What is water back-up coverage?

Recently I had a conversation with a client regarding water back-up. They recently purchased home insurance and in reviewing their home policy I noted that they only had $5,000 for water back-up.

The standard home policy does not provide coverage for water back-up. In fact you will see an exclusion for water back-up. Water back-up is considering water that backs up into your home from a drainage system. It could be a sump pump that fails. It could be a toilet that overflows. It could be a shower drain that backflows. It could be a hot water heater that breaks. The easy way to think about it is water back-up is any drainage system to your home that could back-up or overflow.

Water back-up is not flooding. Flooding is water from the outside your home coming in through the foundations, windows, doors, etc.

Why is water back-up so important? It is one of the top causes of homeowner claims across the country. Every homeowner will experience at least one water back-up loss in their lifetime. 

Secondly, the average water back-up claim is $20,000. Think about it… you clean up the free flowing water, you need water mitigation to dry out the floors, the walls, and the room to reduce the chance of mold. You may need to replace the flooring and the walls. And possiby some furnishings. And you may still have mold after all.

In some cases a water back-up loss could mean a total loss of your home. Think of sewage back flowing into your home.

Kind of scary stuff.

So what do I recommend? I recommend full water back-up coverage. This doesn’t mean up to the total value of the stuff in your basement or the basic limit for water back-up. Water back-up should be up to the dwelling, other structures, personal property, and loss of use policy limits.

Yes, water back-up can be expensive but is it more expensive then the cost of the average water back-up loss? Water back-up coverage has gotten more expensive of the years because of the frequency of such claims and the average cost of a claim.

If your insurance company doesn’t provide full water back-up coverage as we insurance professionals call it then find another insurance company. This applies to rental and investment properties.

Have your insurance agent review your policy today to determine if and how much water back-up coverage you have.

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Diamonds Are A Girl’s Bestfriend!

It is that time of year where many of my client’s will give or receive a very sparkly gift from Santa.

I can’t deny that I get a little excited when a client calls to provide the specifics on their new diamond encrusted whatever.

That being said, now is also the time to start talking about insurance for those beautiful items.

I recommend everyone have at least some type of jewelry schedule or jewelry insurance. It should be a given when talking about homeowners insurance.

There are two ways to do a jewelry schedule, a blanket or an agreed value. Blanket requires less effort but agreed value will provide more definitive coverage.

If you are unsure which direction you should go you need to look at your jewelry collection.

Go home and pull out all of your jewelry pieces and lay them out on the bed. Decide which is your most inexpensive piece? Which is the most expensive piece? What items do you wear regularly? Do you keep any of the items in a safe? Knowing what you have will help you decide what is more important.

You can even do a combination of blanket and agreed value. The one thing I don’t recommend is no jewelry schedule.

Keep in mind that if you have no jewelry schedule, coverage will be found under your homeowners insurance. The missing item would be subject to the policy deductible. The minimum deductible with most insurance companies is $1,000. Also, you have to account for any limitation in the homeowners policy for lost or misplaced jewelry. The policy may limit coverage to $2,500 or $5,000, less the policy deductible. That can really hurt when your heirloom engagement ring disappears.

Before you go and buy your next piece of jewelry go get some type jewelry insurance in place. It is always better to be safe than sorry.

Pamela

Insurance for Older Homes

I visited Evergreen Museum yesterday. I was able to take a self-guided tour of the museum. It was amazing to see the details of the home up close and personal. The design of older homes is just amazing.

As part of the tour I learned why you should consider Chubb Insurance Group to insure your older home.

Do you know the differences between a Georgian home versus a Queen Anne home? The appraisers at Chubb sure do. Not only do they know the difference but they can also tell you alot about the architects and designers of those types of home, and the cost to replicate the home today. They are truely experts in their field.

If you have an older home you should consider Chubb. Call me for more information.

Chubb Insurance Group: http://www.chubb.com/personal/

Evergreen Museum: http: http://www.museums.jhu.edu/evergreen.php

Pamela

Home Inventory

Do you know how much stuff you have in your home?

Would you remember every item you currently own after a major loss?

What about the value of each of those items?

These are some pretty tricky questions, which are even tougher to answer after you experience a home fire or other catastrophe.

In an effort to help you recover after a loss you should have a home inventory or listing of all of your personal property in your home. So when a loss does happen you can relieve some of your stress and get back to normal quicker.

Insurance Information Institute (III) has come up with software that can be used via your iPhone or Android to document your personal property, and it’s free!

This software should even be used by individuals that own a condo or rent. The value of your personal property is the driving force of policy premium. Having an idea how much stuff you have will help narrow down a premium faster.

Information on conducting a home inventory, and instructions on getting the software can be found by visiting, http://www.knowyourstuff.org/iii/login.html.

Check it out today!

Coach… yummy!

It’s official… I have my first Coach purse! It looks so pretty and it has that new smell. Its so sleek and stylish. Eeeek! See for your self.

Are you jealous? I would be if I were you and didn’t have a Coach purse. Lol!

Truth be told and I am a fashion nut. I subscribe to like 5 fashion magazines. And when I receive them I go through them religiously. My husband always teases me about my expensive taste, which means I have to remind him of his expensive taste. He did pick me, right? And you can’t forget his collection of fishing rods, reels, and the several tackle boxes full of fishing gear. (Baby, see I’m learning the lingo…)

So now I have another purse but not any purse… A Coach! She will go right next to my Guess and Jessica Simpson purses.

Now here is the lesson….

This precious purse is an investment, despite the fact that I got it 80% off. I would like to protect my investment. I know a major way do to so… homeowners insurance. Your homeowners insurance policy should have replacement cost coverage for contents, so that when my precious Coach bag is lost or damaged my homeowners policy will pay the full price to replace it.

Time to go show off my new stylish, Coach purse.

Pamela