What is Home Insurance?
Home insurance, also commonly called hazard insurance or homeowner's insurance (and often abbreviated in the US real estate industry as HO1), is a type of property insurance that covers a private residence.
It is an insurance policy that combines various personal insurance protections, which can include losses occurring to one's home, its contents, loss of use (additional living expenses), or loss of other personal possessions of the homeowner, as well as liability insurance for accidents that may happen at the home or at the hands of the homeowner within the policy territory.
Typical Home Insurance Coverages
Coverage A – Dwelling
Covers the value of the dwelling itself (not including the land). Typically, a coinsurance clause states that as long as the dwelling is insured to 80% of actual value, losses will be adjusted at replacement cost, up to the policy limits. This is in place to give a buffer against inflation. HO-4 (renter's insurance) typically has no Coverage A, although it has additional coverages for improvements.
Coverage B – Other Structures
Covers other structure around the property that are not used for business, except as a private garage. Typically limited at 10% to 20% of the Coverage A, with additional amounts available by endorsement.
Coverage C – Personal Property
Covers personal property, with limits for the theft and loss of particular classes of items (e.g., $200 for money, banknotes, bullion, coins, medals, etc.). Typically 50 to 70% of coverage A is required for contents, which means that consumers may pay for much more insurance than necessary. This has led to some calls for more choice.
Coverage D – Loss of Use/Additional Living Expenses
Covers expenses associated with additional living expenses (i.e. rental expenses) and fair rental value, if part of the residence was rented, however only the rental income for the actual rent of the space not services provided such as utilities.
Covers a variety of expenses such as debris removal, reasonable repairs, damage to trees and shrubs for certain named perils (excluding the most common causes of damage, wind and ice), fire department changes, removal of property, credit card / identity theft charges, loss assessment, collapse, landlord's furnishing, and some building additions. These vary depending upon the form.
In an open perils policy, specific exclusions will be stated in this section. These generally include earth movement, water damage, power failure, neglect, war, nuclear hazard, septic tank back-up expenses, intentional loss, and concurrent causation (for HO3). The concurrent causation exclusion excludes losses where both a covered and an excluded loss occur. In addition, the exclusion for building ordinance can mean that increased expenses due to local ordinances may not be covered. A 2013 survey of Americans found that 41% believed mold was covered, although it is typically not covered if the water damage occurs over a period of time, such as through a leaky pipe.
Flood damage is typically excluded under standard homeowners and renters insurance policies. Flood coverage, however, is available in the form of a separate policy both from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and from a few private insurers. 
Coverage E – Personal Liability
Covers damages which the insured is legally liable for and provides a legal defense at the insurer's own expense. About a third of the losses for this coverage are from dog bites.
Contact us to learn more about the right homeowners insurance for you.
What is Condo Insurance?
Condo Insurance is designed for individuals who live in a unit structure owned and insured by a condo association, townhouse association cooperative, homeowner's association, planned community or other similar type of organization.
The insurance the association provides only covers the outside dwelling, not the contents of your unit, so it's important to consider purchasing this type of insurance to protect against personal property losses and liability
Typical Benefits of a Condo Insurance Policy:
Coverage for damage to personal property such as furniture, computer equipment and clothing
Fill in the gaps of the master insurance policy and cover losses under master policy deductibles
Personal liability coverage
Interior walls and floor coverings coverage
Coverage for improvements or upgrades (most master insurance policies only cover the original condition and value of the unit).
Usually has small deductible and fairly inexpensive
Contact us to learn more about the right condo insurance for you.
What is Flood Insurance?
Flood insurance is the specific insurance coverage against property loss from flooding. To determine risk factors for specific properties, insurers will often refer to topographical maps that denote lowlands, floodplains and floodways that are susceptible to flooding.
Nationwide, only 20% of American homes at risk for floods are actually covered by flood insurance. Most private insurers do not insure against the peril of flood due to the prevalence of adverse selection, which is the purchase of insurance by persons most affected by the specific peril of flood.
Flooding is defined by the National Flood Insurance Program as a general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of two or more acres of normally dry land area or two or more properties (at least one of which is your property) from: Overflow of inland waters, unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of surface waters from any source, and mudflows
This can be brought on by landslides, a hurricane, earthquakes, or other natural disasters that influence flooding, but while a homeowner may, for example, have earthquake coverage, that coverage may not cover floods as a result of earthquakes.
Contact us to learn more about the right amount of flood coverage for your home.
What is Landlords' Insurance?
Landlords' insurance is an insurance policy that covers a property owner from financial losses connected with rental properties. The policy covers the building, with the option of insuring any contents that belong to the landlord that are inside. Landlords' insurance is often referred to as buy-to-let insurance, however buy-to-let insurance is a type of landlords' insurance. It is important to distinguish between buy-to-let insurance which generally covers one property that has been purchased with a buy-to-let mortgage, and multi-property insurance, which covers two or more properties. Each of these types of landlords' insurance covers different things.
What is Usually Covered With Landlord Insurance?
The policy will normally cover standard perils such as fire, lightning, explosion, earthquake, storm, flood, escape of water/oil, subsidence, theft and malicious damage. Each insurance policy is different and may or may not include all these items. Optional coverage might include accidental damage, malicious damage by tenant, terrorism, legal protection, alternative accommodation costs, contents insurance, rent guarantee insurance, and liability insurance.
Landlords' insurance policies typically do not cover any personal property belonging to tenants, or otherwise protect the interest of tenants; although a liability policy protecting a landlord or property manager will be of benefit to tenants should they incur a loss for which the landlord is responsible.
Contact us to learn more about the right landlords' insurance policy for your property.
What is Renters' Insurance?
Renters' insurance is an insurance policy which provides most of the benefits of homeowners' insurance. This includes liability insurance. The tenant's personal property is also covered against named perils such as fire, theft and vandalism. Renters' insurance does not include coverage for the dwelling, or structure, with the exception of small alterations that a tenant makes to the structure. The owner of the building is responsible for insuring it, but bears no responsibility for the tenant's belongings
How Much Renters' Insurance Do I Need?
The cost of renters insurance and the amount of personal property coverage you need depends on how much your property is worth.
To get a better understanding of your coverage needs, ask yourself the following questions:
How much are my belongings worth?
Could I afford to buy it all back again if it were destroyed in a fire or stolen?
What would I do in the event of a liability lawsuit against me?
And one more thing. If you have ever asked yourself "Do I need renters insurance?" the answer is probably yes.
Contact us to learn more about the right renters insurance policy for you.