Depending on where your client base is, there are different dangers your homeowners may face. As such, it's important to make sure you offer coverage they need when it comes to homeowners insurance. The basics are, of course, a necessity for every home:
- Dwelling: Dwelling coverage covers the physical structure of the home and attached structures in incidents involving fire, smoke, lightning, hail, wind, theft and vandalism.
- Liability: Liability covers bodily injury and property damage that occurs on the property.
- Additional Living Expenses: In case of disaster, ALE covers living expenses if the insured must live elsewhere while repairs are being made.
These coverages come with a basic homeowners policy and are important, but this isn't the only coverage your client's home may need.
Consider the unique risks of the location. Some areas suffer from different natural disasters, while others are impacted worse by the same disasters due to the landscape.
Optional homeowners policies and additions you can offer for natural disasters include:
- Earthquake Insurance: Earthquakes are not covered by a standard home insurance policy. This additional policy (with a separate deductible) provides compensation if the home is damaged due to an earthquake.
- Flood Insurance: Also not covered by standard home insurance, floods cost millions of dollars in damage throughout the United States every year. Some states (such as Maryland, Connecticut, North Carolina, Washington, Alabama and Texas) suffer greatly from floods. Flood insurance can help cover the home and the homeowners' belongings from damages caused by floods. In specific areas, states even require insurance companies to carry flood insurance.
A lot of other disasters are covered under a normal homeowners policy, but there are other threats to the home besides the earth itself. There are policies and add-ons that can expand your client's original coverage for more protection. Consider offering your clients:
- Sewage Water Backup Coverage: Water damage caused by sewer issues isn't generally covered by homeowners insurance. This additional coverage can help repair and replace the home and items damaged by a plumbing issue.
- Other Structures Insurance: Dwelling coverage usually only covers attached structures (such as a garage) and a limited range of unattached structures. Other structures insurance can cover additional pieces on the property —such as sheds, unattached garages, fences and in-ground swimming pools.
- Pet Liability Insurance: Liability insurance for home insurance does cover pets, but pet liability insurance can help cover extra costs that arise from a pet causing bodily injury or property damage to someone else.
- Umbrella Liability Insurance: Umbrella insurance is a policy that steps in when other liability policies reach their limit. This is especially important for clients who live in expensive neighborhoods or have professions that are at a high risk of lawsuits.
- Medical Payments Coverage: Medical payments coverage helps pay for medical expenses due to bodily injury that occurs on your client’s property, no matter who is considered at-fault.
- Floaters: Floaters are extra coverages that provide compensation for specific items that only have limited coverage under a normal homeowners policy. Floaters can cover jewelry, furs, art and more.
- Ordinance or Law Insurance: Sometimes, older homes must be updated to fit with new building codes and ordinances. Ordinance or law insurance helps pay the cost of these updates.
Each home and client are different, and thus require different coverage. Consider your client's area and unique needs when offering coverage. Clients with high-risk lifestyles should invest in umbrella insurance, while clients with older homes may need ordinance or law insurance. There is coverage for nearly every type of danger that a homeowner may face, and it's up to you to present them to clients.