As a state, Missouri is a nonpareil. It's considered part of the Midwest, the East, and the Southern U.S. St. Louis, the "Gateway to the West", stands guarding the eastern entrance with the gate of the Arch and the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers. Kansas City sits ready on the western side, as the last filter before crossing into the Plains. Down south to Springfield and the Ozarks, residents feel more like a part of Dixie. No matter what you consider yourself, as a Missourian the one commonality you have is the need for house insurance. Why else would you be here? Sure, everyone's needs are a little different, but knowing some insurance basics and knowing how to save money will give you a strong foundation while shopping for Missouri house insurance rates. Let's get started.
Who Are You as A Missourian?
The majority of Missourians, according to the 2006-2008 American Community Survey, live in a house that's
- $50,000 to $199,999 in value
- 2 to 3 bedrooms
- 10 to 50-years-old
- With a $700 to $1,500 mortgage payment
Additionally, the average Missouri house insurance rates as calculated by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners in 2007 was $726.
So where do you fall into the equation? How many square feet is your house? Are you in a condo? Is it rural, urban, or suburban? These are the basics to get you thinking about your insurance situation.
Missouri House Insurance Components
The largest component of a policy is the coverage for the Dwelling. This is what it would cost to replace your house if destroyed by some peril like fire. It's not, however, the market value. And it's not the tax assessed value. It's the construction rebuild cost in today's dollars, usually expressed as a cost per square foot for your area. It does not include the foundation and land.
The second component is the coverage for Personal Property which is typically 50% of the value of the dwelling. This is followed by Personal Liability which protects you from law suits and damages if someone is injured on your property. So if you have kids and their friends play at your house, consider a higher amount of coverage.
Medical Payment to others is another component that, as the name implies, covers reasonable medical costs to those injured on your property. Finally, there's Additional Living Expenses which pays for alternate living arrangements should your house become unlivable due some named peril in your policy. This coverage is typically 20% of your dwelling coverage.
Missouri House Insurance: A Few Important Things to Know
Know the difference between Replacement Cost and Actual Cash Value (ACV). Replacement cost coverage repairs, replaces or rebuilds to the original condition using like materials. ACV pays for the replacement value of property less depreciation—wear, tear and age. This can greatly affect the value of coverage.
Flood insurance is always a separate policy from a standard policy. Ask an agent if you're in a high risk area.
Earthquake insurance is usually not included but can be added as an endorsement.
Lowering Your Missouri House Insurance Rates
Missouri has a Department of Insurance which can help ensure that you have the appropriate coverage for your home and provide you with useful information when selecting a homeowners insurance policy.
Let's look at some ways you can save on your insurance. First, insurance companies offer a variety of discounts. Here are a few you should know about: safety features like dead-bolt locks, fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, sprinkler systems, burglar/fire alarms, new plumbing/wiring; multi-line (auto, house, etc.) with the same company; senior (55+); non-smoker; pay in advance vs. monthly/bi-monthly; payroll deduct payments; military. The best way to save is to simply comparison shop for Missouri house insurance rates with LocalInsurance. LocalInsurance will sift the web looking for the best rates from agents in your area. It's free, easy and takes just minutes.