Homeowners coverage differs by policy, so always be sure to check your own individual plan for specific coverage. This article answers general questions related to homeowners insurance of a primary dwelling, and not necessarily of other structures on your property.

Generally, you can expect your homeowners insurance to cover damage from events like hurricanes, tornadoes, lightning, hail and fire. Not only are events like this usually covered by your policy, but your personal property items (the contents of your house) like clothing, electronics and furniture, are often covered as well. Make sure to document all the items in your home of value, and keep records of those items in a place away from your dwelling, like a safety deposit box, or online. That way, you will still be able to access the records in case of destruction of the dwelling.

There are restrictions to the total value you can claim as a loss in an insurance claim when it comes to personal property – usually around 75% of the value of your house. That means if your personal property items exceed this limit, you might consider beefing up that portion of your insurance policy. So, let’s say you have a $300,000 policy to cover the value of your home, you likely would be covered for up to $225,000 in personal property claims. If you have exceptionally expensive items in your home, like pricey jewelry or rare art, it’s best to have a separate policy just to cover them, since often your policy will cap individual item coverage at $3,000 or even less. And keep in mind that your policy likely is only taking into account the current value (with depreciation) of each item, not the replacement cost. That means that you may only get $500 for your old couch, even if the cost to replace it is $1,500. That makes a big difference when you are talking about replacing all of your possessions. Coverage for events like earthquakes and floods are generally not covered, so if you live in an area prone to those events, you should look into additional policies right away.