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We think of fresh fruit and vegetables as perishables, but we are wise to think of our homes as perishables, too. They may be made of solid wood or brick, but they are not impervious to the ravages of time, weather extremes, or catastrophic loss. What is homeowners insurance? Please define!
The “time” threat to a house is not something for which insurance can compensate. When paint fades or caulking falls out, a homeowner alone is responsible to repair, refurbish and freshen a structure. This is called maintenance and is an expense a homeowner can expect to shoulder all by himself.
But homeowners insurance can safeguard a home investment in the event of weather extremes such as violent winds and hail storms. An insurance policy is a godsend in a catastrophic loss, such as when a fire erupts from electrical failure or flooding ruins an interior when an upstairs water line ruptures.
Homeowners insurance policies also mitigate against financial loss in the event of a personal injury to a visitor. The financial liability for such an accident will be picked up by an insurance company if a liability policy has been taken out on the property. Such coverage simply acknowledges the reality that accidents happen.
Homeowners insurance policies also are useful because they can cover the contents of a home as well as the structure itself. If the water cascading down the stairs from the broken water line in the bathroom inundates the grand piano in the music room, the piano’s loss can be recovered via the insurer.
In short, one way to define homeowners insurance is the word “safe.” A homeowner is safe from ruinous loss when he has an insurance policy on his home. A mortgage holder is safe from investment loss for the same reason. Owning a home is a wonderful blessing but feeling safe is right up there in the constellation of good things.
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