As a homeowner, there are many things you can do to protect your home from the unexpected, like installing a home security system or performing regular maintenance. But one thing you can't control is what Mother Nature throws your way. From hurricanes and tornadoes to earthquakes and floods, extreme weather events are becoming more regular, with some disastrous results. That's why having the right insurance coverage is so important. It can lessen the burden of getting your house back together after it's been hit by wild weather. Here, our real estate agents will walk you through the basics of homeowners insurance to help you better prepare for unexpected damage before it's too late.
How a Homeowners Insurance Policy Protects You
- Damage to the Interior or Exterior of the Home
If your home is damaged or destroyed by lightning, fire, hail, hurricane, vandalism, and other covered disasters, your insurance provider will pay to repair or completely rebuild the home. Destruction from earthquakes, floods, and routine wear and tear is generally not covered. Most standard policies also cover freestanding garages, gazebos, tool sheds, or any other structure that's not attached to the house.
- Personal Belongings
homeowners insurance doesn't just help cover structural damage, it also provides coverage for the items you keep within. Appliances, clothing, furniture, sports equipment, and most other contents of your home are covered if they're stolen or destroyed by an insured disaster. This part of the policy also includes "off-premises" coverage, which could allow you to file a claim for belongings lost anywhere in the world. However, there may be a limit on the amount the insurance provider will reimburse you.
- Personal Liability Protection
Liability coverage protects you from lawsuits for property damage or bodily injury caused by you or your family member to another person not living with you. Suppose a delivery guy slips on ice on your walkway and breaks his leg, your insurer will pay for his medical expenses and lost wages if you're found at fault. The policy even pays for damage caused by pets. If your dog bites your neighbor, liability coverage may help pay for their medical expenses. Coverage extends to anywhere in the world.
- Additional Living Expenses
If you find yourself forced out of your home due to damage from an insured disaster, this part of insurance would reimburse you for the cost of living away from your home. It covers hotel bills, restaurant meals, rent, and other incidental costs you incur while the home is being repaired or rebuilt.
Types of Homeowners Insurance Coverage
There are three levels of coverage:
- Actual Cash Value: Pays to replace the house or belongings after deducting depreciation.
- Replacement Cost: Covers the actual cash value of repairing or rebuilding your home without a depreciation deduction.
- Guaranteed or Extended Replacement Cost: The most comprehensive, this policy pays for the entire cost of repairing or rebuilding your home, even if it exceeds your policy limit.
What Disasters Does homeowners Insurance Cover?
homeowners insurance provides you financial protection in the event of damage caused by the following scenarios:
- Volcanic eruption
- Cold weather and snowstorms
- Damage caused by vehicles or aircraft
- Weight of snow, ice, or sleet
- Falling object
Even the broadest homeowners insurance policy won't cover every possible event that could damage or destroy your home. Most policies typically exclude damage caused by:
- Earthquakes, sinkholes, and landslides
- Flooding, including sewer and drain backup
- Nuclear hazard
- Infestations by birds, mold, fungus, or vermin
- Wear and tear or poor maintenance
- Power failure
- Government action
You'll want riders or separate policies for excluded natural disasters. Flood coverage is provided by the Natural Flood Insurance Program, but it can also be purchased from an insurance carrier. Earthquake coverage is available as a spate policy or as an endorsement.
Are you looking for Akron homes for sale or North Canton homes for sale? Our agents can help you find the perfect home for your family and provide home improvement tips to keep your home in tip-top shape. Contact us to learn more about services.