“Yes, accidents happen. Earthquakes happen and homes flood but that won’t happen to me. Even if it did, people around me would help.”
These are some of the scariest words I hear from those buying home insurance, especially when they are only purchasing the insurance because it is required by their mortgage company.
Hi, my name is Rachel Talbot and I love my job.
Yes, it’s true.
It’s a great day at work when I meld together insurance policies and protect the people (customers) I care about.
But what about the “not-so-much” days at work?
Well, I think of a situation which happened a few years ago when flash floods occurred in our area:
Homes and businesses were affected and homeowners were reaching out panicked about their future. Some homeowners had a mortgage for a few hundred thousand dollars, but the asset put up for collateral (the home) was destroyed. Those, who purchased insurance elsewhere, learned that flood was not a covered cause of loss in their homeowners policy. Some were the very same people who had previously walked away from my insurance offer due to the “rate.”
My heart ached for them.
Others thought they were okay when they went online and purchased “that one flood policy offered by the Federal Government.” Sadly, that policy does not cover contents until the water has filled your basement and is ruining your things on the ground level floor. That’s right, no coverage for contents in the basement:
The prized antiques you saved for decades?
The boxes of starter-home stuff saved for your daughter’s first home?
The game room where your boys and his friends enjoyed hours of entertainment with the old-school arcade games?
The man-cave where the art of manliness is cultivated and cherished with a big screen TV and surround sound?
You will receive a little money for the installed carpet and sheet rock, but that is a drop in the bucket compared to the cost of the loss in its totality.
What about help from friends, family, and neighbors to those who suffered from the catastrophic flood?
Those caught in the situation described above did, in fact, receive casseroles and lodging at a local hotel.
This genuinely helped during the first few days of chaos.
After about a month, however, help was scarce.
One cannot blame friends, family, and neighbors; they simply didn’t have the means to support a family of five for the year it would take to rebuild.
I recommend a three-peril policy which covers earthquake, landslide, and flood.
One of my favorite things about this policy is that it covers contents in the basement in the case of flood losses.
Whoa… contents in the basement?
Is your head spinning with insurance jargon?
It’s okay – let me break it down:
Generally speaking, “contents” are the things that would fall out if you were able to pick up your home (like a Barbie house) and turn it upside down.
What would fall out in that scenario?
In my house it would be the furniture, dishes inside the kitchen cabinets, clothes in my closets and drawers…
…you get the idea.
Those things are typically the contents in the world of insurance.
What about the stuff that wouldn’t fall out in the “Barbie house shaken upside down” scenario?
In my house the cabinets themselves, the installed carpet, the wall-mounted oven, the sheet rock, and the studs in the frame itself would not fall out. Those things are typically the structure in the world of insurance.
So, now back to flood.
If a flood occurs around your home, where is the first place the water is likely to go? That’s right, the basement! So your contents in the basement have no coverage through some policies.
I recommend the three-peril policy because I believe in it.
I believe in taking care of my customers.
This policy is not included in the standard homeowners policy.
Home insurance isn’t just about appeasing your mortgage company.
It’s about protecting your investment.
Earthquakes, landslides, and floods don’t give advanced warning, so it is important that you take the steps now to make sure you have the right insurance coverage in place. Should you be in a situation where you have to file a claim, having the right insurance coverage with the right agent can make all the difference.