When you purchase a home, homeowners insurance becomes one of your most critical safeguards. But what exactly does it protect you from? It’s a package policy that covers damage to your property and legal responsibility for any injuries and property damage you or your family members cause to others.
Why Homeowners Insurance Is Important
Imagine a tree falling onto your house or a burglar breaking into your home and taking valuable possessions. The cost of these damages can be staggering. With homeowners insurance, you’re financially covered in these situations, providing peace of mind in times of crisis.
What Does Homeowners Insurance Cover?
Structure of Your Home
Homeowners insurance can pay for repairs or rebuilding your home if it gets damaged or destroyed by disasters listed in the policy. This includes things like fires, hurricanes, or other natural disasters.
Your belongings—furniture, clothes, or a new 75-inch smart TV—are covered if they’re stolen or destroyed by a disaster.
This covers you against lawsuits for bodily injury or property damage that you or your family members cause to others.
Additional Living Expenses
If you can’t live in your home because of a disaster, your policy can cover your hotel bills, meals, and other living expenses.
Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Theft?
Coverage for Stolen Goods
Now, to answer the big question: Yes, homeowners insurance typically does cover theft. This falls under the ‘Personal Property’ section of your coverage. If a thief burglarizes your home and makes off with your belongings, your homeowners’ insurance can help replace those stolen items.
Limits and Exclusions
However, there may be dollar limits on certain property types, like jewelry or fine art. If you own high-value items, you might consider purchasing additional coverage known as a rider or floater.
Your insurance may also cover theft of your belongings when you’re not at home. This is called off-premises coverage, and it can be handy if your laptop gets stolen while you’re at a coffee shop, for example.
How to File a Claim for Theft
In the event of a theft, your first step should be to file a police report. Document everything that’s been stolen and its estimated value.
Contacting Your Insurance Provider
Afterward, you must contact your insurance provider to file a claim. They’ll guide you through the process and inform you about the next steps.
Preventing Theft in Your Home
Secure Your Home
Taking measures to deter thieves can make a big difference. Install a home security system, use sturdy locks on doors and windows, and don’t advertise when you’re not home on social media.
Protect Your Valuables
Keep valuables in a home safe or safety deposit box. Document all your belongings, keep receipts, and take photos as evidence. These records can be a lifesaver when making a claim.
1. Does homeowners insurance cover theft from my car?
No, theft from a vehicle is typically covered by auto insurance, not homeowners insurance.
2. Is cash stolen from my home covered by homeowners insurance?
Most policies have very limited coverage for cash, usually around $200.
3. What is a deductible in homeowners insurance?
A deductible is the amount you have to pay out-of-pocket before your insurance begins to cover a loss.
4. How can I reduce the cost of my homeowners insurance?
By increasing your deductible, maintaining a good credit record, staying with the same insurer, and installing home security systems, you could potentially lower your insurance premiums.
5. What should I do if my valuables exceed my homeowners’ insurance coverage limit?
You should consider purchasing additional coverage, such as a personal property endorsement or floater, which provides additional coverage for your valuables.
Understanding what your homeowner’s insurance covers and how it works can save you from headaches. While it does generally cover theft, knowing the limits and exclusions in your policy is crucial.
Being proactive in securing your home and belongings can also provide an added layer of protection. Read more about home security and personal property protection at Security Forward.