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Kentucky Home Insurance

The wide differences in construction, community, and income in Kentucky mean that comparison-shopping for insurance on homes is more vital than in other areas. Home insurance is necessary to protect the valuable investment you have in your home.

The value of your home can be found not only in the money you pay for it, but also the shelter, comfort, and sense of place that you derive from your home.

Be sure to always compare insurance rates using our FREE search tool above!

Insuring Your Home

Insurance that can protect you from loss of your home due to foreseeable perils is readily available. The most commonly purchased type of insurance on homes is the homeowners policy. Diligence in comparison-shopping can keep costs reasonable; yet satisfy your needs as well as those of your mortgage company.

Even though you may already have homeowners insurance, it is wise to get comparison quotations on the anniversary date of your current policy. Setting a consistent date for getting quotes helps you to remember to get these quotes each year.

Insurance rates change periodically, depending upon the loss experience that the particular insurance company has incurred. Losses help determine rates for insurance policies. Such things as catastrophic losses from tornadoes that occur in Kentucky can affect homeowners rates for several years.

For more information about Kentucky Insurance, consult the state website.

Factors to Consider When Obtaining Insurance Quotes

The following factors should be considered when looking for quotes:

Reputation and Financial Status of the Insurance Company

Ask neighbors, friends, and family about their experience with insurance companies to help determine the most desirable companies. A number of places provide financial ratings and complaint ratios about insurance companies. See the following:

It is important to review the financial status of an insurance company to be sure that the insurance company can withstand catastrophic losses without strain.

Value of Your Home

There are two ways of valuing homes for insurance:

  • Actual Cash Value – which provides insurance based upon the stated amount in the insurance policy less wear and tear related to age, condition of the dwelling, and the deductible you have chosen.
  • Replacement Cost Valuation – provides the cost to replace the dwelling and contents based upon the cost to rebuild the dwelling and contents. The deductible will be applied to the claim. To be certain that building replacement is covered, be sure the coverage reflects guaranteed replacement cost.

Determining replacement cost is complicated since the first impulse is to purchase the amount of insurance covering what you paid for the property. Replacement cost needs to be determined based upon the amount needed to actually replace the building, not including the cost of the lot or the local market value.

A website called Building-Cost.net has a replacement cost calculator that does not charge a fee. Consult this site to help determine the coverage you should carry.

Additional Coverage Offered under a Homeowners Policy

Typically, homeowners insurance offers the following:

  • Dwelling coverage – as chosen with regard to your needs
  • Other structures – 10% of the amount chosen for the dwelling – this covers such things as sheds, gazebos, or separate garages
  • Personal property – 50% of the dwelling coverage
  • Loss of use – 20% of the dwelling coverage
  • Personal liability coverage is usually set at $100,000
  • Medical payments coverage is ordinarily $5,000

Setting deductibles depends upon the requirements of your mortgage company and the amount you estimate you can afford. Larger deductibles can save money on premiums.

Perils Covered under the Broad Form Homeowners Policy

The usual homeowners policyholder purchases the Broad Form policy that covers the following perils:

  • Fire and smoke
  • Windstorm, hail, and lightning (including tornadoes)
  • Explosion
  • Vehicles (not your own)
  • Civil unrest – riots and demonstrations
  • Theft and vandalism
  • Trees and other falling objects
  • Weight of ice, snow, and sleet
  • Freezing, rupturing, or sudden and accidental overflowing of appliances, plumbing systems, heating systems, air-conditioning systems, and fire-sprinkling systems. (Note that the insurance company is serious about sudden and accidental – failure to maintain is not covered.)

These are all subject to the deductible you purchase on your homeowners policy.

Additional Insurance You May Want to Purchase

Limits apply to things you may own such as antiques, art objects, and jewelry. For valuable items, get an appraisal and submit them to the insurance company so they can be specifically insured under a rider attached to your homeowners policy.

Personal liability insurance under a homeowners policy specifically excludes owned automobiles and recreational vehicles such as four-wheelers, boats, and motorcycles. These should be separately insured under another policy.

Homeowners policies do not provide insurance for backup of sewers and drains, so if this has been a problem in your area consider purchasing this insurance. As the infrastructure in many towns has begun to deteriorate, the sewage systems may reflect that deterioration.

Business Usage of Your Home

Business usage may be allowed by your insurance company, but it is best to advise the company of an office in your home. Daycare coverage is usually specifically restricted, so consult your insurance agent about this type of coverage.

Flood Insurance

Since Kentucky has more rivers and lakes than most states, flooding is a definite possibility. You must purchase flood insurance from a federally subsidized program through your insurance agent. Consult FloodSmart to find out about this program.

Saving Money on Your Homeowners Policy

There are a number of ways to save money on your homeowners insurance premiums and it is helpful to address all of them:

  • Ask about discounts for carrying both homeowners and auto insurance with the same company
  • Highlight any upgrades such as heating systems, wiring, or hot water heaters
  • Security systems – tell the insurance company about monitored systems you may have installed or other protection devices
  • A newer roof – less than 10 years old
  • See if there are discounts for specific occupations – these are offered by some insurance companies
  • Be careful about your credit score because insurance companies certainly do

Comparing Quotations

Make sure that you compare exact quotations. After you examine the prospective policy quotes to check prices, make sure you keep in mind the information you have collected about insurance companies.

Read the quotes carefully to be sure that the coverage is equal.

Your Policy

Remember that an insurance policy is a legal contract. It is important to read the policy carefully to determine not only the coverage, but also the responsibilities you as the policyholder have to the insurance company.

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