What’s covered and what isn’t
How well do you know what your homeowner’s insurance policy covers and what it doesn’t? In case you aren’t sure, we thought we’d take a few moments and talk about it. To start, let’s talk about hurricane vs. homeowner insurance, as hurricane season will soon be upon us.
There’s a lot of misinformation and assumptions about hurricane insurance and what is or isn’t covered by your homeowners policy. It’s a timely topic of conversation as Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria are still fresh in our memory. The Wall Street Journal even published an article by Leslie Scism and Nicole Friedman that’s sole purpose was to ascertain what is and isn’t covered by homeowners insurance. It notes that most homeowner policies cover damage caused by fire, lightning, hail, vandalism, and theft to name a few. Thankfully the list of things covered is long and detailed.
In addition, most homeowners policies cover a portion of the types of damages caused by hurricanes. For instance wind. But, be aware that wind can be excluded from some homeowner policies in some coastal areas. If it’s not specifically excluded from your policy and your roof is damaged or blown off, it should be covered. The same applies when a tree falls on your house.
If your house is under water and flooded, well, you’ll need flood insurance for that – your homeowners won’t cover it.
Getting confused? You’re not alone. Ask your insurance agent to go over what is and what isn’t covered in detail so that you’re not caught short if something happens!
The Insurance Journal says that research found that many homeowners don’t understand their deductibles. The study focused on the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. It’s been five years since the storm, but 33% of the homeowners surveyed said they were still unaware of deductibles and how they worked. It can be really confusing.
If you are confused by deductibles and how they are calculated, and when they kick in, you need to talk with your insurance agent and have them explain the deductibles and what choices you have.
If you have damage and need to make a claim, here are some tips to streamline the process.
- Understand your coverage and deductibles
- Determine if you have replacement costs or cash value coverage
- Keep detailed records
- Take photos of the damage before beginning any cleanup or repairs
Your insurance agent has a wealth of information to share with you. All of the above is merely the tip of the iceberg. Don’t let a disaster take you by surprise. When you are calm and all is normal is the perfect time to re-evaluate your homeowners policy and to determine if it truly covers everything you need it to. It only takes a few minutes to ask for and receive a homeowners insurance quote!
This information is not intended to be exhaustive nor should any discussion or opinions be construed as professional advice. Should you have any questions or would like to discuss your risk exposure with your homeowners insurance, please contact the insurance pros at ARCW Insurance. We are here to help.