Homeownership is the American Dream.
Your home is the place you create memories with family and friends. It keeps your warm and dry during harsh Missouri weather.
You spend hours watching DIY shows on TV, planning how to put your touch on the place you call home.
For most, their home is the biggest purchase of their life.
Of course you want to make sure the place you rest your head is protected properly. Let’s take a closer look at a Missouri Homeowners Insurance policy to see what it really provides.
Missouri Homeowners Insurance: Where To Begin?
Property, you guessed it,
Missouri Homeowners Insurance: What Is Covered?
Reading an insurance policy can be a bit daunting if you’re not familiar with it. That’s not to say it’s not worth reading.
You don’t want to wait until you’re ready to file a claim to find out you’re not covered. Let’s take a look at the core coverages of a homeowners policy. Understand, home insurance policies can vary from state-to-state. You will also find when you compare insurance companies and their homeowners policies, they’re not cookie cutter. There is more to a Missouri homeowners insurance policy than price.
Let’s view your Missouri Homeowners Insurance policy from 30,000 feet in the sky for a minute. Your policy is made up of two pieces; Property and Liability.
- Property: You guessed it, covers your property. Your home, shed, personal belongings, food in your refrigerator.
- Liability: If you’re accused of causing bodily injury or property damage to a third party.
Let’s dig in deeper and get our hands dirty.
The broadest form of homeowners insurance will protect your home in the event of the following:
- Fire and smoke
- Windstorm and hail
- Vandalism and theft
- Weight of ice, snow, or sleet
- Damage from an auto
This is going to be the first coverage listed on the Declarations Page of your policy.
The Dwelling refers to your home. Your castle. The structure. Anything and everything fastened down is part of the structure.
Cabinets, light fixtures, plumbing, heating and cooling…all part of the structure of your home.
Here in the midwest we face a certain amount of risk. Springtime brings storms. Sometimes those storms bring hail. Missourians aren’t immune to tornadoes either.
In the event of a total loss, what would it take to replace your home and make you whole again? The number next to Dwelling on your Declarations Page is how much it would take to replace your home in its entirety.
Where Did You Come Up With That Number?
It’s important to remember, the cost to replace your home is different than the market value. Market value will tell you how much your home is worth if you wanted to sell it. Your insurance agent wants to know how much it will cost to replace your home in the event of a loss.
Contrary to what some may think, this number isn’t pulled out of the air. As an insurance agent, we have access to a valuation guide that allows us to determine the cost to replace your home in today’s economic climate.
Do you have a detached garage? A fence? Maybe a gazebo? Some insurance companies refer to this as Other Structures.
Typically you will receive a coverage limit of 10% of what you insure your home for. If your home is insured for $200,000, you automatically get $20,000 to protect your detached structures.
You can always increase this number if needed.
Personal Property is everything in your home that is not attached or fastened to your house. That could be furniture, electronics, clothing, dishes, etc. Personal Property may also be referred to as Contents.
Personal Property will extend to your belongings in your detached buildings too. So your set of Snap-On tools in your shop located behind your home are covered.
Usually Personal Property coverage will have a coverage limit of 50-75% of what you insure your home for. So if you insure your home (Dwelling) for $200,000, you will receive $150,000 for Personal Property.
Again, you can always increase this limit if you need to.
Insuring Your Jewelry and Guns
Did you know, if your jewelry and/or guns catch fire or blow away in a storm they are covered under your Personal Property limit? As long as your policy provides Replacement Cost, the only thing you’re out is your Deductible.
However, if you’re worried about your jewelry or guns being stolen, a homeowners policy will only provide limited coverage. When theft of jewelry and/or guns is a concern it is best to Schedule these items on your homeowners policy. Or Schedule them on a separate policy. This allows each gun, ring, bracelet to be listed on the policy. Additionally, when you Schedule Jewelry and Firearms, your Deductible is separate and generally smaller than your homeowners Deductible.
Additional Living Expenses
Where would you live if the unthinkable happened?
Contractors inform you it may be 4 to 6 months before repairs are complete. Lucky for you, your home insurance comes with Additional Living Expenses (also known as Loss of Use).
If your home becomes unfit to live in due to a loss, Additional Living Expenses will help pay for necessities such as living in a hotel and going out to eat while your home is under repair.
It’s a beautiful afternoon. Your kids are outside playing baseball. You’re able to catch up on everything from the week.
Your son Johnny rips a line drive over your fence and through your neighbors window shattering an antique vase.
It was an accident…
Fido, your dog, notices the neighborhood kids walking down the street. He takes off after the kids. Biting one of them in the leg. Now you’re facing a lawsuit.
It was an accident…
It may not be for a million dollars, but accidents happen and emotions run high. Personal Liability follows you anywhere. Whether you’re at home or on vacation.
Under Personal Liability the insurance company will defend you in the event of a lawsuit and will pay damages to an injured person up to the policy limits.
Safe at Home
Take time to look over your homeowners insurance policy. Specifically the Dec Page. Add up how much coverage you are your getting…not the premium you pay, but the coverage you’re receiving. Add up the following coverage limits:
- Detached Structures
- Personal Property
That’s a lot of coverage! And we’re not looking at everything.
Now look at your annual premium. How many years will it take to pay for those three coverages alone?
Homeowners insurance provides a ton of coverages and benefits.
Take some time to look over your policy every year. There are exclusions and exceptions throughout an insurance policy. Don’t hesitate to ask your insurance agent questions.