North Carolina residents can face many weather challenges, including severe storms, flooding and heavy snowfall. While the state of North Carolina doesn't require residents to purchase home insurance, it’s a good idea to be prepared.
When shopping for home insurance, pay close attention to coverage limits, options, and add-ons. This ensures you get the best policy for your particular situation and budget. Keep in mind that once a disaster strikes, it is too late to seek coverage for that particular instance.
Comparing North Carolina Home Insurance Rates
The cost of North Carolina home insurance varies between insurance companies. Many aspects of your property can affect the cost of your policy including the way your policy is written.
You should consider the following factors when you’re buying a policy:
- What part of the state you live in, and what kind of weather you experience
- Distance from a fire hydrant
- Type of home and year of construction
- Whether you have smoke alarms and / or a security system
- Presence of a pool
- If you own a dog, if it’s considered an aggressive breed
- Number of claims at your address during its lifetime
Home insurance policies in North Carolina don’t cover flooding. If you are in a coastal area, river region, or a low-lying area prone to flooding, you can purchase flood insurance as a separate policy.
Your first step is to assess your needs, budget, and the potential conditions for the area in which you live. While unnecessary coverage is a waste of money, too little coverage can cost you much more out of pocket when you need to make a claim.
Preparing for Disasters and Loss in North Carolina
During the spring and summer in North Carolina, damaging lightning strikes and hailstorms are common. Wind storms and snow accumulation can cause structural weakening, damage to pipes and can even lead to water accumulation and mold. If you live in the state's coastal region, storm surges and hurricanes are of concern between May and August.
You can't control the weather, but you can reduce the threat of loss and personal impact:
- Unplug electronics when you notice thunder and lightning outside. One strike could destroy valuable items such as computers, cable boxes, satellite receivers, and television sets.
- Store all important paperwork in waterproof bags within a fireproof safe.
- Keep a stocked emergency bag on hand for each member of the family. It should include water, packaged food items, and a change of clothes.
- Have an evacuation plan in case of a natural disaster.
- Keep your car full of gas in the event you need to evacuate.
Frequently Asked Questions About North Carolina Home Insurance
North Carolina residents often have several questions about home insurance. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions:
1. Why do insurance companies ask for your exact location within the state?
The reason for this is simple. If you live in the Highlands area of the state, insurers believe you’ll make less claims than if you live in a beachfront community.
2. Are you still covered if your policy lapses?
You won’t have coverage if you don't keep your policy paid and up to date. Although it can vary by company, you typically must have coverage for at least 30 days before a disaster or theft to be eligible for reimbursement.
3. Are rate discounts available?
You can often receive a discount on your home insurance policy when you have a vehicle insurance policy with the same company. Several other scenarios also make it possible for a lower rate or discount. Be sure to ask your agent for full details.
4. What is the importance of choosing a deductible?
As with any insurance, the higher your deductible, the lower your monthly payments will be. If you are not confident you can cover a higher out of pocket expense when facing a loss, choose a lower deductible.
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North Carolina Home Insurance Resources
NC Department of Insurance
State of North Carolina site with links to regulations, forms, and consumer information