HOME INSURANCE 

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.

Site Title

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.

You should also be aware that some forms of personal property, such as silverware, computers, guns, money, expensive antiques, and jewelry, have limited coverage under your homeowners policy and you may need additional insurance to protect them in the event of loss.

Mobile Home Insurance

There is a specific policy that is available for mobile homes since there are generally no attached structures. It is a package of insurance written specifically for mobile homes that includes coverage on the mobile home as well as theft and liability protection.

Condominium Unit Owners Insurance

Although condominium associations usually have policies that cover the building, including any common walls, and grounds, if you own a condominium, you need coverage for everything not covered by the condominium association master policy.

 

Condominium unit owners form (HO-6) is similar to homeowners insurance and renters’ insurance. According to many condominium by-laws or trust agreements, the condominium unit owner owns everything within the unit including permanently attached fixtures, improvements, and other items that would normally be the property of, and the responsibility of, the landlord in a rental unit. Condominium unit forms cover what is the property of the condominium owner. Also, many association agreements contain a provision that allows them to “assess” the condo unit owner for additional costs that may be associated with a loss that is covered by the association master policy. The condominium unit owner form may provide coverage for insurance related assessments.

Medical Payments to Others

Medical payments coverage pays for medical expenses for persons accidentally injured on your property by a member of your family or by your pets. It does not matter who is at fault. Medical payments do not apply to your injuries or those of family members living with you or a tenant regularly residing in your building, or to activities involving your at-home business. The medical payments coverage limit is typically $1,000. Check with your producer or insurance company to determine whether the amount of medical payments coverage on your policy is sufficient.

Loss of Use

Most home insurance policies also provide coverage for the additional living expenses that you would need to pay if your home is damaged so that you cannot live there while it is being repaired. Although the additional living expenses limit can vary, it is usually 20 % of the dwelling coverage limit. If part of the home is rented or held for rental to others and that part of the premises is not fit to live in because of an insured peril, this coverage will pay for the lost rental income.

Personal Liability

Personal liability coverage protects you against a lawsuit alleging that bodily injury or property damage was caused by your negligence. Some types of negligence are excluded, such as business or auto related lawsuits, and are not covered under a policy of home insurance. Protection from those types of lawsuits would best be handled under a business liability policy or an auto policy. Personal liability coverage applies to you and all family members who live with you, usually at a $100,000 coverage limit. You should check with your producer or insurance company to determine if the amount of personal liability coverage is enough.

Renter's Insurance

Tenants form (HO-4) for renters, insures household contents and personal belongings against the same perils as the homeowners insurance form broad form (HO-2). It also provides additional living expense coverage and personal liability protection, loss of use and medical payments.

Optional Coverage

  • Replacement cost dwelling

  • Replacement cost contents

  • Ordinance or law coverage

  • Jewelry, arts, golf, cameras, collectibles

  • Earthquake

  • Flood

  • Watercraft

  • Identity theft

  • Business property

  • Mold, dry rot, bacteria

  • Debris removal

  • Lock replacement

  • Refrigerated products

  • Water backup and sump pump overflow

  • Service line coverage

Zammito Insurance & Real Estate

955 Washington St. Norwood, Massachusetts | (781) 762-6732

  • Facebook - White Circle
  • Instagram - White Circle
  • Twitter - White Circle