It’s very important to have homeowners insurance in Southwest Florida, and it’s also important to know what a homeowners insurance policy entails.
Homeowners insurance is typically required by mortgage companies when they give you a loan or finance a residential real estate transaction. Some rental properties also require you to purchase a policy for rental coverage.
But whether it’s required or not, securing a homeowners insurance policy is the proactive thing to do.
Even though homeowners policies are customizable, there are certain base elements of coverage that every policy provides. These coverages include:
- Damage to the interior/exterior of your house.
- A homeowners insurance policy will compensate you if your home is damaged by fire, hurricanes, lightning, vandalism, or other covered disasters, so you can move forward with repairs or the rebuilding process.
- Floods are not typically covered without extra coverage, and neither are earthquakes or damage due to poor home maintenance.
- Separate garages, sheds, or other properties may need to be covered separately.
- If clothing, furniture, appliances, and most other contents within your home are destroyed or damaged during a covered disaster, they are covered.
- Personal liability for damage or injuries.
- Under this clause, you are protected from lawsuits filed by others. For example, if your dog bites a neighbor or your child breaks an invaluable item at a friend’s home.
- Hotel or house rental.
- You will be covered for a hotel or house stay if your home is inhabitable due to being rebuilt or repaired. You can even get reimbursed for restaurant meals and other such incidental expenses during this time.
Types of Homeowners Coverage
There are a variety of homeowners insurance types, so it’s wise to understand them in order to know which is right for you. Here are the three different levels of coverage:
- Actual Cash Value
- This covers the cost of your house plus the value of your belongings, after deducting depreciation.
- Replacement Cost
- This covers the actual cash value of your home and possessions without deducting depreciation, which allows you to rebuild/repair your home to the original value.
- Guaranteed (extended) Replacement Cost/Value
- This covers whatever the cost may be to repair or rebuild your home, even if it exceeds your policy limit.
What Isn’t Covered?
Even though homeowners insurance can be comprehensive, there are some elements excluded from coverage. These elements typically include natural disasters and other ‘acts of God,’ and acts of war.
If you live in an area that is known for its floods, hurricanes, or earthquakes, you may want to supplement your homeowners insurance with flood/earthquake coverage for added safety.
Wondering what else is and isn’t covered by homeowners insurance? Take a look at these elements, and we’ll discuss whether or not they’re included in typical coverage or not.
- Mold Damage
- Most companies include up to $10,000.
- Roof Leaks
- Most policies cover roof leaks if they are caused by a covered event (ex: storms or hail), but not if it’s caused by lack of maintenance.
- Water Damage
- If water damage is caused by a burst pipe or failed washing machine hose, it is typically covered, but not if it’s caused by lack of maintenance.
- Termite Damage
- Since insurers view termite damage as preventable, it is not typically covered.
- Most standard policies have coverage for losses by theft and vandalism, but there is a cap to what the company will pay.
- Plumbing Issues
- If plumbing issues arise from a burst pipe or a failed water heater, coverage is typically provided.
- Coverage for damage from fire and smoke is provided, including the cost of teardown, cleanup, and rebuilding, along with replacing furniture and possessions within the home.
- Dog Bites
- There’s typically no coverage included but may be available by endorsement under the liability section of your homeowners insurance policy. The availability of this coverage is usually dependent on the breed of dog you have.
- Tree Removal
- Most companies will pay to have a tree removed if it falls on your house, garage, or other structure during a storm, but if it falls on the ground and does not cause damage, it will most likely not be covered.
- Air Conditioning Units
- An air conditioning unit or system is typically covered for theft, fire, storm damage, or other reasons under a homeowners policy.
- Foundation Repairs
- If damage to your home’s foundation is caused by a storm, fire, or other event, it is typically covered.
- Roof Replacement
- If your roof sustains damage from a fire or storm, repairs or replacement is most likely covered, but damage from wear and tear or neglect is not.
- Fences are oftentimes covered much like other freestanding structures such as, garages or sheds, and most policies include repairs or replacement if damage occurs from storms, fire, wind, or other causes included in your policy.
Lott & Gaylor Homeowners Insurance
Lott & Gaylor insurance offers the most comprehensive, inclusive homeowners insurance in Southwest Florida. Contact us today for a free quote.