You know the value of your homeowners insurance policy. It’s comforting to know that if your home is damaged, you can submit a claim and you will receive money to restore it to its original condition.

Standard homeowners insurance policies cover losses due to disasters, theft and accidents. The essential coverages protect the house’s structure; cover your belongings; offer liability protections; and cover additional living expenses.

With a standard policy, you can repair or rebuild your home for damage caused by fire, hurricane, hail, lightning or other listed disasters. Most policies will pay for damage to a detached structure (e.g., a garage, tool shed or gazebo)—usually about 10% of the amount of which your house is insured. However, you need enough coverage to pay to rebuild your house. Review your current policy—the price of building materials has been increasing, and you want to make sure your limits are adequate.

A standard policy will not pay for damages caused by flood, earthquake or basic wear-and-tear. While trees, plants and shrubs are covered, it’s generally for about $500 per item. Also, a standard homeowners policy may not have coverage for damage caused by vermin and rodents. If you want to purchase additional insurance to cover these losses, call us.

Traditionally, insurance to cover your belongings includes your furniture, clothes and your personal items. The coverage can be between 50%-70% of the limit on the main house. Your policy should cover your belongings when you are away from home (e.g., on vacation). Conduct a home inventory, and give us a call. We can review your inventory and ask questions to see if you have anything not covered by a standard policy (e.g., jewelry, furs, art or collectibles may need a scheduled item floater).

Liability insurance offers coverage against lawsuits for bodily injury or property damage that you or family members (including your pets) cause. It will cover your defense in court and any money you may have to pay up to the purchased limit.

A standard policy should offer no-fault medical coverage, which will protect you if someone is injured in your house.

We can advise you on whether your current liability amounts are appropriate for your needs.

Lastly, if the damage to your house makes it unlivable, your additional living expenses coverage will cover the additional expense of living elsewhere while your home is being repaired. If you rent out part of your house, this coverage should pay for the loss of rent. However, you may have time and monetary limits.

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