Homeowner Insurance – What’s Covered Under a Typical Policy
A home insurance policy will pay to replace your house due to an insured loss and provide worldwide coverage for your personal property.
The policy will also be your first line of defense against a lawsuit should you be liable for someone’s injury. A typical home insurance policy provides a variety of coverages, beyond just damage to your home. Be sure to read your entire policy to make sure you understand your coverage.
Educate yourself below or call us today for a free no obligation consultation!
Dwelling. The primary reason for home insurance is to cover your home. This part of your policy describes how much coverage you have for repairing or replacing your damaged or destroyed home. It also covers attachments, such as a garage or deck. Most homeowner policies provide replacement coverage, meaning they pay the actual cost to replace your home up to the limit of your policy. Some policies offer guaranteed replacement cost, which means the company will pay the full cost to replace your home, even if it is above your policy limit. Make sure your review your policy at least once a year and contact your agent to be sure you have enough coverage.
Other Structures. Most homeowner policies include coverage for repairing or replacing other permanent, separate, unattached structures on your property, like a detached garage, workshop or attached fence. The coverage amount is usually 10 percent of your dwelling limits. If you have multiple structures, rent out any of them, or use them for a home business, talk to our agent about getting additional coverage.
Personal Property. This part of your policy includes coverage for your furnishings and personal items, such as your TV, stereo, clothing, dishes, etc. The policy will cover your property for the used value (or Actual Cash Value).
If you want to be reimbursed the full value of your property, you’ll need to buy replacement cost coverage. This coverage generally costs about 10 percent more. The insurance company will initially pay you for the used value of your property. Once you submit the receipt for replacement, they’ll pay you the difference between the actual cash value and how much you spent to replace the property with a comparable item.
Personal property coverage extends worldwide, but you may have a reduced limit of coverage for all personal property you take with you while you’re on vacation or any personal property you keep at a secondary residence. Ask your agent about buying additional coverage. Your policy may include limited coverage for specific personal property, such as jewelry, collectibles, art, silver, etc. If you have these types of items, you should talk to your agent about buying additional coverage or increasing your limits. Homeowner policies do have exclusions. For example, they won’t cover a roommate’s or renter’s property, autos, or large boats. Be sure to check your policy for any exclusions.
Loss of use or additional living expenses. This part of your policy pays for additional living expenses if your house is damaged or destroyed and you need another place to stay. This coverage is usually 20 percent of your dwelling limit and doesn’t include normal cost-of-living expenses, such as your house payment or utility bills.
Medical Payments. This coverage, also called “good neighbor” coverage, pays the medical expenses of others when they are accidentally injured on your property. Most policies include at least $1,000 of coverage, but you can get higher limits. Generally, this coverage only applies to guests on your property with your permission.
Liability. Most homeowner policies included liability coverage that pay expenses for bodily injury and property damage sustained by others when you are legally liable. For example, if you knew you had a loose deck railing and someone leaned on it, and fell off and was hurt, you can be held liable. Most policies include at least $100,000 of coverage, but higher limits may be available. When deciding how much coverage to buy, think about the value of your total assets, and how much you might lose if someone successfully sued you for damages.
Personal liability coverage extends beyond your property limits. If an incident occurs involving family members who live with you (as defined in your policy) at other locations, it will cover the liability of your family members. For example, it may provide coverage if your minor child damages a neighbor’s property.
Your renter's insurance policy will cover your personal property against theft or damage as outlined in the policy
Just because you rent a house or apartment, doesn’t mean that you don’t have many items that are important to you! From clothes and furniture to your computer and television, you want to feel confident that everything you own isn’t lost in a fire or other claim.
Let Tammie Pereira Insurance Services find coverage options that cover your valuables in San Francisco/San Mateo Counties with a renters insurance policy. Call us at (650) 655-2022 and let us help to make sure you’re properly covered.
Your renters insurance policy also will protect you and your family members against bodily injury and property damage liability claims up to policy limits. Medical payments coverage is available as an option which will pay for medical expenses incurred by a visitor who is injured at your residence regardless of fault. Let Tammie Pereira Insurance Services help you find the right amount of coverage on your renters insurance in California.
The typical homeowner’s insurance policy does not cover earthquake loss
Earthquake insurance is insurance for your property that pays you in the event of an earthquake that causes damage to the property.
Did you know that almost the entire United States is prone to earthquakes? The West Coast of the U.S. is especially prone with the likelihood of nearly a 70% chance of a 6.7 earthquake or larger. The East, a 40-60% chance and the Midwest has a 40%+ chance! That’s why you need earthquake insurance in California!
Most earthquake insurance policies feature a high deductible, such as 15%+ of the value of the total insured value of the home, which makes this type of insurance useful if the entire home is destroyed, but not useful if the home is merely damaged. Rates for earthquake insurance vary greatly based off of earthquake maps. Rates can also vary greatly depending what your home is made out of. Wood homes withstand earthquakes better than homes made of brick.
To learn more about what earthquake insurance covers and what isn’t covered, please call our offices today at (650) 655-2022 for a free, no obligation quote.
Are you on the Flood Map?
Many San Mateo Peninsula residents are still unaware that flood damage is not covered by their homeowner’s insurance policy. Others are in denial about the serious flood risks to which they are exposed. When considering whether or not you should purchase a flood insurance policy, take this into consideration:
Floods are the nation’s #1 natural disaster.*
Anyone can be financially vulnerable to floods. People outside of high-risk areas file over 20% of NFIP (National Flood Insurance Program) claims and receive one-third of disaster assistance for flooding.*
In high-risk (SFHAs) areas, conservative estimates show that only one-third to one-half of residents have flood insurance. In these areas there is a 26% chance of flooding over a 30 year period, while there is about only a 10% chance for a fire.*
For a number of flood disasters in the past few years, only 10 to 20% of the victims in SFHAs had flood insurance coverage. The remaining 80 to 90% had to rely on taxpayer-funded Federal disaster assistance, low-interest loans, tax write-offs or savings to help them recover.*
*Information from FloodSmart.gov
Flood insurance will protect you in two ways:
Building Coverage: Protects the insured property and its foundation, electrical system, plumbing, central air, appliances, permanently attached carpet and other flooring and more.
Contents Coverage: Covers the insured’s clothing, furniture, electronics, window coverings, portable appliances, rugs and more.