Although homeowner’s insurance policies will have different limits and coverages, there are general rules as to what they do cover.
What is Homeowner’s Insurance?
Homeowners insurance is a general coverage that can help to pay the repair and replacement bills after specific types of damages to a property, like water damage, fire, or vandalism. This insurance can also help to cover the cost of other properties if you are at fault or if a visitor was harmed on your property.
What Does Homeowner’s Insurance Cover?
- Your home
- Personal property
- Other structures on your property
- Liability protection
In addition to the general coverages listed above, there are add-on coverages that can offer extra protection.
Generally, damages caused by any of the following will be covered:
It’s also important to know that not all natural disasters are covered. For example, floods and earthquakes are not covered.
If you feel like you may need these too, they can be purchased in addition to your policy. You can also keep them separated, such as having the policies with a different insurance company. Regardless, doing this will keep you covered and protect your family from financial turmoil after a disaster.
A key point to keep in mind is to only purchase enough coverage that will rebuild your home.
Your homeowners insurance policy pays to cover the reconstruction or restoration costs of your home. Other structures that are detached from the home, like a garage, swimming pool, tool shed, or gazebo are also covered on most policies, accounting for about 10% of the coverage stated on your policy.
Just keep in mind that the following disasters stated above, such as earthquakes and floods are not covered, nor is general wear and tear.
Many homeowners insurance policies include liability for lawsuits, property damage caused by you and others, or bodily injury of anyone on your property. It can also pay for the damage caused by your pets. So if your children or pets accidentally break your neighbor’s window, it would be covered by your policy.
If anyone had taken you to court in regards to paying for the damage, the liability portion would also cover the costs of defending you. Although there is a limit stated within each policy.
Generally, liability starts at $100,000, but it should be considered to purchase higher level of protection with your agent, given specific circumstances. If you also own certain assets of high value, purchasing additional coverage, such as an umbrella or excess liability policy, would be a good idea. This way you wouldn’t have to worry about limits or minimal coverage.
The last part of liability includes no-fault medical coverage, so if anyone is injured on your property, they can send the medical bills to your insurance provider. Then you won’t have to be worried about any lawsuit being filed against you. The one limitation to this part is that it does not cover medical bills of anyone, including pets, already living on the property.
In addition to your home, your personal belongings also need to be covered if your home was hit by a natural disaster. So a homeowners insurance policy can cover any electronics, furniture, artwork, and any other valuables within your home.
To get an idea of how much coverage to purchase, conduct a home inventory that includes the value of all personal belongings.
You may also be surprised to find that trees, plants, and shrubs are also covered under standard policies, but have a limit of around $500 per plant. But there are some instances when they are not covered, such as poor maintenance or disease.
The policy can cover the cost to repair or replace personal contents, as long as it is a covered disaster listed above. Sometimes it can even cover the items if they weren’t in the house at the time of destruction. Just keep in mind that due to the worth of some items, like artwork, jewelry, collectibles, and silverware, extended coverage can be purchased as they will exceed the general coverage limit.
Additional Living Expenses
Additional living expenses (ALE) can cover the costs of living away from home if the damage caused to the structure has made it unsafe. This would typically cover restaurant meals, hotel bills, and other costs that would be additional to your regular living expenses.
However, this part of the policy should not be treated like an all-expense-paid vacation; there are limitations. While they are separate from the general coverage limit of rebuilding your home, it’s a good idea to know exactly how much would be covered before making accommodations.
For homeowners who rent out a part of their house, the insurance company can also provide the funds for the money you would have collected, had a tenant been living in that part of the home.
Finding a Restoration Provider
Having a homeowners insurance policy to cover the cost to repair the home or building is very important but hiring a service that can provide these repairs for you is just as important. When looking for a provider, you will want to make sure that they are reputable, such as being licensed, trained, experienced, and efficient in their work. Finding a company that can also cover all aspects of the repairs is another requirement since you won’t want to work with multiple vendors throughout the process.
ServiceMaster of North Texas
One such provider that has all of these qualities and more is ServiceMaster of North Texas. Available 24/7 in the Dallas, TX area, our professionals are professionals when it comes to rebuilding properties. After receiving your call, we will respond right away to stabilize the property, regardless of the cause of the damage. We will then conduct a full inspection to identify the scope of the project as well as the development of a reconstruction plan.
We Work with Insurance Companies
ServiceMaster of North Texas will then proceed to the reconstruction process of the home, attending to all areas with extensive damage and restoring them to their original condition. Finally, we will work with your insurance provider throughout the claims process, providing you with the peace of mind knowing that all damage has been repaired.
If your home has suffered extensive damage in the Dallas, TX area, don’t hesitate to call ServiceMaster of North Texas at (972) 840-8888. We are available 24/7 to address all property emergencies.