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Insuring Your Home

When we started thinking about buying a home, I realized that we had a boatload of work to do. I knew that we needed to save up a down payment, talk with a mortgage broker, and most importantly--figure out what we were doing about homeowners insurance. Fortunately, a friend of mine told me about a great insurance broker in our area who handled that kind of thing. We met with her to talk about our options, and before we knew it, we had found a policy that really melded with our budget and lifestyle. This blog is all about insuring your home.

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3 Coverages To Look For In A Homeowners Insurance Policy -- Other Than Protection For Your House

Homeowners insurance is so-named because it helps protect your home from a variety of perils. The house you live in, however, isn't the only thing that needs insurance coverage. If you're shopping around for home insurance, here are several important coverages to look for -- other than coverage for your primary dwelling.

Secondary Structures Coverage

Secondary structures coverage, or other structures coverage, helps protect those structures on your property that aren't your primary dwelling. Depending on a policy's terms and conditions, this coverage might offer protection for fences, detached garages, sheds or even bunkhouses that are free-standing. It also might be used to cover a boat house, greenhouse, batting cage or other similar structures that are expensive and not connected to your actual home.

What secondary structures coverage you need depends on what types of other structures are on your property. For example, you don't need secondary structures coverage that includes protection for a wood shed unless you have a wood shed on your property.

Before comparing quotes for homeowners insurance, make a list of all the secondary structures on your property. As you review each quote, check to make sure its secondary structures coverage protects all of the structures you have.

Personal Property Coverage

Personal property coverage, or contents coverage, helps protect the items that are inside your home. While exact protections vary, this coverage is used to insure everything from old blankets and long-forgotten books to engagement rings and refrigerators.

Exactly what is protected by a homeowners policy's personal property coverage will be outlined in this portion of the policy. Many policies exclude or limit certain items from their coverage. A few commonly limited items include the following:

  • jewelry
  • artwork
  • other valuables

You'll want to make sure any homeowners policy you consider provides sufficient protection for all of your belongings. If a policy limits or excludes items you have, you can look for a different homeowners policy, consider purchasing additional coverage through the homeowners policy you're considering, or obtain supplemental insurance.

Personal Liability Coverage

Personal liability coverage doesn't protect physical property. Instead, it protects you -- from certain potential liability lawsuits, specifically. If you're ever responsible for another person's injuries or property damage, they might sue you. Depending on the nature of the incident, liability coverage through a homeowners policy might cover the case.

Because liability cases can be expensive, it's frequently a good idea to get liability coverage with a high limit.