Halloween is Past, but the Mischief of Kids Continues: Why You Need a Personal Umbrella Policy

Posted by Alex Boyer on Mon, Nov 16, 2015

Real-World Case Study: Don’t Let this Nightmare Happen

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Zack couldn’t believe his luck: Discovering leftover Fourth of July fireworks in the garage just in time for Halloween. He couldn’t wait to tell his best friend, Fletcher.

While their parents were soundly asleep on Halloween night, the inseparable pair snuck out to give the neighborhood a midnight treat. Suppressing giggles, Zack lit the inaugural bottle rocket — it zoomed off-course and landed underneath their neighbor’s car.

The friends rushed over to try to kick it out, but they were too slow — the car caught on fire in moments and as they looked on in disbelief, the tree in the yard and the home followed. By the time firefighters were at the scene, extensive damage was already done.

Because of “vicarious parental liability,” Zack’s parents were on the hook for his actions, even though they weren’t present and didn’t know what he was up to.

After their homeowners liability limit was exhausted, their standalone personal umbrella policy covered the rest of the damage.

Claim: $620,000

Contact E &K for a quote. Policies start at about $20 a month.

Thanks to our friends at personalumbrella.com for this real-world claim experience.

Tags: Homeowner Insurance, Liability, umbrella policy, umbrella liability coverage, Homeowners insurance, homeowner policy, personal insurance, parental liability, vicarious parental liability

E & K Applauds this Win for all Insurance Consumers

Posted by Alex Boyer on Fri, Apr 17, 2015

The Asbury Park Press reports that "buyers of homeowners insurance policies will receive an easy-to-read, one-page summary of their coverage starting in June, according to an announcement Tuesday from the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance."

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The coverage synopsis is the result of a law passed in May 2013 as a reaction to some of the confusion surrounding homeowners insurance and superstorm Sandy.

E & K applauds this win for all insurance consumers.

 

"As we worked with New Jersey consumers following that devastating storm, we saw that some homeowners didn't fully understand their homeowners insurance policy," said Banking and Insurance Commissioner Ken Kobylowski in a statement. "For example, some consumers believed that that homeowners policy covers flood damage. It does not. Flood insurance must be purchased separately. This one-page summary is one way the state is working to raise awareness of insurance issues so consumers understand clearly what their policies do and do not cover."

Read the full article in the Asbury Park Press.

Tags: Hurricane Sandy, Homeowner Insurance, E&K Insurance, NJ, Homeowner, House, Insurance, New Jersey natural disaster, home, FEMA, Superstorm, New Jersey, Homeowners insurance, coverage, Emergency Storm Claim Center, homeowner policy, storm damage

It's Flood Awareness Week

Posted by Alex Boyer on Tue, Apr 07, 2015

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This week is Flood Awareness Week, and the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management had some tips and information regarding flooding:

Flooding is a coast-to-coast threat to the United States nearly every day of the year. New Jersey is no exception. This week we will talk about how to stay safe in a flood event. If you know what to do before, during, and after a flood you can increase your chances of survival.

Flood Basics

WHAT: Flooding is an overflowing of water onto land that is normally dry. Flooding may happen with only a few inches of water, or it may cover a house to the rooftop.

WHEN: Flooding can occur during every season, but some areas of the country are at greater risk at certain times of the year. Coastal areas are at greater risk for flooding during hurricane season (i.e., June to November), while the Midwest is more at risk in the spring and during heavy summer rains. Ice jams occur in the spring in the Northeast and Northwest. Even the deserts of the Southwest are at risk during the late summer monsoon season.

WHERE: Flooding can happen in any U.S. state or territory. It is particularly important to be prepared for flooding if you live in a low-lying area near a body of water, such as near a river, stream, or culvert; along a coast; or downstream from a dam or levee.

For more information, Northeast NJ residents and commuters to/from NYC, please visit: http://www.weather.gov/okx/.

For the rest of New Jersey, please visit: http://www.weather.gov/phi/.

To keep up with the latest in New Jersey emergency management, follow the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management on Facebook and on Twitter and Instagram @ReadyNJ.

And, of course, be sure to visit E&K for information on flood insurance and flood risks in New Jersey.

Tags: Flood, Homeowner Insurance, E&K Insurance, NJ, Insurance, New Jersey natural disaster, home, Flood Insurance, Flood insurance policy, New Jersey, Homeowners insurance, homeowner policy

Your Homeowners Policy & Storm Damage... What's Covered?

Posted by Kenneth Auerbach on Fri, Oct 26, 2012

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Generally, how does my homeowners policy respond to storm damage to my property?

Your homeowners policy covers most losses that may occur to your dwelling and personal property. Commonly, losses resulting from theft, fire, wind, vehicles and vandalism are covered.

What if there is damage because of a storm?

A standard homeowners policy covers storm damage to the dwelling, its contents and other structures such as garages and fences, up to the policy limit. Such damage also acts as a trigger for coverage of other consequential losses and expenses including removal of debris and loss of use.

What if my family and I cannot live in our home because of the damage?

When storm damages make it necessary to leave your home temporarily, your homeowners policy covers the additional costs necessary to maintain your normal standard of living for such things as meals, lodging, laundry, transportation, entertainment, etc.  You will need to present receipts for all of your expenses to be reimbursed.

What clean-up expenses can I expect to recover following a storm?

Your homeowners policy will cover costs for removal of debris when covered property is damaged. Th is includes the removal of trees that fall on covered structures, but this coverage for trees usually is limited to $1,000 for a single storm.

Am I covered for protecting my property from damage?

Your policy obligates you to protect your property from further damage following a loss as a condition to payment of your claim. You can expect your policy to pay for such expenses to board windows and make emergency repairs. Also, property removed from your home to protect it from an impending storm receives more comprehensive coverage than what is provided at your home—for a limited period of time, it covers fl ood, earthquake and any direct damage to your dislocated property without exclusions. However, the expenses to remove the property from harm’s way is not a covered expense.

What damages are not covered by my homeowners policy?

Trees, shrubs and gardens damaged or destroyed by the storm are not covered.  The spoilage of food due to an inoperative refrigerator or freezer resulting from an off -premise power outage is not covered by many policies, unless the appliances are inoperative because the damage to power lines or other utility equipment occurred on your property; for example, lightning damage to your circuit box or a tree falling on power lines connected to your home.

It is important to note that there is no coverage for any damage that is a direct result of flood, surface water or water that backs up through sewers or drains that is caused by an act of nature (a storm).

How can I find out what is covered in my specifi circumstances?

The information provided here includes general guidelines for storm damage coverage. You should contact our agency for definite answers and further advice.

Courtesy of the Professional Insurance Agents of New Jersey

 

Tags: Flood, homeowner policy, storm damage