What Is Homeowner’s Insurance?
Homeowners insurance, also referred to as home insurance or property insurance, provides coverage for your private home and compensates you in the event of a loss. If your home is burglarized or is partially or totally destroyed by a cause that is covered by your policy, homeowners insurance will help you replace your belongings, repair your home, or even rebuild.
Homeowners insurance also provides liability coverage which protects you, the homeowner, in the event that someone is injured on your property or you are deemed responsible for personal injury or property damage through negligence.
The amount of compensation you receive in a claim, or that the claimant receives from your insurance company when filing a liability claim against you, depends on the limits set for your policy. Our agents can help you to determine the amount of coverage that makes the most sense for your home and your risk tolerance.
What Does Homeowner’s Insurance Cover?
Homeowners insurance provides coverage for a range of risks that you may face as a homeowner that otherwise can be financially challenging to cover out of pocket. These include:
- Property damage: This includes damage and destruction to your residence and/or detached structures. You will receive compensation, up to the limits of your policy, if your house or storage shed is damaged due to a covered hazard. Standard covered circumstances include things like hurricanes and vandalism, but other hazards such as earthquakes and floods are excluded. Be sure to check your homeowners policy for exclusions.
- Personal property loss: Includes damage or theft of personal property, up to your set policy limits for covered circumstances, which typically excludes flooding, earthquakes, and personal negligence. If your personal property is very valuable (such as collectibles or antiques) you’ll likely need additional “riders” or special endorsements on your policy. Be sure to talk with a knowledgeable agent about your personal belongings and valuables, as standard limits may not be adequate to cover a major loss.
- Personal liability: If you, your family member, or even your pet causes an accident, injury or property damage, your homeowners insurance can protect you. Whether the issue requires medical care or repair of property, you will typically have coverage up to your liability limits. There are exclusions, such as aggressive acts against a neighbor, so it is important to fully understand your liability coverage. We will assist you in choosing adequate policy limits that protect your finances in the event of a lawsuit.
- Added living costs: If your house is uninhabitable, your homeowners insurance can pay for alternative living arrangements while your home is repaired or rebuilt. Depending upon your homeowner’s insurance company and the specifics of your policy, this may be included or may be an optional coverage. You will typically have daily and total overall limits for this coverage.
Saving Money on Your Homeowner’s Policy
There are a number of ways that we can save money on your homeowners insurance. Insurance companies offer several different types of discounts. Following are a few suggestions on ways to cuts costs:
- Let us compare rates— Contact our office to compare your rate with other insurance carriers. But don’t consider premium alone; consider the service and policy contract of other carriers. Sometimes lowering the premium can decrease coverage as well.
- Increase your deductible— Increasing your deductible from $250 to $500 can save from up to 10%; increasing to $1,000 can save up to 20%. Some carriers offer deductibles options up to $25,000. Just make sure you can afford to pay the deductible in the event of a loss.
- Place your homeowners and auto coverage with the same company— Many carriers offer discounts ranging from 10-20% off your homeowners premiums if they also carry your auto coverage.
- Increase security— Installing a burglar or fire alarm or sprinkler system not only helps to protect your valuables, but it can also help you save an additional 5-15% depending on the type of system installed.
- Stay with one company— Some carriers offer discounts of 5-10% if they’ve had your insurance for 3 or more years.
- Review your policy annually— Your policy should reflect the value of your home and its contents. Who knows best what’s happening in your home than you do? If you have moved or sold a home, or maybe you sold a valuable painting that you had scheduled, please notify your agent promptly. Also, if you have made any major purchases or additions to your home, your coverage may need to be adjusted accordingly. We periodically check for quotes to see if the same coverage is available for a lower premium, in order to continue saving our clients money!
*All of these discounts may vary by insurance company. Supplemental documentation may be required.