Your home is your most valuable asset. If your home is damaged or destroyed, you need your claim settled by an insurance company that will provide you with peace of mind and the money you need to repair or replace your home and/or belongings.
These factors impact premium
Think of your personal housing situation, and the assets you want to protect.
- Protection for your home - Property or Dwelling Coverage typically pays to repair or rebuild your home if it’s damaged or destroyed by an insured event like a kitchen fire or windstorm.
- Protection for you and other people - Personal Liability Coverage applies if someone is injured or their property is damaged and you are to blame. The coverage generally applies anywhere in the world. When choosing your liability coverage limits, consider things like how much money you earn and the assets you own. Your personal liability coverage should be high enough to protect your assets if you are sued.
- Medical coverage - This covers medical expenses for guests if they are injured on your property, and in certain cases covers people who are injured off of your property. It does not cover health care costs for you or other members of your household.
- Additional living expenses - If you can’t live in your home because of a covered loss, your home insurance policy will pay additional living expenses-commonly for up to 24 months-while damage is assessed and your home is repaired or rebuilt.
- Protection for your belongings - Your home is filled with furniture, clothes, electronics and other items that mean a lot to you. Personal Property Insurance helps replace these items if they are lost, stolen or destroyed as a result of a covered loss.
- Scheduled personal property - If you have special possessions such as jewelry, art, antiques or collectibles you may want to talk to your agent about this additional coverage. It provides broader coverage for specific items.
- If you rent out your home - Landlords may have the option to buy optional liability coverage for the risks posed by tenant-occupied dwellings. Visit our Landlord Protection Insurance page for more information.
- Worried you aren't completely covered? Consider an excess liability insurance policy that extends your coverage.
What to know about homeowners insurance
Whether you own or rent, insuring the place you call home can help protect you financially if you suffer a loss due to fire, theft, vandalism, or other covered events. It will also cover you in the event someone is injured while on your property and wins a legal judgment against you.
Homeowner's policies differ by the type of loss covered, which coverage you choose, and what type of residence you own. You choose which policy is best for you, whether it’s a comprehensive policy that cover losses such as fire, smoke, water damage and other unforeseen events.
Your home insurance policy is most often made up of the specific options you choose, so how much you’ll pay for your policy depends on:
- What you select - Oftentimes homeowners insurance options are priced individually, so how much you’ll pay for your policy depends on what coverage you buy.
- How much you want to cover - Higher deductibles usually lower your premium price by shifting part of the loss payment to you.
- Where you set your limits - You may choose to set higher limits than the recommended amount if appropriate to your situation and needs.
How to protect what matters
Make an inventory of your home and personal belongings. If possible, make a list as well as take photos -- using two inventory methods can help expedite the claim resolution process. Keep this list somewhere other than your home. Keep in mind that your policy doesn't cover damages caused by poor or deferred maintenance on your part.
What are practical things I can do to lower the cost of my home insurance?
There are a number of things you can do to lower the cost of your homeowner’s insurance. The easiest thing to do is request a free and comprehensive evaluation of your current policy and your specific needs.
It’s not surprising to find quotes on homeowner’s insurance that vary by hundreds of dollars for the same coverage on the same home. When you get quotes from different insurance carriers, be sure that each company is offering the same limits of coverage and endorsements.
There are always discounts offered by insurance carriers for homeowner’s insurance. For example, insurance carriers offer a multi-policy discount when you place both your car and homeowner’s with the same company. Other discounts include credits for deadbolt exterior locks on all your doors, a central security system, increasing deductibles and being claim-free.
What does homeowner's insurance cover?
The typical homeowner’s policy has two main sections: Section I covers the property of the insured and Section II provides personal liability coverage for the insured. Almost anyone who owns or leases property has a need for this type of insurance. Usually, homeowners insurance is required by the lender to obtain a mortgage.
What is the difference between 'actual cash value' and 'replacement cost'?
Covered losses under a homeowner’s policy can be paid on either an actual cash value basis or on a replacement cost basis. When “actual cash value” is used, the policy owner is entitled to the depreciated value of the damaged property. Under the “replacement cost” coverage, the policy owner is reimbursed on an amount necessary to replace the article with one of similar type and quality at current prices.
What factors should I consider when purchasing homeowner's insurance?
There are a number of factors you should consider when purchasing any product or service, and insurance is no different.
Below is a checklist of things you should consider when you purchase homeowners insurance:
- The coverage limit of your house should equal 100% of its replacement cost. If your policy limit is less than 80% of the replacement cost of your home, any claim payment from an insurance carrier will be less than the full cost to replace your home – you’ll have to pay the rest out of your own pocket. Also, decide if the personal property and personal liability limits are adequate for your needs.
- Decide which, if any, additional endorsements you want to add to your policy. For example, do you want the personal property replacement cost endorsement, an earthquake endorsement or a jewelry endorsement?
- Once you have decided on the coverage you want in your homeowners insurance policy, we’ll work with you to help you determine if there are any gaps in coverage that you might not have been aware of, explain the details of the policy’s exclusions and limitations, as well as recommend an insurance company that will live up to your expectations.