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North Carolina Homeowner's Insurance
The average cost of home insurance is $683 in North Carolina, based on an average home value of $155,500. To get the best home insurance coverage at the lowest price, you should become familiar with the main parts of a homeowners policy, and the possible perils faced by your home.
- Dwelling This is the living portion of the home you are insuring. The dwelling includes the main structure of the home and any additional structures which have been built into the home in a way that they cannot be removed without causing damage to the dwelling.
- Other Structures Other structures are any artificial constructions on the insured property which are not connected to the primary dwelling. An additional bedroom built into the home is part of the dwelling but a grandmother's apartment build onto the property in a different place is an "other" structure.
- Personal Property Personal property includes any of your possessions. Jewelry is a common example, but your personal property also includes your linens and clothing, appliances and electronics and even your outdoor recreational and lawn equipment. Personal property makes up a significant portion of your home and a home inventory is the only way to really get it into perspective. The best home inventory uses a video recording, where you move from room to room (or structure to structure) and itemize each and everything in the room that you own.
- Loss of Use Loss of use is the portion of your homeowners policy that will reimburse you if have to stay in a room while your house is being repaired after a named peril strikes. Loss of use applies to any portion of loss, not just the entire home. For example, if your kitchen was destroyed by a tree falling, the loss of use portion of your policy will reimburse you for dining out while the kitchen is being repaired.
- Home Security In North Carolina, the home burglary rate is 10.77 per 1000 homes, and can be compared to the national burglary rate of 5.17. To make your home more secure and earn a discount on your home coverage, install a professional security alarm system. When you couple that with deadbolts on your doors and a fence across the road frontage, you can save a great deal annually.
- Reduce Insurance Risks Little things like cleaning off your roof might not get a discount on your home coverage, but doing so can reduce the risk of having to file a home insurance claim. And if you do have a roof problem because of debris building up, your insurance may not accept the claim anyway, because it is considered part of routine maintenance.
- Credit Score and Insurance Risk Your credit score is another important factor that needs to be considered when trying to lower your home insurance costs. If your score is 650 or better, you are eligible for discounts from your insurance company. And those discounts can add up, because it works the same for other coverages as well, like your auto insurance.
- Earthquakes Ranked at 34 out of 51, North Carolina residents have little to fear from earthquakes. This is not to say that they won't occur, but there have been none in recent history that have caused any substantial damages.
- Flood North Carolina residents filed 1,518 claims in 2009, a significant amount compared to the nation as a whole. Flood insurance is never included in a standard home insurance policy, but can be bought separately. In a place like North Carolina, where the chance of flooding is high, you may have to get flood insurance from a high risk brokerage or even through an insurance pool like the FAIR plan.
- Hail Hail is usually lumped into the wind storm category for insurance purposes, a peril that is included in all standard home insurance policies. You should not have much to worry about where hail is concerned, but check your policy to make sure that hail has not been specifically excluded.
- Hurricanes Hurricanes are fairly common in North Carolina, but most of the damages caused by them are related to winds and included in your standard policy. The only problem you might face is with hurricane-caused flooding, and that coverage must be purchased separately. Flood insurance is very important to North Carolina home owners, and should be purchased, even if it is only available through high risk pools.
- Tornadoes With only 50 tornadoes expected in an average year, North Carolina is not prone to excessive tornadoes. The damage caused by such storms is typically included in your basic policy, but it is important to read the policy carefully and if tornadoes are excluded you will need to buy the coverage elsewhere.
- Wildfires Around 74,749 wildfires affect our country each year, and any number of those could pop up in North Carolina. Fire, however, is included in a standard policy. Your only concern might be a situation where wildfire has been specifically excluded, so check your policy and purchase the coverage separately if you must.
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