Home insurance is a broad category that includes Homeowners, Condominium and Renters policies. Whether you own a home or a condo, or you are currently renting a house or an apartment, we have a number of insurance products designed to help protect you in the event of loss or damage to your property. Home insurance can also provide liability protection, if someone were to get injured while on your property.
Homeowners: A homeowners policy is for people who own their own home. This type of policy typically includes the following coverages:
- Structures – Property coverage for your dwelling and separate structures, such as a detached garage, shed or gazebo. Most policy types provide coverage for the peril of fire, but some policy types cover more perils than others, so ask your insurance agent if you have any questions. Also, make sure you have enough coverage on your policy to rebuild your home and separate structures at their current replacement value, in the event a total loss occurs.
- Personal Property – Provides coverage for your contents, such as furniture, clothes, appliances, rugs, artwork, TVs and computers. It is recommended you choose replacement cost coverage for your personal property, so that depreciation is not factored in if there is a claim. You may also want to video record each room and closet of your home to help you keep an inventory. In addition to providing coverage for personal property kept at your primary home, most companies also provide at least some coverage for your personal items stored away from your primary home.
- Liability Coverage – This typically covers you against lawsuits for bodily injury or property damage that you or your family members cause to other people. The liability portion of your policy pays for the cost of defending you in court and any court awards – up to the policy limit. If you own significant assets or have a high earning potential and you would like to carry more coverage than your home policy provides, you may want to consider purchasing an umbrella policy (see Other Insurance).
- Medical Coverage – If a friend or guest is injured while in your home, their medical bills can be submitted under your policy up to the medical coverage limit.
- Additional Living Expenses – Up to the limits shown in your policy, Additional Living Expenses covers the additional costs of living away from your home, if you cannot live there because of damages due to a covered loss. This coverage includes hotel bills, restaurant meals and other costs, over and above your usual living expenses, incurred while your home is being repaired or rebuilt. Also, if part of your home is rented out, Additional Living Expenses covers you for the rent you would have collected had your home not been destroyed.
Condominium: A condominium policy is for people who own and occupy an individual condominium unit. Coverages provided are similar but not necessarily the same as a homeowners policy:
- For example, if the outside walls of your condominium are owned by the condo association, you may not need as much building property coverage as you would on a typical homeowners policy, because your association would likely have their own insurance policy to cover the exterior walls (see association’s master policy to clarify your responsibilities). On the other hand, even if the association owns the exterior walls, you may still want some building coverage to cover certain things inside your condominium, such as fixtures, built-in bookcases or appliances.
Renters: A renters policy is generally intended to provide coverage for the renter’s personal property and does not usually include building coverage. It is recommended the insured purchase replacement cost coverage for his or her contents, so depreciation is not taken into consideration in the event of a loss. Liability coverage on a renters policy helps protect you against lawsuits for bodily injury or property damage to others caused by you or a family member.
Not all insurance companies offer the same coverages or charge the same premium for home insurance. Therefore, it is wise to compare coverage options and receive quotes from multiple companies. Your local independent agent at Bixler Insurance Agency can help you find a reputable company, coverage option and price that works best for you.
Like auto, you also have the opportunity to initiate a preliminary home quote on your own. If you would like to enter your information and generate an online home quote to compare the prices of multiple carriers, simply click on QUOTE IT! to get started.