Can I Claim Homeowner's Insurance on My Taxes?

by Jordan Meyers, Demand Media
    In some instances, your insurance premiums can reduce your tax liability.

    In some instances, your insurance premiums can reduce your tax liability.

    Owning your own home can be costly -- it's no wonder you're looking for ways to save money. Some of the costs of home ownership are tax-deductible, and you can write off certain types of insurance premiums as well. In certain circumstances, you may be able to write off a portion of your homeowner's insurance premiums when you're trying to trim your tax bill.

    Definition

    Homeowner's insurance protects you in the event your home and belongings are damaged, stolen or destroyed. For example, a homeowner's policy covers damage or destruction of your property caused by fire. Likewise, homeowner's insurance covers you in the event someone gets hurt in your home or by a member of your household. If a neighbor slips and falls down your steps, for instance, your homeowner's insurance covers your liability for this accident. If Rover bites someone, your policy may cover your liability for that as well.

    Tax Deductions

    While some types of insurance are tax-deductible, homeowner's insurance usually is not. The premiums for this type of insurance are considered ordinary cost-of-living expenses. So you may be out of luck with this one -- except in a couple of situations. If you or your spouse or partner has a business office at home, you may be able to deduct a portion of your homeowner's insurance on your tax return. Likewise, you may be able to deduct homeowner's insurance if you rent the home out rather than live in it.

    Tax Relief

    Though homeowner's insurance is usually not tax-deductible, you can get tax breaks for claims it won't pay or doesn't fully cover. For example, if you suffer damage to property in your home and your claim for coverage is denied, you can deduct it as a casualty loss on your tax return. The same goes for damage to that cool stereo you bought for your living room. If your insurance claim is refused, you can deduct it using IRS Form 1040, Schedule A.
    Some rules apply here, however. First, the initial $100 of a loss is not tax-deductible. Second, you can only deduct losses that total more than 10 percent of your adjusted gross income. If your insurance policy covers part of your loss, you can deduct the rest subject to the rules concerning the first $100 and 10 percent of your adjusted gross income.

    Homeowner's Insurance Deductibles

    Homeowner's insurance deductibles can be tax-deductible. If you have a $1,000 deductible and you suffer a $5,000 loss, for example, you'll have to pay the first $1,000 of this out of your own pocket. The first $100 of your loss won't be tax-deductible, but the other $900 will be if it amounts to more than 10 percent of your adjusted gross income.

    About the Author

    Jordan Meyers has been a freelance writer, specializing in health, education, business and parenting topics for more than a decade and a copy editor since 2008. Meyers has written Web and print copy for hundreds of businesses, including many Fortune 500 companies. She holds a Bachelor of Science in biology from the University of Maryland and is studying for a bachelor's degree in psychology.

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