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Dealing with home insurance issues

Anyone who has ever bought and owned a home knows that there are quite a few expenses to deal with. If a prospective buyer goes into a real estate transaction only thinking about the purchase price of the property, they are not thinking about all of the costs associated with homeownership. One cost many people don't check out before buying a home is home insurance.

When a homeowner has a mortgage on their home they are required by the lender to have a home insurance policy. The policy serves mostly to make sure that in the event that some tragedy occurs, like a fire or natural disaster, the homeowner will get a payout - which in turn can be used to pay off the remaining amount owed on the mortgage if the home is completely destroyed. Of course, as a result the rates on home insurance policies vary widely throughout the country. And, as most of our readers know, home insurance can be a major factor in the cost of homeownership in Florida.

For all the good things that come along with living in Florida, there is also the bad: hurricane season. Hurricanes bring high-speed winds and torrential rains, which can be bad news for a home. Wind can damage siding or blow trees down onto a home, and rain can lead to flooding. All of these will be issues to call in on a home insurance policy.

One of the common ways to pay the monthly insurance premium is to bundle it with the monthly mortgage payment. However, some people may find it easier to pay one lump sum for the policy once per year. Home insurance is a big part of owning a home, but our South Florida readers may want to remember that these policies can oftentimes be just like car insurance: it may be a good idea to shop around every once in a while.

Source: ConsumerReports.org, "Homeowner insurance buying guide," Accessed Nov. 22, 2014

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