In the world of home ownership, costly expenses are bound to come up. Your homeowner policy can be a safety net if the obvious blows happen to your home, like fire and theft, but your policy can also help you manage the costs of other unexpected incidents.
A good homeowner’s policy should cover these five areas to help manage your risk inside and outside your four walls. If your current policy falls short, we can help.
1. Water damage from internal sources
Did a leaky fridge cause costly damage to your wood floors? Water damage from fridges, water heaters, other household appliances and plumbing should be covered by your policy if the leak is sudden and accidental and not the result of an unresolved maintenance issue. Note flood insurance is a different policy than homeowner’s insurance and should be discussed with your insurance broker.
2. Personal liability and medical payments
If someone is injured on your property from a dog bite, slip on an icy walkway or some other scenario, the liability portion of your homeowner’s policy should cover the person’s medical expenses and the cost for you to retain a lawyer if you are sued, including settlement costs and court awards. Your liability coverage may also cover you if you are sued for leaving a negative business review or sharing compromising information about a person publicly.
3. Personal property theft or vandalism
Personal property coverage protects the belongings inside your home, even if the object isn’t physically in your home. For example, your policy should kick in if your bicycle is stolen from your car, your luggage is robbed from a hotel room, and your child’s laptop goes missing from their dorm room. And if your personal property is vandalized, such as spray-painted walls or smashed windows, your policy should cover the damages as well.
4. Outside structure and yard damage
Your homeowner’s policy should cover exterior dwellings, not just the main dwelling. This can include damage to garages, outbuildings, fencing and even landscaping that may include replacement costs for trees, shrubs, etc. This coverage is generally equal to up to 10% of your total policy amount.
5. Additional living expenses
In the case you cannot live in your home as the result of fire, smoke or other damage that is covered by your policy, your homeowner’s policy should also cover the cost for you to live elsewhere, such as a hotel room or rental, while your home is repaired.
Know your coverages. Before disaster strikes, it’s important to know what your homeowner’s policy does and does not cover. At PayneWest Insurance, we review all coverages with you and offer custom solutions to meet your unique needs.
This content is for informational purposes only. Consult your actual insurance policy for details regarding terms, conditions, coverage, and exclusions.