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Home Owners Insurance Claims FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions - Claims

Does my coverage protect me from claims when I am on vacation?
Why did my policy company only pay part of my claim for my loss?
Are the personal belongings that we take when traveling covered?
Why did my policy company only pay part of my claim for my loss?
My lender is requiring insurance. How much do I have to carry?
Do I need to give personal information to be insured?
How do I decide which policies suits my needs?
My coin collection, Jewelry, Furs, Guns, Monet painting and other expensive stuff aren’t they covered under my regular home policy?
My credit cards were stolen while I was on vacation. Does my policy cover any unauthorized purchases?
A tree fell on my roof during a major storm. Am I covered? Is the tree’s removal covered?
During a recent storm, My neighbor’s tree fell and destroyed my fence. Whose home policy pays for the damage?
My laptop and luggage came up missing on a recent airline flight. The airline will reimburse the lost luggage but not the laptop. Will my home policy cover?
I can’t live in my home because of a fire. Will my policy cover the cost of room and board at a hotel or motel?

Home Owners Insurance - Answers to FAQ's About Claims

My credit cards were stolen while I was on vacation. Does my policy cover any unauthorized purchases? | Back to Top

Most home and renter policies provide coverage for theft of credit cards; however, the amount of coverage is limited. You should note that once you have reported the loss or theft of your credit card, you are responsible for only $50 of unauthorized use.

Does my coverage protect me from claims when I am on vacation? | Back to Top

Your homeowner's or renter's insurance protects you against loss of personal property as a result of theft as well as third-party liability insurance whether at home or on the road. Also, if you are on vacation, your home and its contents remain covered (although it is a good idea to have someone periodically check in on your home while you are away).

A tree fell on my roof during a major storm. Am I covered? Is the tree’s removal covered? | Back to Top

Under most policies, the loss of the tree, the damage caused as a result of the felled tree, and the cost of removal of the tree are covered under your homeowner's insurance. You should check to see if your particular policy limits losses for trees and shrubbery. If you have large trees or extensive shrubbery around your house, consider the purchase of a rider to extend coverage for these additional exposures.

During a recent storm, My neighbor’s tree fell and destroyed my fence. Whose home policy pays for the damage? | Back to Top

home owners are responsible for injury or damage to third parties that is caused by their ownership of property. In this example, your neighbor is responsible for the loss that you suffered as a result of his tree falling on and damaging your property. The same would be true your uphill neighbor’s land ended up in your backyard as a result of a mudslide. As a practical matter, your company may provide coverage to you as a homeowner and then take the subrogation rights to this loss. Then they'd seek reimbursement from your neighbor or his homeowner's insurance company.

My laptop and luggage came up missing on a recent airline flight. The airline will reimburse the lost luggage but not the laptop. Will my home policy cover? | Back to Top

Airlines are subject to legislation that allows them to limit their liability for loss. This type of loss is covered under most policies. As with other categories of personal property, however, there may be limits on the amount of coverage. If you have a laptop computer or cell phone that you bring with you while you travel, consider the purchase of a rider to your homeowner's or renter's insurance to cover the item’s full value. Also, remember that purchasing the computer with a credit card can sometimes provides coverage for theft of items purchased with the card. Just be aware that theft coverage for items purchased by a credit card are likewise subject to certain exclusions. If your laptop or phone is from your business, your employer’s business insurance should cover it.

I can’t live in my home because of a fire. Will my policy cover the cost of room and board at a hotel or motel? | Back to Top

Additional living expense coverage (also called loss-of-use) is one of the most important features in a standard policy. This coverage picks up the tab for your hotel costs, restaurant bills, and other additional living expenses when your home is too damaged to live in during repairs. Don’t plan on checking into the Ritz and dining at The Four Seasons, though; chances are that your policy will only pay the difference between your normal living expenses and any additional costs. The limit of coverage varies by company. It may be based on a percentage of total coverage or limited by a specified length of time.

Are the personal belongings that we take when traveling covered? | Back to Top

Yes, your home and renter’s policy will provide you protection. If you are traveling with costly jewelry, valuable photographic equipment, pricey art, or other items of high value, you should consider the purchase of extra insurance in the form of a rider to extend coverage for these items. Several items that I used for my business were stolen from my home.

Why did my policy company only pay part of my claim for my loss? | Back to Top

Your policy contained a provision that limits the amount of loss for items of personal property that were used in your business. If you operate a home-based business, find out what limitations your insurance company puts on insuring property used in for business. Also find out if a business operation rider is available as optional coverage for your homeowner’s or renter’s policy.

My lender is requiring a policy. How much do I have to carry? | Back to Top

Lenders will ask you to carry insurance as security for their investment, just as they may require fire insurance and other types of coverage as investor protection. If you're financing, lenders will require you to carry at least 80% of the value of your home or up to 100% of the amount of the mortgage. It is not a good idea to try and save a few dollars by carrying the dwelling policy limit bare minimum amount of insurance. The value of your home may increase or a total loss may occur. The company may apply the "coinsurance" principal and not fully cover a loss.

Do I need to give personal information to be insured? | Back to Top

Yes. Insurance companies require information about you and your property. The company needs to know that you have an "insurable interest" in the property; that is, that you have an ownership interest in the property that is worth protecting. To determine the insurance interest in property, lots of personal information is necessary.

How do I decide which policies suits my needs? | Back to Top

Before writing the insurance check, consider what your home is worth, what it would cost to rebuild it if totally destroyed, and how much insurance you can afford. A replacement cost policy is probably the wisest choice on a newer home since you would need to rebuild it at current costs. On the other hand, if your home is vintage World War I with hand-made details and stained glass windows, but has a low market value, the actual cost value policy may provide adequate coverage (unless it is important to you to return the property to its original condition). For partial losses, an actual cash value policy might be a good choice, unless you have a serious or total loss in which case an actual cash value policy will not be enough to repair, rebuild or replace the property to its original condition.

My coin collection, Jewelry, Furs, Guns, Monet painting and other expensive stuff aren’t they covered under my regular home policy? | Back to Top

Yes, but most home policies place specific dollar limits on coverage for cash, securities, coin collections, jewelry, furs, guns, silverware, antiques, and art. Make certain you check your policy to determine if there are special limitations for certain kinds of personal property. Check what the categories are, and the special limit for each category. If your personal property falls into a listed, limited coverage category and is worth more, you can increase coverage by adding a "rider" to the policy. Insurance policy riders are available at nominal cost.

Some of my personal items were stolen from my hotel room. Would they be covered under my policy? Maybe. Most folks don't know that their contents coverage usually includes loss or damage to personal property, regardless of where it was at the time of the loss. You may then be covered under your homeowner's or renter's policies in the event of theft of personal property while staying at a hotel. Such coverage is typically as much as 10% of the dwelling policy limit.

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