7 Critical Coverages You May Want to Add to Your Home Insurance
There’s no time like the start of a new year to reflect on all the important things and people in your life. As part of this process, the Bearingstar team encourages you to review the coverages in your home insurance solution to make sure you still have appropriate protection for one of your most significant investments. While some homeowners put off reviewing their home insurance until they have a milestone event, like a home remodel, a new family member, or an expensive purchase, we highly recommend you do this exercise with your insurance professional every year. When you work with Bearingstar, you partner with a professional and local agent who will help you identify any risky coverage gaps and find products to better protect your distinct property and the belongings in it.
To provide you with personalized home insurance recommendations, the Bearingstar team likes to learn all we can about you and your property. Then, based on our experience working with many Massachusetts and Connecticut homeowners just like you, we will share some of the critical coverages we find are often missing from homeowners policies. We hope you will consider these additional home insurance options, because including them in your personal insurance program may not only enhance your coverage but also help you avoid significant out-of-pocket expenses if you experience a covered event.
Are these 7 critical coverages part of your home insurance solution?
1.Higher Personal Liability Limits
Standard home insurance coverage typically includes $100,000 worth of personal liability coverage. However, depending on your unique situation, you may want to consider securing extra liability protection by extending this limit. For example, if you, another household member covered by your insurance, or a pet is at fault for an injury, having higher liability limits may help you pay for the costs associated with the incident and could possibly minimize what you have to spend out of pocket. This financial protection can be well worth the few extra dollars a month in premium.
2. Umbrella Insurance
Umbrella insurance is a separate policy you can buy to secure even more personal liability protection than what you have in your home insurance policy. Having an umbrella policy can provide you with priceless peace of mind, because it generally goes into effect if you exceed the maximum liability coverage limits of your home insurance. If you have numerous personal liability risk factors, such as owning a swimming pool, having a pet or a teenager, or employing household staff, umbrella insurance should be a top coverage consideration. Umbrella insurance is also surprisingly affordable, typically costing under $300 a year for an additional $1 million in coverage.
3. Water Back-Up and Sump Overflow Endorsement
If water were to leak into your home due to a backed-up sewer or drain, or because of a failed or overtaxed sump pump, you could end up spending thousands on costly repairs and to replace water-damaged items. Alternatively, you could get out in front of this potential disaster and add the Water Back-Up and Sump Overflow Endorsement to your homeowners policy, which may help cover these expenses. This endorsement is particularly wise for homeowners who live in areas that experience periods of heavy rainfall or seasonal power outages or who have a sump pump that is not brand new. One important thing to know about this endorsement is that it does not actually cover the cost of replacing a failed sump pump. For that coverage, you will want to consider another endorsement called Home Systems Protection Endorsement.
4. Home Systems Protection Endorsement
If you were to make a list of all the equipment it takes to keep your home running smoothly all day long, it might take up this whole page and then some. There’s your central air conditioning, boiler or furnace, electrical panels, home security system, an installed sump pump, and more. What happens when one of these systems, which you and your family depend on for comfort, convenience, or safety, breaks down? You’re likely to spend a lot of time and money trying to get the malfunctioning piece of equipment repaired. However, if you add the Home Systems Protection Endorsement to your home insurance policy, these and other similar home systems equipment are typically covered for sudden or accidental mechanical or electrical breakdowns.
5. Flood Insurance
You may have been made aware that the standard home insurance policy does not include flood insurance. But what you may not have been given much information about is why this additional policy deserves your consideration. With storm systems increasing in severity and frequency, you should consult your local agent to determine if you should consider flood insurance, even if your property is not officially considered to be located in a flood zone and regardless of how close to an ocean or lake it is. In fact, about 25% of all flood insurance claims come from moderate- to low-risk flood areas. Flooding is by far the costliest weather-related threat to property owners and their homes, so if you live anywhere it rains, we recommend that you take a long, hard look at the benefits of purchasing flood insurance. You’ll find that there are several choices when it comes to buying flood insurance today, including private flood insurance companies and the National Flood Insurance Program, which you can access through your local insurance professional.
6. Earthquake Insurance>
Massachusetts and Connecticut may not be up there with California in terms of risk level for a large earthquake, but homeowners here still may be wise to consider earthquake insurance. Most New England states are considered at least moderate risk for earthquake activity, and home insurance policies do not typically provide coverage for the substantial and expensive damages that can be caused by such an event. By investing in earthquake insurance, you may get help paying to repair earthquake-related damages to your home and personal property, and for temporary housing if your home is deemed uninhabitable because of this type of disaster. Please note that there are earthquake insurance coverage limits and a deductible that you should discuss with your insurance professional.
7. Escaped Liquid Fuel Oil Endorsement*
Every year, hundreds of Massachusetts homeowners are affected by leaks and spills from liquid fuel tanks, fuel pipes, or fuel supply lines used for heating, cooling, or cooking on their property. If a liquid fuel spill occurs, it could result in serious damages to your home and personal property and cause significant harm to the soil around your home, your neighbor’s land, and groundwater. As you can imagine, the remediation costs for a fuel leak or spill could put a huge financial burden on your shoulders. For this reason, if you heat your home with oil, there are significant advantages to adding the Escaped Liquid Fuel Oil Endorsement to your home insurance policy. This add-on coverage may help you pay for damages caused to your house, land, and personal property and for cleaning up contaminated groundwater and other people’s property. However, not everyone is eligible for this coverage, so talk to your local agent to see if this coverage is available to you.
How Can Bearingstar Serve You?
Believe it or not, these seven critical coverages represent just a few of the additional endorsements and home insurance options that you may want to consider. Since it can be overwhelming to figure out the best insurance products for your specific property, we want you to know the Bearingstar team is here if you would like our advice and to tap into our expertise. We are happy to review your current homeowners policy and help you learn more about the coverages that can enhance your home insurance protection and give you peace of mind.
For assistance, please contact a member of our Massachusetts team by calling 877-801-7424 or a Connecticut Bearingstar professional by calling 888-519-9996. We look forward to hearing from you and helping you find the best home and other personal insurance coverages to protect what’s most important to you.
*This endorsement is only available in Massachusetts.