What is homeowners insurance?
Homeowners insurance compensates you for losses to your home and your possessions inside it, so purchasing a homeowners insurance policy provides added security for your investment. Homeowners insurance also protects you if you're legally liable for someone's injuries on your property, as well as from financial losses caused by storms, fire, theft and other events outlined in your policy.
Different companies offer different homeowners insurance coverages, so choosing the right policy means finding the right mix of coverages to meet your needs.
Generally, a standard homeowners insurance policy protects the following:
- The physical structure of your home
- Structures on your property (storage sheds, pools, boathouses, etc.)
- Your personal property and belongings inside your home, up to specified limits
- Your liability or legal responsibility for any injuries and property damage you or your family members cause to other people
- Injuries to your household pets while inside your home
- Additional living expenses if a fire or other insured disaster leaves you temporarily unable to live in your home.
Often, for an additional fee, you can select optional homeowners insurance coverages, including:
- Higher limits of liability for property damage or bodily injury
- Replacement cost for personal property
- Protection for valuables (jewelry, watches, fur, etc.)
- Additional coverage for electronics or computer equipment.
To make shopping for the right homeowners insurance policy easier, take an inventory of what you own to decide what level of coverage makes you comfortable. Once you know your coverage level, get a homeowners insurance quote and choose the policy that's right for you.
What about Condos?
If you own Condo, also known as a townhouse, you can insure it with a Condo-owners insurance policy in conjunction with the association master policy, depending on your situation. Some Condo Associations have master policies, in which case you should purchase a Condo Owners insurance policy to insure your personal property, liability and loss of use. Other associations do not have master policies, which is when you should purchase a homeowners insurance policy for your unit, or portion of the structure. Check with your association to determine which type of policy you should purchase for your townhouse.