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Insurance Chalk Board

From flood insurance to personal property endorsements, many consumers are unaware of the optional insurance coverage plans they can purchase for their home. Every home and individual homeowner need is different, but consumers can choose coverage they need to protect what makes their property unique.

Your insurance company may have beneficial plans that you may have to ask about! Not all carriers offer all of the following but here are a few examples:

Flood Insurance

Flood damage is not covered under standard home insurance policies. In Massachusetts, you can buy flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program, depending on where your home is located. If it’s located in a flood plain, flood insurance is required by your lender. If it isn’t, you can still purchase coverage by contacting your insurer or producer, or by contacting the National Flood Insurance Program.

Earthquake Insurance

This insurance is available through most insurance companies for an extra cost with a special deductible that applies separately to each of the coverages. It’s often issued as an endorsement and attached to your home insurance policy. Rates depend on location and the probability of an earthquake loss.

Scheduled Personal Property Endorsement

This insurance protects valuable items that are out of the ordinary. It covers objects such jewelry, antiques, computers, furs, stamps, coins, guns, silverware, fine arts, and other possessions that may exceed the coverage amount in your regular home insurance policy. Usually there is no deductible applied to this coverage, but you still get regular appraisals of property covered under this endorsement to ensure you’re covered at the appropriate level in case of loss.

Inflation Guard Endorsement

Inflation can change your home replacement cost, so your current homeowners insurance may not be enough in the future. If the replacement cost of your home is increasing with inflation, your policy amounts must be periodically increased to maintain your coverage at 80% or higher. With this endorsement, your insurance company automatically changes your policy limit during the policy period and at each renewal policy thereafter by a pre-determined percentage. If you choose to buy this insurance, check to make sure you are not overly insured.

Identity Theft Restoration Coverage

Identity recovery coverage provides for lost wages, expenses recovering your identity, and other issues involved with having your identity stolen. Your company may even provide restorative and preventative services, and you and your family may have access to identity management services with trained fraud specialists. They can help you with issues from divorce-related fraud issues to recovering lost identification and credit cards while you’re traveling or after a natural disaster.

Secondary Premises Insurance

This coverage applies to secondary premises such as a summer or vacation home, which are not typically covered by the homeowner’s insurance policy on your primary residence. Remember to review the policy for your secondary home every year, even if you only live there part-time. The NAIC provides tips for secondary home insurance and doing a home inventory.

Green Improvement Reimbursement

Mitigating risk and environmentally friendly, this coverage helps pay you back for additional costs of replacing damaged or destroyed covered items with more energy-efficient items after loss.

Electronic Data Recovery

This coverage helps with the cost of recovering lost personal computer data, including photos or videos. Some homeowners and rental insurance cover intellectual property like pictures, or financial documents such as tax records. Before paying, check if your data is covered.

Yard and Garden Insurance

If you’re an avid gardener, perhaps consider this coverage for items like trees, landscaping, lawnmowers and more.

Watercraft Endorsement

If you own a watercraft, whether it’s a small sailboat or yacht, this is the insurance you may want to consider. It includes all inboard and outboard watercrafts. It provides broadened personal liability and medical payments coverage for bodily injury. It also often includes property damage costs and towing and wreckage removal, as well as fuel spill indemnification.

For more information about homeowner’s insurance, contact the Division of Insurance’s Consumer Service Department. You should also talk with your current homeowner insurance policy provider and learn what optional coverages they offer.

If you have additional questions, contact the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation by calling our Consumer Hotline at (617) 973-8787, or toll-free in MA at (888) 283-3757, Monday through Friday, from 9 am-4:30 pm. Follow the Office on Facebook and Twitter, @Mass_Consumer. The Baker-Polito Administration’s Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation along with its five agencies work together to achieve two goals: to protect and empower consumers through advocacy and education, and to ensure a fair playing field for Massachusetts businesses. The Office also oversees the state’s vehicular and customized wheelchair Lemon Laws and Arbitration Programs, Data Breach reporting, Home Improvement Contractor Programs and the MA Do Not Call Registry.

 

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