Homeowners Insurance Coverage and Condo Insurance Coverage
Find Coverage that's Right for You and Your Home
Home insurance coverages generally apply to your home, your belongings, or both; plus, there are coverage options for additional living expenses and liability. Deductibles are another factor to consider.
Structures and permanent fittings
Your dwelling refers to your house and plumbing, heating, permanently installed air-conditioning systems, and electrical wiring. Dwelling coverage also applies to attached structures, such as garages and decking. When selecting Dwelling coverage, base your limits on what it will cost to rebuild your home if you suffer a loss, not the current market value. (Want to be sure you have the proper dwelling coverage? Learn more about Home Market Value vs. Home Replacement Cost.)
Garages, sheds, fences, driveway, swimming pool — the structures that are not part of the house — are called detached structures or other structures. Homeowners insurance policies provide limited coverage for these 'other structures,' typically up to 10% of the Dwelling coverage amount. If you'd like to purchase additional coverage for detached structures on your property (beyond the 10%), let us know. Additional coverage may be available in some states.
Personal belongings – items not part of the home's permanent structure
Furniture, clothes, sporting goods, appliances, electronics and even some garden trees or shrubs — items not permanently affixed to your home — are called personal property. Personal Property coverage protects these items if you experience a covered loss. Coverage limits are typically 50-70% of your dwelling coverage. In most states, Replacement Cost coverage for personal possessions is automatically provided with our standard policies. In others, Actual Cash Value is standard and you may elect to purchase Replacement Cost coverage. To learn more about what it means to have Replacement Cost coverage, visit our Learning Center. (And, to be sure your most highly valued items are protected, learn more about scheduling personal property.)
Your homeowners coverage provides only limited coverage for certain high-value items, such as jewelry. To ensure your high-value items have adequate coverage, you can list (or "schedule") them on your home insurance policy. In most states, you may schedule items in any of the following categories:
- Engagement and wedding rings
- Other jewelry
- Stamps, coins, ceramics, and other "collections"
- Cameras and equipment
- Fine art, such as paintings, rugs, and vases
- Golf equipment
- Musical instruments and equipment
Scheduling these items helps ensure that you'll receive maximum reimbursement in the case of loss. Check out our Scheduling Personal Property infographic for more information.
Coverages and endorsements that apply to both your home and your personal property
If water backs up into your basement due to a sump pump failure or sewer backup, you want to be sure your homeowners insurance will cover you. Water Backup and Sump Overflow coverage is NOT included in a standard homeowners insurance policy. If you need it, you can add a Water Backup and Sump Overflow endorsement to your policy. To help you minimize damage from a water backup or sump overflow, we've pulled together tips and tricks to protect your home in our Learning Center.
One note: A Water Backup and Sump Overflow endorsement will not cover you if you experience a flood. Purchase a separate flood insurance policy to protect your home from flood damage.
Live in an earthquake-prone region? An earthquake endorsement on your renters, home or condo insurance policy provides added protection for your dwelling, detached structures and personal property. It also helps cover the costs related to stabilizing the land under your home, removing debris, and making adjustments to meet current building codes. Earthquake coverage also provides additional living expenses while your home is being rebuilt or repaired. Earthquake coverage limits and deductibles vary – so check with us to find out what's available in your area. (California residents may also purchase Earthquake coverage through the California Earthquake Authority.)
What is Mine Subsidence coverage? In states where some properties are built over existing, abandoned mines, this coverage protects you if your home is lost or damaged when a man-made mine shifts. (Illinois, Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia are among states that require insurance companies to offer this coverage. If you prefer not to pay for it, you must sign a form confirming your intentions.)
Living expenses – for costs you incur if you must move out of your home following a covered loss
If something happens to your home that makes it uninhabitable, this coverage helps you offset costs of living elsewhere while your home is being repaired. (Think lodging, food, and pet care beyond your typical daily living expenses.) Most policies limit the timeframe for coverage based on the loss you've experienced. Check your policy for your limits. If you think you'll need additional coverage, let us know.
Liability protection – to protect you in case someone is hurt on your property
If you are found legally responsible (liable) for injuries to someone else or damages to someone else's property, your personal liability coverage will help offset the costs of court awards and pay for a defense. (Maximum amounts are specified in your policy.) This coverage is sometimes referred to as Personal Liability coverage or Third-party Insurance. (Ever wondered about the difference between liability and negligence? This Learning Center article explains.)
This coverage helps pay for medical expenses when a visitor or guest is accidentally injured on your property or when you accidentally injure someone. (Learn more about Medical Payments to Others Coverage in our Learning Center.)
Whether you said something you shouldn't have, are arrested or detained, or you've been wrongfully evicted, your Personal Injury Endorsement provides protection. Adding a Personal Injury endorsement to your homeowners insurance policy protects against personal injury offenses against others, including false arrest, detention, or imprisonment, wrongful entry, malicious prosecution, wrongful eviction, slander, defamation of character, libel and invasion of privacy. Consider a Personal Injury Endorsement your 'sleep well tonight' protection.
Your deductible is the amount you pay before your insurance coverage takes over. For example, if you choose a policy with a $1,000 deductible and you experience a loss, you will pay $1,000 out of pocket on any claim. Adding a higher deductible to your policy may be an effective way for you to lower your insurance payments. If you take this approach, you'll want to be sure you can cover the amount of the deductible in the event you file a claim.
If you live in a hurricane-prone area, your homeowners insurance policy may also include a hurricane deductible. If your homeowners insurance policy includes a hurricane deductible, you will pay that amount toward repairs if a hurricane damages your home. The deductible amounts vary by state, and sometimes it can even be a percentage of your Dwelling coverage. Talk to us to understand the hurricane deductible options in your state.
Generally, hurricane deductibles only apply if the National Weather Service issues a hurricane watch or warning and the hurricane strikes your home at the level of severity outlined in your insurance policy.
Your home insurance or condo insurance policy may also include a deductible for damage caused by two other forces of nature: wind and hail. If this deductible is included in your policy, you'll pay the added deductible if your home is damaged by wind or hail. The deductible is generally based on the amount of Dwelling coverage your policy includes.
It's important to remember that insurance coverage varies by region or state, and certain restrictions and limitations apply.