HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE FAQs
Homeowners insurance is property and liability insurance covers private homes. A policy can protect you from losses to the structure itself, the belongings in your home, and injuries and property damage to your guests and other people.
What type of disasters are covered?
Click here for examples of covered perils. Floods, earthquakes and maintenance damage are not covered. Check your policy or ask your Agent for a complete list of perils covered in your policy.
Can I own a home without Homeowners insurance?
In many situations, yes. In some cases, your mortgage lender will require you to get Homeowners insurance. Owning a home is a large investment, and it is highly advisable to protect that investment and your belongings with Homeowners insurance.
What type of insurance do I need for a condo?
Condo owners are typically responsible for insuring a portion of the unit they own. Your condo covenants, conditions and restrictions (CC&Rs) determine how much coverage you need. An Agent could help you determine the proper insurance coverage.
The condo board will have a master policy to cover common areas you share with others in your building, typically including the building structure, roof, walkways, elevator, basement, etc. for liability and physical damage. This policy is generally paid for and included in association fees.
You will need your own unit owner’s policy to protect your home. This will cover your belongings and living expenses if you are the victim of fire or theft. Ask your Agent for a list of disasters covered in your policy. You should also ask your Agent about additional coverages, such as unit assessment, water backup, Umbrella liability, flood, earthquake, and floaters/endorsements.
Does my Homeowners insurance cover earthquakes?
Earthquake damages are not included in your Homeowners policy. Your Agent can help answer questions about Earthquake insurance.
Does my Homeowners insurance cover flooding?
Standard policies do not cover flooding, but you may purchase flood coverage separately. Whether you are a homeowner or renter, if you live in a designated flood zone, it is highly recommended that you purchase flood insurance to protect your home and belongings.
The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) offers flood insurance with limited coverage. Your Independent Agent can help you answer questions.
How do I take a home inventory and why?
A home inventory will help expedite the claims process, help you in the settlement of a covered loss, and help you determine the type of coverage(s) you need and coverage limits.
How much Homeowners insurance do I need?
Your CSE Agent will help you determine the coverages and limits that are right for you and your family to properly insure:
- The structure of your home.
- Your personal possessions.
- The cost of additional living expenses if your home is damaged and you have to live elsewhere during repairs.
- Your liability to others.
Do I need special coverage for jewelry and other valuables?
Probably so. Standard Homeowners policies include limited coverage for jewelry, watches, furs and other valuables for losses caused by the perils included in your policy. These items are covered for losses caused by all the perils included in your policy such as fire, windstorm, theft and vandalism.
The basic limits may not be sufficient to replace the item. Consider your wedding rings. In the event of theft, would your limit be sufficient to replace them?
Consult with your Agent to determine which, if any, items you should raise the limit of liability or purchase a floater policy for.
You can also add coverage for mysterious disappearance in the event you lose the special property.
How often should I review my policy?
We recommend an annual Insurance Checkup from your local Agent. Review the following list of questions to ask yourself and help guide your policy review:
- Has the company offered additional, optional coverages since last year?
- Should I raise my deductible to save money?
- Am I taking advantage of all available discounts?
- Do I need to raise the amount of coverage for Liability, Personal Possessions or the Structure?
- Do I need a Flood, Earthquake or an Umbrella policy?
- Do I have adequate limits of coverage for my jewelry, furs, art and rugs?
- Have I made major purchases?
- Have I made major improvements to my home?
- Have I installed a burglar alarm system?
Should I purchase an Umbrella liability policy?
In the unfortunate event that you are sued, your Homeowners or Auto policy will provide some liability coverage. An Umbrella policy kicks in when you reach the limit on the underlying liability coverage in your Homeowners or Auto policy.
There are many situations where you may need more coverage than your Auto or Homeowners limit, and not having it could put your bank accounts, home and investments at risk.
For example, if you are at fault for a car accident and the other driver’s injuries are significant, you would be responsible for covering costs exceeding your policy limit. Considering the high cost of medical care, this amount could quickly reach the $100,000s. An Umbrella policy could cover the additional costs and protect your assets.
We strongly recommend you consider purchasing an Umbrella liability policy. Contact your Agent to learn more.