The best time to learn about what's included in a basic homeowners insurance policy is
before you have a claim.
So to make sure we've covered the basics with you, we're including a short (actually 1:28 minute) video explanation.
Also, here are the answers we've gathered to the most common "Am I covered if..." questions about homeowners insurance to help you minimize coverage surprises.
What property and perils are excluded from my policy?
Typically, coverage does not apply to damage caused by flood, surface water, water that backs up through sewers or drains, earth movement, nuclear damage, war, etc. Personal liability and medical payments do not apply to the operation, ownership, use, etc., of any aircraft, automobile, RV, watercraft powered by more than 50 horsepower motor; bodily injury or physical damage caused by an intentional act of the insured. Business pursuits are also typically excluded from homeowners coverage.
What happens if I have a fire? How do I collect for my personal property? Whether your policy pays for the replacement or just the actual cash value of your possessions, you will be paid for personal property that you can show you owned at the time of loss. It is a very good idea to keep an up to date inventory in a secure place. Also, to help you remember what you had, it is helpful to take pictures or video each room.
If my sump pump fails due to water backing up through the sewers, am I covered? No, but you can typically add a sewer and backup endorsement to your homeowners policy to cover the loss.
Is my boat covered? Theft to watercraft, including furnishings, equipment and outboard motors, is typically excluded if the theft occurs outside your residential premises. To cover your boat and its accessories, you will need a separate boat-owners insurance policy.
I have insured antique items listed on my policy. If I have a total loss, do I receive payment for the full insured value? The insurer will first confirm the value of the items with one or more independent antique dealers. You should then be paid a dollar value based on the dealer(s) estimate of the worth of the antique items. The best way to insure your antiques? Get appraisals and establish the stated values in the policy.
During a storm, a tree from my neighbor's yard fell and destroyed my fence. Who pays for the loss?If you have coverage for "other structures" on your policy, your own policy should cover the loss, subject to the deductible. Your insurance carrier may be able to recover the amount paid for the loss from the neighbor's homeowners insurance if the loss occurred as a result of your neighbor's negligence.
If I have water damage from flooding which occurs due to a rainstorm, am I covered? No, a separate flood policy is needed to covers losses to your property caused by flooding. As long as your community participates in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), you're eligible to purchase flood insurance. We can assist you in determining if your community participates in the NFIP.
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