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The Basics of Homeowners Insurance

How Homeowners Insurance Policies Work, “Bargain” Homeowners Insurance, and How to Get a Quote

In order to properly insure your home and property, you must understand how your homeowners insurance policy works. Most Homeowners policies are a combination of separate coverage that work together to protect your assets.

A lack of proper understanding, paired with a catastrophe such as a fire or severe storm, may mean that your policy does not pay out the amount of money you need to recover.

To help you better understand how homeowners insurance works, we spoke with three “Master Agents” at Mississippi Farm Bureau Insurance. Master Agents have a great understanding of the technical aspects behind each insurance policy or financial product we offer.

Meet the Master Agents

Mississippi is a dynamic state, with each area being unique. In each region you’ll find distinct differences in age groups, income levels, and risk exposures (like flooding or tropical storms). As a result, different areas of Mississippi have different insurance needs. The Master Agents featured below speak about homeowners insurance related to the communities they serve.

Allen Palmer

North Mississippi
DeSoto County

Channing Parker

South Mississippi
Jones County

Tanner Wilson

Central Mississippi
Rankin County

How Homeowners Insurance Works

What Homeowners Insurance Covers

When you purchase a homeowners insurance policy from Mississippi Farm Bureau Casualty Insurance Company, we cover your dwelling and structures within 150 feet of the dwelling against losses due to fire, wind, hail, and theft. Then, you can personalize the policy by adding additional coverages that suit you. For example, you may add more coverage for personal liability and medical payments.

Some Items a Homeowners Insurance Does NOT Cover

Earthquake and Flood

A homeowners insurance policy from Mississippi Farm Bureau Casualty Insurance Co. does not cover earthquakes or floods. However, we help provide our policyholders with coverage for earthquakes and floods under separate policies.

High-Value Items

While most Homeowners policies includes some coverage for high-value items in your home like jewelry, firearms, and antiques, you may need to talk to your agent to make sure your valuables don’t exceed the basic limits. Your local Farm Bureau Agent can help cover those items by adding them as an endorsement on your homeowners insurance.

Maintenance for Home Appliances

One of the main questions we get about homeowners insurance is if the policy covers maintenance or repair on appliances like the air conditioner or the water heater unit going out. Homeowners insurance is not a maintenance policy or a home warranty.

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Allen Palmer

DeSoto County

Boats, ATVs, and Heavy Equipment

People are under the impression that insurance covers everything that’s at their house, like a boat, 4-wheeler, tractor, side by side, etc. These are typically not covered under a homeowners policy.

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Channing Parker

Jones County

These types of expensive machines may need their own separate policy:

  • We offer boatowner insurance for all types of watercraft, including jet skis, pontoon boats, fishing boats, ski boats, etc.
  • Farm equipment can cost as much, if not more, than your own home, so we offer farm equipment insurance coverage for your tractors (large or small), implements, combines, cotton pickers, irrigation systems, tools, and machinery.
  • ATVs including 4-wheelers, utility vehicles, side-by-sides, etc, can be covered under a full array of ATV insurance options.

Property More than 150 Feet Away from the Dwelling

After the tornados in January, we reviewed a lot of people with detached garages who may have not had enough coverage. If the detached garage or barn is more than 150 feet away from the home, it’s not covered. It is really easy to fix something before it happens, and it’s not worth saving $5 a month when you’re talking about $30-40,000 on another structure.

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Allen Palmer

DeSoto County

Replacement Cost Vs. Actual Cash Value

If you lose your home or it becomes damaged, a “Replacement Cost” homeowners insurance policy will pay the current amount that it costs to repair or replace it up to the policy limits. If the same home had an “Actual Cash Value” homeowners policy, the policy would only pay for the amount that the damaged property is currently worth, not the replacement Cost.

Making a Claim

Mississippi Farm Bureau Casualty Insurance Company is different from other insurance companies because when you make a claim, the adjuster who comes to see you is generally someone who lives and works in your community and only works for Farm Bureau. You can make a claim on your Mobile Agent app, online at www.msfbins.com, by phone, or you can call your local agent to get started.

You’ll receive fast, personal, friendly service from your agent and meet with your adjuster as soon as possible. We operate ten claims centers across the state, so we are able to process these claims quickly in order to provide you with the money you may urgently need.

If you ever have a claim with Mississippi Farm Bureau Insurance you’ll never leave because of the superior customer service. We have the best adjusters by far in the industry, especially here in Mississippi.

Service and claims are the two biggest things with Farm Bureau Insurance, and if it wasn’t for our adjusters, we’d be half the insurance company that we are. You’re not waiting for someone for weeks at a time—we’re out there helping.

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Tanner Wilson

Rankin County

How to Save on Homeowners Insurance

Companion Policy Discount

Save money by insuring both your auto and home policies at Mississippi Farm Bureau Casualty Insurance Company.

If they have a homeowners policy, we can bring autos policies over, and it gives policyholders a huge discount—from 12 to 25%.

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Channing Parker

Jones County

Raise Your Deductible

While we don’t recommend raising your deductible, it is an option for lowering your homeowners insurance premium.

Move your deductible around and change it, but understand what the deductible is and how it works. This is something the policyholder has to decide. We educate them on how it works and what happens if they have a loss so that they understand. We don’t want them to think they have a low deductible if they have to pay a percentage of the claim.

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Tanner Wilson

Rankin County

Why “Bargain” Homeowners Insurance is NOT always a bargain.

The old adage applies to almost everything, and that includes homeowners insurance: you get what you pay for. Our agents regularly meet with people who made the costly mistake of searching and signing up for a “bargain homeowners insurance” policy with an online discount service.

Canceled Policies

The difference between discount insurance companies and Farm Bureau Insurance was crystal clear to our agents after 2020’s spring storms.

In the past six months, we’ve seen some of the bargain insurance companies. We’re paying out claims for roofs in the same neighborhoods where they’re denying them. Bargain companies are pulling out of Mississippi because they’re taking losses. They’re not paying claims and leaving the community. People get a letter saying that they need to find a new insurer, and they have to start all over.

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Tanner Wilson

Rankin County

Nonexistent Service

The problem with bargain insurance is that they’ll give you a car or home quote in five minutes, but you can’t sit down and see them face-to-face. Here in south Mississippi, people want to come in and see somebody. When you purchase bargain insurance, they don’t have a brick and mortar building, you’re talking to someone out of state, and if you have a claim, you can’t call anyone.

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Channing Parker

Jones County

Hidden Costs

Hidden costs may be lurking in the fine print, and unclear language and communication about your coverages can lead to confusion and higher deductibles.

Deductibles that are Percentages of Your Home’s Replacement Cost

Sometimes, low-cost insurance companies will offer you a low premium in exchange for a deductible that is 1-2% of your home’s replacement cost. For example, if you have wind or hail damage, and your deductible is 2% of your $200,000 home’s replacement cost, you will need to pay $4,000 in repairs before you receive any additional money to fix the roof.

Multi-Line Increases and the Expiration of Promotional Discounts

Mississippi Farm Bureau Casualty Insurance Co. does not give policyholders multi-line increases. If you have a car accident, it will not cause a cost increase on any other policy you have with us. And while a premium for new customers may be amazing, it won’t last long.

Some companies do multi-line increases. For example, if you have a car wreck, they can increase your insurance cost on other products. New customer discounts fall off quickly and your policies can go up.

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Allen Palmer

DeSoto County

The Benefits of Insuring Your Home with Mississippi Farm Bureau Casualty Insurance Company

You get what you pay for. You get my cell phone, and you get a local adjuster. We’re all out the day after a storm, settling claims and working to pay people.

I do the same thing for myself that I do for my customers. If my customers want to see my own family’s policies, I can show them that I cover this or that because I think it’s important. I don’t like to cut corners, raise the deductible, or not cover something because it always comes back to bite you.

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Allen Palmer

DeSoto County

We’re the best. You’ll have my cell phone and know where I live. We are local folks helping local folks.

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Channing Parker

Jones County

Other agents don’t give out their number, and they don’t work outside of regular office hours. They’re going to come and do what they do, but to them, you’re just a number.

We’re as local as local can be. Not just your agent, but the staff in the agencies, underwriters, and adjusters. They live here and work here. Typically, if a catastrophe happens, they are going through the same thing you are going through.

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Tanner Wilson

Rankin County

Get a Homeowners Insurance Quote

Once you connect with your local Farm Bureau Insurance agent, you’ll have a short conversation where the agent can learn more about your home and what you need to insure. During the conversation, they’ll ask you about the age of the home, the square footage, how old the roof is, what building materials the home is made out of, amenities such as number of bathrooms, and more. The agent will provide you with a quick quote and set up an appointment to see the home.

Then, your agent will come over to meet you, look at your home, and take pictures of the outside. Finally, they will meet with you to go over your policy in detail before everything is finalized. Your local agent will work with you to provide you with an affordable premium that does not lower your coverage.

Are you interested in receiving your personalized homeowners insurance quote? Our agents provide premium customer service and are located in your community. Use our Agent Finder to contact one near you.