Owning a home can be one of the biggest investments you'll make in your lifetime. A home is more than just the walls and roof around you. Naturally, you want to have protection for your home, property, and loved ones. Homeowners insurance can help you pay for repairing or rebuilding your home or other covered structures on your property, and repairs to or replacement of the covered belongings. In this article, we'll discuss what homeowners insurance covers, factors that affect the cost or homeowners insurance, and when it's typically required.
What Is Homeowners Insurance?
Homeowners insurance is a type of insurance that’s designed to help cover repairs to or replacement of covered property and belongings if they are damaged or destroyed as a result of certain perils, such as fire, vandalism or theft. This type of insurance generally covers the structure of the home, personal property, structures on the property, loss of use of the home, and, in some circumstances, costs related to damage to another’s property or bodily injury sustained by a third party.
What Does Homeowners Insurance Typically Cover?
What is typically covered under homeowners insurance? Homeowners insurance covers a wide range of events that can cause damage to the insured property. That’s why it’s important to look at what homeowners insurance typically covers:
- Dwelling protection. Dwelling coverage protects the physical structure of the home, including the roof, walls, floors, and foundation. This coverage typically pays for the cost of repairing or rebuilding a home if it's damaged by a covered peril, such as fire or vandalism. Each policy varies but some policies cover losses resulting from things like mold, roof leaks, water damage, and plumbing issues. Homeowners insurance policies do not generally cover losses resulting from a flood.
- Personal property. Personal property coverage helps cover the cost of repair or replacement of the homeowner’s personal belongings, such as furniture, electronics and clothing if they are damaged or stolen as a result of a covered peril.
- Other structures on the property. Homeowners insurance policies may also cover structures that are not attached to the home, such as sheds, garages, and fences.
- Loss of use. If the insured home is damaged or destroyed by a covered peril and, as a result, the homeowner is unable to live in it, loss of use coverage may help pay for the additional living expenses the homeowner incurs while their home is being repaired or rebuilt. This coverage may include the cost of temporary housing, meals, and other living expenses.
- Personal Liability. If someone is injured on the insured property or a third party’s property is damaged by the homeowner, members of the household or the homeowner’s pets, homeowners insurance policy will typically help cover the costs of the resulting bodily injury and/or property damage.
Some common perils that are often covered by homeowners insurance include:
- Windstorms and hail
- Ice, snow and sleet
- Damage from a power surge
- Falling objects
What Does Homeowners Insurance Typically Not Cover?
Homeowners insurance doesn’t cover every peril that could affect a home or other structures on the property. These are some of the perils that a homeowners policy most likely won’t cover:
- Flooding from heavy rainfall
- Drain backups
- Earthquakes, landslides, or sinkholes
- Termite damage
- Wear, tear, or neglect
- Nuclear hazards
- Intentional damage, like arson
How Much Does Homeowners Insurance Cost?
The cost of homeowners insurance can vary significantly based on several factors, so there’s no set price for homeowners insurance. We’ll look at some of the most prominent factors that affect how much a homeowners insurance policy might cost.
One of the most significant factors that can impact the cost of homeowners insurance is the location of the home. Homes located in areas with a higher risk of natural disasters or crime may be more expensive to insure due higher levels of risk. So, a house located in an area where tornadoes frequently occur or in a hurricane zone might cost more to insure.
Another factor that can impact the cost of homeowners insurance is the value of the property. If a home is larger or more expensive, it may be more expensive to insure. The cost of rebuilding the home in the event of a disaster can impact the cost of homeowners insurance coverage, so a more expensive home costs more to insure. Additional insurance coverage may be necessary to adequately insure expensive personal property like jewelry or artwork.
The amount of coverage a homeowner chooses can also impact the cost of their homeowners insurance. Higher coverage limits will typically result in higher insurance premiums because the policy provides higher levels of protection. Still, it’s important to choose a policy that provides adequate coverage.
Finally, the policy deductible can also impact the cost of homeowners insurance policy. A higher deductible can result in a lower insurance premium, but it also means paying more out of pocket in the event of a claim—like with most insurance policies.
Where the insured chooses to get their policy also affects how much it will cost. You’ll want to choose an insurance provider with options to fit your needs.
Is Homeowners Insurance Required?
While homeowners insurance is not legally required, it is frequently required by mortgage lenders. A lender will have a vested interest in the property, so they’ll likely require financial protection in form of a homeowners insurance policy while the borrower is paying back their loan. This requirement is typically outlined in the mortgage contract.
Even if someone owns their home outright and is not required to maintain homeowners insurance, it can still be a good investment to protect their home and belongings. Without insurance, a homeowner would be responsible for paying for any repairs or replacements fully out of pocket if the home is damaged or destroyed by an unexpected event. This can be a significant financial burden, especially if the damage is extensive.
But that’s not the only reason why it’s important to have homeowners insurance. Homeowners insurance also typically provides personal liability coverage. If a third party is injured on the homeowner’s property or their property is damaged by the homeowner, their household members or pets, this coverage will typically help cover the costs of the resulting bodily injury and/or property damages. Without the personal liability coverage under homeowners insurance policy, the homeowner may be responsible for paying for medical and other resulting expenses fully out of pocket, which could be financially devastating.
In conclusion, homeowners insurance can be an important risk management tool for anyone who owns a home. Your home is an investment as well as the gathering place for you and your loved ones. Having homeowners insurance helps you protect that—and more. Acrisure can help you find a homeowners insurance solution that is right for you at competitive prices. Contact us today to get started.