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Montana Home Insurance

Homeowners insurance in Montana requires particular attention to hazard aspects that are prevalent in western states. As with homeowners policies anywhere, these policies are intended to protect the interests of both the homeowner and the mortgage company.

Most Americans consider their home as their biggest asset, and the decision to purchase homeowners insurance helps protect this asset. Use the FREE search tool above to compare quotes instantly.

Saving Money on Homeowners Insurance

Rates for homeowners insurance are based upon the following factors:

  • Construction of your home – masonry, brick, stone, and stucco are less flammable than wood – a lower premium attaches to non-wood construction
  • Age of your house – materials within a house deteriorate with age, so an older house may have a higher premium
  • Fire protection in your area – nearness of fire hydrants, quality of the fire department, or – in the case of rural houses, proximity to sources of water
  • Claims history in your neighborhood
  • Your personal claims history
  • The coverage you choose

Note- in heavily wooded and open areas as may exist in areas of Montana, concerns arise about wildfires, prairie fires, wind, and wind-driven rain or hail.

Drought can exacerbate these risks, so insurance companies will examine brush accumulations and fire breaks around homes. The state of Montana's website has suggestions about coping with natural disasters.

The best way to save money on homeowners insurance is to get at least three different quotes from separate insurers to compare companies, rates, and service.

Starting to Look for Quotes

To begin with, ask your neighbors and friends about their insurance companies and experience with them. This is an excellent way to determine the quality of service in the event of a claim.

Go to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) website to look at insurance companies and complaints with regard to insurance companies before purchasing homeowners insurance.

It is important to check the financial status of the insurance companies you are considering for homeowners insurance. An insurance company that offers an exceptionally low premium and does not have excellent financial statistics may have difficulty paying claims should a catastrophic loss occur. Places to check for financial information are:

How much insurance should you purchase?

You need to decide what type of coverage you wish to purchase under your homeowners policy. There are two general types of insurance available:

  • Actual Cash Value – this amount is based upon the cash value of the home at this particular point in time. When a claim is submitted, it is paid beginning with that cash value, then reducing it by the age of the home, wear and tear, and other factors.
  • Replacement Cost Value – this amount is based upon the cost to replace the dwelling or property. When a claim is submitted, the percentage paid for will depend upon the relationship between the amount purchased and the replacement value of the property. Best of all is to insure your home for guaranteed replacement coverage which takes into consideration unexpected increases in building costs.

Replacement cost coverage is recommended but purchasing this type of coverage means that you must estimate what it will cost to replace your home. Typically, policy provisions require you to purchase at least 80% of the replacement value amount.

Homeowners policies typically provide the following amounts of coverage:

  • Dwelling – Amount you decide
  • Other structures – separate garages, gazebos, sheds, etc. – 10% of the dwelling amount
  • Personal property – the contents of your home and the ordinary items used to maintain it – 50% of the dwelling amount
  • Loss of use – the amount needed to help maintain your family if your home is uninhabitable – 20% of dwelling amount

Deductibles:

Choose the deductible you plan to carry carefully. Mortgage companies usually require a certain amount of insurance and suggest deductibles. Look at them carefully to determine if you are able to meet that deductible should an insured event occur.

Perils to be Insured Against

Most people purchase the Broad Form of homeowners coverage since it provides coverage against the usual perils of concern to homeowners. These are, typically, as follows:

  • Fire and smoke
  • Windstorm, hail, and lightning
  • Explosion
  • Vehicles (not belonging to you)
  • Civil unrest
  • Theft and vandalism
  • Trees and other falling objects – if they hit the dwelling or an insured building
  • Weight of ice, snow, and sleet
  • Freezing, rupturing, or sudden and accidental overflow of the following systems: plumbing, heating, air-conditioning, fire-protection, or a household appliance

Please note that backup and overflow of sewage systems, floods, earthquakes, and a number of other disasters are not insured. This additional coverage may be purchased as separate riders or policies. In Montana, since many of the towns are historic, the sewage systems for the towns are deteriorating because of age, the possibility of backup and overflow of these municipal systems is more likely, and this type of insurance should be considered.

Flood insurance is available through local insurance agents. For information, go to the website maintained by FloodSmart. This coverage is limited, but as has been discovered in Colorado, wildfires that denuded natural habitats allowed flooding to become prevalent in new areas.

A limited amount of insurance is provided through the average homeowners insurance policy on antiques, art objects, and jewelry. If you have particularly valuable items, consider purchasing additional insurance to cover these items.

Personal Liability Insurance as Part of the Homeowners Policy

Usually the amount of personal liability carried is $100,000 under the standard homeowners policy. This pays for liability if you or another person insured (your family) are legally responsible for someone else's bodily injury or property damage liability.

This coverage, however, only applies to negligence on your part. Incidents caused with intention are not covered.

This coverage follows you at home and away from home. To discover the wide varieties of coverage, you should carefully read your policy.

Medical payments coverage is usually set at $5,000 and pays the necessary medical expenses if a person is injured on or by your property.

Notes about Liability Insurance

Exclusions exist on the homeowners personal liability coverage. It will not cover automobiles, recreational vehicles, boats, snowmobiles, and all-terrain vehicles.

These exclusions are most important particularly to residents of a state such as Montana that has a tradition of outdoor sports and entertainment.

Comparing Quotations

Make certain that you examine the quotations you have acquired through the quote process to make certain that they are alike so you get a good idea of the validity of premiums. Examine the quotes considering the other information you have acquired, including financial ratings, complaints, your friends and neighbor's opinions, as well as price.

When you receive your policy, take the time to sit down and read it. Individuals purchasing insurance sometimes forget that an insurance policy is a contract between the company and the purchaser. You, as the insured have duties as much as the insurance company has duties to you.

Be certain that you are aware of these to protect yourself and your property. Use our FREE comparison tool below to start your search.

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