Homeowners’ insurance is something that every homeowner in the state of California should carry. You don’t want to find yourself liable for the damages to your home or the medical costs incurred by anyone who is injured on your property. You should take your time to find an insurer who can provide you with the coverages you want at a price that you can afford.
California is a big place, and it can have some specific natural events that you need to keep in mind when you are buying insurance. Earthquake and flood damages are not usually covered under standard California homeowners’ insurance policies, but they are very real dangers that you will want to insure your home against. If you live in an area that is prone to earthquakes or flooding, it is imperative that you address those specific concerns when purchasing insurance.
Basic Homeowners’ Insurance Coverages
Aside from covering the structure itself, a California homeowners insurance policy will typically cover the contents of a home in the event of a covered loss. Also typically covered are pools and detached garages. Without special provisions, a homeowners’ policy generally covers hazards like fire, smoke, theft, vandalism, wind, hail, and other similar events. Usually, policies also cover personal liability, such as medical costs that arise from injuries sustained on your property.
Understand the Language of your Policy
Go over your policy in detail with your insurer, and be sure that you understand exactly what is covered, what is not, and how the claims process will advance. When you are talking about the contents of a home, be sure that you understand the difference between things like “replacement cost”, and “actual cash value”. In policies where “actual cash value” is used, the insurance company is only required to pay out to you the value of covered losses minus depreciation of the items. The depreciation of many items will mean that they cannot be replaced by items of similar type and condition if they are lost under a policy that only offers “actual cash value. On the other hand, a policy that offers “full replacement cost” of items will pay to replace covered losses with items that are of similar type can condition. In a situation where items are to be replaced by full replacement cost, it may be necessary that the policy owner pay the deductible and pay out of pocket for the replacement of a loss. The insurance company may then reimburse you for the balance you have spent to replace what has been lost with a similar item in similar condition.