Homeowners insurance covers the structure and your personal property, as well as your personal legal responsibility (or liability) for injuries to others or their property.
Homeowners insurance policies may include provisions for:
- Dwelling (for damages to your house)
- Other structures (for damages to fences, detached garages, sheds, etc.)
- Personal property (for damages to possessions)
- Loss of use or additional living expenses (for times when your home is being repaired due to a covered cause of loss)
- Personal liability (coverage for injured on your property or by your pets on your property)
Source: A Consumer's Guide to Home Insurance, 2010.
It is important to note that a standard homeowners insurance policy does not typically include earthquake damage or flood insurance.
See References for more information.
NAR Library & Archives has already done the research for you. References (formerly Field Guides) offer links to articles, eBooks, websites, statistics, and more to provide a comprehensive overview of perspectives. EBSCO articles (E) are available only to NAR members and require the member's nar.realtor login.
Homeowners Insurance: The Basics
How to Read Your Homeowners Insurance Policy (insure.com, May 20, 2021)
“Homeowners insurance offers crucial protections for what is likely to be your most significant investment – your home. However, to get the most from this coverage, you need to understand what your policy does and does not cover. Understanding this information can help you determine if you have the right coverage and enough of it.”
Your Guide to Buying Homeowners Insurance (Millionacres, Feb. 4 2021)
“Whether you own a home you live in yourself or a rental property, you need a homeowners insurance policy to protect yourself from financial losses in the event your property sustains damage, is robbed, or is the place of someone else's accident. You also need homeowners insurance to qualify for a mortgage -- without a policy, you may not get the financing you need to buy the property you're looking at.
In this quick guide to buying homeowners insurance, we'll review the steps involved in the process and show you how to snag some savings on your policy.”
What Is Homeowners Insurance? (the balance, Sep. 17, 2020)
An in-depth explanation of homeowners insurance. Includes information about how homeowners insurance works, types of homeowners insurance, what is covered, the cost of coverage, and how to obtain homeowners insurance.
What to Know About Homeowners Insurance (REALTOR® Magazine)
Part of REALTOR Magazine’s “Handouts for Customers,” this one pager about homeowners insurance covers exclusions, limits on claims, replacement costs, actual cash value depreciation, and the consumer’s liability.
Assessing Costs, Coverage, and Risks
There are many factors to consider when calculating homeowner's insurance coverage needs, including the type of provisions that area and are not included in the policy. However, for a quick and basic calculation, check out realtor.com's Home Insurance Calculator.
16 Factors That Affect Homeowners Insurance Premiums (Insurance.com, Jul. 18, 2021)
A discussion of sixteen factors that influence home insurance rates: replacement cost, deductible, dog breed, wood-burning stoves, home-based business, remodeling, home liability limits, insurance score, marital status, age and construction of home, swimming pool or hot tub, roof condition, proximity to fire station, location and proximity to a body of water, credit history, and claims history.
Homeowners Insurance vs. Home Warranty Coverage (Value Penguin, Jan. 12, 2021)
Both homeowners insurance and home warranties are important policies to protect you and your home, “but it’s important to understand the differences between them and when it makes sense to choose both types of policies.” This discussion of each type of policy’s coverage, includes the pros and cons of each and how to choose between them.
Homeowners Need to Update Insurance After a Remodel (REALTOR® Magazine, Dec. 4, 2020)
A discussion of how and when to update insurance policies after a major remodel to avoid being under-insured if disaster strikes.
How Much Home Insurance Do I Need? What Every Homeowner Should Know About their Coverage (realtor.com®, Oc. 22, 2020)
“If you’re buying a home, choosing the right amount of homeowners insurance for your property is key. Buy too much, and you’re wasting cash on coverage you’ll never use. Buy too little, and if a hurricane, hailstorm, or other disaster strikes your home, your insurance might not cover the costs to fix the damage—which means you’ll be paying out of your own pocket. So how much home insurance is enough…we’ll outline all you need to know to get the right amount and type of insurance to suit your circumstances perfectly.” Part of realtor.com’s Home Buyer’s Guide to Home Insurance.
Homeowners’ Financial Protection Against Natural Disasters (The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, 2019)
In this Chicago Fed Letter, we describe the types of financial protection from natural disasters, like Hurricane Harvey, that are available to homeowners from private sector providers, the federal government, and some state governments.
How to Lower Homeowners Insurance Costs (REALTOR® Magazine)
Part of REALTOR Magazine’s “Handouts for Customers,” this one pager about how to lower homeowner’s insurance costs discusses ways to either seek out lower rates or how to maintain a lower rate over time.
eBooks & Other Resources
The following eBooks and digital audiobooks are available to NAR members:
Protect Yourself (eBook)
How to Insure Your Home (eBook)
Complete Book of Insurance (eBook)
Books, Videos, Research Reports & More
The resources below are available for loan through the NAR Library & Archives. Up to three books, tapes, CDs and/or DVDs can be borrowed for 30 days from the Library for a nominal fee of $10. Call the Library & Archives at 800-874-6500 for assistance.
Nolo's Essential Guide to Buying Your First Home (Berkeley, CA: Nolo, 2007) HD 1341 B73
Have an idea for a real estate topic? Send us your suggestions.
The inclusion of links on this page does not imply endorsement by the National Association of REALTORS®. NAR makes no representations about whether the content of any external sites which may be linked in this page complies with state or federal laws or regulations or with applicable NAR policies. These links are provided for your convenience only and you rely on them at your own risk.