From the rooftop to kitchen range, we’ve gathered some homeowners insurance basics and how it helps you to protect one of life’s biggest investments—your home.
The Big Picture
It’s prudent to get enough insurance to do the following:
- Completely rebuild your house in the event it is destroyed by fire or other insured disaster
- Replace everything in the house
- Protect your liability in case someone is injured on your property and sues you
Consider additional coverages based on your unique risks such as the following:
- Special floaters for jewelry, collectibles and expensive items
- Extended or guaranteed replacement cost for the structure
- Sewer and drain back-ups
- An inflation-guard clause, which automatically adjusts annually to the construction costs in your area
- Umbrella liability coverage for a pool or other high-risk items
What Protection Does It Offer?
A standard homeowners insurance policy insures the home itself and the things you keep in it. It is typically a package policy, which 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. Let’s look at each coverage part in more detail:
Part l: Property Protection
Dwelling: This offers protection as a result of damage to the structure of your home including fixtures, plumbing and heating due to a covered loss, such as fire or hail storm damage. It does not cover the normal wear and tear of your home or maintenance-related problems. You need enough coverage for the cost of rebuilding or repairing your home, less the cost of the land. Determining this new replacement can be somewhat complex, but we can assist with this process.
Other Structures: This includes coverage for detached structures, such as a garage, garden shed, and fixtures attached to land such as a driveway, sidewalks, patio, fence and swimming pool.
Personal Property: This covers the contents and personal items in your home such as furniture, clothing and sporting goods.
This also extends to your personal belongings anywhere in the world, up to a maximum value per item. To determine your property’s value, we’ll provide you with a home inventory checklist to help you quickly and easily itemize your belongings.
We recommend insuring your personal property for its replacement cost value. The longer you own your belongings the less value they hold. Replacement cost value ensures that you can replace yesterday’s purchases at today’s prices.
Loss of Use: In the event that a covered loss such as fire forces you from your home, Loss of Use provides a safety net for additional expenses over and above your normal living expenses while you are unable to live in your home, up to the policy limit.
Part ll: Liability to Others
The Liability to Others portion of your policy covers you against lawsuits for bodily injury or property damage that you or family members may cause to other people. It pays for both the cost of litigation and court awards, up to the limit of your policy. It also covers you at home or away.
If a visitor is injured in your home, medical payments coverage allows the person to submit medical bills directly to your insurance company. The benefit is that expenses are paid to the injured person up to the policy limit without a liability claim being filed against you.
Disasters – Damage caused by most disasters is covered in a standard homeowners policy, but floods and earthquakes are excluded. Upon request, we can provide coverage information about each.
Vacant Property - If your home is left vacant due to a move or new construction, you are vulnerable to claims for loss from vandalism and other mishaps. Please check with us to learn more about the coverage options available.
By Zywave, Inc.