In the wake of the recent wildfires in the western United States following multiple hurricanes impacting Texas and Florida and other regions; it serves as a great reminder for all of us in Minnesota to take note of what our Homeowner's insurance covers and what is excludes.
Most of us that live in Minnesota wouldn't think of our state as a high risk for insurance claims since we don't have earthquakes, hurricanes or high risk of wide spread wild fires like our friends in the west. Well...most of us would be wrong! In fact, in 2007 and 2008 Minnesota was one of the top 3 states for catastrophic losses, ranking higher than any of the hurricane states! How can this be, you might ask?
Wind, hail and water!
Even if you have never filed a claim before, this
WILL impact you. It is extremely important to review your insurance policies and understand what they mean. You need to know what will be covered, what the limits of coverage are and what the exclusions are (or what's NOT covered). Depending on your policy, you might only be covered for a claim if it is due to the perils (or risks) listed in your policy. Or your company might charge you a higher deductible for a wind/hail claim than your regular homeowner's deductible. Perhaps your company won't pay to replace undamaged siding to match the new siding you need from a hail storm. Or, you might have to wait 5 years to switch insurance companies if you have had a claim instead of 3, locking you into paying those higher premiums.
Then let's talk about liability. Whether you are looking at your homeowners, auto or business policy; you should absolutely understand what your liability coverage and limits are. If you have a high net worth or a lot of assets, you could be at risk for being sued. Whether it is your fault or not, your insurance company will
only pay out or defend you to the limit of your insurance policy and everything above and beyond that would be
your responsibility. A fairly inexpensive umbrella policy would dramatically reduce your chances of a liability claim hitting your bottom line.
Insurance is a great tool to provide us peace-of-mind should something happen, provided we know what we are...and aren't covered for. We can help you analyze your insurance policies and help you detect any gaps their might be.