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Homeowners Insurance and Earthquakes, Landslides, Hurricanes

Earthquake, expansive soil, flood, hurricane, landslide and subsidence damage usually not covered! “All Perils” Means:   Learn About the Geology Every year in every state many property owners discover that their homeowners insurance policy will not pay when their homes are damaged by common geological processes such as earthquakes, expansive soils, floods, hurricanes, landslides and subsidence.…

People’s Trust Insurance Company Memo

Several months ago, FAIA began receiving complaints that an insurance company, whose advertising was critical of agents, may also be misrepresenting its price, or the reasons for that price, in potential violation of §626.9541, F.S.—Unfair methods of competition and unfair or deceptive acts or practices defined. And, we were told that its website quotation system…

Will Your Insurance Pay If Vandals Strike?

When people buy homeowner’s insurance, they usually intend for it to cover the home in which they live. That is also the insurance company’s expectation, and most of the time, that is the case. However, sometimes circumstances change and the home is left empty. For example, the family goes on a weeklong vacation, or one that lasts a month or more. One member of the couple may accept a temporary job transfer that will last for a few years, and they may decide not to sell the home. In other cases, the family may move into a new home but find themselves unable to sell the prior one. In all of these cases, the home is rendered either unoccupied or vacant. This change in status can affect the insurance coverage.

The standard homeowner’s policy provides coverage for losses caused by vandalism and malicious mischief. For example, the policy will pay for the repair and replacement of windows if the family comes home and finds all of the first floor windows broken. A reasonable person could conclude that vandals broke the windows. However, the policy will not pay if the home has been vacant for more than 60 days. Insurance companies design the policies and set the prices under the assumption that a home will be occupied. A vacant building is vulnerable to damage by vandals, so the companies have designed other policies to cover them.

Insurer to pay $92.8 million for Katrina claims

A Louisiana judge has ordered Louisiana Citizens Property Insurance Corp. to pay $92.8 million to 18,573 policyholders in the state whose claims from damage caused by Hurricane Katrina were not adjusted on time. The state-sponsored insurer of last resort is expected to appeal the judgment by Jefferson Parish Judge Henry Sullivan, according to the Times-Picayune…

Property Coverage for Businesses with Changing Needs

Some businesses have very stable property insurance needs as the value of their non-building property doesn’t vary much during the year. For example, an accountant’s office will have furniture, telephones, computers, reference books, and so on. The replacement costs of these items won’t be much different in July than they were in April. Other types…

Claim Dispute Resolution

If a claim dispute arises, you should always file a complaint with your state insurance regulatory agency. Don’t go into great detail – just give them the very basic issues in dispute. To find your state regulator online go to www.naic.org. The agency may not get you the help you need, but it’s still important…

What Additional Living Expense Coverage Means to Homeowners

Suffering major damage to a home is a traumatic event for any family. The experience brings shock, worry about family members and pets, grief at the loss of treasured possessions, and stress about the overwhelming task of replacing it all. Right on the heels of these emotions comes a more immediate question: Where will the family live now, and how will they pay for it? Fortunately, standard homeowner’s policies provide coverage for loss of use of a home.

The standard policy contains three Loss of Use coverages: Additional Living Expense, Fair Rental Value, and Civil Authority Prohibits Use. Additional Living Expense coverage pays for the homeowner’s necessary increase in living expenses when the home, damaged by a covered cause of loss, becomes unfit to live in. For example, assume that a severe windstorm knocks a tree into a home’s upstairs. It wrecks three bedrooms and two bathrooms, causing pipes to break and damaging electrical wiring. Since the policy covers windstorm damage and the home is unsafe for the family to occupy, this coverage will pay the extra amount the family must spend to live elsewhere for a period of time. However, the insurance company will pay only the amount necessary for the family to maintain its normal standard of living. If the family was not living in a luxury condo before the loss, the company will not pay for them to live in one after. The company will pay for the shortest period of time necessary to repair or replace the damaged property or to permanently relocate.

Tips for Preventing Electrical Fires

Believe it or not, there’s a powerful source of fire right inside your home: electricity. From old defective wiring to overloaded outlets, there are electrical fire hazards everywhere we turn. As a matter of fact, more than 40,000 residential fires are caused each year by faulty electrical wiring, according to the United States Consumer Product…

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