When purchasing insurance, do you think about your Homeowner’s policy?
Or are you, like most people, more focused on your Auto policy, trying to save money?
Maybe you think “I don’t own a home, so I only need car insurance.”
Well here at DeLong Insurance, we are focused on the big picture!
So when you are considering your auto insurance, also consider asking us about insurance for your home, apartment, condo, or mobile home!
Listed below are some Frequently Asked Questions regarding the current costs, coverages, exclusions, and concerns of Home Insurance.
If you have a specific question or a recommendation for this page, please feel free to visit our Contact Us page to let us know!
Why are my Homeowner’s Insurance Premiums Increasing?
Click Here to Find Out – This link to a PDF document is provided by PIA Ohio.
The short answer: Weather and Shared Risk.
Ohio ranks 7th lowest in the U.S. based on its average homeowners insurance premium.
A greater frequency and severity of storms create higher premiums, regardless of whether or not you have had a claim.
When purchasing a house or refinancing a loan, who decides on the type of insurance, the mortgage company or me?
You make the choice of what insurance to purchase, and who from. You can choose to pay for your home insurance yourself, however most mortgage companies choose what’s called ESCROW. This is where they collect a set amount from you each month (in ADDITION to your house payment) and put it into escrow and covers your insurance and taxes. However, the policy is still yours and you can select the insurance you feel offers the best coverage at the best rates.
What exactly does a Homeowners policy cover?
“Exact” coverage is impossible to define because there are many different policies, and about 900 insurance companies writing Property/Casualty business in the United States. However, 80% of Homeowners policies are based on a standard form. All Homeowners policies cover two important areas: Property and Liability.
-Property insurance covers your structures and possessions.
-Personal Liability, as its name implies, means if any action caused by you, your family, or your property would bring harm to them or damage to their property, you’re legally obligated to cover that person for any injuries sustained or property damaged. That liability extends to medical payments to others (guests to property) for injuries caused by you or your family.
What coverages should I be aware of when I am looking for Homeowner’s Insurance?
One coverage that everyone should be aware of is the Replacement Cost of Contents coverage. Without this coverage, any items would be replaced based on cost at time of purchase minus depreciation. For example, if you had a 40 in. flatscreen TV that you bought 5 years ago, and that TV was lost in a fire, your insurance might only give you the money to purchase a 5 year old 40 in. flatscreen TV. With the Replacement Cost of Contents coverage, you would get the initial amount for the 5 year old TV, then after purchasing the replacement TV, you would get the remaining balance for the TV. This would also apply to your Refrigerator, Washer and Dryer, and other large ticket items that, without Replacement Cost of Contents coverage, would end up costing you a lot extra. This coverage is NOT STANDARD on most policies, but can usually be added on.
Back-Up of Sewers and Drains coverage. This coverage gives you a specific amount of insurance against items in your home (Usually your basement) that would be damaged due to either your sump pump failing, or anything that would cause water to back-up into your home through your sewers or drains.
Building Ordinance or Law is another coverage you want to be sure you have. This covers the cost that you might have when you would have to replace older building materials with newer building materials, upgrade your electrical panel and wires throughout your home, or any expense to bring you up to current building code. This is also referred to under “Are there any exclusions I should know about?”
Are floods, earthquakes, and other natural disasters covered?
Most catastrophes are covered, however Flood and earthquake damage are NOT covered by a standard policy, and both events are more common than many people realize. Flood insurance can be purchased from the Federal Flood program and has a 30-day waiting period. Earthquake coverage is available on most homeowner policies as an endorsement. We can advise you on such normally excluded conditions such as floods and earthquakes.
Are there any exclusions I should know about?
Exclusions that are listed and defined in your policy might include neglect, intentional loss, “earth movement,” flood, general power failure, and even damage caused by war. If you fail to take care of your property (e.g., a leaky roof), you might not be covered. Obviously, if you intend to lose an object or damage your property, there’s no coverage.
One other exclusion that can be costly is the Ordinance or Law exclusion. Building codes, established by governmental bodies, drive up the cost of rebuilding or repairing after a loss occurs, and might not be covered by your insurance policy. So if you discover when replacing damaged property that current law demands a better or more expensive material than those you’re replacing, the new materials might not be fully covered.
For any further questions or concerns, please Contact Us to discuss your available options.