Are There Any Optional Coverages To Consider For Homeowners/Property Insurance?

Yes, there are several options from which you can choose. Choices should be tailored to your particular living situation: Guaranteed Replacement Cost Coverage Guaranteed replacement cost coverage is the most complete coverage for your home. To obtain this type of coverage, you typically must meet specific underwriting rules and conditions of the company. This may include increasing the amount of your insurance on a monthly, quarterly or yearly basis to keep up with the inflation rate. Check with your insurance agent to determine if an additional premium is required and if there are exclusions or conditions that apply. Inflation Guard Endorsement If the replacement cost of your home is increasing with inflation, your policy limits must be periodically increased to maintain your coverage at 80% or higher. Even though the amount of homeowners insurance you carry is at least 80% of your home replacement cost, this amount of coverage may not be enough in the future. To aid you in keeping coverage at an adequate level, some companies offer an "Inflation Guard Endorsement." This endorsement will allow your insurance company to automatically change your policy limit during the policy period. Normally, the higher premium is not paid until the time of renewal. Even if you have this endorsement on your policy, you should check your coverage limits periodically to make sure you are adequately, but not excessively, insured. Not all companies offer this endorsement, so check with your agent or company if you are interested in purchasing it. Scheduled Personal Property Endorsement This endorsement is sometimes called a "personal article floater." A personal article floater covers possessions such as jewelry, furs, stamps, coins, guns, computers, antiques and other items that may exceed normal limits in your regular home insurance policy. A personal article floater itemizes each article, gives a description of the article insured and lists excluded perils. It often provides coverage that is broader than the coverage granted in the home insurance policy. There is typically no deductible applied to this coverage. Increased Limits on Money and Securities This endorsement increases the coverage on money, bank notes, securities, deeds, etc. Secondary Residence Premises Endorsement Homeowners' coverage under this endorsement applies to a secondary residence such as a summer home. Remember that these secondary residences are not automatically covered by the home insurance policy on your primary or principal residence. Watercraft Endorsement Applicable to small sailboats and outboard motor boats, this endorsement broadens personal liability and medical payments coverage as well as physical damage to the boat. You may need to purchase a "Boat Insurance Policy." Theft Coverage Protection Endorsement As a result of this endorsement, your theft protection is broadened. The contents of your motor vehicle, trailer or watercraft are covered without proof of forcible entry. This endorsement applies only to forms HO­1, HO­2, HO­3 and HO­4. These forms are also available from the NDIC. Credit Card Forgery and Depositors Forgery Coverage Endorsement Loss, theft or unauthorized use of credit cards (with certain exceptions) is covered by this endorsement. Also covered is the forgery of any check, draft, promissory note, etc., again with certain exceptions. No deductible applies to this endorsement. Flood Insurance Each year, thousands of Americans find out too late that their homeowners' policies do not cover flood damage. Many people mistakenly believe that if they own or rent homes in floodplain areas, only then do they need flood insurance coverage. The fact remains that many people living outside high­risk areas do not have coverage for flood damage. National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) statistics show that over one in four claims are paid to homeowners and renters located outside the floodplains. People should seriously consider protecting their homes and personal assets from the destruction of flooding by purchasing flood insurance. Unfortunately, most people without flood insurance never fully recover financially. The NFIP is the only way for most people to buy flood insurance to protect their homes and personal property from the financial ruin brought on by flooding. Nearly every home' or renters' policy throughout the United States specifically excludes coverage for damage by "rising water." An NFIP Standard Flood Insurance Policy specifically provides coverage from "partial or complete inundation of normally dry land areas." For more information, contact your agent or call NFIP at 1­888­call flood, extension 445. Earthquake Insurance Earthquake insurance is available through most insurance companies at an additional cost. It is normally issued as an endorsement and attached to your home insurance policy. Windstorm Coverage Most home insurance policies cover damage caused by windstorm and hail. However, in some areas of certain states, mostly coastal, this coverage is excluded from the standard policy. For more information, ask your insurance agent or insurance company if this peril is covered by your policy.

The information on this page is meant to provide a general overview of the law. The laws in your state and/or city may deviate significantly from those described here. If you have specific questions related to your situation you should speak with a local attorney.

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