Imagine sitting in your favorite chair on a perfect Saturday afternoon. Birds are singing and the local kids are playing ball in the park. Unfortunately, a tree suddenly falls through your window and smashes your plasma TV. And then it ricochets and smashes your favorite lamp. You don't want to pay for all that, do you?
As a user of HotPads, you may be eligible for special rates on your homeowners insurance from Liberty Mutual. You know that you need homeowners insurance, so why not do your research and get the best deal possible? You can even receive additional savings if you insure both your home and auto with Liberty Mutual.
The Basics of Homeowners Insurance
In a nutshell, Homeowners insurance provides you with financial coverage for damage to your property, as well as coverage for liability for injuries and damage for which you are legally liable if certain conditions exist. You pay premiums to an insurer to protect you against covered claims up to a set dollar amount, based primarily on the value of your home and belongings. Sounds good? It is, so read on to learn more about the details.
What this insurance covers
When comparing policies, it's important to know what you should expect from a typical homeowners policy, so consult a professional. Your coverage should protect you for the replacement cost of the structure of the home itself, your belongings (e.g. clothing, furniture and electronics), liability for harm to others, and living expenses if you must vacate your home after an insured incident.
As you might expect, homeowners insurance does not cover everything. Number one, there may be dollar limits in some categories of coverage. While big ticket items like jewelry and watches are covered, there will typically be a cap on the payouts if they are stolen. This includes hard-to-value items like antiques and collectibles, and business assets. Some events, both natural (like floods and earthquakes) and man-made (like wars) are also excluded.
Take time to research specific items of exceptional value. If they will not be covered for the full value under your homeowners policy, you may be able to take out a special policy or buy an extension to your policy (called a rider) to cover them.
Types of Homeowners Insurance
Home insurance standards differ somewhat from state to state. However, insurers in most states use a number of standard forms for the various types of policies that they offer.
For single family homes and townhouses
If you own your home and do not have any common areas protected by a condominium or co-op association, you have a few policies to choose from. The most popular policy is the HO-3, which provides the broadest coverage.
For owners of condos and co-ops
Condo and co-op owners have a unique combination of coverages to protect their homes. Since there are common areas in these types of buildings, the board should have a policy to cover the overall structure and grounds. A policy known as an HO-6 provides coverage for the interior of your unit including bathroom fixtures, built-in kitchen appliances, as well as your belongings. A condo policy provides coverage for liability for injuries caused to others or their property for which you are legally liable.
Not a homeowner, but still interested in coverage for all your stuff? We can dig it. HotPads.com started with rental properties, and we understand the freedom of being able to pick up and move to China on a moment's notice (or at least when your lease is up.) Visit the HotPads Renters Guide for additional information on renters insurance.
Next: Tips, articles & the all-important Home Inventory
Through the power of the Internet, HotPads can bring you even more great information on home insurance. Click the link above for articles and tips on protecting your place. Don't forget that as a user of HotPads, you may be eligible for special rates on homeowners insurance. Also make sure to read about the need for keeping an up-to-date home inventory, if you ever do have to file a claim.