Home Insurance: What's Covered and What's Not

Many homeowners are baffled by trying to figure out the maze that is home insurance. Take Stephanie and Eric Jones, who for 15 years paid too much because they weren't clear on which coverage they needed and which they didn't.

Their local insurance company wasn't very responsive to the Jones' inquiries about how they could lower their rates. When the couple decided to change agencies, inspectors were sent to their property, and they uncovered roof issues. One agency was adamant that a new, $10,000 roof was needed, while another said that a simple $400 repair would be enough. It was then that they learned how different home insurance agencies could be.

"The Jones' would have definitely benefited from doing some research into the types of policies available to consumers," says Eric Sharfstein, claims director with National Underwriters Insurance. "It's easy to just say yes to everything, thinking that's the best course of action and, sadly, that leads to wasted money." Having too little coverage isn't ideal either, he says, because you may end up paying out of pocket for damage to your home.

To help, here's a comprehensive list of what homeowner's insurance covers and what it doesn't: