Home Insurance 101: Learn the Basics

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It has been said that home is where the heart is. I’d have to say that I do agree. At one point of time my

job involved a lot of travelling, and whenever I was away, I would always miss home like crazy. This was even before I was married and had kids, I lived alone, so it wasn’t my family I missed – just to clarify. No matter how amazing the room is in the hotel that you stay at, it can never compete with that feeling of familiarity you get when sleeping in your own bed.

When you’re way, you realize the little things about your house that truly make it your home. The fact that you can navigate your way around without turning on the lights (or stubbing your toes – at least most of the time). You know which piece of furniture has a sweet spot where, and you can hit it in one attempt every single time.

The big one though is undoubtedly the fact that at every few feet around your home, you can just close your eyes and sink into a memory. Good or bad, happy or sad, stuff has happened there, our homes aren’t just a roof above our heads; they’re pretty much a part of our life. It makes sense to protect something that’s so important right? Which is why, it’s my opinion that home insurance is a must have, and if you don’t know what exactly you get in a home insurance policy, worry no more.

What you get in a standard home insurance policy

  • Home or dwelling coverage. This aspect of the policy covers the physical structure of your home itself. This means that if your walls fell apart or a column cracked down the middle due to something like a fire or a hurricane, or a hailstorm or even lightning, you’re set, because the insurance will cover it. This doesn’t cover all natural disasters though, if you want protection from flooding and earthquakes that’s an optional extra, and costs more.

  • Detached buildings and other structures. A home isn’t just the four walls that make up your main structure though right? There are auxiliary buildings that are as much a part of your home as your bedroom. Stuff like outhouses, cottages, garages, sheds and the like. This particular aspect of a home insurance policy refers to these buildings, and makes sure that they are also taken care of by the insurance policy on the same terms as the home or dwelling coverage.

  • Personal Property. Not just what is physically your home i.e. the roof, the floor, and the walls, are covered under a home insurance policy. The stuff that in it is also usually taken care of according to the terms of this type of policy. This means items such as furniture, fixtures, electronics, sports gear and a whole bunch of other things are protected. These aren’t just protected from the usual fire, hurricane, lightning and whatever else you opted for or is part of your policy, but also theft.

  • Coverage for loss of use. If disaster does strike, and your house is damaged to such a degree that it can’t be lived in at all, and has lost all possible chance of inhabitability, this aspect of the policy kicks in. If such a situation does crop up, the loss of use coverage means your hotel stay and restaurant bills will be taken care of until your house is in a habitable condition again, meaning during the duration of your houses repair, you won’t have to move in that one relative who you don’t really like that much anyway, or ask for favors from anyone else.

 

  • Personal Liability. Say you or the members of the family living with you are the cause of bodily damage or harm to someone while on your property, this policy protects you in case a lawsuit is filed in this event. This part of the policy, even covers pets! It’s a great help in case a case is filed against you in court, because legal fees can be extremely steep these days.

  • MedPay. Short for medical payments, this aspect of the policy follows from the previous one. If someone is injured on your property by someone from your family that is covered by the policy, the injured person’s medical bills will be covered by this policy. This benefit is only extended if no lawsuit is filed, however, so that factor should be kept in mind.

 

This is a generic, average sort of list of clauses, but certain policies offer less or more coverage than others, so the contract should be read with due diligence before you scribble your name at the end of it. For example, certain insurance firms offer limited coverage and individual add-ons, while some of the bigger insurance houses, such as The Hartford’s Home Insurance offer a more comprehensive package too.

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