HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE QUESTIONS
How are rates determined?
- Where you live. Some areas are more likely to have particular claims. For example, homes near the coast are more likely to sustain windstorm and flood damage.
- Replacement Value of your home. Most home insurance policies for newer homes are designed to pay to replace your home if damaged.
Replacement cost is not what you paid for your home and does not include the land your home is built on.
- Value of your personal property. Home insurance pays for the damage to property inside the home. An accurate inventory is crucial in establishing the true value of your possessions, prior to any loss.
- Size, Age and Construction. Large homes often have more costly features built in. Newer homes are built to current building codes specifying materials and construction standards.
- Personal Liability. Most policies cover the insured, family members and pets for injury to others or property damage that you cause, including lawsuits arising from such claims.
- Deductible amount. The amount the policyholder must pay for each claim before the insurance company begins to pay.
What coverages are available?
- Dwelling Provides coverage for the costs to repair damage to your home.
- Other Structures. Provides coverage for other structures on the residence premises set apart from the dwelling by a clear space.
- Personal Property Provides coverage to repair or replace your personal belongings.
- Loss of Use. If your home is uninhabitable, provides for additional costs of living away from your home.
- Personal Liability Insurance. Provides for damages and the cost of legal defense if you or a family member living with you is sued claiming you are responsible for injuring someone or damaging their property.
- Medical Payments. Limited coverage to pay medical bills of others who claim you or a family member living with you was responsible for their injury.
- Loss Assessment. Limited coverage for assessments made by the condominium association or homeowners association.
- Personal Property Replacement Cost. This coverage can be added to homeowners, condo unit owners and renters insurance policies and provides “new for old.” This means if you have a loss to a 3 year old couch in a fire, the value of the couch will be determined by what a brand new couch of the same or similar quality would cost. Personal property does not get a deduction in value due to depreciation for age. Some items such as computers, jewelry and electronic equipment may have limitations on how much the insurance company will pay for each item, be sure to consult the company offering the coverage.
CONDOMINIUM UNIT OWNERS INSURANCE QUESTIONS
Why do I need to purchase insurance if my association has insurance?
The association’s insurance policy does not usually cover the interior of each individual unit owners walls, fixtures, built ins, kitchen cabinets, appliances, and equipment for servicing your specific unit (hot water heater, dishwasher, sometimes HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning). Nor will the associations policy cover your personal property, such as furniture, clothing, linens, window covers etc. By purchasing a unit owners policy, you are protecting your interest in the unit, as well as your personal property and your personal liability, if you are the primary resident of the unit.
What type of insurance do I need if I rent my condominium unit to others?
Usually you can still have a condominium unit owners policy on the rented unit but it needs to be endorsed to include coverage for units rented to others. Typically these policies will provide loss of rents coverage if the unit is unoccupied due to a loss that would be covered on the policy.
LANDLORD OR RENTAL DWELLING INSURANCE QUESTIONS
What type of policy is for homes rented to others?
One to four family homes can be covered on a Dwelling Policy form which is similar to a homeowners policy for types of losses covered, but does not typically include contents coverage as the tenant is usually responsible for their personal property.
What is covered on a Dwelling Policy?
Generally dwelling policies cover the home for damages included under the policy, as well as loss of rents if the home is damaged by a covered cause and was rented prior to the loss. Liability coverage can also be included for someone being injured, and/or property damage to property of others, other than the tenant should the landlord be sued for these.