Home insurance is a policy that combines various personal insurance protections, which can include losses occurring to one’s home, its contents and additional living expenses as well as liability insurance for accidents that may happen at the home or at the hands of the homeowner.
Common Home Insurance Coverages
Most homeowners insurance policies provide a package of coverages. The main types of coverage are described below. Keep in mind that you’re covered only if the loss is caused by a peril your policy covers. For example, if your home becomes unlivable due to an earthquake and your homeowners policy doesn’t cover earthquakes, your policy won’t pay for loss of use of your home. Review your policy for the limits of your coverage.
• Dwelling. Pays for damage to your house and to structures attached to your house. This includes damage to fixtures, such as plumbing, electrical wiring, heating and permanently installed air-conditioning systems.
• Other Structures. Pays for damage to fences, tool sheds, freestanding garages, guest cottages and other structures not attached to your house.
• Personal Property. Reimburses you for the value of your possessions, including furniture, electronics, appliances and clothing, damaged or lost even when they aren’t on your property, such as those at an off-site storage locker or with your child at college.
• Loss of Use. Pays some of your additional living expenses while your home is being repaired.
• Personal Liability. Covers your financial loss if you are sued and found legally responsible for injuries or damages to someone else.
• Medical Payments. Pays medical bills for people hurt on your property or hurt by your pets.
While your landlord likely may have insurance coverage for the building itself, you may need a renters insurance policy to protect your personal possessions. Your renters insurance policy can also help protect you from liability if, for example, a visitor accidentally trips over your rug and breaks a leg.
Renters insurance can provide protection for your furniture and personal possessions — at home or away from home — against losses such as fire, lightning, windstorms, hail, explosions, smoke and vandalism. A renters policy can also protect your property against many types of theft loss in your apartment or anywhere in the world.
In the event that a claim is made against you or you are sued, your renters personal liability coverage can help to cover the associated legal costs and related damages. Most renters policies provide $100,000 (minimum) of financial protection for covered accidental bodily injury or property damage to others. Higher amounts of coverage are available.