Rule number one: tell your insurance company everything

Before you buy building insurance, find out from the insurer wants to know about your home. Be sure to provide your insurer them with detailed information about your house, otherwise they may reject your insurance claim if something bad happens to your house. Even after you buy building insurance be sure to tell your insurer about any changes you make to the house. If you add a new room or a porch and fail to tell your insurer about it, they may not compensate you when you need them the most.

What does building insurance cover?

The structural elements of your house cost a lot of money to repair. If something happens to your house, your building insurance kicks in to cover the cost. Simply put, building insurance covers anything that’s a part of your house that doesn’t move. Roofs, walls, ceilings, floors, windows, doors and built-in shelves are all covered under standard building insurance plans.

What does building insurance not cover?

If it’s not a part of your house, it’s probably not covered. If you want to add your fences, boundary walls to your home insurance policy, check with your insurance company to see if it’s possible to add on extra items. Some insurance companies will let you do it, others won’t. If you own a garage, be sure to double check your policy to make sure that is covered as well.

What if I rent? Do I still need to buy building insurance?

No. If you don’t own your house or have a mortgage, you don’t have to worry about buying building insurance. You should consider a renters insurance policy instead.

What kinds of disasters are covered by typical building insurance policies?

Basically any type of “act of God” that affects your home should be covered by your building insurance. Standard building insurance policies cover building damage caused by fires, lightning, storms, smoke, falling objects, explosions, earthquakes, vandals and vehicles.

Which company should I choose?

There are many different insurance companies out there, so be sure to meet with many different providers before making your decision. There are many different types of coverages, deductibles and premium costs. Also, don’t forget to take customer service into account. A helpful insurance company that is willing to go out of the way to address your problem or find out an answer to a question can make a big difference if you ever find yourself in the middle of a stressful situation. Ask your friends and family which insurance provider they use and go with one that has a good reputation.

Fine print to watch out for when buying building insurance

In particular, beware of exclusions. Go through your contract to determine what your policy won’t cover before you sign. An excess limit caps the amount that the insurance company has to pay, so check the amount to make sure it is reasonable.