Supplemental Glossary of Insurance Terms

Backup of Sewers and Drains: A standard homeowners and property & casualty policy does not protect against losses caused by backed up sewers and drains. This coverage can be added by to your policy through an endorsement for a minimal charge, depending on the amount of coverage chosen.

Deductibles: The portion of the loss that the policyholder agrees to pay out of pocket, before the insurance company pays the amount they are obligated to cover. For example, if the covered claim is $1000 and your deductible is $250, you pay $250 and your company will pay $750. Deductibles help to keep insurance rates reasonable. Raising the amount of the deductible lowers the cost of insurance.

Earthquake Coverage: Because our area is located so many miles east of the known fault line in Memphis, many people may disregard the need for earthquake and earth movement coverage. Should a disaster of this nature ever occur in this area, you could be faced with major damage to your home, and an uninsured loss that could be financially devastating. Earthquake/earth movement coverage can be added to your policy through an endorsement.

Flood Insurance: A standard homeowners and property & casualty policy does not protect against losses caused by flooding or rising water. A flood policy is a separate policy that is offered through our agency. Your home may not be located in what would be deemed a “flood hazard area” but that does not mean that your property may not be subject to flooding.

Full replacement cost: If your property is destroyed, the insurance company is obligated to fully replace or rebuild your property without any deduction for depreciation. Obtaining full replacement cost on your personal property will cost you only about 10 to 20 percent more than the actual-cash-value coverage.

Home Based Business: If you are among the estimated 5 million people that have a home based business, do not rely on your homeowner’s insurance to protect your business. While a small amount of coverage may be available under your homeowner’s policy you may have more business exposure than you have coverage for (equipment, business property and if needed, professional liability).

Identity Theft Coverage: New technology brings with it new challenges. In recent years, identity theft has been one of those challenges we are all forced to deal with. Identity theft coverage is now offered by most insurance companies, however, coverage and premium varies by company and can be added by an endorsement.

Liability Limits (Personal Auto and Homeowners): Judgments that are currently being rendered in today’s courts with regard to personal liability are growing at such a rate that they can easily exhaust your policy limits. As a result, we recommend personal liability limits of no less than $300,000 on your homeowners policy and no less than $100,/300,/100, (bodily injury per person/bodily injury per accident/property damage) in liability limits on your personal auto. You may have opted for lower limits on your personal policy; however, higher limits are available and encouraged.

Policy Limitations: There are specific limitations on your homeowner’s policy involving the coverage of certain items such as jewelry, guns, furs, collectibles, money etc. Even though your policy may offer replacement value on your personal property, that does not mean that your policy will fully reimburse for certain items with specific values attached. These items can be insured for specific coverage and value by “scheduling” each item. Certain items may require a bill of sale or a current appraisal. Do not wait until a loss occurs to discover you did not have appropriate coverage.

Umbrella Liability Insurance: A personal umbrella policy substantially increases your overall liability coverage beyond the basic coverage provided on your homeowners and personal auto policies. This low-cost policy is designed to protect you and your family against a catastrophic lawsuit or judgment. Umbrella policies start at $1,000,000 (over and above the liability limits within your auto and homeowners policies) and are typically available for up to $5,000,000.

September 8th, 2014 by Wyatt Insurance Services