Monday, May 23, 2011

A word on Insurance Inspections

When you purchase insurance for your home, rental, commercial property etc. the insurance carrier will send out an inspection firm to look over the property. These a third party company that is given a list of what to look for by each carrier they are hired by.

These inspectors mostly look at the outside of a home, but some companies will want an interior inspection as well. Check with your agent to see what type of inspection is being preformed.

If you deny a carrier access, refuse to speak to them or ask them to leave once they have identified themselves, you will be canceled by the carrier. Would you buy something worth  hundreds of thousands of dollars site unseen? Your carrier wants to make sure the property is in good shape. They are covering you for major losses. All you pay is your deductible and the yearly premium, usually less than $2,000, and the carrier can end up paying hundreds of thousands in the event of a covered loss. You would want to take a look too!

What are the inspectors looking for? Here's a short list:

1. Overhanging trees, overgrown brush. (Increased fire risk)

2. Dogs - breeds such as pit bulls, rottweilers, chows, german shepards, etc. (Liability risk due to breed bite / attack history. The list does vary some from carrier to carrier. Check with your agent)

3. Roof in bad shape. (Risk of injury, flooding, fire, etc.)

4. Trash / Debris / non-working vehicles. (Increased fire, theft and injury risks)

5. Distance to brush / vegetation / hillsides. (Increase fire risk)

6. Property occupied (Some carriers will insure vacant properties, but most want them occupied within 30 days or sooner if they are not written as a vacant property to start)

7. Other hazards such as construction, (increased risk of injury / damage, theft) distance to lakes & streams (flooding) and peeling paint / damaged overhangs (mold, damage due to infestation, rotting) are also noted.

This is only a short list and each carrier has their own standards. An inspector is not there to pick on you or your home. They are trying to make sure that the home will have a reduced risk of claims and that you and your loved ones are safe.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Looking at Insurance Part 4: Additional Living Expenses

Additional Living Expenses or ADL coverage pays you money in the event your home or the home you rent is damaged or destroyed and you cannot live there until it is fixed up. The money is there to help with everyday expenses like groceries, rent, mortgage payments, etc. Your house or the house you rent does not have to be destroyed to get this coverage. You may be evacuated due to a fire  in the area and you have to go to a motel for a few days or weeks. ADL will help you pay the cost of the hotel and other expenses while you are not able to return home.

While having an emergency account is always a good idea, ADL is there to help out. Talk to your carrier or insurance agent and read your policy to find out what ADL coverage you have.