Wisconsin Homeowner's Insurance
A standard home insurance package in Wisconsin can cost around $503 and covers many different dangers faced by a home. The policy can be broken down into several parts including the dwelling, other structures, personal property and loss of use provisions. It will help you get the best insurance packages if you understand what those parts are and how the policy works.
This part of the policy covers the home itself and any constructions that are built into the home in such a way that they cannot be removed without causing damage to them or the home. For example, a sun room added onto the side of the house might require a wall to be removed, making it a permanent part of the dwelling.
If it is manmade and not part of the dwelling, it is an "other" structure. This could be a greenhouse, a workshop, the fence around the property, or the dock leading to your boat, to name a few examples. "Other" structures do not have to be built for human use, which means that a permanent doghouse or a building around your water pump fall into the other structures category.
Everything you own that is not a permanent part of the insured property falls into the category of personal property. This includes everything inside the dwelling, inside the other structures, or free-standing on the property. For your own protection and to help with any claims you have to file, keep a video record of your personal belongings and hang on to all of your purchase receipts.
Loss of Use
This portion of your policy serves to reimburse you for money you have to spend out of pocket under certain circumstances. If the home is partially or completely unusable because of a peril named in your policy, the money you have to spend to maintain your expected standard of living may be claimed under the loss of use portion of the policy, but make sure to save your receipts and document what the money was used for.
Average Wisconsin Homeowner Insurance Rates vs. US
Cheaper Wisconsin Home Insurance
Getting cheaper home insurance in Wisconsin means more than reducing your coverages, it means making your home safer and reducing the risks that the insurance company has to be responsible for. Over the years, you will discover that just taking better care of your home results in saving money, and watching your credit score will save money on all of your insurance costs, not just home insurance.
Home security is one of the best ways to save money on homeowner's coverage. You can do that by having deadbolts or burglar bars installed, or even putting up a fence around the perimeter of the property. But having a home security system installed will reduce the risk of burglary dramatically, and that means the biggest discount for home security.
Reduce Insurance Risks
One way to get a discount on your homeowners policy is to put up a fence around your swimming pool. Doing that reduces the risk of liability lawsuits if a neighbor's child or pet wanders into the pool area and accidentally drowns. In the long term, trimming back dead trees and bushes reduces the risk of damages and liability, plus it makes any damage claims you have to file more likely to settle quickly.
Credit Score and Insurance Risk
You can also reduce your personal financial risk by monitoring your credit score. A score of 650 or better will provide you with discounts on your insurance, so looking for errors in your credit history and getting them corrected is an excellent way to save money, not just on your home insurance, but on all of your insurance policies.
Home Characteristics Affecting Wisconsin Insurance Rates
The value of the home, its size and its age are all factors that affect the cost of insurance in Wisconsin. Other factors that will be considered by the insurance company include the building materials used to construct the home and the number and severity of natural disasters that are likely to occur. For example, a large older home built from wood is going to cost more to insure than the same size home built from the same material more recently, and wooden homes are more expensive to insure than brick or stone because there are more problems that can arise.
Local Natural Disasters Wisconsin Homeowners Should Consider Protecting Against
All homes face the possibility of being hit by one or more natural disasters, but not all natural disasters are covered under a standard home insurance policy. By knowing what could happen in Wisconsin, you can customize your policy to provide more complete coverage or even save money by excluding coverage for perils that are not likely to occur. Do not assume that you are covered for a specific peril unless it is listed in your policy, and contact your insurance company for clarification if you are in doubt about what is or is not covered.
Ranked at 51 out of 51, Wisconsin is the least likely place in the country to experience an earthquake and this type of peril is probably not one that you have to be overly concerned about.
Flooding is rare in Wisconsin, but it does happen and is probably not included as part of your standard home insurance package. In most cases, flood insurance is only available through high risk insurance companies or special insurance pools such as the national FAIR plan.
Unless your policy lists hail as a special exclusion, it is covered under the wind damages portion of your policy and not a major concern.
Hurricanes can reach as far inland as Wisconsin, but severe winter storms are a lot more common, and cause the same types of damages. Make sure that your policy protects your home against wind and ice damages, and purchase riders to beef up the policy if it does not.
Wisconsin only experiences an occasional tornado, and the damages caused by this type of storm are usually covered in a standard insurance package. If they are excluded in your policy, contact your insurance company about adding a rider to add tornadoes as a named peril.
74,749 fire spring up around the nation each year, and happen in all states. Unless they are excluded in your policy, though, the fire damage portion of the policy covers wildfires the same as it does kitchen fires.
Wisconsin Homeowners Insurance Optional Coverages
If your policy is written for actual cash value, it might be a good idea to change it to a full replacement cost policy. Cash value will pay for the original cost of items or repairs, minus depreciation. That means that without full replacement cost insurance, you will probably have to pay for a lot of the repairs out of pocket, or use less expensive substitutions. Another area that might do well with beefing up is the amount of your personal property insurance, because that only covers property up to a percentage of the policy value, usually far less than the average family actually owns.
Important Contact Information
Wisconsin Department of Insurance
125 South Webster Street
Madison, Wisconsin 53703-3474
Phone: (800) 236-8517
Home Insurance Guides for Nearby States
- Iowa Homeowners Insurance
- Illinois Homeowners Insurance
- Michigan Homeowners Insurance
- Minnesota Homeowners Insurance
Wisconsin Insurance Agents
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