Below are some of the most common insurance-related quesitons.
Why should I buy homeowners insurance?
- Home Owners: Protect both your house and personal property.
- Tenants of Rental Properties: Protect your personal property.
- All parties: Protection against liability for accidents that injure other people or damage their property.
My house was completely destroyed by fire. I'm trying to collect on my personal property that I had in the house, but the insurance company is telling me I need an inventory. Can they do that?
Yes. Whether your policy pays for the replacement or just the actual cash value, the company is only obligated to pay for personal property that you can show you owned at the time of loss. It is a very good idea to keep an up to date inventory in a secure place. Also, to help you remember what you had, it is helpful to take pictures of each room and keep them with your inventory.
When can an insurance company cancel my homeowners coverage during the policy term?
Generally, your policy can be canceled for these reasons:
- Non-payment of premium;
- Material misrepresentation/Fraud;
- Conviction of a crime arising out of acts increasing the hazard insured against. (For example, a conviction for illegal storage of fireworks);
- Discovery of willful or reckless acts or omissions by the insured increasing the hazard insured against. (For example, not getting a gas leak fixed);
- Physical changes in the property insured which result in the property becoming uninsurable. (For example, should the home become vacant for more than 60 consecutive days, a greater exposure to vandalism and damage is assumed to exist); and
- A determination by the Commissioner of Insurance that continuation of the policy would place the insurance company in violation of the law.
I have specifically insured antique items listed on my homeowner’s policy. If I have a total loss, would the insurance company pay me the insured value?
Your insurance company would first confirm the value of the items with one or more independent antique dealers. You should then be paid a dollar value based on the dealer(s) estimate of the worth of the antique items. If you disagree with the settlement offered by your insurer, then you can follow the dispute resolution process outlined in your policy. There is a simpler way: Get appraisals and have your agent establish the stated values in the policy. You should also keep your appraisals up-to-date.