This policy is designed for either primary residences or people with second homes that are also in the rental program. If your house is rented most companies have a cap of how many weeks’ rental is allowed without the company wanting off the policy. Presently 36 weeks is the longest rental period through one company and others having shorter terms.
Under this plan the house is insured for replacement cost up to the policy limit. With most companies, an additional 25% of dwelling coverage can be purchased in case it costs more to rebuild after a total loss. Personal property can also be either at actual cash value (replacement cost less age and condition) or you can upgrade to replacement cost. Contents/personal property is anything you can pick up and take out of the house, ordinary in purpose. Items such as antiques, original art, collectibles, etc. are not considered ordinary. The peril sheet below shows you the main perils insured against under this policy. Unless something is excluded a homeowner covers anything that happens that is sudden and accidental. It is not a maintenance policy so issues such as rot, old heat pumps, appliances that need replacing, etc. are not covered. There are many different options under this policy including multiple deductibles, increased liability limits and increased values. The policy also includes theft, liability and wind driven rain (rainwater that seeps in around and under doors and windows, blows in through roof vents, etc. with no visible sign of exterior damage), other structures coverage such as a pool or detached shed and additional living/loss of rents coverage.
On the coast, normally the perils of wind and hail are excluded under this policy and a separate policy must be written with limits that mirror the homeowner policy when available.
There are several issues that come up when pricing homeowner’s insurance. On older homes, we will need to know the updates of the main systems such as heating, electric, plumbing and roof replacement. A plumbing note, most companies will not write coverage on houses that still have polybutylene pipes (Quest piping was the name for the class action suit) this is always a question that needs an answer and one you should ask when purchasing an older home. Also, there can be no old knob and tube wiring and in most cases we will need to know how many amps your breaker box carries.
We have several homeowner companies and always try to get the best fit for the lowest cost to our clients.