Home Insurance also known as Homeowners insurance is an insurance that covers losses to your home and property from damages. These policies provide coverage for your home, the things in your home and your personal possessions. Home insurance covers damages occurred due to manmade disasters such as fire and theft and also damages caused by natural calamities such as earthquake, floods, etc.
An important thing to remember is that most basic insurance policies do not cover both types of disasters. Home insurance policies that cover natural disasters are subject to where your home or property is located. For e.g., If you live in flood or earthquake prone area, you will need special or additional home insurance with flood coverage or earthquake coverage that will protect your home from damages incurred due to said calamity.
Home Insurance Policies are extremely customizable and cater to the need and purpose for which the homeowners are taking the said home insurance. A basic home insurance policy usually covers damages to the interior and exterior of the home and any damage to your personal belongings. An interesting thing that home insurance policies also provide is coverage for any injury or incident that occurs while on your property or protects you and your family from legal action taken by others even if it doesn’t occur on your property. This is called ‘Liability Coverage’ and interestingly on most occasions it also covers pets. Take for example, your child was playing cricket and accidentally hit the ball into the neighbour’s house which resulted in their brand-new TV getting smashed. They file a complaint and you can file a claim with your insurer and they will pay them for their woes. Take another instance, your pet dog bites that same neighbour and again they file a complaint and then again you can file a claim with your insurer who will pay your neighbour for their medical bills and for any other grievance caused.
As previously mentioned, standard insurance policies do not include floods, earthquakes & other natural calamities and those are subject to where you and your property is located and are separate and distinct policies in itself. Also, acts of war are not included in a standard home insurance policy.
When the insured files a claim with the insurer for any of the above occurrences or any incidents covered in their policy on most occasions it does not cover the entire expenses and the homeowner is required to pay some amount out of his own pocket. Like, the cost to repair your home after some disaster is $20000 and after all the approvals your claim is approved and the insurer tells the homeowner that out of $20000 only $5000 is the claim that the insurance company will pay, so the cost over and above the claim that is $15000 will be borne by the homeowner.
Aside from the standard home insurance policies there are a multitude of other insurance policies along the same lines. A few of them are as follows:
· Standard Fire and Special Perils Insurance Policy: This is quite similar or almost identical to your standard homeowner’s policy. Like mentioned in the name this policy provides coverage against fire and certain other accidents. Both actual homeowners as well as renters can opt for this policy.
· Home Structure insurance: This insurance policy is along the same lines regarding structural integrity of a standard homeowners insurance policy. This policy covers the structure of your home from all and any kind of danger such as your roof caving in, etc. This not only includes the basic structure such as walls and roofs but also the fittings of your bathrooms and kitchen. This policy covers a vast area of structures which extends to your garage and other structures present on your property.
· Renters Insurance: Renters insurance is usually taken when it is your building or your landlord’s policy. Some landlords make it compulsory so that in case of any mishap the renters will not come after them for any liability cost. This greatly minimises the risks that landlords face. Renters insurance policy covers personal property damage as well as personal liability. Other than this if your property becomes unlivable due to any reason, your renters insurance policy will cover any expenses which exceed your regular living expenses. Also, if anyone gets injured in your premises it covers those expenses too to a certain limit.
· Ordinance/Law Insurance: This insurance policy is most useful after you have suffered a loss which was covered and now you are required to rebuild your home to match your building’s current codes.
· Replacement cost plus insurance: This policy provides extra coverage in case you are required to rebuild your home after you have suffered a complete loss. This is extremely useful if you have lived or owned your property for a very long time and are worried about its wear and tear. Having this policy gives you just the extra level of protection.
· Personal umbrella liability insurance: This home insurance policy goes over and above your standard main policy and provides more coverage for injury not only to yourself and your family but also to others as well as additional coverage for property damage.
Whichever home insurance policy you opt for, most of them provide additional living expenses. This coverage covers any extra cost that you may incur due to not being able to live in or on your property due to it being unliveable or for any other reason due to any disaster or mishap which is covered in the home insurance policy you have taken.
Home Insurance may seem like an extra cost or burden until you are faced with disaster which could have easily been minimised by taking a home insurance policy. Home Insurance policies cover rebuilding or repairing your home after a disaster or accident, replacement or again repairing your personal home appliances, relocation on a temporary basis due to uninhabitable conditions, liability protection for you, your family and even your house pets, etc. So don’t hesitate to protect you, your family and your home.