FAQ Home

What is the best way to compare homeowner’s insurance companies?

Just contact an Independent agent. They represent many different insurance markets and are familiar with Policies available from a larger number of companies than captured agents who only represent a single insurer. An independent agent can customize a Home Owners Policy for you, they are not usually bound by cookie cutter policies loaded with often undesired coverage’s designed to bulk up premium and offered by the captured national company agents. Let the Independent agent do the comparing for you. They can then explain the differences in “Plain English” and make recommendations to you. You will likely not even have to refer to your encyclopedia to understand.

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Where can you get condo insurance?

There are two kinds of insurance that cover condominiums.

1. The association buys a master policy to insure all the real estate assets owned in common by all the owners. You pay this premium from your monthly assessments.

2. A unit owner buys an HO-6 policy, that insures what the owner owns, including personal property. You pay for this individually. You can purchase ‘actual cash value’ (depreciated value) or guaranteed replacement cost’ (replace with new) coverage.

Consult your governing documents and your master policy to determine what you need to insure so that your HO-6 policy dovetails with the master policy: you don’t want overlapping insurance, nor do you want any gaps in coverage.

Furthermore, understand that the coverage that you purchase, may be distinct from the coverage of the master policy, covers that which is “within the four walls” of the unit, whereas the association policy covers the structure itself (the “common areas”). Or not.

Best practices dictate that you work with an agent who understands associations, so that you get exactly the coverage you need.

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How does having a pool affect homeowner’s insurance?

Insurance rates, upon which premiums are based, depend not only upon the amount of coverage (the “coverage limits”) but more, the nature of the risk. Homeowners insurers therefore will consider the presence of a pool in the risk calculation. Further, from the standpoint of physical damage coverage, you will want to include damage to the pool from an adverse event, so you may choose to increase the dollar amount of coverage. Those two factors may, and probably will, lead to an increase in premium.

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Who is responsible for damage from a tree blown over in a storm?

In General No one is responsible or financially liable for acts of nature as they are beyond our control. only indisputable proof of intentional planned negligence could change this principle of liability.

If your neighbors tree falls on your house, your insurance will cover you. If your tree gets blown into your neighbors house the same applies. his home insurance would cover him.

If the damage is that the tree is down somewhere out on the property then it just depends on whether you have debris removal or landscape restoration on your policy.

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If your house is sinking will homeowners’ insurance cover it?

Each major homeowners insurance policy will have its own earth movement exclusion, with the exception of Texas, where all policies are drafted by the state. There is very rarely a situation when earth movement is provided coverage. One of the big three insurance carriers literally states plainly…”damage resulting from earth movement of any type is not covered” while other policies allow limited coverage for very specific situations employ the following policy language…. “there is no coverage for loss due to “settling, cracking, bulging, shrinkage or expansion of foundations, walls, floors, ceilings, walks, drives, curbs, fences, retaining walls”. For this type of exclusion a loss associated with a broken waterline under your foundation which causes sinking/settling type damage may be covered in under some policies, but not all.

There is one exception where homeowners insurance would provide coverage to this general exclusion. This would be in an earthquake zone where the insured has purchased a specific rider which would provide coverage for only earthquake related damage.

Two alternative scenarios for getting reimbursed for earth movement damage to your home are: In a situation where there was a failure to disclose property conditions in a real estate transaction or in a situation where the earth movement damage was the result of negligence of another party which could be proved in a court of law. Contacting the offenders liability insurance or consultation of an attorney would be prudent in these situations.

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If a neighbor’s tree falls on your property who’s Home Insurance is responsible for its removal?

Fortunately, no one is held liable for acts of nature. If a tree fell on your house whether from your yard or some other yard due to a natural occurrence you should be covered under you own homeowners policy for the damage.