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Your Homeowners Insurance Covers More Than Your Home

Sep 13, 2008
Your homeowners insurance does cover your home, but that is not all. Here are additional coverages that either come with your policy or can be added to your policy.

The following are other coverages that are generally included in your homeowners policy.

Personal Liability: Personal liability covers if you are negligent for an accident that happens on your property and someone is injured as a result of that negligence. This is similar to your auto liability. If someone is injured at your home this part of the policy covers that injury. Examples of covered injury might be a fall on your steps after you failed to properly clean the ice off of them and a deck that collapses because you failed to maintain it properly.

Medical Payments: Homeowners policies include medical expenses even if you were not negligent up to $500 per person and $25,000 per accident for injuries occurring in your home to anyone other than you or a member of your family. Medical payments also cover injuries outside of your home if they are caused by you, a member of your family or a pet. They could cover the person who just trips over their own feet and falls in your yard.

These optional coverages must be purchased separately and have an additional premium associated with them.

Guaranteed replacement cost coverage: 100 percent replacement cost coverage is the most complete coverage for your home and/or its contents. It does what the name implies. It replaces the item. If you have 5 year old carpet this coverage will give you the full cost of new similar carpet even though there has been wear and tear to your carpet.

To get guaranteed replacement cost insurance your home will likely have to be in good condition. You will also likely need to commit to increasing the amount of your insurance on a monthly, quarterly or yearly basis to keep up with the inflation rate of the cost of repairs. You may not be able to get a replacement cost policy if you have a full brick house as the replacement cost of brick is generally substantially more than the actual value of your home.

Personal article rider: A personal article "rider" provides coverage for possessions such as jewelry, furs, stamps, coins, antiques and other items that may exceed normal limits in your regular homeowners policy. A personal article floater itemizes each article, gives a description of the article insured and lists excluded perils. It also covers these items when they are away from your home such as if you wear the jewelry out in public or store it in a safe deposit box.

Earthquake insurance: Earthquake insurance is available through most insurance companies at an additional cost. It is normally issued as an endorsement on your homeowners or fire policy. Without this rider, if your home is lost in an earthquake, you will not have coverage. Most earthquake policies also have a large deductible of either 2% or 5% of your homes value. This does not seem like a lot, but it is $2-5,000 per $100,000 of home value.

Flood insurance: The Federal Insurance Administration of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) makes flood insurance available in flood prone areas. To qualify for flood insurance, your property must be located in a community or county that has agreed to the plan and land use control measures to reduce flooding. Normally your lender will require a "flood certification" or a "flood letter" to determine whether you need flood insurance.

Compare this list to your lifestyle and see what meets your needs.
About the Author
To see how changing coverages would affect your insurance premiums get free quotes at Josie Olson's Discount Insurance Quotes. In her spare time Josie indulges her lifelong love of comics at Two Fold Comics.
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