Homeowners insurance is a contract between an insurance company and a homeowner to cover certain types of damage to the property and its contents, theft of personal possessions, and liability in case of lawsuits based on incidents or events that occur on the property.
To obtain the insurance, which is based on the value of the home and what is covered in the policy, you pay a premium set by the insurance company.
For each claim there's generally a deductible -- a dollar amount -- that you must pay before the insurer is responsible for its share. If you have a mortgage loan, your lender will require you to have enough homeowners insurance to cover the amount you owe on the loan.
Homeowners insurance policies vary substantially from contract to contract and from insurer to insurer as well as from region to region. Almost all policies have exclusions, which are causes of loss that are not covered. All the coverage and exclusions of a particular policy are spelled out in the terms and conditions.