Home Insurance can be a tricky thing and finding the right provider takes research. There are many myths when it comes to home insurance policies and there are intricacies that can be confusing. Below are the top five myths debunked and their truths.
MYTH: My home is covered while I am on vacation.
FACT: You must make sure that your house is properly taken care of before leaving for a vacation.
The following precautions must be taken to insure that you are properly covered: Shut off the water supply to your home and empty all pipes or take steps to ensure that proper heating is maintained during the heating season. If you do not take these precautions, then you may not be protected against water damage resulting from frozen pipes that burst or other occurring damage. Your provider will determine what specific requirements and extra precautions you must take, such as having someone check in on your house, generally daily during heating season.
MYTH: My valuables are covered by my insurance policy.
FACT: A standard home insurance policy covers your personal property and most valuables up to the selected limit of insurance. Additional coverage and limts can be added for certain property like furs and jewelry. With proof of value, such as a receipt or appraisal you can often add coverage to your policy.
MYTH: My home insurance only covers the house structure.
FACT: Home insurance policies cover your house as well as its contents if occupied by the owner as a principal residence. The policy also covers any detached structures, such as sheds and garages, on the property and any additional living expenses you may incur if the house is uninhabitable due to an insured peril lost. Also covered is any personal liability exposure you may face. These additional coverage limits are typically based on a percentage of the dwelling insured limit so it is important that you review this coverage annually to ensure you are fully protected.
For condos, policies also cover some assessments made against you by the condo corporation and unit owner improvements. Policies for seasonal properties and rental dwellings may also include detached structures and contents, the insured perils and premium may differ from your homeowner insurance and often is not included under a package. Speak with a professional to get the right insurance advice!
MYTH: Home insurance will cover the market value of my house.
FACT: Home insurance covers only the rebuilding or replacement value of your dwelling structure. If your house burns down, the home insurance will cover the costs required to rebuild the house to its pre-fire state. Rebuilding value does not include the value of the land; therefore it is typically lower than market value. An insurance policy can often include costs to clean up the debris, such as after a fire. The real estate market fluctuates and is not a true indicator of your home value. Highs and lows in the market are reflective of what people are willing to pay at that particular time, but by no means indicates the cost to rebuild or replace the home.
MYTH: If I get in an argument with another person and they sue me, my home insurance will protect me and cover all costs incurred.
FACT: No, your policy only covers accidental and unintentional injury of others or damage to the property of others under your personal liability protection. Negligence is an important element of a liability claim. So, if you injure someone intentionally, it is at your own expense.
Knowing what is covered and under what circumstances is essential to making sure that you and your family are protected properly. The best place to start is by talking to an Erie Mutual Insurance representative to get a better sense of what you need and if there are certain special clauses that you should have that are specific to your location. Be sure that you are clear on the fine details of your policy to avoid being stranded in the event of an emergency.
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