Whether you’re moving into your first house, looking at a roomier place for your growing family or downsizing in your retirement years, your home represents years of hard work. With that personal and financial investment on the line, it pays to invest some time in finding the best home insurance in California.
Does the Law Require Homeowners Insurance in California?
California law does not require you to carry homeowners insurance, but nearly all lenders require this coverage to qualify for a mortgage. Fannie Mae — the federal government’s lending corporation — requires coverage equal to 80% or more of the house’s replacement value. Nearly all other lenders follow Fannie’s lead. Although your mortgage provider is willing to settle for that lower percentage, you may wish to insure your home for its replacement cost. Your Fara Insurance Solutions agent can calculate the replacement cost for you and lay out your premium options.
What Property Damage Does California Home Insurance Cover?
Homeowners insurance pays to repair losses or damage to your house caused by theft, vandalism, fire, smoke or storms. If a fire or storm destroys your home, a homeowners policy will pay for rebuilding it and cover your expenses for temporary housing. Along with your house, a standard policy will cover a separate garage, sheds, outbuildings and fences. A homeowners policy does not cover damage to your automobiles; your auto policy handles that contingency.
A standard homeowners policy covers built-in and free-standing appliances, air conditioners, water heaters and heating systems. Most standard homeowners policies do not cover septic systems. Likewise, most standard policies do not cover damage from sewers backups, but many insurers will add this coverage with an endorsement. Endorsement is the industry term for a provision allowing a customer to purchase additional coverage to augment a standard policy. You may also hear an endorsement referred to as a rider.
Homeowner’s insurance also includes your clothing, furniture and other possessions up to the policy coverage limit. What about items like jewelry, antiques, art or collectibles? High-value items may push the total value of your possessions above a standard homeowners insurance policy limit. Your Fara agent can give you the details on a high-value endorsement or other coverage options.
What About Wildfires, Earthquakes, Floods and Mudflows?
Along with sunny days, beaches and the enthralling San Gabriel Mountains, earthquakes and wildfires are part of California life. A standard homeowners insurance in California includes substantial fire protection. If you live in a neighborhood at high risk of wildfires, ask your Fara agent to outline your coverage options.
Standard homeowners policies typically do not include earthquake coverage, but some insurers offer this coverage as an endorsement. With earthquake insurance, your deductible is a percentage of your coverage limit instead of a fixed dollar amount. In California, that earthquake deductible ranges from 5% to 25%.
Standard homeowners insurance policies do not cover damage from floods or mudflows. If your house is in a neighborhood with a high risk of flooding, your Fara agent can discuss other coverage options.
What Liability Protection Does California Home Insurance Offer?
In addition to insuring your house and possessions, a standard homeowners policy offers liability coverage for several contingencies:
- Medical Expense: If a visitor on your property suffers an injury, this coverage pays for treatment, rehabilitation and lost wages. The medical liability clause also covers pain and suffering, the legal term for emotional and mental distress.
- Personal Liability: This provision pays for your legal defense if you face a lawsuit for activities spelled out in your policy. This coverage may include defending you from accusations of libel or slander. If a court finds you responsible, this provision can help you pay the settlement.
- Damage to a Nearby Property: If your young slugger’s home run breaks a neighbor’s window, your liability coverage can help put things right.
If your assets are worth more than the standard coverage limit, you should discuss additional liability protection with your Fara Insurance Solutions agent. A standard policy offers a $100,000 coverage limit, but litigation expenses may easily exceed that number. Significantly higher coverage may cost far less than you think.
There are some liability contingencies that standard California home insurance will not cover. Injuries to members of your household fall under your health insurance policy. If you conduct business in your home, your homeowner’s policy will not cover an injury to a visiting client. In that instance, you will need a separate business liability policy. Finally, not all insurers place dog bites inside their standard liability coverage. If your household includes a human’s best friend, ask your Fara agent about your best coverage option.
How Can I Reduce My Homeowners Insurance Premium?
For a homeowner, the best home insurance in California means a policy that delivers the maximum coverage for each premium dollar. Here are three ways to reduce your premiums.
Bundle Your Home and Auto Coverage
Insure your home and automobiles with Fara Insurance Solutions and bank the savings.
Raise Your Deductible
Your homeowner’s coverage deductible is the dollar amount you must cover before your policy begins paying. Moving your deductible higher can substantially reduce your premiums, though you will pay higher out-of-pocket costs if your home suffers damage.
Investing in home improvements may also lower your premiums. Ask your Fara agent about these upgrades:
- Long-throw deadbolt locks
- A fire-resistant metal roof
- An insurer-approved home security system
If you own an older home, upgrading the wiring and plumbing to current building code standards will yield a safety improvement and may lower your premium.
Why Should I Choose Fara Insurance Solutions?
At Fara Insurance Solutions, we’re rolling into our second decade of providing affordable coverage for homes, autos, RVs, boats and businesses. If you need homeowners insurance in California, our ability to work with multiple insurers will provide you with the protection you need at a competitive price. From our office in Rialto, we serve Pomona, Covina, Walnut, Baldwin Park, El Monte, San Dimas, Diamond Bar, Azusa, La Puente and nearby communities. We invite you to call us or take advantage of our online quote form today.