Home insurance overview

Homeowner's policy is a multiple-line insurance policy, meaning that it includes both property insurance and liability coverage, with an indivisible premium, meaning that a single premium is paid for all risks. This means that it covers both damage to one's property and liability for any injuries and property damage caused by the owner or members of his/her family to other people. It may also include damage caused by household pets. The U.S. uses standardized policy forms that divide coverage into several categories. Coverage limits are typically provided as a percentage of the primary Coverage A, which is coverage for the main dwelling. The cost of homeowner's insurance often depends on what it would cost to replace the house and which additional endorsements or riders are attached to the policy.

What is home insurance?

Home insurance, also commonly called homeowner's insurance (often abbreviated in the US real estate industry as HOI), is a type of property insurance that covers a private residence. It is an insurance policy that combines various personal insurance protections, which can include losses occurring to one's home, its contents, loss of use (additional living expenses), or loss of other personal possessions of the homeowner, as well as liability insurance for accidents that may happen at the home or at the hands of the homeowner within the policy territory. Additionally, homeowner's insurance provides financial protection against disasters. A standard home insurance policy insures the home itself along with the things kept inside.

History of home insurance

The first homeowner's policy per se in the United States was introduced in September 1950, but similar policies had already existed in Great Britain and certain areas of the United States. In the late 1940s, US insurance law was reformed and during this process multiple line statutes were written, allowing homeowner's policies to become legal.

Prior to the 1950s there were separate policies for the various perils that could affect a home. A homeowner would have had to purchase separate policies covering fire losses, theft, personal property, and the like. During the 1950s policy forms were developed allowing the homeowner to purchase all the insurance they needed on one complete policy. However, these policies varied by insurance company, and were difficult to comprehend.

The need for standardization grew so great that a private company based in Jersey City, New Jersey, Insurance Services Office, also known as the ISO, was formed in 1971 to provide risk information and it issued simplified homeowner's policy forms for reselling to insurance companies. These policies have been amended over the years. (Source Wikipedia)