We’ve been talking a lot about topics that have been focused on and around homeowners insurance. This inspired us to dedicate a whole blog to the topic because we wanted to dive in a little deeper into what it is and what you need to know about it!
Hello, Charleston insurance holders and buyers! Welcome back to the Abri Insurance blog! We are a full-service, independent insurance agency representing you, the client, not the insurance company. With every policy under one roof, we customize the perfect insurance package for you while striving to deliver the highest level of customer service. In our last few blogs, we’ve been talking a lot about homeowners insurance, so we wanted to dedicate a whole blog to the topic and dig a little deeper into this very important coverage. Your home is one of the biggest purchases you will ever make, so it only makes sense to protect it. This insurance protects your home from damages to the home itself as well as protecting the possessions inside. With the springtime weather warming up, and the potentially dangerous storms that have already begun to appear in the Lowcountry, now is the time to make sure your homeowner’s insurance is up to date and will cover everything you need when disaster strikes. Spend the time now to review your coverage, and if it’s not what you need in times of disaster, come and speak with us! It is better to be fully prepared before disaster strikes than having poor coverage when it does! Let’s learn a little more about homeowner’s insurance so you know the ins and outs of what it truly is, what it covers, and some very common misconceptions to avoid!
What Is Homeowners Insurance?
Also called home insurance, this policy provides financial protection when your home or your belongings are damaged. Homeowner’s insurance also covers damage or harm that comes to other individuals or their belongings. While it isn’t required by law to have homeowners insurance, there are many reasons why you should have it, on top of what we have already mentioned. If you are planning to have a mortgage on your home, lenders will require you to have homeowners insurance up until the entire loan is paid back. Lending companies can demand that homeowners carry insurance to cover the exact amount of the mortgage they owe.
What Does My Homeowners Insurance Cover?
When heading into a particularly storm-heavy season in the Lowcountry, anything could happen at any time. That’s why it is so important to know and understand what exactly your homeowner’s insurance covers. A homeowner’s insurance policy is split up into four different categories of what it will cover; your dwelling, your personal property, structures on your property, and the liability for damage or injury done to others or their belongings. When it comes to the coverage on your dwelling, it will cover to pay to repair the damage done by lightning, hail, hurricanes, wind, fire, and other natural disasters. Many standard policies will also cover damage done to detached buildings on your property like a gazebo, shed, and garages. Coverage of your personal belongings includes damage done to your sports equipment, furniture, clothing, and other personal items by fire, hurricanes, other natural disasters, and if they are stolen. It also covers items that are stored away from your home. Your landscaping and precious items like collectibles and jewelry are protected, but only to an extent. Your collectibles and special items are usually protected up to a certain dollar limit, and your landscaping items like trees and plants are covered for up to $500 per item. Liability covers lawsuits from harm or damage caused by you or your family to others, and also covers damage caused by your pets.
What Doesn’t My Homeowners Insurance Cover?
While your homeowner’s insurance covers quite a bit, you mustn’t assume that it covers everything. Some items that homeowner’s insurance doesn’t cover are obvious, while some are still a little tricky. While you can add on extras to create a policy that covers you for exactly what you need, you might need to invest a little bit more into your coverage than what you think you do. A word to the wise, we would recommend going a little above your policy, at least have a policy that will cover you if you need to completely rebuild your home. What else should you know?
- Water damage done to your home by a busted pipe or leaking appliance will be covered by a standard policy. When rain damages your home during a bad storm, that too is generally covered. However, damage done to your home by flooding is not covered in a standard policy. This is something that you will need extra coverage for.
- Anything damaged that is caused by the natural movements of the earth (like earthquakes) will not be covered and will require extra coverage.
- While your homeowner’s insurance will cover items that are stolen out of your car, it won’t cover damage done to your car. Homeowner’s insurance also won’t cover damage done to your car while it is sitting in your driveway and it is damaged by a natural disaster, is a victim of fire, vandalism, or another car hitting it. All of this damage will be covered under your auto insurance, not your homeowner’s insurance.
- While a trampoline might be a blast, any insurance companies consider them to be a liability and some policies won’t cover them or any injury connected to them.
- Adding high-risk pool features to your backyard that are similar to a water park might also be considered high risk and could lead to your home being disqualified for coverage.
- Please be very careful about stashing large sums of cash in and around your home. In many policies, companies will add in stolen cash to the total value of all your collectible and precious items, and you will only receive coverage on a percentage of what you lost.
- Termite damage is not covered by most homeowner insurance policies.
- Certain breeds of dogs, especially those known to be very aggressive, are not covered by many policies.
- If you’ve been the recipient of bad workmanship that is faulty and lacking, it is difficult to claim anything on that. Please make sure your contractor is licensed for liability so they will have to cover any damage!
- If you are working from home and have large quantities of your products laying around, not everything can or will be covered if damaged or stolen.
- Sewer backup damage is not covered in most homeowner’s plans, but you may have the option to buy more protection if this is a consistent issue.
Myths About Homeowners Insurance
While it’s great that there is a lot of information out there about homeowners insurance, there is also quite a bit of misinformation out there. We wanted to clear up these misconceptions so you know when you come across some bad information. If you question or thought your policy covered these misconceptions listed below, it’s time to evaluate your policy and come speak with us at Abri!
- If your home is destroyed, your insurance will cover its current market value.
- Renters are covered by their landlord’s policy!
- Mold, infestations, and termites and covered by your homeowner’s insurance policy.
- Homeowner’s insurance is required by law.
- It is too expensive and will make owning a home impossible.
- No matter how expensive an item is, my insurance policy will cover it and its cost if it is stolen.
- I won’t need it, I can cover any repairs needed on my home without help.
- It is a waste of time to take inventory of everything in your home and how much these items are worth.
- My insurance company won’t put me up in a hotel or help with the cost of living if I am displaced from my home if it is damaged.
- Flood damage is covered!
You spend so much time in your home creating amazing memories, staying safe, and relaxing. A home is one of the largest and most important purchases you’ll ever make, and one that many work for years to own. Keep your home properly covered so you and your family and the life you’ve built together can be protected and restored even after the worst. We encourage you to review your policy now, it is the perfect time to do so! You have three months until hurricane season begins, and while that might seem like a long way off, it will be here before you know it! If you would like to sit down and talk about your policy or if you would like to add more coverage, we are always here for you! We’re Abri Insurance and we are here to make sure you have the best coverage for life in the Lowcountry!