What are the basics of homeowners' insurance?

A homeowners policy typically includes a fire endorsement, which would cover you in the event that your house, including contents, burns down. It is important that you make sure that the stated value is consistent with the replacement cost or the fair market value of the house when reviewing this type of coverage.
For instance, if you are in a geographical area where property values are increasing dramatically, then it is important that you likewise increase the covered amount under this provision of your homeowners policy to make sure that there is enough money paid to you in the event that your house does burn down. Likewise, within this type of policy there may be coverage for water damage, theft, and also for liability claims.

Liability may arise in a homeowner's context when a guest is on your premises and is injured as a result of some defect on the premises, for instance, suppose there is a large hole in your backyard that is covered by overgrown grass and your guest falls into that hole and breaks an ankle. If you knew of the hole and did not disclose it, then the guest may have a basis for a liabil­ity claim against you alleging that there is negligence on your part. If a judge or jury were to agree with that, then the liability insurance policy would have to indemnify you up to your policy limits. Under this type of liability policy, the liability insurance carrier would also provide an attorney to defend you.

Under a homeowners policy, if there are specific valuable items of personal property that you wish to have covered, they normally have to be covered under a scheduled loss section of the policy where the specific items are identified. There may even be a requirement that an appraisal or pictures of the objects be provided as part of the insurance policy.

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