New Mexico Homeowner’s Insurance

The Standard policy offers broad coverage for your personal belongings as well as your home.  There are actually four different coverages that are included in the standard policy, they are as follows:  first, coverage for your home; second, coverage for your personal belongs; third, liability ; and fourth, additional livings expense coverage. 
The first and most obvious type of coverage is the one that covers the home itself; it is after all “homeowners” insurance.  This covers the structure of the home due to various causes of loss that include:  fire, wind, hail, freezing, lightning, falling objects, etcetera.  Coverage that is not included in the standard home insurance policy is damage caused by flood, earthquake, or routine wear and tear.  When purchasing coverage for your home makes certain that you purchase enough coverage.  You should evaluate your home and come up with its replacement cost value (or have your insurance agent do it for you) and then insure your home to that value.  It is important to buy enough insurance to rebuild your home.  Most homes today have detached structures like garages, sheds, gazebos, and etcetera.  The home insurance policy will usually cover these structures up to about ten percent of the value of the home.  Usually ten percent is sufficient but sometimes additional coverage is needed and can be added to the policy for a small premium increase.    
Your personal belongings are also covered by the standard homeowner’s policy for the same causes of loss as the home is covered; this also includes the same exclusions that the home has.  Generally speaking the limit on the personal property is about fifty to seventy percent of the value that the home is insured for.  Some types of personal property have limits of coverage that are dramatically different from the personal property limit; these types of property include, but are not limited to:  gold or silver bullion, cash or cash equivalents, firearms, jewelry, artwork, and etcetera. 
One of the least thought of, but most valuable coverage, is the liability coverage afforded by the homeowner’s policy.    Liability can be construed in any number of different ways, with the most common example being a slip and fall that is later blamed on the homeowner resulting in the medical expenses and pain and suffering being owed from the homeowner to the injured party.  It is unfortunate but we do live in a litigious society and this type of coverage is indispensable.  In my opinion you should have a limit equal to or greater than at least the value of the home.  Additional coverage is inexpensive and can be expanded upon with the purchase of an umbrella policy; there really is no excuse for having insufficient liability coverage. 
The final coverage afforded by the homeowner’s policy is that of additional living expenses.  If your home becomes uninhabitable due to a covered loss your insurance company will also pay for motels and food expense cause by the forced exit from your home.  Make sure that you keep your receipts.


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