Homeowner’s Insurance Guidance

Homeowner’s Insurance Guidance

Know Your Homeowner’s Insurance Policy

According to the statistics, over 70% of homeowners are not exactly certain of what their homeowner’s insurance policies actually cover. Many perceive that figure to actually be very low.

Homeowner’s Insurance Premiums in Illinois

The average premium for 2016 Homeowner’s Insurance in Illinois was $1,042 thus ranking Illinois 28th in the nation in insurance premium costs to homeowners.  (The average cost of homeowner’s insurance across America was estimated to be $1,173 in 2015.)

Courtesy of the Insurance Institute. https://www.iii.org/fact-statistic/facts-statistics-homeowners-and-renters-insurance#Expenditures%20homeowners%20and%20renters%20insurance

 Homeowner’s Insurance Claim Frequency

  • The Costliest Claims by Homeowners are Related to Fire and Lightning
  • Followed by Homeowner’s Insurance Claims from Wind and Hail.
  • One in twenty homeowners have an insurance claim on their homeowner’s insurance each year.
  • One in fifty homeowners have an insurance claim due to wind and/or hail.
  • One in fifty homeowners have an insurance claim for water damage or freezing.
    ( Many states are now requiring insurance carriers to also include a level of coverage for mold due to water damage. Check with your carrier to see if your policy covers such or if mold coverage can be added.)
  • One in three hundred and sixty have an insurance claim due to fire and/or lightning.

Incidentally, and we will talk more on this later, the aftermath of water damage, damage due to freezing plus fire and lightning damage can all produce severe mold damage if not treated and addressed properly.  Be sure to ask your policy agent if you are covered for mold in the event of these disasters.

 Homeowner’s Insurance Inventory Lists

So, what percentage of homeowners actually prepare a list of their insured possessions to be covered by their policy?  40%? 80%?  Well, the number actually varies by the region of the country.

In the Midwest, we have the distinction of having the lowest number of homeowners that actually prepare an inventory list for their policy providers.  Poor Form!  The Midwest on average has ‘only’ 43% of homeowners preparing a list of household inventory for their carriers.  In the South, 57% prepare a list.  In the North East and West, they respectively prepare a list at the rate of 56% and 50%.

Why all of this information on Household Inventory Listings for Insurance Carriers?  Simply put, it is in your absolute best interest.  In addition to providing your agent and insurance company with a list of inventories, inclusive of photos, be sure to secure copies in a fireproof safe or lockbox.  It could save you thousands of dollars in the future.  Best practices for list development are provided by your carrier.

(See your insurance agent for additional details that might be needed such as appraised values on collectibles, receipts on special furnishing purchases, and history records for family heirlooms.)

Homeowner’s Insurance Losses Ranked by Claims Frequency

Average Weighted 2013 – 2017

Homeowner’s Insurance Losses for Claims by Category & Severity

Average Weighted 2013 – 2017

As you will note, with the exception of Bodily Injury & Property Damage, Fire, Lightning, Water Damage, Freezing, Wind and Hail top off the list of losses.  Each of which can lead to further damage from mold and loss of use.  Courtesy of the Insurance Institute

Please Note: Frequency of Claims bases on incidents per 100 policies.  Wind, Hail, Water Damage and Freezing top the Frequency of Claims Category.  Each of these three occurrences can also lead to mold damage if not addressed in a correct manner. Courtesy of the Insurance Institute

Homeowner’s Insurance Claims Severity & Frequency

The recent Midwest weather patterns and their severity have caused all to take a closer look at their homeowner’s policy and declared coverages.  HelpPro1 strongly encourages all homeowner’s to annually review their policy and possible changes needed with their local agents to ensure there are no surprises in the event of a claim.  One hour of attention now, can save you thousands of dollars and a tremendous amount of peace of mind.  Be safe. Be secure. Be well prepared with appropriate Homeowner’s Insurance Coverage to avoid potentially greater personal losses and unnecessary surprises.

What HelpPro1 Experience Has Seen

HelpPro1 along with its Sister Companies, Basement De-Watering Systems and Spoon River Pest Control has seen a plethora of situations throughout Central & Western Illinois over the last four decades.  Sadly, one of the greatest disappointments for the homeowner is finding that a recent disaster or accident is not covered by their homeowner’s insurance policy.  Situations that could have been covered if the homeowners would simply ask their insurance agents about specific coverages to address potential risks of loss in their homes or offices.

Home risks like various causes and types of water damage.  Risks like sewage back-up in basements or crawl spaces.  Questions like; What happens if mold is found in the crawl space or any other part of your structure? Who absorbs the cost?  Here is a partial list of risks, situations, areas and categories you might need to discuss with your carrier.  Needless to say, it is not every possible scenario that presents potential damages to your structure.  Just some of the more frequent problems we see on any annual basis that may not be covered in one’s homeowner insurance policy.  Which potential risk can cost the most? 

Potential Situations Possibly Not Covered by Homeowner’s Insurance

  • Basement Flooding from Rain
  • Basement Flooding from Power Outages
  • Basement Flooding from Sump Pump Failure
  • Basement Flooding from Sewer Backup
  • Basement Flooding from Pipes Bursting or Freezing
  • Basement Foundation, Wall Cracks & Floor Cracks due to untreated water seepage or structure settling.
  • Crawl Space Flooding from Rain, Power Outages, Sump Pump Failure, Sewer Backup or Freezing
  • Mold accumulating in the structure due to untreated water seepage or moisture accumulation.
  • Mold accumulating on home’s possessions due to untreated water seepage or moisture accumulation.
  • Mildew Odors accumulating in the structure due to lack of air flow or proper ventilation.
  • Structure’s Materials Rotting / Decomposing due to untreated moisture or water seepage.
  • Infestations of pests causing structure’s material destruction.
  • Infestations of pests causing odors throughout the structure.

A footnote on Flood Damage.  The description for flood damage and possible coverage changes state by state and carrier by carrier.  The Federal Government also regulates Flood Damage Insurance very restrictively.  Be sure to discuss your risk potentials for flood damage and possible remedies with your carrier’s agent.  As noted in the Insurance Institute’s graph, Water Damage is by far one of the greatest causes of loss throughout the nation.  That especially holds true in Central Illinois.

Ways Homeowner’s Can Avoid ‘Insurance Fatigue’

‘Insurance Fatigue’ is when the homeowner(s) reach a point of exhaustion in dealing with vendors, contractors, supply resources and all the persons affiliated with their claim.  It can absolutely be exhausting to deal with the ever-changing scenarios affiliated with the remedies needing accomplished to restore your structure, possessions and family back to pre-claim status.

HelpPro1 completely recognizes the overwhelming homeowner’s anguish that can accompany any insurance claim on one’s structure, personal possessions and lives.  That is the single most important reason why we deal directly with the insurance carrier on each and every subject matter.  Even on a daily or hourly basis if needed.  HelpPro1 works will all insurance providers.

Exactness in professionalism is the absolute minimum that a homeowner should expect in securing, protecting and restoring their personal possessions and home back to normal.

So, to be sure you avoid ‘Insurance Fatigue’, be precise in selecting an agent and carrier that you have absolute peace of mind with.  Build a rapport where they understand you and you trust them.  A good relationship has to be built, not just created.   They should also stand by you through your calamity.

Finally, instill in your agent that you desire only certified insured professionals to restore your losses back to normal in an expeditious manner.  Your life has been disrupted.  You need proven professionals to assist your agent in restoring it.  Ask for the facts regarding selected vendors track record, referances and above all the tenure in the given field of expertise.

HelpPro1 is pleased to offer our reputation and accredited professional services to those homeowner’s that have need.  In serving Central and Western Illinois, our rapport with the Insurance Industry and Agencies overseeing our credentials is available for inspection on request.  Contact us with any questions you might have at anytime.

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