Home Owners Coverage

It’s Not Called ‘House’ Owners Insurance

Insurance, as the old saying goes, is something you need but hope you’ll never have to use. Yet with so many types of insurance to choose from, from a myriad of different insurance companies all offering their own discounts, choosing the right coverage for you can be an incredibly daunting task!

At its core, insurance is essentially coverage options that minimize financial damage and come up with replacement alternatives, should a covered loss of an asset or personal resource occur. By paying a small amount into a collective pot, you can cash in or make a claim when the circumstances arise. These payments can be made via a deduction from your paycheck, or by way of a voluntary monthly premium payment to an insurance company. Seems simple so far, but when you start considering just how many assets and resources that you need additional coverage for, it can be very easy to get lost in the plethora of insurance products that are out there.

Home Owners Insurance At a Glance

The terminology is both wide ranging and a tad misleading. There’s auto-insurance, which is also called car insurance, auto policy and vehicle insurance, and that invariably covers a host of other insurance products, such as collision coverage, liability coverage, medical bills coverage, and more. Then there is life insurance, which is there as a safeguard for your family’s finances and estate should something render you incapacitated or worse, deceased. Of course, you should also have medical insurance to cover the cost of healthcare when you need to visit a hospital.

Of all the different types that there are, it’s perhaps home insurance and renters insurance that sound the most innocuous, and yet are actually probably the most useful. This is especially true of home insurance, also known as homeowners insurance.

Your Home

This part of your policy generally pays to repair or rebuild your home if it is damaged or destroyed by fire, hurricane, hail, lightning or other disaster listed in your policy. It generally does not pay for damage caused by a flood, earthquake or just wear and tear. When purchasing coverage for the structure of your home, make sure to buy enough to rebuild your home. Also, review this coverage on an annual basis to make sure you have sufficient coverage.

Your Belongings

Your furniture, clothes and other personal belongings are usually covered if they are stolen or destroyed by fire, hurricane or other insured disaster. Most companies provide coverage between 50% to 70% (every policy is different) of the amount of insurance you have on the structure of your home. The best way to determine if this is sufficient is to conduct a home inventory, in case you need to increase your coverage.

If you have questions about what is covered by a specific policy, contact us.

This part of your policy may also include off-premises coverage, which means that your belongings are covered anywhere in the world, unless you have decided against this coverage.

Expensive items such as jewelry and silverware are covered, but there are usually dollar limits if they are stolen. To insure these special items to their full value, consider purchasing a special personal property endorsement or floater and insure these items for their appraised value.

Trees, plants and shrubs are also covered under standard homeowners insurance. They are protected against theft, fire, lightning, explosion, vandalism, riot and even falling aircraft. They are not covered against damage by wind or disease.

Liability Protection

There are so many unforeseen accidents that can happen in and around your home. Liability protects you against lawsuits for bodily injury or property damage that you or family members cause to someone else. It also pays for damage caused by your pets. So, if your child or man’s not-so best friend accidentally breaks something in your neighbor’s yard, you are covered. The liability portion of your policy also pays for both the cost of defending you in court and any court awards—up to the limit of your policy.

Liability limits generally start at about $100,000. Many recommend that you have up to $300,000 in coverage. Some people feel more comfortable with more coverage. You can also purchase an umbrella or excess liability policy which provides broader coverage, including claims against you for libel and slander, as well as higher liability limits.

Your policy also provides no-fault medical coverage. If a friend or neighbor breaks an ankle playing basketball in your back yard, he or she can simply submit medical bills to your insurance company. Expenses are paid without a liability claim being filed against you. You can generally get $1,000 to $5,000 worth of this coverage.

Living Expenses

If your home is damaged because of a fire, storm or other insured disaster and you can’t live in it, this coverage pays the costs of living somewhere else while your home is repaired or until you find another place to live. While your home is being rebuilt, hotel bills, restaurant meals and other living expenses are covered. Coverage for additional living expenses differs from company to company. Contact us to help you decipher what your plan may cover.

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