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Learn About Common Holes in Homeowners Insurance Coverage

According to the MetLife Auto & Home Insurance Literacy Survey, many homeowners are uninformed about details of their homeowner’s policies. You may know a standard homeowner’s policy does not cover flood, earthquakes or volcanoes but one (1) out of three (3) homeowners surveyed didn’t know the dollar amount of their coverage. This lapse in knowledge could mean homeowners end up paying a lot more than expected after damage to their homes. Here is some helpful information to make sure you are prepared for homeowner emergencies.

What You Need to Know About ALL Major Property Losses
Make sure you are prepared to suffer a major loss to your home by knowing the facts ahead of time.

• In all likelihood, your insurance company does not guarantee the repairs done to your home. Choose a licensed contractor specializing in disaster clean-up and reconstruction who will offer a warranty on your home. AAA Restoration Company offers and lengthy and comprehensive warranty on all projects.
• Don’t assume you need to work with the company your insurance carrier suggests. The Coalition Against Insurance Fraud advises, “Use established local contractors, if possible.” AAA Restoration Company is a local and family-owned business, comprised of licensed contractors with more than 50 years of combined experience building and rebuilding thousands of homes.

What You Need to Know About Fire Damage Coverage
Nearly half a million structures burn in the U.S. each year. Know exactly what to expect if you have a house fire.

• Homeowners insurance is based on the cost to rebuild your home not market value. It does not include the value of the land your home is built on.
• Nearly all insurance companies cap the amount paid to homeowners for a total loss. Depending on your policy, you could potentially have to pay out of pocket (in addition to your deductible) or not be able to rebuild the same quality house you had before the fire.

What You Need to Know About Water Damage Coverage
Water damage is a slippery slope. Be aware that certain circumstances may negate your coverage.

• If you are going to be away from home for an extended period of time, contact your insurance agent. Damage from frozen pipes may not be covered if your insurance company deems you did not take reasonable precautions.
• Despite being one of the most common water losses suffered by homeowners, damage caused by back-ups or overflows from your septic system or sump-pump is not covered. You can add a rider to your homeowner’s insurance policy for additional coverage for direct physical loss.

What You Need to Know About Storm Damage Coverage
Storms cost 2.5 billion dollars in property damage annually. Although the 2012 storm season has been mild, be reminded that Mother Nature has a mind of her own.

• If your insurance company can prove a tree was dead prior to falling, your claim may be denied as a pre-existing hazard. Clear any dead trees near your structures.
• If your home, car or other vehicles and structures are damaged by the same storm, you must pay multiple deductibles-one for each loss. Only a few insurance companies offer property and casualty insurance rolled into one package.

“Make sure your home and its contents are protected in case of a loss. Review your coverage with your insurance agent and add riders for items of exceptional value such as jewelry, art, heirlooms, collections, etc. A good insurance agent will make sure you have the right coverage for your home and your belongings,” advises Mike McCune, Vice-president and Chief Estimator at AAA Restoration Company.

 

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