Homeowner’s insurance policies are an important part of home ownership. Not all policies are created equal and it is vital for not only new homeowners but for seasoned veterans to read their policy carefully, including the fine print, to find out exactly what kinds of coverage is included and just as important, what is excluded. Assuming that you have coverage, without knowing for sure, is a bad idea and even worse if you find out when you try to collect on it. Here are some of the types of homeowner’s insurance coverage that you may have on your home.
Having a stranger come into your home and steal your precious items is one of the most invasive things that can happen. Even worse is finding out that your insurance coverage is woefully lacking in the theft department. It is up to every homeowner to read their policy and determine the amount of coverage they have for theft, what is covered and what is not covered and what the deductible is. Also look for the words replacement cost. This allows you to replace items at their current cost not at the amount that you paid for them when they were purchased or at a depreciated price.
There are smaller things that also come under theft such as your bicycle or your purse in the grocery store or any place else for that matter. This comes under the term personal property on your policy. It is your personal property and follows you even when you are not at home. If your diamond ring does down the drain, if you have jewelry coverage, this is covered. Expensive jewelry is usually under a personal property rider which is an addition that you add to your policy to cover items that are in excess of standard coverage.
Damage to Home
There are many types of damage that can occur. It can be from a lightning strike, hail, high winds or a terrible storm that knocks out electricity for days and results in frozen pipes. It can also mean a fire. It doesn’t have to be a whole house fire; it can be a grease fire in the kitchen or a gas fire from the grill on the deck. These are all types of damage that should be covered. What isn’t covered is a roof that wears out because of age, anything that results from lack of care and also flooding. The amount of coverage that is on your policy is referred to as the face value.
Other Structures Coverage
This is the coverage that takes care of a detached garage, a shed, a fence or a pool.
Comprehensive Personal Liability Coverage
This is a very important part of homeowners insurance. It protects you from being sued by the guest who falls in your driveway or the paperboy who get bitten by your dog. In this age where suing has grown to mammoth proportions, it is important to have coverage to protect yourself. This coverage follows you where ever you go personally. It does not cover you in your car or in a boat as far as accidents go or when doing anything that could be considered risky or dangerous. There are additional umbrellas that you can purchase to raise your coverage.
This coverage will pay for medical bills that result from injuries that occur on your property or as a result of an action by you, a family member or even a pet.
Additional Living Expense
If something happens to your home and you are not able to live in it, this is the part of your policy that pays for you to stay somewhere else. This is important because it can make the difference between staying somewhere comfortable and having to live with family and friends.
Being a homeowner comes with a lot of responsibility and it is important that after having made what is probably the largest purchase in your life, that you do everything that you can to protect that investment. It is impossible to cover every eventuality but covering the main basics will allow you to sleep comfortably at night knowing that your homeowner’s insurance coverage is there to protect you. When you purchase a home and have a mortgage, the lender requires that you have enough insurance to cover the amount of the loan. You need to keep this coverage even after the loan has been paid off. It can mean the difference between replacing your damaged home and losing everything you have worked so hard to build up.
40 years of personal homeowner experience