The 5 most important insurance for homeowners

From a full basement to a damaged solar system: This insurance for homeowners are useful for homeowners.

Homeowners insurance protects the owner of a property from the financial consequences of property damage. In the event of damage, the entire building, including all permanently installed objects, is insured. As a rule, the following types of damage are covered in residential building insurance:

What happens in the event of a total loss to the house?

For example, if the house burned down, it is built at the so-called replacement price: The insured person receives a new, similar house financed at today’s prices – including the architecture, construction, and planning costs. Important: You will only receive a reimbursement if you start rebuilding within three years. Since a burned-down house is not habitable, costs for rent replacement should also be insured.

2. Natural hazard insurance: extreme weather is on the rise

Extended natural hazard insurance or natural hazard insurance protects owners from the financial consequences of natural disasters. Depending on the contract, the building and/or property is insured for the following risks:

  • Heavy rain / flooding / backwater
  • Flood
  • Snow pressure
  • Avalanches/landslides
  • Subsidence
  • earthquake
  • Volcanic eruption

In the event of a claim, the insured person bears part of the costs himself since a deductible is usually agreed upon.

The extended natural hazard insurance is offered as an optional additional component to the home and contents insurance. It can only be taken out in combination with one of these two types of insurance. As a rule, insurers already offer household contents and residential building insurance, including extended natural hazard insurance. If you do not want to use it, you have to deselect it specifically.

Residential building insurance with extended natural hazard cover covers the costs for:

  • the repairs in and on the house and the outbuildings (e.g., garage or shed).
  • The drainage and renovation of the building.
  • The eventual demolition of the building.
  • Design and construction of an equivalent house.
  • The costs for alternative accommodation or loss of rent if the house is temporarily uninhabitable can also be insured.

Protection against natural hazards is often not integrated into older residential building insurance in particular. In the worst case, this gap in insurance coverage can lead to financial ruin. Homeowners who want to be on the safe side should therefore check their home insurance for natural hazard protection to not have to pay for possible damage out of their own pocket.

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3. Liability for homeowners: this is how it works!

For owner-occupied properties

If you live on your own property and have no tenants, you also need private liability insurance in your role as a homeowner. Owners of their own property are responsible for any damage they accidentally and unintentionally cause to others. For example, the owner is threatened with claims for damages if:

  • a visitor slips on the smooth floor of his apartment.
  • A passer-by falls in front of the insured property because of black ice.
  • The improperly attached flower box loosens and damages a parked car.
  • The self-installed ceiling lamp falls and injures a visitor.

Private liability offers protection against such claims for damages. For example, the spouse and unmarried minor children are also insured.

For rented properties or larger residential complexes

The home and landowner liability insurance is required for everyone who does not use their property themselves but rent it out. In these cases, too, the owner is responsible for ensuring that third parties are not harmed. The landlord’s liability pays if passers-by are endangered or injured – for example, by a loose pavement slab, icy sidewalks, fallen trees, or falling icicles. If you live in your building yourself and have private liability insurance, you don’t need this insurance.

Who exactly needs home and landowner liability insurance for homeowners?

  • Owner/owner of apartment buildings
  • Landlords of single-family houses
  • Owners/owners of vacant lots
  • Owners/owners of single-family houses with separate apartments. Insurance cover through private liability only exists if the single-family home is used by the policyholder himself, except for three rooms. Otherwise, the owner needs a home and landowner liability.
  • Apartment owners of buildings that have been built for a community of owners. The apartment owner’s liability insurance covers the dangers emanating from the apartment, the associated basement room, and the possibly existing demarcated parking space.

4. The home insurance

Homeowners and tenants can insure all movable objects from furniture to clothing and electrical appliances via household insurance. This policy covers damage caused by:

  • Fire
  • Lightning strike, explosion, or implosion
  • Burglary / theft
  • Storm (from wind force 8) and hail
  • tap water
  • Overload

The insurance cover can be expanded to include additional contractual elements, such as bicycle theft.

The home insurance pays

  • the replacement price for stolen or irreparable inventory. That doesn’t have to be the purchase price. In the event of a claim, the insured receives so much money that he can purchase an equivalent item at today’s prices.
  • The cost of repairing damaged inventory.
  • A reduction in value in the case of damaged but still unrestrictedly usable objects.

Tip: Adjust the sum insured for the contents

Since the value and scope of household items change over time, expensive purchases and valuables such as jewelry should also be included in the sum insured. From time to time, insured persons should check whether the compensation in the contract is still sufficient for the valuables. Otherwise, there is so-called underinsurance.

 Read Also: Top 20 largest US insurance companies in 2021

5. Additional protection for photovoltaic systems, windows, oil tanks

Protection of the photovoltaic system

Fires, lightning or hail showers can paralyze a photovoltaic system. Therefore, homeowners should take precautions in this case. Otherwise, there is a risk of financial losses. In principle, you can ensure your photovoltaic system in two ways:

– Via an additional module in building insurance. Without this additional module, the power generators would not be protected. The advantage here: In the event of damage that affects both the house and the photovoltaic system, claims settlement is carried out from a single source.

– The photovoltaic system is given its own policy – regardless of how the house is covered.

Insured risks in this independent photovoltaic insurance are for example

  • Fire
  • Overvoltage from lightning
  • Short circuit, overcurrent
  • Aircraft
  • tap water
  • typical natural hazards (such as storms, hail or snow pressure)

This means that in the event of damage, all parts that belong to the photovoltaic system are insured. This includes solar modules, mounting frames, fastening elements, inverters and cabling.

In addition, homeowners can ensure their system against theft, animal bites or operating errors. As a rule, it makes sense also to ensure damage caused by construction, material and artistry errors.

Homeowners should ensure the failure of their photovoltaic system for two reasons :

1. If electricity generation fails for whatever reason, the owner temporarily forgets the feed-in tariff that he normally receives. The insurance pays the homeowner for the duration of the failure the money that he would have made with his system under normal circumstances. This can also be used to service current loans, for example. Another advantage: possible return forecasts for the system do not have to be thrown overboard.

2. If the photovoltaic system fails, homeowners need electricity from another source. The photovoltaic insurance also covers these additional costs – until the system has been repaired and your own electricity can flow again.

Glass breakage insurance

Glass breakage insurance is an important additional component in residential building insurance that should not be missing. It provides a replacement if panes break – regardless of the cause. The following are usually covered:

  • Panes and plates of glass
  • mirrors
  • Glass blocks and profiled glass
  • Light domes made of glass or plastic
  • Panoramic window
  • Winter gardens

Oil tank

Anyone who heats with oil should definitely take out water damage liability insurance (oil tank insurance). She comes up

  • when oil escapes from leaky tanks and contaminates the groundwater.
  • When filling with the tanker, oil seeps into the ground – because even with only small quantities, replacing the ground can result in high costs.

In principle, heating oil tanks should be secured against floating, flooding, and damage from floating debris. Insurance companies also give tips on the safe storage of heating oil in tank systems.