Homeowners Insurance

It's not just your house, it's your Home. Contact Insure Idaho, your local independent agency, for security and your peace of mind.

Basic coverage in a Home Owner's Policy:

  • Your home and other buildings on your property.
  • The contents of your home.
  • Additional living expenses if you have to move out during certain repairs.
  • Liability protection for you and your household, protecting you if someone is accidentally injured or their property is damaged.

Whether you own or rent, you should make an inventory of all your belongings. List every major item and its value. It's best to do this before you buy homeowners insurance, to help you decide how much coverage you'll need to protect your possessions.

Making a list of all your belongings may seem a monumental task, which is what keeps many people from ever getting started. But it need not be overwhelming. The tips here can make the job more manageable:

  1. Inventory one room at a time. List every item in the room, its purchase price, the date of purchase (as close as you can remember), and where you purchased it (if you don't have an actual record of the purchase, the store might). Use any accounts of your expenditures on file (old checks, receipts, or similar records) to help refresh your memory. If the item isn't on that room's list, either write it in at the bottom or look through the other pages in the inventory until you find it.
  2. Use the forms provided in this publication as reminders of your belongings. Add any items not listed. Use the special inventory section (which begins on page 32) to individually describe items you merely counted in your room-by-room inventory. When there's space in the special inventory section for more details, the item is marked by an asterisk followed by the page number. You should also use a special inventory section to keep records for objects that may require special insurance (talk to your agent for advice and coverage options).
  3. Use a camera or video camera to record what you own. Photograph your home systematically: Start with one wall of a room and take as many pictures as necessary to record everything along that wall, overlapping slightly. Move around the room clockwise. Remember to open closets and drawers and photograph what's inside. Record the purchase prices and purchase dates of the items on the back of each photograph or on the forms in this book.
  4. List all brand names, model numbers, and serial numbers for items that have them to help verify purchase dates and approximate replacement costs.
  5. If you use a personal computer, you might want to investigate the various software packages on the market for compiling a household inventory. As you're doing your inventory, think about items you own that may be in a temporary residence (like a college dormitory) or in your vehicle. Include these items in your inventory list - they are covered by your homeowners insurance policy. Your personal property is covered anywhere in the world under your normal policy.

What affects your home insurance rate?

  • Type of Construction. Wood frame houses are generally insured at a higher cost than a more non-combustible material.
  • Age of House. New homes may qualify for discounts. Some insurance companies may not insure very old homes, or may offer a limited form of coverage.
  • Local Fire Protection. Your home's distance from a fire hydrant and the quality of your local fire station may determine your fire protection class.
  • Amount of Coverage. The amount of coverage you buy for your house, contents, and personal liability will affect the price you pay. Make sure you do not include the value of your land in the building value of your home.
  • Deductible Amount. Your choice of a higher deductible will reduce the price for home insurance.
  • Discounts. Always ask if an insurer offers a lower price for such things as insuring your home and personal vehicle together, with the same company, and/or installing, for example, deadbolt locks or alarm systems.

What deductible should I choose?

The deductible applies only to coverage on your house and personal property. It is the amount you have to pay out of pocket on each claim. So, A policy with a $500 deductible will cost more than one with a $1,000 deductible. Higher deductibles may be available at a reduced price.