Dan called and said the aluminum siding on his home is worn out and needs to be replaced. He asked if the siding would be paid for by his homeowners insurance. I informed him that worn out siding is not a covered loss which preceded his next question…what does homeowners insurance cover?
Homeowners insurance is designed to cover a “sudden and accidental loss”. Homeowners insurance provides a lot of coverage but it is not a maintenance policy and does not provide coverage for damage due to “wear and tear” or “old age”. Use homeowners insurance for the “Big Event”. If your house catches on fire or a pipe bursts inside your home causing significant water damage, homeowners insurance will pay for the resulting damage.
Another question often asked is does homeowners insurance cover flood damage? The answer is no. Outside water coming into the home, regardless of the source, is considered flood damage. Flood insurance is separate from homeowners insurance and a separate policy is required for coverage.
What questions should I ask my agent?
Homeowners insurance is not one size fits all. In fact, there are over 80 different variables, coverage options and discounts related to homeowners insurance. Working with an independent agent, an agent who compares different plans and knows the strengths and weaknesses of each company, is the best way to shop for homeowners insurance. Independent agents represent multiple companies and they will help you find the right policy for your situation. Here are some questions you want to ask your agent:
- Which companies do you represent?
- Who do you have your homeowners insurance with?
- Aside from the rate, why are you recommending this company?
- Explain the coverage options and why I need the coverage.
- Are there any other discounts available from this company?
- How has the claim experience been for your clients with this company?
Online Insurance Reviews
Online reviews are very popular but they can also be misleading. Let’s face it; most people are not going to take the time to write a positive review of an insurance company. People feel the reason they are paying for insurance is to receive quality service. However, when a negative experience occurs or a claim is not covered people are quick to post negative comments about an insurance company. I would encourage reading several online reviews and also reviewing the insurance company rating before making a decision. A good source for this information is AM Best, Moody’s or Standard and Poor (your independent agent should be able to provide this information to you.).
The Andrew Agency
The Andrew Agency, an independent insurance agency, provides insurance solutions to clients in the Mid-Atlantic region, including Virginia, Maryland, North and South Carolina. If you have questions about homeowners insurance, flood insurance or any other type of insurance, contact The Andrew Agency at 804.320.2886.