All You Need to Know About Buying Coverage in D.C.
Homeowners throughout the nation need insurance to protect their home and their belongings. Depending on where you live, your average costs could be drastically different from those in a neighboring state. Factors such as your home's value, your ZIP code , geography/climate and even local regulations and restrictions can all affect your rates. In the District of Columbia, for example, homeowners spend an average of $1,012 a year on their premiums, which is the fifth-highest area in the nation. For comparison, Texas has the highest average premiums in the nation, at $1,409 annually; the national average is $804.
Policy considerations to make
While your individual policy could vary from that of your neighbor, you will likely have similar components to your plan. Make sure you carefully review each of these factors before settling on a plan:
- Property: Depending on the extent of your policy, your property protection could be basic, covering your dwelling in case of fire or robbery, or more extensive and go towards damage caused by leaks, storms or other events.
- Specialty: You may or may not need flood coverage. To find out, ask your agent for information on whether your home is located in a flood plain. Remember that standard policies will not shelter your house in the event of a flood or earthquake.
- Liability: Your policy should provide something to protect you in the event that you are subject to litigation related to a non-auto accident issue.
- Medical coverage: This will protect you in the event that someone suffers an injury on your property.
When looking over your policy, remember that there are some factors beyond your control. In fact, the very type of dwelling in which you live and the financing for your house will dictate at least some of the coverage your company is required to provide. Remember these factors when considering policies:
- Your mortgage lender: If you had your home financed, your lender will require that you provide proof of a plan. Remember that, legally, the bank owns your dwelling. As a result, it wants reimbursement in the event of a catastrophe at your dwelling.
- Your type of property: If you live in a condominium or a townhome, your HOA might have existing insurance that covers most of your dwelling remember that these types of properties have significant "common areas" that mean that the community as a whole owns property, and not individual homeowners per se. If you own a condominium, for example, your individual costs could be relatively low; you will pay into the collective community costs in your monthly HOA dues. Be sure to read over your community's policy with your agent to calculate how much reimbursement you need individually.
- Competitive quotes: No matter the situation, make sure you receive several competitive quotes from multiple companies to verify that you're receiving the best service at the best price. If cost is an issue, you may want to consider raising your deductible to save on your premiums.