People know that they need home insurance. For those with a mortgage, they were probably told that they had to buy it to get the loan. They know it’s important to have coverage on their largest investment.

But that doesn’t mean they read the fine print. They assume that the home is covered in case something happens, like a house fire, but they assume they’ll never need it. They forget about it in time. This can lead to a lot of disputes down the line because they may not be on the same page as the insurance company and may not understand what they’re really paying for.

Every policy is unique. Most are going to cover things like smoke and fire damage. They probably cover you in the event that your home gets robbed, covering both the lost items and any damage. Weather damage may be covered as well, such as a roof that gets damaged by high winds.

That said, the policies can be very complex. For instance, your policy may say that water damage is covered. You assume that means all water. But it doesn’t. Floods, for example, are generally not covered unless you buy extra flood insurance. The water damage the policy is talking about refers to broken pipes and other interior issues, not flooding.

These are the types of issues that can cause disputes to arise. The homeowner believes that something is covered; the insurance company believes it is not. With thousands of dollars on the line, who is right? To get to the bottom of it, all involved need to understand their legal options.