Homeowners protects your home and personal property against damage or loss. In addition, it is typically a “package policy” meaning that it also insures you for personal liability. “Liability” is the legal responsibility for any injuries and/ or property damage to others caused by you or another legal member of your household, including pets. Liability coverage travels with you anywhere in the world but most associate the coverage with injuries that occur on your premises. In addition, most lenders require Homeowners insurance when financing a home purchase.
Renters insurance, or tenant insurance, offers renters coverage for personal property and liability. It does not provide coverage for the physical structure (dwelling) of the home, apartment or condo that you are renting. Your landlord would have a policy specifically covering the dwelling. In most cases, your landlord will want to be listed as an additional insured on your renters policy to ensure that you have sufficient liability coverage in place.
Homeowners Insurance may pay claims for:
· Damage to your home, garage, decks and other outbuildings when the damage is caused by a covered peril (wind, hail, lighting fire, etc).
Both Homeowners and/or Renters insurance may pay claims for:
· Loss of furniture, electronics and other personal property due to damage or theft, both at home and away.
· Additional living expenses if you’re forced to rent temporary quarters while your house is being repaired.
· Liability from bodily injury and/or property damage in and around your home, as well as away from home, for which you are responsible.
· Pay for injuries occurring in and around your home to anyone other than you and/or another member of the household.
· Cover personal property in storage.
When shopping for Homeowners insurance, keep these points in mind:
· Insure your house, not the land under it. The land value should not be included in the replacement cost of the Dwelling.
· “Replacement Cost Coverage” gives you the money to rebuild your current home and replace its contents. An “Actual Cash Value” policy is cheaper but pays the difference between your property’s worth at the time of loss minus the depreciation for age and wear.
· Coverage for personal property such as computers, cameras, jewelry, art, antiques, musical instruments, cash and stamp collections will usually have an aggregate as well as a “per item” limit. Make sure you have the correct limits to cover the personal property that you own.
· Coverage for Water and Sewer Back Up (including sump pump failure) is not typically included in your standard Homeowners policy but can be added through endorsement. If you have a basement, sump pump or have had water related issues with your home, you should definitely consider this coverage.
· Flood and earthquake damage are not covered by a standard Homeowners policy but can also be added through endorsement. The cost of earthquake and/or flood coverage will depend on the likelihood of such an occurrence in your area.
For help in deciding how much insurance coverage to buy, contact your local agent at Leugers Insurance Group.