Homeowner insurance coverage in West Virginia for first time buyers of condos, town homes, and duplexes has one of the lowest average home insurance rates in the United States. Annual premiums are within the range of $557 to $650.
There are three common forms of homeowner insurance in West Virginia. These are:
· Basic HO-1 – Provides protection for the home and personal property from basic hazards, such as fire, theft or vandalism, and glass breakage.
· Broad HO-2 – Aside from the items covered in HO-1, Broad HO-2 also protects from harmful, accidental discharges from home appliances, falling objects, weight of snow or ice during winter, and building collapse.
· Special HO-3 – Although it guarantees protection from “all risks”, the HO-3 policy excludes protection from fire and earthquake damage.
Other insurance forms include HO-4 for renters, HO-5 for extensive coverage (but still without flood and earthquake protection) and HO-6 for condominium owners. All of these basic policies exclude coverage for pets, cars and business-owned items that are on the property at the time the damage occurred.
Many homeowners don’t see the need for flood and earthquake coverage in West Virginia. Although it may not seem necessary, heavy rains do occur in the state and there’s also a risk of hurricanes, especially now with the erratic weather changes resulting from climate change. Flood insurance could be purchased separately from the National Flood Insurance Program. Because seismic activity is uncommon in West Virginia, earthquake coverage is also not provided in the basic policy, but could be added at extra cost.
Two Important Habits
There are two important habits that every West Virginia homeowner insurance policy owner should develop. First is meticulously making an inventory of all the properties in the home, which would include making a list of these items and taking their photos. The homeowner should have several copies of the inventory — one to be kept at home, another to be stored in file storage sites online, or kept with a trusted relative or friend. The inventory will aid the homeowner when he/she needs to file a claim with the insurance company.
The second important habit is reviewing both the policy and the inventory yearly. The inventory may need to be updated if new household or personal items, such as jewelry, had been bought. A review of the policy would alert the homeowner to changes in the terms of coverage or if price adjustments should be made to the coverage in the policy.
How to save money
West Virginia homeowners can avail of deductions in their insurance premiums by taking into consideration certain factors that would help in keeping their property safe.
Factors that are beyond the homeowner’s control include:
· The type of neighborhood the property is located in
· Proximity to the nearest fire station
· Construction of the house
On the other hand, homeowners could save on their premiums in the following ways:
· Getting the best value for your money by comparing the rates of the various insurance companies in your area
· Improving your credit score
· Installation of burglar alarms, smoke detectors and automatic sprinklers, and quiting smoking (the habit of smoking is considered a fire hazard)
West Virginia Fair Access to Insurance Requirements
One important thing that should be mentioned is that insurance companies may deny consumers’ requests for insurance on the basis of a low credit score or other factors. Consumers who have been rejected may apply for coverage through the West Virginia Fair Access to Insurance Requirements (West Virginia FAIR Plan). FAIR coverage is priced at $100,000 per private dwelling ($75,000 for the basic structure and $25,000 for the contents) and $300,000 per commercial property. This policy offers protection to buildings and personal property from fire, smoke or explosions, damage from vehicles, aircraft and high winds, and also includes mine subsidence.
Indeed, the state has ensured that homeowner insurance in West Virginia is made available to all its residents.
Find homeowner insurance rates in each of these West Virginia cities:
Beckley – Bluefield – Bridgeport – Charleston – Cheat Lake – Clarksburg – Cross Lanes – Dunbar – Elkins – Fairmont – Huntington – Martinsburg – Morgantown – Moundsville – Nitro – Oak Hill – Parkersburg – Pea Ridge – Princeton – South Charleston – St. Albans – Teays Valley – Vienna – Weirton – Wheeling – Barbour County – Berkeley – Boone – Braxton – Brooke – Cabell – Calhoun – Clay – Doddridge – Fayette – Gilmer – Grant County – Greenbrier – Hampshire County – Hancock – Hardy – Harrison – Jackson – Jefferson – Kanawha – Lewis – Lincoln – Logan – Marion – Marshall – Mason – McDowell – Mercer – Mineral – Mingo – Monongalia – Monroe – Morgan – Nicholas – Ohio – Pendleton – Pleasants – Pocahontas – Preston – Putnam – Raleigh – Randolph – Ritchie – Roane – Summers – Taylor – Tucker – Tyler – Upshur – Wayne – Webster – Wetzel – Wirt – Wood – Wyoming County