Homeowners insurance provides protection for your structural home (dwelling) against the perils of wind, fire, and the like. It also provides coverage for the contents of your home (furniture, dishes, clothing, jewelry, computers – personal property) and maybe “loss of use” in the event your home is damaged in a covered loss, requiring you to stay in a hotel for awhile. This coverage will compensate for stolen items from your home, break-in damage, etc. It may also include outbuildings on your property. These are first party coverages.
Homeowners insurance also provides liability coverage in the event there is loss (damage and/ or injury) to another for which you are responsible (third party coverages). The common risk to homes tends to be fire. Coverage is typically for replacement value in the event of a total loss and this replacement value tends to take into consideration costs of the current day rather than when the policy originated.
- Personal property usually covered in lump sum for a specific amount
- Property must exist – must have insurable interest & substantiation
- HO policies typically have generic coverage limit tiers but provide special riders for higher amounts of coverage for specific items (like jewelry, silver)
- If specific, high-value items like jewelry, art, etc., you should appraise each item and insure under a Scheduled amount for each item to be sure there is sufficient coverage per item in the event of loss.
- Deductibles apply
Homeowners– Liability Coverages
- Bodily Injury – provides coverage for injury sustained by a third party on your property for which you were negligent and legally liable
- Property Damage – provides for coverage to another’s property by some act related to your property for which you are legally liable.
- Medical Payments – pays for medical bills for incidental injury sustained by non-family members.
- There is also usually coverage for another person’s personal property that sustains loss while it is being stored at your insured residence. When buying homeowner’s insurance, create a ballpark list of your contents and valuables so that you know you are obtaining sufficient coverage.