Sooo….Your fiancé, who lives with you, is driving your car and has a serious accident….Will your auto policy respond?

Today, over 50% of American households are occupied by individuals, roommates or unmarried couples.  If you fall into the living together but not married category, you should be very careful making any assumptions about how your insurance policies may respond to a Liability or Property loss.

Home Insurance

Coverage restricted to named insured, resident relatives by blood, marriage, adoption or someone under 21 in foster care.  Girl friends, boy friends, fiancés, roommates, tenants typically have no coverage extended to them.

No coverage extended to non insureds for liability losses or defense activity or costs.

No coverage for personal property of non insureds.

Example of problem….your girlfriend and teenage son live with you.  Her son is playing sandlot football and injures another child.  The parents of the child are suing the girlfriend / mother for medical bills and damages…..no coverage would extend from your homeowners policy.  The girlfriend should have a Renter’s Policy to provide liability and property coverage for she and her son.

Auto Insurance

Be wary of the definitions of “Named Insured” under the different coverage parts of the Personal Auto Policy.

Be very careful allowing any “non insured person”, especially those living with you, to use your vehicle on a regular basis.  There are exclusions that apply to such situations.  If you both use each other’s vehicle on a regular basis, you should consider having your girlfriend added as a driver on your policy and likewise adding you as a driver to her policy.

Need to discuss your life situation and how your insurance will apply, give SWFL Insurance Agency a call at 239-265-9577 or email me at joshw@SWFLAgency.com.  We are your Insurance Answer People.

Condominium Owners Insurance 101Revised

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Condominium coverage provided by the HO6 Policy Form for condominium and co-op owners, bridges the gap between your condo association’s master policy (which insures property owned by all unit owners) and your property and personal liability protection. The master policy includes coverage for the actual building in which you reside, as well as common property like a pool or gazebo.

Your condominium owners policy offers you the following important protection:

Additions and Alterations

According to your Florida Condominium Statute 718.111, you most likely are responsible for interior parts of your unit such as floor coverings, cabinets appliances, etc.  The condominium statutes in Florida changed substantially in 2008.  Check with your condo board and management company to understand clearly what you are responsible for insuring and what the Association must insure.  The statute now dictates the responsibilities, not the condo documents…..so be warned.

Determining the coverage limits for the Coverage A Dwelling -Additions and Alterations can be difficult but very important.

The following are typically excluded from coverage by the Association and you must insure.

Floor coverings, tile,wall and ceiling coverings (not drywall, but in most cases paint                                     Electrical fixtures                                                                                                                                                               Appliances                                                                                                                                                                           Water heaters and filters                                                                                                                                                   Built in Cabinets  and Counter Tops                                                                                                                             Window treatments                                                                                                                                                           Replacement of any of these

Additions, alterations and other improvements that you or a previous owner installed such as built-in appliances, additional cabinets, wall-to-wall carpeting, upgraded kitchen cabinets, plumbing and electrical fixtures, etc. that were not installed in the original unit should be insured under the Coverage A- Dwelling.  Additional information can be viewed at What is Additions and Alterations?  SWFL Insurance Agency can aid you with determining the proper values for this coverage.

Air conditioning units, no matter where located, are the primary insurance responsibility of the Association.

Personal Property Coverage

A condominium owners policy provides coverage for your furnishings and personal possessions against such covered hazards as fire, lightning, windstorm, hail, explosion, collapse, smoke or vandalism. This is also called Coverage C-Personal Property and it ensures that your damaged or destroyed property is protected up to the amount of insurance protection you purchase.  If you were able to turn your condo unit upside down, everything that would fall out is considered Personal Property.

Theft protection: the condominium owners policy also protects your property against practically every type of theft loss in your condo or anywhere in the world. Also included is coverage for thefts from your unattended car or boat, even if there is no evidence of forced entry.

Special coverage for important possessions: Most condo policies offer special amounts of coverage for certain types of property. For example,

  • $200 for money and coins
  • $1,500. For Securities, evidences of debt, bank notes, personal records, etc.
  • $1,500 for theft of jewelry, watches or furs
  • $2,500 for theft of firearms
  • $2,500 for business property at home.
  • You may be able to increase these amounts. See policy language for the actual special limits that apply to the policy that you purchased.

Optional Property Coverages

Every home is different. You may require special coverages for your individual needs. The following coverages may be available:

  • Broadened Coverage for Contents: Provides “all-risk” protection for your possessions. This        means that your personal property is covered in most situations, regardless of the cause of loss.
  • Contents Replacement Cost: pays full cost to repair or replace most personal property in your  condo with no deduction for depreciation.
  • Personal Articles: provides higher limits and in most cases, worldwide protection for special property such as jewelry, silverware, fine art, furs, cameras, firearms, musical instruments, and home computers for an extended variety of losses
  • Coverage for other structures: you may own other structures that are not part of your basic condo unit (such as a carport, detached garage or storage shed). If these structures are not considered to be common property, they are not covered under your Association’s Master Policy. This coverage would insure these other structures.

Deductibles

A deductible is the amount of loss you agree to assume before your insurance coverage takes over. There will typically be a Hurricane Deductible of 2% or more and an All Other Perils Deductible of $ 500. or more. Typically the higher your deductible, the lower the cost of your policy premium. The deductible applies to property losses only. Liability protection does not require a deductible.

Additional Living Expenses

If your unit is damaged and you have to move out while it’s being repaired, you’re covered! The policy pays for all necessary living expenses (hotel, meals, laundry, etc.), in most situations, up to 40% of the contents coverage amount you selected.

Loss Assessment Coverage

Protection may be available for coverage against financial loss if damage to commonly owned property exceeds the amount of coverage in the Master Policy. If your condo association is forced to assess all unit owners for the additional loss (or for personal liability claims against the association), you’re covered!  Coverage typically is limited to $ 1,000.  It is important to understand what deductibles apply to the Association insurance policies, both property and liability.   Inadequate coverage limits and deductibles can yield loss assessments to unit owners.

Personal Liability Protection

Liability coverage is important protection in the event that you are sued for accidentally hurting other people or damaging their property. Personal liability helps to cover the associated legal costs and related damages. Most condo owners policies provide $100,000 (minimum) of financial protection against liability claims and lawsuits brought by others for accidental bodily injury or damage to their property.  Higher Liability Limits and Umbrella  Liability Policies should be considered in your wealth protection planning.

  • While in your condo
  • Caused by your personal activities, including most sports
  • Caused by your children or pets. Careful here, some carriers exclude Animal Liability.
  • Damage to property of others: Should you accidentally damage someone else’s personal property while that property is in your care, your owners policies will pay up to $500 for each occurrence.
  • Medical payments: Most policies will pay up to $1,000 per person in medical bills — regardless of your legal responsibility — when an accident involves bodily injury to others. Higher coverage amounts are available.

Most insurance carriers will not allow rental of your unit for less than a year at a time.  Coverage for Condominium units rented for one week or more is available.  Please call for a quote.

We are pleased to offer Condominium Owners policies through a number of strong carriers. We have carriers that will provide Hurricane coverage with their policies for most of the islands and beachfront. Spend a few minutes and allow us to provide you with a competitive quotation.  Call 239-265-9577  or www.SWFLAgency.com.

 

Need to Know Information When Buying Condominium Owners Insurance

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Sooo…..You have just received a call from the listing agent for a lovely water front condo  His seller has accepted your customer’s purchase offer.  You advise your buyer that the seller wants to close asap.  This unit has had substantial remodeling completed and the subject of insurance comes up.  So…….. will the Association Master Policy cover any of the improvements?  How does the HO6 Condominium Owners Insurance Policy insure these improvements?  What is covered by the HO6 policy?

Personal property or contents is covered for this loss to the limit purchased for Coverage C, Personal Property.  As distinguished from personal property, “Addi­tions and Alterations”  are those properties which comprise a permanent attachment to the condo unit and are installed within the perimeter walls, floor and ceilings of the unit. This includes items originally installed, as well as improvements made by the unit owner.

Since 2008, Florida Statutes provides that the word ‘building’ does not include floor coverings, wall coverings or ceiling coverings,  electrical and plumbing fixtures, appliances, air conditioner or heating equipment, water heaters,  built-in cabinets and tops included within the perimeter walls, ceiling and floor of a unit and the unit owner is required to repair or replace these items.

Any such interior items additionally installed by the unit owner after acquisition of the unit, or any increase in value created in upgrading the existing interior items, would have to be protected by the unit owner unless responsibility is assumed by the condominium association and covered by the association insurance. These items are covered under the Condominium Owners Insurance Policy, Form HO6 as Coverage A, Dwelling/ Building.

This Coverage A Loss Exposure demands very close attention of the condominium unit owner.

Two important questions must be resolved:

(1) what property is the responsibility of the unit owner, and

(2) what is a proper valuation of such property?  

When purchasing Condominium Unit Owners Insurance, it is important to determine the following:

  • What do the condominium documents say about which “building” or Additions and Alteration items you are responsible for, to insure and maintain?
  • What improvements were made to the unit by previous owners.  Can you obtain costs of improvements?
  • Have there been any previous insurance claims involving this unit or building?
  • Determine if you are responsible for roof covering or any part of air conditioning system?
  • Has a Windstorm Mitigation Inspection been made for the Association in reference to your building?  This report can yield premium credits for your Condo Unit Owners Policy.
  • If the unit is older, have the baths and kitchen been remodeled?  Has the AC system been replaced? Has the roof been replaced? Has the electrical system been upgraded?
  • Ask about any “large deductibles” that apply under the Association insurance policies. You may be assessed for a portion of these deductibles at the time of a loss.
  • Are there any pending Loss Assessments that apply to your unit?
  • Will you need Flood Insurance?  We can help you understand your risk.

SWFL Insurance Agency has the ability to help you accurately establish the value of your Additions and Alterations coverage.

We have competitive rates and have carriers that can provide HO6 policies that include Wind and Hurricane coverage for properties on the Islands and beachfront, as well as Inland properties. Quotes for an HO6 are Quick and Free.

Call SWFL Insurance Agency us at 239-265-9577 or visit www.SWFLAgency.com.