how to read the homeowners insurance declaration page
As you review this document, there are a few sections that are especially important. coverage, limits, and policy information are key areas to understand and correct if you notice any discrepancies.
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read on for more details on how to read and understand your December page, section by section.
review policy information
Get familiar with the details of your homeowners insurance by memorizing the name of your insurance company. this section will also include the name of the policy holder and the address of the insured property.
Be careful to check for misspellings or errors in this section. Correcting any errors as soon as you receive your December page will save you headaches when filing claims later.
review coverage and policy limits
This part of your declaration page provides most of the essential information you’ll need for your homeowners insurance. This section will list each coverage included in your policy and the limit of liability for each coverage. the liability limit is the maximum amount of money your insurer will pay on any one claim.
This part is likely to be divided into three sections: Property, Liability, and Additional Coverage.
section 1: property
coverage to: home
Homeowners coverage is the part of your homeowners insurance that will cover costs related to the physical structure of your home if it is damaged by a covered peril, such as fire or lightning.
Coverage for your home also includes the roof, built-in systems and appliances, and attached structures, such as a garage or porch.
cover b: other structures
Other structure coverage offers protection for your detached structures, such as a shed, detached garage, deck, pool or fence. This coverage protects your property from the same types of hazards as your homeowners coverage, including fire and falling objects.
Coverage c: personal property
This coverage will reimburse you for any personal property that has been stolen or damaged by a covered peril. This coverage includes everything from clothing and electronics to portable appliances and jewelry.
If you own rare and expensive items, you may need to purchase additional coverage or endorsements that increase the reimbursement limits on your high-value belongings
coverage d: loss of use
Loss of use coverage, also known as additional living expenses coverage, may provide reimbursement for additional living expenses while your home is being repaired or rebuilt. This type of coverage is standard on most homeowners insurance policies and, depending on the coverage, will cover things like gas, hotel bills, and grocery expenses.
section 2: responsibility
Coverage e: personal liability
Personal liability coverage protects you from costly lawsuits if you are responsible for someone’s bodily injury or damage to someone’s personal property. this coverage includes more than 46 incidents, such as dog bites or a diseased tree falling on your neighbor’s roof.
coverage f: medical payments to third parties
This coverage reimburses you for medical expenses related to a guest’s bodily injury sustained while on your property, regardless of fault. this is for small medical claims and most homeowners insurance policies offer coverage limits between $1,000 and $5,000.
Your December page will also include a list of additional or optional coverage you have chosen to include in your home insurance policy. the premiums associated with these additional coverage options can be found in the detailed section of the page.
some examples of additional coverage include:
- water backup coverage
- service line coverage
- identity theft protection
- equipment breakdown coverage
- scheduled property coverage
review premiums and deductibles
Your declaration page will also list all of your premiums and deductibles. Your premium is the amount you must pay to keep your policy active and ensure your property is protected. premiums can be paid in a lump sum or over the course of monthly payments over the policy period.
Your homeowners insurance premium is determined by a number of factors including how much coverage is in your policy, your credit score, the amount of your deductible, and the size, construction, and age of your home .
Your deductible is the amount you must pay until your insurance company pays you for an insured loss. There are two types of homeowners insurance deductibles: percentage and fixed. The fixed deductible is a dollar amount specified on your December page that indicates how much you will pay out of pocket when you file a claim. percentage deductibles are specific to a claim related to storms, windstorms or hurricanes. these are calculated as a percentage of the insured value of your home.
When it comes to the perils your homeowners insurance policy covers, the list is long. Some of the common perils covered by a standard homeowners insurance policy include:
- fire and smoke
- lightning strikes
- wind storms and hail
- vandalism and malicious mischief
- damage caused by an aircraft, car, or vehicle
- falling objects
- weight of ice, snow, or sleet
- water damage
check discounts and promotions
The next part of your homeowners insurance policy that is important to review is the discounts and endorsements section. discounts are given by your insurer to lower the cost of your premium. It’s important to note that discounts can vary by state and by insurer, so be sure to check with your insurance agent to get an idea of what discount you might receive if you choose to invest in a home improvement.
An endorsement is optional additional coverage that protects parts of your home not covered by your standard insurance. Common endorsements include additional coverage for high-value items like jewelry and art.
You can also opt for additional coverage for things like backup water coverage or extended replacement cost. This coverage will ensure that your insurer pays for the cost of rebuilding or restoring your home to its original condition, even if the damage is greater than your home’s coverage limit.