Homeowners insurance provides financial protection against liability and/or property damage to your owner occupied residences; whether primary, seasonal or secondary.
A standard home policy consists of 2 Sections.
Section I – Property:
B. Other Structures (detached)
C. Personal Property
D. Loss of Use
Section II – Liability:
E. Personal Liability
F. Medical Payments (to others)
We caution clients that there are no two insurance companies issuing the same exact policy with the same coverage forms, edition dates, endorsements and exclusions. For this reason we strongly caution against changing companies on home insurance for a small savings as you will NOT be purchasing the identical policy. You need to be advised what you are gaining by doing so and what you are losing in that insurance exchange of policies.
Some questions that should be reviewed when purchasing or exchanging home insurance policies:
- Does the policy provide ‘guaranteed’ replacement on your dwelling or is it only an extended or similar replacement cost policy? (Most companies did away with ‘guaranteed’ a number of years ago. In California there are only a handful of companies still offering it. Be very careful if changing from a ‘guaranteed’ replacement policy to one that is not.
- Does the policy include ANY water back-up of sewers and drains? (most companies do NOT include this coverage automatically anymore in California). If you do have coverage, is it ONLY $1,000 or $5,000? Claims involving water back-up of sewers and drains can be costly. The ‘limit’ on your policy is for the entire claim, not separate ‘limits’ for dwelling (carpet/padding/walls) and contents and clean-up. It’s one aggregate limit to cover the entire claim from clean-up to replacement.
- Can you purchase identity theft on your home insurance? This is a fairly new optional coverage endorsement that most companies offer and it’s extremely inexpensive. Example is $20 per year for $15,000. This coverage is NOT an identity theft prevention system, but rather like all insurance, is triggered by a covered loss ‘after’ your identity has been stolen. This coverage is to pay for all the work to repair and restore your credit after it’s been compromised.
- Does your Personal Liability ‘include’ Personal Injury? Personal injury protects you against claims and lawsuits pertaining to libel, slander, defamation of character, wrongful imprisonment.
- Any watercraft, jewelry, snowmobiles, bikes, etc. can usually be ‘added’ to your home policy by endorsement.
- When it comes to LIABILITY, be advised that many home insurance policies EXCLUDE coverage for ‘off premises’ liability for RVs, Dirt Bikes, Snowmobiles, Golf Carts and 3 and 4 Wheelers. You need to ADD coverage for the liability to your home policy.
Our agency also writes Non-Owner Occupied Properties sometimes referred to as Landlord Property or Rentals. We can write them if the home is rented out year round, or even if it’s a weekly or seasonal rental. We also are able to write rental homes for out of state owners, which many companies in California are not able to do.
If you do not own a home, renters insurance is extremely inexpensive. We sell a lot of renters insurance policies and advocate their benefits as many times, the multi-policy discount to your auto policy will more than pay for a small renters insurance policy. It’s common to not only get the renters insurance for free after applying the discount to your auto insurance, but being given such a big discount that having both policies costs you less than just the auto.