‘Standard’ Home Insurance Policies offered by most carriers seek a healthy mix of age, value, condition, location, and resale value –in order to insure the home. This leaves several homes and home owners at a disadvantage. Again, home owners with a poor credit history or multiple claims are not generally ‘preferred’ by most carriers.
In order to help those homeowners whose homes don’t qualify for a standard Homeowners’ Insurance Policy, some insurance companies offer a ‘Specialty Home Insurance’. Insurance carriers have steadily increased the types of property or applicants covered by Specialty Home Insurance policies and presently they include:
- Vacant Homes: Vacant properties are vulnerable to break-ins, vandalism and accidental damage from vehicular collision. In addition to damage to the property, the homeowner is liable for bodily harm sustained by anybody, including the intruder, due to the property. Creating an insurance policy that covers such situations can be a challenge, so most carriers do not offer cover for Vacant Homes and they are typically covered by Specialty Insurance.
- Landlord Insurance: Landlords or owners of properties that are rented out must subscribe to a Specialty Insurance for the said property. The Policy covers damages to the main structure, garages, lawns or parking area, as well as damage to machinery provided by the landlord to the tenant.
- Second Homes/Seasonal Homes/Vacation Homes: Depending on the location and condition of the second home or vacation home, it may not qualify for a standard Home Insurance Policy unlike the Primary Residence of the owner. And similar to a Vacant home, such homes are vulnerable to intruders and trespassers who may sustain bodily harm in the process. A Specialty Home Insurance policy factors all of these to provide the right kind of cover for such homes.
- Older Homes and Lower-Value Homes: Plantation homes and countryside bungalows that have been inherited may lose value, and/or be vulnerable to extensive damage or repairs, as it ages. Most insurance companies do not cover such homes, and Specialty Home Insurance is the only option open to the owners.
- Credit/Loss issues: Homeowners who have a poor credithistory and have made multipleclaims in the past are generally not preferred by most carriers. A Specialty Home Insurance is the only option for such applicants.
Depending on the type of property and certain unique factors, Specialty Home Insurance offers various options:
- Named Peril Coverage: Cover for specific disasters or perils such as fire, thunderstorms, lightning, hailetc, that are mentioned in the policy.
- Vandalism & Mischief Coverage: Coverage for acts of mischief; generally applicable to vacant homes and seasonal homes.
- Liability Coverage: Liability for property damage or bodily harm incurred by another person due to your property.
- Agreed Loss Settlement for Total loss: In case the vacant home or second home is destroyed or damaged, the entire amount for which the property is insured is awarded, minus applicable deductibles.
- Actual Cash Value for Partial Loss: In case the vacant home or second home is damaged, the cost of replacing or repairing the damaged sections is awarded, less depreciation and applicable deductibles.
- Replacement Cost: This is similar to actual cash value, except that the settlement covers cost of replacing damaged parts with new items of similar quality and design, without deducting depreciation.
Talk to an Insurance agent who will assess your property and recommend a Specialty Home Insurance policy that will offer the right kind of cover for your unique situation.