A homeowners insurance policy consists of coverage for your dwelling and your personal property. It also includes liability insurance, which pays for injuries to other people or damages to their property accidentally caused by you, your family or your pets.
There are some simple steps you can take to reduce your homeowner’s premiums.
Bodily Injury (BI) Liability Coverage pays, up to the coverage limits, for damages due to injury or death of others in a vehicle accident for which you or the operator of your vehicle are legally responsible. It also pays your legal defense costs. In most states this coverage is mandatory.
Collision Coverage pays, up to the coverage limits, for damage to your vehicle or a vehicle you are operating caused by a collision or rollover. This coverage is usually required if you have a vehicle loan.
Property Damage (PD) Liability Coverage pays, up to the coverage limits, for another individual’s vehicle or property that has been damaged in an accident for which you or the operator of your vehicle is legally responsible. In most states this coverage is also mandatory.
When you buy a home, look for fire-resistant construction, such as brick, masonry or rock. You may pay a lower premium for hail-resistant roofs, such as those made of concrete tile, while wood roofs may bring a surcharge. Check the location of the nearest fire department and avoid buying in flood-prone areas. You also may be eligible for non-smoker discounts.
Condominiums and townhouses have special insurance needs.
They don’t need as much insurance as a house, but owners have more to insure than a renter. The insurance needs for a condo owner include personal property and liability coverage. Special policies for condominium owners, known as form HO-6, will provide the liability and personal property protection a condominium owner needs.
Condominium owners need to insure not only their personal possessions in the condo, but also any built-in units such as cabinets, fixtures, appliances and shelves. In addition to covering the personal property, a condo owner also needs liability coverage. The liability portion of the policy would cover injuries or damage to people or property that the condo owner would be liable for.
What if you came home from work only to find your apartment had been totally trashed by a burglar?
Or what if you walked into your living room and found yourself standing in a 3-inch flood of water? Well, if you think it’s not a major problem because your landlord will foot the bill, YOU’RE WRONG.
Your landlord’s insurance does NOT cover your personal property. Things like your clothes, stereo, furniture, television, bicycle, jewelry, personal computer, artwork and other items are not covered by your landlord’s insurance against destruction or loss. As sorry as your landlord may be about the 3 inches of water in your living room or your stolen stereo, you’re the one who’ll have to buy a new couch and stereo system.
This policy takes over where your basic automobile and homeowners policies leave off by providing up to $1 million of additional liability coverage.
This policy also provides coverage that may not be offered by your basic policies, such as coverage against lawsuits for libel, slander, defamation of character or invasion of privacy. It also extends the same coverage to your spouse and other relatives living in the household.
If a policyholder is sued because of a covered occurrence and the primary insurance policies do not apply or have been exhausted, the Personal Umbrella Policy will pay legal expenses incurred, including attorney fees and court costs.
An umbrella policy can only be issued if the liability limits on the policy(s) it covers meet certain criteria. Consult our customer service department if you have any questions about these limits.