In the world of personal insurance, your motto should run along the lines of Murphy's law — with one crucial caveat. Anything that can happen will, and you had best be prepared for that anything. A home will likely represent the largest financial asset you'll own and with that in mind, make certain that your homeowners insurance policy covers any unusual circumstances in the event of a claim.
A recent anecdote pulled from a real-life insurance stalemate in Canada details the story of a couple who purchased a dwelling in 2015 and suffered damage to the structure when a tree fell on the roof. Nothing complicated there, right? Fallen oaks and maples have been known to wreak havoc regularly on Canadian households, and any home insurance policy covers the cost of repair.
When attempting to secure permits to rebuild the damaged portion of the house, township inspectors informed the residents that large sections of the dwelling were built shoddily — and without a permit. Eighteen months or so later, rezoning delays and new permit issuance have prevented the claimants from completing repairs and providing required receipts to the insurance carrier that sets a two-year time limit on such submissions.
Ringing Endorsements and Easy Riders
Home policies bundle many basic coverages but there are some optional riders and endorsements you may not want to skip. Take a look at some examples:
Jewelry riders: You might assume that all your jewels are protected in full from theft, fire, etc. However, valuable items need to be appraised and scheduled for more than standard policy limits.
Earthquake coverage: In San Francisco or Tokyo, this coverage is a must. Yet, quakes have become more common in lower-risk areas, so weigh cost against potentially devastating consequences.
Ordinance and law coverage: This amendment may not get a political entity to act any faster but extra dwelling coverage above stated policy limits helps defray the expense of bringing repaired structures up to code.
Water and sewer back-up: Finished lower levels sopped by water or sewage reentering the home through plumbing fixtures could stink— literally and figuratively— if you don't opt for this coverage.
Identity theft coverage: In the digital age, you read daily about cheats and hackers who steal sensitive personal data for financial gain. This amendment covers the cost of piecing your life back together after such a blow.
Home business coverage: With more individuals running home-based businesses, this coverage provides protection for business property that would normally be excluded under the base policy.
Scheduled personal property rider: Jewelry might not be your only valuable possession. Appraise and separately insure collectibles, furs, guns, rugs, high-end electronics, etc.
Replacement cost coverage: Insure personal property for actual cash value, which means you'll receive depreciated or market value for damaged or stolen items, or opt for coverage that replaces used items with new ones of like kind.
Certain policy endorsements come standard with a homeowners policy package, but you must choose to add non-standard amendments that entail some extra cost, but greater peace of mind. Use InsuranceHotline to search for the best homeowner insurance rates.