Friday, May 9, 2014

5 Things Your North Shore Homeowners Insurance May Not Cover

When you purchase North Shore real estate, your lender requires you to carry adequate homeowners insurance.  Adequate, however, does not mean that your policy will cover every possible scenario that could happen to or in your North Shore home.  Here are a few common exclusions in the average insurance policy.
  1. Certain Dog Breeds:  In the instance that your dog attacks someone in your North Shore home, insurance companies generally have a list of breeds that they will not cover.  Some breeds that frequently make the list are Pit Bull and Staffordshire Terriers, Doberman Pinschers, Rottweilers, German Shepherds, Chows, Presa Canarios, Akitas and Wolf-hybrids.  Be sure to check with your company for its complete list before adopting or purchasing a dog.     
  2. Termites:  Termite damage is not covered by your policy because it is considered preventable.  This is why it's very important that you have your North Shore home inspected for termites before you purchase it and then regularly once you have moved in.  Termites can cause extensive structural damage that could cost you thousands of dollars out of pocket without early detection.
  3. Trampoline and Treehouse Injuries:  Kids love both but insurance companies do not because they are considered high-risk.  Be sure to ask your North Shore insurance agent if these two items are excluded in your policy.  Your health insurance will cover your own child, but you will be personally liable if a playmate gets injured while using an excluded trampoline or treehouse.
  4. Earthquakes and Floods:  Mosts acts of nature are covered by your insurance, but a standard policy does not cover damage from earthquakes or floods.  While Chicago’s North Shore does not lie on any major fault lines, heavy rain could definitely lead to flooding.  Beyond just flooding by nature, floods due to backup or overflow of your sewer, drains or sump pump are not covered either.  Earthquake and flood insurances must be purchased separately, and particularly flood insurance should definitely be considered.
  5. Expensive Jewelry:  Insurance policies tend to have a limit to the amount that will be paid out on personal property should it be damaged or stolen from your North Shore home.  If you have jewelry, watches or any other personal property of exceptionally high value, it is wise to take out a policy specific to the items to ensure that you will be fully reimbursed if lost, stolen or damaged.
While we all hope that the worst will never happen, it is best to be fully prepared so that an unfortunate event doesn’t become a financial burden as well.  When you are purchasing a home, your insurance agent will be your best resource to fully explain your coverage needs.  Much like the importance of understanding your homeowners insurance, it’s also important to understand the home buying or selling process as well.  If you’re looking for an experienced North Shore realtor to help you do so, please contact me!  I would me glad to assist you in buying or selling a home. 

Janie Bress
Your North Shore Real Estate Expert

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