If you own a home, then insuring it is essential, and may in fact be a requirement of securing a mortgage in the first place.

Of course modern homeowners insurance policies can cover more than just the building itself, and will typically protect other types of personal property from disaster. So what inclusive elements are often overlooked, and what extra cover might you need for your own home?

The basics

As a rule, you can expect that a typical homeowners insurance policy will allow you to make a claim in the event that the contents of your home is damaged, destroyed or otherwise compromised after a cavalcade of eligible calamities occur.

This will factor in things like your living room furniture, clothing, valuable electronic devices and appliances, precious possessions and basically any other personal property that you keep within your home.

What you might not realize is that the rules on spending home insurance claim money also cover lots of things that you did not expect, such as the cost of replacing refrigerated and frozen food which has gone bad during a power outage, or even the cleaning of items which have suffered water damage.

The caveats

Any insurance policy will have its liabilities, limitations and restrictions to keep in mind, so making yourself aware of them in advance is definitely sensible, and reading the small print before you commit to a particular package will save you a lot of pain if you do have to make a claim.

First and foremost, for the most valuable items there may be upper limits on how much you can claim back if they are stolen from your premises. Jewelry is a good example of this, as are works of art and any other individually valuable and collectible items.

Secondly you could find that while certain types of disasters are covered, others are not. Flooding, for example, might not be included in your policy, in which case you would need to pay for repairs out of your own pocket.

Finally, there is the simple fact that everyday wear and tear which your personal property undergoes will not be covered by a standard insurance deal.

The portability of homeowners insurance

Another interesting aspect of contemporary homeowners insurance policies is that they should also offer protection for your personal property when you are out and about.

For example, if your mobile phone is stolen when you are away from home, then you could claim to cover the cost of a replacement under your existing home policy, rather than needing a separate policy for your gadget of choice.

A similar level of protection is extended to most types of personal property when you are on the move, although there may be excess payments to keep in mind, which will impact the usefulness of making a claim in some cases.

Scrutinize the terms and conditions of your homeowners insurance and you should uncover all sorts of interesting tidbits, which you can then use to your advantage when disaster strikes.