Q. What about the house itself? Is the structure insured on a replacement cost basis or will I have to pay for a portion of the cost of replacing my seven-year old roof myself?
A. The typical homeowner’s policy pays for repairs to the dwelling on a replacement cost basis so that regardless of the age of your roof, the insurance company would pay the entire bill, minus your deductible.
Q. If your home is old, has not been modernized, and is only worth a fraction of the cost of replacing it, would the insurance company pay to rebuild it?
A. People who own such homes usually have a special older home insurance policy. This policy will pay for basic repairs. If the dwelling is not rebuilt, the insurance company will pay the lesser of two amounts: the cost of repairs or the market value of the house, minus the land.
Q. Does my insurance pay for the loss of any trees, shrubs or other plants I lost from the fire?
A. The typical homeowner’s policy covers trees, shrubs, plants or lawns on the residence for loss caused by fire. Usually insurers will pay up to 5 percent of the limit of liability that applies to the dwelling for all trees, shrubs, plants or lawns. No more than $500 will be paid for any one tree, shrub or plant. Insurance, however, does not cover property grown for business purposes.
Q. Does my insurance company pay for the portion of my home that I rent?
A. A homeowner’s insurance policy covers the fair rental value of premises less any expenses that do not continue while it is not fit to live in.