While not very sexy, homeowner’s or renter’s insurance are requirements for inclusion in your plan to be safe. Several areas capture the most common events that result in insurance claims being filed to repair damage or recover loss of property, or to provide protection against legal actions brought against you for perceived negligence.

Nature and mankind can bring about loss in a direct way through unwanted events such as wind, hail, fires, floods or even burglary or vandalism. However, indirect expenses can originate from accidental sources such as someone slipping on your driveway or getting bitten by your dog.

Whether you rent, pay a mortgage or outright own your home, you need to maintain adequate insurance coverage on your property, as well as liability insurance to cover you in the event you get sued for an accident.

The following areas of insurance coverage are common with regards to claims having been filed.  While most of these should be covered with even minimally sufficient insurance policies, depending on your specific situation you may decide to opt for extra coverage (such as jewelry or guns) or additional liability coverage.

Fire

Should your home be lost to a fire, it can be devastating. Oftentimes after a fire, the homeowner must not only show what was lost, but also the value of those items. Receipts, inventory sheets, photos or video logs can go far in helping you get your claim prepared after a fire. Likewise, a fire-proof home safe is a valuable asset to have for important papers, jewelry, photos and other high-value items. Not only would the enclosed items be protected from a fire, but from theft as well.

Water Damage

Even if you don’t live in a flood zone, water damage can impact you and your home. Water damage insurance is different from flood insurance, which you may also require, based on your home’s location. Water damage can occur from the sewer backing up into your home, from a bathtub overflowing, or if a pipe burst inside one of your walls. Freezing weather, poor insulation, faulty furnaces or other causes of frozen pipes can also create water damage once the ice thaws. Be sure to purchase a policy that will cover water damage regardless of the source of the water.

Harsh Weather

Weather such as high winds, hail, tornadoes, hurricanes or heavy snowfall can create havoc on your home. In many areas that experience severe hailstorms, roofing shingles must be replaced at least once every 10 years. Siding or skylights can also be damaged by hail. In some areas, so much snow can fall that it can sometimes collapse roofs on homes, garages or storage sheds. Obviously there are other threats, such as tornadoes, that can completely destroy a home in seconds.

Accidental Loss or Damage

This area is similar to comprehensive coverage for your automobile. If you were kicking a soccer ball in your living room and break a window, this would be the area of your insurance that would likely cover repairs.

Accidents (Liability Insurance) 

People can’t plan accidents, but you can plan to be protected in the event that an accident occurs on your property and someone gets hurt.  If someone gets hurt on your property, there’s always a chance you’ll be sued, so you need to have adequate liability coverage beforehand.  Common liability claims result from dog bites, falls or trips, intoxicated guests, or even falling trees on your property.

Remember, even a renter needs to have liability insurance. It isn’t always the property owner who is responsible to pay claims filed for home accidents.

As you shop for a home insurance policy, make sure to look at what’s covered as close as you look at the price. Failure to maintain adequate insurance coverage on your home can create an overwhelming financial burden after an already disastrous event. Be sure homeowner’s insurance is part of your plan to be safe.

Stay safe!