Homeowners insurance is a means of financial protection against major damage to your home, property, and/or belongings. A standard homeowners insurance policy extends this protection under specified events, typically those that are unexpected and out of your control. There are also 4 main types of coverage options offered on a standard policy: Dwelling, Other Structures, Personal Property, and Liability.
HOME INSURANCE COVERAGE
As stated before, home insurance policies will typically include coverage for:
- Dwelling: This is your home.
- Other Structures: Protect for other buildings or structures on your property.
- Personal Property: This includes coverage for most items within your home.
- Liability: Protection against injuries on your property or damage to someone else’s.
Other options are available to widen coverage for excluded items, circumstances, limits, and/or causes of damage or injury. For example, homeowner’s insurance may cover the repair of water damage from a burst pipe but not for a natural flood; however, additional flood insurance is available to be added on to cover the natural disaster.
Dwelling coverage offers protection for your home’s structure—the foundation, walls, rood—as well as other parts of the home that are attached but not necessarily a part of its structure like a garage, deck, or porch. Depending on the damage and the cause, the policy may extend to these areas. Be sure to review your policy in full to fully understand what is covered, when, and for home much.
Commonly, coverage for other structures is designed to protect smaller buildings that may be on your property and are considered a part of your “home”. This can include a detached garage, tool shed, carport, and under some policies, even your fence.
Personal property is about what it sounds like—coverage against loss or damage to your personal belongings. From your clothing, furniture, and pots and pans to computers, electronics, and kid’s toys, personal property coverage helps to replace the covered loss or theft of these items. Select items may require the purchase of additional coverage options, like high-value jewelry, art, or other belongings.
This type of coverage protects you from the financial liability for injuries to a party while on your property. Liability coverage can help with the legal expenses, the cost of medical or other awarded damages if you are determined by a court of law to be at fault or responsible for the expenses. It can also extend coverage if a member of your household damages another’s personal property (excluding vehicles, when cars are involved, car insurance takes precedence). For example, if your child breaks a neighbor’s window and a costly decorative piece placed near that window the you may be able to file a claim to help cover the expense of your liability for those damages.
WHAT IS COVERED LOSS/EVENT
Covered loss or a covered event refers to extending coverage only during a qualifying event (an event specified in your policy that allows you to use your homeowners insurance for damage coverage). For example, if your property is damaged by a fire or destruction from a hurricane, then cost for replacement can be available; however, if you do not have flood insurance added to your policy and damage is the direct result of that event, you may be at a loss.
All homeowner insurance policies have their limits—what the insurance is willing to pay out under a singular event or in your lifetime. Coverage limits may be able to be increased or can be supplemented through a different policy—like a personal umbrella insurance policy.
In addition, may home insurance policies also require a deductible to be met. So, you may be responsible for a percentage or set amount of the overall expense of a claim. Modifying your deductible or coverage limit or adding an additional policy (like flood or umbrella) can affect the cost of your home insurance policy. Speak with an independent insurance agent and learn how to compare homeowners insurance policies to determine which is the best fit for you.