Updated: April 2016
Homeowners insurance typically offers a broad range of coverages to help protect your home. And you'll usually find that those coverages help protect more than just the physical structure of your house. A typical homeowners insurance policy helps cover damage to your belongings and other structures on your property, and also offers liability protection to help protect you in certain scenarios.
Homeowners insurance policies typically include these types of coverage:
- Dwelling protection. This coverage typically covers your home and attached structures, like a deck or attached garage.
- Personal property protection. From furniture to electronics, this coverage may help pay to replace belongings that are stolen or damaged by a covered loss.
- Other structures protection.This coverage may help pay to repair or replace structures on your property that aren't attached to your home, like a fence, detached garage or shed, if they are damaged by a covered peril.
- Family liability protection. Accidents can happen. Liability coverage may help protect you if someone is injured on your property and you are found legally responsible for damages.
- Guest medical protection. If a visitor is injured at your home, this coverage may help pay for their resulting medical expenses.
- Additional living expenses. This coverage may help you pay for temporary increased living costs, such as hotel bills, if you are unable to stay in your home after a fire or other covered loss.
Many insurers offer optional coverages that may further help protect you and the stuff you own. For instance, you may be able to purchase extended coverage for items such as jewelry, watches and furs that have values above your personal property coverage limits. You may also be able to increase your liability coverage limits by adding a personal umbrella policy.
Homeowners insurance typically helps provide protection from a number of risks, often referred to to "perils." They may include damage caused by:
- Fire and smoke
- Lightning strikes
- The weight of snow, sleet or ice
- Falling objects
Not all policies are the same, so be sure to read yours to learn what risks it may and may not cover.
In addition to understanding the coverages your homeowners insurance policy provides, you may also want to understand your deductibles, premium and limits.
Your deductible is the amount you'll pay out of pocket toward a covered loss before your insurance benefits kick in. Different types of coverage within a policy are usually subject to limits, which is the maximum protection the policy will provide for a covered loss. You may be able to adjust your coverage limits and deductible to fit your needs. The amounts you choose typically affect the amount of your premium, which is what you pay your insurer regularly to keep your policy in effect.
A local agent can help answer questions you may have about your coverages and costs so that you can craft the policy that is right for you.