When you’re a homeowner, you can enjoy the simple freedom of decorating your house however you like, with whatever you like (within reason). Since you’ve worked hard to not only earn your home but also set it up according to your tastes, you want to make sure that you have protection for not just your walls and roof, but also for your stuff. Fortunately homeowners insurance includes something called contents coverage. Here’s a closer look at what it entails.
What Is Contents Coverage?
Homeowners insurance includes coverage for the dwelling of your home, meaning the physical structure, and it also includes protection for your personal belongings, aka your home’s “contents.” So your personal belongings like furniture, clothing, electronics, knickknacks, silverware, art, jewelry, and miscellaneous swag collections are covered from damage/destruction/loss due to the perils listed on your homeowners insurance policy.
Items stored within the home are protected along with any belongings kept in external sheds or storage units. However, anything stored off premises often comes with a lower coverage limit. But essentially, the contents coverage portion of your homeowners policy is designed to help keep you from having to pay to replace or repair your belongings out of pocket following a disaster.
What Does Contents Coverage in Homeowners Insurance Cover?
Homes are subject to many perils on a daily basis, including damage from criminals or natural disasters and more. But not only is the actual building of your home at risk, the stuff you keep inside of it is, too. That’s why your homeowners policy extends coverage for many common threats to the home to your personal belongings, as well.
Contents coverage in homeowners insurance typically covers the following perils:
- Fire and smoke
- Water damage
- Aircraft or vehicle damage
- Falling objects (and trees)
- Certain natural disasters (i.e., windstorms, hail, lightning, and blizzards)
Your independent insurance agent can help you review your homeowners insurance policy to answer any remaining questions about your coverage. They’ll also be able to help you figure out whether you’ve got enough coverage, or if you should purchase more.
What Does Contents Coverage in Homeowners Insurance Not Cover?
Like every other kind of insurance out there, your homeowners insurance comes with a list of specified covered perils as well as non-covered perils. This list of non-covered perils extends to the contents coverage section of your policy as well. It’s important to learn what your specific policy does and doesn’t cover to save yourself the hassle of filing claims that are bound to get denied, or miscalculate how much coverage your stuff really has.
Contents coverage in homeowners insurance does not cover the following perils:
- Certain natural disasters (i.e., floods, earthquakes, and mudslides)
- Maintenance-related losses
- Wear and tear damage (i.e., failure of the homeowner to maintain upkeep of their stuff)
- Insect damage or infestations
- Damage from war or nuclear fallout
In order to protect your stuff against flood or earthquake damage, you’ll need a flood insurance or earth movement policy. Flood insurance policies are only available through the National Flood Insurance Program, which is a part of FEMA. Homeowners may want to seriously consider getting a policy to further protect their stuff, especially those located in areas prone to flooding.
Coverage for your personal property is often limited to 50%–70% of the insurance you have on the structure of your home. There are also typically limits placed on more expensive items like pricey electronics, jewelry, and collectibles like art. Talk to your independent insurance agent about special jewelry floaters or other endorsements to increase your coverage limits on more expensive property you want to protect.
What Are the Benefits of Contents Coverage?
Since no one likes the thought of their stuff being destroyed, it’s a good thing standard homeowners insurance policies include contents coverage. While it may be impossible to ever fully replace any items you feel a personal attachment to after disaster strikes, having contents coverage can at least help soften the financial blow.
Contents coverage offers the following main benefits to homeowners:
- Repairs for damaged property: If your stuff is damaged by fire, vandalism, or other covered peril, your contents coverage will reimburse you for the repairs up to your policy’s limit in that category. Of course, you’ll be responsible for paying your deductible first.
- Replacement for lost/stolen/destroyed property: Depending on your specific policy, your contents coverage may include the full replacement cost for property that is lost/stolen/destroyed, or it may otherwise offer reimbursement for the item’s current value (i.e., the original value of the item minus depreciation). Coverage limits and your deductible still apply to this aspect of your insurance, though.
Having contents coverage can mean the difference in being able to afford to replace your belongings and losing them for good in the event of a covered disaster. Talk to your independent insurance agent about any further questions you may have about your coverage. Your agent can even help you increase your coverage limits if necessary.
How Much Does Homeowners Insurance Cost?
Many factors influence the cost of a homeowners insurance policy, including the size and location of your home, the value of the structure and the contents inside, and any upgrades you’ve made. But as of 2020, homeowners annual cost of premiums range from about $650–$1650. Unfortunately it’s pretty much impossible to offer an exact figure without knowing more about your unique home, but your independent insurance agent can help you find multiple quotes.
Benefits of an Independent Insurance Agent
Independent insurance agents have access to multiple insurance companies, ultimately finding you the best coverage, accessibility and competitive pricing while working for you. Find an independent insurance agent in your community here.
TrustedChoice.com Article | Reviewed by Paul Martin
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