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This means that it covers both damage to property and liability or legal responsibility for any injuries and property damage policyholders or their families cause to other people.
Damage caused by most disasters is covered but there are exceptions. Standard homeowners policies do not cover flooding, earthquakes or poor maintenance. Flood coverage is provided by the federal government’s National Flood Insurance Program, although it is purchased from an insurance agent. Earthquake coverage is available either in the form of an endorsement or as a separate policy. Most maintenance related problems are the homeowners’ responsibility.
A standard homeowners insurance policy includes four essential types of coverage. They include: coverage for the structure of the home, coverage for personal belongings, liability protection and additional living expense.
This part of a policy pays to repair or rebuild a home if it is damaged or destroyed by fire, hurricane, hail, lightning or other disaster listed in the policy. It will not pay for damage caused by a flood, earthquake or routine wear and tear. Most standard policies also cover structures that are not attached to a house such as a garage, tool shed or gazebo.
The different types of homeowners policies are fairly standard throughout the country. However, individual states and companies may offer policies that are slightly different or go by other names such as “standard" or “deluxe."
People who own the home they live in have several policies to choose from. The most popular policy is the HO-3. It provides coverage for the structure of the home and personal belongings as well as personal liability coverage. It also provides the broadest coverage, protecting against 16 disasters or perils listed below:
This policy pays to replace the home or possessions minus a deduction for depreciation.
This policy pays the cost of rebuilding or repairing the home or replacing possessions without a deduction for depreciation.
This policy offers the highest level of protection. A guaranteed replacement cost policy pays whatever it costs to rebuild the home as it was before the fire or other disaster—even if it exceeds the policy limit. This gives protection against sudden increases in construction costs due to a shortage of building materials after a widespread disaster or other unexpected situations.
While most insurance products are similar in price and function, insurance providers vary when it comes to structuring a policy tailored to you.
After all, there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all insurance policy when it comes to your personal policy.
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