Homes and their contents are covered by homeowners insurance, which is also known as hazard insurance or home insurance. Damage to the interior or exterior of your house caused by fire, hurricanes, lightning, vandalism and other disasters named in the policy are covered by homeowners insurance. Separate riders are often required to cover damage caused by floods, earthquakes, war, termites or poor home maintenance. A homeowners insurance policy may not fully cover jewelry, art, antiques and other valuables. A separate “floater” policy to insure high value items for their full appraised value may be necessary.
Both property insurance and liability coverage are included in a homeowners insurance policy, along with several personal insurance protections. Losses to your home, its contents, loss of its use, loss of other personal possessions and liability insurance for accidents that happen at your home all fall under a typical homeowners insurance policy. At least one of the named insured must live at the home to satisfy a homeowners insurance policy requirement. The dwelling policy is a similar homeowners insurance policy, but used for residences that don’t qualify for various reasons, like vacation properties, second homes, and vacancy or non-occupancy of your home.
The cost to replace the house and which additional coverages (riders) are attached to the policy determines the cost of homeowners insurance. The policy names what will and will not be paid when a loss occurs and is often a lengthy contract.
A typical homeowners insurance policy will remain in effect for one year under a term contract. If the home appears to be low risk, most carriers will lower premiums. Insurers consider several factors when determining the premiums, including: locations near fire stations or equipped with fire sprinklers or fire alarms, if the house has wind protection or hurricane shutters or if the house has a security system. The house’s zip code, the crime rate of the area and the risk of forest fires can all affect homeowners insurance premiums.
Most homeowners insurance policies include three levels of coverage: actual cash value (the house, plus the value of your belongings after deducting for depreciation), replacement cost (the actual cash value without deduction for depreciation) and guaranteed replacement cost (the most comprehensive coverage, which pays to repair or rebuild your home regardless of costs).
Buying a home is the biggest financial investment many people will make. But protecting your home is about more than preventing a financial loss. Because a home is also a place where families grow, people come together, and memories are made. Homeowner’s insurance is the easiest way to safeguard your home and defend your investment, family, and memories from the unexpected.
What Homeowner’s Insurance Covers
Homeowner’s insurance protects your home from common risks such as fire, burglary, and vandalism. If the unexpected does occur, homeowner’s insurance can cover the costs of repairs for your home and other structures, such as garages, fences, sheds, or cottages on your property.
Your homeowner’s insurance also protects the things you value most, providing a strong defense for your personal property such as furniture, electronics, clothing, sporting goods, and other items which are important to you.
Homeowner’s insurance protects people, too. If your home needs extensive repairs after a fire or other covered loss, your coverage may cover living expenses for you and your family while your home is restored.
If a guest is injured while visiting your home, rest assured. Your homeowner’s insurance generally includes liability coverage to take care of third-party medical bills or a lawsuit resulting from an injured visitor.
Do You Need More Coverage for Your Home?
Most homeowner’s policies will cover damage caused by fires, smoke, windstorms, snow, hail, lightning, theft, vandalism, falling objects, aircrafts and vehicles. Additional protection against flood or earthquake damage, however, is commonly excluded in homeowner’s policies. Flood and earthquake insurance policies are available, and are often recommended additions to shore up your home defense so you won’t lose any sleep worrying about an uncovered loss.
McGovern Insurance is an experienced insurance agency that can help with your homeowners insurance policy. Call us at (650) 593-8216.