Homeowners Insurance, contrary to popular belief, covers more than just your home. It protects many things, both inside and outside of your home.
First, it covers the primary dwelling. When you read your homeowners insurance policy, the first line generally reads, “DWELLING”. The amount following the word “dwelling” refers to the limit your insurance company has set as the replacement value on your home. In other words, should you have to completely rebuild your home, the insurance company would pay up to this amount to replace your home. When you are getting a quote on your home insurance, be sure to give the agent ALL of the information about your home. If you have a beautiful custom bathroom or fancy granite countertops in your kitchen, let us know. We need to have accurate information so we make sure that the dwelling coverage in your policy will account for all the value you have in your home. If we don’t ask, be sure to mention it!
Second, your homeowners policy covers your “SEPARATE STRUCTURES”. This covers any outbuildings you have on the property that are not attached to your home. If you have a detached garage, a shed, a pole barn, etc., your separate structures will cover these buildings. In most cases, the separate structures limit is equal to ten percent of your dwelling limit. If you have special buildings on your property or need more coverage than ten percent of your dwelling limit, let us know. We can increase these defaulted limits to make sure everything on your property is covered.
Third, your homeowners insurance policy covers your “PERSONAL PROPERTY”. This is everything inside of your home. It includes your clothes, electronics, jewelry, furniture, etc. It also includes the equipment you use to maintain your property, such as your lawn mower and weed trimmer. If you were to lose everything in a fire, your insurance company would give you the funds, up to your personal property limit, to replace your things. This limit is generated based on the dwelling amount you have on your home. You can increase or decrease this coverage if you desire, but beware if you lower it – make sure you have enough coverage to replace all of your things. Don’t forget to account for the furniture, food, clothes, shoes, and basically everything but the kitchen sink (which is included in your dwelling coverage). Trust us, you do not want to underestimate the cost of replacing all the things that make up your home and your life.
Loss of Use
Fourth, your homeowners policy provides you with money to stay somewhere else if your home is being repaired or rebuilt due to a covered peril. This “LOSS OF USE” coverage is generally overlooked, but usually built into your homeowners policy. If anything happens to your home, you don’t want to have to worry about paying to live elsewhere while your home is being rebuilt. Your insurance company will cover that cost, up to your limit, to make sure you don’t have to worry about that on top of everything else.
Fifth, and possibly most importantly, is the “PERSONAL LIABILITY” coverage your homeowners insurance policy provides. Your liability coverage provides you with a security blanket should someone get hurt on your property. If a neighbor comes knocking on your front door to introduce himself, falls down your front steps, and now has $300,000.00 in medical bills, his lawyer will sue you for the damages. If the judgment is against you and you owe him the $300,000.00, and you are properly covered, your homeowners insurance policy will pay this money to protect your assets. If you are not properly covered, your homeowners will pay up to your limits of coverage, and the rest is up to you to pay. The scary thing is, the courts can garnish your wages of up to 25% until you are age 65! They can also come after any assets you own…your home, your vehicles, your savings, and your checking accounts! We recommend you have at least $300,000.00 in liability coverage on your homeowners policy, but we offer limits up to $1 million! Please think about the assets you and your family have, and then consider how much liability insurance you should have. Why should you be worried about paying out-of-pocket for a liability claim when your homeowners insurance will pay up to your limits for this type of claim?
If you own your home and another house that you rent to tenants, we can help you with both! As a landlord, you understand the importance of protecting your property. You wouldn’t want to rent your house to someone who would tear it apart, and you certainly wouldn’t want to lose it all if your insurance doesn’t cover the property properly. With a “LANDLORD” policy, you can protect the DWELLING, your PERSONAL LIABILITY, your PERSONAL PROPERTY, and LOSS OF RENT. Landlord policies are there for your peace of mind. You want to know that the rental property would be rebuilt without hassle if something happened to it. You also want to know that your liability on the property is covered should something happen, and your tenants not have a renters policy with liability coverage. You wouldn’t want to leave your own home unprotected, and you shouldn’t leave your rental properties unprotected, either. Typically, these policies are reasonably priced and “pain-free”.
If you own a home that is vacant, you should have that protected, too! “VACANT PROPERTY” policies offer you coverage for the DWELLING and PERSONAL LIABILITY. These vacant property policies also give you coverage for additional perils, on top of Fire, Theft, Wind, and Hail. With a vacant property policy, you have coverage for VANDALISM, which plagues vacant properties. Many companies do not offer coverage for vacant properties, but we do! You don’t have to leave your vacant property without insurance protection!
For people who have recently purchased foreclosed homes and need insurance to cover the home, we can help you with that, as well! Many foreclosed homes do not fit into the standard insurance market because of the condition in which they are left when the previous tenants are moved out of the home. It’s okay. We can protect the home for you while you clean things up and make it your home or rental property. Just because it may not be perfect yet, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t protect it. A “FORECLOSURE” policy covers the DWELLING and your PERSONAL LIABILITY. Plus, once you get the house back to its glory days, you can get a homeowners policy or a rental property policy on it! There is no reason you shouldn’t have all of your assets, including your foreclosed home, protected!