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Home Insurance: Debunking Common Myths

Ohio Homes

Welcome to a world where understanding property insurance is not just necessary, but also empowering. In the complex landscape of homeownership, one aspect that often gets overlooked or misunderstood is property insurance. It's easy to get lost in the jargon and misconceptions surrounding this topic, leading many to make uninformed decisions that could cost them dearly. The importance of comprehending property insurance cannot be overstated. It serves as your financial shield against potential losses caused by damage to your home or personal belongings. Yet, there are numerous myths circulating about what it does and doesn't cover, causing confusion and potentially leaving policyholders vulnerable. This blog aims to dispel these common myths and provide clarity on the intricacies of property insurance. We will delve into various aspects of coverage, premiums, claims, and more. Our focus will be specifically on Ohio home insurance, providing context and insights relevant to homeowners in the Buckeye State. Whether you're a first-time homeowner trying to navigate through your initial policy or an experienced owner looking to better understand your coverage, this guide will serve as a valuable resource. So let's embark on this journey together, demystifying property insurance and ensuring you have the knowledge needed to protect your most significant investment - your home.

Myth: Home Insurance Covers All Types of Property Damage

The common misconception that property insurance covers all types of damages is far from the truth. While it's true that a standard policy provides coverage for many scenarios, there are specific instances and types of damage that may not be covered. Typically, property insurance policies cover damages caused by fire, theft, or certain natural disasters like windstorms and hail. However, they often exclude events such as floods and earthquakes. These require separate, specialized policies. Damage due to neglect or poor maintenance is also usually excluded from coverage. For instance, if your roof has been leaking for years and eventually causes interior damage, your insurer might deny your claim on the grounds of negligence. Moreover, high-value items like jewelry, art, or collectibles may have limited coverage under a standard policy. To fully protect these items, you would need additional coverage known as a rider or floater. In conclusion, while property insurance offers essential protection, it doesn't cover every possible scenario. It's crucial to understand what your policy includes and excludes to avoid unpleasant surprises when filing a claim.

Myth: Renters don't need property insurance

It's a common misconception that renters do not require property insurance. Many believe that their landlord's policy covers them, but this is far from the truth. A landlord's insurance only protects the physical building and not the tenant's personal belongings within it. This is where renter’s insurance comes into play. Renter's insurance provides coverage for your personal possessions against potential losses like theft, fire, or other unforeseen circumstances. Imagine losing all of your furniture, electronics, clothing, and other valuable items in an unfortunate event. The cost to replace these can be overwhelming, which is why having renter's insurance is crucial. Moreover, most policies also offer liability protection. If someone gets injured within your rented space and decides to sue, your renter's insurance could cover legal costs and any awarded damages. While renting may free you from some responsibilities of homeownership, protecting your personal belongings should remain a priority. Therefore, debunking the myth, renters indeed need property insurance.

Myth: I can rent out my home with homeowners insurance

With the rise of VRBO and Airbnb I see many people looking to offset rising costs with occasionally renting their home especially if there is an event that brings large crowds. Personal insurance policies like a Ohio Homeowners Insurance Policy or a Personal Auto Policy across the board generally exclude any type of commercial use which is defined as taking money or compensation. So renting out your home, running a business, or even letting someone else live in your home is not acceptable under a home insurance policy. Homeowners insurance has curated broad coverage specifically for property owners that live in their home. There are many other types of policies available for habitational risks or short term lease home insurance policies to cover Airbnb type of exposure.

Myth: Property insurance is too expensive

The common misconception that property insurance is prohibitively expensive often deters homeowners from securing their assets. This one has been especially popular recently with rising home insurance prices. However, this belief doesn't hold water when you delve into the reasons for the price increases in Ohio. There are a few different strategies we can take as an agency to reduce your rising costs. Its important to recognize that increasing costs of home policies are directly related to the increased expense of claims and the frequency of claims. You have a much bigger exposure to home claims than you did 5 years ago that is why it costs more. The key lies in understanding what influences premium rates. Factors such as location, age and specifically age of your roof, coverage limits, deductible amounts, and even your credit score can significantly impact the final quote. Older homes constructed with antique methods and more expensive materials will lead to higher premiums. On the other hand, increasing your deductible or moving to a functional replacement cost method can help lower your premiums. Property insurance isn't inherently expensive when considering your overall risk and likely one of your largest assets. With careful consideration of these factors and thorough comparison shopping, you can find an affordable policy that provides adequate protection for your home.

Myth: Home warranties are sufficient instead of insurance

There's a common misconception that home warranties can replace the need for homeowners' insurance. However, this is far from the truth. While both offer protection for your home, they cover different aspects and neither should be considered as an alternative to the other.

A home warranty is essentially a service contract that covers the repair or replacement of major home systems and appliances that break down over time. It provides coverage for things like your HVAC system, electrical wiring, plumbing, refrigerator, and more. On the other hand, homeowners' insurance typically covers damage to your property caused by unexpected events such as fire, theft, or natural disasters.

The unique benefit of having insurance coverage is its comprehensive protection against significant financial loss due to unforeseen incidents. A home warranty won't protect you if your house burns down or if a thief breaks in and steals valuable possessions. Therefore, while a home warranty can provide peace of mind for day-to-day wear and tear, it cannot substitute the extensive coverage offered by homeowners' insurance.

Myth: Filing an insurance claim will only increase premiums

The common belief that filing an insurance claim will just lead to increased premiums is not entirely accurate. While it's true that in some cases, your premium may rise after a claim, this isn't always the case. The impact on your premium depends largely on the nature of the claim and your individual policy. For instance, if have a fire loss where you are at fault, there's a high likelihood that your policy will be non-renewed. This is because you've demonstrated a higher risk to the insurer. However, if the claim was due to uncontrollable circumstances like weather conditions your rates may not change significantly. It’s also worth noting that the frequency of claims can influence your rate; frequent small claims may raise red flags for insurers. While filing a claim can sometimes result in a premium hike, the larger concern is being dropped at your next renewal. Always consult with your insurance provider to understand the current nature of the insurance market in Ohio and the insurance company you are selecting.

Myth: My contents aren't valuable

It's a common misconception that our personal belongings are not worth insuring. This myth often stems from the belief that we don't own anything of significant value. However, when you start to add up the cost of your electronics, furniture, clothing, and other household items, it quickly becomes apparent that their cumulative value is substantial. In insurance we are often talking about replacement cost not actual cash value when it comes to contents coverage. This is a significant difference because even if your "stuff" isn't very valuable currently the cost to buy all new would be very significant. Imagine losing everything in a fire or theft - without insurance, replacing all your possessions could be financially devastating. Even smaller losses, like a broken laptop or stolen bicycle, can be costly inconveniences. Moreover, many people overlook the sentimental value attached to certain items. While insurance may not replace the emotional attachment, it does provide a safety net for the monetary value. So, let's debunk this myth once and for all. Your contents ARE valuable. They represent your hard work, lifestyle, and even memories. Insuring them provides peace of mind knowing that you're protected against unexpected loss.

Myth: Property Insurance Limits Are Way Too High

The common myth that property insurance limits are excessively high is a misconception that needs to be debunked. In reality, these limits serve as a safety net for homeowners and renters alike, protecting their financial interests in the event of unforeseen circumstances such as natural disasters or theft.

Coverage limits are not arbitrarily set; they're calculated based on the value of your property and its contents. Moreover, it's important to remember that the cost of rebuilding or replacing can often exceed original purchase prices due to inflation and other market factors. Rebuilding is always more expensive than a new build. Debris removal alone can take a significant amount of time and cost 10% of the entire build. Therefore, having a high limit on your property insurance ensures you won't be left out-of-pocket should the worst happen.

While property insurance limits may seem high at first glance, they are necessary and tailored to provide adequate protection for your valuable assets.

Myth: Home insurance will cover my car parked in garage

There is a common misconception that home insurance policies extend to vehicles parked within the property. This misunderstanding can lead to significant financial losses if not clarified. The truth is, your home insurance does not typically cover your car, even when it's safely tucked away in your garage.

Home insurance and auto insurance are two distinct types of coverage designed for different purposes. While home insurance primarily covers your dwelling and personal belongings inside from perils like fire, theft, or natural disasters, auto insurance is specifically tailored to protect against damages related to your vehicle, whether due to accidents, vandalism, or theft.

Therefore, regardless of where you park your car, having separate auto insurance is crucial. It provides the necessary protection for your vehicle that home insurance simply doesn't offer. So, while it might seem convenient to believe that your car parked at home is covered under your home insurance, this myth could end up costing you dearly. Always ensure you have appropriate coverage for both your home and automobile to avoid any unpleasant surprises.

Myth: Home insurance only covers what is at my home

It's a common misconception that home insurance solely protects the items within your four walls. In reality, the coverage extends beyond this physical boundary and can include personal belongings outside of your home as well. This feature, often referred to as "off-premises coverage," can provide protection for your possessions even when they are not physically located in your house. For instance, if you're on vacation and your camera gets stolen, or if your laptop is damaged while at a coffee shop, these scenarios may be covered under your home insurance policy. Similarly, if your child's bicycle is stolen from school, it could also fall under the umbrella of your home insurance. However, it's important to note that there might be limits to off-premises coverage and it may not apply to all types of property. Also deductibles still apply which typically throw out smaller claims and we have already talked about the issues making lots of home insurance claims. Many times there are better policies available for items consistently away from the home like jewelry, sports equipment, fishing equipment, RV contents, or motorcycle safety gear. Always check with your insurance provider to understand the specifics of your policy.

Myth: Home insurance covers surface water damages

One common misconception that many homeowners hold is the belief that their standard home insurance policy covers surface water damages. Unfortunately, this is not typically the case. Most standard home insurance policies do not cover damage caused by flooding or excessive surface water runoff. This includes situations where heavy rainfall overwhelms your property's drainage system and seeps into your home, causing significant damage.

This misunderstanding can lead to costly surprises when disaster strikes. It's crucial for homeowners to thoroughly understand what their insurance policy does and doesn't cover. If you live in an area prone to heavy rains or floods, it may be wise to consider purchasing additional flood insurance. This type of coverage is specifically designed to protect your home from the devastating effects of surface water damage.

In conclusion, don't fall victim to the myth that home insurance automatically covers all types of water damage. Always review your policy carefully and consider investing in extra protection if necessary.

Myth: If I sign a contract to have damage fixed, my insurance company has to pay

This is a common misconception that many people hold. The belief that simply signing a repair contract automatically obligates your insurance company to foot the bill is incorrect and can lead to unexpected out-of-pocket expenses. In reality, the process of claiming from an insurance company involves several steps.

Firstly, you need to report the incident to your insurance provider as soon as possible. They will then assess the claim based on the terms and conditions outlined in your policy. This may involve sending an adjuster to evaluate the extent of the damage and determine whether it falls within the scope of your coverage.

Only after this assessment and approval by the insurance company can repairs begin. Even then, payment isn't guaranteed until the work is completed satisfactorily and all necessary documentation has been submitted and processed. We advise that you avoid signing contracts with restoration companies. The most important duty of an insured is to prevent further damage by getting someone in there quickly to make sure that roof leak doesn't turn into a water damage claim.

Myth: No one will insure me if I am canceled or non renewed

It's a common misconception that once you've been canceled or non-renewed by an insurance company, you're marked for life and no other insurer will touch you. While being canceled does present some significant challenges especially if the reason for cancelation has not been corrected its no impossible. Insurance companies have different underwriting criteria and risk tolerance levels. There are also insurers who specialize in high-risk policies, offering coverage to individuals who might otherwise struggle to secure insurance due to their history. Moreover, there are state-run programs known as "insurers of last resort" designed specifically to provide coverage to those unable to obtain insurance through traditional means. These options may come with higher premiums but they ensure everyone has some coverage available. So, don’t despair if you’ve been canceled or non-renewed. It’s not the end of the road; rather, it’s a bump along the way. With patience and persistence, you can find an insurance provider willing to cover you. The most important thing to remember is be proactive and find insurance before you have a lapse in coverage because that will make it even more difficult.

Myth: The insurance company must replace my roof if I have damage

It's a common misconception that any form of roof damage automatically qualifies for a full replacement by your insurance company. However, this is not always the case. Insurance companies assess each claim on an individual basis, taking into account several factors before making a decision. Firstly, they consider the extent of the damage. Minor issues like a few missing shingles or small leaks may not warrant a complete roof replacement. Instead, these can often be resolved with repairs, which are less costly and disruptive. Secondly, the age and condition of your roof prior to the damage occurring play significant roles in the determination process. If your roof was already nearing its end of life or was poorly maintained, the insurance company might only cover a portion of the replacement cost, citing depreciation and neglect. Lastly, your policy details matter. Some policies offer full replacement value while others provide actual cash value which accounts for depreciation. It's crucial to understand your coverage to avoid surprises when filing a claim.

Myth: I do not lose coverage if my home is vacant

One common misconception among homeowners revolves around the idea of continuous insurance coverage for a vacant property. Many believe that their standard homeowner's policy will continue to provide full protection even when the house is unoccupied for an extended period. However, this is far from the truth.

In reality, most insurance policies contain clauses that limit or entirely void coverage if your home becomes vacant for a certain length of time, typically 30-60 days. This is because vacant homes are at higher risk for vandalism, theft, and damage due to lack of regular maintenance.

Therefore, it's crucial to inform your insurer about any changes in occupancy status. If you anticipate your home being vacant for a prolonged period, consider purchasing vacant home insurance or adding a vacancy permit to your existing policy. By doing so, you can ensure that your investment remains protected, debunking the myth of automatic coverage for vacant homes.


Understanding property insurance is not just a necessity but an essential part of homeownership. It's crucial to debunk the myths surrounding it and make informed decisions based on facts rather than misconceptions. Property insurance isn't about spending money unnecessarily; it's about investing in your peace of mind. Many people believe that property insurance is too expensive or unnecessary until they face a situation where they need it. This misconception can lead to significant financial loss and stress. Therefore, it's important to understand what property insurance covers, how it works, and why it's beneficial for every homeowner. Remember, knowledge is power. The more you know about property insurance, the better equipped you are to choose the right policy that suits your needs and budget. Don't let myths and misinformation guide your decision-making process. Instead, seek advice from professionals who can provide accurate information and help you navigate through the complexities of property insurance. As we wrap up this discussion, we encourage you to take action. If you're in Ohio, consider getting an Ohio home insurance quote or consulting with an agent. This step could be the beginning of a journey towards securing your property and achieving peace of mind. Remember, when it comes to protecting your most valuable asset, there's no room for compromise.

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