How to Read Your Homeowners Insurance Policy
May 13, 2014
Mysteries, thrillers, maybe even a romantic novel or two – many people include those topics on their summer reading lists. As a Florida home insurance customer, there’s another type of reading matter that should rank pretty high on your reading list, and that’s your insurance policy.
Consider these scenarios that could occur this summer...
Do you know if they’re covered by the standard Florida homeowner insurance policy?
- Hurricane season is coming – if your home incurs flood damage due to a storm, will your home insurance policy cover the cost of repairs?
- Your child is heading off to college this fall and will live in on-campus housing. Does your homeowner insurance policy cover loss of theft of their iPad, iPhone, laptop and other pricey items?
- The summer heat has made Fido a frisky pup, and he playfully nips a neighbor’s leg. Will your policy cover your neighbor’s medical bills?
Unsure if these would be covered? Read below for a better understanding of the coverage provided by a standard home insurance policy:
Coverage A covers the home’s structure. The coverage amount is based on the amount it costs to rebuild your home (based on current construction costs) and should not be confused with the real estate value of your home. This coverage applies to most perils, except for those that are specifically excluded. Examples of excluded losses are earth movement (earthquake) and flood. Examples of covered losses include fire, theft and water that escapes from within an appliance
Coverage B covers "other structures" on the insured, including sheds, detached garages and gazebos.
Coverage C covers your personal property (furniture, clothing and other contents of your home), even if the damage or loss occurs off-premises (there’s usually a limit to the off-premises coverage offered under your policy).
Coverage D covers additional living expenses, including food, lodging and clothing if your home is uninhabitable due to a covered peril (keep your receipts!).
Section E provides you with coverage in the event that someone incurs an injury on your property or claims that you damaged their property, including some legal defense costs.
Section F provides medical payments for persons who do not live at your residence that are injured on or by your property.
Did you get it right? Find out if you correctly determined whether the scenarios listed above are eligible for coverage:
- No. Flood damage is not covered by a standard policy. Considering purchasing flood insurance to help protect your home in the event a hurricane – or even a slow-moving rain event – dumps several inches of rain in your neighborhood.
- Yes. The property of a student living in on-campus housing is considered to be off-premises and, therefore, is covered. A student who has their own apartment, however, will need a renter’s insurance policy to cover their belongings.
- Yes. Section E – liability coverage – will help you pay your neighbor’s medical expenses. But you’ll have to pay for Fido’s obedience training on your own.
Contact your insurance agent if you have any questions about your coverage – especially if you’ve made significant upgrades to your home since you obtained your insurance policy.