Like many other parts of California, Lancaster city is prone to natural disasters such as earthquakes, wildfires, flash floods, and storms, among others. Homeowners in this region also face perils such as water damage, theft, and vandalism. Without the right home insurance coverage, these hazards and disasters can wreak havoc on your property as well as your finances. Here are the basics of home insurance in Lancaster, CA.
Types of Homeowners Insurance Coverage
A standard homeowners insurance policy compensates the policyholder for the damage or loss caused by an insured event. For instance, if burglars break into your home and steal your possessions, your home insurance policy will cover the loss up to the stated limit. The standard home insurance coverage options include:
- Personal liability protection – This coverage pays for the liability costs such as legal expenses and awards if a third party sues you for bodily injury or property damage that happened on your property. For example, if your dog bites a passerby, this coverage will cover any costs that result in case of a lawsuit.
- Additional living expenses – Also known as loss of use coverage, this portion covers your living expenses in case a covered peril makes your home uninhabitable. It covers costs such as restaurant and hotel bills as you wait for repairs to be completed in your home.
- Personal property coverage – As the name implies, it covers the financial losses that result from property damage. It covers the cost of replacing items such as clothes, electronics, stationery, appliances, and furniture.
- Dwelling coverage – It covers the damage that occurs on the building structure of your home as a result of a covered peril.
- Other structures coverage – This policy covers damage to additional structures attached to your home, including garages, fences, and sheds.
- Medical payments coverage – This portion pays for medical expenses for a third party who gets injured on your property.
It’s important to note that each of these policies provides a specific coverage limit for the named peril. For instance, medical payments coverage typically pays for treatment expenses not exceeding $1,000. Even so, you can always raise your limits for more comprehensive coverage, although this will likely attract higher premiums.
Factors That Determine Home Insurance Rates
The average cost of homeowners insurance in Lancaster, CA, ranges from $500 to $700 per year. However, to determine the actual cost of a policy, insurance companies typically look at the size of the risk at hand, with bigger risks attracting higher premiums and vice versa. Factors that determine the size of risk include:
- Number of previous claims – The insurance provider reviews your CLUE report to determine the number, severity, and frequency of previously filed claims. Many claims, frequent claims, and severe claims all translate to high risk, attracting high home insurance rates.
- Type of neighborhood – Some neighborhoods experience more crime, floods, earthquakes, or other perils. If you live in a high-risk neighborhood, your home insurance rates will likely be high. Areas with high costs of living also attract higher premiums.
- Building materials – Some insurance companies would want to know the type of material used to build your home, as this will help them determine the size of risk.
- Value of possessions – A good home insurance policy should be enough to cover the costs of replacing all your belongings. As such, the value of your possessions will influence your home insurance rates. For instance, if you have high-value items such as jewelry, you will likely pay more for home insurance. Unfortunately, home insurance only provides limited coverage for such items, and hence, a specialty insurance policy may be necessary for adequate coverage.
- Age of the home – Older homes are more prone to problems such as broken pipes and worn-out roofs. As such, insurance companies consider them high-risk, which means that you will likely pay higher home insurance premiums with an older home.
- Availability of high-risk properties – Swimming pools, trampolines, bathtubs, and treehouses are examples of high-risk properties that can raise home insurance premiums.
Tips to Lower Homeowners Insurance Costs
Even if you live in a disaster-prone area, you can use various strategies to lower your home insurance costs. Cost-cutting insurance tips include:
- Raise your deductible – By doing this, the insurance provider will lower your monthly premiums.
- Bundling – Most insurers typically offer bundling discounts to policyholders who purchase more than one policy from them.
- Install a home security system – This will help curb cases of theft and vandalism and hence, lower the cost of home insurance.
- Install a fire alarm system – A fire and smoke detector will help mitigate the fire risk in your home. With this system in place, your insurance provider will likely give you a discount.
- Review costs regularly and shop around – Home insurance costs fluctuate with factors such as inflation and changes in the size of risk. Therefore, you should always review your costs and shop around for better rates.
- Maintain your home well – A well-maintained home will be safe from cases of property damage from a falling roof, broken pipes, sewer backup, and falling ceiling. By performing regular renovations, you will maintain the value of your home, mitigate risks, and lower your home insurance rates.
- Relocate to a safer zone – If there’s nothing you can do to lower the risk in your neighborhood, you should consider relocating to a safer location to lower home insurance costs.
How to Get the Right Home Insurance Coverage in Lancaster
Are you looking for affordable homeowners insurance in Lancaster, CA? If so, then contact the experts at John E. Peakes Insurance Agency. We are ready to assist you with all your home insurance coverage needs today.