A Massachusetts Guide to Understanding the Insurance Policy Covering Your Home
Whether you own or rent, there are different packages of insurance offered to protect your home and belongings. Each package can protect against a specific number of perils (events that cause damage to property). Three examples of common perils protected under a home insurance package are losses due to fire, windstorm, and theft.
Each policy package usually defines what types of losses are covered in the event of a covered peril. In the standard policy, a home insurance plan may cover losses such as:(1) the costs to repair or replace damaged property,(2) additional living expenses due to loss of use,(3) personal liability which is the cost of losses to others allegedly due to your negligence, and(4) the cost of medical payments to others.
Damage to real property
Dwelling coverage pays for damage to the structure of the home you live in. In addition to your home, dwelling coverage will provide coverage - usually set at 10% of the coverage for your home - for other structures on your property, such as sheds, barns, or detached garages. (This is part of the standard package whether you have other structures or not.) You should check to make sure the amount of coverage on other structures is enough to cover a loss, and if not, you should consider purchasing additional coverage.
Although not considered part of dwelling coverage, many home insurance policies include coverage for personal property, which is the personal belongings owned by you or by family members who live with you, even when traveling outside the home or living temporarily away from the home, including for example, students living on a college campus. Belongings of people, other than the insured, living with you, i.e., boarders or renters, are not typically protected by your home insurance, unless you have arranged for this type of coverage with your insurer. The personal property limit is usually a percentage (e.g., 50%) Of the dwelling coverage limit. Some insurers may offer greater than 50%. You should check to make sure the amount of coverage for your personal property is enough to cover the loss and if not, contact your insurance producer to see about increasing the limit.