5 Insurance Coverages Every Homeowner Should Have

5 Insurance Coverages Every Homeowner Should Have

Friday, Novemeber 1st 2019

By Brian Wisniewski, Esq.

Homeownership is the symbol of the American dream-come-true. Beyond the sense of accomplishment, it confers, owning real estate can build equity for your retirement days and offer some tax advantages. If you’ve purchased wisely and within your means, buying a home can be one of the best long-term investments you can make.

On the other hand, the responsibility of owning and maintaining a home sits squarely on your shoulders, with no landlord to call when a pipe breaks, the roof leaks, or a fire burns it to the ground. It’s your responsibility as the owner to have all the necessary insurance policies in place to protect your home from serious financial risk.    

Make no mistake, the risks are real. Every day, we read of natural disasters causing catastrophic devastation to property. In Florida, Hurricane Michael caused an estimated $25 billion in insured damages. In Texas, damage from Hurricane Harvey was an estimated $125 billion. AccuWeather recently estimated total damage and economic loss caused by named storms in 2019 to be $22 billion in the U.S. and $5 billion in the Bahamas.

If your home is damaged or destroyed, the road to recovery consists of negotiating your claim with your insurance company to recover the full benefits you’re entitled to under the policy you purchased. Expect your insurance company to approach your claims with a bias in their favor and consider getting other opinions from public adjusters and attorneys who specialize in representing claimants before accepting their offer for paying your claim. It is not unusual for the process of settling your claim and repairing or replacing your home to take a year or longer, so the fewer challenges you face, the better.

To avoid coming up short if you ever need to file a claim, the first step is making sure you’ve invested in the following five insurance coverages:

  1. Proper Limits for Jewelry and Personal Valuables

Most standard homeowner insurance policies have very low limits for precious items like jewelry, furs, art, and silverware. If you own these valuable items, you should consider increasing your coverage to properly protect them.

  1. Mold Coverage

In addition to the health hazards mold exposure causes, it also can wreak havoc with your wallet. The standard homeowner’s mold coverage is usually a maximum of $10,000. With even treating the most basic mold infestation, this is not nearly enough money to cover professional mold remediation costs. You should seriously consider investing in higher mold coverage.

  1. Replacement Cost Insurance

If you’ve lived in your home for many years, things will cost more to replace today than they did when you originally purchased them. Superior to Actual Cost Value Replacement Cost insurance coverage provides you with the amount to replace the lost item as opposed to their original cash value.

  1. Adequate Coverage

Unless you buy homeowners insurance equal to 80 percent of your home’s value, most insurance companies won’t cover the full cost of damages. This is the central reason you must not skimp on the proper amount of coverage for your home. It is imperative to make sure you have the right amount of coverage for your dwelling. 

  1. Mandatory Appraisal, Mediation, or Arbitration Provision

Does your policy have a mandatory appraisal, mediation, or arbitration provision? If it doesn’t, you are not fully protected in the most common disputes that typically occur when the cost of repairing damage exceeds the amount of money your insurance company offers to cover. You’d be wise to anticipate such disputes and protect yourself by having mandatory approval, mediation, or arbitration provision include in your contract.  

The high cost of insurance makes it tempting to spend as little as possible on coverage, but it is in your best interest as a homeowner to protect against huge losses by having the right insurance coverage in place.

Brian Wisniewski, Esq. represents exclusively plaintiffs in both residential and commercial property damage claims against insurance carriers throughout the state of Florida. He has successfully litigated claims on behalf of property owners involving fire loss, theft & vandalism, business interruption, windstorm damage, hurricanes, plumbing loss and air conditioner malfunctions. Brian has successfully litigated assignment of benefits claims on behalf of water remediation & extraction companies, mold remediation companies and general contractors.

The Loss Recovery Law Group is a full-service insurance claim law firm concentrating on the representation of property owners against insurance carriers with offices in Palm Beach and Miami-Dade Counties.