Choosing Home Insurance That Fits

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As your family grows and changes, your insurance needs will change as well. Consumers often are surprised by what is not covered under standard home insurance policies:

  • On average, home contents are reimbursed only up to 50 percent of the home’s insured value, i.e., $50,000 to replace the contents of a home insured for $100,000.
  • Standard policies impose limits on replacement coverage for certain types of personal property such as jewelry, furniture, furs, firearms and electronics.


“Exactly how much you’ll be reimbursed for lost, stolen or damaged personal property can vary greatly from policy to policy,” says National Association of Insurance Commissioners President and Iowa Insurance Commissioner Susan E. Voss. “A home inventory helps consumers determine what they need to protect and keep their policies up to date. Knowing what is and isn’t protected, and for how much, helps families prepare for the worst. The last thing you want when misfortune strikes is to learn your insurance policy won’t replace your losses. And by choosing coverage to fit their life stages, consumers also may save money.”

Consider the following life-stage related insurance facts:

  • Single Parents and Families: Many homeowners’ policies do not cover items such as laptops and televisions stolen from a dorm room; if your son or daughter lives off-campus, you will need renter’s insurance. Most policies limit coverage for jewelry to $500, which typically is not enough to replace a favorite pair of diamond earrings or a wedding ring. The standard $1,000 limit to replace computers may not be enough for a busy household with multiple PCs.
  • Young Singles: Consider purchasing renter’s insurance to cover your possessions, even if living with roommates–do not rely on the landlord’s insurance. Items such as sports equipment or navigation systems stolen from your vehicle typically are not covered by auto insurance and must be filed against homeowners or renter’s insurance.
  • Military: Most policies do not cover personal property taken with you while deployed to a war zone; if you store belongings left behind, you likely will need additional off-premises coverage.
  • Seniors: If you start a home-based business after retiring, make sure your office equipment is fully insured.
  • Domestic Partners: The standard homeowners or renter’s policy only covers possessions of the person named on the title or agreement. If your name is not listed, your assets may be at risk.


Visit www.insureuonline.org for more home insurance tips or to locate your state insurance commissioner, an unbiased resource for insurance information specific to where you live.

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