Payments protect you if someone gets hurt on your property. Another option, Extended Replacement Costs, pays for additional construction and labor costs to rebuild your home (up to a predetermined percentage) not covered by your dwelling coverage.

How do I buy homeowners insurance?

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If you’ve just purchased your first home or have owned your house for some time, buying homeowners insurance should be a simple, uncomplicated process. To start the process of buying home insurance, determine what needs to be covered and how much coverage is needed. Then compare quotes and choose the best option for your situation. Comparing offerings and quotes from different companies will help you make a better decision on what you want to purchase. This includes comparing the coverages and costs that each company provides relative to your own needs. If you currently have auto insurance, you may want to check for any discounts if you bundle your home and auto insurance together.

What does home insurance deductible mean?

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The deductible on your homeowners insurance policy represents what you will pay out of your own pocket towards a claim before your insurance pays out. For example, let’s say you have a $1,000 deductible on your homeowners coverage and your attached garage burns down for a total of $7,000 to rebuild. In this case, you will be responsible for the $1,000 amount of your covered claim and your insurance will then pay the remaining $6,000. You’ll have an opportunity to choose your deductible when you’re shopping for your policy and coverages. The higher the deductible you choose, the lower your insurance costs and monthly premiums. You will only be responsible for paying your deductible when you file a covered claim with your insurance company. In addition, home insurance deductibles may be a percentage of your dwelling coverage, or a flat amount as shown in the above example.

How does the deductible work on homeowners insurance?

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Your homeowners insurance policy includes a deductible, which is the amount you will be responsible for and pay before your insurer pays the remainder of your claim. In other words, your insurance will pay the claim amount minus your deductible. For example, if the damage to your home is $5,500 and your policy’s deductible is $500, your insurance will cover the $5,000 and you will pay the rest ($500) out of your pocket. Your $500 in this case will be paid directly to the people fixing your home.

How do I switch my homeowners insurance companies?

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Looking for a new homeowners insurance company doesn’t need to be complicated. Once you decide it’s time to make a switch, the first step is to compare coverages and quotes from different insurers. Using an online platform will help make the process easy and quick. Then compare the quotes and coverages to your current home insurance policy to determine the advantage of switching. Having your current policy on hand will help you provide details about your current coverage and help make a more informed comparison. Also, keep an eye out for any discounts (e.g., home improvements, auto/home bundling) that each company may provide to lower your premium. Once you have purchased your new policy, alert your existing insurance company. In addition, be sure to contact your lender.

How do I read my homeowner insurance policy?

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Homeowner insurance policies generally provide the most important information on what’s called the declarations page. On this page, you will find details such as the policyholder address and location of covered property, coverage amounts and limits, dates of coverage, deductibles, endorsements, and premium amount. You will also find the insurance company's information in this part of the policy. Another key section is the policy jacket, which provides other details that include the policy term, exclusions, limits, conditions, and definitions. Both sections, declarations page and policy jacket, will give you a good understanding of your coverages.

How much homeowners insurance do I need?

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The purpose of your homeowners policy is to have enough coverage to repair or replace your home in the event that it’s damaged or destroyed. So, it’s important that you have enough insurance to cover the cost to rebuild the structure of your home. In addition, you should have additional coverages to replace your personal and household belongings and to cover living expenses if your home is uninhabitable during repair or replacement in a covered event. You should also have enough liability insurance to cover your personal assets should you be found liable for another person’s injury or damaged property.

How do I file a claim on my home insurance?

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Call your insurance company as soon as possible to start the claim process in the event of fire, theft, vandalism, and other covered event. However, if the incident involves a crime like theft or vandalism, your first step would be to call the police. Remember to note the names of police personnel who contact you and inspect your property. Check with your insurance company to be sure you claim is covered and to follow the next steps in filing your claim. Each claim is unique but here are the typical steps in the claim process. 1) Fill out the required forms according to your insurer’s instructions and return as quickly as possible. 2) Your insurer will arrange to have an insurance claims adjuster evaluate the damages. Be prepared to answer questions and show them areas of damage and issues. 3) Prevent further damage by arranging for urgent and/or temporary repairs until the permanent work can be done. Be sure to take photos before the repairs begin and keep any repair receipts. 4) Make note of all damage done to your property, create a detailed inventory list of stolen or damaged items, and all other pertinent information including value, model numbers, purchase dates, and receipts if available. 5) You will need to obtain estimates for repairs to be sure you receive enough compensation for needed replacement or work to be done. 6) Arrange for repairs to your property and don’t be surprised if your mortgage lender gets involved. Their name may even be listed on your check from the insurer as they have an interest in the property. Personal property payouts will be provided to you according to your coverage at replacement cost or actual cash value. 7) Document any added living expenses for reimbursement including hotels, transportation, and food if your home is uninhabitable during repairs.

How do I cancel my homeowners policy?

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Cancelling your homeowners insurance is not complicated. First, you will need to contact your insurance agent or company representative to advise them of your cancellation request. Be sure to check the company’s policies for cancellation including any time limits. For example, some companies may not approve a cancellation with 60 days of your policy start date. After your initial contact, you’ll need to request your cancellation in writing and include details such as your name, address, policy number, and cancellation date. It’s a good idea to keep a copy of your letter for future reference. Send your letter to your insurance company according to their instructions.

Is homeowners insurance tax-deductible?

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The only time you can deduct homeowners insurance on your taxes is when you rent out your property. Other situations may include deducting private mortgage insurance (PMI) premiums, which is separate from your homeowners policy, but may have certain limitations.

Homeowners Insurance Coverage

Does homeowners insurance protect your home from flooding?

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If you have a standard homeowners insurance policy, you are likely not covered for flood damage. Homeowners coverage, as well as renters insurance, typically do not cover this type of damage. Some areas are more prone to flooding. It’s important to look at what flood coverages are available from private flood insurance companies or from FEMA. Knowing your risk of flooding and getting coverage for your home is key to protecting it from this type of damage. If you have a loan on your home, you may be required to get flood insurance by your lender. Be sure to check with your mortgage company.

Does regular home insurance cover earthquake damage?

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If you live an area that is susceptible to earthquakes, it’s important to know that your typical homeowners policy does not cover damage due to an earthquake. You will need to add coverage for this type of protection through a separate policy or as an endorsement. Check with your insurer to be sure your home is protected.

Is water damage covered by homeowners insurance?

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Whether or not your home is covered from water damage depends on the circumstances that caused the damage. For example, you may be protected if damage is suddenly caused by a ruptured water heater. Your insurance will not, however, cover water damage from negligence or from a flood.

When is water damage not covered?

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Not all loss caused by water damage is covered by homeowners insurance. For example, damage caused by neglect or lack of maintenance, which over time develops into mold or slow leaks, would not be covered. Gradual leaks, as opposed to sudden pipe bursts, are undetected problems, which could have been prevented with proper maintenance.

Is mold covered by homeowners insurance?

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Your homeowners insurance policy may not cover mold damage unless such damage is a result of a covered loss. For example, mold resulting from flooding would not be covered unless you have a flood insurance policy. You can, however, add an endorsement to cover mold or fungi with limited coverage.

When is mold not covered by homeowners insurance?

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Mold damage that is a result of negligence or lack of maintenance would not be covered by a typical homeowners insurance policy. That’s because if you neglect to take care of your property, damage could incur. You are responsible for future damage that occurs as a result of that negligence. On the other hand, if you take measures to maintain your property, you are preventing the likelihood of damage and protecting your property. Typically, homeowners insurance will only cover mold that results from covered losses. Check with your insurer regarding mold protection as an added endorsement.

Are roof leaks covered by homeowners insurance?

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Roof damage, including leaks are covered in your homeowners insurance if the damage is caused by a covered loss and specifically named in your policy. Usually, these losses are a result of a sudden peril like a wind storm, hailstorm, or fire that accidently damages the roof. Check the type of homeowners policy you have to determine what is covered including roof damage and your personal belongings.

When are roof leaks not covered?

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If your leaks are a result of a lack of upkeep and neglect, or typical wear and tear, the damage will not be covered by your homeowners insurance. Typically, if your policy covers leaks, that coverage is for damage that happens due to a covered, sudden/accidental peril. Other leaks and damage that are not covered include things like bird or pest damage, mold, wetness rot, construction error, and/or improper materials. Not all homeowner policies cover roof damage. For example, HO-8 home policies typically do not cover roof damage as this type of policy is reserved for old and high risk homes. In addition, damage to your roof, including leaks, caused by a natural disaster like earthquakes, floods, and hurricanes are not covered. Be sure to consult with your agent to determine and add needed coverages based on your location and if your area is prone to natural disasters.

Is tree damage covered by homeowners insurance?

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Damage caused by a fallen tree on your home or other insured structure like a shed or detached garage on your property is covered by your standard homeowners insurance (minus your deductible). This includes damage to the structure and your contents from a tree that has fallen due to a windstorm, hailstorm, lightening, or other covered peril. Damage to your vehicle, however, would be covered by your comprehensive car insurance policy.

When is tree damage not covered?

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There are some instances when damage caused by a fallen tree is not covered by your home insurance policy. For example, if a tree falls because of a flood and damages your home or other structure on your property, a standard homeowners policy will not cover it. The same goes for a tree that falls as a result of an earthquake. If these scenarios are possible where you live, you should look into getting a separate insurance policy, particularly if you are in an area or state that is prone to such natural disasters. If a fallen tree blocks your driveway without causing other damage, in some cases it may be covered for removal. But there are cases, however, when your tree’s removal will not be covered. For example, if your tree is diseased and falls, it will not be covered since it poses a safety hazard and should be removed by the homeowner before it causes a problem. It doesn’t take much for a diseased tree to fall. As far as vehicle damage goes, your homeowners policy will cover damage to another person’s car on your property if a tree falls on it. But if the tree falls on your car, your comprehensive car insurance would cover the damage.

Is theft covered by homeowners insurance?

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Theft is usually covered by homeowners insurance and provides personal property protection if someone breaks into your home and your items are stolen. This coverage pays to repair or to replace your items that are on your premises in the event of theft or break in (minus any deductible) up to your coverage limits. This type of coverage, however, does not cover certain items of high value or personal property that is located outside of your home’s premises.

When is theft not covered by home insurance?

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There are certain situations when your homeowners policy may not cover theft. For example, most insurers will not cover a home that is left vacant since it is more susceptible to theft. If you are living in your home, claims may be denied if you fail to protect your property by keeping valuables safe and secure, and locking your doors. In addition, items that are stolen and belong to someone renting your home will not be covered under your home insurance policy. However, if you are renting out your home, loss of items would be covered by a renters insurance policy taken out by your renters.

Are dog bites covered by homeowners insurance?

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Having a dog on your property may help you feel more secure, but they can be a problem if they bite and cause injury to someone who is not named on your policy. If this happens, your liability coverage on your homeowners policy may kick in and cover any legal or medical bills up to your policy limits. Medical payment coverage may also provide protection in the case of a dog bite that injures someone on your property. Destruction of property by your pet, however, is not covered by homeowners insurance.

When are dog bites not covered by homeowners insurance?

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Homeowners insurance doesn’t always cover injuries that are caused by dog bites. For example, running a dog groomer business on your property would not cover a dog bite injury. Also, certain breeds and exotic animals may be excluded from your policy due to their unreliable behavior posing an increased risk. In some cases, however, these pets may be covered under limited liability. But if you encourage your dog to cause injury on someone or if they have a record of biting or hostile behavior, they may not be covered under your home policy.

Is termite damage covered by homeowners insurance?

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In short, your home insurance will not cover termite damage. The damage these pests can do to your property can be widespread and cause serious problems to your home’s structure. But this type of damage can be prevented and is the responsibility of the homeowner to stop the damage before it happens. Since it falls in the maintenance category, your homeowners policy will not cover it. Nor will it cover the cost to exterminate these pests from your home. The responsibility of paying for repairs due to termite damage also falls on the homeowner. Personal property that may be damaged by pests or pets is also not covered. However, in rare cases, if your home is suddenly damaged by wild animals, you may be covered. In this case, check with your agent.

What does personal property insurance cover?

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If you have personal property coverage, your belongings including items like clothing, electronics, and furniture would be covered if they are damaged or stolen. This coverage is sometimes referred to as home contents insurance and protects your items in your home, apartment, or elsewhere. Exactly what may be covered is determined by your policy details and coverage limits.

What is not covered by personal property insurance?

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Your personal property is not covered by your homeowners insurance if you neglect or fail to maintain your items. That’s because if you maintain your belongings, damage or loss can be prevented. For example, mold, insect damage, wear and tear, pet or bird damage, rot, rust are not covered. In addition, certain losses from flooding, hurricanes, and earthquake damage are perils that are not covered by insurance companies.

Does homeowners insurance cover damage from carpenter ants?

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Damage caused by various pests, including insects like termites, carpenter ants, and bed bugs are usually not covered by a standard home insurance policy. The type of damage will determine what coverage, if any, will be available. However, the damage caused by these pests are considered avoidable by proper maintenance, which is the homeowners responsibility.

Does home insurance cover ice damage?

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Some damages from weather-related events may be covered by standard home insurance. For example, your policy may cover damages to your home from certain ice-related events, like burst pipes, hail, or snow weight.

Is wind damage covered by home insurance?

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Wind damage to your home may be covered by your home insurance policy but not in all cases. Check your structure or dwelling coverage for specifics on what may be covered. For example, if you have damage to your windows or roof from a windstorm, you may have coverage but have to pay a separate deductible. Your property address will determine if you are protected by a standard homeowners insurance policy or if your insurer requires a wind deductible. This deductible may also be referred to as a “wind and hail” or “hurricane” deductible and is separate from your standard deductible. However, insurers do not offer hurricane insurance. The source of damage to your home (like wind and hail) is what determines your coverage. Hurricane deductibles depend on the state where your home is located, if the storm is deemed a hurricane (named), and your insurer. Depending on your region, you may have to add supplemental insurance like an endorsement specific to windstorms or via a separate state-run insurance pool.

is rodent damage covered by homeowners insurance?

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Infestations and damage caused by smaller animals, including rodents, squirrels, and vermin is typically not covered under homeowners coverage. Insurance companies see this type of damage as preventable through proper home maintenance and the homeowners responsibility. However, other wild animals like raccoons and larger animals like deer and bears are covered in most home insurance policies.

Is a blown-over fence covered by home insurance?

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If your homeowners policy includes coverage for wind damage, you will be covered if your fence blows over or is damaged by the wind event. However, you will need to be sure that you regularly maintain the fence prior to the covered loss.

Are fences covered by a home insurance policy?

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Fences, like a detached garage, are considered “other structures” and unless specifically excluded are covered in your homeowners policy. These other structures, however, are subject to depreciation by the insurance company and will affect the payout for repairs or replacement. Most insurers will pay up to 10% of dwelling coverage minus your deductible.

Are slab leaks covered by homeowners insurance?

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The cause of the leak to your slab is what will determine if the damage is covered by your home insurance. If the event or peril that causes the damage is listed in your policy, the loss will be covered. However, if the damage is due to a lack of maintenance by the homeowner or a result of general wear and tear, repairs will not be covered. For example, if your plumbing pipes are old, it’s likely that a typical home insurance policy will not pay to repair the damage. Ask your agent if separate coverages are available.

Are frozen pipes covered by home insurance?

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Frozen pipes can be an expensive claim resulting from water damage. The claim may be covered under most homeowners policies along with other types of standard damages if the loss was not due to negligence such as turning off the heat in your home. In addition, your pipes will not be covered if you failed to take precautions to prevent this type of event.

Is my garage covered under homeowners insurance?

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If your garage is attached to your home, it will be covered under your dwelling coverage. If the garage is detached, like a shed or fence, it will fall under the “other structures” part of your policy. However, damages resulting from certain natural disasters such as earthquakes and floods, mold, rot, rodents, termites, sewer backups, dog bites, negligence, or normal wear and tear will not be covered.

Does home insurance cover guitars?

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Musical instruments and related accessories may be covered under your standard homeowners policy with limited coverage. Limits will apply as these instruments are typically higher in value and fall into the same category as jewelry and paintings. Coverage might be excluded from your home insurance if the instrument is used for compensation.

Does my home insurance policy cover jewelry?

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Jewelry loss from theft, vandalism, or fire is covered under personal belongings as they are not attached to your home structure. This type of coverage is part of your home insurance policy, which will specifically state the maximum limit (typically $1500 for all items) that applies to your jewelry.

Is landscaping covered under my homeowners insurance policy?

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Your home’s landscaping, including plants, trees, and shrubs add curb appeal and value to your property. Damage caused to your home’s landscaping and related structures that surround your trees and plants may be covered in your home insurance policy within certain limits. Limits are generally 5% of dwelling coverage and additional limits may be placed on individual trees and shrubs.

Does homeowners insurance cover loss of use?

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Yes, loss of use coverage (Coverage D), reimburses additional living expenses or rental income If you are unable to live in your home due to a covered loss. This insurance will pay for your additional living expenses while it is being repaired or rebuilt. If you are a renter, this type of coverage will reimburse your additional rent expense. The coverage is typically provided in home insurance and renters policies.

Are pools covered by home insurance?

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Swimming pools are typically covered by what’s called “other structures” insurance. This type of coverage will pay for repairs up to 10% of your dwelling coverage (homeowners policy) for covered losses to “detached” structures like a shed or fence. Other structures coverage is added to your home insurance policy.

What is covered under other structures on homeowners insurance?

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Structures that are not attached to your home, like a detached garage, fence, or shed are covered under “other structures” insurance and added as part of your homeowners policy. This type of coverage will pay for repairs or to replace detached structures on your property in the case of a covered risk. The type of losses that are covered by your homeowners policy for your home’s structure are also applicable to your “other structures” insurance. This insurance, however, is not available to renters or condo policies.

Does my homeowners insurance policy cover my home business?

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A home business that is run out of a separate structure on your property is not covered by your home insurance. If you operate a business or home office out of your house, your personal property coverage may provide only minimal amounts of coverage on equipment and electronics. In addition, your homeowners policy does not provide liability coverage for activities that are business-related. Check with your agent about an available home base insurance endorsement.

What does hurricane insurance cover?

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Insurance companies do not offer what is called, “hurricane insurance.” This is due to the different types of forces and impact caused by such a storm that can result in damage to your home and belongings. For this reason, you may need to purchase both wind and flood insurance in addition to your standard homeowners policy. The coverage you’ll need to protect your home is largely dependent on where your home is located. In some cases, damage to your home or belongings may be covered by your home insurance if the cause of your loss is considered a covered event and stated in your specific policy. However, such policies may require a hurricane deductible that is separate from your primary dwelling for losses that result from these types of storms. Be sure to review the various options that are available in your area with your insurance company.

Do I need to purchase personal liability insurance?

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Personal liability insurance is not required. But most, if not all policies, do include liability for your protection and is part of the homeowners insurance package. This type of insurance will cover you in the event of being sued for causing harm to another individual or their property. Liability insurance helps to protect you financially against this type of loss. In addition to homeowners, others who could be held liable, for example landlords, may also benefit from adding liability insurance to their coverages.

What is loss of use coverage?

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In short, loss of use coverage helps pay for additional costs incurred for housing and living due to a covered event. Typically, this coverage occurs when your house becomes temporarily uninhabitable during repairs or when rebuilding is necessary. This coverage is also called Additional Living Expenses (ALE) insurance or Coverage D. It allows for your policy to temporarily help in covering reasonable costs. These costs are specifically associated with maintaining your standard of living if your insured asset is no longer available.

Homeowners Insurance Pricing

How much does homeowners insurance cost?

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Insurance companies will consider several factors when determining the rates you will pay. The average annual cost of homeowners insurance premiums in the United States is approximately $1400 to $1600. Factors that insurers use to determine your rate include where your property is located, the size of your home, and the amount of coverage you require. Other considerations that can affect the rates you will pay for home insurance include the age of your home, previous claims, and credit history.

What states have the highest home insurance rates?

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What you pay for home insurance has a lot to do with where your property is located. States that are susceptible to extreme weather and natural disasters are home to higher insurance rates. The following states rank among the highest: Oklahoma, Nebraska, Kansas, Texas, and Louisiana.

What states are the least expensive for home insurance?

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Living in a state that is less likely to be affected by extreme weather and natural disasters yields lower home insurance rates. Another factor for lower homeowners insurance premiums is lower home values. Among the states that have the cheapest insurance rates are Hawaii, Oregon, Utah, New Hampshire, Vermont, New Jersey, Delaware, and Maine.

Why are my home insurance quotes so high?

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If you are wondering why your home insurance quotes seem high, there are several factors that insurance companies use to determine your premiums. In addition to your property’s location, its size, construction type, value and age, other considerations are factored into your rate. These additional factors can include your credit score, industry hikes, and lumber costs.

Are there ways to lower your home policy rates?

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To be sure you are benefiting from the best rates available, shop around to compare home insurance quotes from top home insurers. 5 Minute Insure can compare rates from top national carrier in minutes. Another way to lower your home insurance rate would be to raise your deductible. You may also benefit from discounts offered by insurance companies, like bundling your home and auto insurance.

Are there any home insurance discounts?

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Some home insurance companies offer discounts that can help reduce your premiums. For example, if you bundle your home insurance with your auto policy, you may save up to 20%. Other discounts can include upgrades to your home’s structure and should be reported to your insurer to check for potential savings. These can include a new roof and upgrades to plumbing, electrical, and heating. Other discounts can be provided if you install fire prevention and home security systems.

Does making a claim increase my homeowners insurance rates?

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After you have made a claim, you will probably notice a premium increase by your insurer. This rate hike is the result of your insurance company seeing you as a higher risk with an increased likelihood of potentially filing another claim. Claim factors that can increase your premium include the claim type and extent of damage, payout amount, location, and your history of losses/claims. Dog bites and water damage claims are especially likely to increase your rates.

What factors affect home insurance costs?

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There are numerous factors that insurers use to determine your home insurance costs. These considerations include your home’s location, cost to rebuild, square footage, age, and condition. The fire, security, and safety systems that you may have in your home also play a role. In addition, your coverage amount, credit history, and your deductible amount are also factors in calculating your premium.

Does bad credit affect my home policy rate?

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Your credit rating can affect what you will pay for homeowners insurance in most states. Unfortunately, if you have a poor credit history, you can expect to pay a higher insurance rate. On the other hand, you will pay less if you have an excellent credit history.

Renters Insurance

What is renters insurance?

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Renters insurance is for people who rent their homes. Renters insurance covers your personal belongings in the event of theft, fire, water intrusion, accidents, and other “covered perils.” This type of insurance does not cover the physical dwelling. It’s usually required that tenants have a renters insurance policy to rent an apartment or house from a landlord. However, given the affordability of renters insurance, having a policy in place provides peace of mind for renters even when it’s not required to have one. 

When should I consider renters insurance?

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Anyone who rents their home will benefit from a renters insurance policy. However, it’s only a requirement if your landlord or property management requires it. When you consider how much it would cost to replace all your belongings, a renters insurance policy is an easy, affordable way to protect your belongings and finances. 

What does renters insurance cover?

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Renters insurance covers your personal property. For example, if a fire destroys your belongings, renters insurance covers the replacement of your items such as furniture, clothing, electronics, household goods, appliances, sports equipment, and more. Renters insurance also provides coverage for living expenses in the event you need to temporarily move from your home because of an event such as a fire. If someone were to have an accident in your home, most policies include personal liability to protect you in case of a lawsuit.

Who is covered on my renters insurance policy?

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Renters insurance covers you and your other household family members. When purchasing a renters insurance policy, you may need to provide the names of all the relatives who are living with you. It does not cover roommates who are not related to you so each roommate should have their own individual policy. 

What is not covered on my renters policy?

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Knowing what your policy does and does not cover is imperative. Most renters insurance policies do not cover natural disasters such as earthquakes or floods. Other perils that are unlikely to be covered include riots and pest infestations. Renters insurance does not cover the physical dwelling–that is covered by your landlord’s insurance. If you own high-value items such as artwork, jewelry, or antiques, these items may be excluded from a standard policy. Purchasing additional coverage for high-value items is recommended.

Does renters insurance cover theft?

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Renters insurance does indeed cover theft, both inside and outside of your home. However, if the theft is due to your own negligence, it’s unlikely to be covered. For example, thefts would not be covered if you leave your keys in your door or your car unlocked. Theft outside your home includes theft from a hotel room if you’re traveling and items stolen from your car. Theft by a roommate is not covered, so choose your cohabitants wisely.

How much does renters insurance cost?

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Renters insurance is more affordable than you may think. The average cost for a basic policy in the U.S. is only $14/month. However, the cost of renters insurance varies by city and state. People who live where the cost of living is higher tend to pay more for renters insurance. 

Are there ways to lower my renters insurance rates?

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Bundling your renters insurance with auto and life insurance can decrease your rate. Having a higher deductible and decreasing your coverage will also lower your rates. However, having enough coverage to cover your losses is important. Discounts are also available for senior citizens or by having a home security system. Check with your insurance company to see how you can lower your rate. Comparing costs with multiple insurance companies is a great way to shop for the best rate.

Can I increase or decrease my renters policy?

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The amount of coverages and your deductible (amount you pay before insurance pays out) determine what you will pay for renters insurance. You may adjust your renters insurance policy at any time when you feel an increase or decrease in coverage is warranted. 

Will making a claim affect my renters insurance policy?

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Unfortunately, the answer to this is yes. A claim is likely to increase your premium, with theft and fire usually raising premiums the most. Expect to pay about 25% more for your premium in the event of theft or fire. 

What is liability protection for renters and do I need it?

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Although it’s not needed as often as personal property coverage, personal liability provides coverage in the event that you are sued due to your negligence in your home. For example, if your dog bites another tenant or if someone falls in your home, personal liability coverage covers this. Not only will it cover the judgment if the other person wins the lawsuit, but it may also cover your legal expenses. Personal liability is included in basic renters insurance policies and the typical amount of coverage is $100K. 

All your questions about buying car insurance online

How do I find the best car insurance rates online?

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Finding the best rates for auto insurance is easier online. You’ll want to compare rates from several different carriers. These companies can include Geico, Allstate, Progressive, and State Farm, and regional carriers.

Online agents like 5 Minute Insure will help you quickly compare rates from various companies to get you an excellent rate. You just enter your zip code to get started.

How can I compare auto insurance rates and companies online?

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Comparing auto insurance quotes and companies on the internet can be a quick and easy process. Results are typically provided in minutes with little effort. A good online agent, like 5 Minute Insure, will provide a variety of reputable companies and great rates. You’ll save time and do your best shopping while yielding the best results.

Is it possible to purchase car insurance online?

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Buying insurance online is just as easy as purchasing anything else on the internet. Similar to other types of e-commerce, you can shop and compare carrier offerings and rates within just a few clicks.

You can easily explore all options available online while saving you precious time and money. Make an informed decision by filtering in the features you want and filtering out the ones you don’t. For example, do you want full coverage, gap insurance, collision coverage, and / or coverage for medical expenses? Offerings from major carriers and smaller local insurers allow you the opportunity to find the best deal for your needs.

Can anyone buy auto insurance online?

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You will find that the majority of insurance carriers offer quotes over the internet. However, some companies may require you to connect with an agent before finalizing your purchase. On the other hand, some carriers will allow you to complete the buying process online.

Are car insurance rates cheaper online?

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Whether you’re buying insurance for your car online or through an agent, neither method guarantees you’ll get cheaper rates. The key is to shop around, get quotes, and compare rates from different companies. You can do this easily while on the web or have an agent shop around for you.

In addition, your rates can go up or down over time. By shopping around, you can ensure getting the best rates.

How many drivers can I cover if I buy my car insurance online?

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Multiple drivers can be named on your policy provided they have a valid driver’s license. Drivers who reside at your home and/or regularly use your car should be listed on your auto policy.

What if I have unique needs, can I still buy insurance online?

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Insurance that covers antique or classic cars is available online for cars that are at least 25-30 years old. This type of coverage also extends to high-value vehicles such as hot rods and muscle cars. Although a standard policy provides basic protection, coverage is unlikely going to pay the car’s full value if damaged.

Is it smart to look for auto insurance online?

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Shopping online for auto insurance has many benefits including saving time and money, and ease of use. This new way to shop and compare car insurance quotes brings together many reputable companies and independent agents who want your business. Good websites provide customers with the power of competition with fast quotes within a few clicks.

You should also take advantage of customer reviews to explore any complaints as well as customer satisfaction with the insurer's customer service.

How do I know I’m getting the best auto insurance rates online?

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To benefit from the best rates in car insurance, compare rates by getting quotes from different carriers. It’s a good idea to compare rates every three years to be sure you get the rate you deserve.

Are the online auto insurance rates more expensive?

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Whether you buy insurance online or through an agent, the goal is to get you the best rates available. Both provide a way to shop around and compare quotes from a variety of companies. Neither of these options, however, guarantee a cheaper result.

The internet option skips the middle-man and allows consumers to directly hear from carriers, eliminating any miscommunication. 5 Minute Insure gives you the best of both worlds with highly-rated carriers and agents to assist you in finding the right auto insurance company.

What is the best website to shop for car insurance?

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We highly recommend 5 Minute Insure for your auto insurance needs. We provide you with quotes from highly reputable companies within minutes.

Visit us at https://5minuteinsure.com/

Will I have to go in person to an office if I decide to buy online car insurance?

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If you decide to buy auto insurance online, there is no need to go into an office. In the majority of cases, everything required is typically handled over the internet and documents can be sent electronically.

Is it hard to buy car insurance online?

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Buying online is an easy and simple process. For the best outcome, buyers should research various insurers, their coverages, and rates before purchasing.

Ultimately, buying on a website or through an agent depends on your particular needs and insurance knowledge. As with all purchases, whether online or in person, read the small print and ask questions if something is unclear.

How long does it take to buy car insurance online?

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Some auto insurance companies say you can purchase a policy within 10-15 minutes. Using new technology that minimizes data entry, it’s possible to compare quotes and purchase a policy in under 5 minutes. Seeing quotes online will allow you to go through the process at your own speed without the pressure to buy. This allows you time to carefully compare your options.

How secure is it to buy auto insurance online?

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Most insurers have their own secure websites, which makes buying online safe and secure. These websites allow you to buy a policy, make payments, and change your coverages.

Online shopping also provides an easy way to research a company and check their reviews and other relevant information. Buying virtually may prove to be a safer alternative than physically going in person to meet or buy a policy. In addition, computer logic helps make your experience easier by doing most of the work for you.

How soon will my car be covered if I buy auto insurance online?

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When purchasing auto insurance online, coverage may begin immediately when the policy is bound (purchased).

Can I get proof of coverage if I purchase online car insurance?

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Yes. There are three common ways to display your insurance card.

1) Mailed ID card from your insurance company.
2) A printed copy of the ID card received from your company or agent.
3) Companies are increasingly providing apps that allow you to instantly access your insurance card. This makes it possible for drivers to get proof of coverage right from their smartphones. In 49 states and the District of Columbia, you can show a digital version of your insurance on a mobile device if required by police at a traffic stop.

In New Mexico, police don’t have to accept electronic proof of auto liability coverage. It’s the only state where, when you’re pulled over, you need more than a digital insurance card to show that you satisfy the required liability limits.

How long does it take to get my policy?

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Most carriers will give you the option to receive policy documents via email within hours of binding your policy. If you choose to receive all documents by mail, it may take up to two weeks or longer.

How many cars will my car insurance cover if I buy online?

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Your policy will cover all of the vehicles you own provided they are properly listed on the policy.

Can I bind my car insurance policy online?

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Yes, you can bind your policy online with an available agent. However, you may be required to provide a down payment.

Can I talk to a licensed insurance agent if I buy auto insurance online?

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Many websites provide the option to speak with an agent through live chat. You can also have an agent call you at your convenience. Should you want to verify the agent’s license, each state has a website that provides verification of all licensed agents in that state.

What will I need to buy vehicle insurance online?

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There are a few things you should have available to buy car insurance online. Regarding your car, you need to provide the year, make and model of the vehicle to be covered.
Getting a quote on your vehicle will also require the VIN (vehicle identification number). Other information includes your vehicle’s insurance coverage history. Some carriers require at least six months of previous, continuous coverage before policy issuance.

You will need to provide the name and address, driver’s license numbers, and date of birth of all drivers. In addition, you will be required to provide marital status and living situation. If your other drivers on the policy will be included on your policy, you will need their information as well.
Using artificial intelligence, comparison site 5 Minute Insure will automatically populate most car and driver information associated with your address. This includes the VIN, make, model, year, driver name, license number, and more.

Any motorist listed on your policy will also require information regarding their recent driving history. This includes citations, accidents, insurance claims, and/or any completed driving courses within the last several years.

Will I have to upload documents to purchase online car insurance?

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Whether you get a quote by phone or online, there may be times you’ll need to provide a particular document to begin coverage. Most companies will accept documents that are emailed or uploaded via the internet.

Having a smartphone that can take high-quality pictures will sometimes be adequate to provide a required document.

Can I buy car insurance online for a new vehicle?

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Yes. If you already have an insurance policy, you should contact your current insurer. You will need to provide the VIN number and pay for any policy price difference. You can likely electronically sign the paperwork and update your policy over the phone or online.

If you are purchasing a new policy, you can compare a quote and purchase insurance online.
In most instances, you will be sent proof of insurance for your new vehicle and drive your new car home.

What steps are involved when buying car insurance online?

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1) Find a reputable insurance company that allows you to quote and purchase a policy online. For the best results, you want to find a reputable comparison website that will simultaneously shop multiple companies.

2) Have your driver’s license, list of other drivers, and vehicle information ready. You will also need to provide your vehicle’s VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) in addition to the make, model, and year. Some comparison websites use advanced technology that automatically populates most of the required info outlined above.

3) You will also need to provide details about the number of miles you drive annually and primary use of the vehicle. You may also be asked questions to let insurers know if you qualify for any applicable discounts. These discounts will get you the best rates for your specific situation. Questions could include your occupation, if your car is equipped with safety or anti-theft devices, etc.

Have information ready on the approximate dates of previous accidents and claims that occurred in the last five years. Every auto insurance company will review your driving history report (MVR), from your state. They will update your final quote based on your driver history report. When you enter any ticket, accident or claims info upfront, you will get the most accurate quote comparison.

4) You’ll be asked to choose liability limits, coverages, and deductibles. These selections are designed to help meet your individual needs.

5) Now, you’re ready to compare your car insurance rates from different carriers. Choose the option that suits you best and purchase your new auto insurance policy.

Will I need to pay car insurance all at once if I buy it online?

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Usually not. Most insurers will let you choose different payment plans. Payment frequency ranges from monthly payments to full premium paid upfront.

The most popular payment frequency for auto insurance is monthly payments. Some clients prefer to pay the full premium upfront as it can provide a discount up to 20%.

When premium is paid in installments, you will commonly find an installment fee as part of your premium. This installment fee may be higher when paying with credit card than when paying by electronic check.

Can I make payments for my auto insurance if I purchase it online?

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Yes, when purchasing insurance online, you can set up to pay your full premium or premium installments online.

Misc

What are the differences between car insurance and a car warranty?

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Car insurance typically helps to cover accidents and other “perils” as shown in your policy. Car warranties and extended car warranties are bought to cover mechanical problems associated with your car. Basically, an extended warranty from a third-party vendor is a vehicle service contract. If you are trying to decide whether or not you need both, consider your particular situation. If you commute long distances, for example, you may want both. Either way, be sure to understand what both car insurance and a car warranty offer before making your decision. And make sure your repair shop accepts a warranty you may be considering.

Can you get your vehicle out of impound without insurance?

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No. In order to release an impounded car, you will need to show the required documents. Such documents include your vehicle’s VIN number, your driver’s license, and proof of auto insurance. Unfortunately, if you don’t have active coverage on your vehicle, it will be very difficult to retrieve your car.

Does a failed auto inspection affect your car insurance?

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Since a failed auto inspection ticket is not a moving violation, it will not generally affect your coverage. However, check your policy to see if you’re required to pass the inspection in order to maintain coverage. If you have an invalid inspection certificate, you could have difficulties when trying to file a claim. Check your state’s auto insurance requirements. A general vehicle inspection is required by most states and requires coverage to pass the inspection. Many insurance discounts are based on these state inspections. You should provide your vehicle inspection certificate to your carrier to secure any available discounts.

What is a home warranty an insurance policy?

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Unlike homeowners insurance, a home warranty is a type of contract that provides repairs, services, and replacement of your major appliances and home systems such as air conditioning, water heater, and plumbing. This type of coverage is usually not a part of your standard homeowners insurance policy and usually helps protect appliances and systems beyond manufacturer’s warranties. The warranty lists the covered items that are in good condition in the contract. The home warranty is separate from your homeowners insurance and helps with costly and unexpected repairs and replacement when they fail from normal wear and tear.

Do I need home warranty insurance?

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You may need home warranty insurance if you have recently bought a home with older appliances. This type of protection will help cover the repair and replacement of your home cooling and heating systems as well as major appliances from ongoing wear and tear. It’s only a matter of time before your older appliances and systems go out. A home warranty can help stave off a financial hardship when expensive repairs or replacement is needed. This is especially true for those who are not handy with tools and repairs.

Still have questions

If you cannot find the answer to your question in our FAQ, you can always use our online chat and a licensed insurance agent will help you out