If you are unsure about any of the questions above, it is time to review your homeowners insurance policy.
Homeowners policies tend to differ from state to state. However, a homeowners insurance policy should cover more than just structural damage. But this does not include damage caused by acts of mother nature. Damages caused by Floods, Earthquakes, Mud Slides, Hurricanes, and Tornados are not always covered on an average/general policy. Flood Insurance, for example, is categorized as a policy in itself and is an additional policy that needs to be purchased separately. Flood coverage is available through the federal government under the National Flood Insurance Program, or you can speak with Jon Belinkie at Health Insurance Specialists about it. All other acts of weather may need an additional policy, especially if your home is in an area prone to certain cataclysmic events (such as tornadoes, hurricanes and earthquakes).
Typically damage caused by snow, or high winds, thunderstorms, or burst pipes, are covered by homeowners insurance. Additional living expenses are often included. If your home can not be lived in after damages, your insurance carrier may pay for the hotel and restaurant bills. Please know this can be for a limited time so check your policy first.
Did you know that the basic policy will cover your refrigerated items in the event of a power outage? The average policy covers up to $500.00 in perishables goods.
Homeowners insurance is also considered a general liability coverage. This means you and the members of your house hold (including pets) are protected from being sued. Most Homeowners policies will actually cover incidents involving a dog bite. Additionally, Homeowners insurance covers issues completely unrelated to your home; some policies even cover you when you are not home. For example, if you are skating at your local park and lose control and run into an innocent bystander, and they get hurt, your homeowners’ policy may cover the reparation. If your household has a member away at college (living on campus) then the personal property in their dorm may be protected under your homeowners policy.
Now as for concerns with your valuables, this can become complicated. Always consult with your insurance agent with regards’ to any item in your household that has great value; including jewelry, electronics, furniture, paintings, or personal collections. The value of each item will vary and may need to be appraised to determine the value to be included on your policy. It is also a good measure to take inventory of your household items regularly. Include serial numbers, details/specifications about the items, and photos when possible. It is important to keep this in a place that is private but accessible by internet. In the event of a burglary, you wouldn’t want all of your household items listed on your laptop, only for the laptop to be stolen too. Paper copies can easily be destroyed in a fire, but your best chance it to keep paper copies in a safety lock box or a fireproof safe if inside your home. A great program to use for inventory management in your home is Delicious Monster ($25), a computer program that helps you inventory, detail and price the items you have, then upload them to the internet for a secure location.
If you have never done it before, or it has been several years, take the time and review the details of your Homeowners policy, you can request a copy from your agent if you do not have one on hand. It pays to know what’s included in your policy.
For questions or concerns about your policy or if you are interested in purchasing a new policy, contact John Belinkie with Health Insurance Specialists at (301) 590-0006 or email@example.com.