Buying a new home comes with many budget decisions. Securing a mortgage and committing to the costs of upkeep and maintenance are just a few of the serious concerns about managing your expenses. When it comes to insuring your new home, many people overlook crucial additions and coverage to protect what is likely your most significant investment. Our Independent Insurance Associates team offers advice and suggestions on five typical gaps we see in most homeowner coverages.
1. Liability Limits Too Low
Liability is the portion of your homeowner’s policy that covers you and your family against a lawsuit for injury or property damage you may cause to others. Also included is protection from legal action should your pets cause injury or damage. In short, liability protection manages the expense of any harm or damage to others while on your property. Take the time to review your policy proposal to be sure the coverage is more than sufficient to protect your assets.
2. Percentage Deductibles
According to the Insurance Information Institute, “A deductible is an amount of money that you are responsible for paying toward an insured loss.” There are two deductible choices when dealing with insuring your property: a dollar amount or a percentage of value. Dollar value is your portion of the responsibility. If your damage is $2,000, with a $500 deductible, then your insurance check will be for $1,500. A percentage deductible is a percentage of your home’s value; with a 2% deductible on a $500,000 home, your deductible would be $10,000, which is a considerable out-of-pocket expense. The higher the value of your home, the more you should explore the various deductible choices for your needs.
3. Lack of Jewelry Coverage
As you review your policy, make sure you read the fine print. Be certain you have covered loss for collectibles and jewelry. It is also wise to keep up with value over time and call your agent if you add to your collection. Most home policies limit jewelry to $2,500, making it essential to discuss high-value pieces.
4. Water Backup
The scary words in this part of insurance coverage are BACK UP. No one wants to believe that sewage can flow backward into your house, but it does happen. Without this specific addition, you could suffer the unfortunate consequences. Often the back up is the fault of your utility company, but they only take responsibility for their part of the problem, which usually stops at the road or curbside. We see this critical protection missing from a lot of home policies. This safeguard has to be added by endorsement (an amendment to your primary policy).
5. Personal Injury Exclusions
Many insurance carriers exclude personal injury, which covers libel, slander, and defamation. Remember, liability covers others, while personal injury insurance covers you and your family. This type of coverage also needs to be added by endorsement. Lawsuits are costly and especially tricky when proving your innocence when libel and slander are at stake. Personal injury will also shoulder costs from false arrest, detention and the financial havoc associated with such a stressful event. We live in the social media age, a simple tweet or Facebook post is easily misconstrued and spirals out of control in minutes. In a rapidly changing world, choosing protection through this policy endorsement is likely worth every penny.
At Independent Insurance Associates, we understand the need to protect your family and your assets. Every household has a unique set of valuables and risk potentials. Through our partnerships with major insurance companies, we work to find the best coverage at the right price to protect your home and loved ones. For more than a decade we have provided insurance and peace of mind for residents of Fort Mill and the surrounding areas. Contact us today to make an appointment to discuss your unique property insurance needs.