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Archive for November, 2008

Won’t my landlord’s insurance provide coverage for damage to my personal property?
No. Your landlord’s insurance will provide coverage only for damage to the building itself, but  not to your personal property. As a result, you should purchase renters insurance to protect your property from winter storm damage.

Long Island Home Insurance

Long Island Home Insurance

What type of winter storm damage does renters insurance cover?
Standard renters insurance provides coverage for damage to your personal property that results from any of the named perils that are listed on your policy (e.g., hail, wind, fire). As long as the winter storm damage results from one of these named perils, your personal property should be covered but you will need to check with your personal agent for specific coverage questions.

What if the damage is the result of a flood?
Basic renters insurance doesn’t provide coverage for damage that is the result of a flood. If you live in a flood-prone area, you’ll need to purchase a separate policy  to cover damage to your personal property as the result of a flood.

What is the difference between replacement cost and actual cash value coverage?
When you purchase renters insurance, you’ll want to know whether the policy provides replacement cost or actual cash value coverage for damaged property. Replacement cost coverage pays the actual amount of what it costs to replace the items that are damaged. Actual cash value coverage pays an amount equal to the depreciated value of the item that is damaged. Premiums for replacement cost coverage are a little higher than those for actual cash value coverage, but is worth the cost.

Staten Island Home Insurance

Staten Island Home Insurance

Are there any coverage limits for damage to my property?
Most renters insurance policies have coverage limits for certain items, such as jewelry. As a result, you should consider adding a rider to your policy or purchasing a separate policy, sometimes referred to a personal articles policy,  that is specifically designed to protect your valuables.

How much will it cost?
The cost of renters insurance varies, and depends on factors such as where you live and the coverage amount, but most people are surprised at how low premiums are.

Preparing for winter storm damage claims
There are some steps you can take to prepare yourself in case you ever need to file a claim for winter storm damage:

  • Prepare a household inventory by photographing or videotaping items
  • Keep receipts for valuable items
  • Have insurance information handy (e.g., insurance company phone numbers, insurance policy numbers)
  • Keep copies of the documents and information you’ve compiled in a safe place outside the house
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If any covered peril damages or destroys your home, you will need to file a claim with your insurance company. You will need to promptly notify your insurance agent. You must be aware that an insurance policy is a contract between you and your insurance company and as such, there are rules and procedures that you and your insurer must follow. Read your insurance policy to see what your responsibilities are.

Long Island Home Insurance

Long Island Home Insurance

1. If you are the victim of a theft or your home has been vandalized or burglarized, report it to the police.

2. Before filing a claim, call your agent and ask questions: Is my loss a covered loss? Does my claim exceed my deductible? How long will it take to process my claim? Will I need to obtain estimates for repairs to structural damage?

3. Take reasonable steps to protect your property from further damage.

4. You are going to need to verify your loss. Take pictures and avoid throwing out damaged items until the adjuster has visited your home.

5. If your home is severely damaged and you need to find other accommodations while repairs are being made, keep records of all additional expenses incurred. Most home insurance policies provide coverage for the “loss of use” of their home.

6. Once your insurance company has been notified of your claim, the company is required to send the necessary claim forms to you by the end of a specified time period. (The time period varies from state to state.) Return the properly filled-out forms as soon as possible in order to avoid delays.

Staten Island Home Insurance

Staten Island Home Insurance

7. Your insurance company will usually arrange for an adjuster to come and inspect your loss. Cooperate with them as they gather information. Once you and your insurance company agree on the terms of your settlement, state laws require that you be sent payment promptly. In most cases, your claim will be processed quickly. If you have any questions about the claim filing laws in your state, call your insurance agent or your state department of insurance.

Important Final Note:
It is extremely important for you to thoroughly review and understand your home insurance policy BEFORE you have to deal with the stress of a loss/claim. You should know what perils are covered, and whether the coverage amounts are sufficient in the event of a disaster. Your insurance agent should be more than willing to discuss your specific insurance needs, as well as recommend possible ways to reduce your premiums, ease potential losses and prepare you for the proper steps to take in the event of a loss. But ultimately, the responsibility is yours.

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Flood blocking the road in Jerusalem

 

1. Floods are the #1 natural disaster in the United States.

2. Most home insurance policies don’t cover flood damage.

3. Hurricanes, winter storms and snowmelt are common (but often overlooked) causes of flooding.

4. If you live in a low-to-moderate risk area and are eligible for the Preferred Risk Policy, your flood insurance premium may be as low as $119 a year, including coverage for your property’s contents.

5. Last year, one-third of all claims paid by the National Flood Insurance Program were for policies in low-risk communities. (Source: www.floodsmart.gov)

6. Your home has a 26% chance of being damaged by a flood during the course of a 30-year mortgage, compared to a 9% chance of fire. (floodsmart.gov)

7. Everyone lives in some type of flood zone. These are geographic areas that FEMA defines, based on studies of flood risk. The zone boundaries are shown on flood hazard maps, also called Flood Insurance Rate Maps.

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Who Needs Flood Insurance?
Since floods can happen to anybody just about anywhere, you probably should consider the possibility of taking out a flood insurance policy. Depending on your flood zone, the premiums can vary greatly. Additionally, if you live in a high-risk flood area and buy a home and take out a mortgage, your lender may require that you buy flood insurance for the closing.

Where Can You Buy Flood Insurance?
You can purchase flood insurance from your insurance agent through the National Flood Insurance Program. The National Flood Insurance Program is backed by the U. S. government.

Long Island Flood InsuranceDoes Home Insurance Cover Flooding?
Most do not cover flooding. Homeowners can include personal property coverage in their NFIP policy, and residential and commercial renters can purchase flood coverage for their contents. Business owners can also buy flood insurance coverage for their buildings, inventory and contents.

Does a flood insurance policy offer any type of basement coverage?
Yes, it does. A basement, as defined by NFIP, is any building area with a floor below ground level on all sides. Basement improvements – finished walls, floors or ceilings – are not covered by flood insurance,  nor are personal belongings, such as furniture and other contents. But flood insurance does cover structural elements and essential equipment, provided it is connected to a power source (if required) and installed in its functioning location. Examples of items covered may include the following: sump pumps, well-water tanks and pumps, oil tanks and the oil inside, natural gas tanks and the gas inside, pumps or tanks used with solar energy, furnaces, water heaters, air conditioners, heat pumps, electrical junction and circuit breaker boxes (and their utility connections).

 

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