Home Insurance

How Much Homeowners Insurance Do You Need?

home owners insurance


Three out of every five Americans fail to purchase enough homeowners insurance1, and often because they don’t know how much they should really have. Figuring that out can be difficult, so we have broken it down into the following categories: extended dwelling coverage; personal property; liability; and additional living expenses.

Dwelling Coverage

This is the “rebuild your home” part of your homeowners insurance policy. Give us a call for help determining local construction costs for the square footage on your home (deck, garage, and any other structure connected to your home should be included in this estimate). It’s important to run this estimate again every couple of years, particularly if there have been changes which could affect your replacement costs, such as:

  • New building codes
  • Remodeling
  • Additional rooms/structures
  • Inflation
  • Old/unique features

Personal Property Coverage

Take inventory of everything you own – this will include everything from furniture to appliances, electronics, clothing, and even food. Imagine that a natural disaster hits and wipes out your home. The cost to replace everything in it is the amount of personal property coverage you need. If you own particularly high-value items, ask your Zander Insurance agent if you need a separate policy for those items.


If someone gets hurt on your property, you need liability insurance to avoid paying for medical bills and lawsuits that may come your way. Dave Ramsey recommends between $300-500,000 in liability coverage. Keep in mind that many of these injuries are a result of interactions with family pets. Even if you know Fido would never hurt a fly, you should try to get coverage that applies to those incidents as well. Certain breeds of dogs (including Pit Bulls, Doberman Pinschers, Rottweilers, German Shepherds, Siberian Huskies, and a few others) are considered “high-risk” by some carriers. If you think your pet may fall into this category, mention it to your agent so we can help find a carrier that covers any possible mishaps.

Additional Living Expenses

With damage to the home often comes additional expenses (staying in hotels and eating out while your home is being rebuild, for instance). Most carriers will calculate your need as 20-30% of your dwelling coverage. If you anticipate this amount you would need being higher, ask your agent how to increase this coverage.


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