NEWS RELEASE: Missouri Department of Insurance encourages homeowners to consider earthquake coverage
|As Published on Dept. Of Insurance Blog
Jefferson City, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Insurance is encouraging homeowners to check their insurance policies for earthquake coverage. Only three out of every 10 homes are covered in Missouri. That number drops to two out of every 10 homes in the New Madrid Seismic Zone.
The New Madrid area is the most active earthquake zone in the U.S. east of the Rocky Mountains. Most homeowners insurance policies do not cover earthquake damage. Separate earthquake coverage, called an “endorsement,” must be purchased.
“Having earthquake coverage is the best way to ensure you and your family, as well as our state, can recover from an earthquake,” said Insurance Director John M. Huff. However, the department’s 2015 Earthquake Report shows that Missouri is experiencing a coverage crisis.
“We have reached a critical juncture where the amount of uninsured property in Missouri will soon eclipse the amount of insured residential property, estimated at $101 billion. This could jeopardize our ability to fully recover from a major earthquake.”
Some homeowners may not buy coverage, expecting the federal government to help rebuild their homes should a major earthquake hit, Huff said. Under FEMA’s Individual Assistance program, the maximum grant award is $32,900, far less than what most homes are worth.
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MJM Insurance of Fenton to find out if your property qualifies for Earthquake Coverage. Give us a call! (636) 343-5000 Our agents will conduct a free assessment of your current policy and we will shop your insurance for you! That’s right, simply provide your declarations page to an agent and we can process the assessment. Our goal is to ensure you are properly protected.
Understanding Your Home Insurance Options
MJM Insurance® of Fenton knows it is important to help home owners understand their options and how to best protect their family and belongings in case of a loss. Our agents are here to help home owners know where to learn more about home insurance in Arnold MO.
There are many coverage options you can have in your policy. On your declaration page you will see several terms; including dwelling coverage and personal property coverage. The word dwelling in your home insurance policy actually refers to your home itself and attached structures, such as an attached garage. One of our experienced agents can run a cost analysis that calculates the cost to rebuild your home. If you don’t adjust the amount of insurance for your dwelling appropriately, you may not have enough insurance to replace your home if disaster strikes.
Your personal property includes all your personal items, such as furniture, clothing, electronics, appliances, etc. Your personal property limit is usually 70% – 75% of your dwelling limit. However, you can adjust this upward if you need more protection, discuss your options with us. We’re here to help!
Detailed information about home owner insurance and how to contact us can be found on our website page: Where to Learn More About Home Insurance in Arnold MO.
The #1 Fenton Missouir Insurance Agency That Works For YOU!
If you are looking for a Fenton Missouri Insurance Agency, consider speaking with our professional agents with MJM Insurance® of Fenton insurance agency. You may have seen the terms independent insurance agencies, captive agencies. and so forth. We are going to explain the difference, and why you should visit our independent insurance agency – MJM Insurance® of Fenton.
It is important to select an agency with agents who have been licensed for longer than a few years–our agent staff has a combined experience of over 60 years in the insurance industry–they are knowledgeable and competent. Our agency requires all staff to maintain their credentials so we are always up to date on the many changes within the insurance industry. It is imperative to select an agency with up to date license. The Missouri Department of Insurance explains the agency requirements. Our agents’ license is proof they we have passed state examinations that require a thorough understanding of insurance policies and practices. Rest assured, MJM Insurance® of Fenton insurance agency upholds to these standards.
MJM Insurance® of Fenton Is Your Trusted Partner
Often times our agents meet potential customers who have had an insurance agent for years and whom they have never met. It is shocking to me that people put their life in the hands of a stranger and have no personal connection or relationship with their Fenton Missouri Insurance Agent. MJM Insurance® of Fenton agents pride ourselves on the fact that we take great interest in our clients’ and their family’s well-being. It is important that our clients trust the staff and licensed agents of our company.
We sit down with our clients and give a comprehensive account review to make sure they have the best protection. We explain the coverage options, benefits, and potential risks based off their needs versus current their current insurance coverages. We take the time to walk our client’s through every step of the decision process to make their experience as educational and informative as possible.
Six Primary Coverages That Are Included in Your Home Policy
Have you been searching for ”Fenton Missouri Home Insurance“ and you’re not quite sure what home insurance coverages are necessary to protect you, and one of your most valuable assets? Many of us have been in a situation where we need insurance and depend on our mortgage company or shop online, to find the least expensive home insurance coverage. Have you considered if something happens to your home, and whether your insurance policy will actually cover the damage? Will it pay for ALL of it? As a homeowner, there are many risks our agents can help you avoid.
For most people, insurance is confusing. Homeowners may not understand the liabilities that come with owning a home and the protection of having the right coverages in the insurance policy. Homeowners in Fenton Missouri should be aware that mortgage lenders require homeowners insurance. This article, Fenton Missouri Home Insurance, will explain the primary insurance coverages that are included in your homeowners policy, what they mean, what is not covered, and additional coverages available to you.
FENTON MISSOURI HOME INSURANCE: DEFINITION OF DWELLING
The word Dwelling in your home policy actually refers to your home itself. It includes attached structures, such as an attached garage. The Amount of Insurance (Dwelling Limit) listing on your Declarations page indicates the maximum amount your insurance company will pay to replace your home if it’s destroyed by a covered claim. But,is it enough?
Don’t make the mistake, like many homeowners do, by thinking your homeowners insurance covers everything just because you have an insurance policy! You must make sure your Dwelling Limit is enough to rebuild your home.
Contact MJM Insurance® of Fenton and one of our experienced agents can run a cost analysis that calculates the cost to rebuild your home. Be sure to adjust the amount of insurance for your dwelling appropriately. If you don’t, you may not have enough insurance to replace your home if disaster strikes.
Some policies include built-in protection above the stated Dwelling Limit – usually a percentage of the Dwelling – just in case the estimate is too low. We will make sure to discuss this with you as an additional protection feature.
FENTON MISSOURI HOME INSURANCE: OTHER STRUCTURES
The most common “Other Structures” (structures not attached ot the dwelling) are sheds, stand-alone garages (known as “detached” garages in insurance terms), barns, pool houses, etc… These structures are not directly attached to your home. Other Structures have their own protection limit – the most your company will pay to rebuild them will be stated on your Declarations page. This limit will be significantly less than the dwelling limit … typically 10% – 20% of the dwelling amount. For most people that’s plenty of insurance for other structures. But not for everyone. You need to know what it would cost to rebuild or replace those structures if they’re destroyed. Discuss it with the licensed professionals in our office. You can buy more protection for your other structures if you need it.
FENTON MISSOURI HOME INSURANCE: PERSONAL PROPERTY
Your personal property includes all your personal items, such as furniture, clothing, electronics, appliances, etc. Similar to other structures, personal property has its own protection limit stated on your Declarations page. And, again, this amount is the most the insurance company will pay to replace your personal property. You can also add a Ryder to your insurance policy that will cover jewelry; so long as you have the proper documentation like an appraisal from a qualified jeweler. Your personal property limit is usually 70% – 75% of your dwelling limit. However, you can adjust this upward if you need more protection, Discuss your options with us. We’re here to help!
Regardless of the protection limit for your personal property, there’s a very important question you must get answered. How is your property protected? It is determined by the “actual cash value” or “replacement cost”? The difference is huge! In very basic terms, if your property is protected on a replacement cost basis the insurance company will replace your old stuff with new stuff. For example, if your 5-year old TV is destroyed in a covered claim, the company will pay for a brand new TV. That’s a good deal for you.
But if your property is protected on actual cash value basis, an “allowance for depreciation” is applied to the cost of a new TV based on the age of your destroyed TV. The result is you get a settlement amount less than the cost of a new TV. To buy a new TV you’ll have to come up with the difference out of pocket. Not as good of a deal for you.
Clearly, insuring your personal property on a replacement cost basis is a better advantage than actual cash value. Sometimes it costs a bit more, but not always. We can help you understand how how your policy works and can check the price both ways, to help you make the right decision.
FENTON MISSOURI HOME INSURANCE: LIABILITY
Your liability coverage pays if someone sues you for their injuries due to a covered claim. When we think of such accidents we most commonly think of injuries that occur on your property – someone slips and falls, a dog bite, etc…. However, the liability protection under your home policy extends beyond your property to your everyday life. Liability Insurance helps protect you against the financial burden arising from injury (or property damage) that you or your family may cause to other people. It typically even covers injuries whether they happen on or away from your property.
Liability insurance is all about protecting your assets from someone who sues you. So, you should have at least as much liability insurance as your financial worth. However, more than that may be prudent, and you should discuss your needs and risks thoroughly with a licensed agent at MJM Insurance® of Fenton. Your current liability limit will be stated on your Declarations page.
FENTON MISSOURI HOME INSURANCE: MEDICAL PAYMENTS TO OTHERS
This coverage pays medical bills for a guest who is injured on your property or in another covered claim. The idea is to do the right thing for someone – pay their medical bills – and then hope they don’t sue you. This protection is inexpensive, but could save you major hassles by preventing a lawsuit.
FENTON MISSOURI HOME INSURANCE: LOSS OF USE
Loss of use coverage provides monies for alternative living if your home is badly damaged and are you not able to live in it while it’s being fixed or replaced. That means you may have to pay rent somewhere or staying in a hotel while you’re also paying your mortgage. The Loss of Use coverage on your home policy pays those additional expenses for you.
Your Declarations page may state a dollar limit for this coverage, or it may state a time limit. If there is a dollar limit, this is the most the insurance company will pay for these expenses. If there’s a time limit, your insurance will pay all covered expenses regardless of the amount but only for the specified period.
Imagine your home is damaged by a vehicle crashing through the garage. You call your insurance agent to report the claim, and then you hear the worst news possible, “I’m sorry that’s not covered by your policy.” Now, you have a real problem.
The unfortunate truth is no insurance policy covers you for everything that could possibly happen to you or your property. However, with a little bit of understanding, you can make sure you have the protection you need, and you can rest easy knowing your claims get paid by the insurance company.
Just because you have an insurance policy, it does not mean everything and everyone in your home is covered. Your home insurance policy does not cover you against every “cause of loss”. Examples of “cause of loss” include fire, high wind, and other “perils”.
A standard home policy excludes many causes of loss. That is, it does NOT protect you from certain perils – like earthquake, flood, termite damage and many more. That means if your home is damaged by one of these excluded perils your policy will not pay and you have no insurance against them.
You can purchase additional coverage to protect you from perils like earthquakes and floods. However, some excluded perils are not insurable, such as insect damage. Be sure to discuss your policy exclusions with an agent in our office and we’ll help you determine the best protection you need. Don’t be caught by surprise after the damage is done.
FENTON MISSOURI HOME INSURANCE: SPECIAL LIMITS ON PERSONAL PROPERTY
As if your home policy wasn’t complicated enough already! There are also “special limits” of protection for some of your personal property. A “special limit” reduces the protection specifically available for certain types of property. Property subject to a special limit typically includes property used for business, cash & coin collections, jewelry & furs, guns, silverware, valuable art and more.
Additionally, some of these special limits apply only if the property is lost or stolen – making things just a little more confusing. For example, the standard home policy typically includes $1,000 of protection for stolen jewelry. If your $2,500 diamond engagement ring is stolen, you will receive $1,000 from the insurance company. Ouch! And, if the stone falls out of the ring and is lost, there may be NO coverage at all!
It is very important you fully discuss these conditions and special limits with our agents and buy the protection you need. Otherwise, you could find yourself with a very nasty surprise … an unpaid claim!
FENTON MISSOURI HOME INSURANCE: OTHER EXCLUSIONS AND OPTIONS
The standard home policy have exclusions for many reasons. But then the insurance company gives you an opportunity to buy some of them back. So, you have the option of increasing protection where you personally need it.
There are literally dozens of optional coverages available in your home policy. Here are some of the more common options available to you:
- Identity Theft – many home insurers now offer protection for Identity Theft in their home policies. This will help pay the expenses you incur to restore your identity if it’s stolen.
- Water & Sewage Backup – the standard home policy excludes damage caused by a water or sewage system backup. You can buy this protection if you want it.
- Ordinance & Law – pays the increased costs of repairing or rebuilding your home that are required to be build in accordance to current building codes.
- Packaged Endorsements – often times an insurance company will package the optional coverages people most commonly buy into a single endorsement for a lower price.
There are many more optional coverage and exclusion buy-backs our agents can explain to you. Its worth the time to spend with your MJM Insurance® of Fenton agent to understand the coverages available and make good decisions about your protection.
MJM Insurance® of Fenton has access to many insurance carriers and thousands of different products to choose from. These insurance carriers allow us to tailor an insurance policy specifically to your needs, and help cover your risks.
The Missouri Home Insurance Guide is a great resource to help you understand Fenton Missouri Home Insurance requirements. Read through this guide and contact an agent with MJM Insurance® of Fenton to schedule a free consultation. (636) 343-5000