Many who buy homes here in Vancouver, simply contact the seller's insurance company and have an identical policy issued to them when they take ownership of the house. It often saves time and trouble.
But should you? Perhaps. But not without first checking to see what's covered.
One North Idaho homeowner found that he didn't have coverage for snow damage after a heavy snow-fall collapsed the roof on his barn. His was a new policy, but the insurance agent didn't mention the need, and he didn't think of it.
A homeowner in Florida was denied coverage for damage to a basement ceiling resulting from a leaky dishwasher – because she didn't repair the leak immediately. Never mind that she didn't know it was happening until the basement ceiling began to bulge. Her problem was in that notorious "small print" stating what isn't covered.
So as tedious as it is, do take the time to read and understand the coverage you're being offered when you get a new homeowner's insurance policy. If you don't understand some of the clauses, insist on being given an explanation in plain English – and in writing.
Along with the property damage clauses, check the liability coverage. If someone trips on your front walk or falls down your stairs, will you be covered? What if an intruder breaks a leg? It sounds insane, but criminals have been known to sue for medical expenses when they are injured while committing a theft.
Rather than accept the policy the previous owner had, take the time to shop, read, and compare – and make sure that you're getting full protection from the insurance premiums you pay.