Home Insurance

The Home Insurance policy is one of the most misunderstood policies that an individual can purchase. It is also one of the broadest insurance contracts sold anywhere.

The ultimate purpose of Homeowners Insurance is to enable the you to rebuild your home and life, even in the event of total destruction.

A good homeowners insurance policy will cover:

  • Your residence, including a hedge against accidentally under-insuring your structure.
  • Any detached structures, like garages or garden sheds
  • Your personal belongings on a replacement cost basis
  • Additional living expenses in the event of a loss; these are funds available for you to be able to set up temporarily in another home.
  • Personal liability
  • Medical expenses to others who may be injured on your property

The most comprehensive policies available on the market today are offered through Huggins Dreckman & Drive Right Insurance. Not all Home Insurance policies are alike. To be sure, many insurance companies and agents will quote an inexpensive policy to grab your attention, but most of them are only giving you the "bare bones" coverage to get you in the door. When quoting your Home Insurance premium, we will use a full replacement cost valuation estimations so that we'll have done our best to be certain that you can completely replace your home in the event of a total loss.

But the homeowner's policy is not anywhere near complete witihout adding the following endorsements to your policy, where they are available:

  • Extended Replacement Cost: provides additional coverage beyond the limits of the policy in the event of a total loss. The additional limit varies by company but will typically be 125% - 150% of coverage A, Structure.
  • Building Ordinance/Law: provides for increased cost to repair homes due to changes in the building codes.
  • Back up of Sewers and Drains: typically not covered by standard policies; is a good endorsement with typically up to $5,000-$10,000 of coverage
  • Loss Assessment: whether you live in a condo or single family home, there may be a property association to which you belong, and you can be assessed for payments to the association in the event of inadequate insurance limits on the part of the association.
  • Personal Injury: a coverage that varies by insurer, you want the broadest forms you can get.
  • Coverage for damages from earthquakes, landslides and floods are excluded from the policy but may be purchased separately.
  • Scheduled Personal Items: Other items such as jewelry, coins and collectible items have limitations in the policy but can be added by providing appraisals and paying a small additional premium.

Discounts are available for newer homes, central station alarm systems and higher deductibles as well as for affinity relationships with certain types of businesses. We can help you sort it all out!.

We can also help you understand limitation on your policies. As noted just above, there are limitations to certain types of properties. Here are just a few:

  • Jewelry & Furs, Bullion (gold, silver, pewter), Money (including coins and coin collections), Stamp collections, Guns, Securities, and in some cases, Computers, Tools, Oriental Rugs, and Business Property (your employer's or your own). Each of these items noted have coverage limitations, ranging from $1,000 - $3,000 (possibly a little more -- it varies by company). What that means to you, is that the insurance company will not pay more than the sub-limits in the event of a loss. You mgiht have $200,000 of personal proeprty coverage, and your insurance company will only pay $3,000 on a $50,000 jewelry loss. So, your policy needs to be altered to accommodate for larger insurable values.
  • Are you operating an additional business, an In-Home Business, from your spare bedroom or kitchen? You say "No"? According to federal income tax statistics, before the "great recession", nearly 10% of all tax-paying Americans had an "In-home" business; certainly, it's much greater now. An in-home business is not covered - at all - by your homeowners policy unless you endorse certain activities to it or purchase a separate business policy.
  • Earthquake, Flood, and Landslide insurance are additional items, not covered under the standard Homeowner's policy. Coverage for these disasters may be purchased separately.
  • Homeowner's policies typically do not extend liability protection to the use of Mopeds, Motorized scooters, Go-Karts, Motorized Toy Cars (ex: Barbie cars), Motorboats, or Jet Skis. This includes Rentals of these items.

As you can see, there is a lot to homeowner's insurance -and these items just scratch the surface! Let our protection team help you identify the kind of policy and coverage you need. Contact us today!

Homeowners Insurance Coverage Descriptions

What Does This Mean?

Note: The following review of policy terms and issues is for your information only. This is not a complete description of your policy's exact coverage terms, conditions, exclusions and limitations; please see your policy for exact coverage afforded under this policy or Contact Us with your questions.

Coverage A, Dwelling

This part of the policy pays for damages to the structure of your home, townhouse, or Condo ("real property")

There are three types of covered causes of loss forms available. Form 1 provides protection for very basic causes of loss. Form 2 provides broad form -- a much better policy, and Form 3 provides special perils coverage. Personal liability protection is available by endorsement to the dwelling policy but is not always automatic.

Coverage B, Other Structures

This part of the policy pays for damages to other structures on the premises

Other structures/real property that are located on the same premises as the main building insured under a homeowner's insurance policy. Generally, these buildings are of lesser value. Common examples are detached garages, sheds, pool houses, etc.

Coverage C, Personal Property

This part of the policy pays for damages to your personal property not otherwise limited or excluded.

Property other than real property. Coverage of personal property and household goods against loss by insured causes in and out of residential premises. Certain types of property are completely excluded (ex: electronic devices made for vehicles). Computers, Tools, "Oriental Rugs", & Business Property may also be limited or excluded

Special Property Limitations

Other types of property have maximum limits that will be paid in the event of damage or theft: Jewelry/Watches, Furs, Silver/Gold/ Pewter wares & Bullion, Guns, Money, Securities, and Stamps being the most common with limits typically falling below $2,500.

Scheduled Personal Property

The above coverage limitations can be eliminated by special coverage endorsements to the homeowner's policy.

Homeowners policies do not cover stones falling out of jewelry settings, mysterious disappearance, cracked stones, or typically values in excess of $1,500 in the event of theft. Get these coverages and more, when you specifically list your jewelry, guns, cameras, computers, collectibles, fine arts, sports equipment, musical instruments and more. If you have this coverage already, don't forget to update these values every few years.

Coverage D, Loss of Use

Insurance which compensates you for your inability to live in your home which is destroyed or damaged by an insured cause of loss. Examples of reimbursable items: Cost to rent another home or unit while your home is being repaired, etc.

Coverage E, Personal Liability

Pays when you are legally liable for injury or death caused by your Negligence. Excludes negligence arising out of the use of a car, boat, or airplane but does include almost every personal activity except such as may arise from the operations of a business. Legal fees & court costs are also included.

Coverage F, Medical Payments

Protection to pay the cost of medical care to an injured person, resulting from activities arising from your residence, regardless of whether you are liable.

Extended Replacement Cost

Insurance company may pay up to 150% or more than the policy limits toward damages to the home caused by a covered cause of a loss. The percentage varies by insurer; coverage is NOT automatic.

Ordinance or Law Coverage

This endorsement amends the replacement cost provision in the policy to include the cost superior construction as required by law; coverage may not be automatic -- depends on the insurer. Ask for it.

Replacement Cost for Your Personal Property

This form of insurance provides coverage on the basis of full replacement cost without deduction for depreciation on any loss sustained. Certain types of property are not eligible for this endorsement: Rugs, antiques, art, etc.

Standard Property Exclusions

Just a few to ponder; check your policy for the exact language.

Earthquake, flood, water backup from sewers, neglect, intentional, governmental seizure, wear & tear, damage by animals, motorized vehicles (may include motorized lasers & "Barbie cars", bursting of frozen pipes, mechanical breakdown, pollutants, settling/shrinking

Workers Compensation

Is required for all California employers, including homeowners who e employ part-time or full time labor including home care attendants. Occasional employment is generally covered automatically under a California homeowner's policy -- domestic coming in ever other week is a good example; more full-time exposures (weekly domestic services) needs a separate full-time workers comp endorsement.

Personal Injury

Typically, Injury, other than bodily injury, resulting from false arrest, false detention, false imprisonment, malicious prosecution, wrongful eviction, wrongful entry, or the invasion of privacy of a premises. Language varies from insurer to insurer. Not all policies are the same; you must ask your agent about specific Personal Injury protection issues.

Shared Ownership: Condos & Town Homes

Review your CC&Rs (rule book for your association). Are you responsible for structural damage inside the unit from the fire wall, from the dry wall, or not at all? Tip: Often, Town Homes require the entire structure to be insured by YOU.

Earthquake & Flood

There are exclusions for certain types of damage in the homeowner's policy; earthquake & flood are excluded as are other types of damage such as wear & tear, seepage, mold, damage by animals, etc. Please refer to your policy for details.

In-Home Businesses

Homeowners policy excludes claims arising from business activities, for both Property and Liability protection. Detached garage, in which business is conducted, is subject to coverage being voided unless policy is amended.

Rented Premises

If any part of your home is rented to others, there may be coverage Limitations or complete Exclusions unless the policy is modified.

Motorized and Recreational Vehicles

Motorized Scooters, Kid-Cars, Boats, Mopeds, Jet Skis, Go-Karts, etc.

These low impact motorized vehicles & scooters, boats, planes, and Skis are excluded for liability insurance and, for the most part, Property protection unless the policy is modified. In some cases, like jet skis, boats & planes, separate policies are required.

Vacancy Clause

If your Home is Vacant, your Insurance protection for your home may be suspended.

Classically, damages from Vandalism and malicious mischief, and any ensuing loss caused by any intentional and wrongful act committed in the course of the vandalism or malicious mischief, is excluded if the dwelling has been vacant for more than 30 consecutive days immediately before the loss. Most insurance companies in CA have 30-60 day clauses, and CA insurers tend to also exclude damage to glass while the building sits vacant. Check with your agent and your company's specific language a there have been many recent changes to vacancy protection.

Who is Insured?

Trusts and LLCs need to be named.

You, spouses, resident relatives; anyone else should be named to be safe although some policies have broadened definitions.

Insured Locations:

Generally, these include your residence, vacant land, & anywhere You are temporarily residing (hotel, etc).

Standard Personal Liability Exclusions:

Policy doesn't cover professional, business, workers comp, (except where coverage is specifically granted), airplane, watercraft, or rental exposures or claims. Properly endorsed, the homeowner's policy can be directed to cover some of these exposures.