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All You Ever Wanted to Know About Insurance

Ten Reasons You Might Want to Call Your Homeowners Agent

  1. Change in Occupancy: Homeowner insurance policies are contracts used when the owner of the property resides at the insured locations.  Sometimes, owners move out and the property is vacant or unoccupied, rented to others or sold on contract for deed.  When a home is no longer owner occupied, coverage should be rewritten to a more appropriate policy.  Some policies may void coverage for the property if it is not owner occupied.
  2. Cohabitation: People live together for a variety of reason: friends may live together to reduce expenses, children may move back home while they are in transition, and more commonly, people in romantic relationships cohabitate.  Property and liability coverage for members of the household that are not named insured’s may find themselves with no coverage for their personal property or liability in the event of a covered loss.
  3. In-Home Business: All homeowner insurance policies severely limit coverage for business property and completely eliminate liability coverage for business activities conducted from the residence.  Business is a defined term in the contract.  Generally, it is necessary to buy specific insurance for business activities.
  4. Domestic Workers: Domestic workers paid ore than $1,000 per quarter are subject to the Workers’ Compensation laws of the State of Minnesota, and coverage for domestic workers must be provided in accordance with Minn. Stat. § 176.041. This includes, but is not limited to nurses or assistants, gardeners, caretakers, maids, and childcare workers.
  5. Motorized Vehicles: Liability insurance for motorized vehicles is almost always excluded, and if not excluded coverage is severely limited.  The use of mopeds, snowmobiles, all terrain vehicles, golf carts, riding lawn mowers, and other motorized vehicles all should be discussed and specifically insured for liability and physical damage.
  6. Association Living: Townhomes, condominiums, and private homes can all be part of homeowner associations.  Insurance provided by the association master policy vary and change over time.  Unit owners may be responsible for master policy deductibles and extensive repairs to their unit.  This risk is often insurable under the home or condo/townhome policy.
  7. Property Held in Trust: Estate planning often includes the use of a trust for the purpose transferring property after death.  Policies must be endorsed to identify the trust as the owner of the property.
  8. Home Remodeling: Building improvements and additions are often not communicated to the insurance carrier.  The Guaranteed Replace Cost provisions in most policies generally make reporting a condition and limits on the dwelling must be increased accordingly.
  9. Special Property: Certain types of personal property, such as jewelry, furs, guns, cash, silverware, gold ware, antiques, and other unique property has limited coverage under a homeowners policy.  Property you own that would be difficult to value or has a high value should be separately identified and insured.
  10. Other Owned or Rented Locations: Property and liability coverage for other locations may be limited or excluded entirely. “Other locations” includes, but is not limited to: vacation homes, cabins, rental property, farm property, hunting land, and leased property from other for any purpose.  The property and liability coverage must be separately addressed.