Homeowner Needs

What Home Insurance Covers

Matching your needs to the kinds of policies available can be a challenge. You need to consider the cost of the premiums as well as your ability to tolerate some risk. These are always the main factors you will need to balance out.

However, there are unique needs depending on the type of home you own or rent.

When you own the building, you should have home insurance for the building. In most cases, if you have a mortgage your lender will require this insurance as a condition of lending you the money.

If you are a homeowner, you should consider some level of coverage for the 4 standard components of home insurance:

  1. structure
  2. contents
  3. liability
  4. living expenses

The home insurance policies which apply to your situation are: HO-1, HO-2, HO-3, and HO-8. The most popular home insurance policy is the HO-3 policy, which will cover you for all the commonly named perils. Note that if you own a multi-family home you might consider the HO-3 coverage with a special endorsement to cover you in case of renter-caused damage to your property.

Let's start with the structure. You will need enough home insurance to rebuild your home. Keep in mind that your estimate should be at current construction costs - not the original cost to build. Also, you might have to consider rebuilding with less-expensive materials. This is often the case when you have owned an older home.

You can come to a quick estimate in a number of ways. You can have your home appraised. You can also get an appraisal from a real estate agent and then subtract the cost of the building lot. However, neither of these approaches will give you an actual construction cost estimate.

You can also take the square footage of your home and multiply it by the average building cost per square foot. However, average cost per square foot will not include special finishings.

Your policy will not cover you in the case of damage because you didn't do routine maintenance as required. It also won't cover your home in the case of flood or earthquake. If you want this kind of protection you will need to check elsewhere.

Read more general information about Home Insurance Policy, Condo Insurance and Renters Insurance. Read specifics about Structural Home Insurance, Home Content Insurance, Home liability insurance, Additional Liability Coverage, Title Insurance, Flood and Earthquake Insurance, and Living Expenses Home Insurance. Don't miss the sections about Home Insurance Savings, Types of Home Insurance Policies, What Home Insurance Covers and Level of Home Insurance for definite information you should know before you buy.

Click the links above to get started on your specific needs for home insurance.

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