Homeowners insurance provides financial protection in the event that your home or its contents are damaged. It also provides protection if you or a family member are held legally responsible (liable) for the injuries to others or damage to their property. Most mortgage lenders also require it.
There are different types of insurance policies that cover your home. They range from a basic policy, to those that will provide a much broader ranger of protection. Not all policies and coverages are available in all states.
What's covered; what's not
Most homeowners insurance policies will cover damage caused by such perils as fire, windstorms, hail, lightning, theft, or vandalism. There are other homeowners policies that cover additional perils as well. Typically, floods and earthquakes are excluded. It's important to talk to your agent to learn what your policy may and may not cover. And for those perils that are not covered, there may be supplemental insurance you can purchase.
What most standard homeowners policies provide
Dwelling coverage. Pays to repair or rebuild your home - including electrical wiring, plumbing, and heating and air conditioning - if damaged by a covered cause of loss. It's important to buy enough dwelling coverage to cover the cost to rebuild.
Other structures coverage. Pays for damages to detached structures like garages, sheds, fences, and cottages on your property.
Personal property coverage. Reimburses you for the personal items in your home that may be damaged or destroyed by a covered cause of loss, which could include your furniture, clothes, sporting goods, and electronics.
Loss of use coverage. Pays your additional housing and living expenses if you must move out of your home temporarily while it's being restored.
Liability insurance. Helps protect your assets and cover your defense costs in the event of a lawsuit because you or your family members are responsible for causing injuries or damage to other people or their property.