From the Basic Coverages to Custom Packages
The Insurance Advisor understands the various needs of Virginia homeowners, and can help homeowners understand the available Virginia Home Insurance Coverages. Our agents will conduct a free review of the homeowner’s current situation and create a custom homeowner insurance package that specifically protects the individual and/or family with dwelling, personal property, other structures, liability, medical, and specialized insurance coverages.
Virginia homeowners may experience unique challenges living in the Midwest. During the winter, all of Virginia experiences freezing temperatures every year with an average of about 110 days with temperature below 32° F. Harsh winters can bring frozen pipes, ice dams and snow. In the summer, it is not uncommon for warm, moist air masses to produce a large amount of rain, lightning and hail storms – that could unexpectedly damage property.
Most Virginia homeowners know that homeowners insurance covers the house they live in, maybe their shed and personal items. But how many of them actually know what their house is worth, if the personal items replaced with “actual cash value”, do they have a complete inventory of their personal belongings? There are many items to consider, which is why it is important to consult with a licensed agent with The Insurance Advisor. Our licensed insurance agents will walk you through each step of buying homeowners insurance, so that you make the right decision for you and your family.
Virginia Home Insurance Coverages – Basics
|Section I – Property Coverages||Section II – Liability Coverages|
Coverage A – Dwelling
Coverage B – Other Structures
Coverage C – Personal Property
Coverage D – Loss of Use
|Coverage E – Personal Liability|
Coverage F – Medical Payments to Others
Dwelling coverage protects the physical structure of your home, all structures attached, such as an attached garage, building equipment, fixtures and outdoor equipment used for the service of and located on the dwelling premises.
This type of insurance can help protect the physical structure of buildings on your property that are separate from your home, such as a shed or a stand-alone garage.
Personal property coverage can help protect the contents inside your home. The description of contents includes personal contents usual to the occupancy of the premises as a dwelling and belonging to the insured or members of the insured’s household. Contents coverage includes coverage for furniture, clothing, electronics, TVs, etc.
Loss of Use
Loss of Use protection applies when a damaged property is not fit to live in due to a covered loss. Coverage includes any necessary increase in living expenses that may be incurred in order for the homeowners and their families can maintain a normal standard of living.
The insurance company will pay up to the limits of liability for damages caused by the insured, in which they are legally liable. This protects the homeowner if someone would file a lawsuit and sue the homeowner for damages after being injured on the insured’s property.
Medical Payments to Others
This type of coverage can help cover the cost of medical expenses for a person who’s injured on your property. Expenses include surgical, x-rays, dental, ambulance, hospital, prosthetic devices and funeral services.
Virginia Home Insurance Coverages – Deductibles
A deductible is the amount paid by a policyholder before any claim is paid by the insurance company. If the policy has a larger deductible, then the premium will be lower. A policy may have different deductibles based on what causes the damage. Some insurance companies sell homeowners insurance policies with percentage deductibles for wind and hail damage, and a flat dollar amount for theft and other damage.
Flat Dollar Deductibles – The insurance company subtracts this from the amount it will pay for a claim. So if a homeowner has $1,000 worth of damage and a $500 deductible, the insurance company pays $500 and you’re responsible for $500. If you have $500 in damage, your insurance company is not responsible for any portion of that claim.
Percentage Deductibles – Percentage deductibles are based on the home’s insured value. So if a house is insured for $100,000 and has a 2 percent deductible, $2,000 will be subtracted from any claim the insurance company pays. Additionally, with a percentage deductible, as property value increases, the amount of the deductible will also increase. *Remember there is a difference between market value (what your house might sell for) and insured value (the amount of insurance you’ve bought).
The Insurance Advisor recommends contacting a licensed agent to get advice before filing a claim. As homeowners consider their insurance options, it is important to carefully review and make sure they understand their deductibles for various types of damage and losses.
For more information, please enjoy the following video courtesy of The Virginia Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions and Professional Registration (DIFP)
Virginia Home Insurance Coverages – Replacement Cost Coverage
Mortgage lenders will require homeowners to insure their home for at least the value of the money you borrowed. This means if you insured your home for the initial amount of the mortgage (let’s say $175,000) your insurance company will only pay up to this amount to have your home rebuilt. Needless to say, the rise in labor and material costs, coupled with changes to building codes, will certainly add to the overall cost of rebuilding; ultimately exceeding your initial insurance coverage amount and resulting in your home being underinsured. That is where a home replacement cost policy comes in.
Not all carriers offer the same, not all offer 150% extended replacement cost; and not all calculate the replacement cost the same. It varies based on how claims affect premiums are different among carriers.
Virginia Home Insurance Coverages – Extended Replacement Cost Coverage
Homeowners can purchase a higher level of protection from an extended home replacement cost policy. The extended home replacement cost option will pay a specified percentage over the limit to rebuild your home. If building costs unexpectedly go up in your area, an extended home replacement cost policy may pay more than the limit of a policy. Each carrier offers different benefits.
Virginia Home Insurance Coverages – Guaranteed Replacement Cost
A guaranteed home replacement cost option pays whatever it costs to rebuild the home, no matter how much local construction costs have skyrocketed. Neither a guaranteed home replacement cost or extended home replacement cost policy will pay for a more valuable home than the one that was destroyed. Replacements costs can range between 125%-150% or more.
Virginia Home Insurance Coverages – Optional Coverages
Not many people can remember, much less account for, everything in their house from memory. Most people can’t, which is why having a home inventory is so important. A home inventory kept in a safe place, with receipts and purchase information if possible, will ensure you get reimbursed quickly.
Coverage for loss due to mechanical or electrical breakdown of nearly any type of equipment and applies to the cost to repair or replace the equipment. Resulting business income and extra expense loss is often covered as well. Equipment breakdown insurance is increasingly replacing traditional boiler and machinery insurance, simply because the title is more accurate to the coverage provided.
Scheduled personal property
Coverage for valuable appraised items such as engagement rings or fine antiques.
Coverage that can help protect against water damage caused by your drain backing. Sewer and drain backup covers damage caused by water backup from drains, sewers or sump pumps.
Coverage that can help protect business-related items stored in your home, like products you are planning to sell.
Identity theft restoration
If you become a victim of identity fraud, you’ll have expense reimbursement and personal help for the recovery process. This type of insurance can help cover the cost of legal fees, lost wages and other costs involved with having your identity stolen.
Additional insurance coverage that can help protect expensive gear like golf clubs, ski equipment, kayaks and more.
Green improvement reimbursement
A type of insurance coverage that can help pay you back for the additional cost of replacing damaged or destroyed covered items with more energy-efficient items after a loss.
Yard and garden
Expanded coverage for items like trees, landscaping, riding lawnmowers and more.
Electronic data recovery
Additional coverage that can help with the cost of recovering lost personal computer data, such as photos or videos.
Expanded insurance coverage for items like guitars, violins and more.
Virginia Home Insurance Coverages – Discounts
There are many ways to save on home insurance in Virginia. There are a wide range of discounts to help lower home insurance premiums. Our licensed agents can help homeowners understand which Virginia home insurance discounts would best meet their situation.
When you have two or more insurance policies, you can save big. Insuring your home and car together could help you save up to 30% with some carriers.
Carriers encourage electronic payments. Discounts may be offered when you set up automatic payments from your checking or savings account.
Paper Free Billing
Carriers also encourage consumers to save paper. They reward the “green” customers for their contribution.
Get up to a 20% discount when you switch to Allstate without a home insurance claim.
Advance Quote Discount
When you sign up for a new policy before your current one expires, you could save up to 10% on your home insurance premium.
Home buyer discount
If you purchase a newly constructed home, you could save up to 10%. Recent home buyers may also qualify.
Safe home discount
Insurance carriers reward homeowners who take the extra step to protect their home against fire and theft, like a home security system.
55 and retired discount
Over the age of 55 and retired? As about discounts!
*There are also home insurance discounts for smoke-free homes,
homes with storm shutters, homes with hail-resistant roofs and more.*
Virginia Home Insurance Coverages – Coverage Exceptions
The right homeowners insurance coverage can bring peace of mind. However, there are a few things that do not fall under the standard policy, including Flood damage and Earthquake damage. There are separate policies to cover this type of damage.
Imagine your home is damaged by a vehicle crashing through the garage. You call your insurance agent to report the claim, and then you are told, “I’m sorry that’s not covered by your policy.” It is devastating to learn that you pay for insurance but your damage is not covered.
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.
Be sure to discuss your policy exclusions with an The Insurance Advisor agent. We’ll help you determine the best protection you need. (804) 638-9024 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Virginia Home Insurance Coverages – Special Limits on Personal Property
Yes there is more! — “special limits” of protection for some of your personal property. A “special limit” reduces the protection directly available for certain types of property. The personal property subject to a special limit typically includes property used for business, cash & coin collections, jewelry & furs, guns, silverware, valuable art and more.
Most carriers require that the personal property for special limits coverage requires a certified value assessment. Additionally, some of these special limits apply only if the property is lost or stolen. For example, a standard home policy includes $1,000 of protection for stolen jewelry. If a $2,500 diamond engagement ring is stolen, the insurance carrier will award the insured $1,000.
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!
Virginia Home Insurance Coverages – 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 The Insurance Advisor agent to understand the coverages available and make good decisions about your protection.
Give us a call! (804) 638-9024 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!
Glossary of Insurance Terms
Click here for the Glossary of Insurance Terms and Definitions that are commonly used in the insurance business.
The definitions in this glossary are developed by the NAIC Research and Actuarial Department staff based on various insurance references. These definitions represent a common or general use of the term. Some words and/or phrases may be defined differently by other entities, or used in a context such that the definition shown may not be applicable.
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners offers a complete Insurance Term Glossary for consumers.
Helpful Resources Provided By The Virginia Department of Insurance
- Homeowners Insurance guide
- Basic information needed when buying or using your homeowners coverage.
- Homeowners policies
- View policies from some of the state’s largest insurance companies.
- Homeowners insurers by county
- For your county, retrieve the list of active homeowners insurers and their contact numbers.
- Companies offering earthquake insurance
- Top 20 homeowners insurance companies writing policies for new customers.
- Home inventory checklist
Creating a list of your possessions will help you file an insurance claim in case of theft, fire or other damage.
- Frequently asked questions
FAQs about homeowners insurance.
- Glossary of terms (categorized)
Frequently used terms about auto, homeowners, workers comp and other insurance.