Select property type below for more information.
Standard home insurance coverage policies provide the following types of coverage, up to the limits outlined in the policies:
Dwelling - Pays for damage or destruction to your house and any unattached structures and buildings, such as fences, detached garages, and storage sheds.
Other Structures - Applies to other structures on the residence premises that are not attached to the dwelling and are separated by clear space. Examples of other structures include storage sheds, detached garages, fences, and swimming pools. The standard limit for Other Structures is 10% of the dwelling limit.
Personal Property - Covers the contents of your house, including furniture, clothing and appliances, if they are stolen, damaged, or destroyed. The standard limit for personal property and to maintain replacement cost coverage, is 60% of the dwelling limit but can be increased for an additional premium. It is a good idea to do an inventory in your home by keeping receipts, taking pictures or video taping since this can be used as proof to replace damaged or stolen items.
Liability - Protects you against financial loss if you are sued and found legally responsible for someone else's injury or property damage.
Medical Payments - Covers medical bills for people hurt on your property. Medical Payments coverage also pays for some injuries that may happen away from your home, such as if your dog bites someone.
Loss of Use - Pays for additional living expenses such as temporary housing, food, and other essential expenses, if your home is too damaged to live in during repairs. Most standard home insurance coverage pays 10 to 20 percent of the amount of your dwelling coverage.
You also can purchase the following optional home insurance coverages:
Guaranteed Replacement Cost - Provides the most complete coverage for your home. Your home insurance company requires you to meet specific underwriting rules and conditions to qualify for this coverage.
Scheduled Personal Property Endorsement - Also called a personal article floater. With this coverage, possessions, including jewelry, furs, stamps, coins, guns, computers, antiques, etc., are covered. Each article is itemized and detailed in the floater, and excluded perils also are outlined. Personal article floaters often do not have deductibles or they may be lower than your standard deductibles.
Increased Limits on Money and Securities - Increases coverage amounts for money, bank notes, securities, deeds and more.
Secondary Residence Premises Endorsement - Covers a secondary residence, such as a summer home. Insurance for secondary homes is not automatically provided by the home insurance policy you have for your primary or principal residence, so it's important to consider this endorsement if you own more than one home.
Watercraft Endorsement - Expands personal liability and medical payments coverage for small sailboats and outboard motor boats only.
Credit Card Forgery and Depositors Forgery Coverage Endorsement - Coverage applies if your credit cards are lost, stolen or used without permission, or if someone forges a check, draft, promissory note, etc. Certain restrictions apply and are noted in your home insurance policy.
What Most Homeowner Policies Do and Do Not Cover
Most Policies Cover Losses Caused by:
- Fire and lightning
- Aircraft & vehicles Earthquakes
- Vandalism and malicious mischief
- Riot and civil commotion
- Windstorm, hurricane, and hail
- Sudden and accidental water damage
Most Policies Do Not Cover Losses Caused by:
- Insects, rats or mice (vermin)
- Freezing pipes while your house is unoccupied (unless you turned off the water or heated the building)
- Wind or hail damage to trees and shrubs
- Losses if your house is vacant for 60 days or more
- Wear and tear or maintenance
- Water damage resulting from continuous and repeated seepage
Even though you don't own your own home you have personal property that can be lost to fires, burglaries and even lawsuits. While most homeowners are insured for these risks, many renters are not. No one requires renters to buy insurance to protect their personal property, so many do not.
The first time most people think about property insurance is with their first home since it is required by the mortgage company. Although renter's insurance is usually not required, it is just as necessary to have. Not only will it protect your personal items, but it will also help with temporary housing and liability protection, such as medical expenses for people on your property or a lawyer if you are sued by someone unintentionally injured by you.
If the ceiling in your apartment is damaged by a storm, the ceiling is covered by your landlord. But what about your brand new stereo and TV that was damaged? Also, while the ceiling is being fixed, do you have enough money to immediately find another place to stay? These are the types of things that would be covered by your renters insurance policy.
Renters insurance can help you pay for repairing or replacing personal property that is damaged, destroyed or stolen. It may also cover most lawsuits or claims against you if you are responsible for injuring others or damaging their property.
Floods can happen anytime or any where. Even in the same place twice. Floods are the leading natural cause of property damage. Four times more homes are destroyed by flood than by fire, causing over $2 billion in property damage every year.
You don't have to live by water to be at risk. Approximately 30% of all flood claims occur in low to moderate risk areas. Homeowner insurance does not cover flood damage, but Federal Flood Insurance does. Flood insurance also covers mudflow, dirt and debris resulting from moving water.
Homeowners with mortgaged property in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) are now required by federal law to obtain flood insurance. Lenders must comply by requiring flood insurance on the outstanding mortgage balance for the life of the loan.
Fortunately, Flood Insurance is affordable, though, flood damage is not. The average loss of property and contents from the 1993 Midwest flood was more than $25,000. Compare this to the average annual flood premium of about $300 per year.
Your coverage is based on your home's value, minus your land value. Flood Insurance up to $250,000 is available for residential buildings and also the option of up to $100,000 for contents. Since flood policies are backed by the US government, all valid claims are 100% guaranteed.
There is a 30 day waiting period for flood insurance, so the best way to protect your home is to act now, before the flood comes! Remember, just because you experience a flood disaster, that doesn't mean you have to experience financial ruin.
If you should have any questions regarding Flood Insurance, or we can assist you with a quote, please feel free to contact our office.
Condominiums and townhouses have special insurance needs. They don't need as much insurance as a house, but owners have more to insure than a renter. The insurance needs for a condo owner include personal property and liability overage. Special policies for condominium owners, known as form HO-6, will provide the liability and personal property protection a condominium owner needs.
As a condominium owner, one needs to insure not only their personal possessions in the condo, but also any built in units such as cabinets, fixtures, appliances and shelves. In addition to covering the personal property, a condo owner also needs liability coverage. The liability portion of the policy would cover injures or damage to people or property that the condo owner would be liable for.
Below is a checklist of the top four questions to consider when choosing a condominium insurance policy:
1. What are your ownership and insurance responsibilities in the condo association's Master Deed (the insurance requirements the association expects from you)?
Almost all associations have a master policy insurance that covers you for the actual structure and common elements such as a swimming pool or tennis court owned by all unit owners. The association documents and the master policy spell out very specifically where common areas end and where your unit starts. In some cases, for example, your unit may start inside the wallboard. In others, the wallboard may be considered part of your unit.
2. Does the policy you are considering include broad water damage coverage for problems such as sewer and drain back-ups?
3. Does your condo association provide comprehensive or blanket coverage to protect you against other condo owners who may not have adequate coverage?
4. Do you have expensive personal items such as jewelry or furs that you may need additional personal property coverage for?
Motor Home and RV Insurance
A common practice for RV owners is to insure their RV under their current auto policy. But too often the owner does not take the time to read what and how much is covered under their auto policy. In many instances, RV's covered under auto policies are not adequately covered.
One misconception RV owners have is that the personal property in their RV will be covered under their homeowners policy. This is true, but, coverage on personal property is limited when the property is kept somewhere other than the "residence premises." Often the limit in a standard policy is very low and the usual policy deduction would apply.
To insure proper and adequate coverage, a RV owner should add a separate RV coverage to their current auto policy or secure a policy specifically for RV's
If the RV owner's insurance carrier does not have this type of coverage available, there are insurance companies that specialize in RV coverage. Usually the cost is minimal, especially compared to the alternative of finding out the RV and it's possessions are not covered after a loss occurs.
Tips When You Hit The Road
Before your trip, make sure you get a complete travel check-up for your RV including inspection of all belts and hoses, headlights, tires, and turn signals. Also don't forget to make sure the towing hitch, fire extinguisher and smoke alarms are in working order.
Other good before trip tips are to make sure your cooking vent hood is clean to help avoid fires and to make sure you leave your trip plans and phone numbers with a relative or friend.
Finally, it is important to go over with everyone on the trip basic emergency procedures.
Remind everyone that it is safer to be in the RV during lightning. If there is a tornado warning you will want to find a tornado shelter or the next best thing which would be parking under a bridge or similar structure. Also, don't ever drive through any deep water as the depth can be deceiving.