You pay for your homeowner’s insurance because you believe it will prevent you from being financially devastated if disaster strikes—but how closely have you read your policy? Do you know exactly what’s covered and what requires supplemental insurance? That’s the kind of question that you want to answer before you file a claim and find out that your current policy doesn’t actually cover the type of damage that you’re dealing with.
Below are five types of supplemental insurance that you may want to consider, depending on your home and your location.
Types of Insurance That Protect Your Home
Flood insurance. This is an important one for Floridians because of the hurricanes that frequently hit our state. While hurricane damage should be covered under a standard homeowner’s policy, flood damage is usually not, and insurance providers will sometimes try to avoid paying for hurricane damage by claiming that the damage was actually caused by flooding after the hurricane. You can avoid this problem by getting flood insurance through a private provider or through the National Flood Insurance Program (if you live in a designated flood zone). The NFIP will provide coverage for up to $250,000 worth of damage.
Rider for valuables. Personal property should be covered under your homeowner’s policy, but if you have a lot of expensive belongings, you may need to buy a personal property rider. Not only will this supplemental insurance cover the cash value of any personal property that is stolen, it will also cover lost or broken items.
Rider for sewage backup. You might be surprised to discover that your homeowner’s insurance won’t cover you if your storm-water system overflows and sewage seeps up into your house. However, for about $50 to $75 per year, you can buy a sewage backup rider that will cover between about $10,000 and $20,000 in damage.
Home office insurance. If you work from home and have a lot of expensive office equipment, you should definitely consider getting home office insurance. That’s because homeowner’s insurance policies typically limit their coverage for business equipment (usually to about $2,500), so someone who conducts all or most of their business from home can end up taking a serious hit. By taking out a separate home office policy, however, you can get liability and damages coverage.
Earthquake insurance. Although it might not be a top concern for Floridians, anyone living in or moving to an earthquake-prone state may need to purchase supplemental earthquake insurance. This type of policy generally covers damage to certain types of personal property or the structure of the home caused by an earthquake, as well as temporary accommodations and food if earthquake damage temporarily forces you out of your home.
Supplemental insurance can help ensure that you are covered in the event of any type of disaster, as long as you read the fine print of the policies carefully and understand exactly what is covered. If you understand your policies well but still find that your insurance provider delays or denies your claim after you experience property damage, be sure to talk to a personal injury attorney who has handled this type of case before. Lawlor, Winston, White & Murphey can help you recover the compensation that you deserve—and have been paying for—by negotiating with your insurance company or taking a bad faith insurance company to court.
About the Author:
Andrew Winston is a partner at the personal injury law firm of Lawlor Winston White & Murphy. He has been recognized for excellence in the representation of injured clients by admission to the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, is AV Rated by the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, and was recently voted by his peers as a Florida “SuperLawyer”—an honor reserved for the top 5% of lawyers in the state—and to Florida Trend’s “Legal Elite.”