Home insurance, also commonly called Hazard Insurance, HO3 or HO5 (a type of property insurance that covers an owner occupied private residence.)
What’s covered; what’s not:
Most homeowners insurance policies will cover damage caused by such perils as fire, windstorms, hail, lightning, theft or vandalism. There are other homeowners policies that cover additional perils as well. Typically, floods and earthquakes are always excluded. It’s important to talk to a knowledgeable agent at Kape Insurance to learn what your policy may and may not cover. And for those perils that are not covered, there may be supplemental insurance you can purchase.
Most Standard Homeowners policies provide:
- Dwelling coverage – Pays to repair or rebuild your home – including electrical wiring, plumbing, and heating and air conditioning – if damaged by a covered cause of loss. It’s important to buy enough dwelling coverage to cover the cost to rebuild.
- Other structures coverage – Pays for damages to detached structures like garages, sheds, fences and cottages on your property.
- Personal property coverage – Reimburses you for the personal items in your home that may be damaged or destroyed by a covered cause of loss, which could include your furniture, clothes, sporting goods and electronics.
- Loss of use coverage – Pays your additional housing and living expenses if you must move out of your home temporarily while it’s being restored.
- Liability insurance – Helps protect your assets and cover your defense costs in the event of a lawsuit because you or your family members are responsible for causing injuries or damage to other people or their property.
Home Insurance Policy coverages, terms and rates may be very different depending on the company and options you select.
We’ll work with you to select a homeowners insurance policy that fits your needs and budget. As an Independent Insurance Agency, we can compare prices and plans among multiple carriers to get the best deals for you. Additionally we can help you look at bundling insurance policies that may really help the savings add up for New Jersey families.
Homeowners insurance basics
How is the cost of my homeowners insurance determined?
A number of factors determine the cost of your homeowners policy, including the type of policy you choose; how much insurance you carry; and the size of your deductible. The construction of your home or apartment also is a factor, as some buildings are more fire-resistant than others. Available fire protection in your community and where you live are factors too.
How can I reduce the cost of my homeowners insurance?
One way to keep insurance costs down while maintaining adequate protection for your family, property and belongings is to increase the size of your deductible. A deductible is the agreed amount that you would be responsible for in case of a loss. For example, if you agree to a $100 deductible on your homeowners policy, you would be responsible for the first $100 in damages and your insurance company would reimburse you for the balance of the loss up to the policy limit.
The higher your deductible, the lower your premium will be. Increasing your deductible to the level you can afford will reduce your insurance costs while still providing protection from large losses. You also may be eligible for lower premiums if you have certain protective devices installed in your home, such as a burglar alarm, fire alarm, smoke detector, storm shutters or hurricane-resistant glass and doors. Many insurance carriers also offer multi-policy discounts for their customers (i.e., having both your automobile and homeowners insurance with them).
How does an all-risk homeowners policy differ from a named-peril homeowners policy?
All-risk policies generally insure against more losses or damages than named-peril policies by insuring against every direct cause of physical loss or damage except those excluded in the policy, such as losses due to flood or war. A named-peril policy covers only losses or damages resulting from perils named in the policy contract. A peril is an event such as a fire or vandalism that causes damage to your home or property.
What should I be aware of when I permit contractors to perform work at my residence?
A homeowner has a legal duty to provide a safe premises for invited guests and, to
some extent, even trespassers. Neighbors certainly have a right to expect that activities on the premises will not be harmful to their person or property.
Consequently, a homeowner could be held liable for bodily injury or property damages involving a contractor’s activities, either because of the homeowner’s own negligence or the contingent responsibility for hiring a negligent contractor. Such protection is provided by the liability coverage of a homeowners policy. However, you will not want your policy to respond as primary coverage.
We recommend you verify (usually by certificate of insurance) that the contractor has general liability coverage in effect before performing the work. It is important to verify that the contractor carries the required workers’ compensation coverage.
Does my homeowners policy extend coverage for renting out my home?
Most likely no, the standard homeowners policy does not cover losses arising from business ventures or during the stay of a non-relative, non-resident vacationer.