Home, Investment Property/Rentals, Renters, Seasonal Dwelling, Apartment, Condo Association
What happens if your house is in a fire or a tornado?
Would your family suffer financially if you didn’t come home tonight? Wouldn’t you be disappointed if you had to find out the hard way about a gap in your insurance protection or a lack of proper planning?
Because everyone’s needs are not the same, it is best to consult Jake, to help assess your needs and find the insurance policy that is right for you.
What is Homeowners insurance?
Homeowners insurance provides financial protection against disasters. A standard policy insures the home itself and the things you keep in it.
Homeowners insurance is a package policy. This means that it covers both damage to your property and your liability or legal responsibility for any injuries and property damage you or members of your family cause to other people. This includes damage caused by household pets.
Damage caused by most disasters is covered but there are exceptions. The most significant are damage caused by floods, earthquakes and poor maintenance. You must buy two separate policies for flood and earthquake coverage. Maintenance-related problems are the homeowners’ responsibility.
Why do you need homeowners insurance?
It is really all about protecting yourself financially if something unexpected happens to your home or possessions. That’s important because chances are your home is likely one of your largest investments.
· If your home was destroyed by fire or damaged by a natural disaster, you’d need money to repair or replace it.
· If a guest in your home is injured, liability protection and medical coverage help pay expenses.
· If you are a victim of theft and vandalism, it can reimburse you for your loss or pay for repairs.
· If you are still paying for your home, your lender will require insurance.
It is important to know that homeowners insurance is meant to cover unexpected damage, not routine maintenance. Ask your agent to talk about what is covered and be sure to read your policy so you know exactly what’s included and what is not.
Things to consider and questions to ask your agent
Here are few things to discuss with your agent that will influence your decisions.
· How much will it cost to rebuild my house and replace my belongings if they are damaged or destroyed? (Ask your agent to talk you through your home’s features and the things you own so you can make an informed decision about coverage.)
· Does the insurance company have a good reputation for customer service? Is it known for paying claims fairly and promptly?
· What discounts are available? (Ask about multiple policy, security system and fire resistance discounts.)
· What’s the process for filing and settling a claim? (Ask who to call and what happens after you file a claim.)
12 things your homeowners insurance may not cover
1. Mold: According to Bankrate, a standard homeowners insurance policy generally limits mold damage coverage or totally excludes it. ‘Some insurers offer an endorsement to expand coverage limits for mold claims but only if you are willing to pay more for your insurance.’ The Insurance Information Institute says the best way to deal with mold is to prevent it from growing in the first place — if you have any flooding or a leak, get rid of the moisture as quickly as possible.
2. Sewer backup: If a sewer backs up into a home, it can do some serious damage to floors, walls, furniture and electrical systems — and it’s typically not covered by a standard policy. If you’re worried this could be an issue, experts recommend you consider extra insurance that may be available as part of your current policy to cover sewer backups.
3. Sinkholes: According to Bankrate, “most home insurance policies will not cover damage associated with ‘earth movement,’ such as an earthquake or sinkhole.” The only exception is in Florida, where this type of coverage is required.
4. Floods: Too often, homeowners think their regular insurance policy will cover them in the event of a flood. They are stunned when they find out it doesn’t. Here’s why you need to have separate flood insurance.
5. Construction work damage: If you are renovating your home, a standard homeowners insurance policy likely won’t cover any damage done to your house. Ask your provider about a separate policy to cover any potential damage. If you hire a contractor, make sure he/she is licensed for any liability.
6. Jewelry/fine art: Most standard policies have limits for how much they will cover if something happens to things like jewelry or other expensive collectibles. The best way to protect these items is to get a separate insurance rider that specifies exactly what these items are.
7. Termite infestation: The National Pest Management Association estimates termites cause $5 billion in damage in the U.S. each year — and it’s not covered by standard homeowners insurance policies. Having a licensed pest control company inspect your home is the best way to avoid this problem.
8. Earthquakes: Earthquake damage is not included in standard policies.
9. Stolen/destroyed cash: It’s difficult to convince your insurance company that you had thousands of dollars stashed away in your home when it was destroyed. So keep it in a safe place.
10. Trampoline accidents: They’re considered too much of a risk, so you will likely need a separate policy to cover it.
11. Dog attacks: Some companies exclude breeds that are known to be aggressive. And if your dog has bitten someone before, even if he/she isn’t an “aggressive breed,” the dog may not be included in your policy. Check with your insurance provider to find out.
12. Pool accidents: According to the Insurance Information Institute, since a high amount of fatal drownings occur in residential pools, they increase your liability risk. Pools are ‘considered an ‘attractive nuisance’ and it may be advisable to purchase additional liability insurance.’ So while your current policy may include coverage for a pool, you need to check the details and make sure you are covered for the right amount.