Homeowner insurance coverage in Wisconsin for first time buyers of condos, town homes and mobile homes is considered one of the lowest in the United States. Data on annual insurance premiums have pegged rates at a low of $490 (based on the National Association of Insurance Commissioners) to as high as $514 (according to Homeinsurance.com).
Such low rates do not necessarily mean that there are minimal occurrences of natural calamities in the state yearly. Flooding can occur if residences are located along the banks of the Great Lakes (which border Wisconsin) and other bodies of water that flow through the state. Summertime is characterized by high temperatures and humidity. Winter brings with it its own problems in the form of ice and blizzards. Not to be forgotten is the ever looming threat of fire, and there are even occurrences of an earthquake or two. With these potential threats to property, it is important to acquire a homeowner insurance policy in case repairs need to be done or the home needs to be rebuilt if it is destroyed.
A homeowner insurance policy in Wisconsin comes in three basic levels:
· Actual Cash Value: The most common type of insurance coverage, it takes into account the current value of any item that is stolen or lost or destroyed in the home. This coverage offers a payment or settlement equivalent to the current depreciated value of the item regardless of whether or not the item could be repaired or bought at the current price levels.
· Replacement Cost: This level of insurance pays for the costs of replacing damaged property without taking into account the depreciation in value of the damaged item/s. This insurance has a maximum dollar amount limit.
· Guaranteed Replacement Cost: Although similar to Replacement Cost, this level of insurance does not have a limit to it. Having this type of insurance means that you could be able to complete repairs or even totally replace your home without worrying about exceeding insurance maximums. This type of insurance, however, is the most expensive and you need to inquire with your local insurance agencies for its availability and cost.
Insurance of condominium owners is different. As a condo unit owner, you have an undivided interest with other unit owners over common areas in your building, such as corridors, stairs, etc. In order to protect these interests, unit owners form an association, and it is this association that takes charge of ensuring that the condominium building is insured. The insurance coverage should include the basic structure and common property of the entire condo, as well as liability for injuries on common property. The payments for this association insurance policy are divided equally among the unit owners.
Of course, condo unit owners must have their units insured as well. Condominium homeowner insurance in Wisconsin is sold as a package policy consisting of four types of insurance coverage:
· Personal Property Coverage: Applies to household contents and other personal belongings that are owned, used or worn by the condo unit owner and his/her family. This covers damages resulting from theft, fire, smoke, explosion, vandalism, falling objects, building collapse, and rupture of hot water and steam systems. The homeowner is the one who chooses the amount of coverage.
· Personal Liability Coverage: Usually amounting to $100,000, this applies to accidents that occur on and off the property if injury or damage is caused by the homeowner, a member of his/her family, or their pet. This covers the damages that the court orders must be paid. One could avail of higher limits at an added cost.
· Medical Payments Coverage: Amounting to a minimum of $1,000 per person, this covers sustained by any individual in a condo unit regardless of fault. This coverage, however, does not apply to the homeowner or the members of his/her household. Again, one could avail of higher limits at an added cost.
· Additional Living Expenses Coverage: Amounting to up to 40% of the personal property limit, this would be paid to a condo unit owner if damages or the total destruction of the said property would require the owner and his/her household to move temporarily into a motel or apartment while repairs/reconstruction are being done. This amount would cover the additional living expenses that would be incurred while the unit owner is unable to live in his home.
One very important thing to remember is that homeowner insurance in Wisconsin does not provide protection in the event of damages caused by natural flooding due to rains or from the overflowing of the banks of rivers or of the Great Lakes, although normal policies do provide coverage if the flood resulted from unnatural sources, such as a burst pipeline or a faulty appliance (like a washing machine) in the home. Protection from natural flood damage is an insurance coverage that would be added to the existing policy at a higher cost. There are also special policies that already have flood damage protection included among their coverage, but again, such a policy would be more expensive.
Find homeowner insurance rates in each of these Wisconsin cities:
Allouez – Altoona – Antigo – Appleton – Ashland – Ashwaubenon – Baraboo – Beaver Dam – Bellevue – Bellevue Town – Beloit – Brookfield – Brown Deer – Burlington – Caledonia – Cedarburg – Chippewa Falls – Cudahy – De Pere – DeForest – Delafield – Delavan – Eau Claire – Elkhorn – Elm Grove – Fitchburg – Fond du Lac – Fort Atkinson – Fox Point – Franklin – Genesee – Germantown – Glendale – Grafton – Grand Chute – Grand Rapids – Green Bay – Greendale – Greenfield – Greenville – Hales Corners – Hartford – Hartland – Holmen – Howard – Hudson – Janesville – Jefferson – Kaukauna – Kenosha – Kimberly – La Crosse – Lake Geneva – Lisbon – Little Chute – Madison – Manitowoc – Marinette – Marshfield – McFarland – Menasha – Menomonee Falls – Menomonie – Mequon – Merrill – Merton – Middleton – Milwaukee – Monona – Monroe – Mount Pleasant – Mukwonago – Muskego – Neenah – New Berlin – New London – New Richmond – Norway – Oak Creek – Oconomowoc – Onalaska – Oregon – Oshkosh – Pewaukee – Platteville – Pleasant Prairie – Plover – Plymouth – Port Washington – Portage – Prairie du Chien – Racine – Reedsburg – Rhinelander – Rib Mountain – Rice Lake – Richfield – Ripon – River Falls – Salem – Shawano – Sheboygan Falls – Shorewood – Somers – South Milwaukee – Sparta – St. Francis – Stevens Point – Stoughton – Sturgeon Bay – Suamico – Sun Prairie – Superior – Sussex – Tomah – Two Rivers – Vernon – Verona – Washington – Watertown – Waukesha – Waunakee – Waupun – Wausau – Wauwatosa – West Allis – West Bend – Weston – Whitefish Bay – Whitewater – Wisconsin Rapids