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What home insurance means to me now that I’m a new homeowner

For as long as I can remember, I’ve dreamed of being a homeowner before I turned 30. My husband and I started looking to buy two years before that, but after a few busy months of searching, we realized it wasn’t the right time for us.

After taking a few years off to continue to save up and rent in the meantime, we started looking again this past summer and finally bought our first place just a few months after I turned the big 3-0.

At first, buying a home just meant having more room and being able to paint the walls whatever color we wanted. We knew purchasing a property was also a big long-term investment for us, but that didn’t really register until we moved in.

Almost as soon as we unpacked, it finally started to sink in. This wasn’t just a house we now owned; this was our home, which we needed to take care of and protect.

So, what’s the best way to protect your home? It’s simple, home insurance.

I don’t know why all of those home shows on TV put all the focus on square footage and granite countertops, because what’s really important when buying a home is getting the right insurance policy. Sure, maybe that’s not as exciting as seeing a couple choose house #3 with the double garage over house #1 with the big backyard, but there’s no denying it’ll have a bigger impact on those new homeowners’ lives!

When my husband and I bought our place, we honestly didn’t know anything about home insurance. We’d been renting for the past 6 years, so we only had a thorough understanding of how rental insurance worked. We soon learned that home insurance is a completely different beast.

For instance, we had no idea that a standard home insurance policy didn’t include coverage for floods, windstorms or earthquakes. If you want to be protected from those types of natural disasters (and why wouldn’t you?), you have to add that on. Another thing we didn’t know was that coverage for theft in your car isn’t automatically included. Even if your car is on your property, you still need to add on a Theft Coverage Protection Endorsement to be covered if someone breaks in and steals any valuables you have in there.

As cool as it is to be part of the exclusive homeowner club, the fact is that the stakes are a lot higher compared to renting. Like I said before, we realized pretty quickly that we didn’t just buy a house — we bought a home. And that’s a big responsibility. My husband and I plunked down a sizable amount of cash to buy our place, so we want to make sure we’re the best homeowners we can be.

Luckily, I know we’re well on our way by having the right home insurance policy in case something happens, and that honestly does help us sleep better at night. Now we just have to agree on painting the living room Periwinkle Blue or Morning Jewel.