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Home Insurance Misconceptions
There are six big home insurance misconceptions that homeowners are not aware of. These misconceptions can impact the method in which claims are paid out. Many homeowners have been hit with astronomical expenses when any of these misconceptions have affected them.
30-day vacancy rule
Most policies state that the premises must be occupied to be covered under the policy agreement. What homeowners are not aware of is if any damage is incurred while unoccupied, their policy will not cover the damage. There have been numerous claims denied due to this clause. For rental properties, owners are subject to the 30-day rule. If the rental property is vacant for over 30 days, the owner has no recourse should there be any damage from the vacant property. For coverage, the owners can purchase a vacancy permit within 30 days of the vacancy. However, this does not typically include any malicious acts or vandalism.
Jewellery Covered only up to limit
Home insurance policies only cover lost or stolen jewelry items up to a sub-limit. Check your policy for the sub-limit value. It is recommended that consumers include an endorsement on their policies. To do this, consumers may need to provide appraisals and photographs for the items included on the extension.
Limitations for Rare Items
Rare items have similar limitations as jewellery. Check your policy to see what inclusions/exclusions are added to the policy concerning rare items. These items could include equipment used for business, coin collections, stamp collections and/or antiques. Supporting documentation would also apply for these items and are included with the purchase extension.
Sewer Backup, Earthquakes, Flood not covered by basic policies
Natural catastrophes are usually not covered in basic policies such as flooding, earthquakes or tornados. Check with us to see if there is any extended coverage for these natural disasters.
It is imperative that homeowner’s properties be properly maintained. Poor upkeep can be grounds for denying a claim. Insurance policies are not maintenance agreements. Any damage to the insured property such as water seeping through the foundation is not considered an insured peril. The same applies if the home has been damaged by pests such as vermin, wasps, racoons, or other household pests.
Any renovations or remodelling projects have a big impact on your insurance policy. A reminder to homeowners; if the renovation or remodel is adding value to the property, it is also changing the initial insurance policy. Any changes to the insured property may
void the policy in the event of a claim, especially if the insurance company was not made aware of the changes. The company could deny the claim and may cancel the policy. It is always better to be honest with your insurer and let them know when changes have been made, than to find out the claim has been denied.
Hilton Insurance strongly recommends that homeowners carefully review your policies to find out what you are covered for. If you need assistance with or clarifications on your policy, contact us at 204.488.4484. We will be glad to help with your queries.