Your home is your most valuable asset. Don’t let your investment be blown away

Disasters can happen to anyone at any time, no matter how many precautions you take.

Fires, tornadoes, lightning strikes, and high winds are all very real possibilities here in Northeast Ohio. These catastrophes can cause a large amount of damage to your home and possessions. Thankfully, homeowners insurance provides coverage in case of such disasters. Most likely your home is your most valuable asset and I’m sure you’ve put a lot of time, effort and money into it. Don’t let all your hard work be swept away. Even if your home were to be destroyed by a tornado, it doesn’t mean that your financial security has to also. Here at McMichael Insurance, we will strive to ensure that your home is covered in the event of such unthinkable tragedies.

The basic homeowners policy includes coverage for your home, garage and outbuildings, as well as your possessions. In case of a fire or some other disaster that leaves your family without a place to live, coverage will also provide payment for temporary living expenses. Another critical coverage element of the homeowner policy is the liability protection afforded to you and family residents. Liability will provide financial payment on your behalf in the event you or family residents are legally responsible for the injuries of another or damage to their property.

Here are some coverages available for the homeowner's policy:

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Boats and Recreational Vehicles

Boats and Recreational Vehicles may also be added to you homeowners insurance policy. Coverage may include liability and physical damage for boats, personal watercraft, all terrain vehicles, snowmobiles, golf carts, mopeds, go carts, etc.

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Building Ordinance or Law

Many cities and counties have ordinances or laws, regulating the construction, repair or demolition of insured buildings. The commonly exercised ordinance would require bringing the home up to current and modern building codes. However, the extreme example would require the tearing down of an entire home if only 51% or more of the home sustained damage.

Let’s consider this for a moment and the impact upon an “unendorsed” homeowners insurance policy. The standard homeowners, form 3, insurance policy only requires rebuilding of the home as it sat immediately prior to the loss, and further excludes any operation of ordinances, laws or codes. This means the insurance would only pay the 51% of the damaged portion of your home, thereby leaving you to pay the additional amount out of pocket. The solution is to add this optional Building Ordinance or Law coverage that will now pay these expenses, up to the limit of insurance selected.

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Business Occupancies and Home Businesses

Business Occupancy coverage may be purchased for business activities of the insured, including incidental home offices, home day-care services or other permitted incidental businesses. Coverage may typically be included for property, loss of business income and General Liability. We may also be able to extend coverage to your primary business operated from your home, even if the business operates as an entity other than your personal name.

Earthquakes, although rare in the Midwest, are still a possibility and have the potential to cause severe damage. Coverage may be purchased that will protect you from damage caused by not only earthquake, but also land shock waves and tremors.

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Flood Coverage

Although this coverage is generally unavailable through the standard insurance market, you may be able to purchase coverage through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Coverage inquiries can be made direct to the NFIP Servicing Agent by calling (800) 638-6620.

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Personal Injury

Personal Injury extends coverage to losses such as libel, slander, invasion of privacy, wrongful eviction or entry, and malicious prosecution. This should be a part of any well crafted homeowners insurance policy.

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Scheduled Personal Property

Scheduled Personal Property provides increased limits of insurance for certain classes of personal property that are typically limited, but also provides broader coverage on an open peril (“all risk”) basis for specifically insured personal property. This also extends coverage for misplacing or losing insured items. Coverage that can be scheduled includes, but is not limited to: Jewelry, watches or furs; Silverware or gold ware; Firearms; Antiques, collectibles and fine arts; and Musical instruments.

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Sewer or Drain Backup

While excluded in the basic homeowners policy, form 3, this valuable coverage may be purchased at an additional cost. Coverage is available for loss caused by the overflow or backup of sewers, drains or sumps.

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Special Personal Property

This option expands coverage for the basic homeowners policy, form 3, from named perils to open perils (“all risk”). The typical personal property policy gives you a listing of 17 perils, or causes of loss. If your personal property is damaged by 1 of the 17 insured causes then you will be paid for your loss. The problem with this approach is that burden of proof when submitting a claim is on the insured to make the case that what damaged their property was one of these 17 loss causes. A far better approach is to insure your personal belongings by adding Special Personal Property to your homeowners insurance. This approach states that all causes of loss are insured, except those specifically excluded. Not only are you afforded much more coverage for your personal belongings, but it also forces the burden of proof upon the insurer to prove that the claim is excluded. This is a minor distinction, but never-the-less a huge advantage in favor of the insured.