Homeowners with a mortgage are required to get and maintain homeowners insurance, but homes without a mortgage can also be insured optionally. For many people, this type of insurance is uncharted, confusing territory. Think of this insurance as protection for your home much like your car insurance. It is designed, through the type of policy and coverage amount you choose, to cover specific damages to the home if they occur. Basically, it pays for major repairs or rebuilding, as well as reimbursement for the contents that may be destroyed. Here is a brief guide to help you gain a better understanding.
Types of Policies
The type of policy that is ideal will depend on the individual property and the coverage amount that is desired or required. This type of insurance is available in two main categories: dwelling and homeowners. The biggest difference between these two types is that the homeowners policy combines liability and property coverage, while the dwelling policy only covers a loss to the property. There are also specific policies for manufactured homes and condominiums. In these situations, the policies are a little more strict on what types of damages are covered. Most of these policies include coverage for the loss of contents as well.
Named and Open Perils
With insurance for a home, perils are the causes of any loss. Theft and fire are examples of perils. There are policies available that are for all perils, called open perils, or only for specifically named perils. This is important to pay attention to because if you secure a policy with named perils and suffer a loss due to something not included, the policy will not cover the property or contents. For example, if your policy names fire, theft, and earthquake but a flash flood causes loss, the damage is not covered. Homeowners policies often have open perils coverage, while dwelling policies tend to have named perils.
It is highly recommended for home owners to update their policy when it is time for renewal. By closely examining your home owners insurance each year and comparing it against your needs, you can make sure that you have a suitable amount of coverage. This gives you the opportunity to have your home appraised yearly and get a coverage amount that aligns with the current value. You also have the ability to change your coverage amount for the contents to reflect changes in the personal belongings that you own.