What does homeowners insurance cover?
To put it simply, homeowners insurance is designed to repair, replace, or recover the value of what you currently have (under coverage) if it’s damaged due to any number of causes.
Most common claims covered by insurance
Your independent agent can help give you a clear, personalized picture of the coverage you need, but every policy generally comes with four main types of coverages.
- Structural damage: Perhaps the most commonly used protection, this includes damage to your house and any structures on your property due to water, fire, severe storms and a few other common risks.
- Personal property coverage: This will depend on the policy. Items like furniture may only be covered up to a depreciated value, whereas valuables like jewelry might not have any coverage at all, requiring additional insurance protection.
- Standard home liability: This will cover legal expenses if someone is injured, or if their personal belongings are damaged while on your property.
- Additional living expenses: If your house suffers damage that’s beyond repair, most policies will pay for a hotel and other living expenses, including groceries.
Situations homeowners insurance typically does NOT cover
It’s a good idea to become familiar with the situations not covered by your policy. The more you know about your coverage, the easier it is to avoid the hassle of filing sure-to-be-denied claims.
Homeowners insurance does NOT cover the following
- Certain natural disasters (i.e., floods, earthquakes, and mudslides)
- Maintenance-related losses
- Wear and tear damage (i.e., poor home upkeep)
- Insect damage or infestations
- Business-related liability
In addition, if you run a business out of your home, your home policy typically won’t cover any liability-related mishaps. It also limits liability coverage for certain types of vehicles, like aircraft, ATVs, and boats. The easiest way to make sure you have the coverage you need is to tell your independent agent all about your home and any related business.
The best ways to save on home insurance
To start, combining other policies and raising your deductible are two of the easiest ways to drive down your cost. When you work with an independent agent, they’ll help you find the most discounts based on what you qualify for, including the following.
- Safety discounts: Upgraded special safety features like burglar alarms, sprinklers, or a high-quality roof.
- Bundling discounts: Multiple homes? Cars? Bundle them together with the same carrier for a discount.
- Group discounts: Certain associations and professions like service members, teachers, farmers and even dentists get group discounts.
- Loyalty discounts: Customers who stay with the same insurance company for a long time are rewarded with discounts.
- Near a fire hydrant/fire station: The closer you are to a fire hydrant and also the fire station, the faster fires can be put out, earning you a discount.
- New home: New homes typically are built with stronger safety innovations, making claims less costly.
- High-quality roof: Hail and wind damage are among the top reasons homeowners file a claim. A sturdy roof can lower your premiums. (Of course, it lowers your heating bill and looks nice, too. Sweet!)
- Tidy yard: When insurance reps visit your property, they like to see it looking spiffy. Neatly trimmed grass, shrubs, and trees lower fire risk and show the insurance company that you care about your property. Discount!
- Avoid recreational hazards: A home without a pool or trampoline is at much less of a risk of a claim, earning you a discount on your coverage.