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Homeowners insurance: Protection for your belongings

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If a microwave, television and the like are destroyed by tap water damage, for example, it becomes really expensive. In such cases, homeowners insurance can help you out financially. Read here what is important when taking out insurance.

What is the purpose of homeowners insurance?

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With homeowners insurance, you protect your possessions, for example, against the financial consequences of burglary and theft or force majeure. A typical case for homeowners insurance is, for example, a burst pipe in an apartment building. The leaking tap water in the rented apartment above you has caused water damage to your TV set and TV furniture. The TV is gone and the furniture is soaked all around. The household insurance compensates you for this and pays you for the TV and the new furniture.

What items are insured?

Homeowners contents are all items in a household that are intended for furnishing, use or even consumption. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Furniture
  • Carpets and curtains
  • Pictures
  • Household appliances and electronics
  • Books
  • Clothing
  • Valuables such as jewelry and cash
  • Canoes, rowing boats, folding boats and inflatable boats, including their motors
  • Pets
  • luxury food (e.g. wine bottles)

Household effects also include items for private use that you have borrowed from friends, for example. If these things are destroyed or stolen, it is expensive and time-consuming to have to replace them. The effort alone already causes enough trouble. Then it is helpful if at least the cost of the damage is covered by the homeowners insurance.

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These damages are covered by the homeowners insurance

The insurance coverage of a homeowners insurance includes the following events:

  • Fire
  • Lightning strike
  • Overvoltage due to lightning
  • Explosion
  • Implosion
  • Impact or crash of an aircraft, its parts or cargo
  • (attempted) burglary
  • (attempted) robbery
  • Vandalism following a burglary
  • Tap water damage
  • Storm and hail Fire

In addition, however, there are benefits that are not covered by the standard homeowners insurance. Here it is worth taking a look at the insurance conditions. Under certain circumstances, they can be added as an option for a higher monthly premium:

  • Damage due to gross negligence (forgetting to close the tilted window)
  • Glass breakage damage to furniture, building glazing and glass ceramic cooktops (there are also separate glass insurances for this)
  • Damage caused by natural hazards (e.g. flood, landslide, avalanches)
  • Damage caused by earthquakes
  • Singeing damage (damage not caused by open fire but, for example, by a smouldering cigarette)
  • Theft of garden furniture, garden tools due to burglary
  • Burglary from a motor vehicle

Bicycle theft and the homeowners insurance

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A sensitive and frequently discussed topic in homeowners insurance is bicycle theft. Newer insurance products already have bicycle theft automatically included in the list of claims, while others require separate insurance at an additional premium.

If your homeowners insurance policy includes bicycle theft, you should still take a look at the fine print. Often, bicycle theft is only insured from locked rooms. So if your bike is stolen in front of the supermarket or at the bike racks at the train station, you would be stuck with the damage in this case. Some insurers also have time-of-day clauses in their policy terms. According to these clauses, bicycles are only insured against theft within certain hours.

Another restriction on bicycle theft in homeowners insurance is the compensation limit for bicycles. Then, for example, it says "bicycles are insured up to a value of $1,000". If, in the worst case, your $3,000 carbon racing bike is stolen, you will only be paid $1,000 in compensation. It is advisable to take out separate insurance for such cases.

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