Buying Home Insurance

What is homeowners insurance and why is it important? The second half of that question is easy to answer – if you have a mortgage on your home, most likely the lender requires you to keep homeowners insurance on the house to at the very least cover the balance of the mortgage.

Even if you aren’t carrying a note on your home adequate home insurance helps protect your investment, your belongings and possible liability. All three aspects of protection lead back to the question, exactly what is home insurance. Simply put, home insurance gives you financial protection against damage to your home caused by disasters and beyond the structure insures the belongings inside your home. Home insurance also protects you for liability and legal responsibility for injuries your property, you, members of your family and even your pets cause others.

Typical standard homeowners insurance provides you four areas of coverage — the structure of your house, your belongings, liability and expenses in case you are temporarily forced from your home because of an insured disaster. Home insurance policies can vary greatly so it’s in your best interest to compare home insurance quotes before making a selection. Even if your mortgage lender requires home insurance you are allowed to choose your insurer.

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What is covered in each of the four parts of a standard home insurance policy? Let’s take a closer look:

The structure of your home

This part of a home insurance policy is fairly self-explanatory in that it pays to repair, or rebuild if necessary, your home for insured disasters such as a fire, hurricane damage, lightning and any other disaster covered by your policy. Keep in mind flood and earthquake damage are not part of standard homeowners insurance and require separate policies. General wear and tear is not covered, but detached structures such as tool sheds and garages are covered with a standard home insurance policy.

Personal belongings

Also self-explanatory, this aspect of home insurance covers your stuff – furniture, clothes and other personal items in the event they are stolen or destroyed by a covered disaster. One interesting feature of personal belongings coverage is your belongings are also covered off-premises anywhere in the world.

Liability

Liability protects you against legal action for personal injury or property damage caused by your household. The liability aspect of home insurance also provides no-fault medical coverage in case someone is injured in your home.

Additional living expenses

What happens if your home if affected by a disaster such as a fire or a major storm? Where will you stay? This aspect of home insurance pays your expenses while living away from your home while it is being repaired. Covered expenses include hotels, meals and other living expenses.

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