If you own your own home, you need to carry homeowners insurance. Though there isn’t a law mandating you carry a homeowners policy, your lender will require you to have one if you have a mortgage. And even if you have your house paid off, keeping it insured is a good idea because of the investment involved.
What is it?
Home insurance is a type of property and casualty insurance. It covers your home and its contents against damage from certain types of events such as a tornado or fire. Homeowners policies also provide a certain level of liability insurance to protect you against claims by people who get injured on your property.
Who is it for?
Home insurance is for anyone who owns a home and lives in it. If you own a home but rent it out or if you live in a home you don’t own, you need other types of insurance.
How does it work?
A homeowners policy works like most other kinds of insurance. If you have a covered event, you need to call your insurance company and start a claim. An adjuster will visit your home, determine your damage and then offer you a settlement amount minus any deductible you owe. If your home is destroyed or rendered uninhabitable, your insurer will pay living expenses for you until you can move back in.
Types of coverage
Homeowners insurance is pretty standard in what it covers and what it doesn’t. Most policies cover fire damage and weather damage from wind and hail. Most policies do not cover damage from earthquakes or floods. Most insurers offer riders, which are add-ons to your policy that cover other things not normally covered. They cost extra to add to your policy.
The major benefit of having a homeowners policy is that you protect your home, which is likely your biggest financial asset. Having the liability coverage that comes with it can also be a big benefit if someone falls on your property or if your dog bites a person.