In the world of insurance, home insurance policies are often one of the most comprehensive ones. Typically a home insurance policy will provide all-round protection which covers you, your house, your family members and also any liability which may arise. The case may not be so with other types of policies like auto insurance policies which only cover third party liability and damages relating to automobiles. Home insurance, on the other hand, provides cover which extends beyond just the structure of the house. The most important features of a home insurance policy may be categorized into two parts, based on the kind of cover they provide. These are (i) Cover For Damages and (ii) Cover for Liabilities. Read on to find out more about each of these features which form a part of a homeowner insurance policy.
Cover for Damages
The major / basic component of any home insurance policy is the cover it provides against a variety of damages. Home insurance policies typically insure not only your house but any surrounding structures, your personal property or possessions, as well as cover for any alternate accommodation arrangements you might have to make.
- Cover For The Structure
- Coverage Of Additional Structures
- Cover For Personal Possessions / Property
- Cover for Alternate / Additional Accommodation
This is the basic coverage part of every home insurance policy. Under this section, the policy protects the physical structure of the dwelling / house / building against a variety of risks and damages. This coverage covers the structure of the house which essentially includes the building, electrical apparatus, heating, air-conditioning, plumbing, etc. Also, do remember that the land on which the house has been built is never a part of the home insurance coverage.
In addition to providing coverage to the structure of the house itself, an insurance policy will also provide cover to any additional structures surrounding the house which may not be attached to the house. Some examples of the non-attached structures covered under a home insurance policy include detached garages, fence surrounding the house, a backyard shed, a retaining wall, the driveway, mailbox, pool etc.
A home insurance policy also covers your personal property or the contents of your house against a variety of risks. The personal property cover usually includes electrical appliances like television sets, personal computers, microwaves, refrigerators, air-conditioners, etc. It also includes furniture like beds, couches, dining tables, along with furnishings like curtains, rugs etc. Often, expensive assets like jewelry is also included under the personal property cover of home insurance policy. However, when it comes to personal property cover, most insurance companies have specified limits for different items of personal possession.
Another important feature of a home insurance policy is the Loss of Use cover or cover for Alternate / Additional accommodation expenses. The objective of this cover is to reimburse the policy holder / home owner for all living expenses which they might incur, in case the insured house is damaged or destroyed by an insured cause. The expenses covered under this section typically include additional rent, travel, food and any other living expenses which might be borne by the home owner towards their alternate living arrangements. Do remember to keep all the receipts of any expenses incurred during such a period of temporary living arrangement for insurance purposes.
Cover For Liabilities
The remaining two sections featuring in an insurance policy are designed to cover home owner for any liability which may arise due to any damage to property of bodily harm caused to any third party. This section liabilities which may occur not only within the house but even those which may occur outside.
- Liability Cover
- Coverage for Medical Payments to Others
Liability cover is one of the most important features of any home insurance policy. This cover basically protects you from any legal liabilities which may arise in case of any damage or bodily harm caused to any if there occurs any bodily harm / injury or damage being caused to any third person or property, on your premises or by you. An example of a liability cover would be in a situation where a tree from your garden (located in your premises) falls on the neighbor’s fence and damages it. The neighbor might sue you for damages. In this case, the cost of repair or any legal charges of such an outcome shall be covered by the insurance company.
The last feature of a home insurance policy would be cover for any medical payment which the homeowner might have to make to any third person in case they suffer any bodily harm or injury when they are in your house or on your property. This cover, however, is designed to cover the cost of minor injuries. Some examples of situations where medical payments insurance may apply would be:
- Your child’s friend breaks their arm while playing on the swing in your backyard.
- A visiting relative slips on the stairs inside your house and injures their back.
- A neighbor slips in the ice formed on your driveway and injured their foot.