What is homeowners insurance?
- February 26, 2020
- Walter Portier
- Georgia, homeowner, homeowner insurance, insurance, insurance agent, Ocilla, Progressive, The Portier Agency
What is homeowners insurance?
Homeowners insurance is an agreement between you and your insurance company that can cover your house, unattached structures, lawsuits against you, and more. When you buy homeowners insurance, you’re buying “coverages,” which are essentially things your insurer agrees to pay for.
It’s basically like paying a little now to avoid potentially paying a lot later.
How does homeowners insurance work?
When you purchase insurance, your insurer or agent will ask simple questions about you and your home, and then you’ll have some options when picking coverages. Several of these factors can impact your price. Generally, more coverage means a higher price. Then if your house is damaged or something else happens, you can file a “claim” with your insurance company. That’s an insurance term for asking for payment based on what’s protected on your policy. If it’s covered, they’ll pay for the damages or losses up to your specified coverage limits.
Generally, more coverage means a higher price.
Do I need homeowners insurance?
Homeowners insurance is not legally required. But, if you have (or are getting) a mortgage, your lender will likely require you to purchase insurance to protect their investment. In fact, Progressive and many other insurers will help coordinate details with your lender.
These are the coverages offered in most states, but coverages can vary by state. Keep in mind, insurance doesn’t cover maintenance or general wear and tear.
Dwelling coverage: Anything permanently attached to your house, including attached garages, chimneys, roofs, countertops, cabinets, flooring, vanities, and even in-ground pools, etc.
Other structures: Structures not attached to your house, including sheds, unattached garages, gazebos, pergolas, fences, driveways, etc.
Personal property: Your stuff, even if it’s damaged or stolen away from your home. For example, personal property covers tools stored in your shed destroyed by a fire or even your computer if it’s stolen from your car. Belongings that are commonly covered:
- Tools/power equipment
- Electronics (TVs, DVD players, sound systems, etc.)
- Toys/other games (arcade systems, billiards tables, ping-pong tables, etc.)
Limits for belongings: Insurers typically have a per-item limit that is a percentage of your total personal property coverage. This means that certain expensive items may not be fully insured. For example, you have $100,000 in personal property coverage, but the limit for any single item is 10% of the total coverage. If your $15,000 grand piano is damaged, you’ll only get a payment for $10,000, minus your deductible. Long story short: If you have expensive items, contact your insurer to get proper coverage. You’ll then add them as individual items to your policy, called scheduling an item or adding a rider.
For many customers, these items commonly include:
- Expensive/custom furniture
- Art and collectibles (See more on art and collectibles insurance.)
- Jewelry (This can be a bit different. See more on jewelry insurance.)
Temporary living expenses
Loss of use: If your home is damaged from a covered loss and uninhabitable, this coverage pays for hotel/rent expenses plus food (above what you’d normally pay). For example: If you usually spend $100 on groceries a week, but need to spend $500 to eat out, you’ll get $400.
Personal liability: If someone is injured on your property, due to your fault, or you/your family members on your policy cause damage to others’ property, this coverage will kick in. If you’re sued over these damages, this will also pay for your lawyer and court fees as described in your policy. For example, if your babysitter falls down your stairs because there is not adequate lighting, this would pay for her injuries. Or, if you’re playing catch in the backyard and the ball accidentally breaks your neighbor’s window, this coverage will pay to replace the window.
Injuries on your property
Medical payments: Pays medical bills if someone else is hurt at your home or on your property.
When you’re covered
Perils: These are really just events/instances that can cause damage. Which perils are covered can vary depending on your insurer and the type of policy you choose. Here are some commonly covered perils:
- Fire and smoke
- Explosions (e.g., aerosol can or gas grill)
- Theft and vandalism
- Car/aircraft crashing into your […]
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Continue reading this Progressive Insurance article.
Don’t forget, The Portier Agency offers:
homeowner/mobile home/ renter’s /automobile / motorcycle / life / commercial / crop insurance.
Call or come by to get your quote!
The Portier Agency, LLC
113 North Irwin Avenue
Ocilla, GA 31774