Many homeowners have little or no homeowners insurance. Analysis of calls to Flood Specialists shows that almost 80% of the rainstorm calls were sewage backups and/or sump pump failures. Of these a high percentage were under-insured or did not have the proper coverage to pay for cleanup and repairs.
If there were one thing that the rain storms of 2011 have taught us, it would be to spend a little more time with your insurance agent. When it comes to insuring one’s home and its contents, what we have experienced is that many homeowners that had believed they were insured were actually not. Clients that were certain of insurance coverage later realized that they only had purchased a very limited amount and quickly realized that there was just not enough money received to cover the damages and were simply under insured.
When purchasing insurance, one should definitely take into consideration all of the things that may happen to your home with the existence of a basement, sump and or ejector pump. Perhaps one of these two types of pumps is not present because your home’s drainage system is connected directly to the city’s sewage system. All of this is very important when considering insurance coverage because we have experienced many instances when a client would not have adequate insurance coverage pertaining to sewer backup.
Almost 80% of the 2011 rainstorm calls were due to sewage drain back-up and or sump pump failure due to loss of electricity. Not all of these categories are insured under the standard homeowner’s policy and the insured must obtain additional coverage. Insurance companies prefer standard policies because they consider them “limited liability”, which means that the maximum claim payout liability to the insured is commonly limited to $5,000, $10,000 or $15,000. Another bit of strong advice is not to allow the insurance premium cost to be the primary determining factor, instead allow the true value of your real and personal property determine the amount of necessary coverage. And consider the advice of your insurance agent; it’s their duty to assist in advising with such decisions.
Let us create an example, if your basement consists of four concrete unfinished walls along with bare flooring and not used as storage space, then a limited coverage policy is suggested even if you prefer otherwise. The opposite example would consist of a larger sized 2,500 square foot area finished basement, containing wool carpeting, hardwood trim work and or custom crafted paneled walls, a home theater, steam sauna or for the more privileged, a bowling alley. This scenario would require significantly more coverage than a policy with $5,000 to $10,000 limitation payouts; as such, limits will not even come close enough to compensate for the replacement costs, let alone labor in the last example given. If such a basement would suffer a water loss, the total cost to restore could easily reach the quarter of a million dollar range.
Let’s paint another example that is quite common today with a basement that contains carpeted family, bath, bed and storage rooms. All of the dividing walls are covered in drywall, your typical/average basement. If the sump pump were to fail in this basement and allow water to intrude and become absorbed by the carpeting and miscellaneous building materials, the restoration costs to be expected would average $20,000. This includes the clean-up /removal of wet materials, dry down, sanitizing and baseboard painting; on average $20,000. If one were to possess a $15,000 limit liability insurance policy, $5,000 of that amount would come from your pocket, reflecting the previous scenario.
Most people simply did not know what they were purchasing and/or simply did not care enough to understand. They did not want to spend the money and felt that some insurance is better than no insurance. That is until it was time to pay the big bucks out of pocket which then became a major problem causing cash strapped sufferers of flood losses to resort to improper restoration procedures which includes the reuse of sewage soaked furniture. All of this is simply crazy ignorance, invite your insurance agent to your home to view your property and consider the advice of a licensed professional when it comes to purchasing sufficient levels of insurance coverage.
If your income and net worth are at higher levels with a primary residence presently valued at or over one million dollars, you should consider purchasing insurance coverage from an agent of Chubb Group. Based on our years of experience, we strongly feel that when it comes to the filing and payout of claims, Chubb Group is hands down the preferred choice of real and personal property insurance. They have offices in most cities including the Chicago metropolitan area and you know dealing with Chubb Group will offer peace of mind. If you are in the market for a new insurance agent/broker, perhaps you have relocated to the Chicago metropolitan area; allow we suggest contacting the Wilk insurance group, located in Buffalo Grove Illinois. They are very professional and treat their customers with great care.
If you may have any questions or perhaps your home or business has suffered water damage due to rain storms, sewer backup or broken plumbing, may we suggest contacting Flood Specialists. They have been performing flood mitigation work for close to twenty years and are experts in their industry and it would be very resourceful to have their contact information programmed into your mobile telephone when you need it most.
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