Property Insurance Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some common car insurance frequently asked questions. Just click on the question you are interested in to find the answer.This information was compiled to help consumers answer some of the most frequently asked questions about homeowners insurance. Please note, these are general responses. Consumers should check with their state insurance department to verify their positions. Additional questions or comments should be made to the appropriate state department of Insurance. If you have other questions that you don’t find the answers to here, please contact us directly and our customer service department would me more than happy to help you.
Who needs Commercial Property and Liability Coverage?
Any firm or sole practitioner who:
- Leases space for business purposes
- Owns a business property
- Has office property or equipment
- Has employees
- Provides company cars to partners/employees
- Handles client records or property
- Handles firm or client cash/funds
- Has clients visit their business premises
What is Commercial Property and Liability Coverage?
Sometimes referred to as a Business Owner’s Policy (BOP), it’s business insurance coverage that provides property and general liability insurance to small businesses. The Business Owner’s Policy prepackages a group of coverages desirable to businesses. Usually coverage is provided for Property Coverage; Business Interruption and Continuation Coverage; General Liability Coverage; and Crime Protection.
Also available under the small commercial property and casualty category are Workers’ Compensation, Commercial Auto, Commercial Liability Umbrella, Fidelity, Mechanical Systems, and Kidnap and Ransom insurance.
Why should I buy homeowners insurance?
- Home Owners: Protect both your house and personal property.
- Tenants of Rental Properties: Protect your personal property.
- All parties: Protection against liability for accidents that injure other people or damage their property.
Are deductibles required and if so, what are they?
Yes, most homeowners forms contain deductible provisions applicable to losses occurring under Section I (Section I losses include (a) dwelling, (b) appurtenant structure, (c) unscheduled personal property, and (d) additional living expenses). The type and amount of deductible varies by company. Deductible provisions do not apply to Section II losses (Section II losses include personal liability [bodily injury and property damage] and medical payments to others). Some companies offer an optional deductible applicable only to wind or hail losses. Most offer higher deductible options such as $500 or $1,000 at a reduced premium.
What property and perils are excluded from most homeowner policies?
Most homeowner policies provide coverage that does not apply to animals, birds, fish, automobiles and business property; for loss or damage caused by flood, surface water, water which backs up through sewers or drains, earth movement, nuclear damage, war, etc. Section II coverages (personal liability and medical payments) do not apply to the operation, ownership, use, etc., of any aircraft, automobile, recreational motor vehicle, water craft powered by more than 50 horsepower motor; bodily injury or physical damage caused by an intentional act of the insured. It must be noted that these are a mere sample of property and perils not covered. A complete review of your policy is the only way to determine what property is covered and what perils are insured against. Also, there are specific limits of coverage on property insured under the homeowner’s policy such as money, securities, water craft, theft of jewelry, silverware, and/or guns.
Recent rainstorms have flooded and damaged my basement. Is there any coverage under my homeowner’s policy?
Flood coverage is generally excluded on the basic homeowners policy. However, some homeowners policies provide coverage for backup of sewers and drains that cause flooding in your basement. This coverage can be purchased for a nominal premium. You should check with your agent to see if this coverage is provided and how much it costs.
If, however, you live in a flood-prone area, you should consider – and may be required by your lending institution – to purchase a flood insurance policy. Your agent should be able to inform you about the Federal Flood Insurance Plan and the exclusions and limitations of coverage in this policy.
When can an insurance company cancel my homeowners coverage during the policy term?
Generally, your policy can be cancelled for these reasons:
- Non-payment of premium;
- Material misrepresentation/Fraud;
- Conviction of a crime arising out of acts increasing the hazard insured against. (For example, conviction for illegal storage of fireworks);
- Discovery of willful or reckless acts or omissions by the insured increasing the hazard insured against. (For example, not getting a gas leak fixed);
- Physical changes in the property insured which result in the property becoming uninsurable. (For example, should the home become vacant for more than 60 consecutive days, a greater exposure to vandalism and damage is assumed to exist); and
- A determination by the Commissioner of Insurance that continuation of the policy would place the insurance company in violation of the law.
The food in my freezer went bad because I lost power in my home. Does my homeowners policy provide coverage for this?
The basic homeowner policy usually does not. However, this is a popular coverage for insurance companies to offer and you may be able to buy this coverage for a nominal additional premium. There is also the issue of where the power was lost. Some policies are limited to coverage for electricity lost in the home or where the electricity enters the home. Others will limit coverage to within so many yards from the home. Your agent should be able to tell you about the availability of coverage and how much it would cost.