Your home insurance policy includes coverage for your personal property. Big deal, you knew that. You probably even knew that you wanted to have “replacement cost coverage,” whatever that is. But what a lot of people don’t understand is that they have options as to what their personal property is covered against.
Each policy and each company is different, so you should always talk to your independent agent regarding your specific coverage, but essentially there are two options available for your personal property coverage.
The first is the coverage available on the standard HO-3 policy. With this coverage your personal property coverage is limited to the listed perils in the policy. If your loss is on that list you’re set, if not you have no coverage.
The second option is available with the HO-5 policy, or by adding the special personal property endorsement to your standard policy. This coverage expands your personal property coverage so that you are covered for anything that could happen EXCEPT a short list of exclusions. If you have a loss to your personal property you simply consult your policy, if the loss is not excluded you have coverage. Clearly this is the better coverage because there are so few exclusions.
A couple of examples:
- Lets say you spill bleach on your couch and it has to be replaced. If you had a standard un-endorsed home policy you would look at your policy and see that spilling bleach is not one of the listed perils, so you would have no coverage. If you had the HO-5 policy or the special personal property coverage endorsement you would look at your policy and see that spilling bleach is not excluded so you would have coverage!
- Lets say the power company sends a power surge through the lines and it fries your T.V. and stereo. If you had a standard un-endorsed home policy you would look at your policy and see that your electronics are not covered for that type of peril so you would have no coverage. If you had an HO-5 policy or the special personal property endorsement you would look at your policy and notice there is no exclusion for such an act, so you would have coverage!
- Let’s say you are carrying your brand new flat screen TV down the stairs and you drop it. If you have a standard policy you’ll see dropping is not a listed peril, so there’d be no coverage. If you had the special personal property endorsement or the HO-5 policy you would be covered.
As you can see there is greater potential for an uncovered loss if you have a policy without the special personal property endorsement. The good news is that it’s easily remediated by calling your independent insurance agent.
At The Brouwers Agency we’re readily available to discuss your homeowners insurance needs. Give us a call, toll-free: 1.866.359.0970.