We’ve all felt the strain of wondering if we’ve left the oven on or the doors unlocked once we’ve left for a trip. Although these scenarios are often unlikely, having homeowner’s insurance can help alleviate these common fears.
Home insurance coverage equips you with the knowledge that whatever happens, you won’t be left paying out of pocket for any accidents, mishaps or natural disasters that could affect your home.
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What does homeowners insurance cover?
A good homeowners insurance policy will include coverage for any damages to your home, as well as any personal property within the home that’s been damaged or destroyed.
This includes any personal belongings such as furniture, clothing, appliances, or technology that could otherwise cost you a small fortune to repair or rebuild.
For instance, if your house should catch fire from an accidental blaze while you’re out of town, having homeowners insurance coverage can help.
This allows you to simply file a claim to have the cost of rebuilding your home completely covered, depending on your policy and coverage limits.
In this event, liability coverage also means that insurers offer you additional living expenses while your house is being built or repaired. This means you don’t have to worry about paying for a hotel or other lodging for you and your family while you’re waiting for things to get back to normal.
Paying this low monthly cost means you won’t have to worry about covering these crippling fees out of your own pocket, or going into debt to ensure you and your family have a place to sleep.
What do homeowners insurance policies typically not cover?
There are a few things that homeowners insurance policies often don’t cover, such as:
Flooding often requires a separate dedicated insurance policy, because this particular type of damage is considered “gradual”. Any damage caused by water that has touched the ground is generally deemed not covered by homeowners insurance.
2. Damage from pests
Just like most cases of flooding, damage from pests such as termites and rats are not covered by homeowners insurance, because it is considered “gradual”. While no insurance policy will offer any sort of pest insurance, many pest control companies will offer thorough inspections to keep you safe.
3. Vacant properties
Once a property has been vacant for a certain period of time (often 30 days), it no longer qualifies for the protection of your homeowners insurance policy. If you have a property that you’re planning on keeping vacant for the foreseeable future be sure to protect it with vacant property insurance.
4. Some expensive valuables
More often than not, homeowners insurance policies will include a flat coverage amount for any expensive valuables you have stored. If you have anything else you want to insure above and beyond what your policy covers, you may want to consider getting individual policies for things like jewelry, heirlooms, and anything else you hold dear.
Homeowners Insurance Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Will homeowners insurance cover water damage from rain?
A: In many cases, a good property insurance plan will cover most damage from rain. For instance, if a tree falls on your roof and causes rain to leak in, or if an old roof needs patching and causes rain damage to your personal property, these are often covered.
However, if there are heavy rains that cause flooding in your basement, this will often not be covered by homeowners insurance. This will require additional coverage such as flood damage.
Q: What are the six categories typically covered by homeowners insurance?
Homeowners insurance most often covers six separate categories:
- Personal property: This includes coverage for all your physical belongings, such as furniture, technology, clothing and more.
- Liability: The personal liability portion of your homeowners insurance covers you and your family from any lawsuits that may occur from property damage or bodily harm to other people. It also covers possible damage caused by any pets you may own.
- Medical costs: This includes coverage for any visitors that may get hurt while on your property. For instance, if someone other than a member of your family gets hurt on your property, this will cover any associated medical expenses — regardless of who is at fault.
- Dwelling coverage: Most insurance companies will include dwelling coverage in your homeowners insurance. This saves you from having to pay out of pocket for the cost of rebuilding your home or repairing it in the case of natural disasters, vandalism and more.
- Coverage for loss of use or additional expenses: This covers the policyholder from having to use their own money to pay for alternative arrangements such as a hotel room while their home is being repaired, and other associated expenses.
- Coverage for structures other than your home: Other structures coverage means that everything that is covered in the above policies also applies to structures other than your main home, such as sheds and detached garages.
Q: Is my car covered under homeowners insurance?
A: Homeowners insurance can protect you from certain car break ins. However, this depends on a number of factors, such as what your policy is, where your car is at the time of the break in, and what exactly was stolen. If the vehicle was on your property, say in a driveway or garage, and the items weren’t purchased exclusively for use in or for the car, you may be entitled to compensation, depending on your policy.
Insurance policies often change from company to company. Be sure to check with your insurance provider to ensure that all of these coverages are provided in your policy, and exactly what they entail.
Having homeowners insurance provides you and your family with peace of mind and the knowledge that no matter what happens, you won’t have to go bankrupt should your house be affected by something out of your control.
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