additional coverages available on your home insurance policy
In addition to the home insurance coverages described in Chapter 4, there are several endorsements that provide additional coverages.
These coverages are often overlooked by insurance applicants and policyholders, but they may be necessary to protect homeowners in certain circumstances. Take a few moments to determine if these endorsements could provide valuable coverage for your home before you begin obtaining quotes and completing home insurance applications. These endorsements are worth the additional premium cost in the event of a loss and can be added to the policy for little additional premium.
BACKUP OF SEWERAND DRAINS
The backup of sewers and drains endorsement can be critical to
providing adequate coverage for your home, especially if you have a finished basement. This coverage is not meant to provide coverage for weatherrelated floods but will cover you in the event that your drains or the sewer backs up and overflows into your home.
The specifications and requirements of this endorsement vary from company to company. It is frequently offered with either broad or
limited coverage, which allows policy coverage for different types of backup and overflow scenarios. Some forms of this endorsement will not cover personal items that are damaged; however, others include personal items. Still other forms of this endorsement will cover only mechanicals that have been damaged as a result of a sewer or drain backup and overflow.
Backup of sewers and drains can cause significant damage to your home carpet, furniture, mechanicals, and personal belongings can quickly be destroyed. Be sure to ask your agent or insurance representative to explain the types of occurrences covered by each water backup endorsement offered before deciding which one to purchase or whether to purchase this type of endorsement.
ORDINANCE OF LAW
Ordinance of law coverage pays for any upgrades that must be done to bring the home up to current building codes in the event the home must be rebuilt or repaired due to damage or loss. Without ordinance of law, your policy will pay only for repairs that are needed to pay for the loss. This leaves the policyholder left to pay the additional money to bring the home into compliance with current building codes. If the code requirements are not being met during reconstruction or repair of your home, repairs may be stopped by a building inspector. This can cause significant delays in repairing the home and can leave you
with a damaged, unlivable home if you cannot pay the additional
money to bring your home into compliance with local building codes.
Ordinance of law will pay for loss to any undamaged part of the home that has to be demolished to bring the rest of the home up to code,
for the cost of this demolition, and for the increased reconstruction cost incurred to bring the residence into building code compliance.
Please note that if your home is less than five years old, you may want to ask your agent if you need ordinance of law coverage - the structure, mechanicals, and wiring in your home are likely new enough to be in compliance with current building standards.
Because building codes change frequently, make sure to check with your agent and your local building inspector yearly to see if any significant changes have been made. If so, it may be time to add ordinance of law coverage to your home insurance policy. This endorsement is not just for old or historical homes.
SECONDARY HOME
If you own a secondary home, do not assume that it is automatically covered under your primary home policy. Although coverage of a secondary home varies from state to state, most companies will allow you to extend your liability coverage from your primary home policy to your secondary home. However, you will need separate dwelling coverage on the secondary home in most states and with most companies. Let your agent know if you own, or are about to purchase, a secondary home. By doing so, you can ensure the home will be covered and that liability can be properly extended.