Most Home Insurance policies pay for damage to
the structure and contents of your home caused by a covered peril.
A covered peril is a sudden and accidental event that causes damage
or loss. Covered perils may vary by policy type and company, so
make sure your policy covers the perils that are common to your
area. A general homeowners policy is not intended to cover situations
that are too unpredictable to insure against such as flood, landslide
and earthquake. Special policies are usually available to insure
against these excluded losses.
Standard Homeowners Insurance provides coverage for damage caused
by the following perils:
- Freezing weather
Trees and plants are not covered against windstorm damage. However,
Homeowners Insurance will cover damage to an insured structure
caused by a tree that fell during a windstorm and will pay to
remove the tree.
Generally, Homeowners Insurance includes coverage on personal
property anywhere. That means personal belongings are protected
against theft even when they're not inside the house. Coverage
would apply to theft of luggage, computers, golf clubs and other
belongings while the insured is traveling.
What's not Covered
Damage caused by earthquake, flooding, landslide
and earth movement, normal wear and tear and a nuclear accident
is specifically excluded from standard Homeowners Insurance policies.
Theft or damage of furs, jewels, coin and stamp collections and
antiques may need additional coverage. Check with your agent or
insurance company about purchasing an endorsement or separate
polidcy to cover high-value items.
Any damage or loss connected to a home business is not covered
by a standard Homeowners policy. However, coverage for
a home-based business is usually available and can be purchased
Homeowner Liability Insurance
This part of your policy protects you against losses resulting
from bodily injury or property damage that you or a family member
cause to others. It also pays for damage caused by pets. As with
Auto Insurance, your Homeowners' Liability Coverage will pay a
judgement or settlement arising from accidental acts by you or
a member of your family.
The cost of your defense is paid by the insurance company and
is not deducted from your limit of coverage. Homeowners Insurance
policies provide a minimum of $100,000 liability coverage, but
higher limits are available. Most insurers offer Homeowners Liability
Coverage up to $500,000 per incident.
Another type of additional coverage is a Guaranteed Replacement
Cost Policy. Most homes are insured for the value of the home,
which may or may not be enough to cover the cost of rebuilding.
This protection provides coverage for replacement value - what
it would cost to replace your home rather than just build another
house. This is particularly important if you have a unique or
historic home. This type of coverage allows the insured to rebuild,
regardless of cost, and include the special wood moldings and
other more expensive details.
Optional Coverage Endorsements
Most Homeowners policies contain limitations on certain types
of personal property such as expensive jewelry, silver, furs,
antiques, firearms, fine arts and other items of special value.
If your needs are greater than what the standard policy will
allow, you may be able to supplment your coverage with an endorsement
- sometimes called a rider or floater - that will provide the
extra coverage you need for an additional premium. Review the
contract for specific limitations or ask your agent or insurance
company representatives to explain the limits to you. You can
find this information in Section 1 of your policy, Personal
Property, Special Limits of Liability.