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Homeowners insurance

Homeowners insurance is a the basic insurance usually carried by homeowners. It includes coverage for fire, theft, wind and hail, and liability and medical coverage for events that might happen on the property such as a slip and fall or a pet injurying a neighbor.

Expanded Definition

The basic insurance is usually required by a mortgage lender and the premiums are often paid by the mortgage service company out of the escrow account created for that purpose.

Additional coverage is available for numerous other circumstances. For example, riders cover high value property such as jewelry, furs, antiques, or your stamp collection. Flood insurance is usually obtained through the federal government for those in flood zones. Flooding by sewer back-ups requires a special rider.

Earthquake coverage is a common rider in some areas.

Most policies will repair your damaged home or replace personal property at its depreciated value. Riders are available that will pay replacement value and/or will automatically adjust for inflation.

Your property is usually insured under your homeowners insurance when you travel or when a dependent goes to college. Personal property stolen from your car is usually covered under your homeowners policy.

Coverage varies from state to state. Your insurance agent is usually your best adviser on what is available and what you should insure.

Insurance agencies offer discounts for some homeowners coverage. A common one is for having multiple policies with the same agency. Some offer discounts for security systems that protect against fire and theft. Distance to the closest fire hydrant and the qualifications of your fire department are factored into your insurance rate.

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