Homeowners insurance is a contract between you and an insurance company to compensate you for any harm or loss as it pertains to your home. Every provider and policy covers different perils, and it is important to read and understand the fine print before you commit.
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What Does Home Insurance Cover?
Homeowners insurance typically protects the following:
- Other structures
- Personal property
- Other perils, including fire, windstorms, aircraft damage, explosions, riots, vehicle damage, vandalism, falling objects, volcanic eruptions, weight of snow or ice, water damage
Homeowners are offered the ability to purchase additional coverages for more protection. You may find that most homeowners insurance policies provide damages caused by fires, lightning, windstorms and hail. However, don’t forget that not all natural disasters are covered by homeowners insurance.
For dwelling protection, it explicitly covers the home structure in which you reside. This includes the home’s foundation, walls and roof. Dwelling protection can sometimes even help cover other structures that are attached to the home. In certain special cases, this might look like a garage or desk.
Other structure protection involves coverage for particular areas of your property that are separate from your home. An example of this might look like a detached garage, tool shed or fence. However, not all detached structures are covered by insurance policies, especially if you never update the policy after these structures are built.
As we move right along into personal property protection, homeowners insurance doesn’t just strictly protect against damage to your home. It also offers coverage for personal belongings within it too.
For example, if electronics are stolen from your home or furniture is damaged by a fire, you can lean on personal property protection to help pay for any or all repairs or replace your belongings. Plenty of insurance companies offer optional coverage policies to enhance protection further.
Extended coverage falls under this category of an optional protection you can purchase. Items like jewelry, watches, furs or other expensive accessories that hold greater value than your property coverage limits are eligible for extended coverage.
Every homeowner’s insurance offers liability coverage whenever an individual, who does not reside with you, is injured while on your property. Suppose the unfortunate soul who trips over your broken porch step is seriously injured. In that case, bodily injury liability coverage can help compensate you for any resulting legal expenses you may face or the injured visitor’s medical bills if you are found responsible.
Be sure to research and gather as much data and information as possible because you may increase your liability coverage limits. An experienced agent can discuss adding a personal umbrella policy and other options.
What Does Home Insurance Not Cover?
With homeowners insurance, flooding, hurricanes, tornados, power failures and earthquake damage are just some of the aspects not covered.
Flood insurance is the way to protect your home and belongings if there is a flood. A separate policy is available through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which can wind up costing almost the same amount as your regular homeowners policy.
Another way you can purchase flood insurance is by talking to your insurance provider. Some areas may require you to invest in this coverage, especially if you live in a high-risk spot. Additionally, flood insurance will also protect against mudslides. Keep in mind that the cost of flood insurance varies from state to state.
With hurricanes and tornadoes, you need to be extra careful. You want to make sure you read through your entire policy. Again, it all depends on where you live and whether or not your insurance covers hurricane or tornado damages. For the most part, policies do not cover it.
Should you have any follow-up questions, speak to an agent. A policy will likely not cover any flood damages caused by hurricanes and tornadoes. You will have to work with the NFIP for specific insurance covering flooding due to natural disasters.
Power failures can cause costs for a multitude of reasons. The most common involves the costs of food spoiling if there is no power for an extended period. Other potential problems that can cause more serious damage could be when the power failure is caused by lightning or a winter storm that results in bursting pipes. Receiving compensation will depend on the cause and if you are accountable for any damages.
If you live in an area with frequent earthquakes or along a fault line, that is enough to indicate future earthquakes. You will have to add earthquake coverage. This type of coverage does not come with standard packages.
On top of that, not all insurance companies offer earthquake protection either. Your state’s insurance department may be able to provide you with insurance companies that offer earthquake protection on its website.
Does Home Insurance Cover Foundation Issues?
Homeowners insurance covers the basic structure of your home. This includes the foundation, the frame, the walls and the roof. It’s important to analyze every aspect of your homeowners insurance policy because it will list every covered hazard. To do so, check the dwelling part of your policy.
The elements of foundation damage covered by homeowners insurance are; lightning or fire, explosions, damage from vehicles, collapse due to the weight of snow, ice, rain or sleet, riots, windstorms, fallen trees, water damage or vandalism.
When foundation repair isn’t covered by homeowners insurance, it can look like natural settling, shrinking, bulging, expansion, cracking of the foundation, wear, and tear, earthquakes, flooding, sinkholes, insects or faulty design or construction.
Compare Home Insurance
Based on research and data collected by Benzinga, the best home insurance providers are Lemonade, Policygenius, The Hartford, Allstate and American Family Insurance. Each of these carriers excels and is best known for distinct features. Lemonade is best for its ratings, price and customization.
Policygenius is best for comparing quotes from multiple providers. The Hartford is known for its excellent claims process, and Allstate is best for no recent claims. American Family Insurance is best for diminishing deductible options.
If none of these insurance providers meet your standards and needs, it is highly suggested that you gather more data and compare quotes.
Protect Your Home With Insurance
After you consider everything that goes into answering the first and fundamental question, what is homeowners insurance, you find that protecting your home and personal property is all it boils down to. Homeowners do not want to make the mistake of purchasing too little or too much insurance.
Benzinga is a great tool to compare insurance agencies, quotes, and rates for homeowners insurance. You can always refer back to Benzinga when questions linger about homeowners insurance and which one is right for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does it cost to fix a house foundation?
According to Home Advisor, homeowners pay around $5,000 for foundation repairs. Any repairs that involve hydraulic piers can cost upwards of $10,000 or more. Filling in minor cracks may cost as little as $500.
Are foundation repairs worth it?
Foundation repairs are expensive but worth the cost. Regardless of whether you plan to sell your home or live in it for many years to come, investing the time and money to repair your foundation will bring long-term benefit. It will prevent future damage and decrease the chances of your home’s value dropping.