Our local Insurance expert Roger Heighton, Farmers Insurance, has these tips for us:
Does my Insurance cover me if I get evacuated? Most home policies include Loss of Use to cover your additional living costs if there’s a “covered loss” to your home. Most policies provide coverage for “Additional Living Expenses (ALE)” for up to 14 days if you are forced to evacuate by instruction from a civil authority.
What happens if there is a Riot in my neighborhood? Riot is generally a “covered peril” on most home policies in California, but it’s best to check with your particular insurance company regarding the particular type of home policy you have. Typical perils covered are theft, fire, lightening, explosion, vandalism, riot and even falling aircraft.
How does my Insurance company know what I have? Insurance companies generally don’t know what you have for Personal Property. A good, general rule of thumb is to remember it’s “your” responsibility to establish what you had before a loss occurs. That’s why the CA Dept of Insurance recommends that every homeowner should have an inventory of their belongings. Alternatively, photos or videos can be an excellent way to establish an easy visual record.
Can I increase my Fire Insurance Coverage now? During disasters most insurance companies temporarily suspend the ability to start new coverage or make changes in the affected disaster areas. That is why it’s so important to review and update your coverage with your insurance carrier on a regular basis… so you’re properly protected if a disaster strikes!
I Rent the place where I live. Should I have Renters insurance? Renter insurance is extremely valuable and usually very inexpensive. It’s so critical because your landlord’s insurance doesn’t cover you; you’re responsible for you! Among other things, renters insurance can provide protection for your Personal Property and money to pay for an emergency place to stay after a covered loss.
I’m buying a home in Napa, or Santa Cruz or…., can I still get insurance? Many insurance companies are trying to manage their exposure in high fire risk areas in California. That has reduced the number of options for coverage in those areas. In most cases there are still good options for coverage although it may be a little more limited and possibly more expensive. Some insurance companies offer special bundled policies that coordinate coverage with a California FAIR plan policy.
You made nice improvements: added a new bathroom, security system, purchased or sold an expensive item, added a pool or even welcomed a dog to the family — you should consider adjusting your homeowners’ insurance. It’s important to remember to insure everything you hold dear, and especially important when you replace or upgrade your things. You might now need more coverage or the right coverage!
Bonus: If your contractor upgrades the home’s electrical or plumbing systems during a kitchen or bath renovation, you could wind up with an insurance discount. Depending on the type of upgrade. Another reason to review and update your policy!
And even if you don’t make physical changes to your home, you might need to adjust your insurance anyway. There are plenty of reasons to review and update your homeowners’ insurance policy, because you might find yourself without the proper coverage should a disaster happen.
Contact Roger for more answers to Your Insurance questions!
“We know a thing or two because we have seen a thing or two!”