How Much Home Insurance Do I Need?

How Much Home Insurance Do I Need?

If you own a home and have a mortgage, you’ll likely be required to have homeowners insurance. Your home is where your family grows and plays together, so protecting it is a top priority.

Understanding homeowners insurance can be difficult, as there are many elements to it and different types of coverage to be aware of. One of your burning questions might be “how much home insurance do I need?” It’s a common concern. Beyond that, many people wonder if homeowners insurance is enough or if there are other options for added coverage. We’ll try to answer these questions and clear up any confusion you may have.

How Much Homeowners Insurance Do I Need?

This is a complicated question, but it’s important to ask it if you’re shopping for home insurance. It’s critical for a few reasons. First, how much coverage you have will determine how much you pay for your policy. Second, it’ll dictate how big of a financial headache you’ll have if disaster strikes. The time to find out how much homeowners insurance you need is before a major incident, not after.

Just how much homeowners insurance coverage do you need? The answer is, it depends. When you’re thinking about how much dwelling coverage you’ll need, start by figuring out how much it will cost to rebuild your home. This will help you determine the coverage and limits you need. Keep in mind that this number will likely be different from the original purchase price, or even the current market value. A lot of factors go into determining how much coverage you’ll need. Here are a few of them:

  • The style of your home. Is it ranch or colonial, for example?
  • Your home’s exterior. Is it brick, stucco, stone, or veneer?
  • The number of rooms. More rooms likely equals a higher premium.
  • The roof type. Do you have wooden shingles?
  • Additional structures including garages, sheds, and decks. You’ll want to insure more than just your actual home.
  • Improvements and renovations. These could add to the amount of coverage you may need.
  • Belongings and personal property. Start thinking about more than just the roof over your head.

What Does Homeowners Insurance Cover?

Homeowners insurance coverage covers about five different areas, with more nuanced coverages also available. Dwelling, personal property, and liability are usually the most standard coverages included in a policy. The others can be added if you want the most comprehensive coverage. The typical coverages you’ll see are the following:

  • Dwelling Coverage (or Hazard Coverage)
  • Other Structures Coverage
  • Personal Property Coverage
  • Liability Coverage
  • Additional Living Expense Coverage (or Loss of Use Coverage)

Could You Explain Each Type of Coverage?

There are a lot of different elements to a comprehensive homeowners insurance policy. Let’s break the different coverages down so they’re easier to understand.

Dwelling Coverage (or Hazard Coverage)

Dwelling coverage is used to rebuild your house should it be damaged by things like a fire, windstorm, or vandalism. Generally, dwelling coverage covers your home and also anything attached to it (like a garage or deck). You may be wondering “how much dwelling coverage do I need?” It depends on the price of rebuilding your home.

Other Structures Coverage

Other structures coverage is for other structures that are on your property but separated from your home. A shed or a detached garage might fall into this category.

Personal Property Coverage

This type of coverage helps you if your personal belongings are damaged or destroyed by a covered loss. In order to make filing a claim easier, it’s important to take a look at what you own and keep track of how much you paid for it. Take an inventory using pictures, and be sure to note how much each item costs.

Personal property coverage could be handled in one of two ways. You can either have an actual cash value policy where the insurance company pays the cost to repair the item minus depreciation. Or, you could have a replacement cost policy. This type covers the dollar amount it would take to replace the item at the time of the claim. Keep in mind that there are limits to the coverage, so if you have expensive items like jewelry or collectibles, you might need to look into a plan with higher limits.

Liability Coverage

This coverage can help pay for repairs if you damage someone else’s property. It can help pay medical bills for someone who is injured in your home. Even if you are responsible for another’s injuries at a different location, it can sometimes help. For instance, if your dog runs into the neighbor’s yard and bites or injures them, your liability coverage might pay for your neighbor’s medical bills.

Additional Living Expense Coverage (or Loss of Use Coverage)

This helps pay for the cost of rent, hotel, food or other living expenses. It’s a type of coverage that’s helpful if your home is so damaged that you cannot live in it for a time.

What Does Homeowners Insurance Not Cover?

Homeowners insurance does not cover damage from things like floods and earthquakes. Generally, it’s also not helpful in the event of sewer backups or broken down appliances within your home. You’ll need separate insurance for earthquakes or floods, and you might need a home warranty if you want coverage on your appliances.

How Much Does Home Insurance Cost?

The cost of home insurance varies by insurance company, state, and even city. Zillow says that a ballpark number is around $35 a month for every $100,000 of your home’s value. While that’s a rough estimate, keep in mind that it can fluctuate dramatically from there. It’s best to talk to an insurance agent to get the most accurate information for your specific home.

What Should I Consider When Buying Home Insurance?

There are a number of considerations when buying a home insurance policy. The main things you’ll want to think about are your coverage limits, deductibles, and premium.

  • Your coverage limit is the maximum amount your homeowners insurance will pay toward a covered loss. Be sure you have sufficient coverage to cover the cost to rebuild your home.
  • Your deductible is how much you’ll pay out of pocket before the insurance kicks in and pays the rest. Make sure you can afford your deductible.
  • The premium is the amount you pay for an insurance policy. The higher your premium, the lower your deductible, and vice versa.

Above all, remember that no two policies are exactly alike. As such, you should work closely with an insurance to craft the best policy for your specific home and needs.

How Can I Get More Protection Beyond a Home Insurance Policy?

Not everything is covered with a homeowners insurance. For instance, if your dishwasher or water heater breaks down, you can’t rely on your typical home insurance policy to help there. This is where a home warranty comes in. A home warranty covers many of the systems and appliances in your home and acts as additional coverage.

We recommend adding a home warranty plan to your homeowners insurance policy to get the most comprehensive coverage. There’s no dollar sign on peace of mind, so a little extra investment is a great idea. Request a home warranty quote today!


What Does a Home Warranty Cover When Buying a House?

What Does a Home Warranty Cover When Buying a House?

It’s not uncommon to have questions about a home warranty, particularly if you are buying a home. While comprehensive homeowners insurance is clearly an important consideration, home warranty coverage is also something to keep in mind. If you are buying a home, the seller or real estate agent might offer you home warranty coverage as an add-on when you close. Or, you can always get your own home warranty coverage after you close. But what does a home warranty cover when buying a house? That’s a great question and an important one to ask. Let’s answer it.

What Exactly Does a Home Warranty Cover When Buying a House?

What is a home warranty? Home warranty coverage, also called a homeowners warranty, is an insurance of sorts that covers systems in your home, like appliances, plumbing, ductwork, and more. Many home warranty plans cover central heating and air conditioning, washer and dryer, and even roof leaks.

How Does a Home Warranty Plan Work When Buying a House?

If you’re buying a house, there are a few different ways you might get a home warranty. As mentioned, in some cases, the real estate agent or seller will give you a home warranty along with the purchased home. Other times, you will need to sign up for your own home warranty plan. With a home warranty plan, if anything breaks, the home warranty company will usually fix or replace the item free of charge. At times, you might be charged just a small service fee for having a repair person come to your home.

What are the Benefits of a Home Warranty for a Home Buyer?

When you buy a home, there are a lot of things to worry about. You’re surely thinking about location, layout, and price. But have you thought about the appliances and systems within the home? Some homes come with a washer, dryer, dishwasher, and fridge. Most have central heating and air. Have you ever stopped to consider how old these systems and items might be? What would you do if they broke down? In order to protect yourself as a buyer, it’s smart to have a home warranty. Here are some of the benefits:

  • Peace of mind
  • Protection against costly repairs
  • Coverage of items not covered with typical homeowners insurance

Do Home Warranties Cover Pre-existing Conditions?

No. Home warranties do not usually cover pre-existing conditions. What is a pre-existing condition? Let’s say your air conditioner breaks before you have a home warranty. In this case, that air conditioner would be considered under the pre-existing condition of your appliances. In other words, you can not expect to simply purchase a home warranty plan and have your air conditioner fixed under that plan if it breaks before you have the plan in place.

What Should I Know as a Buyer About Home Warranty Plans?

Know that a home warranty plan can really save you from unexpected expenses. Be sure to ask the seller if they will include a home warranty in the purchase of the home. If not, it’s still smart to purchase your own plan to make certain that you’ll be protected should any unexpected breakages occur. Home warranties really bring peace of mind, and that’s critical when you’re buying a home. Get a home warranty on your side and you’ll be comfortable in your new home for years to come!

Who Pays for a Home Warranty: Buyer or Seller?

Who Pays for a Home Warranty: Buyer or Seller?

A home warranty can be a wonderful thing. It can also be a confusing one. What is a home warranty? What does a home warranty cover? How does a home warranty work? And most importantly, who pays for a home warranty, buyer or seller? There are a lot of questions to answer, and understanding who pays for a home warranty isn’t always crystal clear.

As a home buyer or seller, it’s nice to know how home warranties work and which party generally pays for the home warranty. While there isn’t necessarily one right answer, there are some common practices when it comes to paying for a home warranty.

Who Pays for a Home Warranty?

Sometimes a home warranty is involved when you buy a home. When a home is purchased, who pays for the home warranty: buyer or seller? Often, a home warranty is purchased by the seller and transferred to the buyer. The reasoning is that the seller does not want to be called on if something breaks down. If you buy a home through a real estate agent, they might throw in a home warranty plan as an added perk when you close.

What If You Purchase a Home Without a Home Warranty?

You can purchase a home without a home warranty. Just know that if something goes wrong with appliances or systems, you might be paying for it out of pocket. If the seller doesn’t offer a home warranty along with the purchase of the home, don’t worry. As a buyer you can always contact a home warranty company on your own and purchase a plan. Talk to them about your specific needs and they’ll find the best plan for you. At HSC Warranty, we’re happy to help with this.

Should You Purchase a Home Warranty as a Seller?

If you’re selling your home on your own without a real estate agent, it might be beneficial to purchase a home warranty. Why? Because it gives buyers more peace of mind when they are considering buying your house. Including a home warranty with the purchase of your home will act as an additional selling point. It could give potential buyers added confidence to purchase and could really help eliminate any hesitation they might feel.

Should You Purchase a Home Warranty As a Buyer?

If a home warranty isn’t included in the purchase of your new home, you might still consider getting a home warranty plan yourself. It doesn’t hurt to ask the seller if they can include a home warranty when they sell you the home. If they don’t, it may still be in your best interest to purchase your own plan and shield yourself from expensive repairs.

Should You Purchase a Home Warranty as a Real Estate Agent?

Having a home warranty plan for a home you’re selling as a real estate agent is a good idea. Often, buyers worry about potential repairs and maintenance that will pop up down the road. If you can provide them some reassurance with a reliable home warranty plan, it’ll help you better serve them as your clients.

How Should You Proceed?

Who pays for a home warranty? Buyer? Seller? Agent? It depends. But whether you’re selling your home “for sale by owner,” you’re a real estate agent, or you’ve recently purchased a home, you should be thinking about a home warranty. Home warranties for rentals are also available. And remember that it’s also important to renew your home warranty and have a regular inspection of your home systems to make sure they’re running well. If you want to get started with a home warranty, feel free to contact us or request a free quote.

‘How Much Does a Home Warranty Cost?’ and Other Common Questions

‘How Much Does a Home Warranty Cost?’ and Other Common Questions

Home warranties can be confusing at times. What exactly is a home warranty? How much does a home warranty cost? How is it different from homeowners insurance? What’s covered under a home warranty? How do you go about utilizing your home warranty? There are several questions that often circulate about home warranty plans. We’re here to provide some clarity and help you better understand the ins and outs so you can decide if a home warranty is right for you. Next, we’ll walk you through how to go about picking the best home warranty for your needs, so you can shield yourself against costly repairs.

How Much Does a Home Warranty Cost?

First and foremost, you’re probably interested to know just how much you’ll spend on a home warranty. The answer isn’t always as cut and dried as you might hope. The cost of a home warranty can vary depending on a number of factors including the number of items you want covered, the plan you choose, and how comprehensive you want your coverage to be.

Also, home warranty costs will differ from one company to the next. Like with any business, you usually get what you pay for, so the cheapest option might not be the best for your needs. Be sure to do your research and find a reliable and honest home warranty company. Wondering how much it costs to get a home warranty from HSC? Give us some basic information and we’ll give you a free quote. Or you can always call us at (800) 601-1009.

What Is the Difference Between a Home Warranty and Homeowners Insurance?

A home warranty covers certain systems and appliances in your home. Homeowners insurance protects your home, while a home warranty protects the systems and appliances that keep your home running. For instance, while your insurance might cover damages to the structure of your home, a home warranty may cover your heating system and refrigerator. Home warranties might cover anything from plumbing and electrical systems to your oven, dishwasher, and dryer. Sometimes real estate agents purchase home warranty plans as an added perk for those who buy homes from them.

What Is Covered Under a Home Warranty?

Home warranty coverage can vary depending on the plan you select. Standard coverage at HSC includes air conditioning systems, heating systems, plumbing systems, water leaks, water heaters, electrical systems, ceiling fans, central vacuums, the garbage disposal, and the garage door opener. You can also add on additional appliance coverage and coverage for a pool, a well pump, and much more. Depending on the home warranty company, you may be able to customize a home warranty plan to your specific needs.

How Do You Use Your Home Warranty?


To use your home warranty, you simply need to call the home warranty company and notify them of an issue with your covered system or appliance. They will usually send out a trained professional to repair or replace the covered item. At HSC Warranty, we will repair or replace your product so long as it is covered under the plan you select and you meet the deductible.

Is a Home Warranty Worth It?

Yes. If you want to avoid the untimely and costly repairs that pop up when owning a home, a home warranty is your best friend. For a reasonable yearly cost, you can get great coverage on many of your home’s appliances and systems. That way, if something breaks down (as it does in the average American home), you can have the peace of mind that it’ll be fixed without the need for astronomical repair bills.

How Do You Uncover the Best Home Warranty Plans?

Take some time to determine the most valuable systems and appliances in your home. Decide on the coverage you need. Search for home warranty plans that offer sufficient coverage. Beyond just coverage, you’ll want to look for a home warranty company that provides timely and professional service. You want a company that will put you first as the customer and be reliable and transparent.

What Should You Do Next?

If  you’d like the peace of mind that comes from a home warranty plan, simply reach out to us. We’re happy to talk about your unique needs and find a plan that will fit them perfectly. Call us at (800) 601-1009, or get a free quote. A home warranty tailored to you could be right around the corner, so get started!

Toilet Leaking at Base: DIY Solutions

Toilet Leaking at Base: DIY Solutions

Most often when a toilet is leaking from its base, it’s in need of a new wax seal. Or, it could be as simple as tightening some tee bolts. Luckily, most of the repairs needed for a toilet leaking from the bottom are simple enough to handle yourself. You probably won’t even need to call a plumber.

Check Leak Source

First of all, check to see exactly where your toilet is leaking from. Below we discuss causes and solutions to a toilet leaking from bottom. Sometimes you might assume that the toilet is leaking from the base because there is water pooled on the floor by the toilet. However, that water might have leaked from higher up on the toilet and created a pool on the floor. Clean up the water and then periodically check on the toilet over the next half hour to see where the leak is coming from. Other possible leaks could come from a cracked tank, loose supply tube, or a malfunctioning shutoff valve.

Stop Using the Toilet

You’ll want to stop using the toilet right away. Usually, water leaking from the base of the toilet is dirty water that’s been in the toilet bowl. If you keep using the toilet, you’ll keep distributing this kind of water over the floor of your bathroom. You probably want to avoid that.

Tighten the Tee Bolts

Try to gently rock your toilet and see if it is a little loose. If there’s wiggle room between your toilet and the floor, the tee bolts might be the issue. The bolts are typically hidden beneath a cap. They secure the base of the toilet to the floor. If the tee bolts loosen, water could leak out. If the toilet isn’t loose, don’t tighten the bolts more. The base of the toilet could crack if you tighten them too much. If the bolts just rotate without tightening or if they won’t budge at all, you’ll need to replace them altogether.

Replace the Wax Ring

Your toilet might still leak even when the closet bolts are secure. If this is the case, you may need to replace your wax seal, also called a wax ring or gasket. This article on replacing a toilet gives an in-depth explanation about replacing the wax ring. Be prepared for a half-day project if you think your toilet needs a new wax ring. In order to replace the ring, you’ll need to remove your toilet from the floor and reinstall it. However, you don’t need to be a plumber to handle this project. Once you’ve purchased a new wax ring, follow these basic steps:

Remove Your Toilet

  1. Turn off the water supply to your toilet.
  2. Get rid of the water in the toilet’s tank and bowl.
    Flushing the toilet while the water supply is off will get rid of most of the water. You can mop the rest of the water out with a rag or a sponge.
  3. Disconnect the tank from the bowl.
    You’ll need to remove all of the bolts connecting the tank to the bowl and rock the bowl to break the seal. Then, you can pick up the tank and carry it off the bowl. You may need a second person to help carry the tank because of its weight.
  4. Remove the bowl from the floor.
    Unscrew the tee bolts at the base. Then, lift the toilet off the ground. Again, you may want a second person to help lift the toilet.
  5. Remove the current wax ring.
    Pull off any of the wax ring off the toilet base and the closet flange in your floor.

Install Wax Ring and Replace Toilet

  1. Check and fix toilet flange.
    The closet flange is the installment placed in your bathroom floor. You’ll want to replace or repair it, if it’s broken, cracked, or warped.
  2. Place wax ring.
    Run the wax ring under warm water. Then, press it onto the base of the toilet.
  3. Place the toilet bowl back on closet flange.
    Lift the toilet on to the closet flange and press down to secure the wax ring. Secure the bowl to the floor with the tee bolts.
  4. Replace the tank.
    Place the tank on the bowl and secure it with its bolts.
  5. Turn on the water supply.
  6. Check and fix toilet leaks.
    Flush the toilet a few times and check for any leaks. If there are any leaks at the base, try applying more pressure to the toilet bowl to try and tighten the wax seal. You can also tighten the tee bolts on the base of the toilet.

To Caulk or Not To Caulk?

Caulking around the base of your toilet has the potential to prevent you from noticing a leaking toilet tank. If there was a leak and the base was caulked, you could develop water and structural damage below your toilet. However, some cities or buildings try to avoid bacteria from growing by requiring toilets to be caulked. If you aren’t required to caulk around the base of the toilet, you should leave it as it is.

By following the instructions we’ve given, hopefully you can fix your toilet that is leaking at the base. Always be sure to contact a professional if you are having difficulty. Or consider a home warranty that covers pipes and plumbing.

Why Does My GFCI Keep Tripping?

Why Does My GFCI Keep Tripping?

You may have noticed that some of the outlets in your kitchen, bathroom or garage look different from the other outlets in your house. These outlets are shaped differently and have two small buttons in the center. Those special outlets are called ground-fault circuit interrupter or GFCI outlets. They are also known as GFI or ground-fault interrupter outlets. In this article, we’ll explain exactly what a GFCI is and how it works. Finally, we’ll examine some of the problems that might be causing your GFCI to shut off or “trip.”

Please know that for your safety, it’s best to call a professional when dealing with electrical issues. We do not advise doing these repairs yourself without understanding the risks.

What is a GFCI Outlet?

A GFCI outlet is wired directly into your home’s electrical circuits and is designed to monitor the current flowing through the circuit. Any interruption or surge that alters the current (such as dropping a hair dryer in water or plugging too many appliances into one circuit) will cause the GFCI to shut off or “trip.” By shutting off the electrical current, the GFCI protects you from electrical shocks and prevents fires caused by overheated circuits. Most states require the installation of GFCIs in areas near water sources, such as kitchens and bathrooms, as well as in all outdoor receptacles.

What Causes a GFCI Outlet to Trip?

Typically, the GFCI outlets in your home are wired in such a way that only a major electrical problem will cause them to trip. However, there are a few instances in which a GFCI will keep tripping regardless of what is plugged into it. If this is happening, that means there is an underlying problem that needs to be addressed immediately. A GFCI that is continually tripping is not working properly and exposes you and your home to the risk of electrical shock or fire from an overloaded circuit.

How Does a GFCI Outlet Work?

When an electrical current escapes or “leaks” out of its proper path, it is called a ground fault or leakage current. A GFCI outlet is designed to trip about one tenth of a second after it detects even a tiny amount of leaking current. Because the circuit that is being protected by the GFCI can span multiple rooms and have multiple appliances running on the same circuit, it can be difficult to determine the cause of a tripped GFCI, especially when nothing is plugged into it or it seems to trip at random times. These “ghost trips” are most often caused by:

  • A ground fault somewhere in the circuit.
  • Moisture invading the receptacle box.
  • A faulty GFCI outlet.

The next section will explain each of these causes in more detail and show you how to fix the problem.

Fixing a Ground Fault in the Circuit

If you’ve reset a tripped GFCI but it keeps tripping when you plug appliances back in, then there is a ground fault or leakage current somewhere in the circuit. Until the ground fault is fixed, the GFCI will continue to trip.


To determine where the current is leaking:

1. Unplug all the appliances that are on that outlet’s circuit.

2. Push the reset button on the GFCI.

3. Plug in one appliance at a time until the GFCI trips. The last appliance you plug in/turn on is likely the source of the leakage or all of your appliances in combination are overloading the circuit. You can double check this by unplugging all the appliances that were on before the GFCI tripped, except for the last one you plugged in. If the GFCI still trips, you’ve found the source of the ground fault.

4. Replace or repair the faulty appliance.

Fixing Moisture Inside the Receptacle Box

If the problem GFCI is an outdoor receptacle or an indoor outlet that was exposed to water in some way, moisture inside the receptacle box could be causing the GFCI to trip. A wet GFCI will trip regardless of what is plugged into it and may continue to trip even if there is no visible moisture inside the box. Trapped moisture inside the box will cause the GFCI to trip until it dries up.

What to Do if There’s Moisture Inside the Receptacle Box:

1. Reset the GFCI outlet. You may have to wait several hours for the moisture inside the receptacle to dry. Removing the cover and using a hair dryer set on low to blow warm air into the box can help speed up this process.

2. Once you’ve reset the GFCI outlet, make sure you have a protective receptacle covering as required by the National Electric Code. When choosing a protective covering, make sure that the label lists the following:

  • Weatherproof
  • While-in-use
  • Extra duty

Note: Always make sure your weatherproof covering is closed over outdoor receptacles whether there are appliances plugged in or not.

Faulty GFCI Outlet

If you have a GFCI that won’t reset even if nothing is plugged into the circuit, you either have an issue with another outlet on that circuit or a faulty GFCI. Since a single circuit can span multiple rooms, there are likely multiple outlets wired into it and a problem in any one of them can cause the GFCI to trip. The other possible explanation is that the GFCI itself is faulty. A GFCI uses sensitive circuitry to detect ground faults and over time, this circuitry can become worn out. In this situation, the only solution is to replace the GFCI.

Both of these issues are major electrical repairs and you should call an electrician if you suspect that either of these is the source of your GFCI problems.

Every year, hundreds of Americans die from electrical shocks. In a typical 120 volt outlet, 2 seconds of exposure to a ground fault or electrical surge is enough to kill an adult. GFCIs are specifically designed to protect you and your family from the devastating effects of electrical shocks or fires; that is, if they are working properly. Make sure to test your GFCIs monthly and if you notice one that is not working as it should, call a professional electrician immediately.