DENVER -- If you could protect the equity in your home from future price drops, would you? San Francisco-based Home Value Insurance is betting on it.
Available only in Ohio, Oklahoma and Georgia so far, the company offers the only insurance policy sold in the nation that protects homeowners from home price declines.
Say you buy a $300,000 home and sell it after three years. During that time, local prices drop 10% based on the Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller index. The company's Home Value Protection plan will cut you a check for $30,000 on the sale of your house. The cost of a policy for a $300,000 house is about $75 a month.
Not selling in three years? The policy continues for up to 10 years, as long as you continue your payments.
If home prices increase, the policy can be canceled and rewritten to reflect the higher value. But a price uptick may be some time coming in many markets.