Thursday, November 13, 2014

Make sure your Lake Home is protected!

Protect your Largest Tangible Asset

In many cases our homes are the largest asset we have. It is very important that we not only take care of that asset, but also protect ourselves if there were a loss.  Often a bank will require the home be covered for the cost to replace the structure; however there are many other issues that should be addressed to adequately cover your home in the event of a loss.  Every insurance policy has exclusions and endorsements that can alter coverage so it is best to talk to your Lake of the Ozarks Insurance Agent about your specific circumstance.

Homeowner Policy Coverage

Your typical Lake of the Ozarks homeowners policy covers five main areas; Dwelling, Personal Property, Other Structures, Loss of Use and Liability.

Dwelling coverage offers protection to the structure and fixtures as the result of damage due to a covered cause of loss such as fire or wind damage.  In covering the home correctly your agent will likely prepare a replacement cost estimator to make sure the structure is insured adequately.  You do not want to under insure or over insure your home and need to be aware that the replacement cost is not necessarily the same as the market value you paid for the home.  The insurance company will not insure the land the home sits on or the beautiful view that increased the purchase price.

Personal property covers the contents in your home such as furniture, clothing, wall hangings, televisions, or computers.  Most companies will include a certain percentage of the dwelling value for the contents limit.  It is a good idea to make sure the amount they automatically provide is enough to cover your needs.  You can use a home inventory checklist provided by your agent in order to get a good estimate of your personal property values.  Videotaping the inside of your house and its contents and keeping a copy of the tape and checklist at another location is also worthwhile.  These items will be very helpful in speeding up the claims process with the adjuster in the unfortunate event of a loss.

The other structures limit on the homeowners policy is also typically a percentage of the home value.  This includes coverage for detached structures such as outbuildings, detached garages, swimming pools and docks.  If this amount is inadequate and needs to be increased, your agent can endorse the extra coverage onto the policy for an additional charge.

Loss of Use coverage is available in the event you are forced from your residence due to a covered loss. This gives coverage for additional expenses you must take on above your normal expenses due to the loss and would include renting a place to stay.

Your homeowners policy should include coverage for Liability in the event you are brought into a lawsuit for damages you may cause to others.  This would include bodily injury or property damage to others and pay for litigation expenses and court decisions up to the limit on the policy.

Lake Home Topics

Often times the things that attract you to a home can add additional cost or make coverage more difficult to obtain.  There are several issues facing homeowners when they are purchasing insurance at the Lake of the Ozarks.

Most companies will insure your dock as part of your other structures limit.  The problem is that many of them will exclude coverage to a detached structure for collapse.  This is a major issue when we have a snowstorm that puts several inches of snow on your covered dock.  Some companies will include the collapse coverage automatically while others can add this by endorsement for an additional fee.  Don’t wait until you have a loss to find out if your dock is covered correctly; ask your Lake of the Ozarks insurance agent today.

There are other issues that concern dock owners. Wave action and wear and tear are not typically covered under your policy, so it is a good idea to take preventative measures in protecting and maintaining your dock.  Also, many docks have diving boards, slides and other amusement devices on them or nearby in the water.  Each company has a set of underwriting guidelines that these toys may or may not meet.  This does not necessarily mean that they will deny coverage in the event of a claim; however after a loss or upon inspection the company may recommend you remove the exposure, otherwise they may cancel the policy.

Delivering all of your Lake of the Ozarks Homeowner needs - Insure the Lake!
We can help you with all of your Lake of the Ozarks insurance needs. You can have peace of mind.   Contact us for a FREE quote request.

Steve Naught, CIC

3736 Osage Beach Parkway
Osage Beach, MO 65065
Next to Golden Coral

T: 573-348-2794
F: 573-348-0191