Whether you own your home or condominium or rent an apartment, we have a policy to fit your needs. Your home is one of your single greatest assets. Properly covering it is imperative. We research your home’s reconstruction cost to determine the appropriate amount of insurance. This is the cost to rebuild your home should you have a claim. This is NOT the market value or assessed value. The amount of insurance you carry should equal 100% of the “replacement cost” to rebuild your home. This is generally a requirement of most insurance companies and most mortgage companies/banks. See our blog for a detailed description of the homeowners policy. As an independent insurance agent, we represent many fine insurance companies and we place your policy in the company that best suits your individual needs. There are several endorsements and coverage options available. We will go over them to tailor the policy to be sure you are properly covered.
SECTION I — PROPERTY COVERAGESCOVERAGE A – DWELLINGCovers the value of the dwelling itself (not including the land). Losses will be adjusted at replacement cost, up to the policy limits. HO-4 (renter’s insurance) typically has no Coverage A, although it has additional coverages for improvements. HO-6 (Condominium Unit Owner’s Insurance) can cover the building or portion of the building that you are responsible to insure. We review your condominium’s bylaws and insurance documents to help you determine this amount.
COVERAGE B – OTHER STRUCTURESCovers other structures around the property that are not used for business. Typically limited at 10% to 20% of the Coverage A Dwelling with additional amounts available by endorsement. Other structures cover detached buildings or property such as garages, barns, fences, flag poles, sheds, gazebos, etc.
COVERAGE C – PERSONAL PROPERTYCovers personal property, with limits for the theft and loss of particular classes of items (e.g., money, banknotes, bullion, coins, medals, jewelry, watches, furs, silverware, stamps, guns etc.). Typically 50- 70% of Coverage A is required for contents. Your personal property or contents are covered on an Actual Cash Value(ACV) basis. ACV will pay the cost to replace your belongings, minus depreciation. We strongly recommend adding Personal Property Replacement Cost. This endorsement will reimburse you for the current cost/today's value of replacing your belongings.
COVERAGE D – LOSS OF USE / ADDITIONAL LIVING EXPENSESCovers expenses associated with additional living expenses (i.e. staying in a hotel) and fair rental value if part of the residence was rented.
ADDITIONAL COVERAGESCovers a variety of expenses such as debris removal, reasonable repairs, damage to trees and shrubs for certain named perils (excluding the most common causes of damage, wind, and ice), fire department charges, removal of property, credit card/identity theft charges, loss assessment, collapse, landlord’s furnishing, and some building additions. These vary depending upon the form.
EXCLUSIONSThe standard Homeowner's policy has several exclusions. Specific exclusions will be stated in this section. These generally include earth movement, water damage, power failure, neglect, war, nuclear hazard, septic tank back-up expenses, intentional loss, and flood. Your policy will provide a full list of exclusions.
Flood damage is typically excluded under standard Homeowner's and Renter's insurance policies. Flood coverage, however, is available in the form of a separate policy both from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and from a few private insurers. We will determine if your property falls into a special flood hazard zone. Most mortgage companies/banks require that you carry flood insurance if you are in a special flood hazard zone such as AE or VE.
SECTION II — LIABILITY COVERAGESCOVERAGE E – PERSONAL LIABILITYCovers damages for bodily injury and property damage which you are legally liable for and provides a legal defense at the insurance company’s own expense.
COVERAGE F – MEDICAL PAYMENTSCovers damages for any medical expenses to others if they are hurt on your property. Legal liability is not a requirement to collect under this coverage.
OR THIS…. From our blog:
Whether you live in a home of your own, an apartment in a multi-family tenement, or a condo on the golf course, everyone should have a homeowner’s policy to insure their home and/or belongings.
There are typically three types of Homeowner’s policies, each written on a similar form. An owned home is written on an HO-3 form; a Tenant’s or Renter’s policy is written on an HO-4 form; and a condominium policy is written on an HO-6.
All three policy forms include personal liability coverage. Personal liability provides financial protection in case you are sued or held legally responsible for bodily injury or property damage to a third party. Typically, covered expenses include: the amount the insurer spends to investigate or defend the claim or lawsuit; attorneys’ fees, witness fees and police report costs, court costs or other costs assessed against you; reasonable expenses you incur at the insurance company’s request to aid in your defense against a claim, such as your loss of income for a day spent in court; a judgment or settlement arising from a covered lawsuit; any required interest on the judgment if the defense is unsuccessful and medical expenses for injured parties. You can purchase liability limits from $100,000 to several million.
The Tenant’s or Renter’s policy insures your personal belongings in your apartment. It also gives you some coverage for your belongings while away from home. When deciding on how much coverage to purchase, think about everything in your home and what it would cost to replace it all if a catastrophe struck.
There are so many renters out there that have not considered purchasing a policy. The landlord’s policy does NOT cover the tenant’s belongings. We have seen a lot of fires and burst pipes where the tenants did not have any insurance. A basic tenant’s policy covering $15,000 of your belongings could cost less than $150 per year.
The Homeowner’s policy is similar to the Tenant’s policy, but it insures the dwelling itself and other structures that you have on the property, such as garages or sheds, as well as your personal belongings. Like the Tenant’s policy, it includes personal liability coverage.
The Condo policy is a mix between the other two types of policies. It includes coverage for your personal belongings and coverage on that part of the dwelling for which you are legally responsible. You will have to look at your deed or your condominium agreement to find out what you are responsible for and what part the association is responsible for insuring. We can help you determine the correct amount of insurance to select. This policy also includes personal liability.
All three of these policies include additional living expense coverage. If you have a loss to your home, condo, or apartment that requires you to move out temporarily while repairs are being made, this coverage will pay for most of those additional living expenses. For example, if you have to move into a hotel for a few weeks after a fire in your home, your hotel bills get paid for.
With the advent of managed auto competition in Massachusetts, most auto insurance companies will give you a credit for having both an Auto policy and a Homeowner’s policy in the same company. Many companies give you a credit on both policies.
This was just a brief overview of the Homeowner’s policy. There are many more things the policy covers and several endorsements you can add to tailor the policy to your unique individual needs.