National Insurance Awareness Day was created as a way to encourage people to go over their insurance policies on this day. Insurance is something most homeowners don’t think much about until they need it. With hurricane season fast approaching, it is important to go over your policy and make sure you, as a homeowner, are both properly insured but also have all the necessary endorsements required to bring your home back to its pre-loss condition and up to date with code requirements.
While insurance offers protection, the value of the property can change overtime often leaving homeowners underinsured. The insurance policy you were offered when you purchased the home probably offered you excellent coverage at that time. As code changes, situations change and as the market changes it is important to review your policy to ensure your policy has also changed.
Did you know, in the state of North Carolina, you can obtain an endorsement for a fortified roof. I know you are wondering what the heck does that mean? FORTIFIED is a voluntary construction and re-roofing program designed to strengthen homes and commercial buildings against severe weather such as high winds, hail, hurricanes, and even tornadoes. The trouble is not all endorsements are the same. They offer 2 different options so when you are talking to your local agent, make sure you have the correct coverage to cover the material, labor and inspector fees that go along with the fortified installation.
Other optional coverages include;
Additional landscaping coverage – This endorsement protects your landscaping. For example, if a hurricane takes out some of your trees, the landscaping coverage would cover removal/clean up and replanting. Standard policies do have some coverage for your plants and trees, however this coverage is usually very limited.
Code Coverage or Law & Ordinance – Law & ordinance (L&O) is an optional coverage provided by your insurance carrier that ensures your home will be repaired not only to its pre-loss condition but also to include any upgrades that are required to meet the most up to date building code in your area. A standard replacement cost policy will pay to replace new for what is existing and damaged, and will not cover the additional costs of complying with local building codes.
The Match Endorsement – Match endorsement covers the undamaged portion of your home to ensure the materials match. This means if two sides of your home’s siding are damaged in a storm and there is no close match to your existing siding, the match endorsement will cover the other two sides so your home is uniform. Or in roofing terms, if you have limited damage on your roof, but the shingle has been discontinued – the match endorsement will cover the cost of replacing your entire roof.
Other things to be aware of as you are looking over your policy include deductibles – some homeowners have different deducibles depending on the type of loss, mainly 1% of the value for named storm loss. It is important to know and understand your deductible as this is the portion of your claim that you, as the homeowner, will have to pay out of pocket to the contractor when a loss has occurred. Understanding the deductible will ensure that you are prepared for that expense after a loss to your home has occurred.
The best way to celebrate National Insurance Awareness Day is to get in and talk to your agent to discuss all the various types of insurance that can protect you and your family and to ensure you are properly covered for any and all potential loss.