How to Read a Homeowners Insurance Policy

Posted on April 18, 2023


Long Nguyen | author

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ICHQ | Site Author

Getting home insurance is vital if you want to maintain your financial security, and knowing how to read and understand the extent of your coverage is also essential. Due to the complex language used, these types of insurance are challenging to read and comprehend — especially when it’s time to file a property damage claim.

Our homeowners insurance lawyers at Insurance Claim HQ have the experience to interpret what your homeowners insurance allows you to claim compensation for and guide you throughout the process. Contact us to begin.

How to Read and Interpret Your Homeowners Insurance Policy

The most important part of your home insurance cover is the declaration page. It’s an overview of your coverage and other necessary information and generally covers a single page or two.

Some of the things you will find on the declaration page include the following:

  • Your full name(s) and address
  • The address of the home, if it’s on a different property
  • The dates during which the policy is viable
  • Name of the insurance company and the agent
  • The cover type and the policy limit
  • Your monthly or annual premiums
  • The total cost of the policy
  • Any discounts you receive

Remember, your declaration page is only a summary of your coverage. The policy form goes into more detail on these details, and you should read it immediately after reviewing the declaration page for a broader understanding.

How Can You Get a Copy of Your Home Insurance Policy?

The simple way is to just ask your insurance agent. They likely have copies of your insurance policy and will give you one upon request.

You can also get a complete copy from your insurance company. When the policy is finalized, they usually give you a full copy even without having to ask for it.

Sometimes, when you get a renewal on your policy, your insurance company will send you a declaration page or specific provisions from the document. Ensure you ask for a complete copy of your insurance company to know precisely what the policy covers.

What Does a Homeowners Insurance Policy Cover?

Typically, home insurance policies offer coverage for damage caused by fires, lightning, hail, and strong winds. However, not all natural disasters are covered by this insurance.

For example, any damage caused by earthquakes may not be covered. You may need a separate insurance policy to protect yourself against these risks.

Homeowners insurance typically covers the following:

Your dwelling

Your dwelling is part of the home that you live in. The insurance policy will pay to repair or rebuild it if it’s damaged under the types of damages noted in the policy. Your insurance policy defines what a dwelling is and what it’s not.

Personal property

Personal property typically refers to your personal things, including your appliances, jewelry, electronics, furniture, collectibles, and clothes. Most policies have a limit on this section as to what they can pay. If you have something in your home that is above that amount, you need to insure it separately.

Liability for injuries or damage to someone else’s property

Liability is significant since it covers damage or injury to other people or their property when they are in your home. It protects you from shouldering the financial burden.

Most policies offer a minimum limit of $100,000 per person to help cover legal or medical fees.

Other structures on your property

Your homeowners’ insurance cover should also cover other structures on your property that are not covered under the dwelling. This includes any shed, pool, fence, or garage not connected to your house. However, this section does not cover any structures in your property used for business purposes.

Loss of use

Under this section, the insurance company has a list of what they will or will not provide if you can no longer use your home after damage. This is in case you need a temporary living arrangement when your home is being repaired or rebuilt after being destroyed.

Know What’s On Your Homeowners Insurance Policy Before Filing a Claim

If you have homeowners insurance and want to know what your policy covers, have a knowledgeable party break things down for you. If it’s time to file a claim and you need help moving forward, an experienced homeowners insurance claim lawyer can help you navigate this process and interpret the complicated legal terms. Contact us at Insurance Claim HQ for a free consultation.

FAQ About Home Insurance Policies

What are some home insurance policy exclusions?

A policy exclusion on your home insurance indicates a scenario that is not covered. Most home insurance policies tend to exclude some perils like normal wear and tear, foundation failure, construction defects, nuclear hazards, intentional loss, and pet damage.