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Virginia Home Insurance

Whether you live in a beautiful home in Fairfax or close to the water in Norfolk, as a homeowner you know how important it is to have Virginia Home Insurance. There are so many things to consider when purchasing a policy – is the homeowners insurance coverage big enough to cover all the repairs? Are you covered if someone is inured on your property? How much will Save Money On Virginia Homeowners Insurancea Virginia home insurance policy cost? We’ll help you answer those questions and more, and even show you ways to save on home insurance in Virginia, then help you find a great insurance company at affordable rates.

The Basics of Virginia Home Insurance

When it comes to home insurance in Virginia, you live in one of the more regulated states in the US. That’s why it’s important to know some of the basics of Virginia home insurance when you start shopping, so you can choose the best coverage to fit your needs.

Virginia home insurance usually provides the following types of coverage:

  • Property damage coverage – protects your home if damaged or destroyed by specific causes.
  • Personal property coverage – repairs or replaces your personal property if damaged or destroyed by a covered incident.
  • Liability coverage – pays to repair or replace other people’s property if damaged or destroyed by you or a member of your family.
  • Medical payments coverage – covers the cost of medical treatment for persons injured on your property or by you or your family members.
  • Additional living expenses – subsidizes the cost of living away from home while it’s being repaired for covered damages.

Each of these types of coverage has specific limits within your policy, so make sure you’re comfortable with those amounts; if things cost more than the policy limits, you have to make up the difference.

  • Named Peril versus Open Perils Policies – Named peril policies only cover damage due to specific incidents like fire, theft, vandalism, explosions, etc. Open peril policies cover any kind of damage unless it’s specifically excluded from the policy. Named peril offers less coverage, but open peril costs more.
  • Buying Enough Insurance – you are required to insure your home to at least 80% of the replacement cost. If you don’t, your insurance company has the right to prorate your benefits based on the amount you should have bought. Most insurance companies have formulas to determine a home value for each area, but to make sure you’re okay, keep an eye on sales prices of comparable homes in your area, or even get an appraisal every few years if things are changing quickly. Remember, any repairs must meet any new code standards too.
  • Policy Minimum Standards – All Virginia home insurance policies are required at minimum to be an Actual Cash Value (ACV) policy. ACV coverage means that you would receive the repair or replacement cost of the dwelling, less depreciation. You would personally have to make up the difference between the repair cost and what the insurance company will pay. ACV is the cheapest form of insurance because the level of coverage is the lowest.


Additional Virginia Home Insurance Coverage Options

Fortunately there are several additional options you can add to your policy based on your home and circumstances. Each will raise the premiums on your home insurance policy, but that’s still cheaper than paying for the damage yourself.

  1. Other Structures – like detached garages, tool sheds, green houses
  2. Personal Property Endorsements– for high valued items, like coin collections, antiques, jewelry, cameras, musical instruments that exceed normal policy limits
  3. Trees, Shrubs and Plants – if injured or destroyed during specific events, not just things like windstorms or ice.
  4. Debris Removal – if debris resulted and damaged your property during a covered incident.
  5. Inflation Guard Endorsement – guarantees replacement cost coverage of your dwelling, even when the value has increased through inflation.
  6. Sewers and Drains Backup – not normally part of home insurance policies, so buy it if your property is prone to this.
  7. Building Ordinance Coverage – pays extra cost to bring any repairs up to current building codes.

 

Virginia Flood Insurance

Flood insurance isn’t a part of your homeowners insurance policy. This type of coverage is issued through the National Flood Insurance Program at Floodsmart.gov.

Saving Money on Home Insurance in Virginia

  • Combine home insurance and auto insurance with the same company. Usually this will save about 10-15% off the premiums for both policies.
  • Ask for discounts. Things like burglar alarms, fire alarms, smoke detectors, and dead bolt locks can reduce home insurance premiums. It also helps if you have a fire hydrant close to your home, or live near a fire station.
  • Increase the deductible. Just raising the deductible from the traditional $250 to $500 can make a big difference in annual rates.
  • Shop around. Rates for home insurance are determined by the insurance companies based on their claims experience for that area, so companies that have had fewer claims in your neighborhood will offer lower rates.

For more money saving ideas, visit Saving Money on Home Insurance.

Managing a Virginia Homeowners Insurance Policy

After you’ve purchased your policy, it’s important to make the most of it:

  • Create a Personal Inventory – photograph and video all of your personal property, and store this record either in a fireproof safe in your home or in a safety deposit box. After a fire, it will make trying to remember everything you own much easier.
  • Additions or Renovations – tell your insurance company each time you make a significant change to your dwelling, so the coverage is kept up to date.
  • Pay on Time – If you’re even one day late paying your premium, the insurance company can cancel your policy.
  • Document All Claims – make sure you keep a copy of every piece of correspondence and visually document any damage when filing a claim. The insurance company is also required to do this.
  • Vacant Home – leaving a home unoccupied could automatically suspend some coverage.

More Information on Virginia Home Insurance

For more information, contact the Virginia State Corporation Commission Bureau of Insurance, Tyler Building, 1300 E Main Street, Richmond, VA 23219, 877-310-6560, or visit their website.

Time to Shop for Virginia Home Insurance

Now that you know what to look for when evaluating a home insurance policy, it’s time to start checking rates and coverage. Researching this is easy – just enter your zip code in the box below and you’ll be instantly matched to Virginia home insurance companies offering coverage in your area. Request free quotes from at least three or four companies, and before you know it you’ll have the coverage you need at a rate you like. Enter your zip code and start now!

 

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