ABCs of your homeowners insurance policy
policies can be as complicated as an IRS form -- exclusions, inclusions, deductibles
and more. Here's a breakdown of the parts and protections offered by a good
Every homeowners policy is a variation of a
standard policy used throughout the insurance industry. Any coverage beyond
the standard is considered a unique feature from your insurance carrier. The
standard policy consists of two sections and six areas of coverage, known as
A through F.
Section I consists of areas A, B, C, and D:
Coverage A (Dwelling) applies to the structure
you inhabit. This would cover the dwelling, attached structures (such as
a garage) and permanently installed property (such as wall-to-wall carpeting).
Coverage B (Other structures) applies to
other structures on your property. This would cover a tool shed or a garage
that is not permanently attached to your home.
Coverage C (Personal property) applies
to the content of the dwelling. This area would cover your property anywhere
in the world. There are dollar limits on specific items that you should
be aware of because if your property exceeds these amounts, or no amount
is specified, you should cover them for an agreed amount.
Section II consists of areas E and F:
Coverage E (Personal Liability, Bodily
Injury and Property Damage) is similar to Personal Property coverage. This
covers you when you are on or off your premises and will cover you when
you are legally responsible for an act that causes damage to someone else's
person or property.
Coverage F (Medical Payments) covers medical
expenses stemming from injuries that occur to others while they are on your
Coverage for a handful of other things is automatically
provided in every policy, as well, including the costs involved in defending
a claim, first aid when a third party is injured, and damage to the property
of others. The last item is a no-fault coverage that could be applied if, for
example, the insured ruined a leather coat borrowed from a neighbor.
-- Posted: Sept. 23, 2003