A homeowner’s policy is a homeowner’s policy, right? Not necessarily. While most homeowner policies are written on the standard HO3 form. Not every company uses the HO3 form and not every agent uses the form properly. Although the homeowner policy is a package policy, there are many optional coverages that the homeowner could and should add to the policy.
Water Backup and Sump Overflow – What? This coverage should be requested when the homeowner lives in a community where the water and sewer service is provided by the municipality, especially older or established communities where the infrastructure may have not been maintained as it should. Many municipalities that have a dwindling tax base will put off infrastructure maintenance to stay under budget. If the sewer line serving your home backs up, you are going to need coverage to pay for replacing carpet, drapes, and probably furniture that is ruined by the sewer water flooding your home.
This event is not a flood, it is water backup.
Mold Remediation – Over the last 10 years this has become a popular topic. All homes have some type of mold in them since we cannot make a home completely waterproof. In warm humid areas, the mold that grows in the house can be dangerous and cause various types of physical issues. The majority of homeowner policies to not include coverage for mold remediation and therefore it must be endorsed onto the policy. Most companies will allow the agent to endorse some level of coverage for mold remediation. Unless your home is new and under warranty, you need to ask for this coverage.
Scheduled Personal Property – The homeowner policy does include coverage for damage or theft of your contents but, there are sub-limits on different types of personal belongings. If you own any valuable collections of art, guns, comic books, stamps, baseball cards or any other valuable collections, you will need to schedule coverage for these items at the value stated by an appraisal. Jewelry, in particular is a common item where the homeowner policy does not offer enough coverage. If your Rolex or Cartier watch is stolen, you are going to be very disappointed when you file a claim. Be sure and tell you agent about your expensive jewelry so he or she can schedule them on your policy.
The homeowner today should be knowledgeable about their needs and communicate them to the agent. With the availability of information on the internet, the consumer has no excuse to be unprepared when making this important purchase.
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