When buying a house or condominium, people take on a great deal of risk that can be managed by the right kind of homeowner insurance protection. But there are several types of homeowner policies, just as there are several types of homes.
Dwelling insurance for homes and condos provides a good deal of protection against a wide range of perils, but not all potential disasters are covered. For the most part, damage or destruction caused by fire, internal flooding, falling objects, lightning, and other perils are included in a typical dwelling policy. Internal flooding might be caused by a bad water heater, burst water pipe, or an overflowed toilet, among many types of indoor flooding. And a falling object might be a tree, meteorite, or even an aircraft that crashes into the home or condo.
But if living in a flood plain or wanting to protect against external flooding, such as might be caused by a rising river, flash flood or tidal surge, an additional rider must be purchased. And in many cases, those types of additional protection can be costly, especially if living in a flood-prone area, such as along the Gulf Coast or next to a large river. Many homes lack full protection against external flooding when situated near the Atlantic Seaboard, the Gulf Coast, or along rivers known for flooding on a regular basis. And the National Flood Insurance Program administered by the federal government limits flood policies to no more than $250,000 in coverage, making many homes and their owners vulnerable to damage or destruction.
And while falling objects generally are included in typical dwelling property insurance plans, protection against damages caused by wind or hail requires yet another rider and additional expense. Often times, such as during a hurricane, home or condominium might face more than one threat, such as high winds that damage homes and bring with them a tidal surge when a hurricane or tropical storm makes landfall. And homes vulnerable to tornado damage must have an additional rider specifically protecting against wind damage.
Also needing more protection through a dwelling policy rider is damage caused by landslides, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions. Often times, a home located where earthquakes are common are damaged by landslides when the ground shakes, the soil becomes liquefied, and a steep slope suddenly breaks loose and takes out one or more homes in the process. Without a specific landslide policy added to the dwelling plan, the home will not be repaired or replaced.
Even when carrying a full range of protection against potential perils, homeowners and condo owners still could find themselves coming up short if their property is damaged or destroyed. To save costs, some property owners opt for actual cash value policies, which base claims costs on the actual cash value of the property that has been damaged or destroyed.
If a homeowner paid $200,000 for a home that is determined to be worth $150,000 by insurance adjusters, the property might not be restored to its prior condition. Properties can lose value for many reasons, the most common being depreciation over time or simply a market adjustment that makes the home worth less than its initial purchase price. Property owners generally opt for actual cash value when there are fewer perils and they want to trim the cost of their premiums.
To ensure a property will be restored to its full condition, homeowners need a replacement-cost dwelling policy, which will rebuild or replace the property regardless of its current value. Such policies cost more than actual cash value plans, but they do not leave the owner vulnerable if the insured property is damaged or destroyed.
Choosing the right dwelling policy takes a great deal of consideration, but the right decision will save money and possibly even the family home. Find good deals on dwelling insurance and other policies at
To read more on topics like this, check out the home & garden category.