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Which type of insurance is best for me?

There are many factors when choosing insurance for your living situation, each of which might be affected by whether you own and live in the home, rent your home or own rental property. Finding the right insurance for your home can seem like a daunting task when you first begin looking, especially if signing a rental lease, buying a house or renting out a property is a new experience for you. It may seem like there are endless options, and if you don’t know what you’re looking for, it can feel overwhelming. Thankfully, shopping for insurance doesn’t have to be a hassle. Learning about the different kinds of insurance, what they cover and what you need to protect your assets can make shopping for insurance a smoother process.

“Knowing what type and amount of insurance coverage you need is the best way to prepare and protect your family and property,” said Christopher O’Rourke, Vice President of Property Claims at Mercury Insurance. “Investing the time to learn about your insurance now can pay off down the line if an event were to occur.

“Your insurance agent can help you determine the right type of insurance and amount of coverage needed to protect you, your family and property — they can help tailor a plan to cover what you need.”

If you own and live in your home …

You’ll need homeowners insurance. Homeowners insurance can provide coverage for your house, property and belongings. It also provides liability coverage in the event that houseguests suffer injuries within the home or on the property. Other structures not attached to your home, such as a detached garage, fence or pool, can also be covered by this policy. Additional coverage options also include:

  • Home systems protection, which covers a range of home systems such as appliances and electronics;
  • Home cyber protection, which can protect you and your family from losses such as compromised data on home technology such as a personal computer or mobile device;
  • Service line protection, which provides coverage in the event underground pipes or wires that connect your home’s electricity, water, gas and sewage lines with municipality lines become damaged.

If you’re a tenant renting your residence …

Renters insurance can be purchased to protect your belongings. It can provide financial reimbursement to cover your lost or damaged property as a result of a covered loss, such as fire, theft or vandalism. It can also provide compensation for your living expenses if your rental unit becomes uninhabitable following a covered loss. Renters insurance is relatively inexpensive and it is an easy way to protect your treasured belongings. If you’re sharing the space with roommates, a separate endorsement policy can be added to cover them, too.

If you’re renting your owned residence out to a tenant …

A Landlord insurance policy can help to cover costs to repair or replace damages to your rental from a covered loss, such as fire, lightning, wind or hail. Landlord insurance also provides premises liability protection that can cover you in the event someone gets injured on your property and you are found legally liable for the injury. Additional coverage options include personal property coverage, which can protect any household furnishings and appliances you own within the rental property, and fair rental value coverage, which can make up for lost rental income while your rental property is being repaired following a covered loss.

If you live in an earthquake-prone area …

It’s in your best interest to look into earthquake insurance. Most homeowners, condo and renters insurance policies do not cover damage from an earthquake. However, your insurance agent can help you get the coverage you need – for example, California residents can purchase earthquake insurance from the California Earthquake Authority. Coverage in higher-risk areas comes with a higher price tag, but without the proper coverage, you’ll have to pay out of pocket to repair any damage to — or even rebuild — your home in the aftermath of an earthquake. Retrofitting or modifying your home can help reduce your risk and strengthen your home, potentially mitigating the damage an earthquake could cause.

Talk to your insurance agent today to make sure you have the necessary type and coverage of insurance to help protect your home, family and belongings.