Homeowners Insurance in NJ: What’s Covered and What’s Not?
If you’re like most homeowners, your house is your most valuable asset. One of life’s greatest financial and emotional investments, your home is a safe haven and comfort zone. It’s where you spend most of your money and most of your time. But do you know what it takes to safeguard your home?
The complexities of homeowner’s insurance, particularly in NJ, can be difficult for many to navigate. Sure, you’re well aware that homeowner’s insurance is a must-have for your NJ home. But beyond that basic understanding, how much do you really know about what’s covered and what’s not in a standard homeowners insurance policy? Whether you’re a long-time homeowner or just getting started on your journey, we’re here to clear it all up for you.
What does homeowner’s insurance cover in NJ?
Let’s start with the most obvious question: what is covered in a standard homeowner’s insurance policy in NJ? At a minimum, you can expect the following from your homeowner’s insurance:
- Dwelling coverage The basis for all homeowner’s insurance policies in NJ, dwelling coverage protects the physical dwelling of your home, including ceilings, walls, and flooring, for damage from things like fire, extreme weather, vandalism, and theft.
- Other structures coverage As the name implies, other structures insurance covers repair or rebuild costs for structures not attached to your home, such as a detached garage, shed, or fence.
- Loss of use Also known as additional living expenses insurance, loss of use insurance covers the costs that stem from temporary relocation after a covered loss, such as temporary housing, transportation, pet boarding, additional food expenses, and more.
- Personal property Should the items inside your home (e.g., furniture, clothing, and personal items) succumb to damage or loss from a covered event, personal property coverage will reimburse you for the items’ value as defined by your policy.
- Personal liability Personal liability coverage protects you from being held liable should a guest sustain an injury while on your property. Covered costs include legal fees, medical expenses, and property damage resulting from your negligence.
What does homeowners insurance not cover?
While homeowner’s insurance covers your NJ home for multiple perils, it won’t protect you from every possible scenario. Knowing up-front what’s not covered can save you money, aggravation, and heartache in the long run.
- Earthquakes and similar events: Earth movement events like earthquakes, landslides, and sinkholes are generally not covered, but you can purchase additional coverage to cover such perils.
- Damage from lack of maintenance: If it’s something you can prevent or avoid with regular maintenance, your policy likely won’t cover it. This might include mold growth from a leaky air conditioner, pest infestation, and normal wear and tear.
- Floods: If you live in a flood zone, you’ll need to purchase a separate flood policy through the government-run National Flood Insurance Program. Keep in mind, however, flood insurance is only available to those in a designated flood zone.
- Sewer backup: If your pipes back up or your sump pump fails, the resulting damage will not be covered—that is, unless you purchase a separate rider.
- Dog bites (in some cases): Do you have a dog? You may want to check the “unacceptable breeds” list to see if your furry family member is on it. While most dog attacks are covered on a standard home insurance policy, some homeowner’s insurance policies, particularly in NJ, won’t cover attacks by certain breeds.
- Swimming pools and trampolines: This one should come as no surprise. Swimming pools and trampolines pose additional risks to your property and those who frequent it. In both cases, you’ll need additional coverage to protect you from related incidents.
- Valuable possessions: While your standard homeowner’s policy will cover the items inside your home, that coverage is usually limited when it comes to high-value items. For valuable possessions like expensive jewelry, specialized electronic equipment, or fine arts, you may benefit from a separate personal articles policy.
Speak with a homeowner’s insurance agent
At Hanson and Ryan, we know how important your home is to you and your family. We also know how confusing homeowner’s insurance in NJ can be. We will work with you to help make sense of it all and ensure your home and belongings are optimally protected from the various risks that could potentially arise.
For more information about homeowner’s insurance for your NJ home, contact us here.