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Home Insurance

• The 17 Perils
• Actual Cash Value vs. Replacement Cost
• Understanding Deductibles
• Documentation of Valuables
• Expanding Coverage
• Floaters for the Finer Things
• Flood Insurance
• Insuring a Home
• Liability Coverage
• The Basics of Homeowners Insurance
• Cover Yourself with an Umbrella Liability Policy
• Insuring a Condominium
• Special Circumstances: Property Under Construction and Rental Property
• Renters Insurance
Auto Insurance

• On the Move: Insurance Protection for Your Automobile and Other Vehicles
• Auto Insurance Basics: Liability, Collision, Comprehensive
• Additional and Optional Coverages
• Who's At Fault?
• Premiums and Discounts: Factors that Affect Your Rate
• What To Do After an Accident
• Getting Your Car Back
• Using Your Personal Car for Business
• Risky Drivers
• Adding a Teen or College-bound Driver
• Motorcycle Insurance
• Watch the Hull: Insurance for Boats and Other Watercraft
• Specialty Policies Insure Fun
• Aviation Insurance
Risk Management

• Term Life Insurance
• Whole Life Insurance
• Universal Life Insurance
• Variable Life Insurance
• Auto Insurance
• Insurance Claims
• Maximizing Insurance Benefits
• Protecting Your Home
• Assessing Disability Insurance
• Types of Health Care
• Additional Liability Coverage
• HMOs and PPOs
• Evaluating Insurance Companies
• Long-Term-Care Costs
• Medicare Coverage

The 17 Perils

The word "peril" invokes different images for different people, although the reaction is usually the same for everyone: avoid, avoid, avoid.

Despite your best efforts, sometimes perils to your home and property cannot be avoided. That's where a good homeowner's insurance policy comes in. Homeowner's policies are defined by the perils that they insure against. The average homeowner's policy protects you not only from common hazards like fire or wind, but from perils that you might think would be more likely to see in exotic locales than in your own neighborhood. Like volcanic eruptions and explosions.

Although there are myriad choices confronting policy shoppers, there are essentially three main categories of perils that you can insure basic dwellings against. Most policies cover the first 11, and you may have to purchase additional coverage for the others. Here's a breakdown of the basic perils as covered by standard homeowner's insurance policies.

The 11 basic perils:

 •  Fire and lightning
 •  Windstorm and hail
 •  Explosion
 •  Riot and civil commotion
 •  Aircraft
 •  Vehicles
 •  Smoke
 •  Vandalism and malicious mischief
 •  Theft
 •  Damage by glass or glazing material that is part of a building
 •  Volcanic eruption

The next step up in coverage usually includes the 11 basic perils plus six more:

 •  Falling objects
 •  Weight of ice, snow, and sleet
 •  Three kinds of water-related damage from home utilities or appliances
 •  Electrical surge damage

A third type of coverage protects against the above perils plus any other peril not specifically excluded by the policy. Examples of common exemptions include:

 •  Damage to the land on which your house is built
 •  Floods
 •  Earthquakes
 •  War
 •  Nuclear accident
 •  Intentional damage
 •  Businesslosses
 •  Wear and tear
 •  Damage caused by pets
 •  Theft from a house under construction
 •  Freezing of pipes in an unoccupied or vacant house
 •  Vandalism of a house vacant for over 30 days
 •  Weight of water or ice on a fence, patio, pavement, swimming pool or dock
 •  Losses to property belonging to tenants
 •  Losses due to animals, birds, and fish

You can purchase protection against some of the excluded perils through endorsements or additional policies. For example, earthquakes are excluded in most basic polices, but you can purchase earthquake coverage separately.

© 2003 Emerald Publications

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