Home Insurance 101: How Policies Work

Buying home insurance is often a thrill because it means you own a new house! But you need to put that excitement aside for a moment and focus on your policy and what it contains. Take a look at our guide to Home Insurance 101 so you’ll know more about what you need before you start shopping for coverage.


What will my home insurance policy most likely not cover?


Coverage varies, but most basic policies don’t protect against damage from flooding or earthquakes. Those perils require specialized insurance. They also typically don’t cover any structures that house a business in a separate location from your home—even if that location is still on your property.


When do I need to update my home insurance policy?


Any time the value of your home changes, you need to update your insurance. If you renovate or build an addition onto your house, then give your Hibbs agent a call.


Will my home insurance policy cover jewelry and other valuables?


This is an essential question in Home Insurance 101. Policies will cover high-value items, but only to a certain extent. If you have a large number of valuables, then it’s a good idea to add a rider to your policy that will cover the entire worth. Learn more about that here.


Can my local fire department impact my policy? 


Strangely enough, it can. Your fire department has an Insurances Services Office (ISO) rating that indicates its dependability. That rating could raise or lower your premiums.


Will my policy’s liability coverage protect any vacant land I own or rent?


Most home insurance policies cover vacant land—unless you use it for farming. Of course, it’s always a good idea to check with your insurance company about how they define “vacant.”


If I have to evacuate my home for any reason, will my policy help cover related costs?


Yes. Most home insurance policies include loss-of-use coverage, which will reimburse you for costs incurred from vacating your home. These expenses include hotel bills, extra groceries, extra gas, etc. Of course, this coverage will also have limits.