All you need to know about homeowners insurance
If you own your own home, you need to protect your investment by insuring it. Homeowners insurance will help you do that. To get the most out of your property insurance, you have to understand how it works and what it covers.
What is it?
Home insurance is a type of insurance known as property/casualty insurance. It covers your home against a number of named perils, including wind and hail damage, fire damage and theft. It also provides personal liability insurance that covers the homeowner against incidents such as a dog biting a visitor or someone injuring himself or herself while on the property.
Who is it for?
Anyone who owns a home and lives in it either full- or part-time needs a homeowners policy. For those who own a home but rent it out to tenants, there is different coverage. If you live in a home that you rent, you need renters insurance rather than a homeowners policy.
How does it work?
A homeowners policy covers you for perils that are named in the policy. If your home is damaged by weather, fire or some other covered event, you must make a claim with your insurer. Depending on your policy and the event, your insurer might issue you a check for the estimated cost of the damage minus the deductible you owe, or it might require you to to get estimates and have your contractor submit bills directly to the insurer.
Different types of coverage
Homeowners insurance policies are pretty standard. Most cover certain types of damage, such as wind, hail and fire, and exclude damage from things like floods and earthquakes. Some policies have special exclusions and some may cover more potential liability issues than others.
The main benefit of having a home policy is coverage for your home against the possibility of it being damaged or destroyed. An additional benefit is the personal liability coverage it provides to guard you against certain lawsuits for incidents that may happen on or off your property.