A home is the single largest investment most folks will ever make. It can also be quite risky. Homes are damaged every single day in America. Flash floods, fires, earthquakes, hurricanes, and tornadoes can damage or completely destroy even the sturdiest of structures. Here, we will discuss the importance of protecting your investment with homeowners insurance.
Why Do You Need It?
Unlike automotive or medical insurance, people are not required to purchase the homeowner’s variety. However, if you have a mortgage loan (which most people do), the lender may insist upon some kind of protection. As a general rule, they will require enough insurance to cover the outstanding balance of the loan. But that is not the only reason a new homeowner should strongly consider a policy.
For starters, homeowners insurance protects more than just the physical structure. It also protects the contents of the abode. This means that if any of your personal belongings are damaged by a natural disaster, stolen, or lost, you can file a claim and receive restitution. The standard policy provides coverage for contents up to 50% of the value of the property. So, if your humble abode is fully insured up to $200,000, the coverage for your personal belongings will be $100,000.
Most owners are unaware of the fact that homeowners insurance also includes liability protection. This safeguard provides compensation if someone is hurt or injured on your property. For example, if the mailman slips and breaks his leg while walking up your front steps, liability protection may pay for his medical expenses and any ensuing lawsuits or court costs. Most experts recommend carrying at least $100,000 of liability insurance to be fully covered.
An even lesser known component of liability protection is that it covers accidents that do not occur on your property. For example, if your son accidentally throws a baseball through your neighbor’s expensive window, liability will often pay for the repairs.
Reimbursement for Additional Living Expenses
If the unthinkable happens, policyholders may have to avail themselves of reimbursement coverage. This component of the average package is only necessary when a home has sustained damage and is deemed unlivable. If there is a fire or a flood and the homeowner is forced to find alternate housing, he or she may apply for reimbursement for additional living expenses. The insurance provider will then pay for any and all expenses until the structure is repaired or rebuilt. This includes the cost of food, rent or hotel bills, and rental car fees. The standard policy offers reimbursement of up to 20% of the coverage on the property.
As we have seen, additional coverage is based on the total value of the policy on the home or structure, which is why it is extremely important to fully insure your abode.