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Homeowners Insurance Information
Homeowners Insurance with ISE Insurance Services
Proudly serving you face to face in Sacramento, San Francisco, San Jose, Oakland, Stockton, Fresno, and San Diego – well basically… the whole state
A good Homeowners policy from ISE Insurance Services protects your home and so much more...
Whether it's a fire, falling tree, windstorm. burst pipe, dog bite, slip and fall, theft, hailstorm or many more risks - If set up right, your California Homeowners insurance policy can help you put things back the way they were. - Key Phrase = "IF IT"S SET UP RIGHT"
Your Home policy is made up of several parts:
Coverage A - The Dwelling
Dwelling coverage is just what is says - it covers the building - the limit should be set at least as high as the FULL COST to rebuild in case of a total loss. A typical policy covers against all risk of physical loss - WITH EXCLUSIONS (like Intentional acts, EARTHQUAKE, FLOOD, NUCLEAR HAZARDS, WAR and more - READ YOUR POLICY) A good policy will cover the estimated replacement cost PLUS a percentage (25, 50, 100) to protect against not having enough to rebuild in case of a loss (that is WHY you have the policy - right?) Also - EARTHQUAKE and FLOOD can be covered with additional policies - do yourself a favor and check it out
Coverage B - Separate Structures
Basically, the same as coverage A for any detached buildings on your property - the limit is generally 10% of the Coverage A amount - This might be enough to cover a big dog house or play structure - but is it enough to replace the 3 car garage you built? the Barn where you store your classic cars? - PAy attention here and let your agent know what you have - he / she is not psychic...
Coverage C - Personal Property
This section sounds simple, but has MANY sub limits and restrictions, quite a few people we work with come to us VERY underinsured here. The basic coverage is a percentage of the coverage A limit - 50% is common, it varies by policy. The perils covered against are limited (not as broad as the Dwelling coverage) The first step is to come up with an estimate of what it will cost NEW to replace EVERYTHING in your home (furniture, electronics, computers, phones, clothes, appliances, tools, kitchen stuff, shoes, purses, collectables, rugs, decorations, art, jewelry, guns, safes, silverware, furs, sporting equipment .... basically EVERYTHING that's NOT a vehicle or part of the structure) VERY likely you do not have enough coverage.(that limit can be increased). The next step is to identify which areas have special limits (think LOW - remember the insurance company wrote the fine print) that affect you. Cash, Small boats, Trailers, Jewelry, Watches, Furs, Firearms, Silverware, Business personal property in your home, and many more items, ALL generally have small "sub-limits" that limit the exposure for the insurance company to ~$500 to $1,500 or so for a loss of any of these items. These limits vary by Insurance company and policy form - work with your agent to figure out what coverages you need and what the cost might be. The third step - DO AN INVENTORY: in the event of a fire, they will want pictures, receipts, serial numbers for everything - and let's face it - that's not possible. Do yourself a favor - a few times a year - go through and at least take pictures of everything you have (and a list with serial #'s etc for the really expensive stuff) - and keep it offsite (in the "cloud?") - The inventory will be your best friend, and you will need it to remember all the stuff you have (I know I can't even begin to tell you what all I have in my garage...) - Do it today to protect yourself from being shortchanged in the event of a loss because you forgot what you had.
Covergage D - Loss of Use
Sometimes overlooked, this section is key. Let's assume for a minute that your home just burned to the ground along with another 150 homes in your town in a fluke wildfire (these happen all to often here in California) - this is the coverage that pays for housing and food. If written correctly, this coverage should allow you and your family to "maintain your current standard of living" for up to 24 months while your home is being rebuilt. Housing, increased food costs, laundry costs etc - should all be covered with NO DOLLAR limit. DO NOT GO CHEAP here. Loss of use allows you to not rely on the Red Cross, family, or other charities to continue living. Talk to your agent and be certain this is covered the right way.
Coverage E - LIABILTY
Your liability protection is another critical area of your policy. You need to know how much you are covered for, what your exposures are, and
what is or might be excluded. The coverage can range from $100,000 to $1,000,000 - obviously I am a proponent of more is better. Generally it covers you for things you become legally liable for as a result of owning your home. Some examples: Your dog bites your neighbor, The solar sales guy slips and falls when you tell him to go away, your guest falls while walking next to your pool, your 5 year old pokes another child's eye out with a stick, you have a tree you know is diseased and it falls on your next-door neighbor's house. The guy down the street did a poor job fixing your car, so you tell people you think he's a child molester and you get sued for slander, you dig post-holes for a new fence without having the ground marked for utilities and you take out the fiber optic lines for 2,500 homes, and I could write this list for days... Spend some time with your agent discussing this area, make sure you understand what the exclusions are for your particular policy - you need to know what to expect BEFORE you are served a summons, because at that point it's too late to fix.
Floaters and endorsements
There are too many to possibly list here - but know that we can customize a policy to fit your needs - because we are all different and the coverages are not one size fits all.
Each insurance company has their own - but some common ones to ask about are: Age of the home, Auto / Home, Age of the insured, Alarms / protective devices, occupation, gated community, and many more
Let us do a free home quote for you - no obligation - just fill out the form above - we have access to just about every insurance company in California - we can find you the right coverage at the lowest possible price. At the very least you will get a better understanding of what you are getting for your money - our job is simply to help you make the best insurance decision for you.
Thank you for your interest in ISE Insurance Services. Please feel free to call our office at 888-945-1495 and speak to an insurance professional or you can email your questions and an agent will reply promptly.