You know that sinking feeling you get when something goes wrong with your house?
Whether it’s a stolen bike or a burst pipe, your first reaction may be to call us to file a claim. In reality, filing a claim “just to be on the safe side” could cost you -- in more ways than one.
But won’t your insurance just deny claims that are too small? Not necessarily. Find out how to decide which claims to file and which to pay for out of pocket:
Should you file a claim?
Some types of events, think fire or theft, are too serious and expensive to tackle on your own. Anything causing significant damage that would be impossible to pay for, even with your emergency fund, is probably a good claim candidate.
Here are a few common scenarios and how you might want to deal with them:
You recently filed a claim. Think long and hard before submitting another. Most underwriters assume one claim every 10 years is average. Filing more could be cause for a rate increase.
The claim is related to home maintenance. Nope -- upkeep falls squarely on you. If it’s revealed that you’ve let your maintenance schedule lapse on things like plumbing or HVAC systems, your homeowners policy could even be canceled.
The cost to repair the damage is well over your deductible. Yes, report away. Say a tornado takes out the whole back half of your house. In this case, filing a claim is the only way to make your home liveable again.
When it comes down to it, you have homeowners insurance for a reason. If you need it, use it.
Just be smart about when you do and you could save yourself a lot of stress and a good chunk of money.
Have questions about whether or not to file a claim? Reach out anytime.
Ordinance & Law coverage is available on both Commercial Property policies as well as via endorsement on Homeowners policies. For the purpose of this discussion I’ll focus on the Commercial form. Briefly, Ordinance & Law coverage is available via endorsement from most carriers and is broken down into three coverage segments:
Coverage A- Undamaged Portion- Should your building be partially damaged by a covered cause of loss (i.e. Fire or Tornado), the local Building Department or Fire Marshal might require that you demolish the undamaged portion of the structure and reconstruct an entire new building. Without Ordinance & Law coverage on your policy, the insurance company may not pay for the part of the building that wasn’t originally damaged. Coverage A closes that gap.
Coverage B- Demolition- Continuing from the loss scenario above, Coverage B pays for the cost to actually demolish the remaining portion of the building left standing after the original cause of loss. Again, without Ordinance & Law on your policy, you’d likely be left “self insuring” this expense.
Coverage C- Increased Cost of Construction- If the building code has changed since the time your building was originally constructed, Coverage C pays for these mandatory building enhancements. Without this coverage, the insurance company would only pay to rebuild what was originally there. Common examples which might apply include hurricane strapping, fire sprinkler systems, ADA-compliant hardware or elevators.
Because Ordinance & Law coverage can prove so valuable, it isn’t always cheap. Coverage A is usually written up to the building limit on the policy. Shared or separate sub-limits are typically chosen for Coverages B&C (i.e. $50,000 combined or $50,000 for B and $50,000 for C). All that being said, every client’s exposure is different so be sure to ask your agent to discuss your specific exposure and the cost associated with closing this gap.
Part A provides this protection based on the coverage limit you select. Demolition costs. While property insurance covers debris removal for a portion of property damaged by a covered peril, it doesn't cover demolition expenses for an undamaged portion of a building that has to be removed.
Coverage for loss caused by enforcement of ordinances or laws regulating construction and repair of damaged buildings. Older structures that are damaged may need upgraded electrical; heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning (HVAC); and plumbing units based on city codes.
Many communities have a building ordinance(s) requiring that a building that has been damaged to a specified extent (typically 50 percent) must be demolished and rebuilt in accordance with current building codes rather than simply repaired. Unendorsed, standard commercial property insurance forms do not cover the loss of the undamaged portion of the building, the cost of demolishing that undamaged portion of the building, or the increased cost of rebuilding the entire structure in accordance with current building codes. However, coverage for these loss exposures is widely available by endorsement. Standard homeowners policies include a provision granting a limited amount of building ordinance coverage; this amount can be increased by endorsement. Also referred to as building ordinance coverage.
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The NFIP administers flood insurance to home owner's and renters. They are also in charge of mapping flood zones as shown on a community's flood hazard boundary map or a flood insurance rate map. (FIRM).
Poor employee relations and training - Create a team work environment that keeps staff motivated and happy. Employee involvement in the business, training and increased education promotes a feeling of ownership. You will be surprised how much they know and how much they want to help.
I had never considered how much time my family would spend in our basement until the theater room was finished. Now I can not imagine our home without this space. I also built my office into a corner of our basement home theater to have an additional amount of privacy from the regular traffic of the house.
Buy Flood Insurance separately. This is a decent route in terms of coverage, but buying Flood Insurance from a separate provider can often times be unnecessarily expensive.
Phil - That means it is sequestered so it cannot interact with the oxygen in the air to create more carbon dioxide. That is why forests are called carbon sinks. The carbon is stored in the trunk and it is like it is sunk down into the tree so it cannot form gases in the air.
Navigation is going to be key, too. There will most likely be no cellular data service in the area you are in. For navigation, you should include in your survival kit both maps and a compass. This will help you get around. It is highly suggested that you buy a map of the region you're living in rather than just the local area so that you'll always be aware of your surroundings. You might want to include a solar powered radio so you call for help if you require immediate attention. Flares will also be useful should you need to signal your location to others so that they can come assist you.
Remove the water. The first step is to get the water out of the home. If the water comes from outside, it should recede on its own. Once it recedes, you can mop to remove the excess water. If the flood comes from a leak or other mishap inside the home, you can dry the area with a mop or towel. You must make sure the area is water-free before restoration can begin. Sometimes it will be necessary to set up oscillating fans to help expedite drying the area. Unless the area is fully dry, you will not be able to move on and repair the damage.
I've decided not to follow that path, but my own path to break the ties Corporate America has on my life. I am taking control of honest wealth, and helping others to do the same. Reverting to the basics of silver and gold. Ask me how to break your own ties, and lessen Corporate America's power. WE deserve, as the people, to take back the power given to those (who don't act in our interest) so our politicians will be more concerned with what WE want.