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As a homeowners insurance policy holder, it’s your every right to file a claim in the event you suffer damage or loss to your home or its contents. And because you want the claims filing process to take as little time as possible, you should also do your part in understanding it as much as you can.

Doing so will help you secure the best deal possible and rest easy knowing that you, your family, and your prized possessions are in good hands.

First things first: Know the definition of the type of insurance you have

National Association of Insurance Commissioners recently reported that the annual average homeowners insurance premiums in the country is $1,096 while Nevada boasts of lower premiums at $687.

As the Nevada Department of Insurance specifies, there’s quite a lot of different policies made available to its consumers: a total of seven. They all serve similar purposes, but they vary in terms of the particular type of dwelling, amounts of coverage, specific types of perils covered, deductibles, and of course, premiums. This knowledge alone of how they differ in these aspects should already make you realize how important it is you make yourself aware of which type suits you in the best possible way.

Of the seven available Nevada insurance forms, five are specifically for homeowners. These include the following: HO-1 (Basic), HO-2 (Broad), HO-3 (Special), HO-5 (Open Perils), and HO-8 (Modified Coverage). In general, with the exception of HO-8, the number of perils they cover as well as the corresponding coverage amounts go up starting from the Basic Form, which means that the Open Perils Form typically comes with the highest premiums. The latter is the most popular among the state’s homeowners though, as it provides the greatest amount of coverage.

The Modified Coverage Form is reserved is reserved for older homes, or properties with architectural significance.

Insurance for renters and condominium unit owners

There are insurance forms specifically made for renters and condominium unit owners.

The HO-4, or Renters Insurance Form, covers the same perils as the HO-2, but only for personal property and not the dwelling. The apartment owner or landlord takes responsibility for the building’s insurance.

The HO-6 or Condominium Unit Owners Form has the same covered perils as the HO-3 homeowners insurance. However, the association the building belongs to should take responsibility for insuring the building itself.

Better safe than sorry: Determining what your policy covers and upgrading it

A lot of Nevada home owners stick with the Basic Form because initially, it costs the least. Although it’s true this already provides some level of coverage, it doesn’t mean it’s already the best for you. This is particularly true when you live in an area in Nevada that has a high risk of flooding. As opposed to what a lot of people believe, the state actually has quite the rich history of flooding, as the Nevada Water Science Center has stated.

In fact, the State actually has its own Nevada Flood Awareness Committee, an organization aimed to bring up the number of aware and informed residents about everything related to flooding. One of these is instilling the importance of flood insurance as part of a more extensive protection for home owners.

The extra cost is worth it

Your home is not just any investment: it is your pride and joy, and the haven you and your loved ones should feel safest and most comfortable in. Understanding how Nevada homeowners insurance works, even in just the most basic sense, will help you grasp its real value.

References:

http://doi.nv.gov/uploadedFiles/doinvgov/_public-documents/News-Notes/HomeInsuranceGuide2011B.pdf

https://nevada.usgs.gov/crfld/

http://nevadafloods.org/