Most of us put an incredible amount of time and energy into purchasing a home. But once negotiations are settled, and the paperwork signed, homeowners often skimp on one of the most important final steps: choosing a homeowner’s insurance policy. Homeowner’s insurance packages are endlessly customizable and cover everything from hurricane and theft to fire and flood damages. The market is full of choices, but don’t let them overwhelm you. We’ll walk you through the basics so you’ll know how to find a policy that fits your budget and needs.
What Homeowner’s Insurance Covers
While homeowner’s insurance policies are customizable, basic packages offer personal liability protection and interior and exterior home damage coverage. They also cover living expenses if you’re displaced.
Your home is a safe space, but accidents happen. Liability coverage protects you—and even your pets—from lawsuits filed by others. Imagine your dog bites your neighbor. Whether the injury occurs on your property or your neighbor’s, you and Fido are covered. Or, say you accidentally break your neighbor’s sacred family heirloom and, worse, she slips on the pieces and breaks an arm. Then she sues you for damages and lost wages. Not to worry, you’re covered. Basic policies generally start with $100,000 of coverage, but additional coverage is often recommended. The cost is negligible and, should an accident happen, you’ll be glad you have added coverage.
Life is unpredictable—and so are people. In the event that your home is vandalized or damaged by fire, you’re covered. Home damage covers the interior and exterior of your home and everything inside it.
If you like to travel, you can even upgrade your basic policy with “off-premises” coverage to protect personal items like jewelry, no matter where you are in the world. There are also additional insurance riders you can purchase that protect precious or sentimental items.
Living Expenses When You’re Displaced
In the unlikely event that you must vacate your home, basic homeowner’s insurance policies reimburse you for rent, hotel fees, meals, and other costs incurred while you wait to inhabit your home again.
Please note, however, that basic policies impose daily limits on expenses. The good news is that you can modify the coverage to expand those limits.
What Basic Homeowner’s Insurance Doesn’t Cover
Natural Disasters and Acts of War
While homeowner’s insurance covers most events in which damage occurs, exclusions generally include natural disasters and acts of war. If you live in an area with a high flood, hurricane, or earthquake risk, you may want to upgrade your policy for additional protection.
Upgrades and Riders
If you want additional coverage, you can always tweak your policy by adding riders. As we said, homeowner’s insurance policies are infinitely customizable. There’s a rider for everything from flood, earthquake, sewer and drain backup protection to identify theft, dry rot, or sinkhole loss coverage.
Determining Rates and Cutting Costs
Homeowner's insurance companies generally conduct extensive analyses when determining your rates to mitigate risk and expenses. We may consider your history of insurance claims, income, and credit, as well as other claims related to your property.
Helping You Find the Right Homeowner’s Insurance Policy
Hoffman Hanono has offered affordable homeowner’s insurance solutions since 1959. Lean on our experience, and we’ll help you find a comprehensive policy that fits your budget and needs. Contact us today.