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Homeowner’s insurance, sometimes also referred to as hazard insurance or home insurance (and often abbreviated in the US real estate industry as HOI), is a type of property insurance that covers a private residence.
Homeowner’s is an insurance policy that combines various personal insurance protections, which can include losses occurring to one’s home, its contents, loss of use (additional living expenses), or loss of other personal possessions of the homeowner, as well as liability insurance for accidents that may happen at the home or at the hands of the homeowner within the policy territory.
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- Coverage A – Dwelling - Covers the value of the dwelling itself (not including the land). Typically, a coinsurance clause states that as long as the dwelling is insured to 80% of actual value, losses will be adjusted at replacement cost, up to the policy limits. This is in place to give a buffer against inflation. HO-4 (renter's insurance) typically has no Coverage A, although it has additional coverages for improvements.
- Coverage B – Other Structures - Covers other structure around the property that are not used for business, except as a private garage. Typically limited at 10% to 20% of the Coverage A, with additional amounts available by endorsement.
- Coverage C – Personal Property - Covers personal property (like clothing and furniture), with limits for the theft and loss of particular classes of items (e.g., $200 for cash, banknotes, bullion, coins, medals, etc.). Typically 50 to 70% of coverage A is required for contents, which means that consumers may pay for much more insurance than necessary. This has led to some calls for more choice.
- Coverage D – Loss of Use/Additional Living Expenses - Covers expenses associated with additional living expenses (i.e. rental expenses) and fair rental value, if part of the residence was rented, however only the rental income for the actual rent of the space not services provided such as utilities.
- Coverage E – Personal Liability - Covers damages which the insured is legally liable for and provides a legal defense at the insurance company's own expense. Statistically around 1/3 of liability claims are from dog bites.
- Additional Coverages -Covers a variety of expenses such as debris removal, reasonable repairs, damage to trees and shrubs for certain named perils (excluding the most common causes of damage, wind and ice), fire department changes, removal of property, credit card / identity theft charges, loss assessment, collapse, landlord's furnishing, and some building additions. These vary depending upon the form.
If your home is victim to fire, tornado, lightning, vandalism, or any other devastating event, your insurer will compensate you so that the home can be repaired or totally rebuilt. Certain issues such as flooding or earthquakes are often not standard elements of an HOI policy and may require additional riders which provide coverage for those events. In today’s uncertain times, with the increasing volatility of global weather patterns and “freak” natural disasters, these policy riders which once seemed wasteful are growing more necessary by the day. Other structures on the property which are not connected to the house will likely require policies of their own as well.
Furniture, appliances, clothes, etc. are mostly covered if they are destroyed in a covered event. There is a provision termed “off-premises” coverage, which enables the insured to file claims for any covered item having been lost, no matter where, when, or how it was lost.
One very important point of coverage for HOI policies is personal liability. This protects against lawsuits filed against you or your property by other people. This liability insurance also includes any injury caused by your pets (for example, if your dog were to bite someone).
If you find yourself forced out of your home for any reason, you can purchase a policy which will cover the costs of living outside your home. This means that during the rebuilding process, you will be reimbursed for the costs of additional living expenses- rent, hotel rooms, restaurant meals, and other incidental charges which you incur while waiting for the home to become a livable space again.
- Exclusions - In an open perils policy (this is most common), specific exclusions will be listed in the policy. These generally include earth movement, water damage, power failure, neglect, war, nuclear hazard, septic tank back-up expenses, intentional loss, and concurrent causation (for HO3). The concurrent causation exclusion excludes losses where both a covered and an excluded loss occur. In addition, the exclusion for building ordinance can mean that increased expenses due to local ordinances may not be covered.
- A 2013 survey of Americans found that 41% believed mold was covered, although it is typically not covered if the water damage occurs over a period of time, such as through a leaky pipe.
- Floods - Flood damage is typically excluded under standard homeowners and renters insurance policies. Flood coverage, however, is available in the form of a separate policy both from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and from a few private insurers.
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Agency Owner & Licensed Agent
Jodie Enenbach-Moreno is the owner of Smart Insurance Solutions®. Prior to opening her agency in 2013, Jodie worked for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska and Mutual of Omaha in service, sales and marketing. Her passion for client education motivated her decision to open an independent agency here in Omaha. Jodie hosts educational classes throughout the year on the radio, for community groups, financial advisors and the general public.
With over 15 years of insurance experience, Jodie spends many hours refreshing product knowledge, renewing certifications for government programs (Medicare & Marketplace) and staying on top of regulation changes. For additional compliance and support, Jodie has a long-standing relationship with Preferred Marketing Associates.
Rebecca ‘Becky’ Rosales
Licensed Agent & Operations. Becky has been with Smart Insurance Solutions® for over 4 years and is a wonderful asset to the team.
She supports the agency in customer service, bookkeeping and insurance sales. Becky is from Omaha and has decades of support and leadership experience
Cristal Briceño Rios
Front Desk Associate
Cristal’s background is in nursing and most recently worked for a pharmaceutical benefit management company before joining our team. Cristal is a great asset to our team in supporting the front desk area and other administrative duties.