Homeowners Insurance Coverages
Homeowners insurance policies aren't all created equal. While most companies have standard policies with similar coverages, there are often differences in how the coverage works as well as the optional coverages available. Keep reading to learn a little more about some of the coverages available and how they may work.
What Does a Standard Homeowner's Policy Typically Cover
Dwelling Coverage or Coverage A:
Coverage for Your Home's Structure
What it does: Dwelling coverage covers damages to the structure of your home from things like fire, windstorms, hail, lightning, theft and vandalism.
Example: If your home's structure is damaged by a fire, the repair costs would be covered by the dwelling portion of your home insurance up to the coverage limit in your policy.
Other Structures or Coverage B:
Coverage for Detached Structures
What it does: Other structures coverage covers damage to other, detached buildings on your property such as detached garages, gazebos, sheds, swimming pools and fences. This coverage protects the structure itself, not the things you store inside.
Example: If a windstorm knocks a tree onto your shed and it needs to be repaired, other structures coverage helps cover the cost.
Personal Property or Coverage C:
Coverage for Personal Belongings
What it does: Personal property coverage protects your items inside your home up to your selected coverage limits if they're damaged or destroyed by a covered event.
Example: Someone breaks into your garage and steals your bicycle and camping equipment. Your home insurance may pay to replace the stolen items, up to the limits of your policy minus your deductible. There are different ways for personal property to be covered and different companies have different limits. Read more about optional coverages and talk to your agent to learn more.
Loss of Use or Coverage D:
Coverage for Temporary Living Expenses
What it does: If your home becomes uninhabitable as a result of a covered event, this coverage helps pay for additional living expenses, like a hotel and food.
Example: There's a fire in your home, and you can't stay there for two weeks while it is being repaired. If you spend $1,000 eating out, loss of use may cover the food bill beyond what you normally spend, and your rent/hotel expenses.
Personal Liability or Coverage E:
What it does: If someone is accidentally injured on your property, your liability coverage can help protect you from liability claims and lawsuits brought by others up to your policy limit.
Example: A delivery person falls because of a loose railing at your house and sues you for their medical bills, lost wages, and damaged merchandise. Personal liability may cover you.
Finding the right amount of coverage is essential for protecting your most valuable investment. Don't take any chances when it comes to your home - it's better to be safe than sorry. While a basic homeowners insurance policy provides some coverage, there may still be gaps in protection. That's where optional coverages come in. Insurance companies offer a variety of extras to tailor your policy to your specific needs. Make sure to consider some of these optional coverages when selecting your homeowners insurance policy.
Extends your dwelling coverage limit to help protect you in case it costs more to re-build your home than what your standard policy limit allows. Usually comes as a percentage of extra coverage ranging from 25% up to "guaranteed" with some carriers.
If water backs up through a sewer or overflows through a sump pump and damages your home or belongings, home insurance typically won't provide coverage. Water backup coverage helps you protect against this.
Protects against the expense of sudden damage to underground utility pipes and wires, such as power lines, cable lines, water and sewer piping.
Most standard policies will reimburse you based on the depreciated value of your items after a covered loss. By adding this optional coverage, the insurance company will reimburse you to replace your belongings with new items of similar type and quality, without deducting for depreciation. Only after covered loss of course!
Most standard policies place "sub-limits" on certain personal property items such as: jewelry, fine art, antiques, firearms and other expensive items. By adding scheduled property, you can increase the coverage limits for high-value items as well as cover more types of loss
Standard policies will typically cover your appliances if they're damaged by a covered peril, but won't pay to repair or replace them if they break due to mechanical or electrical failure. Adding this optional coverage will help protect against this gap.
Helps protect against the increased cost of getting your house up to code after a covered loss.
Not every homeowners policy provides coverage for business property, however, even if yours does, there are likely limits that may not be high enough to protect it. This endorsement can help raise those limits. This coverage usually is for property only and does not include liability.
Earthquake damage is an excluded peril in standard homeowners policies. Some companies offer this coverage add-on, which would add some protection from damage caused by earthquake. This only would cover direct damage from earthquakes, not additional perils often associated with earthquakes such as floods, sinkholes and fires. If your company doesn't offer this endorsement, you can look into stand alone earthquake coverage.
*The information on this page is intended to provide a general understanding of water backup coverage and is not intended to be a representation of exact policy coverages. Policy coverages and language can vary greatly between carriers, and location. For specifics, please consult with your agent or insurance carrier.