Homeowners Insurance Policy FAQ
Your home is far more than an investment to you and your family, so it makes sense to be sure that your home and property are adequately insured. Here are some Frequently Asked Questions regarding Homeowners Policies. Contact us for any other questions you may have or continue on to our Homeowners Quote Form.
What does a homeowners policy generally cover? Your homeowners policy is meant to protect you, your home and your belongings. A homeowners policy covers most losses that may occur to your dwelling and personal property. Commonly, losses resulting from theft, fire, wind, hail or freezing are covered as well as damages caused by explosions, falling objects, certain types of water damage and electrical current and heating system accidents.
Damage to your personal property is covered anywhere in the world. In addition, a homeowners policy offers you personal liability protection (for non-business pursuits) in case someone is hurt on your property, or in case you cause injury to someone away from your home and are sued. Because each consumer’s needs differ, your homeowners policy may be different than your neighbor’s. Call us to review your coverages.
Contents replacement cost is a critical part of your homeowners coverage. Why? If your television is stolen, your standard homeowners policy would cover the purchase price less depreciation applied to the stolen set. Under a policy with replacement cost coverage you are covered for the cost to replace the set. You do not have to worry about depreciation or inflation. Most of your personal property may be covered. However, antiques and rare items are subject to the actual cash value provisions of the policy.
Building replacement cost coverage works the same way. With this coverage, your home will be fully repaired or rebuilt without depreciation up to the coverage limit. (Increased costs to re- build as a result of ordinances or laws must be insured separately.) Policies also cover loss of use of your residence premises. If you are unable to occupy your home because of a covered loss, this coverage pays for any reasonable increase in your living expenses necessary to maintain your normal standard of living-including a place to stay, food and transportation. Contact us for more information on these coverages. Note that most homeowners coverages are subject to a policy deductible and that your homeowners policy limits and sub limits will apply.
What isn’t covered? Homeowners policies generally limit the amount of coverage on guns, fine jewelry, furs, silver and other possessions that are highly susceptible to loss and not owned by most policyholders. These possessions can be covered fully by adding an endorsement to your homeowners policy. Flood and earthquake damage generally is not covered under your homeowners policy, but separate coverage may be purchased. Contact us to find out what is covered and what insurance you may need.
How should I prepare to file a claim if my home is burglarized or damaged by a storm? We are always available to any of our clients who need our assistance. You should contact us right away if your home is damaged or burglarized, and, as your professional insurance agent, we will help you file your claim. And be sure to inventory your belongings – a household inventory could be invaluable if some or all of your household belongings are lost through damage or theft. With the inventory, you can quickly recall and report to us what you have lost.
What should the inventory include? The inventory should include a record of your household furnishings and belongings, when you purchased them and their original cost. With an investment of just a few hours, you can survey your belongings and be prepared in the event of a loss. A good way to take inventory is to first list all of your major belongings and furnishings, room by room.
Record a brief description, any serial numbers, purchase prices and dates and current value. Attach receipts and appraisals. Second, back up your inventory with photos. Videotaping your home and possessions while speaking into the camera’s microphone describing what you are taping is a good idea. Be sure to date the videotape. Store the inventory with the receipts, photos and videotape in a secure area off-premises, such as a safe-deposit box.
What if I rent a house or apartment or own a condominium unit? Some of the same protections available under a homeowners policy also are available to renters and condo owners. Your condo is your home and you need to protect your possessions against theft, fire, wind damage, etc. Most condo associations insure the condo structure and grounds, but it may be up to you to insure the property in your unit- fixtures, appliances, flooring-depending on the requirements of your association bylaws. In addition, a condominium policy’s personal liability coverage can pay an assessment levied against you for a portion of the loss when a person is hurt on the premises if the condo association does not have adequate insurance coverage.
Like a homeowners policy, a condominium policy also can protect you or a house- hold member for liability as a result of accidents. Have your association bylaws available, and we’ll help you determine your insurance needs. Renters insurance offers many of the same coverages – personal liability, contents replacement cost coverage and additional living expenses. We realize each person’s needs are different, and that’s why we, as independent insurance agents, offer you a choice of the best coverages from a number of insurance companies.
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