The need to protect a major investment such as your home is quite significant, because without homeowners insurance a single disastrous event or criminal act can result in devastating and unrecoverable losses. There are six different categories of homeowners insurance to consider according to your budget, particular needs and degree of risk. However, you should always discuss the items specifically covered in these categories with your insurance agent.

Dwelling

This category includes the most important coverage and insures your home’s structure and fixtures in a covered event such as a fire, tornado, hurricane or hailstorm. Earthquake damage is sometimes covered under an additional policy. Flood insurance, however, must usually be obtained through a separate program administered by FEMA.

Other Structures

This covers structures on your property that are unattached to your home’s foundation such as fences, sheds, an isolated garage, and other outbuildings that would not be covered otherwise.

Personal Property

This category insures the personal belongings on your property, usually up to an appraised amount, and typically covers jewelry and other valuables, appliances, electronics, clothing and furniture.

Loss of Usage

If your home becomes uninhabitable due to a covered accident, natural disaster or forced evacuation, this coverage will reimburse you for the cost of food and shelter until your home is again livable.

Personal Liability

Anytime a lawsuit is brought against a covered resident of your home by a neighbor or visitor for property damage or bodily injury, including any caused by your pet, this will cover a specified amount toward your legal expenses and any damages awarded.

Medical Payments

This coverage goes toward the medical expenses of anyone who sustains an accidental injury on your property, or an adjacent alleyway or sidewalk, who deems you responsible but files no lawsuit.