Often called hazard insurance or homeowners insurance covers a residence for losses that can occur to the structure itself, its contents, loss of use or additional living expenses, loss of possessions as well as liability for accidents that happen at the location or at the hands of the homeowner. A homeowner’s policy is known as a package policy, meaning it covers both property and liability. Damage caused by most disasters are covered, however there are a few exceptions. The most common exception is flood, followed by earthquakes and poor maintenance. A homeowner can purchase a separate flood and earthquake policy but maintenance related problems are the responsibility of the homeowner. If you purchase a house and have a mortgage, the mortgage company will require you to carry hazard insurance, or homeowners insurance. This not only protects your investment, but also protects the bank in the event of a disaster.
Standard Parts of a Homeowners Policy
Covers to the structure itself. In the event that the structure is completely destroyed, the insured would receive up to the
face amount of the policy.
Covers damage to other structures or buildings such as detached garage, shed or fencing on the property.
Covers damage to or loss of personal property which includes household contents, personal belongings. Anything that is
used, owned or worn by you or your family.
Covers the cost of living elsewhere and other normal necessary living expenses while the structure is being repaired due to
a covered loss
Protects the named insured against claims arising from accidents to others who are on the property that you own or rent.
There are few exceptions such as auto or boating accidents. It is an all-purpose liability policy that follows you wherever
Coverage for persons or people who sustain injuries while on your premises or elsewhere, if caused by you or a member
of your family or pets. This coverage will not cover an insured and the payment is made regardless of legal liability.
Optional Additional Coverages
This coverage will pay the replacement value of property damaged by a covered loss. There is no deduction for
depreciation, however it is subject to the policy limit and deductible, if any. There are special limits on certain items
such as jewelry, watches and furs.
An additional amount of coverage to help cover a total loss when the amount of insurance is too low. Most companies
have certain restrictions on how this is placed on a policy.
A big misconception in homeowners insurance is that a policy will cover their structure and contents in the event of a
flood. Flood is actually excluded from a homeowner's policy. In this case, you would need to seek a flood policy,
especially if you live in an area that is a high risk for flood or if you are in a floodplain.
Another big exclusion on a homeowner’s policy is Earthquake. While it is not something we have big concerns for
in Georgia, it can happen. Unlike flood insurance, earthquake policies are not separate policies. Most companies will add
earthquake coverage to your homeowners policy for a small premium as an endorsement.
Your basic homeowners policy has certain limits on jewelry, furs, computers, firearms, gold and silver, musical
instruments, and cameras. If the value of our items exceed this limitation, you may want to consider adding this
endorsement to your policy to make sure you have full coverage.
If the value of your items exceed the amount of a Valuable items endorsement, you could choose a personal articles
floater. This type of coverage allows you to have an appraisal done on an items and then insure this item for its value.
If there is a covered loss, the policy would pay out the value of the item, minus the deductible, if any.
This coverage provides a specific dollar amount of coverage. If water backs up through a sewer or drain or if water
overflows or is discharged from a sump pump, items would be replaced or repaired up to the dollar amount of coverage.
Most carriers offer an endorsement for identity fraud. In the event your identity is stolen, the carrier will provide up to a
specified dollar amount in order to help you recover your identity.