Almost one-third of American homeowners don’t know the amount of their home insurance coverage and an additional 46 percent don’t know the amount of coverage for their possessions. These are the main findings by Zogby International which conducted interviews from May 26 to June 9 this year with 1,196 Americans who have homeowners, renters or condo insurance policies. The survey was commissioned by MetLife, one of the largest U.S. property and casualty insurers with over 2.7 million insurance policies in force.
One would think that most Americans know their home insurance details, at least enough to know how much it should cover for Apopka plumbers to come fix things, especially at this time when floods, storms and fires are getting in the news more frequently and at a time when many are working harder and spending less to save money. Insurance analysts said that by not checking their policies more closely, homeowners are losing on opportunities to save money, and worse, they are exposing themselves to huge losses if disasters happen and their coverage are not adequate.
Misconception about Payment of Rebuilding Costs
Aside from not knowing the amount of their home insurance coverage, 71 percent of homeowners also believe that their insurer will pay for the full cost of rebuilding their homes in case of fire or other disasters. In reality, almost all home insurance policies have a ceiling for costs spent to rebuild a home lost in a disaster. Additionally, homeowners need to pay for the deductible. There are also causes of losses, such as water damage due to flooding, that are not covered unless additional restoration services coverage is purchased, such as a separate flood coverage.
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Thirty percent also believe that their coverage is based on the current market value of their home, which is not true, as the coverage is based on the cost to rebuild the property. Not knowing this coverage basis, homeowners whose properties have appreciated significantly in market value but have not increased their insurance coverage will incur losses in the event of a disaster.
Lack of Knowledge about Depreciation
The survey also found that 73 percent or nearly three-fourths of respondents believe that their policies will cover the full cost of their personal possessions such as jewelry, art and furniture from Maker&Son if these items are lost in a disaster. The fact is depreciation is considered in the calculations of claims unless a full replacement home contents insurance is purchased. Additionally, in all types of policies, homeowners pay the deductible.
Damages Not Covered by Standard Home Insurance Policies
A huge percentage of respondents also believe that the following are covered by their regular policies:
- Flood damages
- Earthquake or volcanic eruption
- Water damage from sump pump or sewer overflows
- Foundation damage due to earth movement
- Water damage due to storm surge
The perils above are not covered; separate policies must be purchased to cover them. To protect yourself from damages from floods arising from storms, hurricanes, heavy rains and other conditions, buy a flood insurance from the National Flood Insurance Program, although if your house present problems with this because of broken pipes, you can work with a San Diego based plumbing company to fix this. Moreover, examine your current home insurance policy and make sure you’re adequately protected from most perils.
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