Residential Property Insurance

What is residential property insurance?

People buy residential property insurance to insure a house or the place they live, and their personal things. There are different types of insurance. The kind you buy depends on what you want to protect and whether you rent or own.

The most common types are:

  • Homeowners Insurance
  • Dwelling Insurance
  • Condominium Insurance
  • Tenant/Renters Insurance
Homeowners Insurance

This usually covers:

  • Your house.
  • Other structures and buildings not connected to your house, like a garage or fence.
  • Most of your personal things, like clothes, TVs, and furniture. These items are also called “contents” or “personal property.”
  • Temporary living expenses. This pays for some or all of your costs to live somewhere else while your home is being fixed. These are also called “additional living expenses” (ALE).
  • Medical bills for someone hurt at your house. This does not cover you or any family members living in the house.
  • Liability claims for accidents caused by you, your property, family, or pets. This coverage may pay for someone else’s injuries and the damage to their property.
Dwelling Insurance

This usually covers:

  • Your house.
  • Other structures and buildings not connected to your house, like a garage or fence.

*⃣It does NOT cover personal things, like clothes, TVs, and furniture.

*⃣It does NOT pay for temporary living expenses. Dwelling insurance does not pay for your costs to live somewhere else while your home is being fixed. These are also called “additional living expenses” (ALE).

*⃣It does NOT pay for medical bills for someone hurt at your house.

*⃣It does NOT pay liability claims for accidents caused by you, your property, family, or pets. Dwelling insurance does not pay for someone else’s injuries and the damage to their property.

Condominium Insurance

This usually covers:

  • The inside of the condo, like appliances, countertops, flooring, and fixtures. It does NOT cover the outside of the condo or the building the condo is in.
  • Personal things, like clothes, TVs, and furniture.
  • Temporary living expenses. This pays for some or all of your costs to live somewhere else while your home is being fixed. These are also called “additional living expenses” (ALE).
  • Medical bills for someone hurt at your condo. This does not cover you or any family members living in the condo.
  • Liability claims for accidents caused by you, your property, family, or pets. This coverage may pay for someone else’s injuries and the damage to their property.
Tenant/Renters Insurance

This usually covers:

  • Personal things inside an apartment or other rented building or structure. It does NOT cover the inside or outside of the building or structure itself. It is usually up to the owner to pay to fix this damage.
  • Temporary living expenses. This pays for some or all of your costs to live somewhere else while your home is being fixed. These are also called “additional living expenses” (ALE).
  • Medical bills for someone hurt at your home. This does not cover you or any family members living in the home.
  • Liability claims for accidents caused by you, your property, family, or pets. This coverage may pay for someone else’s injuries and the damage to their property.

Other Important Things to Know

Flood damage is not covered!

Flood damage is not covered under most residential property policies. Most flood policies are offered by the federal government through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)Learn more about flood insurance on our flood page.

Wind and hail may not be covered!

Make sure your policy covers wind and hail. And if you live on the Texas coast, you may have to get coverage through the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA). Learn more on our TWIA info page.

How much money you get depends on the policy you get.

Policies pay different amounts to fix or replace property, home, or personal things. Usually, you have to pay part of the cost yourself. That amount is called the deductible. After that, how much money you get from the insurance company depends on whether you have “replacement cost” (RCV) or “actual cash value” (ACV). Learn more on our ACV vs RCV page.

You may need more insurance!

You may need to add extra coverage to your insurance policy. You will likely have to pay more for this extra insurance. How much you have to pay for more protection depends on the insurance company and the kind of insurance you choose. Some examples are:

  • Backup of sewers or drains – This helps you pay for damage caused by sewer or drain backup into your house. It does NOT include sewer or drain backup from flash floods.
  • Foundation or slab damage – This helps you pay for damage by water or steam from a plumbing, heating, or A/C system.
  • Specific personal items – This helps you pay for high cost items like jewelry, fine arts, and guns.
  • Extra liability– This helps you pay for accidents involving your pet, pool, trampoline, or drone.
  • Cyber insurance – This helps you pay for identity theft, to restore your data and get your computer working, or even for counseling and relocation due to cyberbullying.

More Terms to Know

Claim – a request made to an insurance company to pay for damage or injury.

Coverage – the damage or injuries an insurance company agrees to pay for under the policy.

Deductible – the amount you must pay in a loss before the company pays its part.

First-party claim – a claim filed by you against your own insurance policy.

Liability – when you are responsible for other people’s injuries or damage to their property.

Policy – a contract between you and the insurance company. The policy tells you what’s covered and what the insurance company is required to pay.

Premium – the amount you pay an insurance company for your policy.

Third-party claim – a claim you file against another person’s insurance policy or a claim someone files against your policy.

More Terms to Know

Claim – a request made to an insurance company to pay for damage or injury.

Coverage – the damage or injuries an insurance company agrees to pay for under the policy.

Deductible – the amount you must pay in a loss before the company pays its part.

First-party claim – a claim filed by you against your own insurance policy.

Liability – when you are responsible for other people’s injuries or damage to their property.

Policy – a contract between you and the insurance company. The policy tells you what’s covered and what the insurance company is required to pay.

Premium – the amount you pay an insurance company for your policy.

Third-party claim – a claim you file against another person’s insurance policy or a claim someone files against your policy.