Learn more about Homeowners Insurance in California
What is homeowners insurance?
For the vast majority of people in California, their house will be the single most valuable asset they ever purchase. It’s, obviously, important to protect against loss. That’s what homeowners insurance can help do.
Homeowners insurance offers customizable protection for a house. Policies often also cover belongings against damage or loss, and the policyholder against certain liability lawsuits.
What California residents need to purchase home insurance?
Most homeowners in California should insure their house, as few could afford to replace it if something major happened. The protections home insurance affords are widely helpful.
In the many cases where a house is mortgaged, the lender likely requires certain insurance coverages that protect the lender’s financial stake. More insurance than is required is strongly recommended, though.
What protections do homeowners insurance policies come with?
Homeowners policies usually offer multiple coverage options that can be customized to a homeowner’s needs. Some examples of coverages that may be available are:
Structural Coverage: May cover damage to the primary house that’s being insured, often protecting against damage from storms, fallen trees, fires, burglaries and other perils.
Auxiliary Structures Coverage: May cover damage to separate structures on the premises, such as detached garages, storage sheds, detached fences, greenhouses and other structures.
Personal Property Coverage: May cover a homeowner’s possessions against damage or loss, often protecting items like appliances, curtains, furniture, jewelry, kitchenware, cameras, books, computers and other belongings.
Loss of Use Coverage: May cover unanticipated room and board costs if the primary house becomes uninhabitable because of a covered peril.
Personal Liability Coverage: May cover attorney fees, court fees and settlements if legal action is brought against the homeowner or their immediate family members.
Does home insurance cover belongings when they’re elsewhere?
Belongings mainly fall under personal property coverage. This coverage can be limited to when the belongings are at the insured property, typically either in the house, a secondary structure or the yard. In many policies, however, the coverage extends to most other places.
If a policy offers personal property coverage that’s “worldwide coverage,” then belongings are likely insured wherever they’d be taken. There can still be some excluded areas, like war zones, but those normally aren’t too applicable.
An insurance agent specializing in home insurance can help homeowners find a policy that’ll protect belongings both on and off the insured house’s premises.
What are the HO abbreviations for homeowners policies?
Within the insurance industry, homeowners policies are often abbreviated. Abbreviations start with “HO,” and policies with the same abbreviation tend to provide similar protections. Some of the abbreviations for policies that homeowners often get are:
HO-1: Generally considered a bare-bones policy, which may only protect the insured house against 10 named perils. Other protections often aren’t included.
HO-2: Generally considered still quite a limited policy, which may increase the number of covered risks to 16 perils. Other protections may or may not be included.
HO-3: Generally the most common policy for homeowners to purchase. Usually covers a house at replacement cost, and against all risks except those that are enumerated under exclusions. Usually also includes coverage for belongings and against liability suits.
HO-5: Generally considered a premium policy for homeowners with high-value houses, or who want extra protections. May provide more protection for the house, any belongings, and against liability risks. May offer a variety of other protections as well.
HO-7: Generally adapted for insuring mobile homes and manufactured housing.
HO-8: Generally adapted for insuring older houses, with exact age requirements varying.
HO-4 is the abbreviation for renters insurance, and HO-6 is condo insurance.
Where can California residents get homeowners insurance?
For assistance with insuring a California residence, contact the independent insurance agents at Nichols Insurance Agency. Our agents will make sure you find a home insurance policy that’ll protect your house, your belongings and your family well.
Feel free to contact our independent insurance agents with any questions or concerns.