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What is Homeowners Insurance?
Homeownership requires a major investment, and that investment ought to be protected whenever possible. Purchasing homeowners insurance is one way that California homeowners can protect both themselves and their homes.
Homeowners insurance is so named because it normally provides substantial coverage for a house. That’s not all that a homeowners policy will usually cover, though, as it also frequently provides protection for personal belongings and against common liability lawsuits. These are all important protections that most homeowners need.
What California residents need Home Insurance?
Most people who own a residence in California should have home insurance. This includes owners of single-family homes, as well as those who have condominiums, mobile homes, duplexes and even vacation homes. It also includes both in-state and out-of-state residents who have these properties.
Homeowners who have mortgages are often required to carry insurance by the terms of their loan. Most lenders require homeowners to maintain minimum levels of coverage for the property.
What coverages are available through Home Insurance Policies?
In order to provide such multifold protection, most home insurance policies come with several coverages that get bundled together. Some of the coverages that policies frequently make available include:
- Dwelling Coverage: May cover the primary dwelling on an insured property
- Secondary Structure Coverage: May cover other structures (e.g. shed, detached garage)
- Personal Property Coverage: May cover personal belongings (e.g. clothing, electronics, furniture)
- Loss of Use Coverage: May cover expenses for alternative lodging if a property becomes uninhabitable
- Vacant Property Coverage: May be necessary when a property is vacant for an extended period
- Personal Liability Coverage: May cover various common liability lawsuits
There are still more coverages that can be useful in certain situations. An insurance broker who specializes in these policies can help homeowners get all of the coverages that they need.
Do Homeowners Policies cover Earthquakes?
Homeowners policies normally don’t cover earthquakes, which can be a significant coverage gap when insuring a home in California. Earthquake coverage is typically procured through an earthquake-specific policy, which a broker who’s familiar with homeowners policies can also assist with purchasing.
Do Homeowners Policies Cover Flooding?
Homeowners’ policies also normally don’t cover flooding, although they might protect against water damage from leaky plumbing. To obtain flood coverage, insurance usually is purchased through the National Flood Insurance Program if a property is eligible. A broker who works with homeowners’ policies can help check whether a specific property is eligible.
What does “HO-” mean in an Insurance Policy?
The insurance industry has many understood abbreviations for different insurance policies, and “HO-” is often used to identify homeowners policies. The number that follows generally indicates what type of homeowners policy a given policy is:
- HO-1: Usually used for closed-perils homeowners policies that offer only basic protection
- HO-2: Usually used for closed-perils policies that offer broader coverage and protection
- HO-3: Usually used for open-perils policies that offer broader coverage and protection
Named perils policies tend to only cover perils that are listed within the policy’s terms, while open perils policies typically cover any perils that aren’t explicitly excluded within the terms. While not universally true, open perils most often provides the better coverage.
How can residents get Homeowners Insurance?
For help insuring a house that’s in California, contact the independent insurance brokers at Heffernan Walton Insurance. Our brokers will help you find a policy that’s well-suited for your house, and we can recommend the best available homeowners insurance policy no matter what company offers it.