Additional homeowners insurance coverages
A variety of coverages are readily available from insurers. Policy endorsements modify or extend certain coverages provided by the policy under certain conditions. Earthquake insurance and backup of sewers or drains are just two of the many homeowners insurance endorsements available.
Earthquake insurance. Earthquake protection is not automatically provided under homeowners policies, but may be added by an endorsement if offered by your insurer. Owners of frame structures pay lower rates than those in masonry buildings, since frame buildings are better able to withstand earth tremors. Nevada is at higher risk for earthquakes than most people think. Nevada ranks third behind California and Alaska as the state most likely to experience an earthquake.
Backup of sewers and drains. Many insurance companies offer an endorsement that provides coverage for the backup of sewers and drains. Some “preferred” policies may automatically provide this coverage under the homeowners policy. Check coverage limits with your insurance agent or company representative, as they will vary.
Flood insurance. Flood insurance is excluded under standard homeowners and renters policies. Flood insurance is available for purchase, however as a separate policy. If you are moving into a new home, apartment or business location, make sure you have adequate insurance coverage. Contact your insurance agent for information on the flood risk to your property. Homeowners need to be aware that there is a 30-day waiting period required for flood insurance to take effect. Should your home fall victim to a flood, remember to inspect it for damage, especially for cracks in foundations. Take pictures of damaged property and keep notes. Also make an inventory of your possessions and store it off the premises. Use pictures and inventory lists to help your insurance company determine the extent of the damages and to facilitate the insurance claim process. Although flood insurance is available through insurance companies, policies are underwritten and issued by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) as part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Contacts for flood safety and insurance information include:
- National Flood Insurance Program (888) CALL-FLOOD
- National Flood Insurance Program Agent Referral (800) 427-4661
- National Flood insurance Program Web site http://www.fema.gov
- Clark County Regional Flood Control District www.ccrfcd.org
Fire. According to the National Fire Protection Association, on average, a fire department responds to a fire every 20 seconds in the United States. A structure fire occurs every 61 seconds; a residential fire occurs every 79 seconds; vehicle fires occur every 101 seconds.
Homeowners insurance policies will provide compensation for loss due to fire, based on the limits set in the individual policy. It is important, though, to make sure you have replacement cost limits that are up-to-date for your home. Payment is not automatic. You must provide documentation of your home’s contents to receive compensation for the loss of the property. Keep a home inventory of your personal property. Take photos or video of each room and make a comprehensive list of contents. Keep receipts for major purchases. Put all documentation in a safe place away from your home such as a safe deposit box.