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Homeowners Insurance

What Is Homeowners Insurance?

Hughes Insurance Homeowners Insurance AlabamaHomeowners insurance, also referred to as home insurance or property insurance, provides coverage for your private home and compensates you in the event of a loss. If your home is burglarized or is partially or totally destroyed by a cause that is covered by your policy, homeowners insurance will help you replace your belongings, repair your home, or even rebuild.
Homeowners insurance also provides liability coverage which protects you, the homeowner, in the event that someone is injured on your property or you are deemed responsible for personal injury or property damage through negligence.
The amount of compensation you receive in a claim, or that the claimant receives from your insurance company when filing a liability claim against you, depends on the limits set for your policy.

What Does Homeowners Insurance Cover?

Homeowners insurance provides coverage for a range of risks that you may face as a homeowner that otherwise can be financially challenging to cover out of pocket. These include:

    • Property damage:  This includes damage and destruction to your residence and/or detached structures. You will receive compensation, up to the limits of your policy, if your house or storage shed is damaged due to a covered hazard. Standard covered circumstances include things like fire, wind, theft and vandalism, but other hazards such as earthquakes and floods are excluded. Be sure to check your homeowners policy for exclusions.
    • Personal property loss:  Includes damage or theft of personal property, up to your set policy limits for covered circumstances, which typically excludes flooding, earthquakes, and personal negligence. If your personal property is very valuable (such as collectibles, antiques and high value jewelry), you’ll likely need additional “riders” or special endorsements on your policy.
    • Personal liability:  Your home liability coverage protects you in the event that someone is injured on your premises or you are responsible for damage to someone else’s property. Your homeowners insurance can even protect you against injury you cause to another person off-premises under certain circumstances. There are exclusions, such as aggressive acts against a neighbor, so it is important to fully understand your liability coverage.

Your liability insurance would also typically provide coverage if:

      • Your child throws a baseball through the neighbor’s window
      • Your dog bites a visitor to your home
      • A visitor is injured on your backyard swing set or trampoline, or by falling on your icy sidewalk
      • A dinner guest gets food poisoning and is hospitalized

If someone files a liability claim against you, your insurance can pay for property repairs, medical or funeral costs or even a lawsuit if the injured party chooses to pursue legal action.

      • Added living costs: If your house is uninhabitable, your homeowners insurance can pay for alternative living arrangements while your home is repaired or rebuilt.

Home and Property Damage Facts

  • In an average year, 374,000 residences catch fire, resulting in $7.32 billion in loss.
  • In 2010, 2,158,878 houses were burglarized, resulting in an estimated $4.6 billion loss.
  • 1,691 tornadoes occurred in the U.S. in 2011, at a cost of $28 billion.
  • A recent study concluded that 69 percent of home owners are under-insured. Unfortunately, many home owners think they are fully protected and are stunned to find out at the time of loss that their coverage is inadequate.

Be Sure Your Home Insurance Provides Adequate Coverage

Here are a few key strategies you may want to consider to make sure you have adequate home insurance:

  • Increase your liability insurance with an umbrella liability policy, which will provide liability coverage up to $1 million or more.
  • Get replacement cost home insurance to cover what it would cost to replace your home and personal property, instead of “actual cash value” coverage, which will only cover the current depreciated value.
  • Be sure to read over the policy’s exclusions carefully and if needed, ask your agent if you can purchase additional insurance to cover them.
  • Add coverage for specific items of value, such as jewelry, art and collectibles, through “endorsements” or “riders” on the policy.

The following steps can help you determine the value of your personal items:

  • Compile an inventory of what you own, room by room.
  • Take pictures of your belongings, particularly anything of high value.
  • Keep receipts for all valuable items you purchase, including appliances.
  • Record a replacement value for each item on your inventory.
  • Go over this list with your insurance agent and determine whether you need to purchase additional coverage to be protected in the event of a loss.
  • Place your inventory list, images and receipts in a secure place such as a fire safe.

These records will help you to complete the claims process more efficiently and accurately if you suffer a loss.

Now that you know the many ins and outs of homeowners insurance, you can see why it is so important to work with an insurance agent who can answer all of your questions.

Call Hughes Insurance Services of Alabama today for your free no obligation homeowners insurance quote.

Hughes Insurance Services Of Alabama

Contact Us:

Address:
400 Century Park South
Suite 106
Birmingham, Alabama 35226
Phone:
(205) 822-6778
Fax:
(205) 417-1444

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