What Does My Homeowner’s Insurance Policy Cover?
Updated: May 22, 2019
The appropriate answer to this question is: it depends. To be clear, every insurance policy is different. However, there are similarities with most homeowner’s insurance policies, and there are things that you should look for when deciding which types of coverage work best for you.
Types of Homeowner’s Policies: HO-2 v. HO-3
Insurance companies are required by Florida’s Department of Financial Services to use specific (broad) form policies. Understanding the difference between a Homeowner 2 form (HO-2) and a Homeowner 3 form (HO-3) could be the difference between your insurance company covering your claim – or not.
An HO-2 policy is typically referred to as a “named perils” type of policy. This type of policy is exclusionary in nature. In other words, if the cause of loss is NOT one of the “named perils” defined in the policy, then the loss is NOT covered. These “named perils” usually include events such as hail, windstorm, vandalism, etc.
An HO-3 policy is significantly more comprehensive than its HO-2 counterpart. An HO-3 policy is inclusionary by its very nature. In other words, if a type of loss is not explicitly excluded by the language in the insurance policy, then the claim is covered. It is important to pay close attention to the types of losses that are specifically excluded from coverage when you have an HO-3 policy.
Types of Coverage Contained within Your Insurance Policy
Generally speaking, the Declaration Page(s) of your insurance policy contain(s) information regarding the limits contained in your insurance policy. The Declaration Pages are typically the first few pages of your insurance policy. The Declaration Pages break down the term of your policy, the types/limits of coverage, etc. This article focuses specifically on the types of coverages that are typically contained within a homeowner’s policy.
Coverage A: Dwelling Damage
“Coverage A” covers your dwelling. Generally speaking, “Coverage A” is the largest bucket of money in your homeowner’s insurance policy. Dwelling is a fancy insurance term that essentially means the structure of your home and anything attached to it. For example, a fence that is connected to your home is considered part of your dwelling. However, a fence that is NOT attached to your home is considered an “Other Structure” (defined more thoroughly below).
Coverage B: Other Structures
“Coverage B” covers the Other Structures on your property. “Coverage B” generally covers unattached garages, unattached fences, screen enclosures, sheds, etc. It is fairly common for policyholders to carry little or no “Coverage B” if they don’t have multiple structures on their property.
Coverage C: Personal Property/Contents
“Coverage C” covers the personal property and contents at the property. Personal property is literally anything that is NOT attached to the dwelling. Personal property consists of clothing, furniture, bedding, etc. Keep in mind that most insurance policies limit the amount that you can claim for specific types of personal property (collector’s items, currency, vehicles, etc.). NOTE: these types of items generally require a separate insurance policy.
Coverage D: Additional Living Expenses
“Coverage D” covers additional costs incurred after a (covered) loss. “Coverage D” covers hotel, meal, and travel expenses that a policyholder incurs after a loss. This area of coverage is often overlooked by policyholders since the expense incurred for a hotel is a much lower priority than fixing a hole in their roof.
Other Types of Coverage
Typically, your insurance policy has various types of liability coverages for injuries that occur on your property. Additionally, your policy may include additional mold coverage, law and ordinance coverage and/or medical payments coverage. Contact an experienced attorney to provide you with additional information related to your specific insurance policy.
Still Have Questions?
PZ Law Firm’s attorneys have handled thousands of insurance claims on behalf of Florida homeowners. PZ Law Firm’s attorneys are happy to review your insurance policy to help you understand what is covered and what isn’t. Call us at (407) 500-EZPZ (3979) today for a free consultation related to your homeowner’s policy or contact us here.
Disclaimer: This column does not create a client-attorney relationship and is not intended as legal advice. Should you need any legal advice, speak to an attorney who is skilled in the area and jurisdiction you require.