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Protecting Your Assets with Homeowners Insurance

Aug 17, 2007
Everyone who owns a home knows they need some form of homeowners insurance, but past that point there is sometimes some confusion as to how much and what type of coverage they may need.

The first thing anyone purchasing homeowners insurance must understand is why they are buying it. The primary purpose is to protect their most valuable investment, their home, in the event of some form of damage or destruction from uncontrollable circumstances. For most people these include natural disasters such as wind, rain, fire, tornados, hurricanes or man made problems such as burglary, leaky pipes, or electrical damage.

One thing everyone who shops for homeowners insurance must be aware of is that flood insurance is a separate coverage, and regular home insurance will not cover damage from floods. If you are not sure if your home is susceptible to a flood your best source of information will be the county or state you live in. They will be able to tell you if you live in a flood prone area. If you do need flood insurance the place to get it is the National Flood Insurance Program that is administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

When it comes to knowing how much coverage you need there are three things that need to be looked at.

1. The House Itself - Homeowners insurance will pay for any damage done to the home itself. You should have enough coverage to pay the cost of rebuilding the entire home. This is not necessarily the appraised amount, or the amount you might get if you sold the house. A mentioned above this will cover any number of emergencies and natural disasters with the exception of floods.

2. Personal Property - This will cover the cost to replace all of your family's and yours personal possessions if they are damaged, destroyed, or stolen. This amount is usually around half of what your home is insured against.

3. Liability - This part of the homeowner's policy is to protect the owner from liability claims if someone is hurt on the property and decides to sue you.

Probably the most important thing that all homeowners must remember is that it is ultimately their responsibility to make sure that their homeowner's insurance is up-to-date. With the continual rise in home values these days and inflation if you don't periodically update your coverage you may find yourself with too little insurance if and when you have to file a claim.
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