Consider These Homeowners Insurance Add-ons for Extra Protection

June 24, 2021


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Purchasing a home is one of the biggest investments you’ll likely ever make. So it makes sense that you’d want a solid insurance policy in place to protect it. But homeowners insurance isn’t a one-size-fits-all proposition, and that’s why policy add-ons can be so important. Educating yourself about how you can expand upon your existing coverage can be key to protecting your home from damage and loss. There are add-ons to consider for a number of perils and situations.

 

Excluded Personal Property. While your existing homeowners policy insures many of your possessions, do you know there may be limits to the amount and types of items it covers? Some common exclusions include jewelry, musical instruments, art, antiques and electronics. But you can ask your agent about purchasing riders to include them.

 

Sinkholes. An often-excluded peril in many homeowners insurance policies, sinkholes can lead to major property damage or even a catastrophic loss. If you live in an area that’s vulnerable to sinkhole activity, you might want to consider an add-on to cover this risk.

 

Floods. Technically, a separate policy as opposed to an add-on, many people wrongly assume their homeowners insurance will cover damage resulting from a flood. Even if you don’t live in a flood-prone area, this coverage can be useful in the event of an infrequent severe weather event that causes a flood.

 

Water Backup. In addition to flood insurance, there’s also coverage available for another type of water hazard. The resulting damage from backed-up drains, sewer lines or sump pump overflows can be costly to repair. Ask your agent about adding water backup coverage to your existing policy for such occurrences.

 

Identity Theft. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book, 1.7 million consumers filed fraud reports and an additional 650,572 filed identity theft reports in 2019. This $1.9 billion in total fraud losses represents an increase of more than $293 million from the previous year. Because of this growing trend, a number of insurance policies now offer identity theft as an add-on.

 

Home Improvements. It often doesn’t take long for a house to need upgrades whether to enhance home value, complete repairs or stay current with local building standards. At the end of a lengthy renovation project, the last thing on your mind may be to inform your agent about the work you’ve had done. Whether you’ve expanded your great room, remodeled a kitchen or enclosed your pool, be sure to bring any property improvements to the attention of your insurer.

 

Umbrella Policy. An umbrella policy — or personal liability insurance — can protect homeowners against costly liability claims and lawsuits. Basic homeowners (and auto) insurance policies may not be sufficient to cover lawsuits for incidents such as an accidental injury on your property.

 

Earthquakes. If you live in an at-risk state, purchasing earthquake insurance might be worthwhile. Even if you’re lucky enough to avoid the Big One, this protection can help when a prized possession rattles off the bookshelf. Ask your We Insure agent about coverage options in your area.

 

Animal Liability. If Fido turns fierce and attacks a guest, your regular homeowners policy may not cover the incident or may only cover up to a certain limit. Your financial exposure in these incidents may be higher than you think: Just in the past year, claim costs have increased from $44,760 in 2019 to $50,425 in 2020.

 

Hurricanes. If you live in a hurricane-prone area, check your homeowners insurance policy before storm season for your level of coverage. Windstorm coverage typically isn’t an add-on option, but you may want to shop around as deductibles can be significant and vary from carrier to carrier.

 

Don’t Fall Short on Coverage

Never assume that, just because you have a homeowners policy in place, you’re adequately insured for all types of loss and damage. Gaps in coverage can be costly. Call your local We Insure office and one of our knowledgeable agents will help you determine the right type of policy or add-on to suit your needs.

 

Sources:

https://www.iii.org/article/spotlight-on-dog-bite-liability

https://www.forbes.com/advisor/homeowners-insurance/identity-theft-insurance/