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Homeowners’ Insurance Surprises Revealed For Home Owners

 

There are several surprises about homeowners’ insurance you probably didn’t know. One is that, in most states, insurance brokers aren’t legally liable for failing to properly inform you of policies best fitting your needs. As you continue reading, you will learn about other similar surprises and discover how to find coverage best suiting your requirements.

Many coverage subcategories, also known as “divided coverages,” are included under the “Homeowners’ Insurance” umbrella. Dwelling coverage covers your house, “Other Structures” protection covers structures, like garages, sheds and pool houses, separated from your house. Personal property protection covers items inside your home, like furniture and artworks. “Loss of Use” protection provides for alternate accommodations when your house can’t be lived in. Personal liability protection pays for legal issues related to injuries caused by the owner or by hazards on his/her property, while Medical Payments coverage pays medical bills for injuries suffered by others on the homeowner’s property. The homeowner’s policy’s declaration page details the coverage limit for each subcategory, per occurrence. What injuries are included in a given occurrence is a legal matter, determined by the courts.

Deductibles, amounts homeowners have to pay for covered losses before their insurance pays, are found on their policy’s declaration page and are usually fixed amounts, like $2,000. However, these figures can depend on the hazard classification of issues causing the damage in question and their amounts could be a percentage of the damage incurred. This can sometimes cost homeowners dearly as those in New York discovered in 2012, when Governor Cuomo classified Sandy as a “superstorm” instead of as a “hurricane”.

The “Special Limits of Liability” section sets the reimbursement limits for each category of personal property. It offers one of two types of reimbursement for lost or stolen items: Replacement Cost; and Actual Cash Value. Replacement Cost pays you the item’s replacement cost today, brand new, ignoring depreciation, while Actual Cash Value reimburses you for the item’s current “as-is,” depreciated value.

Homeowners’ insurance could cover personal property damaged while it’s away from your house. It might also cover damage caused by the insured, his/her workers, or household members while away from the residence.

In New York State, by law, insurance companies are required to include a Homeowners Workers’ Compensation Insurance addendum to their homeowners’ policies. According to the NY State Workers’ Compensation Board, this only covers “contractors…deemed employees under the WCL and working a total of less than 40 hours a week in or around a one, two, three or four family owner occupied residence.”

In general, you need a specific rental endorsement prior to renting out your property. Otherwise, you’ll likely nullify your policy. Two possible rental endorsements are: “Additional Residence Rented to Others” (if renting out your entire house); and “Residence Rental Theft” (if only occasionally renting out your house).

Knowing More About Your Home Insurance

Perhaps the greatest investment a person ever makes is buying a house. This real estate, if the property is properly maintained and protected, can exponentially increase in value over the years and become a source of future wealth. It therefore behooves home buyers to conscientiously safeguard their property. Wherever your home is located in the U.S., a key step in protecting it from catastrophic damage is purchasing homeowner’s insurance.

In this unpredictable world, investing in a good homeowner’s insurance policy is essential. Such a policy will cover your house if it is damaged due to unforeseen circumstances like fire, natural disasters or theft. In California, this coverage is even more vital, since these unpredictable scenarios are considerably more likely occurrences than in other states. With all this said, those shopping for policies face one major difficulty: finding an affordable policy that also offers good coverage.

Average policy premiums vary greatly within California and are affected by numerous factors. One of the most important of these is the geographic location of your house. Average premiums tend to be highest in the City of Los Angeles and lowest in Orange County. These price differences are also based on a myriad of other factors, like the insurance provider, your policy’s coverage limits, the age of your house and the crime rates in your area. Insurance companies also consider natural disaster recurrence odds and local building costs, which are increasing yearly, when setting rates.
The wide variation in average premiums can clearly be seen when comparing Los Angeles to Orange County. As a result of a steadily increasing property crime rate, including vandalism and theft, the average premium in Los Angeles (currently $1,491.33) tends to be the highest in California and exceeds the national average. Since property crimes can be experienced multiple times in a given year and insurance companies are liable for paying for them, rates of these crimes contribute greatly to L.A.’s inflated premiums. In contrast, Orange County’s average premiums are just $1,239.10, making it the ninth least expensive county in the state.

Most homeowner’s insurance policies offer six types of coverage, classified with letters ‘A’ through ‘F’. Coverage A refers to protection covering your house and all connected structures. Coverage B protects all structures separate from your house. Coverage C protects personal property within your house, like money, furniture and artwork. Coverage D ensures that you have extra funds to cover your living expenses while displaced. Coverage E covers you when you are legally liable for injuries caused to others. Coverage F only provides for the treatment of those injured on your property.

Always shop around to find the best insurance policy for your needs. Utilize the internet to save time and energy in making your comparisons. Look for any way to save money on your premiums. In time, you will find what you need.