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Should the worst happen, a blaze destroys their investment, insurance will save the homeowner from financial devastation. But fire isn’t the only loss a homeowner may suffer, and a good homeowner’s policy will protect against a wide range of mishaps.
A standard policy, in addition to fire, covers damage to the house caused by windstorms, hailstones, lightning strikes, theft and vandalism. Most policies will cover damage from burst plumbing and leaking roofs. Earthquake damage and flood damages are not covered in a standard policy; a homeowner must buy insurance against these perils separately.
Detached garages, garden sheds, and other structures on the property are covered for damages by the same perils for which the main residence is insured.
Personal property is anything that is not attached to the real estate. It includes a homeowner’s possessions such as furniture, clothing and housewares Standard policies cover damage and loss to personal property, with limits. Insurers generally place a cap on reimbursements for loss by damage or theft on the following items:
Homeowners will need to purchase additional home insurance on these items to ensure they are covered up to their full value.
- Cash, bank notes and precious metals.
- Securities and stamps.
- Jewelry, gems, furs and watches.
- Cutlery plated with silver or gold.
- Firearms, boats and trailers.
Many policies will cover, up to a set amount, the cost of replacing spoiled food caused by interruption of power to a freezer or refrigerator. Damage to the homeowner’s vehicles is generally not covered; this coverage must be purchased as part of an automobile insurance policy, although damage to the vehicle of a visitor may be covered.
Loss of use
Loss of use coverage pays for any increase in living costs a homeowner incurs if part of the insured property is rendered unfit for use by a covered peril. This can include reimbursements for the cost of a motel room while repairs are being made to the home, or include a meal allowance should a covered damage make the kitchen unusable.
With home ownership, the homeowner becomes personally liable for injury to others, or damage to another’s property, that occurs on his or her land. Personal liability coverage will pay, up to the insured amount, judgments against the homeowner in a personal liability suit. This includes slip-and-fall type injuries, physical injuries caused by the homeowner’s children or pets, and other injuries for which the homeowner is legally liable.
This coverage pays the costs of medical treatment for injuries caused on the homeowner’s property, or injuries caused away from the insured property if the injury is caused by an action of the insured. It is limited to a set amount per person and covers persons other than the insured, including those that were on the property with permission.
A comprehensive homeowner’s policy will protect the insured’s investment and safeguard against financial losses that can arise in the course of home ownership.
Jeff Hall is a freelance writer, professional blogger, and social media enthusiast. His blog Homeinsurance.org focuses on home insurance. You can follow him on Google+