A homeowner has a responsibility, or rather desire, to take care of what is theirs. Part of that protection is to focus on having the right policy in hand, and while they all tend to follow a general design, there is a lot going on in the fine print that you should know about. Since knowledge is power, let’s take a close up look at the many pieces of a homeowner’s policy so that you know exactly what you’re dealing with. Keep in mind that having a relationship with your insurance agent is ideal as they have your best interest and will likely follow up with you annually versus a 1800# insurance company.
The basics of a home owner policy
Dwelling & Other Structures
When it comes to the home owner and property, the basic coverage is for the dwelling – the structure, or main house and that which is literally attached to it and the cost to replace such structure. Other structures would be other components that aren’t attached to the dwelling but are on your property, such as a detached garage, driveways, fencing or a shed.
A home owner’s policy also covers your personal property, your possessions, that are maintained inside of the structures such as your furniture and appliances or anything that would fall out of your home if you were to turn it upside down.
Liability & Medical
A lot of homeowners policies also have liability for family members or guests, which isn’t often talked about. This covers protection if a neighbor slips on a wet floor in your kitchen and breaks their arm and you are to blame. This allows for your policy to cover their medical and other bills as required, up to your liability limits. Get to know these coverages a little better as it depends upon the person and the situation in addition to your limits on what is covered and for whom.
Loss of Use
Home owner’s insurance also covers living expenses in case you need to temporarily relocate while your home is being repaired due to a covered loss until your home is free to live in again.
Keep in mind there are additional coverages for those who may need additional protection for things such as jewelry, collectibles, furs, liquor or other collectibles. Have a conversation with your insurance agent to see what is covered and what limits are available.
Who homeowners coverage is for
A homeowner’s policy also is relevant to those who own their home regardless of what kind of home you live in – townhouse, condos, etc. You have a responsibility to protect your investment and your property the same as any other homeowner, even if you don’t have property outside of the condo itself. A home owner, whether it’s a traditional house with a backyard, or a condo/townhome, needs to have the proper policy in place.
It’s important to note however, that a renter does not have any need for homeowner’s insurance, because they don’t OWN the home, however getting insurance to cover their belongings/contents would be wise. The difference between homeowner’s insurance and renter’s insurance is simply the fact of ownership. A renter doesn’t own the property they are living in, so they don’t need that kind of policy, and can go with renter’s insurance instead.
What isn’t covered in homeowners insurance
Since a homeowner’s policy is general, it’s important to know what it doesn’t cover. The main thing to focus on, especially in the Gulf Coast, is that it will not offer flood insurance, which is a common misunderstanding. Flood insurance policies are distinct and separate from a typical homeowner’s policy, so know that you should consider this above and beyond the traditional home owner’s policy, if needed. Keep in mind, you may not live in a high risk flood zone, but if the area is prone to hurricanes, tornados and extensive rain, it would be wise to purchase the flood policy to save your home and belongings.
Not sure? Ask Kicker Insures Me!
If you aren’t sure what you’ve got protected and what isn’t, then simply ask! Your insurance agent can answer any questions or help you to understand the in and outs of your personal insurance so that you have the comfort you need. However, if you don’t have a good relationship with your agent, Kicker Insures Me Agency (KIMA) would love to build that relationship with you and we can start with a quality free insurance coverage review to understand your needs and then be sure you are covered enough, but not too much. Contact Kicker Insures Me Agency at (281) 487-9686 with your insurance questions.