Updated: April 2017
Homeowners insurance policies can be different, as they are catered to the individual homeowner based on their own unique needs. You'll typically find, though, that homeowners insurance helps cover:
- Your dwelling
- Other structures on your property
- Personal property
Here's a look at how the coverages included in a typical homeowners insurance policy may help protect you, your home and your belongings, as well as some other things to consider.
One thing to consider about homeownership is the knowledge that your house could be damaged at any given time, under a variety of different circumstances. One of the basic coverages of a homeowners insurance policy is dwelling protection, which helps cover the structure of the home in which you live, as well as other structures that are attached to it, such as a garage or a deck, against certain risks.
Most homeowners insurance policies also include coverage for other structures that are on your property but separate from your home, like a detached garage, tool shed or fence.
Homeowners insurance coverage doesn't just help cover damage to your home. It may also provide coverage for the personal belongings you keep within it. Suppose your electronics are stolen from your home or your furniture is damaged by a fire. Personal property protection may help pay to repair or replace your belongings if they are damaged or destroyed by a covered risk.
It's important to know that not all natural disasters are covered by homeowners insurance. Typical homeowners insurance policies offer coverage for damage caused by fires, lightning strikes, windstorms and hail. However, damage caused by earthquakes and floods are not typically covered by homeowners insurance. You may be able to purchase separate insurance policies to help protect your home and belongings against those types of risks.
A typical homeowners insurance policy provides liability coverage when someone not living with you is injured while on your property. Suppose a visitor trips over your broken porch step. Bodily injury liability coverage may help pay for your resulting legal expenses or the visitor's associated medical bills if you are found at fault.
Keep in mind that each coverage in a homeowners insurance policy is subject to a limit — the maximum amount your policy would pay toward a covered loss. You may be able to adjust your coverage limits to your your needs â€“ taking into account, for example, the value of your home and belongings and how much it may cost to repair or replace them if they are damaged or destroyed by a covered risk.
In most cases, you will typically have to pay your deductible before your insurance benefits kick in to help cover a loss. Read your policy or contact your agent to review your coverage limits and deductibles. You can typically adjust them to fit your needs.
The protections offered by a homeowners insurance policy may serve as a safety net if the unexpected occurs. A local agent can help you select the coverages and limits that make sense for you.