Home insurance in the United States (including Florida)
Whether you own or rent your home in the United States, taking out home insurance is the first thing to do to protect your property against loss and damage, but also against legal proceedings. Home insurance is intended to cover unforeseen damage… But how does this insurance work in the United States?
What exactly is home insurance?
As its name suggests, home insurance is insurance for private homes and their annexes. Its main role is to cover damage to your property, but also liability for injuries and material damage that you or members of your family may cause to other people. This also includes damage caused by pets!
Unlike car insurance, the law does not require you to take out home insurance, but as with any insurance, it is above all a question of protecting your property against the unknown…
Why do you need home insurance?
As a landlord, it’s about protecting yourself financially if an accident happens to your home, apartment or property. Buying your home is probably one of the biggest investments of your life! If your property has been destroyed by fire or damaged by a natural disaster, you will need money to repair or replace it. If you are the victim of theft or vandalism, insurance can reimburse you for losses or pay for repairs. If a friend of yours is injured in your home, liability insurance can help pay for medical expenses.
for example, if you rent your apartment: the tenant is not obliged to take out insurance and when he does, he insures his property, not yours. If your tenant is injured for example because of your garage door, you can be responsible.
As a tenant, it is in your best interest to also take out insurance because the landlord provides you with accommodation, but you are not insured for the belongings inside. Also, if someone gets hurt in your apartment, you may have to foot the bill for their care. And in the USA it can be very salty!
Whether you own or rent your home in the United States, it is strongly advised to take out home insurance, because it must be remembered that in the land of Uncle Sam the notion of responsibility is extremely strong, legal proceedings in the event of accidents are commonplace and very high legal costs!
Home insurance in the United States: how does it work?
As in other country, the risks covered vary according to the type of contract chosen. As a general rule, damage caused by most disasters is covered: theft, burglary, vandalism, glass breakage, fire or explosion, water damage, lightning, frost or snow, floods, etc.
However, it is important to know that in the United States not all natural disasters are covered by home insurance, that the risks differ according to the States and that insurers can exclude some of them. In Florida, for example, most contracts exclude hurricanes or floods, even though these are major risks. In California, earthquakes and fires can be excluded even though these are also the first two risks for homes. Apart from these “special” cases, insurance policies also include more classic exclusions such as normal wear and tear, gradual deterioration or mechanical breakdown.
If certain risks are excluded, it is obviously possible to add guarantees within the framework of an additional contract, which is of course payable.
In the event of a claim, an expert is appointed to determine the amount of damages. It is therefore important to keep invoices for renovations, purchases of furniture or equipment outside your home, so that you can access them even if your house or condo has been destroyed.