Your home is your castle and haven. Te place where you and your loved ones can feel safe and protected. But is your home protected?
Homeowners insurance shields your investment from loss or damage caused by disasters or accidents. If you have a mortgage, most likely your lender collects and escrows homeowners insurance premiums together with your property taxes and monthly mortgage. However, when your loan is paid of, the financial institution will no longer collect and pay your property taxes or insurance. You must remember to continue homeowners insurance coverage after your mortgage is repaid so that your home remains protected.
In support of Mayor Bowser’s vision to give all District residents a fair shot, the Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking (DISB) works to ensure a fair, non-discriminatory and well-regulated insurance market. DISB also wants to help you prevent housing loss caused by unexpected events.
Maintaining your standard homeowners insurance policy is important because it:
1. Protects your home from a multitude of calamities, including wind damage, fire, vandalism, tornadoes, hurricanes and thunderstorms. It is crucial to understand whether your property is insured on a replacement cost basis or an actual cost basis. Replacement cost coverage will be a little more expensive because it will cover the market value of your home.
2. Covers your personal belongings. If your furniture, electronics, appliances, or clothing is stolen or destroyed by a covered peril, your policy will reimburse the value of the covered loss. Often, coverage protects your personal property anywhere, whether it is at your home, in your car, in your college student’s dorm or in storage.
3. Provides liability protection. It protects you in the event a lawsuit arises due to an injury that occurred on your property. It will pay the legal and medical fees and lost wages for the injured person up to the limits of the liability set forth in your policy.
4. Offers peace of mind. Maintaining coverage enables you to sleep better at night, knowing that your investment is safe and secure from covered events. Remember, your home is probably the most significant investment you will make in your lifetime and continuing your coverage provides a safety net. Many factors influence the cost of homeowners insurance: the age and location of your home, cost of rebuilding, the proximity to a fire hydrant, presence of alarm or fire suppression systems, claims history or your chosen insurance deductible. These are just a few aspects that could impact your insurance premium. Your insurance agent will be able to provide a quote once they evaluate your needs. If you have questions about insurance, please call DISB at (202) 727-8000 or visit disb.dc.gov.
Stephen C. Taylor
Commissioner District of Columbia Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking