Top Questions to Ask About Home Insurance


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., Dec. 17, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- With so many options in today's insurance market, selecting the best homeowners insurance can be confusing. It's difficult to know what type of policy will fit what you want. Luckily, Independent Agents can help you better understand your options. Foremost Insurance Group wants to guide you through some of the top questions to ask when looking for coverage.

1. When shopping for insurance, what levels of coverage are available?

"There are typically two levels of coverage – a basic coverage policy (often referred to as a Named Peril policy) and a more expensive, but broader coverage policy (often referred to as a Comprehensive policy)," explains Foremost® Senior Product Manager Jim Gontjes. "Named Peril coverage includes coverage for some common causes of loss that are named in your policy. Comprehensive coverage means you're covered for any direct, sudden and accidental loss except for the exclusions listed in your policy like war, flood, wear and tear to name a few. Be sure to ask your agent to look for a company that will provide coverage for your situation and that is flexible with what you want."

2. What's the difference between Replacement Cost and Actual Cash Value?

"Actual Cash Value settlement will have a lower premium, and pays the depreciated value of your property in the event of a loss," Gontjes clarifies. "Replacement Cost settlements may require higher premiums up front, but would pay for the amount to replace your property without factoring in depreciation in the event of a loss. The choice is up to consumers based on their individual circumstance and preference. Some companies, like Foremost, will offer the added benefit of an Agreed Loss settlement. That means that in the case of a total loss on the dwelling, your settlement would be the Amount of Insurance listed on the Declarations Page less any applicable deductible. Consumers wouldn't have to haggle about what their home was worth, or make guesses at what their settlement will be."

3. What if I have a seasonal home that I only live in for a portion of the year?

"Some companies have a lot of limitations when it comes to insuring seasonal homes. They may require that the customer's primary home is insured with them.  Make sure you talk to your agent to see which company has the options you want," says Gontjes.

4. My neighbor just had their policy cancelled due to the condition of their roof. Does the roof age or condition matter?

"Some companies will cancel a policy or have policy limitations due to the condition or age of the roof," Gontjes says. "Consumers should talk to their agent about the age of their roof and what options may be available."

5. How can I lower my premium or get the lowest rate?

"Everybody wants to save money," says Gontjes. "Ask what discounts may be available.  Some companies give you a bigger discount the more policies you insure with them.  Others reward you for things like excellent credit or masonry construction."

6. What if I am in the process of selling and moving? Are there any special considerations I need to keep in mind?

"Many companies shy away from insuring vacant homes, so you'll want to know how your insurance company will handle this situation," Gontjes says.  "Be aware that some companies will deny or reduce coverage if the property is vacant for 30-60 days or more.  Check into your options, as a policy for a vacant property may be a possible solution for you. If you were to decide to rent the property, you should talk to your agent about securing a rental policy to cover this type of situation."

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A part of the Farmers Insurance Group of Companies®, Foremost Insurance Group ("Foremost") has been a leader in personal lines insurance since 1952. Foremost is headquartered in Caledonia, Michigan. Farmers Insurance Group of Companies is a leading U.S. insurer group of automobiles, homes and small businesses and also provides a wide range of other insurance and financial services products. Farmers Insurance is proud to serve more than 10 million households with more than 20 million individual policies across all 50 states through the efforts of more than 50,000 exclusive and independent agents and nearly 24,000 employees. The Farmers Exchanges are three reciprocal insurers (Farmers Insurance Exchange, Fire Insurance Exchange and Truck Insurance Exchange), including their subsidiaries and affiliates, owned by their policyholders. Farmers Group, Inc., along with its subsidiaries, manages the non-claims insurance operations of the Farmers Exchanges. Farmers Group, Inc. is wholly owned by the Zurich Insurance Group. For more information about Farmers, visit its Web site at or at


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