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If you own the home you live in you should consider getting a Homeowners insurance policy. These policies combine property insurance and liability insurance into one packaged policy. Most standard policies include four types of coverage: Structure, Personal Property, Liability and Loss of Use / Additional Living Expense. Additional coverage and limits can be added to your policy depending on your unique needs.
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What's covered by my Homeowner's Insurance Policy?
Coverage for Structure(s): A homeowners policy pays to repair or rebuild your home up to the limits of liability as stated in your policy as long as the damage was caused by a covered peril - such as fire, hail and windstorms. A standard policy does not include damage caused by flood, earthquakes and normal wear and tear.
When purchasing your policy it is recommended that you purchase enough coverage to rebuild your home.
Other structures on your property, such as a detached garage, are generally included in your policy for 10% of the coverage on your home's main structure. However, you can purchase specified amounts instead.
Personal Property: When deciding how much coverage you need for personal belongings it is recommended you do a home inventory. A typical policy generally covers personal property at 50% of the insurance you have on the structure of your home. However, it is possible you will discover this is not enough to replace all the items you own, such as electronics, sports equipment, jewelry and furniture. By conducting a home inventory you can better determine what limits you need to have in the event your belongings are stolen or destroyed in a disaster such as a fire.
Tree, plants and shrubs are also included under personal property. However, coverage does not include disease or poor maintenance.
Personal property coverage also includes items stored off-premises, however some companies place limits on the amount. If you often travel with expensive belongings, you should talk to your agent to see if a personal property endorsement or floater policy is right for you. These endorsements can also be purchased for high ticket items such as engagement rings, furs, art and other high valuable collector items.
Liability Protection: Liability protection covers you in the event of a lawsuit claiming bodily injury or property damage that you or your household family members caused to other people. this coverage pays for the cost to defend you in court and any damages the court awards - up to the limit stated in your policy.
This includes any damage caused by your pets to a 3rd party.
Liability protection can also extends to include no-fault medical payments coverage. This allows friends and neighbors who are injured on your property to submit medical bills directly to the insurance company without having to file a lawsuit.
It is important to note that this does not include medical bills for you, your family, or your pets.
Loss of Use / Additional Living Expense (ALE) Coverage: If you are unable to live in your home due to damage from an insured peril this coverage will cover the costs of hotels, restaurant meals and other costs above your normal living expense while your home is being repaired or rebuilt.
It is important to note that some policies include time limitation as well as normal limits to this coverage.
If you rent out part of your home ALE coverage also covers the loss of rent income during the time your home is uninhabitable.
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