Corey Bashaw's Blog
Few things are more mysterious than insurance. When you think you know what's covered, you find out the hard way that it wasn't. Since your home is likely your greatest asset, you want to know what it includes and what it doesn't before you need to make a claim. Whether you're “in good hands” or in the hands of a small company mascot, you need to be fully aware of where your coverage stands.
Few people actually make a claim on their insurance outside of catastrophic coverages. Here are some basics on homeowner’s insurance coverage:
- Damage from fire and smoke
- Wind or hail damage
- Personal property theft
- Damage from vandals
- Ice and snow damage including water damage or a collapsed roof
- Damage from internal water sources (washer, dishwasher, broken pipe) but not from external flooding caused by rising rivers, seepage or groundwater.
- Losses caused by others during a civil disturbance such as a protest or riot
- Explosions caused by gas appliances or other combustible materials
- Damage from vehicles or aircrafts
Policies set limits on coverages for damage to landscaping, fencing, pools, garden sheds, workshops and barns. Most policies cover contents up to a dollar limit as well but allow you to add extra for jewelry, firearms, artwork, antiques and the like.
Often, your policy has a provision for temporary living expenses if your home is rendered unlivable by a covered event. Also, most policies include liability if a family member, guest or even a delivery person is injured on your property or bitten by a pet. However, providers reserve the right to exclude specific breeds of dogs, so check with your provider to make sure you’re covered.
Items typically not covered include natural disasters such as earthquakes, hurricanes and floods. When your home is in one of these areas, often a particular rider or separate policy is required for coverage. Other items usually excluded include sinkholes, mudslides or damage due to an act of war. Most often, accidents caused by a nuclear event — even a nuclear power plant — do not have coverage.
Before signing for coverage on the dotted line, make sure your insurance agent thoroughly explains your coverage and exclusions so that you're not surprised if calamity hits.
Boston, MA 02127
You may know that when you buy a home, you should purchase homeowner’s insurance. You may have never wondered if the coverage is required. Usually, insurance will be taken out of escrow and a part of our monthly mortgage payment. You may pay a yearly premium separate from your mortgage payment. Home insurance is a nuisance so if you could find a way around it should you forego it?
You can legally buy a home without a home insurance policy, but if the house is financed with a lender, the mortgage company usually requires that you have insurance on the property. A lender can also request that your home carry additional policies such as earthquake or flood insurance. There are minimums you must meet based on the value of your home and the lender you do business with. These standards exist so that you as the homeowner will have enough coverage to replace the property should it be a total loss in some type of natural disaster or fire.
The amount of coverage you need depends on how big the mortgage is that you have taken out. There are certain supplemental coverages that may not be required yet are sensible to carry. These extra coverages include:
Personal liability coverage
Personal property coverage
The good news is that as a homeowner you have a choice. You can shop around and see which insurance companies will give you the best coverage for the lowest price.
The bottom line is that you shouldn’t risk going without home insurance. Even if your loan company allows you to cancel your home insurance after a certain point, the risk is really not worth saving money. Without coverage or permission to cancel coverage, there is a chance your mortgage company could put your loan into default.
High deductible, basic insurance policies are better than nothing. If you’re going to pay a premium for home insurance, you should look into getting the coverage that makes the most sense for you and your family. You don’t need over the top coverage amounts, but you should aim for comprehensive protection for your property. The key is to balance the cost of your insurance with the value of the property. If your house burned down, you’d want to know that you could replace your property without worry. If you didn’t have insurance, you could really face some issues. You may not want to pay for home insurance, but you genuinely need it. Make sure you understand your coverages.
Hopedale, MA 01747