How to File a Homeowners Insurance Claim – FAQs about the Homeowners Insurance Claims Process

No one wants to file a claim on their homeowners insurance policy even though, that’s what the policy is there for! Since you probably don’t file claims on a regular basis, you might be confused about what you should do (and not do) in the event you need to start the process. Let’s dive into some frequently asked questions about filing a homeowners insurance claim.

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When Should You File a Homeowners Claim?

 

If you incur significant damage to your home due to a major disaster like a tornado, flood, or fire, you will certainly want to file a claim on your homeowners policy. However, some instances of damage to your property may require a little more consideration. When you are thinking about filing a claim, it is important to ask yourself a few questions.

  • What is my deductible? – If the cost to repair the damage is less than or slightly more than your deductible, it probably would not be worth it to file a claim. For example, if your deductible is $1000 and the expected repairs are $1200, it would be safe to say that the ramifications of filing will probably be more than $200 and filing would not be worth it.
  • What is covered on my home insurance policy? – Not all causes of damage are covered by homeowners insurance, so go over your policy to determine if the incident will be covered.
  • Is the event a maintenance issue, normal wear and tear, or malicious intent? – If there was something you could have done to prevent the damage, the insurance company will most likely not cover it.
  • Have I filed claims before? – You want to limit the number of claims on your record, as it could cause the insurance company to not renew your policy and make it difficult for you to get insured elsewhere.

 

Your agent can help you with information you need to make decisions on whether filing a claim is right for the situation.

How Do I File a Homeowners Insurance Claim?

1. File a Police Report, If Necessary

While this step is not necessary for all claims, if vandalism or theft has occurred, you will need to file a report with the local police. Many home insurance companies will require this to support your claim for these types of perils.

2. Contact Your Insurance Agent ASAP

Notice…I said contact your AGENT, not your insurance company 1-800 number.

Here is why…

When you call an insurance company 1-800 number to even ASK A QUESTION about filing a claim on your home insurance, they will mark it on your record as a claim, even if you never actually file that claim. This is called a “zero dollar claim”. And yes, that claim counts against you just as much as a paid claim.

Unless this has happened to you or someone you know, you probably didn’t know this little tidbit. I come across countless people on a weekly basis that deal with this problem and have to pay for it (literally) for many years.

Always call your agent first! That’s what we are here for. If you don’t have an agent…get one! Your insurance agent is the liaison between you and the insurance company. They are your advocate and should fight to make sure you are treated right throughout the claims process. Going through this process is the time when you wish you hadn’t purchased your policy from the internet.

If you decide with your agent that it is best to file a claim, they will help you gather all information necessary to start the claims process and get an adjuster to your home as soon as possible.

3. Prevent Further Damage

Do your best to conduct temporary repairs to protect your home from further damage, such as tarps (in the event of a roof leak) or shutting of water to your home (in the event of water damage caused by busted pipes). Keep receipts for any purchases made.

4. Document EVERYTHING

Make sure that you document the date, time, and details of everything that happened surrounding the claim event. Take pictures or video documenting the aftermath of property damage BEFORE you repair anything. Then, document the measures you took to prevent further damage. Keep all receipts to submit to the insurance company for reimbursement, including receipts for lodging or food if the home is uninhabitable.

How Long Do You Have to File a Homeowners Insurance Claim?

According to your insurance contract, it is your responsibility to contact your insurance company as soon as possible if you believe there is damage to your property that could result in a claim. 

According to Wiseman Bray PLLC, while the normal statute of limitations of a contract claim is 6 years in Tennessee, your homeowners policy may include a much shorter “contractual statute of limitations”. Hidden in the fine print, this deadline may be only 1 year or sometimes shorter.

 

It is best to file a homeowners insurance claim as soon as possible.

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Can I Withdraw a Homeowners Insurance Claim?

 

If the insurance company has not paid anything on the claim, you should be able to cancel the claim. However, the claim will still go on your record as a “zero dollar” claim which could affect your premium or ability to insure the property.

How Long Does a Homeowners Insurance Claim Stay on Your Record?

 

The insurance claim will usually stay on your record for 5-7 years. Some insurance companies will stop counting it against you at 3 years; while others will not count it after 5 years. For this reason, be sure to have your agent shop your rate each year if you have a claim on your record.

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Will Filing a Homeowners Insurance Claim Raise My Rates?

 

Yes, in most cases, your home insurance rate will increase at renewal if you file a claim during the prior policy term.

How Many Home Insurance Claims Can You File?

The average homeowner makes a claim every 9 years. You can technically file as many claims as you desire, but filing multiple claims in a short period can result in:

  • Your rate increasing significantly at renewal
  • The company voiding or not renewing your policy
  • Difficulty in finding an insurance company that will insure the property

 

Most insurance companies will not accept you as a policyholder if you have been non-renewed by another company. It is best to not file more than one claim every three years if at all possible. Filing more often than this could result in difficulty securing affordable insurance.

Is it Worth Claiming on Home Insurance?

Taking all the factors above into consideration, it is up to you determine whether or not it is worth it to file a claim on your home insurance. It is important that you discuss with your agent any questions you may have.

 

If you need help with your homeowners insurance in Murfreesboro or anywhere in Tennessee, we are happy to help ensure you get the best policy for you!

Is Mold Damage Covered By Insurance?

It is a hot, summer day in Murfreesboro. You work outside in your garden for a while, but decide to stay inside and enjoy the nice, cool air conditioning. You walk to your bathroom to splash some water on your face and you see it in the corner…mold spores silently climbing up your wall! What do you do???

Mold Damage Home Insurance

Mold is something you do NOT want to find in your home ever! It is messy and expensive to mitigate. However, here in Murfreesboro – where we get over 54 inches of rain a year – we have the hot, muggy climate that mold just loves. 

Many people believe that when you find those little spores growing in the corner of the basement, homeowners insurance will step in. However, this is a common misconception. Let’s take a look at some common questions regarding mold and homeowners insurance 

When is mold covered by insurance?

Most standard homeowners policies will exclude mold, fungus, and dry rot from their policies. 

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However, most carriers, will allow you to purchase an endorsement, or addition, to your policy that will offer limited coverage for fungi, wet or dry rot, or bacteria. This endorsement, which requires additional premium, will cover the cost to remove the fungi, the cost to tear out and replace damaged parts of the building or covered property, and other necessary expenses up to the limits of the endorsement. 

Coverage under this endorsement will usually only apply if the mold or other fungi is caused by a covered peril. Perils are events that could cause damage to your home or personal property. Most policies list perils that are covered – those are your covered or named perils.

Some of the covered perils that are most likely on your homeowners policy are: 

  • Fire
  • Lightening
  • Windstorm or Hail
  • Theft or attempted theft
  • Falling objects
  • Vandalism or malicious mischief
  • Accidental discharge or overflow of water from plumbing, heating, air conditioners or appliances
  • Frozen pipes
  • Weight of ice, snow, or sleet

If mold and other fungi, dry or wet rot or bacteria damage is caused by one of the named perils on your policy and you have the discussed endorsement, your claim would most likely be covered.

When is mold not covered by insurance?

Unless you have the endorsement discussed above on your home insurance policy, mold damage is likely not covered. Mold and other fungi is usually excluded even on a open perils policy, the most extensive of home insurance policies.

What should I do if I suspect mold in my house?

Some common signs of mold in your home are…

  • Lingering cold or flu-like symptoms
  • Frequent nose bleeds
  • Visible mold spores
  • Frequent headaches or respiratory issues
  • Damp or musty smell in your home

 

 

Mold can get out of hand quickly. If you suspect mold in your home, contact your insurance agent as soon as possible to see if you have any coverage on your policy. If you do have coverage, professionals will be dispatched to start cleanup quickly and keep damage to a minimum. 

If you have any questions regarding mold coverage on your homeowners insurance policy, we would be happy to help, whether or not you are in the Middle Tennessee area.

Give us a call today at 615-919-1009 or click here for more information. We look forward to serving you!

Does Homeowner’s Insurance Cover Water Damage?

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Coming back to a flooded home can be heartbreaking, more so if the damage has extended to your personal belongings. And it’s common than you think. As a matter of fact, water is among the top causes of damage to American homes.

 

It’s no wonder then why many homeowners often ask – does homeowner’s insurance cover water damage? The answer is never straightforward. It’s a yes and a no!

Whether your homeowner’s insurance policy will or will not cover you depends on the specific circumstances.

 

In today’s article, you are going to learn everything you need to know about what is and isn’t covered by your homeowner’s insurance policy in regards to water damage. 

Instances That Your Standard Homeowner’s Insurance Will Cover You for Water Damage

Broadly speaking, a standard homeowner’s insurance policy does cover water damage. That said, not all events are covered. Your policy will only cover water damage if it resulted from a ‘sudden and accidental’ event, as explained by haasproperties.com.

 

For example, if the water damage is caused by the sudden breaking of a pipe or if a washing machine supply hose suddenly breaks. Another example is when your water heater raptures and drenches your drywall.

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The following are other events that a standard homeowner’s insurance policy will usually cover.

 

  • Damage resulting from snow or rainstorm.
  • In case of plumbing issues. These issues may include burst water pipes, frozen plumbing, accidental overflow, and faulty plumbing.
  • When damage to your personal belongings results from fire extinguishing.
  • If the damage is from a leaky roof. Here, your policy will cover not only the damage to the roof itself but also to the interior of your home as well.
  • If an appliance or a fixture accidentally overflows.
  • When mold grows as a result of water damage.
  • When your home gets vandalized.

Instances That Your Standard Homeowner’s Insurance Will Not Cover You for Water Damage

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Don’t expect your standard homeowner’s insurance to cover the following types of water damage.

 

  • Flood: Your standard homeowner’s policy doesn’t provide flood coverage, no matter the source of the water. Some of the common causes of flood damage include rainstorms, over-saturated ground, and water surges from rivers, lakes, oceans, or other water bodies. Typically, flood insurance is sold as a separate insurance policy that you will need to purchase to supplement your existing home insurance.      
  • Maintenance issues: Are you keeping up with the maintenance of your home? If you are not, then your standard homeowner’s insurance won’t cover you in case of water damage.
  • Water backup: Homeowner’s insurance doesn’t typically cover water backup damage. It’s an optional add-on to a homeowner’s insurance policy. It helps cover the cost of removing water or replacing furniture after an unexpected backup.
  • Source of water damage: Your standard insurance policy will not provide cover for the source of water damage. As such, while you can expect your homeowner’s insurance to cover is the cost of tearing out and replacing that damaged floor. Don’t expect it to cover the cost of replacing your washing machine or broken dishwasher. 

Is Mold Covered?

Generally, coverage for mold damage depends on your specific policy and location. A majority of insurance companies exclude mold from a standard homeowner’s insurance but provide an option to add it through an endorsement.

 

Some insurance companies will help cover mold remediation of the mold resulted from a peril that your policy already covers.

Mold Insurance Murfreesboro

So, what constitutes a covered peril? Well, while it varies from policy to policy, with an open peril policy, you will be covered for anything that your policy doesn’t specifically exclude.

And usually, they will cover the remediation to a certain cost. In most cases, a typical mold endorsement covers damages anywhere between $2,500 and $5,000.

Mold remediation may involve doing things like:

  • Physically removing the mold
  • Controlling all humidity
  • Sealing off the mold
  • Cleaning up afterward

 

Take note, however, that your standard homeowner’s insurance will not cover mold damage resulting from your negligence. That is, the negligence when it comes to performing your maintenance responsibilities as the homeowner.

The following is an example:

Suppose you notice that your toilet is leaking water as a result of a damaged seal. But instead of fixing the toilet, you ignore the issue thinking that it’ll probably go away on its own. Then, sooner or later, the damage to the subflooring results in the growth of mold.

And before you take action, the mold has already grown and spread almost everywhere in your home. 

Water Damage in my home

In this case, your standard homeowner’s insurance policy will not cover you on the basis that you could have taken some steps to prevent the problem in the first place.

What’s worse, fixing a mold issue often doesn’t come cheap and there is the risk of health problems.

 

So, will your homeowner’s insurance cover water damage? It will clearly depend. It depends on the specific circumstances that led to the damage in the first place.

 

Still have more questions? Give us a call at 615-919-1009 and we will be happy to help!

What Does Extended Replacement Cost Mean on a Homeowners Policy?

Tornado Damage

With the recent damage caused by the tornadoes in parts of Middle Tennessee earlier this month, people are taking a closer look at their home insurance policies. One coverage that becomes super important during an event such as this is extended replacement cost coverage. Let’s dive into why this optional coverage is so important.

What is Extended Replacement Cost Coverage?

Extended Replacement Cost coverage is an optional endorsement that provides additional payment for the rebuilding of your home over and above your Coverage A: Dwelling limit. This is usually a percentage of that limit, such as 10%, 25%, or 50%. For example, if you have a Coverage A: Dwelling limit of $200,000 and your extended replacement cost coverage is 25%, you will have an additional $50,000 to rebuild your home should it cost more than $200,000. 

Do I Need Extended Replacement Cost Coverage?

You would think…”If I need more coverage, why don’t you just increase my dwelling amount?”

 

That makes sense, however it is not as simple as just raising the limit. When your agent completes your homeowners insurance quote, they will normally complete a replacement cost estimator. This is what the insurance company will use as the basis for your Coverage A amount. Your replacement cost estimator is completed with normal reconstruction costs in mind – i.e. not after a natural disaster. After a natural disaster, construction costs skyrocket due to labor and material shortages. This is when your extended replacement cost coverage is important. It gives you that additional protection so that you are not responsible for the charges should your home cost more to build than estimated.

What is the Difference Between Extended Replacement Cost and Guaranteed Replacement Cost?

Some insurance companies will offer guaranteed replacement cost coverage on your dwelling. This means that no matter what it costs to rebuild your home to the way it was before the claim, the insurance company will cover the costs 100%. This coverage is very expensive as it does not cap the insurance company’s liability. Because of this, very few carriers will even offer this option.

 

In contrast, extended replacement cost coverage does provide a limit to coverage. This makes it a cost-effective alternative to guaranteed replacement cost coverage.

How Much is Extended Replacement Cost Coverage?

It is impossible to pinpoint an exact price of extended replacement cost coverage as there are so many factors in play. The price of extended replacement cost coverage will be dependent on several factors that could include the location of the property, the amount of dwelling coverage, and personal details of the insured such as loss history or credit. 

Extended replacement cost will always be less than guaranteed replacement cost coverage.

If you have questions about extended replacement cost coverage or any other parts of your homeowners insurance policy, we would be happy to help you! If you are looking for a new policy, we will shop your rate with multiple carriers to make sure you are getting the best home insurance. Give us a call at 615-919-1009 or click below to contact us today. We look forward to serving you!

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Dog Bites?

According to Statista, there are approximately 89.7 million dogs in the United States. While many dogs are lovable cuddle bears, they are still animals and will bite in extreme circumstances. This leaves the question…

Am I covered if my dog bites someone?

Dog Bite Insurance

Most homeowners and renters insurance policies will provide coverage up to your liability limit if your dog bites someone. A typical liability limit is between $100,000 to $500,000. If the judgement is greater than this amount and you do not have an umbrella policy providing more coverage, you will be on the hook for any amount above the liability limit.

 

Be aware that there is no coverage if the dog bites someone that lives in the home.

Are there some dog breeds that insurance won’t cover?

There are some cases where dog bites may be excluded from a homeowners policy. If you own a dog of a certain breed that is dubbed “dangerous”, some insurance companies will not insure your home at all or will require a “dog bite exclusion”. Some breeds that are normally on a list of restricted dogs are:

  • Pit bulls
  • Chows
  • Rottweilers
  • German Shepherds
  • Akitas
  • Doberman
  • Presa Canario
  • Wolf Hybrids

 

 

Every insurance carrier is different and will exclude different breeds or will not exclude any at all. 

Will insurance pay medical bills due to a dog bite?

 

Your homeowners policy has coverage specifically for medical payments. This coverage is to pay necessary medical expenses for someone who is injured on your property, including being bitten by your dog. The limit for this coverage is usually between $1000 and $5000. The purpose of this coverage is to reduce the likelihood of a lawsuit. 

What happens to my insurance if my dog bites someone?

 

If your dog has bitten someone before, it poses a much greater risk for the insurance company. If you have insurance at the time of the bite, some insurance carriers will not renew your policy or charge you a higher premium at renewal. If you try to switch insurance companies, you may not be able to get a homeowners policy at all or the dog will need to be excluded. 

If you have more questions about dog bites and insurance or you are looking for a home quote, we would be happy to help! Please click the button below or call us at 615-919-1009. We look forward to serving you!

What is a Homeowner Declaration Page? and Other FAQs

What is a Homeowner Declaration Page?

Your declaration page is a summary of your insurance policy. It can normally be used as an evidence of insurance or proof of insurance. It contains all the basic vital information about your policy. Your declaration page may contain different information depending on the type of policy. 

Tennessee Homeowners Insurance

How Do You Read a Declaration Page?

The first section of a declaration page will include:

  • Name and contact information of your insurance company
  • Name and contact information of the agent/agency that wrote your policy (if applicable)
  • Your policy number
  • The effective and expiration dates (and possibly times) of your policy
  • The primary insured name and address
  • The address of the property being insured
  • The premium amount
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The second section of the declaration page is usually the coverage information. Here is a summary of the different types of coverage usually listed on a home insurance policy:

  • Coverage A: Dwelling
    • This is the maximum amount that the insurance company will pay to rebuild your home. Some policies will include “extended replacement cost” in addition to your dwelling limit. This includes an additional percentage of your dwelling amount should expenses to rebuild your home exceed that limit.
  •   Coverage B: Other Structures
    • This is the maximum amount the insurance company will pay to repair or replace structures on your property that are not part of the primary dwelling. This can include fences, driveways, detached garages, swimming pools, pool houses, sheds, and more.
  • Coverage C: Personal Property
    • This is the maximum amount the insurance company will pay to repair or replace your belongings. Think everything you would take with you when you move. This coverage can be valued at Actual Cash Value or Replacement Cost.
  • Coverage D: Loss of Use
    • This is the maximum amount the insurance company will pay for costs incurred by the insured as a result of not being able to live in their home while it is being repaired after a covered loss. This would include things such as hotel or rental home costs, emergency expenses, increased food or utility costs, or extra mileage costs.
  • Coverage E: Personal Liability
    • Personal liability coverage is what protects you against lawsuits for incidents that you or your family members are liable for (excluding incidents covered by other insurance such as a car accident). Incidents covered by liability coverage include someone falling and getting injured on your property, your dog biting someone, or a family member accidentally causing damage to another person’s property.
  • Coverage F: Medical Payments
    • Medical payments coverage is used to pay reasonable and medically necessary expenses of someone who gets injured on your property. This coverage is used to keep some incidents from escalating to a lawsuit.
  • Optional Coverages
    • This section of the declaration page will list optional coverages that may have been added to your policy such as:
      • Water and Sewer Backup Coverage
      • Ordinance & Law Coverage
      • Identity Theft Coverage
      • Increased Jewelry or other Personal Property Coverage
      • Earthquake Coverage
      • Sinkhole Coverage
      • Mold/Fungi Coverage

 

This section will also usually list your deductible, which is the amount you are responsible for before the insurance company will start paying on a claim. For example, if you have a covered claim of $5000 and your deductible is $1000, you will pay $1000 and the insurance company will pay $4000 for the claim.

How do I get My Insurance Declaration Page?

You will receive a declaration page when you initially receive your policy.

If you no longer have a copy, the easiest way to get a declaration page is to request one from your insurance agent. If you do not have an agent, you can request one from your insurance carrier.

Another easy way to get your declaration page is to check your online account with your insurance carrier. You can usually access your declaration page at any time.

If you have more questions about your policy or would like to request a homeowners insurance quote, call us at 615-919-1009 or click the button below. We look forward to serving you!

How to Read Your Home Insurance Policy

It is important that every homeowner understand their homeowner’s insurance policy. However, these policies are often full of jargon, making them difficult to understand. We are here to break down the parts of a homeowner’s policy and make it easy for you to know how you are covered!

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What is Coverage A: Dwelling?

This is the maximum about the insurance company will pay to replace your home in the event of a total loss. This is usually determined by a replacement cost estimator completed by your agent. It is important that you provide accurate information regarding your home to ensure your dwelling amount is correct.  If you have a total loss, once the dwelling amount is exhausted, you may be responsible for paying to fix the remainder of your home.

 

Most carriers offer “Extended Replacement Cost”. This gives you an additional percentage of Coverage A (usually 25% or 50%) over and above the dwelling amount. This is available should the cost to replace your home be more than the limit of Coverage A. This gives you nice protection from the rising cost of rebuilding a home.

What is Coverage B: Other Structures?

This is an additional amount (usually a percentage of Coverage A) that will cover replacement of other structures on the property. This can be things like fences, sheds, detached garages, driveways, and swimming pools. The coverage B limit is usually a default amount. Make sure you let your agent know if you have any exceptional structures that might exceed your limit of coverage.

What is Coverage C: Personal Property?

Personal property is all the items inside your home. The easiest way to think about personal property is that it would be everything you would take with you when you move. These things can add up quickly. It is important to consider furniture, appliances, clothing, and everything in between. Some high value items require additional limits or “scheduling” to be covered. If you have expensive jewelry, art, silverware, guns, musical instruments, or antiques, be sure to let your agent know to ensure these items are covered.

 

You also want to ensure that your agent selects “replacement cost” coverage for your personal property. With this selection, you would have the coverage to replace your items, not counting depreciation.

What is Coverage D: Loss of Use?

Coverage D pays for expenses incurred when your home is unable to be lived in due to a covered loss. For instance, if your home burned down, coverage D would cover the cost of another place for your family to reside while your home was being repaired. Coverage D does not usually include mortgage payments; however some companies offer this as an additional endorsement. 

What is Coverage E: Personal Liability?

Coverage E is one of your most important coverage amounts. It protects you in the event you are sued. For example, if someone falls and hurts themselves on your property or your dog bites someone. You want your personal liability amount to be as high as you can afford. Unfortunately, you do not have to be a millionaire to be sued like one.

 

Also, look at adding an umbrella policy that serves as excess liability coverage over your homeowners, auto, and any other personal insurance policies. This gives you extra coverage in the event of a large liability claim that may be over your coverage E limit. 

What is Coverage F: Medical Payments to Others?

Coverage F serves as additional coverage to help pay for small injuries that happen to guests on your property. This coverage is usually between $1,000 and $5,000 and is simply designed mitigate smaller claims before they turn into lawsuits.  

If you have more questions about your Murfreesboro home insurance policy, click the button below or give us a call at 615-919-1009. We are happy to help!

How to Complete a Home Inventory – 3 Easy Steps

One little known tool that makes the claims process easier for home insurance is the use of a home inventory.

A home inventory is a list, group of photos, or video of all the contents in your home. When it comes to a total home loss, a home inventory can make a significant difference in the amount of your claim settlement.

Grab a camera or cell phone and follow these 3 easy steps to completing a complete home inventory…

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     1.   Start with the Big Stuff

     First, go around your home and take pictures or video of all the large appliances and pieces of furniture in your home. Don’t forget the garage and outside. Make sure you take note of all model and serial numbers. If you have the receipts for these items handy, take pictures of those as well.

     2.    Do a Complete Tour

      Go through each room one by one and take pictures or video of EVERYTHING. A few things that often get forgotten are bookshelves, inside drawers, inside cabinets, and closets. Don’t forget garages, attics, and outside. 

        3.   Protect the Files

         After you gather all your pictures, you want to make sure those files are easily accessible in the event of a covered            claim. Some ideas to keep those files safe are…

      • Upload to your email
      • Upload to cloud storage such as Google Drive
      • Upload to a thumb drive and store somewhere other than your home
      • Send to your agent to attach to your file

While a home inventory may take some time, it will make the claims process so much easier and will most likely result in a greater claims settlement.

 

If you have questions about completing a home inventory or need a quote for Murfreesboro home insurance, click the button below or give us a call at 615-919-1009. We would be happy to help!

Will My Insurance Company Replace All My Belongings if Something Happens? – Importance of Knowing ACV vs RCV When it Comes to Home Insurance

When you buy home insurance, your mind often goes to what will happen if you have a claim. One question I often get asked in my agency is if the insurance company will replace everything back to the way it was before a covered event happens. In short, my answer is…it depends. There are a lot of factors to consider when discussing how a claim is paid. One thing to consider is if you have ACV or RCV coverage on your contents.

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Actual Cash Value (ACV)

ACV or actual cash value is the depreciated value of the item at the time of the covered claim. This is taking into consideration wear and tear and the age of the item – think “garage sale price”. Actual cash value is often not enough to buy a new item, putting you in a tight place when you are trying to replace the important things in your home.

Replacement Cost Value (RCV)

RCV or replacement cost value provides you with the necessary money to replace the lost items. This is better than actual cash value as it puts you in the same position that you were in before the loss.  

 

Be aware, when replacement cost coverage is in place, you will usually need to replace the item before the insurance company will pay your claim. There may be exceptions to this. Consult your home policy for terms and conditions.

How Do I Get Paid for a Homeowners Insurance Claim?

It is sometimes assumed that if there is a total loss, you will simply get a check for the contents limits of your policy. This is not the case. That is the maximum you will receive in the event of a claim.

 

If you have replacement cost coverage, you will usually receive your settlement in two payments. After evaluating the damage, the insurance company will provide actual cash value for the lost items first. Next, you will need to provide proof that you have replaced the items in order to receive final payment. This will most likely be done over time with the help of an insurance adjuster. 

In Conclusion

 

It pays to take the time to make sure you have replacement cost coverage on the contents of your home. This will save you major headaches in the event of a covered claim.

If you have questions on how to read your policy or you want to look at other Murfreesboro home insurance options, visit our Contact page or give us a call at 615-919-1009. We will be happy to help!

Disclaimer: Every carrier’s insurance policies are different. Please consult your homeowners policy for specific coverages, exclusions, and limitations.

What Is Not Covered on My Homeowners Insurance? – 5 Optional Coverages You Need to Consider

Homeowners policies are all different, depending on your carrier. Most people assume that if they have a “standard” homeowners policy, they are covered for everything. That is simply not the case.

Many things that you would think would be covered are actually optional coverages that your agent must add manually. If you have an inexperienced agent, when you go to file a claim, you could be on your own. You are “self insured”.

Homeowners Insurance Tennessee

Here are some optional coverages that you want to consider adding to your homeowners policy before you get caught holding the bill.

1.  Sewer and Drain Coverage

One of the messiest disasters you could have happen in your home is to have water damage caused by the sewer or drainage system. The damage is often in the thousands and coverage is not usually included in a standard homeowners policy. The Civil Engineering Research Foundation states that sewer backups are increasing at an alarming rate of 3 percent annually. A sewer and drain endorsement is inexpensive and can be added to your policy to protect you from these disasters. When the time comes, it is a worthwhile investment.

2.  Limited Matching Coverage 

Most people assume that if you have a covered claim, the repairs will make your home look exactly how it did before the damage was done. However, for many homeowners policies, this may not apply to roof shingles or vinyl/aluminum siding. When repairing a covered claim, the insurance company has no obligation to make sure the repaired portion of your home matches the rest. With a matching coverage endorsement, if your shingles or siding is out of production at the time of the repairs, the insurance company will also replace the undamaged portion to match. This protects the curb appeal and resale value of your home. Not all insurers offer this coverage, but it is worth asking.

3.  Building Ordinance Coverage

We know that if a covered loss should occur, your insurance company will rebuild your home to the way it was before the loss. But what if your home was not up to current building codes before the loss? You could be stuck paying the difference to bring your home up to code if you do not have a building ordinance endorsement. This additional coverage will usually give you an additional percentage of your Dwelling Coverage A in order to bring your home up to code. If you live in an older home, this coverage could save you a lot of money in the event of a claim. 

4.  Flood Insurance

Most people think that if you are not in a flood zone, you don’t need flood insurance. However, 20 percent of all flood insurance claims are in low to moderate risk areas where you are not required to buy flood insurance. Flood can be cause by many sources including storms, overflowing bodies of water, or over-saturated ground. Unless you live on top of a hill (and even then), flood insurance is worth looking into. It is usually inexpensive and give you significantly more protection against major weather events.

5.  Earthquake Coverage

Standard homeowners policies will not cover damage from any sort of earthquake or earth movement. This also includes sinking, rising, shifting, expanding or contracting of earth. We personally had a claim denied due to “shifting earth” due to extreme drought in Nashville many years ago. It resulted in thousands out of pocket to fix foundation issues in our home. In Middle Tennessee, an earthquake endorsement is inexpensive and would protect you in the event any earth movement should occur. 

While there are many more optional coverages to consider, these are my top five to make sure you at least consider when you are shopping for a homeowners policy. While they might cost you a little more today, in the long run, these coverages could save you thousands and some major headaches.

If you have any questions or want a quote for Murfreesboro home insurance, please feel free to give us a call or fill out the form below. We look forward to helping you!

BONUS TIP: This is something a lot of homeowners, especially first time buyers, don’t know. In order to get a mortgage you need to have a homeowners insurance policy. Most, if not all, lenders require a policy as part of the application process. We want to help you be a strategic homeowner. Here is a comprehensive review of mortgages and what to look out for if you are getting one.

https://www.consumersadvocate.org/mortgage-rates

Disclaimer: Every carrier’s insurance policies are different. Please consult your homeowners policy for specific coverages, exclusions, and limitations.