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Homeowners Insurance FAQ

HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE CLAIMS

 

I had to claim on my homeowner’s insurance in the past five years. Will I still be eligible to switch carriers?

Generally, if you had a small claim in the past few years, and your home is well-maintained, you will be able to switch to another carrier. Each carrier has specific guidelines that they use to evaluate the customer and the property to be insured. Many companies prefer to insure those who have no claims in the past five years. While more than one claim in recent years may hinder your ability to find an insurer, that does not necessarily mean you will be denied coverage or be unable to switch to a new insurance carrier.

Will an inspection be done on my property before the insurance company will issue a policy?

Some insurers do not perform inspections, while others perform an outside-of-property inspection as part of their underwriting process. This inspection will often examine the roof, the siding and surrounding trees. If, for example, a tree is found to be overhanging, and poses a potential risk of damage to the home, photos will be taken of the area of concern and you may be required to remove extending branches prior to coverage being issued. Other insurers rely upon factors about the house such as the age of the home and proximity to a fire hydrant or fire station. Higher value homes may require an interior/exterior inspection as part of the evaluation process.

My home is older. Will I be required to update my home to current code in order to find adequate coverage for it?

Some insurance companies prefer to insure only newer homes, but offer coverage to older houses provided that their electrical system is up-to-code prior to taking out coverage. Not all insurance companies require updating, but many not allow older homes to have out-of-date electrical systems like knob-and-tube wiring.

My new home is being built. Will a homeowner’s policy cover the property while it is still under construction?

Vacant properties or construction sites require a specific policy for coverage in order to insure against losses such as construction site theft or vandalism.

I have a second home which I rent out part of the time. Will a homeowner’s policy cover me when I am renting the property for the weekend?

A separate policy must be written for rental properties, even if that property is often used as a second home. If a property is rented to others, special liability coverage is necessary. Homeowner’s policies do not cover tenant-occupied properties. A Dwelling Fire policy will provide coverage for when you’re staying there, and when renting the property out to others.

I have more than one rental property. Can I have them all on one Dwelling Fire/Landlord Protection policy?

Each unit requires a separate policy to be written. Even if there’s more than one unit on the same lot, as with duplexes or triplexes, each different tenant-occupied unit must be on its own policy.