Why Do I need Home Insurance?

In 1990, 28.7 percent of New Yorkers owned their homes, according to the census figures. In 2000, 30.2 percent did, and five years later, according to the analysis of the Census Bureau’s 2005 American Community Survey, 33.2 percent were homeowners. Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/
27/nyregion/27owners.html

Anyone who owns a home knows that it is important to have a home insurance policy. Your home is probably your most important financial asset, and most mortgage companies in New York City require you to purchase a home insurance plan to protect their investment in your home. But the cheapest and basic insurance plan is not always the best one. It is important to understand a few things before you purchase your policy. Many packages are available to homeowners in New York City and you need to make sure you have adequate protection to cover for fire, theft, windstorm, and liability.

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The first thing you need to determine is how much coverage you will need. The best way to determine that is to evaluate the value of your home, land and personal property. When you are evaluating this it is important to not only determine the current value of all of this, but the cost to replace it as well. Most insurance companies will make a home inspection visit of your house when you are setting up your policy, they will view the house and its contents to help you determine the coverage you will need. It is also helpful for you to take an inventory of your valuable personal possessions, with copies of receipts if available. Make sure you update this list on an annual basis for your insurance broker, in case additional coverage needs to be added on following years.

There are many things you can do to protect your home. Smoke Alarms and Carbon Monoxide detectors should be installed on each floor of the house. They can early detect fires and minimize the property damage as well as save your families lives. Visit the NYC Fire Department for instructions on how to install your fire detectors correctly. Extinguishers can also help to put out small fires and should be place in convenient locations for you to get to quickly if needed.

To protect your home from theft, you should make sure your locks are checked frequently and replaced if need on all your doors and windows. As well a home security system can be installed in your home with an alarm that will set off if a security code is not entered. For a monthly or annual fee you can have the house monitored as well by a security company if the alarm does get set off. Also The New York City Police Department offers a free survey for residents of New York to determine your present level home security.

For more information on how you can protect your home visit the New York State Homeowners Insurance Resource Center.

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