Man holding umbrella over wooden house model

What Does Homeowners Property Insurance Cover? 

Arnett & Arnett, PC   May 29, 2024

Homeowners property insurance is essential for protecting one's home. This form of insurance offers financial protection against various risks and damages that could affect your property. Given the unique weather patterns in Arizona, such as intense heat, monsoons, and occasional wildfires, it is essential to understand what your policy covers to ensure you are adequately protected.  

Knowing the scope of your homeowners property insurance allows you to make informed decisions in the event of unforeseen incidents. At Arnett & Arnett, PC, our experienced team of attorneys can help you understand the various aspects of homeowners insurance, what it typically covers, its exclusions and optional add-ons, and offer tips on how to choose the right policy for your needs. 

What Is Homeowners Property Insurance?

Homeowners property insurance, often referred to simply as homeowners insurance, is a type of property insurance designed to protect an individual's home against certain risks and events. It generally provides coverage for damages to the home's structure caused by perils such as fire, lightning, windstorms, hail, and other specified disasters.  

Additionally, it protects the homeowner's personal belongings within the property, covering events like theft or vandalism. Policies typically include liability coverage, which offers financial protection against lawsuits for bodily injury or property damage that homeowners or their family members cause to others.  

This comprehensive insurance policy can also cover additional living expenses if the insured home is rendered uninhabitable due to a covered event, providing the necessary funds for temporary accommodation and related costs. Understanding homeowners property insurance in Arizona is crucial for making sure property owners are protected against potential losses and liabilities. 

What Does Homeowners Property Insurance Typically Cover?

Homeowners property insurance typically offers a broad range of coverage to protect homeowners from various risks. The primary areas of coverage generally include: 

  • Dwelling coverage: This protects the physical interior and exterior structure of your home, including the walls, roof, and built-in appliances, against specified perils such as fire, windstorms, hail, lightning, or other disasters listed in your policy. It also covers attached structures like garages or decks. 

  • Other structures coverage: This covers detached structures on your property, such as garages, tool sheds, gazebos, fences, and guest houses, against the same perils that affect the main dwelling. 

  • Personal property coverage: This protects your personal belongings within the home, including furniture, electronics, clothing, and other personal items. It typically offers coverage from events like theft, vandalism, and certain types of destruction such as fire or water damage. Some policies also extend this coverage to items stored off-premises. 

  • Liability coverage: This offers financial protection if you or your family members are legally responsible for injuring someone else or damaging their property. It also covers damages caused by your pets. This includes personal liability, which covers legal fees, settlements, and court judgments, subject to your policy limits. 

  • Medical payments to others: This provides coverage for medical expenses if a guest is injured on your property, regardless of fault. It helps handle medical bills for minor injuries without the need for a liability claim or lawsuit. 

  • Additional living expenses (ALE): If a covered event renders your home uninhabitable, ALE coverage pays for the costs of living away from home. This includes temporary accommodation, meals, and other living expenses until you can return home or find a permanent residence. 

While these types of coverage are typically covered under homeowners property insurance, different insurance policies may include or exclude certain items. Be sure to review the specific terms and conditions of any insurance agreement and consult with your insurance provider and legal advisor before signing. 

Homeowners Property Insurance Exclusions

While standard homeowners insurance policies cover a wide range of perils, there are certain exclusions you should be aware of that could impact your coverage under certain circumstances. These include: 

  • Flood and earthquake damage: Most standard policies do not cover damage caused by floods or earthquakes. Homeowners in areas prone to these natural disasters should consider purchasing separate flood and earthquake insurance policies. 

  • Routine wear and tear: Regular maintenance issues and wear and tear typically are not covered. 

  • Business equipment: Damage to business equipment may not be covered under a standard homeowners policy. 

  • High-value items: Items such as jewelry, art, and collectibles may have limited coverage under a standard policy. Additional coverage might be necessary to protect these valuables.  

It's important to review your policy carefully and understand the specific exclusions that may apply to your homeowners insurance coverage. If you have any questions or concerns, consult with your insurance provider or an experienced attorney for clarification. 

How to Choose the Right Homeowners Property Insurance in Arizona

When it comes to choosing the right homeowners property insurance in Arizona, there are several important steps you should take to make sure your available coverage meets your needs. These steps include the following: 

1. Assess Your Coverage Needs 

Before selecting an insurance policy, understand what you need coverage for. Evaluate the value of your home, personal belongings, and any additional structures on your property. Consider any special risks posed by Arizona's unique climate, such as monsoons or wildfires, and make sure your policy addresses these concerns. 

2. Research and Compare Insurance Providers 

Not all insurance providers are equal. Look for reputable insurers with strong financial stability and positive customer reviews. Comparing quotes from multiple providers can help you identify the most cost-effective options without compromising on coverage.  

3. Understand the Different Policy Types 

Familiarize yourself with the different types of homeowners insurance policies, such as HO-1, HO-2, HO-3, and HO-5, which offer different types of coverage, coverage limits, and deductibles. A deductible is the amount you must pay out-of-pocket before your insurance kicks in. Make sure the policy provides adequate liability coverage to protect you from potential lawsuits. 

4. Understand Policy Inclusions and Exclusions 

Carefully review the inclusions and exclusions of each policy you consider. Make sure that essential coverage, such as dwelling, personal property, liability, and additional living expenses, are included. Pay attention to any exclusions, especially those relevant to Arizona residents, such as flood or earthquake damage, which typically require separate policies. 

5. Review Deductibles and Premiums 

Understanding the relationship between deductibles and premiums is essential. A higher deductible usually means a lower premium, but it also means higher out-of-pocket expenses in the event of a claim. Strike a balance that fits your financial situation and risk tolerance. 

6. Check for Discounts 

Many insurers offer discounts that can lower your premium. These might include discounts for bundling policies, security system discounts, or loyalty discounts for long-term customers. Additionally, maintaining a good credit score and installing safety features in your home can lead to discounts. 

7. Seek Professional Advice 

Consult with an experienced attorney or insurance advisor who can provide insight into selecting the right homeowners insurance policy. Professionals can help you better understand complex terms and conditions and help you make informed decisions that best protect your property. 

Consult With an Experienced Insurance Attorney

Having homeowners property insurance is central to protecting your home and personal property against unforeseen events. By understanding what is and isn't covered under a standard homeowners policy, you can make informed decisions to make sure you maintain comprehensive protection. 

At Arnett & Arnett, PC, we believe that having the right homeowners insurance policy is a crucial component of financial security for Arizona homeowners. If you have questions or need assistance in choosing the right homeowners insurance policy, contact us to set up a free consultation.  

Located in Chandler, Arizona, we proudly serve clients in Phoenix, Tucson, Flagstaff, and throughout the state.