Things change. It’s a fact of life. Some changes can impact your insurance coverages. The COVID-19 Pandemic has forced some unplanned changes, like working remotely or starting a home business. To eliminate any potential surprises in the event you have a claim, we’d be happy to review your current situation with you and make any updates needed as part of a Spring Tune-up.
Know for certain that you have the coverages you need.
What’s Not Covered
Standard HO3 policies cover homes and outbuildings against damages from fire, lightning, wind, hail, ice damage, personal property in the home, and liability for injury to guests and visitors. But these policies also contain limits and exclusions. It is important to know what these are in advance when you can do something about it!
Here are five areas that are not included in the standard policies… but which you can add if you feel there is a need.
If your home suffers damage from a flood, your standard homeowner’s insurance policy won’t cover the damage. You’ll need a separate flood insurance policy. Most flood policies are administered through the National Flood Insurance Program, run by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The maximum amount of coverage available is $250,000 for a home’s structure and $100,000 for its contents. Source: iii.org: “Facts about flood insurance”
Damage from Lack of Maintenance
Issues that can arise from neglecting to maintain your home—such as a pest infestation of termites or mold—are generally not covered by a standard homeowner’s insurance policy.
However, if the mold growth is a result of a covered peril—water leaking from an air conditioning unit or a burst pipe, for example—it’s possible your policy might cover the cost of getting rid of the mold. Source: iii.org
In most cases, earthquakes, landslides, and sinkholes aren’t covered. The good news is separate policies exist for these types of events. New England is located on a fault line and low level tremors do occur from time to time. These can cause costly cracks in foundations, walls and other structural damage.
Damage caused by a sewer backup typically isn’t covered in a standard home insurance policy. Sewer backups can result from several factors, including:
- Combined stormwater and raw sewage pipelines
- Growing tree roots
- Outdated sewer systems
- Sanitary main blockages
Insurance coverage for sewer backups can be purchased as an endorsement to your homeowner’s policy. Source:iii.org
Valuable Jewelry, Art, Antiques
While your homeowner’s policy includes coverage for jewelry items, it’s likely not enough to protect an engagement ring or family heirloom from loss. Because jewelry is at high risk of being stolen, insurance carriers often limit jewelry coverage to about $1,500. You’ll need to purchase a rider, also known as an endorsement, to cover your expensive jewelry, though your items will need to be appraised first. Another option is to raise the liability limit on your homeowner’s policy. The same is true for fine art, silverware, antiques and collections. Source:iii.org
Are You Getting All The Discounts You Deserve?
One of the ways we are able to help control your insurance costs is by placing your business with the company that offers the best discounts based on your particular factors. One of the values of a Spring Tune-up Review is we get a chance to make sure you’re getting everything you deserve!
We usually start by looking at the Multi-Policy Discount or Account Discount opportunities. This type of program offers discounts when you “bundle” several types of policies with the same company. For example, you could combine your homeowners, condo or rental policy with your auto insurance or another policy. Some companies also offer a Customer Loyalty Discount based on the number of years you’ve been with that same company.
Other typical Homeowner Discounts include New Construction Discount and Security System Discount.
In addition, Auto coverages typically offer even more discount opportunities including:
- Customer Loyalty (Bundled, Early Renewal, Multi-car, Multi-line)
- Demographic (Good Student, Homeowner, Senior Citizen)
- Driver Affiliations (Affinity, Military)
- Driving History (Accident Free, Safe Driver, Low Mileage)
- Driver Training
- Equipment-related (Anti-theft, Anti-lock brakes, Green/hybrid, New Car, Safety/restraint
- Payment (Auto-pay, Paid-in-full, Paperless)
If we haven’t done a comprehensive review for you recently, you may be missing out on discount opportunities! We represent a wide range of quality insurance companies and the discount opportunities vary widely among companies. Now might be a good time to call and schedule your Spring Tune-up of your insurance program.
Call 508-528-3310 or 888-528-3310 to schedule your review!
Business @ Home
COVID-19 has changed the very nature of “working from home”. In many instances, working remotely from home will continue for many workers, even after the pandemic ends. And many workers facing layoff or reduced hours have begun setting up their own “side” businesses to bring in additional income.
Under homeowners insurance policies, some general exclusions for home-based offices include:
• No coverage for data loss.
• Limited coverage for business equipment within your home (usually up to $2,500) and away from your property.
• No coverage for business records.
Running a business from home or working from home may change how your insurer assesses your risk. You may find your premium goes up depending on the equipment you have, stock of inventory on site, or if you have regular visitors to your property.
If you’re a contractor, freelancer, or self-employed and use your home as a business premises, you’ll need insurance that protects you, your equipment, your employees and your clients or customers. The range of coverages you may need includes: Contents insurance for computers, office equipment and inventory.
In this instance, because of the limitations in your homeowner policy, you will need to consider a Business Owner Policy or BOP. This is a policy designed for small businesses that includes a variety of coverages in a single package, with simplified set-up and at an affordable price.
If you are using a portion of your home for business, please contact us right away to evaluate whether you need a separate Business Owner Policy to protect your home-based business. Having proper business insurance is an important part of any Business Plan!
For over 100 years, we’ve been here for our clients when they need us the most.
When you experience a loss, the “intangible” promises in your auto or homeowner policy suddenly become very tangible! We understand the need for sensitive treatment and fast action. Fair and prompt payment of a loss settlement is our immediate goal.
This is the trust you placed in us when you chose the Keefe Insurance Agency. Maintaining your trust in these trying circumstances is a responsibility we take very seriously. Your complete satisfaction, if and when you have a claim, is our number one priority.
The RMV reminds you to “check your stickah” for expiration. They did grant an extension during the pandemic, but they’ve expired and no more will be granted. The Massachusetts Vehicle Check Program is essential to the safety of the state’s environment and roadways and is the resource for inspection information including the Inspection Station Locator. Please double-check your inspection sticker’s expiration today!