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Homeowners Insurance: What Does It Mean and What Does It Include?

Your home is likely not something you can easily replace out-of-pocket if a disaster were to strike. And, that’s precisely why you need to have homeowners insurance.

What is Home Insurance?

Homeowners insurance, also known as home insurance, provides you financial relief in the event of damages to your home and/or its contents by a peril covered by your policy. It also covers your liability if you cause injury or damage to anyone else.

Homeowners insurance is not mandatorily required by law. If you purchase your home on loan, the lender will likely require you to have homeowners insurance. That said, even if you aren’t on a mortgage loan, homeowners insurance is a wise purchase.

What Does Homeowners Insurance Cover?

Most homeowners insurance policies offer the following types of coverage:

  • Dwelling: Home insurance covers damage to your home and any attached structures.
  • Other independent structures: It also covers loss or damage to other independent structures on your property like fencing or a shed.
  • Personal property: Any belongings of yours that are either damaged due to a covered event or stolen are covered. 
  • Additional living expenses: The policy pays for your temporary living expenses while your home is being repaired due to damages caused by a covered occurrence. 
  • Liability: If you’ve unintentionally or neglectfully caused damage to a third-party or their property, your policy will cover the expenses.
  • Medical payments: Homeowners insurance also pays for injury caused to anyone by you, your family member, or your pet anywhere away from your property.

Types of Homeowners Insurance

HO-3 insurance is the most popular home insurance policy. It covers damage to your property from any cause except by flood or earthquake. As for the contents of your home, it covers loss caused by a number of different perils including fire, lightning, smoke, windstorms/hail, explosion, etc.

The HO-5 insurance plan covers loss/damage from all causes except those specifically excluded. This offers the broadest coverage. 

HO-1 and HO-2 are less popular home insurance plans as they cover damages caused only by the issues stated in the policy.  

The other types of home insurance plans are HO-4 (for renters), HO-6 (for those who own condos), HO-7 (for mobile homes), and HO-8 (meant for older homes).