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Home Insurance

home insurance

Homeowners insurance is needed by any individual or family that owns their own home. A policy will need the proper amount of coverage, as well as discounts to keep the total cost of the insurance policy reasonable. A homeowners insurance policy will cover many types of losses that are not specifically excluded on the policy. The amount of home insurance coverage that is needed will depend on factors that include the cost to replace the home, as well as its contents.

A homeowners insurance policy is not only needed to protect from any unforeseen losses that can occur, it may also be a requirement. Most mortgage lenders as well as banks that provide loans for purchasing a home require that borrowers obtain a homeowners insurance policy as a condition for receiving the loan. This is to protect the lender in the event a loss or damage occurs as the result of a storm or some other unforeseen event.

There are many different types of homeowners policies that can be purchased to provide various types of coverage. The basic type is called an HO-3 (Homeowner Package). This type of policy provides coverage for all perils that have not been excluded on the policy. An HO-6 (Unit Owners)policy is a type of policy that is available for condominium buildings. In addition to personal property coverage, the policy provides coverage for liability and improvements that are made to the building. An HO-4 (Renters)policy is a type of policy which is available for protecting your contents of a rented apartment unit or home.

A homeowners insurance policy has various types of coverage. One type of coverage is for replacement cost, which is the total cost to replace the dwelling in the event of a total loss. Another type of coverage is for personal property or contents of a dwelling. A typical policy provides coverage for contents, such as furniture, appliances and electronic equipment. This amount is typically up to 50 percent of the total insured value of the home.

Most Insurance Companies now use a software program called a Replacement Cost Estimator to determine what the replacement cost of your home would be in the event of a catastrophe, such as a Hurricane. In some cases, an inspector will visit your home after the policy is issued to note any special architectural details and features and compare it against the policy dwelling limit shown on your policy. If a discrepancy exists between the value arrived at for the issued policy and what the field inspector finds you will be contacted and advised of the more appropriate amount. No fees are involved for this service.

An endorsement is an addition or change to a policy that can be used to provide additional coverage without the need for the insurer to rewrite a new policy. An endorsement can be used to provide more coverage than is available in a standard homeowners insurance policy. One type of endorsement is available for certain types of personal property, such as jewelry, collectibles or other items, that a standard policy does not cover. This is called a “scheduling” personal property on a policy.

Additionally, many of our carriers offer for your consideration such protection as Increased Replacement Cost, Identity Theft, Water Back-up, Equipment Breakdown, Refrigerated Property, Loss Assessment and Animal Liability to meet your specific needs.

The cost of home insurance can vary depending on the type and amount of coverage that is selected. One way to reduce the cost of a policy is to include all of the discounts that are available. A discount is typically available for protective devices, such as deadbolt locks, smoke alarms and fire extinguishers. Discounts can range from 5 percent up to 30 percent or more depending on the type of discount that is being applied.

Excess Liability Coverage, also known as a Personal Umbrella Policy (PUP) is an invaluable component of your insurance portfolio. Underlying policies which include an automobile and homeowners insurance do not cover certain types of liability claims. These can include defamation of character, libel, slander and false arrest. This leaves a coverage gap with no protection. It is no secret that in today’s society more people file lawsuits for more money than ever before.
Excess Liability insurance provides the coverage for such gaps. It will pay for liability payments exceeding the amount in an underlying policy. Individuals can purchase an excess liability policy for $1 million with $300,000 of liability coverage from an underlying policy, such as homeowners or automobile insurance. If an individual is sued for $700,000 the underlying policy would cover the first $300,000 and the excess liability policy would cover the additional $400,000.

Individuals can have many uses for an excess liability or umbrella policy and can purchase a policy relatively cheaply. Premiums usually range from approximately $200 to $300 annually for an excess liability policy. Individuals typically purchase this type of policy to protect themselves in the event that they are sued for in injury or negligence. When an individual is sued the amount may be more than what is provided by the liability coverage on a automobile or homeowners policy.

Excess liability or umbrella liability insurance has a deductible that is typically set at the amount of liability coverage for an underlying policy. This means that an automobile or homeowners insurance policy with a liability limit of $300,000 is the deductible for the excess liability policy. The deductible has been met for the excess liability policy when the liability limits of the underlying policy have been exhausted.

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