NY Homeowners insurance: know your definitions

NY Homeowners insuranceThe biggest problem consumers have with homeowners insurance is understanding what their policy means. The terminology is not familiar to most of us and digging through what it all means can be a scary prospect.  So here are some key terms and concepts you should know:

Covered property

  • Covered property refers usually to your house itself and any detached buildings, such as a tool house or garage.
  • Your personal belongings are called personal property—they included appliances, clothing, furniture and the like
  • If you must move out of your home because it is so damaged it is unlivable, that is called “loss of use” and often a policy will cover hotel bills during repair.

So, remember– it’s not just your house that’s covered—it’s also the contents and buildings that aren’t attached to your house. Perhaps your have an expensive riding lawnmower or tractor that is part of the claim. Be sure you save all receipts for these items.

Perils—open and named

These definitions are pretty straightforward, although they seem complicated.

A named perils policy is one that details what is covered.  You’ll see a list. It’s usually a narrow list and it’s the kind of policy for which you’ll usually get the cheapest New York homeowners insurance quotes from newyork-insurance.website.

An open policy lists what is NOT covered or excluded. Everything else is assumed to be covered.

  • Floods are usually excluded. That’s why companies sell additional flood coverage. If you live in a flood prone area, it’s smart to get flood insurance.
  • Earthquakes are usually excluded, as well. Separate earthquake insurance is necessary and most people who live in earthquake-prone areas have it.
  • Hurricanes are covered under most policies, but if there’s a flood, damage from it is not covered. Be sure you know exactly what is covered by your policy, in detail.
  • If you live in tornado country, these storms are usually included under windstorm coverage. But make sure of it!
  • Wildfires are usually handled under your coverage for fire damage. But if you live in an area where this might happen, talk to your agent about your coverage.

It’s always smart to do your own research on insurance and to make sure you have a good understanding of what your coverage includes—and excludes. In fact, it’s good to ask your agent the question: “What is Excluded on my policy?”