What your homeowners’ insurance policy covers, what it doesn’t, and how to protect your home.

Insurance policies can be hard to understand, and most of us don’t want to spend time delving into complicated documents to find out exactly what is covered under our various insurance policies. Although it can take some work, knowing what your insurance covers is a very important part of owning your own home.

Most homeowners’ insurance policies have similar standard policy coverages, but it’s important to know what these coverages are. Knowing what your base rate of insurance coverage is can help you determine whether or not to buy additional insurance.

Standard homeowners’ insurance

A standard homeowners’ insurance policy will typically cover damage to your home and the things inside your home. Homeowners’ insurance may also cover some legal liability for certain situations that are specified by the insurance policy. If you are unable to live in your home for reasons such as a disaster that is covered by your insurance policy, like a fire, you could be reimbursed for those expenses.

Most homeowners’ insurance policies have additional policy offerings that go above and beyond common household injuries or damages. Some policies could cover a child’s belongings under the parents’ homeowners’ insurance if they are away at college and living in a dormitory. Some restrictions apply, but for individuals with children in college, checking into this part of your policy could be beneficial.

A standard homeowners’ insurance policy may cover falling objects; random accidents involving falling objects could have a major impact on your home, and regardless of origin, an insurance policy could cover an event like this under a “covered peril” clause.

Most people don’t realize that their insurance policy could cover them during power outages. If your refrigerator or freezer loses power because of an outage or a storm and your food spoils, you may be able to be reimbursed for the food that was lost. Your insurance policy would detail the amount of money you could get back from a situation like this, and it could be a great financial help if your policy covers that type of loss.

Detailing your insurance policy

One important aspect of a homeowners’ insurance policy that most people neglect is the legal liability clauses. Legal liability for your home is very important when it comes to keeping you, your family, and others who come into your home safe. Legal liability can protect you if there are lawsuits filed against you for injuries or accidents that occurred in your home or on your property. Damage to your home or belongings, or injuries to a third party, could also come under the legal liability portion of your homeowners’ insurance policy.

Homeowners’ insurance policies generally do not cover flood or earthquake damage, or damage from general wear and tear on your home and your belongings. To determine whether you require any additional coverage options, it will be helpful to start by knowing what your current basic homeowners’ policy covers and discussing it with an insurance agent. Knowing all the details of what your homeowners’ insurance policy covers will put you in a place to better understand under what situations you are covered and where your insurance policies may not offer you adequate protection.

Has it been a while since you've shopped your homeowners' policy? Contact Skyline Risk Management, Inc. at (718) 267-6600 to voice your concerns.