Whether you’ve owned a home for years or are buying your first home, purchasing insurance can be confusing. Some of that confusion can come from policy myths that are often not true.
If ignored, these five home insurance myths could cost you in the long run.
- Flood coverage is standard. Flood insurance isn’t usually part of a standard homeowner’s insurance policy. You might think it is, or should be if you live in an area prone to flooding. However, homes in flood zones are typically required to have separate flood insurance. FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program and private insurers can provide you with flood insurance. Just remember that the cost will be separate from your home insurance costs. Even if you live near a flood zone, it may be worthwhile to buy the extra insurance.
- Everything I own is covered. Home insurance has its limits, and is meant to protect your home from disasters such as fire and hurricanes, or as protection from burglars and accidents. It isn’t meant to replace all of your personal property, such as expensive jewelry or artwork. Those should be covered by a scheduled personal property policy separate from your standard home insurance policy, which should clearly state what’s covered and what isn’t.
- Base coverage on market value. If you think you need to buy enough insurance coverage based on your home’s market value, think again. A better way to think about it is to buy enough insurance to cover the cost of rebuilding the house, which is different from the home value at the time you buy an insurance policy. In fact, you may need less coverage than the market value to rebuild the home
- My home business is covered. Running a business out of your home requires a separate type of insurance coverage that isn’t typically included in a standard homeowner’s policy. A business rider added onto your existing home insurance policy shouldn’t cost too much and will protect your office items if they are stolen or damaged.
- All injuries are covered. If a guest is injured at your house or on your property, the liability coverage in a home insurance policy will typically pay for any claim filed. This isn’t the case if you or a family member is injured in your home. If you fall down the stairs, don’t expect a home insurance policy to pay for your doctor’s bills. Instead, look for help from your health insurance.