Your home is your most valuable asset and should be protected as such. When your home is damaged or destroyed, you need your claim settled by an insurance company that understands the importance of the place you call home.
Resolute Insurance Group can help you find the homeowner's insurance coverage that will provide the most valuable combination of tailored coverage, quality service, and competitive pricing.
A basic homeowners insurance policy includes six coverage provisions that cover the structure of your home, your personal property, additional living expenses, and legal and medical expenses.
Dwelling coverage is the part of your policy that covers the cost of repairing or rebuilding your home if it’s damaged or destroyed by a fire, hurricane, or another disaster listed in your policy. With dwelling coverage, your home’s foundation, roofing, walls, deck, floors, cabinetry, plumbing, water heaters — basically anything that is built into the home is covered up to the limit in your policy.
Other structures protection pays to repair or rebuild structures separate from your home, such as a detached garage, guest house, shed, or fence.
Homeowners insurance also includes coverage for your personal belongings in your home and anywhere in the world. If someone breaks into your home and steals your valuables, the cost of replacing them is covered; if someone breaks into your hotel room or storage unit and takes your luggage, that also could be covered. If a guest is staying in your home, personal property coverage may also cover their belongings if they’re damaged or stolen.
Jewelry, watches, furs, firearms, and other types of expensive valuables have special limits of liability, or sublimits, meaning the insurance company will only pay up to a limited amount — typically $1,500–2,500 depending on the category or class of items. Most insurers give you the option of increasing coverage limits on expensive valuables by opting into a more comprehensive coverage tier or “scheduling” items with a scheduled personal property coverage add-on.
Also referred to as loss of use coverage, this policy provision covers any increase in living expenses if your house is damaged in a disaster and you need to live somewhere else while it’s being repaired or rebuilt.
Loss of use coverage may cover the cost of rent at your temporary residence, gasoline expenses if you had to flee the region, and the rental value of the property if you were renting it out as a source of income.
According to a standard policy, your additional living expenses are covered for the shortest time required to repair or rebuild your home. If your home is destroyed and you decide to permanently relocate, payments will continue until you’re settled in your new home.
Homeowners insurance also includes personal liability coverage to pay for medical bills, lost wages, and other costs for people that you’re legally responsible for injuring. Events you could be liable for include your dog biting someone or a guest slipping and falling and injuring themselves on your property.
If you’re sued and taken to court because of an accident, liability protection will also cover your legal fees.
You can choose anywhere from $100,000 to $500,000 in personal liability coverage. If you have assets in excess of $500,000 and you’d like more financial security, you can add personal umbrella insurance to your policy. It provides broader liability protection and higher coverage limits than standard homeowners insurance.
Your policy also includes no-fault medical payments coverage which pays out if a guest sustains a minor injury in your home, regardless of who is at fault or liable for the accident. You typically can choose between $1,000 to $5,000 in medical payments coverage.
Most insurance companies also offer supplemental protection known as Endorsements that can modify or enhance your policy coverage, including water backup protection, service line coverage, and equipment breakdown coverage.
Although homeowners insurance covers many types of disasters and losses, including fire, windstorm damage, and theft, there are multiple hazards and scenarios that aren’t covered by a basic homeowners insurance policy.
Unless otherwise endorsed, most homeowner's insurance policies do NOT cover:
Renters insurance is a policy that protects the items you keep in your apartment or home. In the event your belongings are damaged or lost due to theft, fire, water damage, or other disasters, renters insurance will pay to replace them. In the event your apartment becomes uninhabitable, renters insurance will also cover the cost of temporary housing while your rental gets repaired.
Renters insurance covers all the furniture, electronics, clothes, jewelry, etc in your apartment—everything that’s not bolted down. In fact, it even covers your goods while they’re not physically in your house—meaning if your laptop gets stolen on vacation or damaged falling out of a backpack, renters insurance will pay to replace it. Most renters insurance will also cover “loss of use,” or the costs you’ll incur living elsewhere while your apartment or house gets repaired after a disaster. Finally, renters insurance covers liability, or legal costs, in the event you get sued if a visitor gets hurt at your apartment.
While renters insurance protects against most types of theft, accident, and damage, there are several things it won’t cover. Renters insurance won’t protect against:
First, the good news! Renters insurance costs far less than most expect. Dollar-for-dollar it’s one of the cheapest forms of financial coverage you can buy. Renters insurance rates vary by state and city. Generally, the cost of renters insurance will be determined primarily by two things:
The more stuff you have to protect, the more your premiums will cost. Monthly payments on a $20,000 policy will be cheaper than a $50,000 policy. Most renters buying apartment insurance can expect to pay $20 or less per month for renters insurance.
If you own a condominium, you’ll need an individual condo insurance policy – technically known as HO6 insurance -- even though your condo association has its own coverage.
While the condo association takes some of the insurance burdens off you, you’ll still need your own protection.
Condo association insurance typically covers building exteriors and common areas. However, this type of home insurance – known as the master policy or homeowner association (HOA) policy – doesn't likely cover what's inside your specific unit. It also may not cover all damages outside your unit.
We’ll explain how an HO6 policy protects you and your belongings, tell you how much condo insurance you need, and give you the average price of a condo insurance policy.
An HO6 policy covers your personal property and most things not covered by your condo association policy. Unlike homeowners insurance, HO6 insurance typically only covers things inside your unit – although this can vary among condo complexes.
In most complexes, the condo association’s master policy protects the exterior of your unit. It also protects other parts of the condo community, including common areas such as hallways, party rooms, workout areas, and the pool. You pay for this coverage through your condo association dues. Before buying condo insurance, review your condo association policy. Notice the level of protection your condo association offers. That's where you will discover what a condo owner's individual policy covers, and what the condo association's master policy covers.
You should be able to get this information from the condo board or from the company that manages your building. The HOA policy may not be easy reading – some association policies can be dozens of pages of legalese – but it's essential to understand where your responsibility begins.
Condominium insurance covers your personal possessions. If a fire damages your furniture or someone breaks in and steals your valuables, an HO6 policy can help make you whole.
Anything that you could take if you were to move will likely be covered under contents insurance. Here are some examples:
Keep track of all of your belongings within the condo unit. When valuing your belongings, consider what it would cost to replace them in today's dollars.
Keep in mind standard condo insurance has limits on certain valuables, such as fine art, antiques, jewelry, and electronics. So, you might need to purchase an endorsement or "floater" to provide additional coverage for certain items.
Condo insurance also provides personal liability protection. That means you will be covered if someone is hurt on your property or suffers other damages.
Make sure you select liability limits that are enough to protect your assets. Liability insurance often ranges from $100,000 to $500,000. You may want to explore a personal liability umbrella policy if the liability limits aren't high enough. In many cases, the HO6 policy also provides protection for damages to interior walls, floors, and ceilings. It normally covers damage caused by:
Condo owners should also look into loss assessment coverage, which helps pay for condo association-related incidents. As a member of a condo association, you collectively own the common areas. You may need to pay extra as an individual condo owner if:
If the condo association's loss assessment policy isn't expansive, additional loss assessment coverage offers good protection for condo owners.
Check your HOA master policy to determine the association’s coverage limit. Pay attention to whether or not there are special deductibles for certain hazards.
Many condo policies also provide additional living expenses coverage in case your condo is damaged to the point that it is temporarily uninhabitable.
Much like regular homeowners insurance, a regular condo insurance policy doesn't protect you against flood damage. You will have to buy a separate flood insurance policy.
When buying condo insurance, you want to purchase protection for things not covered by the association policy. Figuring out what is and is not covered by the association policy can be tricky because the rules differ from community to community. Here are the three different types of condo association policies and the coverage they offer -- from most protection for the unit owner to least protection:
Knowing what the master policy covers can help you purchase the proper individual home insurance policy coverage. When looking over your policy, check for phrases such as “all in, “all-inclusive,” “special entity, “ “bare walls in” and “wall studs in.” These phrases tell you the level of coverage that the HOA policy provides.
Condo insurance is more complicated than regular home insurance because of the different types of HOA policies and regulations. For this reason, contact a qualified insurance professional.
A good rule of thumb is that you may need more HO6 insurance if your HOA policy is for “bare walls” or “wall studs in.”
You must decide how much coverage is necessary to protect your belongings and interior features, such as wood floors, kitchen cabinets, and fixtures. Take stock of the interior items in your condo unit, including furniture, clothing, and electronics. Don’t forget to record any expensive artwork.
One typical mistake condo owners make is taking out the coverage that reimburses the actual cash value of their belongings instead of a policy that covers the replacement costs. Actual cash value coverage is cheaper, but it doesn't reimburse the gap between present cash value and your items’ replacement cost.
People tend to underestimate the cost to replace all the stuff. We are not talking about what it's worth today, but what it costs to replace it new.
Replacement cost coverage is more expensive than actual cash value coverage, but you'll be glad you paid the extra price if you suffer a major loss in a catastrophe.
Also, figure out what level of liability insurance you need. If your assets are more than $300,000, you may want to look into an umbrella policy. Don’t skimp on liability insurance. For little money, you can be properly protected.
Look into loss assessment coverage so you can protect yourself in case someone is injured in a common area or the exterior of the building is seriously damaged. Loss assessment coverage is especially important if your condo association has a hefty deductible (some plans have $50,000 deductibles) and your complex may have risky items not covered by an HOA policy, such as a pool slide or diving board.
It might make sense to add some other coverages, such as:
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