For most of us, purchasing a home is the single biggest financial investment we will ever make. Not only that, but it’s also where many of us raise our families, creating memories that will last a lifetime. And no matter if this is your first purchase, or the vacation home of your dreams, you want to make sure that you are properly protected. That’s where we come in. We help you through the whole process, from estimating how much coverage you need, to the quoting, to dealing with the banks and lenders on your behalf. We try to make this process as easy and painless as possible for you, and help to make sure that this major financial investment is properly protected.
Aside from protecting the house itself, your personal belongings, and personal liability, your homeowners policy provides a multitude of coverages, many which you may not be aware of. Many give you identity theft protection, coverage to replace your locks after a break-in, equipment breakdown for your major electrical systems and electronics, coverage for spoiled food after a power outage, and much more. Something that is NOT covered is natural disaster floods.
The main important coverages are:
Dwelling Coverage: this is what protects your house from damage. Coverage is typically calculated by an estimator we are provided by the insurance company during the quoting process. It is usually backed up by an onsite company inspection after the policy is issued.
Personal Property Coverage: this is what protects your belongings after a loss. The limit on the policy is usually a percent of the dwelling coverage. This is also typically world-wide coverage, meaning if you are travelling and your luggage is stolen, you can make a claim for it.
Loss Of Use: will cover you increase in living expenses, such as staying at a hotel, after a covered loss. Limit is usually a percent of the dwelling coverage.
Other Structures: covers any detached structure on your property, such as a detached garage or a shed, from a loss. Limit is usually a percent of the dwelling coverage.
Personal Liability: this protects you from a lawsuit if you are found negligently responsible for property damage or bodily injury to another party. Typically we recommend choosing an amount that will cover most of, if not all, your net worth. If the primary limits are not enough, securing an umbrella liability policy can help make up the difference.
Medical Payments: sort of an “anti-lawsuit” coverage, this will pay, without regard to fault, someone’s medical bills who holds you responsible for their injury. Limit is typically small, like $10,000, and will pay someone just so they won’t sue for a larger amount.
One other important thing to consider is coverage for your valuables, such as jewelry or fine arts. Typically standard homeowners policies limit the amount of coverage you have for these types of items. In this case, you would want to schedule, or list them, on a separate rider usually attached to the homeowners policy. Please see our page on valuables for more information.