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Do You Have Gaps in Your Homeowner’s Policy?

Every company has different homeowner’s policy language that consumers can mistakenly think that common items or features are covered, when they might not be. How can you know if your concerns are covered? Make sure you discuss with your insurance agent all the ins and outs of your policy and what coverages are included and excluded.

Here at Eagle Point Insurance, we make sure that these items are addressed in our initial meetings with our clients. We ask about jewelry, parcels of land, detached structures, trampolines, pools, if you use your home office for business, etc. We find that majority of clients’ worries are for the items that most insurance companies do not emphasize about in the initial quoting process.

For example, if you had a pool, the cost to replace or repair your in-ground/above ground pool would fall under your Coverage B (Detached Structures) Coverage of your homeowner’s policy. So we as the agent, need to make sure that this amount, that you automatically receive with your policy, would be enough to cover your pool as well as any other outbuildings or structures on your premise. If it is not enough, we have the option to increase this coverage to cover your pool, detached garage and fence, for example. It is important to access all of these extra coverage’s to make sure that if a claim does happen, you would have enough coverage to repair or replace the damage.

Below is a list of big-ticket items that we recommend you check into with your current homeowner’s policy to see if they are included and if they are at the correct coverage amount:

  • Sump pump overflow/sewer backup. If your sump pump overflows or your sewer backs up, you'll want to make sure have enough coverage. When there’s water/sewer backup claims your policy limits you for the structure of the house itself and your personal property. Most companies, do not include this, or include it with a low coverage amount. We recommend $10,000 as a minimum for this coverage.
  • Sheds and unattached enclosuresAll policies are different so it's important to discuss all details of your needs and determine what should and should not be insured. These detached structures also includes fencing on your property as well.
  • Trampolines and pools. Insurance companies view properties with trampolines and pools differently.  That doesn't mean they won't insure them, you'll just want to make sure you are properly protected for your additional exposure.
  • Inflation Guard Protection. This optional coverage automatically adjusts the limit of insurance for your home to account for the normal increase in the cost of building materials and labor over time.
  • Jewelry artwork, antiques.  Depending on the value, you might want to consider adding an additional personal articles policy.  With some companies, you can choose to automatically get $5,000 of coverage to protect your jewelry against more types of loss than what's typically included in a basic insurance policy. You will have to decide if you think an item is worth scheduling or not, considering different companies’ premium for it. Most companies will give you a base amount to start, but normally that amount is pretty low, especially if you have more than one expensive item.
  • Home office or business.  You will need an additional policy to protect your assets if a client is injured on your property or if merchandise is damaged or stolen. This is something that you should always mention to your insurance agent, as this could be a huge gap in your liability coverages if you aren’t covered correctly. Many times, if you’re having clients come to your home, you’ll need a separate business policy.
  • Open Peril Coverage for Personal Property.  This provides coverage for types of losses that aren't covered on your basic policy, for instance if you spill paint on your carpet or throw your Wii controller through the TV.
  • Mortgage Extra Expense. If your home must be rebuilt due to a covered loss, this additional coverage will pay the difference in your mortgage interest rate if the new rate is higher than it had been.
  • Sports or Hobby Equipment. An additional $1,000 of coverage to protect your sports and hobby equipment against most types of losses is available on some policies.
  • Deductible Waived While Traveling.  Your deductible will be waived with this option if you have a loss to your personal property while you're traveling.
  • Freezer/Refrigerator Power Loss. This optional protection provides additional $500 in coverage for food or other personal property that's stored in your freezer or refrigerator and spoils if your home loses power.
  • Golf Cart. Some policies offer $2,500 of coverage to protect the golf cart(s) you own against most types of losses.
  • Loss Assessment. If you're a member of a condominium or neighborhood association, and property collectively owned by association members is damaged by a covered peril, or if your association becomes liable for a personal injury loss, some companies will provide coverage of $5,000 for your share of the loss assessment charged against you. We also customize your policies’ Loss Assessment coverage to match what your association requires.

 

For more information on homeowner’s coverage, visit our website.

Contact us today for more information, or to help you get home insurance quote comparisons for several companies with just one call!  Experience the value of YOUR local independent insurance agency, conveniently located in Lake Elmo near the border of Woodbury and Oakdale.  

This information is brought to you with the assistance of the Minnesota Commerce Department.

 Written by: Kaitlyn Shea

Eagle Point Insurance Group, Inc.

9/6/18

Posted 12:00 AM

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