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What Should Homeowners Insurance Cover?

A standard homeowners insurance policy insures your home, other structures on the lot such as a detached garage, and the contents in the home.

There should be a liability clause in your policy protecting your property against bodily injury and medical payments if someone is hurt on the property such as dog bites or broken limbs.

Your policy should cover loss from fire and smoke damage, theft, vandalism, wind, rain, and certain other unforseen incidents.

The coverage should be enough to replace the home if it is totally destroyed. The insurance company uses a formula based on material and the cost of labor involved in the rebuilding of the home. It is not based on the market value of the neighborhood or the land the property sits on.

Ask your agent or broker to find out how much the limit is to replace your home, which should be updated periodically to keep up with the inflation of building costs and materials.

The policy should cover cars in the garage or in the driveway, jewelry, televisions, computers and related components, cameras, clothes, shoes, guns, antiques, dishes, furniture, carpet, and other replaceable items.

Your insurance should cover small items as well as big ticket items.

Remember, earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, and other catastrophes are not normally covered in a standard homeowners insurance policy. But additional insurance can be purchased to cover the cost of replacement if these events do happen.

Always get the coverage quoted to you in writing because at times, things are said and then forgotten. Your insurance salesman may change companies or retire. It is a wise idea to make sure that what you think you are getting is definitely written in the policy.

You should always review your policy as soon as you recieve it and go over it with your agent to make sure everything is correct.

Know and understand your rights and what is expected of you and what is expected of the insurance company.

There are certain things that you can do to help make sure your property is protected. Take pictures of the home, inside and outside. Take pictures of furniture, jewelry, and other valuables.

Keep your insurance policies, pictures, and an inventory of your belongings, in a safe place such as a fireproof safe or a safe deposit box in a bank.

Read over your policy periodically and ask your insurance company to make changes if you deem them necessary.

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