What You Need to Know
Insurance isn’t the most exciting topic but when you need it, you are glad you have it.
This week I had the chance to interview Lisa Kerin-Welch, an agent and business growth director at Community & Family Insurance.
Here are some of the takeaways from our talk.
Most common claim in Colorado – The most common claim in Colorado comes from hail damage. We also see a lot of fire, theft, liability claims, wind, and water damage losses.
Roofs are important – Buyers should pay attention to age, quality and features (ie, type and layers) of the roof.
Side note: The hailstorm in May of 2017 was the costliest ever in Colorado, with $2.3 B worth of damages claimed. If you’re up for a new roof, consider hail-resistant material.
Flood insurance – Required by lenders if your property is located in a flood plain, but a homeowner can elect to obtain flood insurance at any time. Make sure to use an authorized agent of FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program. You can look up any property here on this map here to see if it’s in a flood zone. Your insurance carrier will do the same.
Market value does not determine the insurance value of the property. Property insurance only pays to rebuild the physical structure. It does not pay off a mortgage note. Work with a trusted local agent who can adequately assess the replacement value of your property.
Side Note: Colorado has laws in place requiring insurers to provide additional living expense (ALE) coverage of no less than 12 months, which is nice.
Most common “uncovered” issue? Valuable personal property items (like jewelry) that could have been scheduled, but weren’t. (It’s not hard to get a rider to add some jewelry, but you will need a current appraisal). Also maintenance issues, like water seepage/leakage (some carriers have options for endorsement coverages here). So don’t ignore those issues! Here’s a handy year-round maintenance schedule.
How about Condos? You’ll have an individual policy for your unit and you’ll be paying your portion of the Master Policy, for the building and all the common elements, with your condo fees. Where and when coverage applies, including which party is responsible, is strictly determined by the HOA documents. A claim on your individual policy might be if your dishwasher overflows and destroys your floor and your neighbor’s ceiling, where the building’s master policy would kick in in the case of hail damage to the roof.
Money saving strategies
- Home insurance is deductible.
- Insurance bundling, such as insuring your home and auto with the same carrier, will maximize your discounts.
- Shop your household for the most competitive policy at each renewal.
- Work with a trusted local insurance broker, who can advise you on the best policy to fit your needs