Archive for homeowner insurance coverages

Off-Premises Coverage Includes Theft and Damage from Perils Listed In Your Oklahoma Homeowners Insurance or Renters Policy

While self-storage units may be a useful way to de-clutter your home, having the right insurance coverage is the best way to financially protect your belongings—no matter where they are.

If you are planning to rent a storage unit for your belongings, take the following steps:

• Ask your insurance professional about off-premises coverage. Some standard Oklahoma homeowners insurance and renters insurance policies include coverage for personal possessions kept off-premises including a storage facility. Off-premises coverage includes theft and damage from fires, tornadoes and other perils listed in the policy. However, it does not cover for damage caused by flooding, earthquakes, mold and mildew, vermin or poor maintenance. And check the coverage limits, as these vary by company.

• Find out what type of financial protection is provided by the storage facility. Most facilities provide reimbursement based on the square footage of the unit. Check both the coverage limits and whether it is provided on an actual cash value or replacement cost basis. Most storage facilities will also offer a variety of supplemental insurance packages; ask your insurance professional if it would make sense to buy this additional coverage.

• Consider special insurance or storage for expensive items. If you intend to store valuable property, such as art, antiques, jewelry or furs, there may be dollar restrictions under your standard Oklahoma homeowners or renters insurance policy for theft. Ask your insurance professional about adding a floater or endorsement [1] to your policy in order to fully cover these items. There are also specialized storage facilities available for these types of items, as they often need to be kept at specific temperature and humidity levels. Small items such as jewelry will cost less to insure if they are kept in a bank safe-deposit box. Keep in mind contents in a safe-deposit box are not insured by the bank.

• Create an inventory of items to be kept off-premises in storage. Add the items you’re moving to the storage unit to your home inventory so that you can keep track of your belongings and make sure you have the right amount of insurance to protect them. To make creating your inventory as easy as possible, the I.I.I. has a free home inventory tool, Know Your Stuff® [2], which includes secure online storage so you can access your inventory anywhere, anytime.

The I.I.I. offers the following tips for choosing a safe storage company:

• Look for a secure facility. Fencing that secures the entire property and access control are the minimum security measures a storage business should offer. But, ideally, the storage building should have onsite security features such as 24-hour video surveillance cameras and coded security pads. Also, find out about the facility’s procedures in cases such as a fire or flood.

• Look for a unit with climate control. Very high or low temperatures, as well as dampness can quickly cause damage to appliances and furniture. And make sure that rising ground water from snow or rain is unable to penetrate the storage.

• Consider a storage company that offers insurance. If your renters or homeowners insurance does not provide off-premises coverage, you may want to opt for one of the company’s coverage options. Keep in mind that any facility should also have its own insurance to cover damages to the property or injuries that occur on the premises.

• Check that the facility is clean and well-maintained. If a storage facility is not routinely and thoroughly cleaned, there is a good possibility no one is monitoring for bugs and rodent infestations. Verify that the facility has a permanent, reliable pest extermination contract in place before you trust them with your belongings.

http://www.iii.org

Does My Homeowners Liability Extend To My Farm?

Potential coverage for this situation varies from policy to policy so read your policy carefully. Many home insurance agents in Oklahoma give the wrong answer on this question.

Most quality home insurance policies in Oklahoma will extend the Liability Coverage from your Oklahoma home insurance to vacant property that is not being farmed. What is vacant? Is usually means absolutely no structure, no improvements. Some companies allow a fence. Therefore, if there is any farming or if there are any structures, you usually need a separate policy for this property.

Ice Dams – Home Insurance Companies

Oklahoma homeowners have seen very warm weather and very cold weather so far this year.  However, homeowners in the Northeast are experiencing one of the most severe winters in recent history.   Here is an article about ice dams that have been a problem for Oklahoma homeowners in the past and certainly for homeowners in the Northeast now.  Click here to read it.

 

Oklahoma Home Insurance – Special Limits of Liability

Homeowner insurance policies typically limit coverage for certain types of Personal Property.  Sometimes these limitations can be increased by paying  additional money and sometimes another policy can be purchased to provide more comprehensive coverage in that particular area.  Ask your agent about the personal property limitations within your policy.  While the limitations vary from company to company, the types of limitations are very similar.  For example, all policies will limit coverage for theft of jewelry, losses of cash and coins and theft of firearms, just to name a few. One of the companies we represent for home insurance is Travelers Insurance and I am copying an exert from their homeowners insurance policy that states their Personal Property Limitations within their home insurance policy…. 3. Special Limits of Liability. The special limit for each category described below is the greater of the limit shown below or the special limit for such category, if any, shown in the Declarations. Such limit is the total limit for each loss for all property in that category. These special limits do not increase the Coverage C limit of liability. a. $200 on money, bank notes, bullion, gold other than goldware, silver other than silverware, platinum other than platinumware, coins, medals, scrip, stored value cards and smart cards. b. $1,500 on securities, accounts, deeds, evidence of debt, letters of credit, notes other than bank notes, manuscripts, personal records, passports, tickets and stamps. This dollar limit applies to these categories regardless of the medium (such as paper or computer software) on which the material exists. This limit includes the cost to research, replace or restore the information from the lost or damaged material. c. $1,500 on watercraft of all types, including their trailers, furnishings, equipment and outboard engines or motors. d. $1,500 on trailers or semitrailers not used with watercraft of all types. e. $1,500 for loss by theft of jewelry, watches, furs, precious and semiprecious stones. f. $2,500 for loss by theft of firearms and related equipment. g. $2,500 for loss by theft of silverware, silverplated ware, goldware, gold-plated ware, platinumware, platinum-plated ware and pewterware. This includes flatware, hollowware, tea sets, trays and trophies made of or including silver, gold, platinum or pewter. h. $5,000 on property, on the “residence premises”, used primarily for “business” purposes. i. $1,500 on property, away from the “residence premises”, used primarily for “business” purposes. However, this limit does not apply to loss to electronic apparatus and accessories described in category j. below. j. $1,500 on electronic apparatus and accessories, while in or upon a “motor vehicle”, but only if the apparatus is equipped to be operated by power from the “motor vehicle’s” electrical system while still capable of being operated by other power sources. k. $250 on tapes, records, discs or other media that can be used with any electronic apparatus, while in or upon a “motor vehicle”.

Homeowners Insurance Coverage Retaining Wall

It’s not unusual for homeowners to spend thousands of dollars erecting a retaining wall.  Most quality homeowner insurance policies are worded consistently on this issue.  A retaining wall is considered a Detached Structure and the maximum amount of coverage is usually 10% of your Dwelling Coverage limit.  The retaining wall is usually covered for damage caused by Fire, Lightning, Wind (including tornado), damage caused by vehicles and a few other types of perils.  HOWEVER, most of the damage that I have seen arises from retaining walls falling due to saturated soil.  This usually happens when we have experienced an extremely wet period lasting 3 or more days.  This falls under the Earth Movement policy exclusions and is not covered.