Massachusetts homeowners invest a great deal in the houses they own. Many have paid tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars (and sometimes more) for their residences, which doesn’t even take into account any improvements they’ve personally made. Without homeowners insurance, homeowners could lose everything they’ve poured into their house in a single catastrophe.
Homeowners insurance is a form of personal property insurance that’s specifically designed to meet homeowners’ insurance needs. Policies generally help homeowners protect their houses, their belongings, themselves and their families.
Because homeowners have many different insurance needs, the coverages included in home insurance policies can vary quite a bit. In general, most policies offer the following three main coverages:
Along with these three main coverages, there are many other coverages that a homeowners policy might also provide. Some of these other coverages include:
Most home insurance policies don’t include coverage for earthquakes or floods. Homeowners who want either of these coverages usually have to purchase a peril-specific policy.
Earthquake policies are normally purchased from the private marketplace. Flood insurance policies usually can be purchased from the private marketplace as well, but homeowners in high-risk areas often also have access to flood policies through the National Flood Insurance Program.
Most homeowners policies are identified within the industry by “HO-” followed by a number. Most of the homeowners policies offered by insurance companies in Massachusetts have one of the following abbreviations:
(HO-4, HO-6 and HO-7 policies are respectively for renters, condo owners and mobile home owners.)
Some insurers also offer an HOB policy. These policies are typically similar to HO-3 policies but adapted for waterfront situations. They frequently provide more protection against water-related risks that coastal properties face.
For help finding the right type of homeowners insurance, Massachusetts homeowners should talk with an independent insurance agent in the state. An independent agent is able to recommend one of the above types of homeowners policies based on a homeowner’s situation and desired coverages. Once a type of policy is selected, an independent agent can get quotes from various insurers in Massachusetts for that type of policy.