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Make sure your Homeowner's Insurance is working for you!

protect your home and belongings
home and furnishings

Most of us look at the amount if dwelling , personal property and liability coverage on our policy at renewal time. Do you look at the Endorsements? Many insurers today offer some basic extended coverages at a reasonable cost for additional dwelling coverage and replacement cost coverage on your personal property. Within these you can add guaranteed replacement coverage, inflation guard and Law or Ordinance protection. These will allow you to rebuild to your current standard.

There are several other Endorsements that are available to protect your home and belongings. It is worth your time to familiarize yourself with these and discuss with your Agent!

  1. Flood Insurance can be confusing. If you live in a flood plain you are required to carry flood insurance and there are private insurers as well as NFIP through FEMA. However, if you are not required to carry flood insurance, you can add coverage with an Endorsement to your Homeowner's Policy. The cost will vary by carrier and by the amount of coverage but typically you can get $25,000 worth of coverage at a minimal cost. This coverage is not designed to cover a total loss by flood but to provide coverage for damage and personal property loss due to damage caused by flooding conditions.

  2. Water backup coverage protects your home and personal property from water damage caused by backed up drains, sewage systems, and sump pumps, even if the discharge occurred due to mechanical issues. You can usually add between $5,000-$25,000 in coverage for around $30-$70 per year.

  3. Equipment Breakdown covers your appliances if they fail due to a mechanical or electrical issue. This does not include wear & tear. All systems are covered, furnaces, hot water heater, appliances, home computers, home security systems. The cost for $50,000 in coverage is around $50-$75 per year and most companies require a $500 deductible.

  4. Service Line covers backed up or punctured utility lines: Gas, Cable, Power, Drains and damage to property caused by this event. Typically runs about $30 per year for $10,000 in coverage.

  5. Cyber Coverage includes identity theft and the costs associated with resolving issues related to identity theft. It will also cover hardware/software that are damaged. $15,000-$25,000 in coverage will add between $25-$50 to your annual premium. This may be of value if you are paying for 3rd party identity theft coverage. Another note here regarding this coverage. If you are operating a home based business, standard Homeowner's Policies will cover up to $2,500. You can add an endorsement to increase this to $5,000. If your business is larger and requires more coverage, you should look into a Business Owner's Policy (BOP), this will cover you for increased liability, personal or advertising injury (libel/slander), completed products and business personal property!

  6. Earthquake and Windstorm It is important to know that earthquakes are an excluded peril, but coverage can be purchased separately. Wind may be an excluded peril depending on where you live but is available as an Endorsement.

  7. Lastly, but maybe the most important endorsement is "Scheduled Personal Property"! Standard Homeowner's Policies limit coverage for money, jewelry, coins, firearms, artwork, silver and gold as well as electronics. Limits range from $250 to $2,000, so if you have a diamond ring with a value of $10,000, you need to schedule it to make sure the full value is covered. The same goes if you have a stamp/coin collection or any other valuable item that exceeds the standard limits. The cost of this endorsement will depend on the asset and value but typically it is reasonable.

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