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Member Guest Blog: Homeowners Insurance — What You Don’t Know Can Cost You!

By Dawn Hansen
The Hansen Group — Metro Public Adjustment
www.thehansengroup.org

Most people don’t understand their homeowner’s insurance policy. Even if it’s written in plain language, it can be very difficult to understand. But it’s extremely important that you know what type of policy you have, what is covered and, more importantly, what is NOT covered. HO1, HO2, HO3, Endorsements, Exclusions, ACV, RCV ……. not knowing how these terms apply to your policy can result in your claim for damages being underpaid or even denied.

There are two basic types of homeowners insurance policies — Named Peril and All Risk. The named peril policies (Basic or HO1 and Broad Form HO2) cover your home for damages caused by perils (events) that are specifically listed or named in the policy. The Basic Policy covers 10 perils such as Fire, Smoke, Windstorm and Volcanic Eruption. The Broad Form Policy adds another 6 perils for a total of 16 named perils. If your home is damaged by anything other than what is listed as a named peril, your insurance company will not pay you for the damage.

The All Risk or Special Form (HO3) policy covers your home for any damage that occurs suddenly and accidently unless it is specifically excluded in the policy. Typical exclusions are wear and tear and damage caused by pets, vermin or insects. The All Risk policy is the preferred type of policy because it covers accidental damage even if caused by the homeowner. Bleach spots on a carpet, cracked ceramic tile, siding melted by the barbecue grill – these are just a few of the more common types of claims covered here.

If your home does suffer damage, what should you do? Well, most people would instinctively call their insurance company or agent. WRONG! From that initial phone call, everyone you speak with has a vested interest in the profits of the insurance company. There is no one who is truly on your side. What you should do is call a public adjuster.

When you submit a claim, you have to deal with a very experienced insurance company adjuster who is thoroughly trained in all aspects of minimizing your damage. Keep in mind that it is the homeowner’s responsibility to point out the damage, not the insurance company’s adjuster’s job. Company adjusters minimize your damage by encouraging cost savings methods.  A public adjuster is bonded and licensed by the state to serve the interests of you, the homeowner, not the insurance company. Too often, clients settle for less because they cannot interpret the hidden details of their policy. The cards are stacked against them. The public adjuster levels the playing field by putting a trained, professional adjuster on your side, working to negotiate the maximum possible settlement possible for your loss.

Metro Public Adjustment has been a member of The Chamber since 2016.