One of the top insurance mistakes is having a bunch of insurance policies bought from multiple agents, one for you primary residence, another for a vacation home, and another for your cars. That can leave you with policies that aren’t coordinated, so you have coverage gaps. Here’s a summary of some of the biggest personal lines insurance issues.
Home. If you have a high-value or historic home, you probably need specialized coverage. An estimate of the cost to rebuild only protects you part way. The insurer should send an appraiser to determine an estimated cost to rebuild. Look for uncapped extended replacement cost coverage where the insurer agrees to replace the dwelling even if the replacement cost exceeds the policy limit. And check that the policy would replace any special architectural and historical features if that’s important to you.
Vehicles. Consider increasing your deductible to $1,000 or more on your auto insurance. Use the premium savings to increase your uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (that’s payable to you if you’re in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver who is at least partly at fault). Check how your insurer would value your car if you had a total loss: at market value or at an agreed value (you want the latter). If you have collector vehicles, consider antique vehicle coverage that includes unlimited mileage and unrestrictive use.
Collectibles. Often collectibles are very much underinsured or not insured at all. If you have art, wine, or other valuable collectibles, you need a collectibles rider to your homeowner’s policy or a separate collectibles policy. The best policies will pay market value up to 50% higher than the scheduled amount of coverage in case of loss. Having an inventory system to keep track of your collection, and its fluctuating value, is key.
Weekend house, boats etc. Instead of having separate personal liability coverage for a weekend home, you can add a second home to your primary residence’s personal liability coverage. That ensures there is no gap in coverage and eliminates questions of which insurance company might be on the hook to pay a claim. If you have horses, consider an equine policy. If you have ATVs or snowmobiles not covered by your homeowner’s policies, make sure they are covered by your personal umbrella liability policy.
For more information on personal lines insurance policies, contact TriState Business Insurance.