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Home Owner's Insurance

Your home is most likely the largest purchase you have ever made.  It is not simply an investment because of the strong emotional attachment we have to "home". Insuring your home properly is vitally important because of the money spent and the emotional attachment. Contrary to popular belief, your home owner insurance in not difficult to understand. We can break the coverage down into five major parts, Dwelling, Other Structures, Personal Property, Loss of Use, and Liability.

 

Dwelling

Your house is covered for a specific amount called the dwelling amount.  This is the limit that would be paid by the insurance company in the event of a total loss. Insurance companies base the dwelling amount of your home by analyzing your home's features and calculating what it would cost to replace or reconstruct the house. This number is generally higher than the market value because it takes into consideration the amount of money it would take to deconstruct and dispose of debris from the damaged structure. With EPA regulations this cost can be relatively high. Make sure your agent does a thorough inspection and interview in order to calculate an accurate reconstruction cost.

 

Other Structures

This is a simple coverage that protects your outbuildings that are not attached to your house.  These may include a detached garage or a shed. The amount of the coverage is usually limited to a percentage of the dwelling amount but additional coverage can be purchased.

 

Personal Property

Personal Property is simply all the stuff you own that you would take with you if you were going to move. The limit on coverage for personal property is also a percentage of the dwelling amount and is included in the homeowner package. Most companies offer replacement cost on your personal property as a standard coverage.  Replacement cost allows you to replace an item lost in a covered claim without applying depreciation.

 

Loss of Use

Loss of use coverage gives you a helping hand with additional expenses that arise from losing the use of your home because of a covered claim. For example, if you had a kitchen fire and were unable to live in your home while repairs were being made, this coverage would help you with rent or hotel bills.

 

Liability

Liability coverage on a homeowner's policy is a coverage that follows you wherever you go.  It is considered your personal liability insurance.  If you were out on the golf course and accidently struck another golfer with a golf ball your liability insurance would pay for their injuries. This important coverage may be the one thing that keeps you from being sued.

Excess Liability can be purchased in the form of an umbrella policy. It's called an umbrella policy because it is an extra layer over top of your home and auto insurance that covers both.  Umbrella policies usually come in million dollar increments and require that you carry half a million dollars on your home and auto liability as a base. This is an important coverage to consider because you never know what may happen and how much someone's injuries may cost as the result of something you did.

 

Water Backup Coverage

Water Backup coverage occurs when water or other nasty stuff backs up and comes into your home through a floor drain or sump pump.  The coverage is limited; therefore it is a good idea to discuss purchasing additional coverage from your agent.

Water Backup coverage is not flood Insurance.  Flood insurance is only available through the National Flood Insurance Program and is not available under our homeowners policies.

 

Wind / Hail

As a result of the number of weather related claims recently experienced across the country many insurance companies are moving toward a separate deductible for wind and hail claims. These types of claims usually affect the roof shingles and siding of a home. Wind / Hail deductibles can be significantly higher than the underlying deductible and may include calculating depreciation into the damaged materials.  Consult your agent for more information.

 

Identity Theft

I.D. Theft is a growing area of theft that leaves it's victims with a great deal of work in order to restore their good credit.  I.D. Theft insurance covers expenses to clear your name with credit agencies when someone falsely incurred charges in your name.


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