For many of us, our home is a place of comfort and joy. Home is where the heart is: it’s where we raise our families; where we spend hours decorating to make it our own. Oftentimes, it’s also one of the biggest investments we can make, and one we want and need to protect. Understanding what and how your policy provides coverage is the first step in assuring the proper protection for your home and any other important investments. A standard homeowners insurance policy provides coverage for the following four essential areas:
- Dwelling & Other Structures Coverage — Provides coverage for the actual structure of your home and other structures on your premises.
- Personal Property Coverage — Provides coverage for your personal belongings.
- Additional Living Expenses — Provides coverage in the event that you are temporarily unable to live in your home because of fire or another insured loss.
- Liability Protection Coverage — Provides coverage for bodily injury or property damage claims or lawsuits for which you or your family members are responsible.
Now that you know the four essential areas of coverage it is easier to determine if you are adequately protected. Insurance is complicated, but we can help. If you are unsure about any of the following, please contact us.
- Insurable Risks – Your homeowners policy is only meant to cover particular types of losses, it will often contain a series of exclusions for other specific situations. Usually, coverage that has already been excluded from your policy can be added back by endorsement. For which types of losses does your policy provide coverage?
- Amount of Coverage – There is often a difference between the Market Value or selling price of your home and the Replacement Cost or amount of insurance needed. Many factors are considered when determining the cost involved to replace your home. In addition to the age, size, and location of your home, considerations must be taken for customized features, local construction costs for building materials and labor, and even debris removal. Does your policy offer you enough coverage?
- Valuable Personal Property – Your homeowners policy does provide additional coverage for insurable risks on your personal belongings. However, many valuable items, including jewelry, furs, silverware, coins, and guns are subject to a special limitation. These items can be specifically scheduled and protected on your policy. Do you have enough coverage for your valuables or special collection?
- Personal Liability – A standard homeowners policy may provide up to $100,000 worth of personal liability coverage. Today’s courts are awarding damages that often exceed $1,000,000. A judgment made against you could prove to be financially devastating. If something catastrophic happens, what will you do?
How will damage resulting from a flood be covered?
Homeowner policies typically do not include coverage for damage caused by flood or surface waters. A separate flood policy would be needed to provide any coverage for damage to your dwelling or personal property in the event of such severe weather. The National Flood Insurance Program can provide this type of additional protection. In certain high risk areas, the Federal Government mandates this coverage. Please see your insurance agent to determine your risk level.
What if you don’t own your home, do you still need insurance protection?
Yes. Homeowners aren’t our only policyholders. At Benninger Insurance Agency we work with a variety of carriers to offer coverage to meet everyone’s needs.
- Landlords — Whether you rent a portion of your home or you are the landlord for a multiple family dwelling, we can help protect you.
- Tenants — Even if you are renting, you still need protection. You are responsible for your own personal property, possible loss of use, and personal liability. We can help protect you.
- Others — If you own a condo or mobile home, seasonal dwelling, or watercraft, we can help protect you.