Before you sign the final closing papers on your new home, you'll need homeowners insurance. Your lender will demand it, but even if you're paying cash, it's unwise to assume possession without it.
With that in mind, it's also unwise to choose a policy without carefully reading its provisions – and noting what is or is not covered.
It's sad but true – insurers don't really want to take on a lot of risk, so a few critical elements could be missing from the coverage you're offered. These cost a bit more, but if you need them, you'll know that the money was very well spent.
Standard policies don't necessarily cover the following:
Flood insurance. If your home is in the flood plain, it will be expensive and the bank will require it. But if not, you might want to consider it anyway. Water can show up in some surprising places, as has been documented on the news lately.
Sewer backups. It's a pretty sure bet that the city isn't going to pay if the sewer backs up and destroys your basement or first floor. Especially not if it looks like the blockage might have occurred on your side of the property line.
Mold. Moisture sometimes gets in where there is no ventilation, offering the perfect climate for mold to grow. While much of it is harmless, some can cause dread diseases, so it should be removed as soon as it's discovered. Mold remediation is not inexpensive.
Relocation Expenses. If your home is damaged you may need to move out while it is being repaired. Will your insurance cover the cost?
Earthquakes. While required in some areas, it's not considered necessary in others. But as recent events have shown, earthquakes can happen anywhere.
Attractive Hazards. If you have a pool or a trampoline on your property, you definitely need additional liability coverage. You should also take precautions to fence the pool and erect a safety net around the trampoline. According to a report on Trulia, trampoline injuries caused 104,691 visits to emergency rooms in 2014 alone.
Your pool is probably also not covered for damage, so be sure to drain and winterize before freezing weather sets in.
You may or may not want to add those coverages to your new home. However, you should consider them, price them, and make your own decision before assuming that a standard policy is "good enough."