What does my Homeowners Policy Cover?

By Todd Powers
Alfa Insurance

Buying a home is likely the biggest financial step you’ll take in your life and one of the few physical financial assets you can have. Protecting your investment is crucial, and homeowners insurance helps you do that. Let’s dig into what your homeowner’s insurance means.

At its simplest definition, a homeowners policy will repair or replace your property, other structures and personal property, as well as provide personal liability protection, when a covered loss (or a peril) has occurred. 

What is an insurance peril?

In insurance terms, a peril refers to an event that causes a loss. Every insurance provider may be different, but your policy documents will define what covered perils are in your specific policy. If you have damage to your property and the cause of loss is not considered a covered peril, you may not have coverage. There are often endorsements you can add to your homeowners insurance that will extend coverage to include more limits or more perils, so talking with your agent can help determine your needs.

A list of common covered perils on homeowners’ policies:

• Fire and Smoke Damage
• Windstorms
• Hail
• Water Damage (usually some exclusions to this one)
• Damage from ice, snow or sleet
• Falling Objects (such as a healthy tree during a storm)
• Vandalism
• Explosions
• Glass Breakage
• Theft

What has protection on a homeowners policy?

• Your home (this includes the inside and outside of your house)
• Structures attached to your home (such as an awning or a porch)
• Other structures (like a tool shed or gazebo)
• Personal property (the items you own, inside the home or not)
• Personal liability (for damages or injuries) 
• Loss of Use

Let’s dig a little deeper into each of these…

Your Home

Your home’s interior or exterior, as well as attached structures like an awning or carport, are covered under the dwelling coverage of a homeowners policy, in the event of a covered peril. This means, after you file a claim and pay your deductible, your policy’s coverage kicks in to repair or replace the damaged home or structure up to your policy limits. 

Other Structures

Structures on your property that are not attached to your dwelling and are not considered personal property would likely fall under other structures coverage. Examples of other structures on a homeowners policy could be:

• Gazebos
• Privacy fences
• Tool sheds
• Detached garages
• Swimming pools
• Driveways

Personal Liability

While personal liability doesn’t repair or replace damaged items, it does provide financial protection for you when you’re found liable for causing damage or harm to others. Liability means responsibility. So, when you’re found responsible for someone’s injury or damages to their belongings, your personal liability coverage may kick in. If a guest slips and falls in your kitchen and you’re found liable, personal liability coverage may pay for the guest’s medical bills. 

Todd Powers is a local Alfa Agent in South Huntsville. He specializes in home, auto and life insurance. Reach out to him at 256-883-8598 or tpowers@alfains.com.

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