Most residents in Massachusetts will never purchase an asset that’s more valuable than their home. This makes insuring houses extremely important, and that’s what homeowners insurance is designed to do.
In addition to protecting houses themselves, many homeowners insurance policies also offer protections for personal belongings and against liability lawsuits. These additional protections are commonly included because the vast majority of homeowners need them.
Most people who own a house in Massachusetts should purchase a home insurance policy, for few residents could afford to rebuild or replace their house if something major happened to it. If homeowners go even a day without coverage in place, they could leave themselves dangerously exposed to risk (not to mention create a coverage gap that could lead to increased premiums in the future).
In many cases, residents who have a mortgage outstanding are required to carry home insurance that at least covers the bank’s financial interest in the house. Such a requirement is frequently included in the terms and conditions of mortgages.
As mentioned, home insurance policies normally offer multiple protections. They accomplish this by making several coverages available as either standard or optional protections. Some of the more widely available coverages are:
Dwelling Coverage, which may cover a house itself
Secondary Structures Coverage, which may cover other structures on a property
Personal Property Coverage, which may cover personal belongings
Vacant Property Coverage, which may cover a house when it’s unoccupied for a long time
Loss of Use Coverage, which may cover alternative lodging costs following a disaster
Personal Liability Coverage, which may cover certain liability lawsuits
There are many other coverages that may be available through home policies and appropriate in certain situations. Residents who need help exploring coverage options and selecting the right ones for their situation should speak with an experienced insurance agent. An agent will be familiar with what coverages are available, and they can explain the differences between coverages in detail.
Most homeowners policies can be broadly categorized into open-perils and closed-perils (or named-perils) policies. Open-perils policies usually afford protection against any risks that aren’t excluded in their documentation. Closed-perils policies typically cover only those perils that are listed in their documentation.
Generally speaking, open-perils policies afford more generous coverage than close-perils policies. There might be exceptions, though, so it’s important to review all policies with an insurance agent before selecting one.
Most homeowners policies have abbreviations that are generally recognized within the insurance industry. These abbreviations start with “HO,” and policies with the same abbreviation tend to offer comparable coverage options.
HO-3 is the abbreviation used for a special form policy. This is usually an open-perils policy that offers solid protection, and it’s one of the more popular homeowners policies available.
Other abbreviations that are used for homeowners policies include:
HO-1, which usually designates a closed-perils homeowners policy with limited protections
HO-2, which usually designates a closed-perils policy with slightly more protections
HO-5, which usually designates an open-perils policy with robust protections
HO-7, which usually designates a policy designed for mobile homes
HO-8, which usually designates a policy designed for old homes
(HO-4 is commonly used for renters insurance policies, and HO-6 is commonly used for condo insurance policies.)
For help finding homeowners insurance that has the protections you want, talk with one of the independent insurance agents at Roger Keith & Sons Insurance Agency. Our independent agents have the ability to show you policies from multiple insurance companies in Massachusetts, so you can identify the best choice no matter what company offers it.