GEICO offers 5 need-to-know answers about homeowners insurance

Washington, D.C., June 25, 2015 – Owning a house is the American Dream but if your home isn't properly insured, that dream could become a financial nightmare. The GEICO Insurance Agency answers five questions about homeowners insurance that is designed specifically to protect you.

Why do I need homeowners insurance?

Your home is an important investment that contributes to the security and stability of your family so it makes perfect sense to protect it. Homeowners insurance covers your home and its contents from major "perils" (fire, wind or theft) on your property. In addition, you probably can't purchase a house without homeowners insurance since most mortgage holders require you to have it before going to closing.

What does a typical homeowners insurance policy cover?

Each homeowners insurance policy offers different protection. A standard policy usually provides broad coverage for damage to your house and any permanent structures on your property (unless the cause of the damage is specifically excluded in your policy). There's also coverage for personal liability if someone is injured in your home and loss of use if you have to live somewhere while your home is being repaired.

What kind of homeowners insurance should I choose?

Choosing the right homeowners policy depends on your personal circumstances and own unique needs. Do you live in a single-family home, condo or co-op? Do you rent a home but live somewhere else? These are some of the questions you have to answer to find out what's important to you and what you need to protect.

How much coverage should I have?

Every homeowner should have a complete understanding of the costs associated with rebuilding their home in case of a total loss and replacing personal items if your stuff is stolen or damaged. That's why estimating rebuilding costs and documenting (video or photographs) your home's personal property and structures are an essential part of selecting the appropriate coverage limits. Once you have an assessment of your items and how much it will cost to replace everything, you can determine how much insurance to purchase.

Will I need any special coverage?

Your homeowners insurance includes a list of standard exclusions (flooding and earthquakes) that are typically not covered in the policy. If your home is in an area prone to natural disasters, you will need special flood insurance coverage. The U.S. government offers optional flood insurance to all homeowners and your mortgage company may also require it. Additionally, you may also need special coverage for items such as jewelry or fine art. The more you know about what's covered by your homeowners policy, the better prepared you will be.

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GEICO (Government Employees Insurance Company) is a member of the Berkshire Hathaway family of companies and is the second-largest private passenger auto insurance company in the United States. GEICO, which was founded in 1936, provides millions of auto insurance quotes to U.S. drivers annually. The company is pleased to serve more than 14 million private passenger customers and insures more than 23 million vehicles (auto & cycle).

Using GEICO's online service center, policyholders can purchase policies, make policy changes, report claims and print insurance ID cards. Policyholders can also connect to GEICO through the GEICO App, reach a representative over the phone or visit a GEICO local agent.

GEICO also provides insurance quotes on motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), boats, travel trailers and motorhomes (RVs). Coverage for life, homes and apartments is written by non-affiliated insurance companies and is secured through the GEICO Insurance Agency. Commercial auto insurance and personal umbrella protection are also available.

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