Compare Coverage Options for Home and Renters Insurance
Although the concept of homeowners insurance grew out of the Great Fire of London in 1666, coverage was generally limited to fire damage and was pretty much a luxury item for a wealthy few. The modern version with comprehensive packages to cover a variety of losses wasn’t widely available in the U.S. until the 1950s. Today, standardized policies that protect residential structures and their contents – including single-family homes, condominiums, townhomes and mobile homes – are among the mostly widely sold. Renter’s policies, which cover the loss of personal possessions in a rental unit, are gaining in popularity, too. In fact, many landlords now require them as a condition of occupancy.
Homeowner’s insurance policies are basically written as All-Risk (or Open Peril) or Named Perils. Named Perils policies cover only what is specifically spelled out in your policy; All-Risk covers everything EXCEPT what is specifically excluded. Policies can be written to pay claims at Actual Cash Value or Replacement Cost. Other choices you’ll have will include the size of your deductible, endorsements to cover certain classes of valuables, and additional coverages for special types of risks such as earthquake and flood, which aren’t included in standard homeowners policies. If you have a mortgage, your lending institution will certainly insist that you carry enough insurance to protect its investment.
Renters insurance, on the other hand, only covers your personal property (furniture, clothing, etc.) against named perils. Like homeowners policies, renters policies will also provide some liability protection if someone is injured while inside your rental unit. Some policies may also cover small alterations you make to the interior, but in general, the owner is responsible for insuring the structure.
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A number of factors determine the cost of insurance premiums – everyone’s situation will vary. What’s important is to compare policies and read the terms carefully to understand what you are buying, what you’re agreeing to do to maintain coverage, all the exclusions, what the insurer is agreeing to honor and under what circumstances. Ask questions and take notes. It’s also important to review your policy every year or so to make sure you still have adequate protection to cover the loss of new purchases, home improvements and rising property values.
To shop for competitive quotes and find the right coverage for your needs, just select one of the options below. We’ll take care of the rest.
Homeowners Insurance State Guide