Homeowners insurance provides financial protection against disasters. A standard policy insures the home itself and the things you keep in it plus lawsuit protection for accidents on the premises.
You need enough insurance to cover the following:
- The cost to rebuild your home.
- To replace your personal possessions.
- The cost of additional living expenses if your home is damaged and you have to live elsewhere during repairs.
- The cost to defend a lawsuit if someone sues you personally.
You need enough insurance to cover the cost of rebuilding your home at current construction costs. Don't include the cost of the land. And don't base your rebuilding costs on the price you paid for your home. The cost of rebuilding could be more or less than the price you paid or could sell it for today.
Factors that will determine the cost of rebuilding your home:
- Local construction costs
- The square footage of the structure
- The type of exterior wall construction -- frame, masonry (brick or stone) or veneer
- The style of the house (ranch, colonial)
- The number of bathrooms and other rooms
- The type of roof and materials used
- Other structures on the premises such as garages, sheds
- Fireplaces, exterior trim and other special features like arched windows
- Whether the house, or parts of it like the kitchen, were custom built
- Improvement to your home – adding a second bathroom, enlarging the kitchen or other additions that have added value to your home