Anyone who owns a home needs to insure it. If you have a mortgage on the home, your lender will require insurance, but even if you own your home outright, having insurance is a good idea to protect your investment.
What is it?
Homeowners insurance is a type of property/casualty insurance. It covers your home from damage or loss caused by certain named perils, which usually include wind and hail damage, fire damage and theft. The insurance also provides personal liability coverage for things such as injuries caused on your property.
Who is it for?
Home insurance is for people who own a home that they live in. If you own a home but rent it out or you own a home that you rent from someone else, you need different kinds of insurance.
How does it work?
Homeowners insurance covers certain types of damage and loss caused to your home. It usually covers damage from weather, except for floods, fire damage and damage or loss caused by theft and vandalism. It also offers you personal liability against accidents and things such as your dog biting someone. The insurance specifically excludes certain types of damage, such as from floods, earthquakes, airplane crashes and other disasters. If you have a loss, you must file a claim with your insurer, which will send out an adjuster to evaluate the damage. If the claim is valid, you will receive a payout minus whatever deductible you are responsible for. The payment will cover not only your home itself but losses to the possessions inside and financial losses caused by your inability to live there.
Different types of coverage
Insurance for homeowners is typically pretty standard, covering and excluding the same things. However, you can add riders to your policy. For example, you might add a rider to cover a shed or outbuilding on your property.
The main benefit of home insurance is that you protect what is likely your largest asset against loss. Repairs to your home can be very expensive, and if you can't live there for any period of time, it can be very expensive to find other lodging. Your policy will reimburse your for these costs. Another big benefit is the liability coverage your policy provides.