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Homeowner's Insurance - Loss of Use, Personal Property, and Other Structures

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I need to renew my homeowner's insurance policy and I think I have too much coverage in 3 categories.  I basically just want it for catastrophic purposes where it covers my if something happens to my house and maybe a little coverage for personal liability in case someone gets injured on the property.  But my limits are currently $43,300 for other structures, $303,000 for personal property, and $129,900 for loss of use.  The only structure surrounding the house is a fence.  I only have no more than about $35,000 worth of personal property (including 2 vehicles) and I think rent for one year in my area would be no more than around $20,000 - 30,000 per year.  Is there anything that I'm overlooking or should I just request that they remove coverage for other structures and drop the personal property down to $35,000 and $30,000 for loss of use?  My premium is not too bad at $345 per year, but I don't like insuring liabilities that I don't have.

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rated:
Before worrying too much about those other limits, check if you can lower your premium by changing them. Often they default to a percentage of the primary structure as a minimum and there's nothing to gain by reducing them (if you even can).

Don't forget personal property includes furniture and appliances (though not cars). Rent in the area may increase if multiple homes in the area are destroyed, and it may take more than a year to rebuild.

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jrbirnba said:   Before worrying too much about those other limits, check if you can lower your premium by changing them. Often they default to a percentage of the primary structure as a minimum and there's nothing to gain by reducing them (if you even can).

Don't forget personal property includes furniture and appliances (though not cars). Rent in the area may increase if multiple homes in the area are destroyed, and it may take more than a year to rebuild.

  This... The vast majority of Homeowner's policies default Other Structures to 10% of Dwelling coverage, Personal Property to 50% (70% if you have replacement cost coverage on Personal Property), and Loss of Use to 20%. I have never seen an option to reduce any of those defaults, but you can buy more if needed.

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The numbers are ridiculous.  I have no where near $300k worth of possessions nor would I need anywhere near $130k for loss of use.  So they basically force you (well, not force as one can always go somewhere else, but it appears to be an industry standard) to buy way more insurance than the liability.  I don't see an option to lower them.  

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Your total premium is $345 and you're looking to cut it? Sure, money is money, but even a 20% reduction would only be $68. Or is the $345 just the portion for the coverages you mentioned?

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Talk to your agent. You can pick any number you want for personal property. I have $35K because I'm poor but they expect that you will buy new stuff so they automatically increase this number every year anyways.

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I made a similar change recently. I have a fairly large barn (outbuilding) that I felt needed to be insured for more than the standard. At the same time I felt that my contents coverage (replacement value) was too much. Talked with my agent who did a site visit - he adjusted my outbuilding coverage up and my content coverage down. The change was a wash as far as my rate - win/win.

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aaroncook said:   I only have no more than about $35,000 worth of personal property
Most people grossly underestimate this figure.  Imagine for a moment that your house burns to the ground, and you need to replace everything.  Wardrobe, electronics, furniture, linens, appliances, even the food in your freezer.  

Call your agent, but as others have said, I'd be willing to bet that you won't reduce your premium much (if at all) by cutting those limits.  

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aaroncook said:    My premium is not too bad at $345 per year
  How much is your time and energy worth to save maybe $30? Might want to spend it on something more productive. You probably couldn't insure an outhouse for that little around here.

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Maybe your primary structure is insured for too much?  This limit basically drives all the other limits.
Also:  what's your deductible?  Raising it will almost surely reduce your premium.

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tuphat said:   Maybe your primary structure is insured for too much?  This limit basically drives all the other limits.
Also:  what's your deductible?  Raising it will almost surely reduce your premium.

The problem with playing with primary structure limits is that when you don't let the insurer calculate the limit, they frequently will require either very high deductibles or essentially co-pays. Also, when the insurer calculate the replacement cost, there are usually guaranteed replacement riders in place that ensure that the repairs are completely made even if the repair costs more than the insured limit.

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you have 35,000 in personal property and that INCLUDES two cars?
I'm with dcwilbur on this. you are most likely underestimating the cost to replace everything in your home.

Also, don't count your cars. They are covered by your auto insurance.

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stanolshefski said:   Also, when the insurer calculate the replacement cost, there are usually guaranteed replacement riders in place that ensure that the repairs are completely made even if the repair costs more than the insured limit.The vast majority of insurance companies in most states no longer issue guaranteed replacement policies. Instead, you can purchase an extended replacement endorsement from them that would cover, depending on the carrier and the state, 110%-175% of Coverage A.
  
High value insurance carriers do routinely issue guaranteed replacement policies, but the OP, with his $345/year HO policy, is certainly not with a high value carrier.

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