We are often asked what does homeowners insurance cover. If you own a home, homeowners insurance is important. In fact, if you have a mortgage on the home, insurance is required by the mortgage company to obtain a loan. After purchasing the policy, you receive your declarations page and policy in the mail and probably tuck it away in a file cabinet to keep for your records. But what is the purpose of homeowners insurance and what does it cover?
Recently a client called and said his windows were leaking and he wanted to know if his homeowners insurance would pay for new windows. I asked if anything had hit the windows and he said no they were just old, drafty and now leaking. His house was built in 1985 so you wouldn’t think this would happened so soon but unfortunately it does. I informed him this is part of the overall maintenance of any home and that homeowners insurance would not provide coverage.
What Does Homeowners Insurance Cover?
Homeowners insurance is designed to indemnify a customer for a sudden and accidental loss. This is an important aspect of the policy because losses that occur over an extended period of time, such as a slow water leak are not typically covered. Most homeowners insurance policies also provide coverage for personal belongings on a named perils basis. (Examples of named perils are Fire, Theft, Lightning, Water Damage ect…)
It is also important to keep in mind that property insurance is not a maintenance policy. Losses that have occurred due to disrepair or neglect, such as a roof that has passed its intended lifetime, or siding that has developed mold or rot, are not covered claims.
Protect Your Home
There are many things you can do to ensure your home is well maintained and stays in good working order. Regularly visually inspect both the inside and outside of the home. Turn the water off if you are going to be away from home for an extended period of time. Have a licensed contractor inspect your HVAC and other large pieces of equipment. Update any old electrical outlets, and have an electrician inspect the fuse box. Know the lifespan of your roof, and repair or replace it as needed. The typical lifespan for a shingle roof is approximately 15-20 years. Proper insulation can help decrease heating and cooling cost which in turn puts less strain on your HVAC system.
Obviously, some losses are beyond anyone’s control. Losses because of a tornado or wildfire are prime examples of this. It is simply impossible to plan for everything. However, the more you know about your home and how to care for it, the less likely a long term loss will go unnoticed.
Contact The Andrew Agency
If you are buying a home in Virginia, Maryland or South Carolina or have questions about your existing homeowners insurance policy contact The Andrew Agency at (804) 320-2886.