Your home is important to you, especially in these unprecedented times when we are staying at home more. It’s a great time to review your homeowners policy with a McConkey agent to ensure you are properly covered in the case of loss. It’s better to be proactive than assume, because there are some things your homeowners policy likely does not cover and the list may surprise you.
A common misconception about flood coverage is that it’s included under the homeowner’s policy. The fact is flood coverage is excluded from the homeowner’s policy. Let me explain more on how the homeowner’s policy may pick up coverage for a water loss. If a sudden water loss such as a water pipe breaking or leaking toilet occurs, your homeowners will typically respond less the policy deductible. And if a person needs protection from water back up of sewer, drains, and sump pumps, this is available by endorsement on the home policy. Remember flood water occurs from overflow of inland or tidal waters, ground surface water, or mudflow. Common flood waters are weather related due to rain, storms, swimming pools or bodies of water. If you’d like more on this topic, check out our blog “Homeowners vs. Flood Insurance: Is Your Property Protected?”
Home Title Theft
This scam, also called deed theft, happens when a thief steals your identity and forges your signature in order to appear as the property owner on a deed. When a home title is stolen, the thief can refinance your mortgage or open a home equity line of credit for cash and then not make the payments. Often, homeowners do not realize this has happened until a bank contacts them about missed payments. While your homeowner’s policy would not cover something like this, there are title protection services to help prevent you from being a victim.
Construction or Renovation Damage
Should the contractor you hire to work on your home cause damage, your policy may not cover the cost of the loss. In the case of a home under construction, let one of our McConkey agents help with a builder’s risk policy to provide the coverage needed while your home is under construction. Another prudent practice and requirement is to obtain proof of insurance from the general contractor showing general liability coverage is in place prior to any project beginning.
Insurance carriers operate on the assumption that homeowners are taking reasonable care of their home. That’s why your policy would not cover damage related to neglect or failure to keep the property well maintained. You may be surprised to know other items not covered include rodent and insect damage, rust, mold, and regular wear and tear. This is why home inspections can be so helpful before buying a home and starting the insurance process.
If you operate a home business from your property, it doesn’t mean that damage or loss of related items would be covered under your homeowner’s policy. For example, if you run a small business making pottery out of a detached garage, the structure and its contents may not be included in your insurance coverage because it is considered business property. It’s best to talk to your agent to check if the home provides coverage for this exposure. You may be required to have a businessowners policy. Another example would be if a fire destroyed business inventory. In that case, there is a limit for business inventory that may apply from your homeowner’s with limitation amount worth of loss. Again, always best to make sure you’re properly covered since the home policy isn’t always friendly with business exposures.
If you haven’t paid attention to your personal policies in a few years, now is the time to contact one of our personal lines agents, have a review, and make sure you’re properly covered. We are ready to help with the goal of improving your coverage and hopefully save you some money too.