Homeowners and Renters Insurance

Which Homeowners Policy is Right For Me?

Now that you own a home, you should consider the best way to insure it. One strategy you may consider is to match your needs to the right company. Some companies like new, high-valued homes while some companies do well with older or historic preservation homes. Others are comfortable with country homes or old farm homes. It pays to shop around, both for the best coverage and for a company that likes your type of home.

There are two common levels of coverage that you may consider:

Named causes of loss coverage

Risks of physical loss

Many companies offer risks of physical loss coverage for your buildings and named causes of loss coverage for your personal belongings. Risks of physical loss coverage cost more, but here are some claims that would not be covered under named causes of loss policies:

If, for various reasons, you don't need a lot of bells and whistles on your coverage, ask around for a stripped down policy, sometimes called an HO-8 form. It MAY be appropriate for very low value, older homes. Coverage features include:

  • Protection against a list of specified causes of loss (if the damage isn't created by one of the listed items, such as fire or wind, it isn't covered)
  • Designed for older homes. Older homes generally were built with more expensive and/or exotic materials. You could not build early 20th century homes today for any price.
  • Contains no coinsurance penalty. You and the company agree on a maximum coverage limit that applies if the building is totally destroyed.

You may want to discuss other types of homeowners coverage if you own a different type of residence such as a modular home, mobilehome, apartment, townhome, condominium or you have personal living space in a commercial building.

Basic Homeowners coverages common to all homeowners form that insure both the home and personal property usually takes care of:

  • Coverage for your building (ask about coinsurance and replacement cost issues).
  • Coverage for your outbuildings - garages, sheds, barns, cabanas
  • Coverage for personal property is usually 50-75% of your building limit Limitations - many policies have special limits on certain types of property, such as theft loss to Jewelry and gems ($1,000), Furs ($1,000), Gold, silverware, pewterware ($2,500), Guns ($2,000), Building supplies - no coverage for theft. Further, very little coverage may be available of other types of property, regardless of the cause of loss, such as, money, stamps, fine arts, antiques, electronics, boating equipment, etc.
  • Additional living expense - pays the extra cost of temporary housing, food and other increased costs of living when you are forced from your home by a covered cause of loss.
  • Liability coverages - should you accidentally injure other people or damage their property
  • Defense costs - includes hiring and paying for a lawyer (if necessary) and paying most court costs.
  • Medical payments coverage is for minor injuries to people other than residents of the household. You don't have to be sued or be negligent.


– This covers all causes of loss except those that are excluded. The company must prove that one of the excluded causes of loss damaged your building. - The policy only covers for certain kinds of causes of loss to your property. You must prove to the company that one of the covered causes damaged your property.

Renter's Insurance Needs

Persons who live in apartments or rent a residence are fortunate. Most insurance companies can protect their assets and belongings by using a policy that is designed especially for tenants. Typical policies cover your possessions for common causes of loss, additional living expenses related to making other living arrangements, medical expenses for treating people injured on your premises and, of course, lawsuits.

Property Coverage

Protection under a standard renters policy is on an actual cash value basis (item’s replacement cost less depreciation).

Example: Stewart’s kitchen catches fire and his five year old refrigerator is destroyed. A new model of the refrigerator costs $750. His insurance company pays him $162, explaining that it’s the effect of five years of deteriorating value. Most companies offer coverage on a replacement cost basis if you purchase a separate endorsement.

Theft Limitations

Certain types of property are quite vulnerable to being stolen, therefore very limited coverage is available for items such as jewelry, furs, gems, gold, silverware, pewterware, money, securities, guns and accessories. Protection can be increased by adding additional coverage to the tenant policy or by purchasing a personal article floater policy.

Additional Living Expenses

A typical tenant policy provides a limit equal to 20% of your contents insurance limit. If your contents limit is $15,000, then your additional living expenses limit will be $3,000.

Liability Coverage

Liability insurance covers you for injury you cause to others and for damage to property that belongs to others. The policy also provides for the cost of a lawyer (if necessary) and most court costs. Examples of liability claims include: slips and falls; beaning a neighbor’s child with a baseball; hitting a golfer with your errant hook shot; or a friend breaking her hip when she trips on a skateboard your child left on the stairs.


If you are left with more questions than answers, maybe it is time to sit down with a professional and learn just what is available to you.  Please do not hesitate to call or email with any questions, or if we can be of further service.


We also consult on the following types of liability insurance:

  • Animal liability insurance
  • Environmental liability insurance
  • Legal liability insurance







Experience the advantages of insuring with NuStar.

As an independent agent we shop your insurance to multiple carriers that will actually compete for

your business.

They compete.....YOU WIN!

We are located in the Consumers Energy Building across from Father Fred.
821 Hastings Street, #4
Traverse City, MI 49686




Local: (231) 932-1900

Text: (231) 357-0763

Toll Free: (866) 654-8555

Fax: (231) 929-7339

Email: helpdesk@mynustar.com

Quotes: quotes@mynustar.com



Or use our contact form.

Report a Claim

Contact us anytime, even outside of our regular business hours:


Local: (231) 932-1900

Toll Free: (866) 654-8555


Or email: helpdesk@mynustar.com


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