Maryland Homeowners Insurance Information
Whether you own a house, condominium or townhouse, for most
people their home is their most important investment. Brown
Insurance Group offers Maryland homeowners insurance policies
that have flexibility to meet your individual needs and above all,
provide you with the security that comes only from the
knowledge that your home is safe.
Insurance for your home is one of the most popular
and important forms of personal insurance and the
typical Maryland Homeowners Insurance policy has
two main sections:
Section I - insurance coverage for your property
Section II - personal liability coverage (to cover you in
case of lawsuits arising from things that happen on
your property)
Homeowners insurance is often required by lenders
to obtain a mortgage and nearly everyone, whether
you own or lease property, should have the protection
of homeowners insurance.
Click on the link below to fill out a quote request form for a Maryland
Homeowners Insurance policy that will provide excellent insurance
coverage at an affordable cost. Or you can speak with our Maryland
Homeowners Insurance agent specialist at 301-933-5500 to discuss
the insurance policy features in more detail.
We are a Silver Spring, MD full-service insurance agency offering affordable Maryland
homeowners insurance policy premiums to individuals and families located in the following
cities and counties: Wheaton, Bethesda, Aspen Hill, White Oak, Takoma Park,
Randolph Hills, Veirs Mill, Kensington, Kemp Mill Estates, Rock Creek Forest, Chevy Chase,
Woodmont, Garrett Park, Oakmont, Calverton, Fairland, Springbrook, Glenmont, Foxhall,
Layhill, Colesville, Meadowood, Rockville, Laurel, Gaithersburg, Good Hope, College Park,
Greenbelt, Montpelier, Adelphi, Langley Park, Berwyn Heights, Knollwood, Beltsville,
Maryland City, Riverdale, Hyattsville, Chillum, Lewisdale, University Park, New Carrollton,
Landover Hills, Bladensburg, Cheverly, Kent Village, Somerset, Chevy Chase View, Glen Mar
Park, Westgate, Brookmont, Luxmanor, Montrose, Potomac, Glen Hills, Derwood,
Washington Grove, North Potomac, Redland, Olney, Sandy Spring, Norwood Corner, Ashton,
Ednor, Spencerville, Burtonsville, Good Hope, Fulton, Savage, Bowie, Crofton, Kettering,
Forestville, District Heights, Capitol Heights, Columbia, Annapolis, Germantown, Brinklow,
Brookeville, Highland, Simpsonville, Brighton, Clarksville, Laytonsville, Damascus, Dayton,
Unity, Glenelg, West Friendship, Seneca, Dawsonville, Poolesville, Towson, Baltimore,
Montgomery County, District of Columbia, Prince Georges County, Howard County, Anne
Arundel County, and Baltimore County, MD. We also offer homeowners insurance services
throughout the state of Maryland and northern Virginia, including in Arlington, Alexandria,
McLean, Falls Church, Annandale, Reston, Fairfax, Vienna, Herndon, Sterling, Leesburg, and
Manassas, VA.
Maryland Homeowners Insurance Policy FAQ
If your policy limit is less than 80% of the replacement cost of your home, you
will face a "coinsurance penalty," which means you'll have out-of-pocket
expenses to cover costs beyond the policy deductible you chose. For example
purposes we will assume your home's estimated replacement value (RCV) is
$100,000. The co-insurance clause requires you carry at least $80,000 (80% of
your RCV). If you chose to purchase only a $40,000 Maryland Homeowners
Insurance policy you would be underinsured by half. Therefore, in the example
the insurance company would pay one-half of a loss less the policy deductible,
so if you suffered a $10,000 covered loss to your house, condominium or
townhouse and had a $500 deductible, your policy would only pay $4,500.
Maryland Homeowners Insurance Policy FAQ
Personal liability in a Maryland homeowners insurance policy is also an important
part of having security from accidents that may occur on your property. We suggest
you choose coverage limits that are not less than those on other liability insurance
you own, such as car insurance.
Click on the link below to fill out a quote request form for a Maryland Homeowners
Insurance policy that will provide excellent insurance coverage at an affordable cost.
Or speak with our Maryland Homeowners Insurance agent specialist at 301-933-5500
to discuss the insurance policy features in more detail.
**The information, pictures, and other content in this website about particular insurance
services is only provided for informational purposes. Any decisions regarding your insurance
needs should be discussed with a licensed insurance agent.
Covered losses under a Maryland homeowners insurance policy can be paid on
either a replacement cost basis or on an actual cash value basis. When "actual
cash value" is used, the policy owner is entitled to the depreciated value of the
damaged property. Therefore, the older the item is, the less money you may
receive for it. If you choose the "replacement cost" coverage, the Maryland
homeowners insurance policy will reinburse the amount it costs to replace the
property with something of a similar type and quality at current prices.
Replacement Cost or Actual Cash Value
Maryland Homeowners Insurance Policy FAQ
An "All Risks" policy provides the broadest Maryland homeowners insurance protection
because it will cover losses that are due to any peril except those specifically excluded
in the policy. A "Named Perils" policy covers losses that are due to only those perils
listed in the standard Maryland Homeowners Insurance policy and typically include fire,
hail, windstorm, and other physical losses.
All Risks or Named Perils
Maryland Homeowners Insurance Policy FAQ
Coinsurance Penalty
Personal Liability
Maryland Homeowners Insurance Policy FAQ
Homeowners Insurance
Personal Insurance
Brown Insurance Group
12118 Heritage Park Circle
Silver Spring, Maryland 20906
Montgomery County, MD
(301) 933-5500
Fax: (301) 933-6955

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Brown Insurance Group of Silver Spring, Maryland
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DELIVERING EXCELLENCE WITH A DIFFERENCE
Covered losses under a Maryland homeowners insurance policy can be paid on either
a replacement cost basis or on an actual cash value basis. When "actual cash
value" is used, the policy owner is entitled to the depreciated value of the damaged
property. Therefore, the older the item is, the less money you may receive for it. If
you choose the "replacement cost" coverage, the Maryland homeowners insurance
policy will reinburse the amount it costs to replace the property with something of a
similar type and quality at current prices.
What is my home worth? Market value versus reconstruction costs
Many homeowners equate the "worth" of a home to its market value, especially if
the home was a recent purchase. While market value is a valid calculation of a
home's worth for buying and selling, it has little to do with the cost of rebuilding. The
estimate you are providing is the amount to reconstruct the home at today's costs.
Why is reconstruction cost more expensive than new construction?
Rebuilding a home includes many factors and expenses not considered in new
construction.
Economies of scale:
It costs more for a contractor to build one home at a time because materials are not
purchased in bulk. A single household item that matches the one that's been
destroyed will nearly always cost more than if it had been part of a larger purchase.
Top-down versus bottom-up:
Repair work for a partially destroyed home is done from the top of the home down.
This is more time consuming and labor-intensive.
Demolition and debris removal:
This step is necessary before reconstruction can begin and adds to the total cost.
Use of labor:
When a builder constructs many homes at once, they can efficiently schedule labor
for carpenters, plumbers, electricians and other workers. For a single rebuild, labor
is not as efficient and contributes to higher costs.
Access to worksite:
Worksite access is easier for brand new construction. For reconstruction,
obstacles such as neighboring homes, trees, lawns, fences and other landscaping
prevent easy site access. This makes it difficult to transport materials and can drive
up labor costs.
Home Replacement Cost Estimate Explained
Building code changes:
Changes to building codes may require costly updating, even for undamaged parts
of a home. This could include updating wiring or other utilities and is costly,
especially for older homes.
Natural disasters:
After a natural disaster, the costs of building materials and labor rise because of
increased demand. Over the past 20 years, there has been a significant increase
in the frequency and severity of weather events, resulting in a high number of
losses that require repairs.
Proper insurance to value is one of the most important considerations in insuring
property. In an effort to assure your home is insured properly we review the
estimated replacement cost of your home on an annual basis.
The program calculates the minimum estimated replacement cost based on:
* Local Labor* Local Material Costs
* Square Footage of Dwelling* Construction Type
* Heating & AC Systems* Additional Features/Enhancements
* Potential Debris Removal* Foundation Excavation & Replacement
* Architect Fees* Structural Engineering Fees
To rebuild a substantially damaged home is much more expensive than to build
new because debris must be removed before repairs can be made. Where as
in new construction there is no debris removal to consider. The cost to remove
debris is considered in the estimated replacement cost estimate because it is
covered under the dwelling limit on your Maryland homeowner's insurance policy.
Protecting undamaged parts of the home and contents:
Keeping a partially destroyed home from further damage until permanent repairs
can be made adds to the overall cost. This could involve covering a damaged roof
or holes in walls.
Specialized labor is more costly:
Reconstruction is often completed by contractors who specialize in rebuilding as
opposed to new construction contractors. Their specialized labor tends to be more
expensive.
Replicating old construction methods and materials:
A standard homeowners policy provides for replacement with like kind and quality,
which means replicating a home as it stands today. In older homes, interior walls
are often made of plaster instead of drywall and exterior brick walls are made of
solid brick instead of modern brick veneer. Homes constructed prior to 1940 were
built with full dimensional lumber, which is larger and more costly than typical
modern lumber. Because of features and materials such as these, older homes,
especially those built prior to 1940, cost more to replace. In addition, the rising cost
of commodities contributes to higher reconstruction costs. For example, petroleum
based materials such as shingles have increased in cost dramatically.
Comparing estimated replacement cost to current local new construction costs
is not a good comparison either because new homebuilders typically are building
many homes at once, which allow economies of scale. They purchase large
quantities of materials giving them discounts and share labor on several homes,
which allow for lower labor costs per home.
Many compare the value of their home to the current market value, or what you
could sell your home for in the current real estate market. This is not an
accurate comparison because if your home is substantially damaged the
repairs will be made at current labor rates and materials costs including debris
removal. Market value is what you can purchase a used home at in the current
real estate market, which is not an indicator of cost of neither new construction
nor reconstruction.
The program does not consider the value of your land. It is considering your
dwelling only. Our agency utilizes data on your home, which we retrieve from the
county's tax appraisal database. This information provides us with your homes
square footage, type and materials of construction and features. If there are
errors in this information we will be happy to make adjustments where
necessary. If your home is new we will acquire this specific data from your or
your appraisal.
We advise you to insure to at least the minimum estimated replacement cost.
You should even consider insuring above the minimum. If your home were
substantially damaged wouldn't you like to rebuild it back to the size and quality
it was? After all your home is probably the largest investment you will make.
Over the years we have had a few clients suffer major losses whereby their
home and contents were substantially destroyed. They were happy we had
advised then through the years about insuring to proper values and were able to
recover from their losses without financial hardship.
Determining Maryland Homeowners Insurance Premium
If choices are available, a home buyer should consider each houses insurance
costs before making that final house buying decision. Factors for determining
your Maryland homeowners insurance premium include the following.

1. Condition and age of the house
2. Size of the house
3. Building construction type (brick, frame, EIFS, etc.)
4. Information on any renovations done to the original construction
5. House location and distance to closest fire station
6. Safety devices in the house (alarm systems, smoke detectors, sprinklers, etc.)
7. Whether house used full-time or part-time, such as a vacation home or
seasonally rented to others
8. Flood and other natural disaster risks for house and area (flood, hurricane,
earthquake, etc.)
9. Amounts of deductible and coverage limits and benefits chosen
10. Personal credit history of the homeowner(s)
11. Insurance score
12. Age of the roof
* Condition and age of the building *
Not surprisingly, older homes cost more to insure. They tend to cost more to
repair and more prone to damages. A new home will have new heating and
cooling systems, and newer electrical wiring. Keeping your older home well
maintained will save you money in insuring it.

* House Size *
Insurance companies may charge more based on a homes square footage.
Also not surprisingly, the larger the house, typically the cost to insure it
increases. More risk to the insurance company must be passed on to you.

* Building construction type *
The more fire resistant materials your home is built with the better for receiving
lower homeowners insurance premium costs. Concrete, stone, and brick are
safest, while frame houses built from wood are more prone to larger fire
damage. Some less expensive exterior insulation finishing systems (EIFS) can
be lacking in fire resistance to the point that insurance could be denied. Know
the possible consequences of what you are buying.
* Information on any renovations done to the original construction *
Renovations usually increase your homes value and cost to insure. All
renovations need to be shared with the insurance agent for determining your
homeowners insurance premium.

* House location and distance to closest fire station *
Theft and other crime rate statistics for your area will be weighed in determining
homeowners insurance policy premium. The farther your house is located from
a fire station or police station, the higher your homeowners insurance premium.
Both important things to consider if you have home buying options.

* Safety devices in the house (alarm systems, smoke detectors, sprinklers,
etc.) *
House alarm systems, smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, and
sprinklers will reduce the cost to insure it. Better safety is good for you, your
family, and ultimately your wallet.
* Whether house used full-time or part-time, such as a vacation home or
seasonally rented *
An often empty house, such as a vacation home or one rented seasonally to
others, is more prone to burglary and therefore costs more to insure than a
primary dwelling.

* Flood and other natural disaster risks for house and area *
If your area is more likely to experience tropical storms and hurricanes, your
homeowners insurance costs will be higher. High damage possibility from such
weather, as well as a house in a flood prone area, will always increase an
insurance company's risks and they must pass on the cost to the home owner.

* Amounts of deductible and coverage limits and benefits chosen *
You know the drill: accept a higher deductible and reduce your premium.
Always be sufficiently insured though to cover the cost to rebuild.
Reduce Problems Encountered Insuring Your Home

Removing some easy insurance risks will make your home more readily
insurable and could also reduce your premium. Take a step back and study
your homes exterior for cracks in the sidewalks or driveway, loose porch or
patio railings, and any heavy looking tree limbs hanging over your roof. Simple
and inexpensive safety precautions such as these should be a first thought for
any homeowner.

Other Exterior Home Improvements Include:
•Fix other small problems such as sagging window screens, uneven closing
doors, and rotting boards
•Have a clean looking property void of objects that could cause an accident
•Replace a damaged or badly worn roof. Water stains on a ceiling tell an agent
inspecting the inside of your home that you might have a future significant claim
•A well kept yard shows care for your property to an insurance company
•Peeling or faded paint should be repainted
Home Fire Prevention - Safety Tips

Some far too common causes of fires include inadequately discarded
cigarettes and cigars, space heaters placed too close to furniture, fireplace
sparks not sufficently blocked from exiting the fireplace area by doors or
screens. Fires of these types are more dangerous because they can
smolder for extended periods of time before being noticed by a sleeping
Maryland homeowner.

Some safety steps to prevent a fire in your home.

Make certain cigarette's, cigars, and their ashes are completely out. Don't
put still hot butts or ashes into a trash can. Soak butts and ashes in water
before throwing them away.

Put your cigareet or cigar out first before going to bed and don't smoke in
bed. Also, don't smoke if you've been drinking, overly sleepy, or drowsy
from medicines.

A home where a resident needs oxygen for medical reasons should not
include a smoker. Oxygen can be explosive and makes fire burn hotter and
faster.

Avoid placing an ashtray on a sofa or chair. Furniture can catch on fire
easily and burns fast.
The leading cause of injury from fire occur from cooking in the kitchen.
Some cooking safety steps to prevent a fire in your home include the
following.

Position barbecue grills at least 10 feet away from siding and deck railings,
and out from under eaves and overhanging branches. Also, if it's raining,
no matter how tempted, don't grill under a covered patio area.

Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you leave
the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.

Create and enforce a safe "kid-free zone" of 3 feet around the stove to best
protect your children.

Wear short, close-fitting or tightly rolled sleeves when cooking.

Do not cook if have been or currently are drinking alcohol, feel overly
sleepy, or have taken medicine that can make you drowsy.
Common Sense Maryland Homeowner Flood Preparedness

In addition to having the correct amount of flood insurance to protect your
property and home, there are some common sense building and planning
steps that could save you money.

If building in a floodplain always elevate and reinforce your home. Consult
your areas flood maps and local authorities for suggestions for how high to
build up.

High flood risk homes should have electrical panels, water heaters, and
furnaces elevated for maximum protection. You don't want to be without
these crucial comfort features after a flood or rising waters strike your home.

If you have floor drains in your home, check valves should be installed to
prevent rising water from entering them.

Even though flood insurance is relatively inexpensive, most Maryland
homeowners do not choose to purchase the insurance protection available.
According to the Federal Insurance Administration, less than 25% of the
homes in areas most vulnerable are insured against flood loss. In those
areas, flooding is 24 times more likely to occur than a fire during the course
of a 30-year mortgage.
Or