what does homeowners insurance cover?

Feeling overwhelmed? Homeowners insurance might just be the most complex type of coverage around. But worry not — we're here to simplify it for you. To get a better grasp of the nooks and crannies of your coverages, take a minute to review all the pieces that can fit into a homeowners policy.

Coverage protects the structure of your house as well as what's inside

how home insurance works: breaking down your coverage

Generally speaking, the main function of home insurance is to protect you from financial loss after a covered incident. Home insurance is typically used to safeguard the following:

  • Your home's structure and other structures on your property
  • Your personal belongings
  • Your liability for others' injuries sustained on your property or that you're otherwise responsible for

But within this framework, you have a ton of choices. For instance, did you know you can tailor contents insurance based on category (like "sporting goods" or "silverware")? Did you know there's home coverage specifically designed for protecting your garden, or even for retrieving computer data? And that's just for starters.

what does home insurance protect against?

A standard homeowners policy (also known as an HO-3 policy) generally protects your home and your personal property from damage caused by:

  • Fires or lightning
  • Windstorms (including hurricanes and tornadoes) or hail
  • Explosions
  • Riots or civil commotions
  • Aircrafts
  • Vehicles
  • Smoke
  • Theft or vandalism (sometimes called malicious mischief)
  • Falling objects
  • Weight of ice, snow, or sleet
  • Freezing of plumbing, heating, air conditioning, or other household systems

A standard home policy won't typically cover damage caused by floods or earthquakes. Other exclusions can include water damage, mold or fungus, vermin, and wear and tear or deterioration.

types of homeowners insurance coverage: the basics

The following options are typically available on a base-level homeowners insurance policy.

Dwelling protection

Other structures protection

Additional living expense coverage

Water backup coverage

Personal property insurance

Family liability protection

Guest medical protection

Fire department charges coverage

optional protection for your home

These coverages may be available in your state but are unlikely to be included unless you add them to your policy.

Building codes coverage

Increased building structure coverage

Identity theft expense coverage

Fair rental income protection

Home day care coverage

Extended premises

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