If you own just the one house that you and your family are living in, then it is, in all likelihood, the most valuable asset in your name. And for an asset with that much value to you, you are expected to protect it to the best of your ability. So you put up security fences, a home alarm system, or any measure that will ensure the safety not only of the property itself but also all of your belongings inside that property.
Sometimes, however, homeowners forget to protect it with the best protection available in the market: home insurance.
We can install state of the art security and alarm systems which may protect your home from burglars and other criminals who might break and enter. These measures, however, won’t be able to do much of anything to protect the actual structure of your house from fire, hurricanes, hail, and other natural disasters. Home insurance, on the other hand, can by covering the damage that those disasters cause, allowing you to resume your life as normally as possible.
If your home is not insured just yet and you’re thinking about taking that essential step, here are some facts about home insurance that you should know.
Home insurance is not a requirement
The fact that the law doesn’t require homeowners to get insurance policies for their home is probably the single biggest reason why many homes remain uninsured.
As long as you paid for your home in cash or inherited it, home insurance will always be just an option for you.
However, if you bought your house through a mortgage, you will likely be compelled by your lender to purchase a home insurance policy. After all, they do have an interest in your home while you still haven’t fully paid the mortgage. So if something happens to it because of a disaster, it would be in their best interest that every inch of that property you acquired with their help.
Home insurance may not be a requirement for some homeowners, but that doesn’t mean they don’t need it. Disasters do not distinguish between fully paid-for homes and those still under a mortgage. Getting a home insurance policy is the wisest thing a homeowner can do.
Coverage of standard home insurance policy
If you purchase a standard home insurance policy, you can rest assured knowing that it will cover any damage to the physical structure of your house as well as to its plumbing, electrical wiring, and heating and cooling systems caused by disasters like fire, hail, lightning strikes, hurricanes, windstorms, vandalism and malicious destruction, damage from a vehicle, or even damage caused by the sheer weight of accumulated snow, ice, or sleet. These are called covered perils, and your home insurance will pay for them all.
A standard home insurance policy also covers damage to the garage, tool shed, or any detached structure within your property.
Having a home insurance policy doesn’t just mean protection for the house itself. If your belongings like appliances, furniture, and clothing are damaged in a disaster or lost in a theft, then it will kick in and compensate you for your loss.
Now let’s say half your home burned down in a fire, and you and your family will have to live in a hotel while the damage is being fixed so you can avoid living in a place that has suffered severe smoke damage. You will be happy to know that your standard home insurance policy will also cover your temporary living expenses.
Home liability insurance coverage
One novel feature of a standard home insurance policy is home liability insurance coverage, which will protect you in case a visitor suffers a personal injury or property damage within your premises. So let’s say your dog bites a visitor who will need to get medical treatment. Your home insurance will pay for that medical treatment. Should your visitor decide to file a claim against you in court, your home insurance will cover your legal expenses.
All of these, of course, will depend on the amount of coverage specified in your policy.
What your home insurance policy doesn’t cover
Your home insurance will cover the damage caused by a number of natural disasters. Damage and loss caused by an earthquake or a flood, however, will not be covered by a standard home insurance policy. You have to buy separate policies for each disaster. So if your house is located in an area that’s prone to flooding and earthquakes, you have to get flood and earthquake insurance policies to ensure protection for your home and your belongings.
The facts mentioned above are just the very tip of the iceberg when it comes to home insurance. Still, you can use them to delve more into the subject to ensure that you will get the best home insurance policy for your needs.
• Rachael Harper is the Content Marketing Strategist of Bennett & Porter, a wealth management and insurance firm based in Scottsdale, Arizona. When not writing, she makes use of her time reading books and playing bowling with her family and friends.