Image Gallery: Real Estate
Image Gallery: Real Estate

Natural disasters are what many of us imagine of when we think of homeowners insurance, but it protects you in many other ways too. See more real estate pictures.

While rebuilding New Orleans and the Gulf Coast after the horrible devastation of hurricanes Katrina and Rita has relied in part on numerous volunteers, aid agencies and donations from the public, insurance agencies have also played an important role. The numbers involved in this disaster, the worst natural disaster the insurance industry has ever dealt with, are astounding: 1.7 million insurance claims were filed for $40.6 billion in damages. Approximately 682,000 insured vehicles were damaged or destroyed. Despite the terrible destruction and the long rebuilding process ahead, insurance companies have largely succeeded in their job. Reports indicate that only 2 percent of claims remain in some form of dispute [ref]. Though many people found themselves the victims of a poor FEMA response or lacked adequate insurance coverage, millions of others have been able to return to their lives because of the safety net provided by homeowners insurance.

Of course, homeowners insurance isn't just for victims of major disasters. From water damage to vandalism to someone accidentally injuring himself at your home, homeowners insurance has many applications. In this article, you'll find out why you need homeowners insurance, how it works and how to save money on the best policy for you.