What is Homeowners insurance?
Homeowners insurance provides financial protection against disasters. A standard policy insures the home itself and the things you keep in it.
Homeowners insurance is a package policy. This means that it covers both damage to your property and your liability or legal responsibility for any injuries and property damage you or members of your family cause to other people. This includes damage caused by household pets.
Damage caused by most disasters is covered but there are exceptions. The most significant are damage caused by floods, earthquakes and poor maintenance. You must buy two separate policies for flood and earthquake coverage. Maintenance-related problems are the homeowners’ responsibility.
Why Do You Need Homeowners Insurance?
It is all about financially protecting yourself if something unexpected happens to your home or possessions. That’s important because your home is likely one of your largest investments.
- If your home was destroyed by fire or damaged by a natural disaster, you’d need money to repair or replace it.
- If a guest in your home is injured, liability protection and medical coverage help pay expenses.
- If you are a victim of theft and vandalism, it can reimburse you for your loss or pay for repairs.
- Your lender will require insurance if you are still paying for your home.
It is important to know that homeowners insurance is meant to cover unexpected damage, not routine maintenance. Ask your agent to talk about what is covered, and be sure to read your policy, so you know what’s included and what is not.
Things to Consider and Questions to Ask Your Agent
Here are a few things to discuss with your agent that will influence your decisions:
- How much will it cost to rebuild my house and replace my belongings if damaged or destroyed? (Ask your agent to talk you through your home’s features and what you own so you can make an informed decision about coverage.)
- Does the insurance company have a good reputation for customer service? Is it known for paying claims fairly and promptly?
- What discounts are available? (Ask about multiple policies, security system, and fire resistance discounts.)
- What’s the process for filing and settling a claim? (Ask who to call and what happens after you file a claim.)
Because everyone’s needs are different, it is best to consult your agent to help assess your needs and find the right insurance policy for you. West Coast Pro Services is here to help