Home Owner's Insurance

Home Owner's and Property Insurance

Dwelling Coverage – It is critical that the main structure has sufficient coverage to rebuild in the event of a total loss.  Market value (price for which you could sell the home) has little bearing on the real cost of debris removal, reestablishing utilities, and rebuilding the structure to completion.  All carriers use an algorithm (from agent input) to determine “rebuilding cost”, and most have a built-in “additional dwelling coverage” (coverage cushion) of 20-25% just in case of miscalculation.  It should be noted that the rebuilding cost from carrier to carrier can vary widely.

Personal Property / Contents – Most people would be amazed at the dollar amount required to replace all their personal belongs in a home.  Big screen TV’s, closets filled with clothes, computers, and the valuables tucked away add up to a substantial dollar figure.  Carriers typically use a fixed percentage (50%- 75%) of the dwelling coverage, so if the home is insured for $300,000, the Contents would be covered for $150,000 – $225,000 depending on the policy.  And should more be needed because of the unusual value of some items, additional coverage may be secured.   Special items like valuable jewelry or paintings are covered in the “Scheduled Personal Property” section.

This segment of your Homeowners policy also covers any property that you might take outside the house, for instance a computer or other valuable items stolen from your vehicle.  Of course, your deductible would always apply.   

Other Structures – Coverage for any structures not attached to the house – fences, playground equipment, sheds, etc.

Liability – Should someone be severely injured on your property, or a member of the household (like a child experimenting with matches near your neighbor’s house!) causes damage to a neighbor home, or your trampoline blows through a neighbor’s window in a nasty storm, this coverage offers protection.

Loss of Use – Provides money for temporary housing while your home is being rebuilt.  Limits are very sufficient.

Medical Payments – Provides compensation to non-household members for minor injuries sustained on the property.

Scheduled Personal Property – Provision to insure high-value items like jewelry, art, firearms, collectibles, etc. that exceed the general limits of coverage in the policy.  For instance, jewelry might have a $1000 limit per piece, and $2500 total coverage for all item stolen or lost.  Usually deductibles at the time of loss are lower for these items as well.

Identity theft – Reimburses expenses up to a limit for the nightmare of stolen identity – attorney fees, resolving credit issues, travel expenses if necessary, and the many other frustrating and time consuming hassles of this growing problem.

Mortgagee Paid Premium – All carriers accommodate, and in fact encourage, premiums paid by the mortgage company, bank, or credit union.  And switching carriers is usually quite hassle-free in the transition.

In-Home Small Business – Most policies provide coverage for a small business run out of the home.  Professional liability for the business, personal property associated with the business including loss of documents / records, and loss of income due to a business interruption like a fire are examples of the coverage offered.


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