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Home Insurance

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Home Insurance

Because everyone’s needs are not the same, it is best to consult your agent to help assess your needs a find the insurance policy that is right for you.

What is Homeowners Insurance?

Homeowners insurance provides financial protection against disasters, A standard policy insures the home itself and the things you keep it.

Homeowners insurance is a package policy. This means that it covers both damage to your property and your liability or legal responsibility for any injuries and property damage you or members of your family cause to other people. This includes damage caused by household pets.

Damage caused by most disasters is covered but there are exceptions. The most significant are damage caused by floods, earthquakes and poor maintenance. You must buy two separate policies for flood and earthquake coverage. Maintenance-related problems are the homeowners’ responsibility. 

Typical Home Insurance Coverages

Section I — Property Coverages
 

  • Coverage A – Dwelling Covers the value of the dwelling itself (not including the land). Typically, a coinsurance clause states that as long as the dwelling is insured to 80% of actual value, losses will be adjusted at replacement cost, up to the policy limits. This is in place to give a buffer against inflation. HO-4 (renter's insurance) typically has no Coverage A, although it has additional coverages for improvements.

  • Coverage B – Other Structures Covers other structure around the property that are not used for business, except as a private garage. Typically limited at 10% to 20% of the Coverage A, with additional amounts available by endorsement.

  • Coverage C – Personal Property Covers personal property, with limits for the theft and loss of particular classes of items (e.g., $200 for money, banknotes, bullion, coins, medals, etc.). Typically 50 to 70% of coverage A is required for contents, which means that consumers may pay for much more insurance than necessary. This has led to some calls for more choice.

  • Coverage D – Loss of Use/Additional Living Expenses
    Covers expenses associated with additional living expenses (i.e. rental expenses) and fair rental value, if part of the residence was rented, however only the rental income for the actual rent of the space not services provided such as utilities.

  • Additional Coverages - Covers a variety of expenses such as debris removal, reasonable repairs, damage to trees and shrubs for certain named perils (excluding the most common causes of damage, wind and ice), fire department changes, removal of property, credit card / identity theft charges, loss assessment, collapse, landlord's furnishing, and some building additions. These vary depending upon the form.

  • Exclusions - In an open perils policy, specific exclusions will be stated in this section. These generally include earth movement, water damage, power failure, neglect, war, nuclear hazard, septic tank back-up expenses, intentional loss, and concurrent causation (for HO3).[15] The concurrent causation exclusion excludes losses where both a covered and an excluded loss occur. In addition, the exclusion for building ordinance can mean that increased expenses due to local ordinances may not be covered.[16] A 2013 survey of Americans found that 41% believed mold was covered, although it is typically not covered if the water damage occurs over a period of time, such as through a leaky pipe.[17]

  • Floods - Flood damage is typically excluded under standard homeowners and renters insurance policies. Flood coverage, however, is available in the form of a separate policy both from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and from a few private insurers.

Section II — Liability Coverages
 

  • Coverage E – Personal Liability
    Covers damages which the insured is legally liable for and provides a legal defense at the insurer's own expense. About a third of the losses for this coverage are from dog bites.

Why Do You Need
Homeowners Insurance?

It is really all about protecting yourself financially if something unexpected happens to your home or possessions. That’s important because chances are your home is likely one of your largest investments.

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Natural Disasters

If your home was destroyed by fire or damaged by a natural disaster you’d need money to repair or replaced it. 

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Injured

If a guest in your home is injured, liability protection and medical coverage help pay expenses.

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Theft & Vandalism

If you are a victim of theft and vandalism, it can reimburse you for your loss or pay for repairs.

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Home Rent

If you are still paying for you home, your lender will require insurance.

It is important to know that homeowners insurance is meant to cover unexpected damage, not routine maintenance. Ask your agent to talk about what is covered and be sure to read your policy so you know exactly what's included and what is not.

Things To Consider And Questions To Ask Your Agent

Here are the few things to discuss with your agent that will influence your decisions.

  • How much will it cost to rebuild my house and replace my belongings if they are damaged or destroyed? (Ask your agent to talk you through your home's features and the things you own so you can make an informed decision about coverage.)

  • Does the insurance company have a good reputation for customer service? Is it known for paying claims fairly and promptly?

  • What discounts are available? (Ask about multiple policy, security system and fire resistance discounts.)

  • What's the process for filing and settling a claim? (Ask who to call and what happens after you file a claim.)

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PROTECT TODAY. PREPARE FOR TOMORROW.

Turning Your Challenges into Solutions.

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