Homeowners Insurance is a necessary component of your overall financial plans as well as a major part of your insurance needs, so asking what does homeowners insurance cover is a great question. If you own a residential space, you need Homeowners Insurance that covers your lifestyle. If you are planning to purchase your first home, be aware that your lender will require you to have an adequate Homeowner’s Policy to activate at closing. This becomes an important part of your financial planning. Premiums may be paid annually or monthly but it is a given and recurring expense. Plan your budget accordingly. How large a home can you afford? What are the associated expenses in home ownership? What risks can be covered with adequate insurance? What does homeowners insurance cover?
Generally, a Homeowners Insurance policy will contain the following:
- Coverage for the structure of your home.
- Coverage for your personal belongings.
- Liability protection.
- Additional living expenses in the event you are temporarily unable to live in your home because of a fire or other insured disaster
Homeowners Insurance in Texas has a standard policy that covers the building, contents and liability exposure. The cost is determined by the price of the house and the additional coverage available for other risks and other factors.
Insurance Agent – Choose Wisely
Choose a qualified insurance agent to help you with the overall plan and to explain the additional costs that you might need. These might include flood insurance if your house is in a floodplain, or coverage of very expensive furnishings and art work, jewelry, etc. It is usually prudent to contact more than one insurance agent as you shop for coverage. Premiums may differ from one company to another. Carefully evaluate the coverage, the strength of the company and the service perceived. A long term relationship with a local agent results in good service and follow-up care. Usually there is a discount in placing multiple policies in one single company. In the event of a loss to your home, there is emotional trauma. Having an agent that you know and have confidence in can make a significant difference in the outcome. A congenial, trusting relationship that has been established with that agent will serve to ameliorate any misunderstandings, anger or confusion following a traumatic event.
Factors included in the determination of policy coverage include location and the homeowner’s decision as to the amount of insurance he chooses. Prices may be lower if fire alarms and sprinklers have been installed. Proximity of a fire station is also a determining factor. A security system with approved locks, or hurricane window shutters on the seashore are an example of the individual determinates. A difficult figure to arrive at may be the replacement cost of the home if it is sustains major damage or is totaled. If insufficient coverage is purchased to rebuild the home, the insured may have to pay substantial uninsured costs out of his own pocket. Insurers use vendors to estimate the costs and they may give strong recommendations, but the insurance agent will leave the responsibility ultimately up to the consumer.
Information on the strength and financial rating of the insurance companies can be found on the internet. Some agents represent multiple companies. Do your homework. Read the small print of the policies. Keep files current and in order for future need.
What Does Homeowners Insurance Cover?
- Fire or Lightning
- Windstorm or hail
- Weight of ice, snow or sleet
- Damage from vehicles
- Freezing of plumbing;
- Sudden and accidental flooding from plumbing or appliances
- Sudden and accidental electrical current.
- Personal property includes clothes, furniture, appliances and the policy can be written to cover replacement of those belongings at current market value if they are damaged or destroyed.
Acquaint yourself with the coverage. A Homeowner’s Insurance policy may be written to provide additional coverage for other things. It might address identity theft, a growing concern because of the damage it can cause to your finances, credit and reputation. This and other types of financial fraud can be included in the policy.
A recent devastating tornado in our area has caused many unaffected by the storm to re-evaluate their existing policies. The loss to uninsured victims has left people homeless and without hope for restitution. Conversely, we have seen Insurance Companies responding expeditiously by setting up temporary claims offices in the neighborhoods to provide immediate counsel to those with losses. Temporary housing credits were issued to the properly covered. The insurance companies worked with disaster recovery groups to determine loss more efficiently and ensure more rapid assistance.
What does homeowners insurance cover?
At the time of major loss, the emotional impact of losing one’s home cannot be measured by dollar signs. However, knowing that your insurance for this risk, that was only a slight possibility, is now there to make you whole. This knowledge can give a measure of comfort to a homeowner, a parent, and spouse. Suddenly, the insurance coverage is seen as a comforting safety net rather than as an ever present bill to pay. And the insurance company has a face as the coverage that was promised becomes a reality.