ARE YOU SURE ABOUT THAT?
If you’re like most people, when you need property insurance for your own residence, or for your rental property, you probably called up your favorite insurance agent and just said something simple like: “I need insurance for my home,” or “I need insurance for my rental property.” Your insurance agent asked you a few questions about the property and then sent you a policy and an invoice. After that, as long as you pay your invoice year after year, you think you’re “covered.” But are you really?
Belinda Malolli, a local Allstate agent, told us: “Everything is covered in your policy….except what’s excluded. It’s always a good idea to check your policy exclusions to make sure not only are there no pre-existing conditions, but that your exclusions are not leaving you open for a denial right from the beginning.”
Ms. Malolli is giving us two very important things to double check:
First, if there was a problem with your property before your policy was issued and you later make a claim based on damage caused by the pre-existing condition – you may not be covered!
Second, every insurance policy likely contains some exclusions from coverage. In other words, it’s just as important to understand what your policy doesn’t cover, as what it does cover. For example, Ms. Malolli adds: “Some companies have policies in place that can result in denying claims if your property is unoccupied for as little as 14 days.”
So, let’s say you take that two week vacation you’ve been dreaming of – and while you are gone, a water pipe leaks and causes extensive damage. If your property insurance policy contains the 14-day “absence” exclusion, your insurance company may deny coverage!
If you think the answer to that is simply to have a friend or neighbor check on your house and water your plants while you’re gone, think again. Mike Ryba, a local agent with Pro-Active Insurance, warns that many people will leave themselves open to claim denials by believing that having a neighbor, handyman, pool service or other individual watch over their property while they are aware. However, those persons generally do not have “the consistency or reporting service needed to document regular visits and conditions that satisfy claims adjusters when incidents occur.” In other words, you can’t prove those persons were actually at your house when they said they were.
WE HAVE AN ANSWER FOR YOU! Simply call us whenever you will be away from your home, or whenever your investment or rental property will be vacant for more than a week. We will set up a routine HOME WATCH visit for you. Our home watch service is based on geo-located reporting capabilities so you have proof that a homewatch professional was at your property.
AND, if you’re not 100% certain your insurance covers what you think it does, or you don’t know what exclusions your policy contains, please contact us at 239-455-1003; e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org or click here to go to the Golden Property Management Services homewatch website.
If you’d like to contact Belinda Malolli at Allstate: 239-593-4433
If you’d like to contact Mike Ryba at Pro-Active Insurance: 239-514-1141