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What is typically covered by homeowners insurance?

Homeowners insurance provides financial protection against losses from disasters, theft, and accidents. Most standard policies include four main types of coverage: coverage for the structure of your home; Insurance coverage for your personal belongings; liability protection; Coverage of additional living expenses.

What does normal home insurance cover?

Cover for the structure of your home

Your homeowners policy will pay to repair or rebuild your home if it is damaged or destroyed by fire, hurricane, hail, lightning, or any other disaster listed in your policy. Most policies also cover freestanding structures like a garage, tool shed, or gazebo, typically for about 10 percent of the amount of your homeowners insurance.

  • A standard policy will not replace damage caused by floods, earthquakes or normal wear and tear.
  • When purchasing cover for your home plumbing, remember this simple guide: Buy enough cover to rebuild your home.

 Protection for your belongings

Your furniture, clothing, sports equipment and other personal belongings are insured if they are stolen or destroyed by fire, hurricane or other insured disaster. Coverage is typically 50 to 70 percent of the home insurance you have. The best way to determine if this is adequate coverage is to do an inventory at home.

Personal effects coverage includes items stored off-site, meaning you are covered anywhere in the world. Some companies limit the amount to 10 percent of the sum insured you have on your assets. You also have up to $500 coverage for unauthorized use of your credit cards.

Expensive items such as jewelry, furs, artwork, collectibles, and silverware are covered, but there are usually dollar limits if they are stolen. To insure these items at full value, purchase a special float or personal property permit and insure the item at its official appraised value.

Trees, plants, and shrubs are also covered by standard home insurance, usually for around $500 each. Trees and plants are not covered with disease or have been poorly cared for.

Liability Protection

Liability protects you from claims for personal injury or property damage that you or your family members inflict on other people. It also pays for damage caused by your pets. If your son, daughter (or even your dog) accidentally ruins a neighbor's expensive rug, you're covered. (If they destroy your carpet, however, you're out of luck.)

The liability portion of your policy will pay both the costs of your defense in court and any court decisions up to the maximum amount specified in your policy documents.

Liability limits typically start at around $100,000. However, it's a good idea to check with your insurer if you need to purchase a higher level of protection. If you have significant assets and want more coverage than is available in your homeowners policy, you should consider purchasing a comprehensive or excess liability policy that offers broader coverage and higher limits of liability.

Your policy also offers no-fault health insurance. So if a friend or neighbor is injured in your home, they can simply file the medical bills with their insurance company. In this way, expenses can be reimbursed without a liability claim being asserted against you. However, it will not pay your family's or pet's medical bills.

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Additional Living Expense (ALE)

ALE covers the additional cost of living away if you are unable to live there due to covered catastrophe damage. It covers hotel bills, restaurant meals, and other expenses on top of the normal living expenses involved in rebuilding your home.

Please note that ALE coverage in a homeowners policy has limits and some policies have a time limit. However, these limits are independent of the amount available to rebuild or repair your home. Even if you lose your ALE, your insurance company will still pay the full cost of rebuilding your home up to the insurance limit.

If you rent out part of your home, ALE will also pay the rent it would have charged your tenant if your home had not been destroyed.

Thanks for reading: What is typically covered by homeowners insurance?, Sorry, my English is bad:)

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