Whether you rent or own a home, condo or mobile home, we can build a program for you.
Listed below are standard coverages on a homeowner’s policy.
In the event of a total loss, it’s important that you have a dwelling limit that is high enough to rebuild your home. This is not the market value or the assessed value of your home. Given the volatility of construction costs, it’s a great idea to add a guaranteed replacement cost endorsement to your policy.
Other structures coverage covers damage to structures other than your home, such as a detached garage, shed, fence, driveway or pool. If the “other structures” on your property exceed 10% of the replacement cost of your home, please talk to us about adding additional coverage.
This covers personal belongings owned by you and your family. If you have silverware, antiques, jewelry, or personal items of the sort, you should consider adding additional coverage to protect them.
Loss of Use
If you need to leave your home while it is being repaired for a covered loss, Loss of Use coverage will pay for you to rent a room at or hotel, or a house if more time is needed.
Liability covers you against lawsuits for bodily injury or property damage that you or family members cause to other people. It also pays for damage caused by your pets.
Medical Payments to Others
This coverage pays for the medical expenses to others that are accidentally injured at your home or by the activities of an insured, a resident employee, or by an animal you own or are taking care of.
Things to Consider
If you are renting, a tenant’s policy will cover your personal belongings, liability as well as loss of use.
If you own a house and are renting it to others on a permanent basis, you will need a Dwelling Fire policy. If you are only renting your home occasionally, please talk to us.
If you own a condo, you’ll want coverage for everything not covered by the condominium association master policy. It’s important to review your condo association documents. We can help!
Homeowner Insurance FAQs
Are there different types of homeowner policies?
There are basically three general types depending whether you own a single family home, a co-op or condo or if you rent your home. All three types qualify for a home/auto combination discount that can save you money if you insure both your home and auto through the same company.
For more details click here: http://www.iii.org/article/are-there-different-types-policies
Is my Home Insurance Replacement Value the same as its market value?
An emphatic NO! Your Home Replacement Value relates to what it would cost to rebuild your home if you had a total loss of the insured structure(s). This figure, of course, does not include the land value. Market value relates to your home’s worth to prospective buyers. Assessed value is determined by your local community for property tax purposes.
NOTE: If you haven’t had a Home Insurance Replacement review recently, call us. We provide a free review service.
What is the difference between “replacement value” and “actual cash value” for my personal possessions and valuables?
The answer is an important one. If you suffer losses, Replacement Cost provides you with a dollar amount needed to replace an older item with a new item of similar kind and quality. An Actual Cash Value settlement pays you for the amount needed to replace the item minus depreciation.
Click here for more details: http://www.helpinsure.com/home/documents/acvvsreplace.pdf
Does my homeowners (or renters) policy cover flooding damage?
The simple answer is NO. Flood coverage, however, is available in the form of a separate policy both from the National Flood Insurance Program – NFIP (888-379-9531) and from a few private insurers. The NFIP provides coverage for up to $250,000 for the structure of the home and $100,000 for personal possessions. If you are interested in learning more about flood insurance or if you would like a quote please give us a call.
For more details, click here: http://www.iii.org/article/does-my-homeowners-insurance-cover-flooding
Does my policy cover damage from fallen trees?
The short answer is, yes. The coverage is quite straightforward: if a tree hits a home or other insured structure, such as a detached garage, standard homeowners insurance policies provide coverage for the damage the tree does to the structure and the contents in it. This includes trees felled by wind, lightning or hail.
For more details, click here: http://www.iii.org/article/trees-and-insurance
Are my trees and shrubs covered for damages by my homeowner’s policy?
Your trees and shrubs are covered for losses by vandalism, theft and fire by standard (HO-3) homeowner’s policies. But NOT for losses from wind damage. However, if a fallen tree damages your home or blocks access to it, you may be covered for its removal- generally up to a $500 limit.
Does my homeowner policy cover other structures on my property?
Yes, BUT the standard limit of coverage is 10% of the amount of insurance on your main house. So if your house is insured for $400,000 then your outbuildings are covered up to $40,000. The definition of “other structures” includes your garage, sheds, pool, pool house and fences. If it would cost more to replace these than the 10%, you may want to increase your limit to cover their replacement cost.
Do I need a special policy for jewelry, collectible or other high value items?
There is limited coverage for items such as jewelry, silverware, furs, antiques, artworks or collectibles. The limit is typically $1500-2500 for loss and theft. If you have high value possessions you will need either a floater policy or endorsement to specifically cover them over and above the standard limits.
For more details, click here: http://www.iii.org/article/floaters-and-endorsements-special-coverage-valuables
I am planning on installing a pool. Do I need special insurance?
Above ground and in-ground swimming pools pose special risks to homeowners. Mostly they are a liability risk if someone is injured while in or near your pool. This is typically covered by an Umbrella Policy that provides additional liability coverage, typically in one million dollar increments, for a reasonable additional cost.
Why should I do a home inventory?
Having an up-to-date home inventory with photos of the contents is a huge help if you need to file a claim. The photos not only identify the items but verify their condition. Keeping a record of when items were purchased and how much you paid is also important. Keep the receipts from big ticket items like electronics and appliances.
Click here for a free inventory format: http://www.home-storage-solutions-101.com/home-inventory-forms.html
We purchased and moved into a new home, but have been unable to sell our previous house. Does my homeowner’s policy cover my vacant house?
Insurance companies will only cover a vacant home for up to 60 days. After that, important coverages are dropped. A home is defined at “vacant” if it does not contain enough furniture for someone reasonably to live there. There are two problems with a home that is vacant greater than 60 days:
- Vandalism and glass breakage are not covered at all. In fact, newer homeowner’s forms often exclude any ensuing loss started by vandalism (i.e., vandals burn the house down!).
- Most homeowners insurers won’t continue to insure a vacant home. If your policy is canceled or nonrenewed for vacancy reasons, there are only a handful of insurers willing to insure a vacant home. For the customer, either the coverage is very limited but the premium is reasonable, or the coverage is as good as the homeowners policy but the premium cost is 4-5 times greater.
Another strategy if you are actively trying to sell the property is to ask your realtor to “stage” your house with rented furniture. A house staged attractively will sell faster and usually at a higher price than a vacant property. So while the property may be unoccupied, it does not meet the definition of vacant and you can continue regular coverage.
For more information visit: https://www.irmi.com/articles/expert-commentary/managing-the-risks-of-a-vacant-home