Home Insurance Explained: Understanding Your Coverages
A standard insurance policy covers the physical structure of your home as well as other structures on your property (sheds, garages) and personal property. You’ll probably notice that the most expensive part of your home policy is dwelling coverage. Dwelling coverage is also the amount that goes up every year. The dwelling is the main structure of your home, not a detached garage or shed. However, you’re often covered for both in the event of a storm that takes down multiple structures on your property, including fences, decks and built-in appliances like furnaces and water heaters.
You’re not always covered for all the aforementioned items. This all depends on your particular coverage and it takes reading the fine-print on inclusions and exclusions to be sure what’s covered and what’s not before catastrophe strikes. You may need to buy a few endorsements but you will have peace of mind with the right insurance.
With condo insurance, losses are calculated differently because the dwelling has shared or common spaces as well. If you’re a condo owner, make sure to insure everything in your unit that falls under the category of personal property. Check to make sure everything is on the declaration page too, or else it’s not covered. In short, dwelling coverage is the part that pays for damages to your house if it is damaged or destroyed. It is your rebuilding cost. The value of your land does not figure into the dwelling coverage.
There are many other things beyond your property that are covered under home insurance. For instance, you may be covered up to $500 for food spoilage due to an electricity outage. You’re covered up to $500 if you accept counterfeit American or Canadian cash. Your phone may (or may not) be covered under your homeowners insurance. If you lose or misplace your keys, you may be covered for the locksmith. Your family’s gravesite is covered up to $5,000 for vandalism.
If you have a child off in college and their dorm or apartment gets broken into, you may be covered for some of the loss. If your child accidentally breaks a window, you’re covered too if he or she is less than 13 years old.
If you spill red wine on the carpeting, you may be reimbursed for a professional cleaning. Not only that, but you’re covered if a volcano erupts near you and damages your house. If a tree on your property damages a neighbor’s home or car, you’re covered. If your dog bites someone, you’re covered, unless the dog is on a certain restriction list by your insurer.
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