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Homeowners Insurance

Homeowners insurance is designed to protect your home and personal property against fire, theft or windstorm, and is required by mortgage companies.

When buying a homeowners insurance policy, ask questions about covered losses and deductibles. Understand what the exclusions are and what requires additional premium payments to extend coverage beyond the basic policy limits. Flood and earthquake coverage, for instance, must be purchased as a separate policy.

There are many different types of home insurance. Dwelling Fire is very minimal coverage and is mostly used for unoccupied property. Basic and Modified are a Dwelling Fire with added theft and vandalism. Broad adds coverage for freezing pipes and interior water leaks.

Condominium insurance covers interior walls and personal contents (the owner does not own or maintain the outside of the building), while Tenant insurance covers contents only.

Special is what we consider the average homeowners policy and includes the following:

• Dwelling coverage, the structure of your home and anything attached to it, including all permanently installed systems like plumbing, electrical, heating and air ducts.

• Other structures such as fences, detached garages, sheds and any other structure not attached to your home that is on your property.

• Personal property covers your possessions inside your home, like furniture, appliances and clothing. These are insured both on and off the property, such as when you are traveling.

• Loss of use will cover your additional expenses should you have to stay somewhere else while your home is repaired.

• Personal liability covers you when you are sued for injuries or damages by someone harmed on your property. It includes medical payments for a person who sustains an injury at your home.

Two ways of being reimbursed for property losses are called replacement value, paying you the amount your property costs to replace brand new, and actual value in which property is depreciated to value at the time of the loss. Having the right policy in place will return your home and personal property to where it was before damage occurred.