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Home insurance is necessary to protect not just your belongings, but also your physical home. While no amount of money can replace pictures of your children, the coffee table you bought when you first got married, or the energy that you put into making your house a home, home insurance exists so that when you start over from a theft or storm or fire, that you don't have to go into your own pocket to begin anew.

Home Insurance Basics

Before you sign any policies, it's important that you know the home insurance basics so that you make an informed decision with full context. Don't be alarmed if you paid $200, 000 for your home and it's only insured for $100, 000. Remember that your lot has value even without a house on it, and that property won't burn down even if the house does. So the "dwelling" coverage is always going to be less than what you paid for the house.

Home Insurance Dwelling

Property/Dwelling/Contents-There are three figures that will surround any policy: the cost of the property (what you paid for your home), the dwelling insurance rate (cost to replace your home in full), and your contents rate (cost to replace all of your possessions).

"Contents" is basically anything that would fall out of your home if you turned it upside down and shook it. If you own a lot of expensive things, it's best to a) get higher contents insurance and b) video tape your belongings to prove to adjusters what you own in case you ever need a claim for your home insurance.

What's Not Included, Home Insurance Riders

There will be a few things that are not going to be covered under the typical home insurance policy. Anything that is not covered on your policy, but is covered on a separate, appended policy is called a "rider." For example Jewelry is covered, but usually only up to $1, 000. To protect any family heirlooms or your wedding ring, you'll need to take out a separate rider for those items. Another example would be Home Flood insurance, which is often required in certain areas, is a separate piece to your home policy. The same goes for wind and hail.



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