When it comes to protecting your property, you may want to look beyond the basics. In addition to the general coverage included in your standard home insurance policy, there are other options to help meet specific needs you may have. Environmental factors or having irreplaceable valuables inside your home can necessitate elective additions to your standard home policy. Here are some unique needs to consider:
1. Earthquakes and floods
If your geographic location is vulnerable to earthquakes, coverage may be obtained from the insurer that provides your standard home policy for an additional premium. If you live in California, earthquake coverage may be provided by your home insurance company or through the California Earthquake Authority.
Flood insurance, however, is offered by insurance companies, but is written through the federally backed National Flood Insurance Program, which provides coverage for up to $250,000 for the dwelling and up to $100,000 for belongings.1 Mortgage companies usually require flood insurance based on your home’s proximity to a floodplain. However, you should consider this additional coverage to ensure you’re properly covered in the event of a flood, as your homeowners insurance won’t cover flood-related damages. When considering flood insurance, plan ahead. Most insurers implement a 30-day waiting period prior to the coverage taking effect.2
2. Water backup and sump overflow
Backed-up sewers and drains can cause serious issues for homeowners, but coverage is often not included in standard home insurance. You can purchase an endorsement to cover damage from water that backs up through sewers and drains, or overflows from a sump pump.
3. Scheduled personal property
Regular personal property limits usually aren’t enough to cover items such as jewelry, fine art, furs, golf clubs, cameras, bicycles, computers and silverware. For example, the standard home insurance policy provides only $1,000 to $2,000 for stolen jewelry.3 Scheduling, or individually listing, an expensive item offers increased coverage (without a deductible) tailored to a specific value. It also broadens damage protection to include perils in addition to fire and theft, such as accidental loss.
4. Special computer
Similar to luxury items, valuable electronics sometimes need coverage that extends beyond the standard home policy. Special computer coverage provides broader protection for computers, laptops, tablets and smartphones against direct physical loss (without a deductible), going beyond just fire and theft. This additional premium can cover loss from events like a power surge or water damage.
5. Identity fraud expense
Unfortunately, no one is safe from the risk of identity theft. This endorsement can help cover the cost of legal fees, lost wages and other expenses if your identity is stolen. Some insurers also will provide you with an identity theft resolution expert to personally assist you with the complex steps involved in reclaiming your name.