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The Ultimate Guide to Personal Insurance: Everything You Need to Know to Stay Protected

Updated: Apr 20, 2023

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Disclaimer: Informational statements regarding insurance coverage are for general description purposes only. These statements do not amend, modify or supplement any insurance policy. This website does not make any representations that coverage does or does not exist for any particular claim or loss, or type of claim or loss, under any policy. Whether coverage exists or does not exist for any particular claim or loss under any policy depends on the facts and circumstances involved in the claim or loss and all applicable policy wording.

Homeowner's insurance. Auto insurance. Life insurance. There's even pet insurance and wedding insurance!

You name it - and there's probably an insurance company that offers some sort of protection for it.

The long list of insurance options out there can be dizzying. In fact, it can be downright exhausting to research all of the insurance policies that you can and should have. We'll break down everything you need to know about these policies so that you can shop wisely - and stay covered no matter what life throws your way.

What is Personal Insurance?

With hundreds of specialty insurance products out there (yes, you can actually buy alien abduction coverage), it can be tough to figure out what kinds of policies you actually need.

While businesses require certain types of commercial coverage to operate, you, as an individual, need certain kinds of insurance just to go about your day-to-day affairs.

Personal insurance is a blanket term that refers to any kind of policy that provides coverage against financial loss, generally, that which is related to owning a home, car, or some other type of property.

Some people include other kinds of coverage like health, long-term care, and life insurance in this category of services, but for the sake of simplicity, most insurers lump only property-related coverages in this group.

Basically, this kind of policy makes it possible for you to do basic things like own or rent a home, drive a car, or even operate a boat without having to worry about financial ruin should something go awry.

What Are the Types of Personal Insurance?

Personal lines of insurance generally protect people from financial losses that might occur in the event of an unforeseen event or accident.

Homeowner's Insurance

Homeowner's insurance, also known as a homeowners policy, is one of the most common types of insurance policies you can buy.

A standard home policy is meant to cover the costs associated with any repairs or even a full rebuild of your house. This might be in the event of a fire, theft, smoke damage, vandalism, or damages related to weather (like a falling tree, lightning, or hail).

Some may also cover items within your home, such as clothing, furniture, and other possessions. Most policies include a standard minimum of $100,000 of liability insurance as well, which covers you should someone suffer from an injury while on your property. Most mortgage lenders require this type of policy.

There are several types of homeowner's policies that fall within this blanket term, too.

Primary homeowner's insurance policies are as simple as they sound - they are for your main home, or where you live on most days of the year. You can also purchase a secondary homeowner's insurance policy, sometimes referred to as seasonal or vacation home insurance.

Many people neglect to protect their vacation homes, but it's important. You need coverage regardless of whether you reside at a home for 12 months of the year or just a few weeks.

You can invest in basic coverage that is similar to what you'd get with a primary homeowner's policy as well as more advanced rental policies that are similar to landlord insurance, allowing you to protect your assets should you decide to rent out your second property as a source of income.

There are other kinds of services and additional protection options you can add on to your home policy, such as flood and earthquake coverage. If you live in a state prone to certain events, they might be a good idea - for example, residents of the state of California might want to add on additional protection in case they need to claim earthquake damages.

We can help you with the following types of homeowner’s insurance:

  • Primary

  • Secondary

  • Seasonal

Renter's Insurance

Renter's insurance, sometimes referred to as a tenant’s policy, is almost identical to homeowners coverage in the claims that it covers and the benefits it confers.

While it's not always a required part of a rental agreement, it’s still a smart idea to get a quote.

A basic renter’s policy may cover any property that is lost or damaged at your residence. While the exact items that are covered are subject to the specific insurer, it can be a real lifesaver in the event of an emergency.

Landlord Insurance

Landlord insurance is a policy to protect you as a property owner from financial losses connected with your rental properties.

The coverage is on the building itself, with an option to cover contents. It could also cover loss of rent income in the event of fire, lightning, explosion, theft, or malicious damage. In the event of a loss, landlord insurance may also enable you to repair or replace, or get actual cash value for your building on its age. In addition to the property coverage, the liability portion of your landlord insurance could provide protection against occurrences such as those related to trip and fall hazards.

Mobile Home Insurance

Mobile home insurance is a type of home insurance that isn't quite the same as home insurance - but it's very similar.

The reason why it is listed as a separate type of policy is that mobile homes, unlike stick-built homes, are constructed in factories and then moved to another location. They are not fixed to permanent foundations and therefore, pose different risks and may invite a different type of claim than a regular home.

It's important to consult with an insurance company to find out what exactly is covered. Some individuals may be distraught to hear (often too late) that their mobile home insurance does not cover damages incurred while the mobile home is in transit - only when it is parked.

Mobile home insurance provides coverage for your mobile home, garage or shed, and your personal belongings. It may also provide financial protection in case you unintentionally injure someone or damage their property.

Having the right insurance helps you protect one of your most valuable assets – your home. Similar to conventional home insurance, mobile home insurance protects you in four basic ways:

  • Enables you to repair/replace your mobile home if damaged from a covered claim.

  • Allows you to replace your personal belongings if effected by a covered claim.

  • May cover injuries that happen to other people or their property while in your home.

  • May cover your additional living expenses if you’re forced to leave your home because of a claim.

Condominium Insurance

Condominium insurance is similar to the other kinds of insurance policies we’ve already covered. The main difference between this type of insurance and others is that it typically only covers the interior structure of the building from the "walls-in" and not the entire property, as a homeowner's policy might.

Condominiums and townhouses have special insurance needs. They don’t need as much insurance as a house, but as a condo owner, you have more to insure than a renter.

The insurance needs for a condo owner include personal property and liability coverage. Special policies for condominium owners, known as form HO-6, will provide you with the liability and personal property protection a condominium owner needs. Condominium owners need to insure not only personal possessions, but also any built-in features such as cabinets, fixtures, appliances and shelves. In addition to covering the personal property, you also need liability coverage for injuries or damage to other people of property.

Personal Auto Insurance

The insurance service that most people tend to be familiar with is auto insurance.

The rates you pay for auto insurance will vary depending on your age, zip code, type of car, and the overall amount of coverage you need and want. Proof of auto insurance is required to legally drive a car in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Without it, you can be subjected to some pretty serious fines.

Auto insurance typically provides property, medical, and liability coverage - again, with rates varying for all of these components. When you buy an auto insurance policy, you are buying a package of coverages. Each coverage protects you against different types of losses. Once you understand the various types of coverage, you can decide which ones to include in your auto policy.

The following are some common coverages found in an auto policy (Note – Your policy may not contain all of these coverages):

  • Bodily Injury (BI) Liability Coverage

  • Property Damage (PD) Liability Coverage

  • Personal Insurance Protection Coverage

  • Uninsured/Underinsured Motorists (UM/UIM) Coverage.

  • Collision Coverage

  • Comprehensive Physical Damage Coverage

  • Rental Reimbursement

  • Towing and Labor

Boat Insurance

Boat insurance is another policy you might consider. It's not offered by all insurance companies, but if you have any kind of large boat, it's something worth considering. Requirements and conditions vary, but most states, banks, and private marinas require liability insurance at the very least.

Boat insurance works similarly to the insurance for your car, and can provide protection in the same way. However, because boats have different features than your car, you’ll want to make sure you have all the coverage you may need – and any savings that may lower your premium.

  • Liability

  • Physical Damage

  • Theft

  • Medical Payments

  • Motor Coverage

  • Trailer Coverage

  • Boat Covers

  • Docking Fenders

  • Communications Devices

Motorcycle Insurance

If you drive a motorcycle, you probably already know how important motorcycle insurance is. This kind of policy is separate from your auto policy (though many companies allow you to bundle the two together to help you save money). Often, if you complete and pass a motorcycle safety course, you’ll save even more.

Motorcycle Insurance typically offers a combination of collision, liability, theft, and related coverage designed specifically to meet the needs of motorcycle owners.

If you own a motorcycle — whether you ride it or not — you need this coverage to protect you from theft, collision, and other common exposures.

ATV and Snowmobile Insurance

This type of policy is required by most states if you want to register an off-road vehicle. These are important when it comes to protecting you and others from financial liability in the event of an accident.

Most states don’t require ATV or snowmobile insurance and you may have limited coverage if you have a homeowner’s policy. If you have an ATV or snowmobile, we urge you to contact us and let us review your specific policy to determine whether you need a separate policy.

Recreational Vehicle Insurance

A common practice for RV owners is to insure their RV under their current auto policy. Too often they may not take the time to read what and how much is covered under their auto policy. In many instances, RVs covered under auto policies are not adequately covered.

One misconception RV owners have is that the personal property in their RV will automatically be covered under their homeowners policy. This is typically true, but coverage on personal property is limited when the property is kept somewhere other than the “residence premises”. Often the limit in a standard policy is very low and the usual policy deduction would apply.

To insure proper and adequate coverage, you should add a separate RV coverage to your current auto policy or secure a policy specifically for RVs. If your insurance carrier does not have this type of coverage available, there are insurance companies that specialize in RV coverage. Usually the cost is minimal, especially compared to the alternative of finding out that your RV and its contents are not covered after a loss occurs.

Umbrella & Excess Insurance

Umbrella insurance is designed to give you added liability protection above and beyond the limits on homeowners, auto, and watercraft personal insurance policies. With an umbrella policy, depending on the insurance company, you can add an additional 1-5 million in liability protection. This protection is designed to “kick-in” when the liability on other current policies has been exhausted.

A personal liability umbrella insurance policy can give you added liability protection without a large added cost. Additional liability insurance is often inexpensive, especially compared to the added coverage gained. Finally, liability insurance covers your non-business activities anywhere in the world.

Do You Need Personal Insurance?

Yes. It doesn't matter what kind of property you have - it is essential if you want to protect your financial resources and prevent any legal ramifications.

Protect What's Most Important With Northern Insuring Agency

You might not want to go through the hassle of applying for personal lines of insurance and jumping through all the hoops. After all, there is a bit of a vetting process involved, with policies needing to be underwritten and premiums needing to be paid.

However, in almost all cases, getting coverage is 100% worth the cost and effort. You can tailor your coverage to the amount that you can afford, which means that protecting what you care about the most is possible even if you're on a budget.

Live your life protected - and don't fret over the logistics.

Let Northern Insuring Agency handle the fine details. You shouldn't have to risk sleepless nights because you're worried about how you will support your family or pay for expensive home repairs if disaster strikes.

The right policy, whether it's for home, auto, or some other kind of property, can help you set your mind at ease. We’re an insurance agency with years of experience in insurance for damages to property and casualty coverage - and we want to help you find the right policy.

Northern Insuring will simplify the complicated...for insurance. Call us today!


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