Home insurance comes in different forms and depending on which type of policy you choose your home insurance rates and coverage options will be quite different.
- HO-1: the most basic form of home insurance »
- HO-2: It is often referred to as "broad coverage" »
- HO-3: also referred to as "special" form »
- HO-4: is often called a tenant’s policy »
- HO-6: type of home insurance addressed condominium unit owners »
- HO-8: such policies are specifically designed for owners of old homes »
Home insurance is a very effective financial tool for protecting your most valuable asset. Learn how home insurance can help you protect your house and its contents against different perils.
Home insurance and those winter perils
Somewhere lurking away in one of those Christmas carol CDs is a happy chorus along the lines of , “Winter is a coming in, so loudly sing tra la. . .” or hey-nonny-nos to that effect. It’s all supposed to reassure you that all this white stuff falling out of the sky is great Christmas decoration and there’s nothing to worry about as those icicles form on the power lines. Ah, if only t’were so. The weight of snow on your roof can find any weakness. Come the thaw and melt water can seep through into lofts, bring down ceilings. That’s assuming the ice hasn’t burst your pipe before the thaw. All this good cheer should reinforce the basic message that a little prevention will keep you warm and the house secure.
For those who rough it out in the countryside, you should have stockpiled wood and coal to keep the heating system going, or have filled up the tank with oil or propane for the furnace. Keeping the fires burning during the worst of the cold prevents the build up of ice in any of the pipes. A maintenance check of the furnace makes sure it will fire up when you need it and burn efficiently. And you did remember to check the ducts and change the filters? And you are sure the outside tank won’t leak? All those fire hazards to think about when you open the furnace and sparks fly out. Heating systems are wonderful so long as they work as designed. Let a little air into them and you get problems. That’s where those annoying little keys come in. A few minutes work to bleed out the air gives you hot radiators in every room.
As to the roof, there’s no substitute for a quick survey of the roof trusses, checking the tarpaper for holes and that the shingles have not shifted out of place. If you can access the roof during the winter, being able to knock the snow off before it builds up too much keeps the danger at risk. Can you remove the snow without bringing down the guttering and downspouts? If so, and you live in the city, remember to warn anyone approaching on the sidewalk that a small avalanche is on its way. Then there are all those windows and doors. You don’t want to burn dollars only to find all the heat passing out through the ceilings, walls and windows while raging drafts keep your ankles cool.
Perhaps we should put this another way. You could go through a checklist like this and avoid making a claim on your home insurance during the winter or when the spring comes and you find all the doors swollen and jammed shut. Or you could make yourself really popular with your claims adjuster and find the next home insurance quote comes in with a bring increase in premium. Yes, the insurer really does prefer you to care for your property and punishes you if you wake surprised to find it winter inside as well as out.