Shopping for homeowners insurance is a complex and tiresome task that few (if any) enjoy. Homeowners insurance is complicated and difficult to compare as each insurance provider offers different terms and conditions for their given rates, meaning you can’t easily compare two insurance policies that cost the same or similar. Maybe one has a less restrictive policy in relation to water damage, while the other offers more contents insurance – comparing homeowners insurance is truly a superhuman task.
Generally, homeowners insurance will include standard coverages and offer additional or optional coverages which add protection from events normally excluded by the standard policy or extend the benefits of those standard coverages.
- Dwelling – dwelling coverage is the most basic homeowners insurance coverage and is generally required by all banks with a mortgage on the property, as this protects their security. The dwelling coverage protects the structure of your home (walls, ceilings, floors, etc.) from covered events such as a fire.
- Contents – contents coverage protects the personal items you have within your home. While dwelling coverage protects the actual house, contents coverage protects your furniture, electronics, appliances, jewelry, and any other personal items within the home. However, contents coverage often has several limitations such as total coverage and maximum coverage per item. Sometimes coverage per item is dependent on whether you register the item with the insurer, such as limiting per-item coverage to $500 unless you’ve registered the item.
- Personal Liability – personal liability coverage protects against personal injury sustained on your property or in your home. This can be very important if you have sidewalks that people use in the winter, as slipping and falling on an icy sidewalk can result in significant liability for the property owner, even if the person wasn’t necessarily invited onto the property.
- Flood – most policies do not include flood insurance. Flood damage is a highly contested area of homeowners insurance, with insurers often trying to characterize water damage in a specific manner that minimizes their payment obligations. To learn more about water damage claims, please refer to our earlier blog post, Water Damage Insurance Claims.
- Water backup from sewer – while you might think that water backing up from the sewer is covered under water damage or flood damage, it rarely is.
In addition to the optional coverages listed above, there is a multitude of optional coverages available from insurers, such as insurance to protect from changes in building codes or municipal ordinances, and insurance to cover earthquake damage.
Insurance Loss Lawyers in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Connecticut
As you can see, homeowners insurance is complex and difficult to compare. As a result, many homeowners end up in disputes with their insurer after their insurer alleges that the damage is not covered by their policy. Often, this is recharacterizing the cause of the damage, rather than the damage itself, which leads to a contentious dispute with potentially devastating consequences for the homeowner.
Don’t let your insurer limit your claim because they’re protecting their profits. If you’ve recently suffered damage to your home or your insurer has denied your homeowners insurance claim in Rhode Island, Massachusetts or Connecticut, please contact our office. After all, if you’ve held up your end of the bargain, why shouldn’t your insurer do the same?