Homeowners insurance protects your home and belongings if they are damaged. Knowing what your policy covers helps you be ready in case you need to file a claim.
What does my homeowner's insurance policy cover?
Your homeowner's insurance policy has different coverages. In a standard property insurance policy, the coverages are divided by letter.
This quick guide will help you understand the coverage breakdown in your homeowner's insurance policy.
Coverage A: Dwelling /House Protection
Coverage A helps cover damage to the structure of the home you live in (e.g. the home's foundation, walls, and roof). This coverage may also protect other structures that are attached to the home, such as a garage or deck. (https://www.allstate.com/resources/home-insurance/covered-in-homeowners-policy)
The Declarations Page has the dollar amount of your policy on the front. The amount listed under Coverage A is the maximum amount you will be paid if your home suffers a total loss. Typically a total loss is applicable when a home burns to the ground.
Coverage B: Other Structures Protection
Coverage B provides coverage to the items not physically attached to your dwelling like a detached garage, gazebo, shed, or fence.
Typically, other structures allow for coverage based on 10% of the Coverage A amount. If your Coverage A provides a limit of $200,000 then your Coverage B may be valued at $20,000 to repair or replace your other structures.
If you have a fancy gazebo, upgraded shed, or other unattached structure, you may consider increasing the coverage amount for other structures that would cost more to replace than the standard 10%.
Coverage C: Contents / Personal Property Protection
Coverage C covers the damage to or loss of your personal property and home's contents. Personal property includes your household contents and other personal effects used, worn, or owned by you and your family. Your clothes, books, curtains, rugs, toothbrushes, and toothpaste are all considered covered contents.
The value of your contents and the age of your most valued items should be considered when discussing your Coverage C options. If you are a hobbyist with a valuable stamp collection, your collection is covered but you need to make sure it's an adequate amount to replace the collection.
When there is a disagreement about the value of your content claim, make sure you hire a homeowner's insurance claim attorney to increase your chance of recouping the value of your personal effects (Contact Us).
Coverage D: Additional Living Expenses (ALE)
When a disaster strikes and you are forced to flee your home, you need additional living expenses covered as you incur them. Coverage D provides coverage for your additional living expenses when they arise.
Standard policies allow for 6 months (180) days of the necessary living expenses up to the limit stated in your policy. If you have to stay in a hotel for an extended period during your home's restoration and repair period, your Coverage D ALE will allow you to stay in housing aligned with your normal standard of living.
Your ALE will only be activated when your home cannot be occupied due to a loss covered under your policy. In certain instances, you may be able to have your insurance company make direct payments to the lodging vendor you select.
Check with your carrier or your agent to see how they handle the ALE vendor payments. It's a good practice to have your lodging vendor work directly with your insurance claim adjuster regarding your living arrangements. This way, if you need to stay for a longer period, a reduced rate can be negotiated and allow for coverage beyond the term if coverage dollars are remaining.
Coverage E: Personal Liability Protection
Coverage E covers your personal liability which protects you from claims arising from injuries to other people on the property that you own or rent.
Personal Liability coverage follows you everywhere. If your neighbor slips on a banana peel in your kitchen, your Coverage E protection will take care of the bill. Coverage E does not cover you when you are driving or boating, you need separate policies for those.
Coverage F: Medical Expenses
Coverage F ensures coverage for medical expenses. This insurance coverage is limited to a certain amount per person and per incident for injuries that occur on your property to folks other than an insured.
Medical Expenses covered under Coverage F expand to covering people that you injured somewhere other than on your property if the injury was caused by you, a family member, or your pet. If your feisty dog nips someone at the dog park, your Coverage F covers the medical expenses.
The best thing about Coverage F medical expenses is that your insurance company will pay for the medical expenses of the injured party whether you are legally at fault or not.
What do I do if my insurance claim has been denied or payment is delayed?
If your insurer is delaying payment of your claim or denying your property damage claim, you should contact a skilled property damage lawyer for assistance.
The experienced property insurance attorneys at The Cedrick D. Forrest Law firm are willing and ready to advocate on your behalf to ensure that your property is repaired and that your rights are not jeopardized.
If you need to file a property insurance claim, call us toll-free today to begin your case.