Unexpected Damages to your Home?

Most home owners understand the need for purchasing home owners insurance when they buy their home. However, they cannot truly appreciate this requirement until they are actually in need of making a claim against the policy. Unforeseen events can occur, leaving a home badly damaged and the owner and their family possibly hurt.

Home destroyed by tornado in Granbury, TX
Photo: flickr.com/photos/statefarm/

You should have a good understanding of the coverage and the limitations to your policy before you buy insurance. The last thing that you want to do is find yourself standing in a ruined home with no real possibility for financial aid or compensation.

Common Coverage In A Home Insurance Policy

• Damages to the home from fire

• Damages that occur from normal use

• Damages to the home from strong storms*

• Damages to the home from interior pipe breakage

• Damages to the home from unforeseen event such as wildfire

*Some policies will not cover lighting damage in areas known as “lightning zones.” This also applies to areas that are prone to tornadoes, tropical storms, and hurricanes.

Common Items That Are Not Covered In A Home Insurance Policy

• Specific Acts of God that may be common to a specific area such as an earthquake or mudslide
• Intentional acts that cause harm to the home

• Flooding from outside sources
• Acts of terrorism
• Acts of war

Because insurance policies are regulated on a state level, home owners should familiarize themselves with the policy restrictions that are applicable to their area of residence.

When Your Claim Is Denied Or Under Valued

The sad fact about insurance companies is that they are not in business to pay out claims, they are in business to collect policy premiums. According to one Florida online injury law site, “with the focus on profits, each insurance company with an interest in your case will look for ways to avoid honoring your claim or paying as little as possible to settle it.” Insurance companies are well known to deny claims or to undercut their value.

For example, an insurance adjustor may offer you $5,000 to replace your damaged roof because that is their estimate in how much it should cost. In reality, to repair your home and replace the roof will cost $15,000. The adjustor cannot justify their offer, they simply tell you to take it or leave it. This is a bad faith offer, and you will need to seek legal representation to fight your insurance companies offer.

This same scenario may apply to someone, including the home owner, being injured in the home at the time of the event. The insurance company is obligated to provide compensation to the injured party, but they often “forget” this part of their policy requirements.

If this is the case, you should seek legal representation from a personal injury attorney. This is a separate legal issue from any bad faith offers on the repair of your home. This type of lawyer will be able to help you get the compensation you are entitled to for your injuries.

As you can see, the most important thing about home owner’s insurance is knowing what is actually in the policy. If you understand what is covered and what is not, you will not be caught surprised during an emergency. This will also provide you with a chance to purchase any additional riders to the policy to cover events that may be prominent in your area such as hurricanes or earthquakes.

Writer, mother, and aspiring homeowner Molly Pearce shares this post with readers as a reminder of the importance of knowing their rights as homeowners and policy holders because a home wrecking disaster can happen at any time. Research, in part, was conducted on the website, www.tampainjurylawyer.com, the legal counsel at Williams Law Association, PA, which regularly handles these types of cases in the south Florida area.

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