Most fires are devastating. Besides the emotional impact, the physical damage to your home can be significant. If you lost your home to fire, do you have adequate insurance to replace your home and its contents? Remember, inflation rates on building materials and construction costs rarely track with real estate values. As a result, rebuilding a home can often cost significantly more than expected.
Make sure your homeowners policy contains “guaranteed replacement cost” coverage. This protects you if the cost to reconstruct your home is higher than your current limit of coverage. And, be sure that your insurance includes rebuilding your home to code. Very often, local ordinances and building codes change over time, which may require additional costs.
When your home suffers damage due to an unexpected event, your personal property is also at risk. Furniture, appliances, clothing, electronics and other personal items can also be damaged or destroyed.
Your Homeowners Insurance policy typically covers personal property including the contents of your home and other personal items owned by you or family members who live with you. Make sure your Homeowners policy includes replacement cost coverage for personal property so that you always receive the full cost to replace whatever item is damaged.
When there is substantial damage to your home due to unexpected events such as lightning, fire or a storm, you may not be able to live in your home until it can be repaired or rebuilt – potentially incurring additional living expenses for lodging, food, and other daily needs.
Ensure that your Homeowners Insurance policy provides Additional Living Expense/Loss of Use coverage to compensate you for the additional costs you incur for reasonable housing and living expenses if a covered event makes your house temporarily uninhabitable while it's being repaired or rebuilt.
If your diamond ring disappears or valuable artwork is stolen, your standard Homeowners Insurance policy may not compensate you for the loss. Homeowners Insurance policies include coverage for your belongings and personal property, but some special items like jewelry, furs, silverware, antiques, collectibles and other valuables have limited or no coverage and need to be insured separately.
Valuable Articles Insurance covers personal property that may have unique value, cannot be replaced like regular personal property or is subject to special types of losses such as breakage or mysterious disappearance. Valuable Articles Insurance coverage can be added to your Homeowners Insurance policy or may be written as a separate policy.
If a guest is injured while on your property, even when it’s due to a friendly game of baseball, you may be required to pay any medical expenses associated with their injury.
Your Homeowners Insurance policy should include medical payments coverage to take care of injuries and treatment - generally not of a serious nature. In the event a person is injured on your property and requires medical attention, you would be able to submit the injury-related medical expenses to your insurance carrier. Medical expenses are usually paid without a liability claim being filed against you.
In the unfortunate event that someone slips and falls while on your property, you and your family may be held liable for any injuries that result.
Your Homeowners policy includes personal liability coverage to respond to incidents where injuries or damages occur to a third party where you may be deemed negligent. However, you should consider purchasing a Personal Excess/Umbrella Insurance policy to provide additional coverage limits to protect your assets in case a lawsuit is brought against you.
The fun that comes with having a trampoline in your backyard can also be accompanied by serious risks, which may not be covered under your standard Homeowners Insurance policy since coverage varies from state to state and between insurance companies.
You should make sure your Homeowners Insurance policy covers your trampoline, as many insurance providers refuse to take on trampoline liability and exclude the item from coverage.
Young people are usually very active online. However, using social media and other sites can increase the possibility of them directly or indirectly damaging someone's reputation and exposing you, the parent, to a lawsuit.
Your Homeowners Insurance policy includes liability coverage for property damage caused by any member in the family, but it may not cover rumors or statements that damage a reputation. You need to add an endorsement to your policy to expand coverage to include liability protection that covers “personal injury.”
You invite guests over for a barbecue pool party and one of your guests dives into the shallow end of the pool and is permanently injured. They hire a lawyer to represent them and after a long legal battle, you and your family are left financially responsible for their injuries. Do you have enough money in savings to cover your legal responsibilities as well as the legal defense costs?
An Excess/Umbrella Liability Insurance policy increases your personal liability limits by adding protection over and above your current auto, boat or homeowners policies - providing real financial value, as well as priceless peace of mind. Excess/Umbrella Liability Insurance is available either by an endorsement to your homeowner policy or available as separate coverage.
You do not have to live near a body of water to suffer loss due to flooding. With the changing weather patterns and more damaging storms occurring around the globe, flood losses are becoming more common in places that are not normally prone to flood damage. Your Homeowners Insurance policy does not cover damage from flood. Could your home be at risk?
Purchase a Flood Insurance policy to protect your home and covered contents from certain types of flood losses as designated by the National Flood Insurance Program. A flood policy is purchased as a separate policy through the federal program (NFIP) or through a servicing carrier known as a “write your own carrier”.
Owning a secondary home has the potential of increasing your liability exposures.
Be certain that you extend the liability coverage under your homeowners policy to include your secondary home. You should also consider including the secondary home under an umbrella policy to provide for additional liability limits.
Your ATV, snowmobile, or collector car can have significant value and require special documentation and insurance coverage.
Schedule your vehicles on a separate policy. By doing so, you are protecting yourself from liability and the vehicle for either the appraised value or market value. Collector car policies restrict the on-road use of the vehicle to a specified number of miles but provide significant premium credits.
Underground service and utility lines on your property are your responsibility, not the utility company—and breaks in a line or accidents during digging can happen. If you need to repair or replace damaged lines or pipes, the cost can be substantial and is not covered by standard home insurance.
Underground Service Line Coverage provides for the cost of excavation and repair of damage to lines like cable, internet and electrical wiring, and damaged natural gas, propane and sewer pipes.
Most Homeowners policies exclude coverage for water back-up damages as a result of a clogged drain, sewer or sump pump.
Water Back-Up coverage can be added to most insurance policies. Consider adding it so that you have the coverage you need in the event of damages caused by a clogged drain, sewer, sump pump and related risks.
Surprisingly, standard Auto Insurance does not cover personal property or contents stolen from your car.
Most Homeowners policies offer an option to include Off Premises Theft coverage as an "endorsement", which covers you for theft of your personal property away from your residence.