A look at types of policies and what they cover
Homeowners insurance is one of the most important protections you can have to safeguard your home, belongings and financial security, protecting you against loss caused by natural disasters, fire, theft, or accidents.
What does homeowners insurance cover?
Most insurance offers a combination of policies that are designed to cover:
• Your home’s structure
• Your belongings
• Additional living expenses
Types of coverage
This type of coverage has to do with safeguarding your home’s structure. “Your homeowner’s policy pays to repair or rebuild your home if it is damaged or destroyed by fire, hurricane, hail, lightning or other disasters listed in your policy. Most policies also cover detached structures such as a garage, tool shed or gazebo,” according to the Insurance Information Institute.
If your belongings are ever damaged or stolen, your homeowners policy will pay to replace them. This includes furniture, appliances, computers, electronics, clothes, sports equipment, and other personal items.
Deciding how much coverage you need is difficult to determine. It’s important to take an inventory of what you own. You can create an excel sheet and there is inventory software as well. Here is a good guide for creating a home inventory.
NOTE: Expensive items such as jewelry, art, silver, and collectibles are covered, but only up to a certain dollar amount. In some cases, you may need a separate policy for them.
Liability insurance protects you in the event of a lawsuit if anyone is injured on your property. It also covers damage to someone else’s property. This includes injuries or damage caused by you, your children, and even your dog. It will pay attorney fees and any settlements or medical bills if you are found liable.
Similar to liability insurance, this type of policy takes care of the medical bills of anyone who is hurt on your property.
Loss of use
This comes under the banner of “additional living expenses” and covers you if you are forced to stay somewhere else while repairs are being done on your house. Most policies pay 10 to 20 percent of the amount of your dwelling coverage.
What else do you need?
Homeowners policies don’t cover everything, so there are supplemental policies you can add to traditional coverage.
Flood and earthquake insurance
Homeowners insurance does not cover damage caused by flooding. It usually does not cover earthquake damage, either. You will need a separate rider to cover these instances. Some states actually require you to have these types of policies.
Valuable articles coverage
As mentioned above, things like jewelry and other expensive items are covered, but the amount may not be enough as there are limits to what you will get.
This is insurance you buy on top of your liability policy. “An umbrella policy kicks in when you reach the limit on the underlying liability coverage in an auto, homeowners, renters or co-op/condo policy … It will also cover you for additional types of claims, such as libel and slander,” according to the Insurance Information Institute.
If you live in an area that is prone to sinkholes, you might want to think about purchasing this additional protection.
If you have a dog and it bites someone, you could suffer financially. Liability insurance does cover this type of incident, but it might not be enough if you are sued and have to pay damages. Some counties or states might even require owners of certain breeds to carry this type of policy.
Homeowners insurance is vital to your financial stability. Make sure you have proper coverage that meets your needs and will help you recover in the event of damage, an accident, or other disaster. For more information or to request a quote, contact Avante Insurance today.