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As someone who owns a house and many other personal properties, you most likely know the importance and value of your North Dakota homeowners insurance policy. And while in many cases, consumers in the state have to have this because their mortgage lender requires them to, most people find the easiest and most practical way to protect their investments.

According to the North Dakota Insurance Department, the state law doesn’t require its residents to purchase homeowners insurance. But as mentioned above, this still depends on a mortgage company. It’s important though that you don’t look at your policy as a mere added expense; you should regard it as more of a protective investment for your many other investments.

The top five causes of residential fires include cooking (caused 50% of all losses), use of heating equipment (12.5%), malfunctioning electrical systems and devices (6.3%), neglect or accidental (5.8%), and open flame (4.4%).

Understanding your policy: Key to ensuring you have adequate protection

Yes, the primary function of your homeowners insurance policy is to protect you, your family, as well as your home and its contents. This knowledge alone already gives you peace of mind knowing that everyone you love and you’ve worked so hard for are in good hands.

However, you shouldn’t consider this piece of information as the only thing you need to know about your insurance. You should still take the time to understand it better, as you want to make sure the protection it gives you adequately meets your needs and preferences.

Distinguishing basic and broad coverages

The number of insurance companies in North Dakota total to 1,372, with 31 of them classified as domestic, and the remaining 1,341 falling under the foreign licensed group. These numbers come from a study conducted by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

All 1,341 of these insurance companies offer the two types of insurance coverage available to ND consumers: the Basic Coverage and the Broad Coverage.

Having a Basic policy means you have protection for the following perils: fire, hail, windstorm, lightning, smoke, explosion, theft, vandalism, and malicious mischief among several others. Having the Broad form, on the other hand, means you receive coverage for all the above-mentioned perils, and even for the following: collapse of building, falling objects, volcanic eruption, as well as weight of ice, snow, or sleet among many others.

A short intro to fire coverage and fire statistics in North Dakota

As the North Dakota Insurance Department pointed out, most homeowners insurance policies in the state provide coverage for fire, a very common peril. Both the Basic and the Broad insurance types has flood coverage included.

In a recent report from the United States Fire Administration (USFA), it revealed that the country has suffered from a total of $11.5 billion in losses due to fires. It further stated that the top five causes of residential fires include cooking (caused 50% of all losses), use of heating equipment (12.5%), malfunctioning electrical systems and devices (6.3%), neglect or accidental (5.8%), and open flame (4.4%).

Because a house fire is one of the most dangerous and destructive incidents that can ever happen, you should always implement proper practices that will help minimize the risk of it occurring in your home. Keep in mind that in North Dakota, according to a separate USFA study, the national average of residential fire related injuries is 26.2 for every 1,000 fires, so you should do what you can to prevent this from happening.

Final reminders and friendly advice

Keeping your North Dakota homeowners insurance policy up to date ensures you remain protected from the perils discussed above. It also provides you with numerous doors of opportunities to improve your policy while paying lower premiums. Ask your insurer (or the company you want to work with) for available discounts and other money-saving deals, as all these will contribute to reduced premiums.

References:

https://www.nd.gov/ndins/consumers/homeowners/FAQ/#basics

https://www.usfa.fema.gov/data/statistics/#tab-4

https://www.usfa.fema.gov/data/statistics/states/northdakota.html

http://www.naic.org/state_report_cards/report_card_nd.pdf