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Personal Insurance

Stay-at-Home Summer Considerations for Homeowners

Given the current global health concerns, many homeowners are finding that they will be spending more time at home this summer than they usually would. There are safety considerations homeowners should consider every summer, but it’s an especially good time to evaluate and mitigate risks:

Backyard Activities
Swimming pools, children’s playsets and trampolines are examples of backyard amenities that present additional insurance risk. It’s important to make sure your policy covers claims related to these hazards. Also, if you decide to add any new features to your backyard this summer, be sure to reach out to your insurance agent so they can work on adding it to your policy if necessary.

Summer Storms
Homeowners insurance does not cover flooding. This is a common misconception and you should work with an insurance professional to determine potential flooding risks that your policy would not cover, such as a pond or swimming pool overflowing. More on Homeowners Insurance vs. Flood Insurance here.  Remember from May 2018 to April 2019 was the wettest year in history and the insurance industry experienced an uptick in flood related claims.

Motorized Vehicles
ATVs, dirt bikes, boats and similar vehicles present special risks that are also not included in your auto policy. However, unlike motorcycles, some liability may be included in your homeowner’s policy, but it’s worth having your policy reviewed to be certain that you’re covered.

Grills and Fire Pits
As we know, fire is an obvious hazard to your property. Most grills are covered by a standard policy, but your fire pits or similar freestanding structures may not be. Your community may govern what types of fires are allowed, which can impact whether a related claim would be covered by your policy.  Use good judgement and check these areas for safety.

As many of us find ourselves stuck at home, it seems like an opportune time to get to all of those repairs we have talked about for so long. However, before you get started, make sure you have proper coverage. This is rather important if you are hiring contractors. McConkey’s Personal Lines Department can review your homeowner’s policy to see what may be covered, and our Construction Division can help you determine if your contractors have proper policies.

Vacation Homes
If you’re considering investing in a summer vacation home, there are several factors that may impact the cost of insurance associated with your second property. For example, certain locations, such as the beach, could be more vulnerable to wind damage. The type of property is also important, as single-family, condo communities and townhomes all present different risks. Those risks include whether the property has security, a homeowner’s association and amenities such as a pool or common building.

If you already own a vacation home, you should think about installing a central monitoring alarm system, especially if you’re limiting your visits this summer. A system that detects fire and intruders can help lower the cost of your insurance and protect your home. If you are planning to rent out your property this season instead of occupying it yourself, you may need to extend the coverage in your policy. The more complex risk warrants giving one of our agents a call to help review your policy and make sure you’re adequately covered.

Jody Czap, CISR

Author Jody Czap, CISR

Personal Lines Supervisor

More posts by Jody Czap, CISR
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