The deductible is what you’re expected to pay before your insurance company contributes to your expenses.

Generally, homeowner’s insurance covers any damage to your home caused by fire, wind, hail, lightning, theft, or vandalism. You’re also covered if someone gets hurt on your property – for example, if your dog bites your next-door neighbor or a delivery man takes a tumble down your front steps. Earthquake and flood coverage usually requires a separate policy. When purchasing a policy, be sure to find out what it does and does not cover, how much the deductible will be and whether you need separate coverage for natural disasters.

Homeowner’s insurance usually doesn’t cover business activity, which would include renting out part of your home to a paying guest. If your insurer decides you were using the home for business purposes, any claims for damages could be denied.

You don’t need to be a homeowner to benefit from insurance. Renter’s insurance covers the cost of replacing your personal belongings in the event of a fire or break-in. It also includes liability coverage if someone is hurt while they’re in your home, or if you, your family, or even your pet damage someone else’s property.

To streamline the inventory process by using your smartphone to record a room-by-room walkthrough. You can also use apps like Encircle, which let you log and change items easily, or Know Your Stuff, which lets you catalog any details about your belongings and include photos.

Your renter’s insurance may cover liability claims made against you if your tenant or one of their guests is injured. It wouldn’t, however, extend to their personal property or offer them liability protection. For that, they’d need their own renter’s policy.

If you’re considering subletting, give your insurance company a heads up about your plans. Some policies specify that the policy holder must be living at the property to be covered.

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