For most people who own a home, their house is the most valuable asset they have. Homeowners throughout Massachusetts and beyond have thousands (and sometimes millions) invested in their homes, and few can afford to lose their investments. Homeowners insurance policies help protect the financial investments homeowners make in their houses from many potential perils.
Homeowners insurance policies are package policies, which means they lump several coverages into one policy. There are three primary coverages that most homeowners policies provide:
(The exact protections afforded by these coverages depend on the specific terms and conditions found within a particular policy.)
In addition to the above three coverages that are included in most home insurance policies, there are a number of other coverages that policies may offer. Some of these other coverages include:
Most homeowners in Massachusetts should carry home insurance. While it’s generally not required by law, many mortgage agreements require homeowners who have financed their house to maintain coverage. This is a safety measure that banks use to ensure their financial investment will be protected if something happens to a house.
Even homeowners who own their houses outright often still purchase insurance. They may not be under any official obligation to insure their home, but few homeowners could afford to rebuild their house if it was destroyed. Many couldn’t afford much more than their insurance policy’s deductible without taking a serious financial hit.
Homeowners policies can be separated into two broad categories: open perils policies and named peril policies.
Open peril policies generally cover any incidents that aren’t explicitly excluded in their terms and conditions. Some examples of commonly excluded incidents are earthquakes, nuclear incidents, and wars, but any incident could be listed as an excluded item in an open peril policy.
Named peril policies, in contrast, usually only cover incidents that are explicitly mentioned in their terms and conditions. These policies may have basic lists that only include a few incidents, or they might have robust lists that mention many potential hazards. Even robust named peril policies, however, frequently offer less protection than open peril policies. For, the best named perils policies are still restricted to the perils they mention outright.
Massachusetts residents who would like help finding homeowners insurance should contact an independent insurance agent near them. An independent agent will be able to both help a homeowner select the type of policy and coverages they want, and assist with a side-by-side comparison of policies. With an independent agent’s help, homeowners can be confident that the home insurance policy they get provides the protections they want and need.