(NC) Buying a home for the first time is a big decision. One of the first and most important things to do after deciding to purchase a home is to secure insurance. Here, Eric Simtob, president of Restoration 1, gives three simple tips new homeowners should know when deciding on home insurance.

1. Shop around. No two policies are identical, so do some research to find which insurance policy works best for you. Ask questions like: What is my deductible? Are there claim limits, and if so, what are they?

2. Know what’s covered in your insurance policy. Not all disasters that can happen are covered. For example, basic home insurance policies often don’t cover damage caused by sewage back-up, or only cover up to a specific amount. Sewage damage can be extensive and can often result in the homeowner having to pay for a portion of the repairs out-of-pocket. Take the time to understand what’s covered.

3. Know your rights. In Ontario, homeowners always have the right to choose who works in their home. Often after a flood or fire, insurance companies will insist on sending their preferred contractors. This results in a contractor who works for the insurance company and not you. Research the people you want working on your home before disaster strikes. Online resources like homestars.ca are available for you to find the best solution for your situation.