Homeowners insurance is something that every homeowner is required to carry. In fact, it’s against the law for a mortgage company to close on a mortgage transaction without the property being properly secured with a homeowners insurance policy. This is just the reality of the housing market here in the United States. So understanding the basics of a homeowner’s insurance policy can help you secure better rates, and better coverage for your home.
Below are three main areas that every homeowners insurance policy should have. There are a lot of elements to a homeowners insurance policy that can be added, or that are otherwise optional, but these are three basic areas that you’ll more than likely find in every policy carried on a home.
#1: Structure Coverage
The structure coverage of your homeowner’s insurance policy is in place to cover any damage that may have occurred to your home. Damage can include, but is not limited to, fire damage, hurricane, hail, lightning, or other natural elements or disasters that strike. The standard rule of thumb when buying structure coverage in your homeowner’s insurance policy is to ensure there’s enough coverage to rebuild your home if necessary. That means, have enough structure coverage to cover the market value of your home.
#2: Coverage for Personal Belongings
As you very well know, the value of the structure of your home isn’t the only thing that worth something when it comes to your house. You probably have a lot of valuable items throughout your house like TV’s, jewelry, paintings, furniture, etc… that collectively carry a substantial amount of value. Most companies provide coverage for 50% to 70% of the amount of insurance you have on the structure of your home. So if you have $100,000 worth of insurance on the structure of your home, you would have between $50,000 to $70,000 worth of coverage for your belongings. The best way to determine if this is enough coverage is to conduct a home inventory.
What’s also interesting about the coverage for personal belongings within your homeowners insurance policy is the coverage for personal belongings that are located somewhere else besides your home. That’s right – you can actually insure your personal items even if they are in a totally different location, or even a different country.
#3: Liability Protection
Liability protection within your homeowners insurance policy covers those things that you can potentially become liable for – makes sense right? We are basically talking about bodily damage or property damage that your family members or pets may have caused to other people’s homes. Or people in your house that have caused property damage.
This is also where medical coverage would fall in within your homeowner’s insurance policy. If someone, like your neighbor, is injured in your home, the medical bills associated with that injury can simply be submitted to the insurance company. Typical ranges are from $1,000 to $5,000 worth of coverage.