Standard homeowner policies can cover several key types of property. I have spent a lot of my career examining all type of insurance policies, including homeowner’s policies. If you have homeowners insurance and are wondering whether or not certain property damage or loss of property may be covered under your policy, we encourage you to read through this blog post. The specific details of homeowners insurance coverage may vary depending on what type of policy you got from the insurance company you bought your insurance.
In most cases, homeowners insurance will include four essential coverage areas:
- Your home structure-Your House
- Your personal belongings-Your Stuff
- Liability protection-If somebody gets injured by an insured.
- Living expenses in the event temporary relocation due to a home disaster
What Is Your Home Structure?
If your home has been destroyed or damaged by any type of disaster listed in your policy, the insurance company will pay for any repairs or rebuilding that is necessary within your coverage limit. Your policy may include coverage for hail, hurricane, lightning, fire damage, and other disasters. It is important that your policy provides enough coverage for you to effectively rebuild your home if disaster were to strike. You should consult with your insurance agent to ensure that you have enough coverage to replace your home.
In a standard Georgia policy you are not covered for earthquake damage, flood damage, and regular wear and tear. You can likely get an additional policy from your insurance company for these issues at an extra premium.
When Are Personal Belongings Covered?
Your personal belongings are typically insured against both theft and disasters. That means if someone was to break into your home and steal your jewelry or expensive electronics, your insurance policy may cover it. Your coverage likely extends to off-premises incidents as well. In most cases, insurance companies provide 50% to 70% the amount of coverage you have on your home structure.
If you have extremely valuable jewelry, furs, or antiques, it is probably best to get special personal property insurance for these items, as there is a limited amount you can get for them if stolen or destroyed. This would include wedding rings and other higher valued things. It is not expensive, and you will be glad you did if something happens. It is also important to check your policy to see if your belongings are covered against issues like riots, vandalism, and explosions.
Why Liability Protection Is So Important
If a friend, family member, or visitor was to be injured on your property or off your property by an insured you may be held liable for their damages. Homeowners insurance policies will include some amount of liability protection. This coverage can also extend to property damage that you or your family members cause to other people such as damaged furniture or other belongings. The liability portion of your policy can be used to cover both court costs and compensation to the victim. It is recommended that people have at least $300,000 in liability protection or more. It is very cheap to add an Umbrella Policy as well to insure that you are covered if something catastrophic occurs.
Getting Additional Expenses Covered
While having protection for home damage is important, so is having protection for those additional expenses you will face when the damage occurs. This is often called Additional Living Expenses. If a fire, storm, or other insured disaster forces you to leave your home while repairs or work is being done, the expenses you incur will be covered.
This can include hotel bills, costs of eating out, and any other living expenses you wouldn’t normally have when in your own home. There are usually limits on these policies, which means you can only be compensated for a certain amount depending on the extent of your coverage and the time that you are forced to be out of your home.
If you have questions about your Homeowner’s Insurance coverage please contact me.