What's Covered Under A Homeowner's Insurance Policy?

Most homeowners understand that purchasing homeowner's insurance is a good idea or at least that it's required to carry in order to get a mortgage. Unfortunately, they don't really understand what's in their policy, and often find out their coverage was lacking only after a catastrophe. Here's what you should look for in a homeowners insurance to ensure that you have complete coverage when you need it.

Structure Damage

Structure damage is the most basic level of coverage and includes things like your roof, walls, and floors. There are two main things to look for in the structure damage portion of a policy.

First, does it cover all mishaps? Sometimes, certain disasters like floods or earthquakes are excluded and you must purchase an add-on policy for complete coverage. Second, you may need to take action to maintain your coverage such as scheduling annual professional tree pruning to be covered if your tree falls on your house.

Second, does structure mean full structure? A screened patio might not be included, or your expensive hardwood floors might go above the standard policy limit.

Fixtures

Fixtures are things that aren't part of your home's structure but are permanently attached. Fixtures include things like ceiling fans, decorative lighting attached to a wall or ceiling (not floor lamps), and major appliances.

Some policies will spell out exactly what is and isn't a fixture including a list of covered appliances. Others will take the term literally and only cover an appliance if it was actually permanently bolted to the floor. Be sure to ask the insurance agent for the actual written policy and study it carefully to avoid misunderstandings.

Personal Property

Personal property is everything else that you put in a home. It includes decorations, appliances that aren't considered fixtures, electronics, clothing, and jewelry.

Personal property coverage often has a capped total coverage dollar amount instead of covering a specific list of items. However, certain high-priced items like jewelry or electronics may either be excluded or have a maximum value for that specific item.

Outside Items

Items outside your home, such as lawn furniture and holiday decorations, are generally not covered because of the increased risk of theft or damage. Be sure to also check for specific limitations on coverage for expensive outside equipment like air conditioners and pool pumps.

To learn more about the homeowners insurance coverage options in your area, contact a local homeowners insurance agent today.

For an insurance broker, contact a company such as Hope & Harder Insurance Brokers.

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