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Homeowner insurance coverage, tips and more

Homeowner's insurance is one of those things that you pay for but hope you never need to use. For a small monthly or annual premium, you get coverage for the replacement of your house and belongings should they be stolen, damaged or destroyed. This guide to homeowner's insurance will help you understand the basics of this necessity.

Why You Need Homeowner’s Insurance

There are many reasons why you should purchase home insurance:

  • If you are purchasing a home with the assistance of a mortgage loan, your lender might require proof of home insurance in order to approve your loan.
  • Home insurance protects you in the event that someone is injured on your property.
  • Homeowner's insurance covers your personal property and the structure of your home.
  • You might be required by law to have a homeowner's insurance policy.

What It Can Cover

In addition to the peace of mind that a home insurance policy provides you with, your coverage offers additional benefits, including:

  • Insurance pays for damage to your dwelling and other structures on your property, such as a detached garage.
  • Coverage includes reimbursement for your personal property, even when you're not at home.
  • The policy reimburses you for loss of use of your home while repairs are made. This could include paying for a hotel or temporary apartment.
  • If you are renting out your house to someone, you can insure the structure and they can purchase a tenant policy for their possessions.
  • You can purchase riders for expensive or difficult to replace jewelry, collections, artwork, and other valuables.
  • Other typical events that insurance policies cover include theft, vandalism, storm damage, fire, civil unrest, and explosion.
  • You might need to purchase additional coverage if you live in a flood or earthquake zone.

Using Home Insurance

If you need to file a claim on your insurance coverage, you will need to pay a deductible. The deductible is an amount of money that you must spend before the insurance coverage kicks in. For example, if a storm destroyed your roof and the cost of a new roof is $10,000 and you have a $1,000 deductible, your insurance will cover the remaining $9,000 to replace the roof.

Updating Your Coverage

You should update your insurance coverage any time the value of your home or its contents change. If you've recently renovated or remodeled your home, upgraded your appliances or built an addition, its value and the cost to repair or replace the structure may have increased. You will need to increase your home insurance coverage accordingly.

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