Homeowners Insurance

How-To Shop for Homeowners Insurance - Being an informed consumer means not only reading your homeowners insurance policy closely but also asking experts what constitutes the right type, and amount, of coverage you need for your home, according to the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.).

"Besides knowing the basics of what a standard homeowners insurance policy covers, consumers should ask a series of questions, and receive satisfactory answers to each of them, before buying a new policy, or renewing an existing one," says Michael Barry, vice president, Media Relations, I.I.I.

A qualified insurance agent or insurance company representative can guide you through your choices.

How much would it cost to rebuild my home in its current location in the event of a total loss? Your homeowners insurance policy should cover the cost of building a new home from scratch.

Your insurance agent or insurance company representative will have knowledge of your neighborhood, and familiarity with the construction materials used when your home was originally built and can accurately calculate this cost.

In general, homeowners policies cover partial or total damages caused by fire, hurricane, hail, lightning or any other disaster listed in your policy. Flood and earthquake-related losses must be insured separately because both perils are excluded in standard homeowners insurance policies.