Your home, your nest, probably your single largest asset. You need to protect this asset, and of course your bank agrees if you're like most of us who have a home mortgage.
Each policy is its own unique contract of coverage, so you need to understand what you are covered for. Today's typical homeowners' policy covers All Risk of Direct Physical Loss unless Excluded or Limited. Know what is excluded? Know where your limitations are like theft of jewelry or firearms? How about a limit on your business property at home? How about "Other Structures", like a shop building, that you run a business out of. Many policies will exclude coverage for that shop because they believe it should be on a business insurance policy where it is better understood and underwritten.
Does your home insurance have special deductible terms for Wind and Hail damage? Does your home have any type of exclusion or limitation for "cosmetic" damage caused by wind or hail? With the recent weather events here in Montana we are starting to see these added to the policies in our marketplace.
If you think the only difference between policies is what they cost, think again!
Mobile or manufactured homes remain popular for a variety of reasons, and we have the markets to write coverage even if your home is older. We've had folks tell us that they've been told, "your home is too old to be insured," and that is absolutely not the truth. With some companies it may be, but we have the solution. Regardless of the market they are all serious about having a nice set of stairs with a railing up to each door. Being able to describe how your home is supported, what type of foundation it has, is another important item.
Modular Homes are often set on permanent foundations and can be insured as if a stick built home on top shelf policies.
Have you wondered what your Loss Assessment coverage on your Condo Unit Owner's Policy? In addition to insuring your building improvements (finished basement, remodeled kitchen, upgraded flooring, etc.), your personal property like your couch and TV, there is coverage in the event your Association assesses each owner some share of a loss. It may be for the application of an insurance deductible, or possibly something that wasn't adequately covered by insurance that must be repaired or updated. Know what your Loss Assessment limit is, and check to have it increased. Ask if there are any limitations on payment depending on what the assessment is being made for. Typically it is for some type of event that insurance is designed to respond to.
Please check to see how cheaply you can cover your couch and TV, as well as provide personal liability protection for you as you move around out in the world when you are renting your home or apartment. Our hearts break when we read of a fire that displaces someone renting, and they have no coverage for the things they have lost.
So you have rental properties? Let us quote coverage for you to protect the structure, furnishings if you provide them, and your liability as the landlord in the event something happens on that property. Your tenant should have their own personal insurance, of course, but you as the landlord will always be connected to what happens on that property.
Your homeowner's policy has a limit of personal liability covering the acts of you and your family. It is often quoted in a limit of $100,000 per occurrence, or $300,000, or $500,000. Oftentimes you may feel it necessary to purchase more protection. Additional liability coverage that could add to your personal liability limit as well as your auto liability limit. Typically an umbrella policy will layer coverage in $1,000,000 layers, giving you the opportunity to buy up to several million dollars extra in coverage. Why would you do that? Well, the problem doesn't go away once your insurance limit has been spent. Having some extra protection could prevent a legal action against you. Some of the most significant and expensive losses I've seen have involved auto accidents where someone has been badly hurt. Think about the value of a young life, as calculated by an attorney, for disability, lost opportunity, lost income, and lost enjoyment in life.
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It is important to know that your role as a unit owner is spelled out in your association documents, namely the By-Laws and Declarations. If you can't lay your hands on a copy you should ask a member of your association board for one.home
Darnielle Insurance is available to answer your questions. We are located at 1320 28th Street West, Billings, MT 59102. Give us a call at 406-652-4180.