One of the major responsibilities of owning a home is to insure it. If you have a mortgage on your home, your lender will require you to have insurance. But even if you owe nothing on your home, it makes sense to have insurance for it to protect your very large investment.
What is it?
Homeowners insurance essentially has two components. The main component is property and casualty insurance to pay to fix your home or replace it if it is damaged or destroyed by an event that is covered by the policy. The second component is personal liability insurance that covers you for a number of things that may occur on and off your property, such as your dog biting someone, someone slipping and falling on your icy sidewalk or you crashing into and injuring someone on your bicycle.
Who is it for?
Home insurance is for people who live in a home that they own. If you don’t own the home you live in or if you don’t live in the home you own, you need other types of insurance.
How does it work?
Homeowners insurance works like other types of property and casualty insurance. If your home is damaged by a covered event, such as a storm or fire, you need to contact your insurance company to make a claim. Your insurer will then send out an adjuster to make sure the event is covered by the policy and determine the extent of its liability. Once that has been determined, your insurance will kick in and start paying for things that are covered, including repairing the damage to your home and paying for you to live elsewhere for a time if necessary.
Different types of coverage
Homeowners policies are relatively standard in what they cover and what they don’t. Hail, wind and fire damage typically are covered while flooding and earthquake damage aren’t. Most insurers offer endorsements and riders to add coverage.
The main benefit of having insurance for your home is ensuring your protect your investment. A secondary benefit is the personal liability protection you get.