With insurance, like almost anything else these days, there is a lot of information floating around. From friends to the Internet to the occasional misinformed article, truths and not-so-truths about insurance abound. I've decided to round up a few of the most common misunderstandings and set the record straight. It's Mythbusters: Homeowners Insurance. Read on for more information.

Myth: My standard homeowners policy covers flood damage.

Fact: No. Your homeowners policy doesn't cover flood damage. If you live near a river or other body of water, or are worried about urban flooding, you should purchase a separate flood insurance policy. You can get more information about flood insurance, and the National Flood Insurance Program, at http://www.floodsmart.gov/ or call our office and we will be happy to discuss options and provide you with information.

Myth: If I file a claim, my home insurance premium will definitely go up.

Fact: Not necessarily. There are several factors that go into determining your insurance premium. Claims history is only one of those factors. Filing one claim over a few years may not impact your premiums as much as you would think, but it is still smart to consider whether or not filing a claim is in your best interest. If the damage or loss is just a small amount over your deductible (which you would have to pay regardless) it may be more advantageous to pay the repair bill yourself. Granted, it may be a little more costly upfront, but it might pay off in the long run in terms of premium savings. If you aren't sure what the best thing to do in terms of a minor claim would be, give us a call. We can talk you through the situation and see if it is a claim worth reporting. Sometimes, though, you have a streak of unfortunate luck and have to file several claims in a short amount of time. In that case, we can see what we can do to earn you discounts to offset the rising premiums (whether or not they are related to your claims history). Your best move in either case is to keep us informed of any potential claims, and come renewal time we can reassess your insurance protection plan.

Myth: My homeowners insurance covers mold or other issues related to lack of maintenance.

Fact: Not really. Homeowners insurance is meant to protect you and put your home back together, as it were. The responsibility for keeping your home well-maintained usually falls on you - the homeowner. Sometimes there can be a gray area when it comes to maintenance claims, so feel free to talk to us about the best course of action.

Myth: When determining my coverage, I should use the purchase price for my house as the dwelling coverage amount.

Fact: This is a common misconception - you should not use the purchase price for your home to determine the amount of coverage that you need! Purchase prices include the land value and the views that you may have from the property and in the event of a fire or theft, that view will still be there. Insurance is just for the structures and your belongings. You will want to calculate the replacement cost of your home and its special features.

These are just a few of the common myths that exist around Homeowners Insurance. While there are several things that you should be aware of when looking for and reviewing your policy, these are a few of the things we hear about most often. Our goal is to make sure you are protected and are informed about your insurance coverage. And, as always, let us know if you have questions - that's why you chose to work with an independent agent!