In these unpredictable times it is important to protect the things that are most valuable to you. A homeowner’s insurance policy can help you do just that because it is designed to protect your investment in your home by insuring the actual structure or structures and the personal possessions in and around them. It also provides liability protection for the people residing within the home. A homeowner’s insurance policy will also protect yourself and your family from the huge loss in the event of destruction or damage to your home and property
If you are the only resident within your home, chances are that your mortgage company will require you to have adequate homeowner’s insurance. Even if you own your home outright, it is still a good idea to purchase a homeowner’s policy to replace or repair the things that are impossible to pay for yourself.
A standard homeowner’s policy is divided into two parts: Part A: Home Insurance Property Protection and Part B: Home Insurance Liability Protection. And most basic policies protect against damaged due to: Windstorm and hail, fire and lightning, smoke, vandalism, theft and explosion. Additional coverage can be added to protect against: water-related damage from pipe leakage, electrical surge and damage caused by ice, snow and sleet. Of course every policy is different and there for the deductibles will vary.
Within homeowner’s insurance are specific polices designed for Renters Insurance, Condo Owner, Co-op or Townhouse and Special Homeowners coverage. Every one of these types of policies has different variations so there is more to consider than just price. By working with a professional agency like The Feltner Group we can design a policy to your specific insurance needs.
Most of the time this protection is broken down into four parts: Dwelling, Other Structures, Personal Property and Loss of Use. Dwelling usually covers your home, attached structures, household fixtures, plumbing, wiring and heating. Other structures covered detached structures like garages and equipment attached to the property such as driveways and patios. Personal property refers to the contents of the home and personal items owned by the residents. Loss of use usually covers the living expenses should you not be able to remain within the home with repairs are being made.
You may hear the words “Umbrella Policy” and say “why would I need that?” But that is that we live in a highly litigious society and with what seems like a personal injury lawyer on every corner, there isn’t a day that goes by where there is not a story in the newspapers about a new lawsuit being filed both for serious and for frivolous reasons. If you want to protect yourself in the event you are served with legal papers, we suggest you look into getting a personal liability umbrella policy.
So what does the umbrella policy cover? The umbrella policy is excess liability over the primary coverage on your auto, homeowners, boat, motorcycle, RV, etc. The coverage has broader coverage with higher limits. Primary policies generally cover bodily injury and property damage, but with the personal liability umbrella coverage, you can include personal injury, property damage or bodily injury which may be caused by you, your pets, or your dependents. Along with personal injury protection, you may be covered in the unfortunate event of: false arrest, false imprisonment, defamation, invasion of privacy, malicious prosecution, eviction, wrong entry.
There is also coverage if you are charged liability while participating on the board of a charitable, religious or civic organization. It is important to realize that even if the lawsuit is frivolous, you still need to pay the expenses of the lawyers defending you.
So who needs an umbrella policy? If you are a Boy Scout leader, soccer coach, sit on a church board, own a swimming pool trampoline, swing set or even pets, it would be a good idea to consider getting an umbrella policy. When considering purchasing an umbrella policy, you should look at what your assets are and how much you could afford to lose. Many people with major assets either do not buy the extra coverage or not enough. Some people decide that they would rather not pay for it, even though the approximate cost of a $1,000,000 umbrella policy for an insured with one house and two autos is around $140-$150 per year. The chances of being sued for a million dollars are very rare but for the amount it would cost to pay a lawyer for one hour of work, you could be protecting your assets for up to a year.
Coverage for losses above the limit of an underlying policy or policies such as homeowners and auto insurance. While it applies to losses over the dollar amount in the underlying policies, terms of coverage are sometimes broader than those of underlying policies.