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Don’t Assume Your Home Insurance Policy Covers Everything

Get a Free Homeowners Insurance Check-up

If there’s anything in life you ought not make assumptions about, it’s your homeowners insurance policy.
Yes, we know it’s a thick document. Yes, we understand that you’re unlikely to read it front to back and analyze every tidbit of fine print.

But given that not all homeowners insurance policies are created equal, it’s important to double check key elements to avoid surprises or adjust your coverage.

Think Coverage for These Risks Comes Standard? Think Again

Presuming you’re covered for every potential hazard to your home can be a costly mistake. Here are eight common risks that aren’t usually covered by a standard policy.

During a consultation, we’ll work with you to identify any non-standard risks you might need coverage for.

   • Mold – Even if your policy does have a provision for mold, coverage is likely limited. Mold damage caused by negligence or failure to repair leaks will not be covered.
   • Floods – One of the most commonly overlooked coverages. Nearly every Homeowners’ Policy does NOT cover damage caused by flooding.
   • Sewer backup – Most policies require that homeowners keep up with regular preventative maintenance, and sewer backups generally fall under the homeowner’s responsibility. Sometimes it is possible to add sewer backup coverage to your policy.
   • Jewelry/Fine Art – Expensive collectibles are only covered to a certain limit. Ask your agent about upping your coverage if you own one or more expensive collections.
   • Construction/Renovation Damage – Getting work done on the house? Better check that your contractor has insurance. After a renovation, your property most likely increased in value. Please contact your agent to discuss if your current coverage limit needs to be amended.
   • Termites – Another hazard commonly thought to be standard. If you live in a termite risk zone, have your home inspected and treated regularly by a licensed pest control company.
   • Stolen Cash – It’s difficult to prove how much cash is missing from your home should you be the victim of a burglary. Never keep more than what you’re covered for at home and always invest in a quality safe.

Are You Covered for Replacement Cost?

Make sure your policy clearly spells out that your home and contents are covered for replacement cost.
What does replacement cost mean? Say you buy a computer for $1,000 new and it gets stolen three years later. The value of this used computer is likely just a few hundred dollars, but the cost to get a new one is $1,000.

Unless your policy explicitly states you are covered for replacement cost, you could only receive compensation for the current value of the item.
Document It

Why Do I need an Inventory of Everything I Own?

A key step to keeping your home and its contents covered to the limits stated in your homeowners insurance policy is to document a full inventory of your possessions.

Your policy may not specifically state that an inventory is required to file a claim, but claims that are accompanied by proof of loss are more likely to be paid in full.

For high-value items it’s a good idea to take photos and write down serial numbers or file away copies of purchase receipts.
Policy writers look out for themselves when you file a claim, so keep an up-to-date inventory to ensure full coverage.

Looking to review your coverage? Contact us now for a free consultation or to get a quote.

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