A home is likely the largest investment anyone will make in his lifetime and should be protected. Home buyers purchase homeowners insurance to shield them from loss due to fire, deliberate or accidental destruction of the home by another person, and damage caused by household pets. Most homeowners policies exclude acts of God, such as floods and earthquakes, from coverage, although supplementary policies are available for these possible occurrences.
Structure - Homeowners insurance offers coverage for the structure of the home and will repair or rebuild it if it is damaged by fire, hurricane, lightning or some other covered disaster. It generally also covers structures that are not attached to the house, such as gazebos, tool sheds and garages. Homeowners insurance will not pay for routine wear and tear.
Personal Belongings - Furniture, clothes, artwork, sports equipment, electrical appliances and other household goods are covered by homeowners insurance in case they are destroyed by any disaster outlined in the policy or lost to thief. On average, companies look at how much the structure of the home is insured for and offer 50 to 70 percent of that value on the contents of the home. A full replacement cost policy can also be purchased if the amount of coverage offered in the policy seems insufficient. Coverage for expensive items like family heirlooms, jewelry, silverware and artwork should be insured for their full value through a special personal property endorsement, as their value under the general homeowners policy is capped.
Liability - The liability portion of the homeowners policy protects against lawsuits for bodily injury or property damage that policyholders or family members cause to other people. Liability also pays for damage caused by pets. It pays for the cost of defending the policyholder in court and anything the court awards the other party, up to the limit of the policy.
Living Expenses - In the event a homeowner should be forced out of her home by natural disaster or fire, homeowners insurance will pay the additional costs associated with living away from the home while it is uninhabitable. It covers hotel bills, restaurant meals and other living expenses. Coverage for additional living expenses varies from policy to policy, so it wise to read a policy carefully before signing it.
Endorsements - Owners of multifamily properties generally purchase a homeowners policy with an endorsement to cover the risks associated with having renters living on the premises, including anything that might happen to other people while they're visiting. These policies are available from "bare-bones" to comprehensive coverage
We're proud to feature several fine insurance companies, including Safeco.