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2014 Changes in the ISO Homeowners Program
ISO has introduced two new HO endorsements and revised one HO endorsement. The revised endorsement seeks to clarify coverage for water back-up and sump discharge or overflow. The new endorsements provide a way to insure “green” upgrades following a loss and a means to cover certain equipment and appliances for mechanical breakdown short of effecting a maintenance agreement.
2022 ISO Homeowners’ Changes in Chart Form
Charts are probably the most helpful resource for keeping track of key Homeowners’ policy provisions. Being able to see key information in one, easy-to-read form aids in memory and retention; besides, it allows easy recall because the charts can be printed for easy reference. ISO’s release of its 2022 multi-state homeowners’ filing requires two different charts based on the edition date of the policy form being used.
An Agent Call to Action: Underinsurance
Is it time to re-visit the methodology used by agents to determine replacement costs and/or re-construction costs? How confident are you that the real property replacement values that you develop are sufficient to either replace or rebuild? If a natural catastrophe hit your community, would you have the same confidence in your replacement or rebuild figures? As the increasing frequency and severity of natural disasters occur, one of the first questions in their aftermath is why is underinsurance one of the first issues.
Can You Share Any Homeowners' Insurance Comparison Charts?
An agent asks: We hired a new personal lines manager and realized we never developed any homeowners' charts; do you have any you can share?
College Graduates Move Back Home
A Pew Research study showed that 42% of college grads age 18-29 were living with their parents. Many of them attempted to make it on their own but, given economic and job market conditions, were forced to move back home. Does this create HO and PAP coverage issues for anyone?
Home Sharing Hosts and the Loss of Income
Home sharing hosts have exposures not common to many homeowner clients, a business income exposure. When an unexpected loss occurs, the home owner losses a source of revenue. Does the homeowners’ insurance respond to this exposure? Check out this fictionalized interview to get the answer to this question.
Homeowners’ Form and Endorsement Changes Coming in 2022 Multistate Filing
ISO’s first major change to the Homeowners’ program has been filed. These changes are scheduled to take effect beginning March of 2022. Although this sounds like a long time from now, the time will go quickly. Review the coming changes now and print this for future reference.
How to Misread an Insurance Policy
A claim was filed against a homeowner for a child injured at a facility being rented by the homeowner. The adjuster has denied the claim, but is the denial correct? This claim serves as an excellent reminder to all insurance practitioners (newbies and veterans alike) to read the entire provision in a coverage form or endorsement.
Ignore the Bank, Go With Replacement Cost
Everyday agents are asked, well required, by banks to provide Coverage A limits in excess of the developed replacement cost. Why are such requests made? So that Coverage A limits match the loan requirements of course. Mortgagees tend to forget that the loan buys more than just the structure; it includes the land and location, location, location. The buyer/mortgagor is paying for the view and access to the office and shopping in addition to the house. The insurance policy only pays to replace the house.
Is There Trouble When Using Yelp (and ALL Other Social Media)?
When your insureds use Yelp, Twitter or even Facebook they open themselves up to charges of libel and defamation of character. Is your personal lines client protected? A Yelper is out $20,000 because of this problem.
Joint Custody Insurance Issues
An agency insured has joint custody with his ex-wife of their 17-year-old daughter. The daughter lives with the insured during the school year but spends most of the summer and holidays with her mother on a small farm. Her mom has an old Ford F-350 pickup truck at the farm that she lets her daughter drive. The insured wants to know if his PAP covers his daughter (and him as a parent) if she has an at-fault accident in the pickup. What about non-auto liability exposures under his HO policy?
Preparing a Home Inventory Before Storm Season Eases the Path to Faster Claim Settlements
With hurricane season a concern and unpredictable weather on the rise, homeowners’ losses can be devastating. After your insureds submit a claim, the insurer will request they document their damaged contents. Remind your insureds that homeowners’ claims are always much easier to settle if they prepare a home inventory before they experience a loss. Now is a perfect time to remind your insureds to create a home inventory. With today’s sophisticated cell phone cameras, it may be as simple as walking through the house and videoing contents with accompanying verbal descriptions. There are many online tools available, as well.
The Danger of Relying on Automatic Coverages
From “host liquor” in a CGL policy to “vacant land” in an HO policy, we often relying on automatic coverages for certain exposures to cover an insured who has an exposure that sounds like it fits. However, when you examine the exact facts of the situation or the possibilities when a claim occurs, coverage may not always be as automatic as we might think.
Townhouses: HO-3 or HO-6?
An often asked question is, “Which is more appropriate when writing a townhouse within a homeowners’ association that purportedly provides the real property coverage for the entire building?” This is a really good question because in these situations, the agent must choose between the HO-3 and the HO-6.
Valued Policy Laws: What is a “Valued Policy”
Valued policy laws require the insurance carrier to pay the face amount of the policy if the structure is a 'total loss.' In these situations, it does not matter if the replacement cost is less than the face amount. This article links to a list of states with valued policy laws and the particulars of each state’s law.
Why Defining Actual Cash Value is Amazingly Difficult
The concept of actual cash value (ACV) is far more complicated than “replacement cost minus physical depreciation.” In fact, the meaning of replacement cost differs based on the state. To further complicate the “problem” with defining ACV is whether or not labor is depreciable. Again, the answer differs based on the state in which the property is located.
2011 Changes in the ISO Homeowners Program
In 2010, ISO filed its first major revision to its homeowners program in a decade. In this article, Ted Kinney reviews the 27 major changes to HO forms and endorsements, ranging from the vermin exclusion to coverage for riding lawn mowers. This is a preliminary review...look for further articles as our analysis intensifies in response to member questions and claims.
Building Your Own Home...Insurance Implications
It is not uncommon for a homeowner to serve as his or her own general contractor when building a new home. When doing so, there is an exposure to claims made by contractors and their employees if injured during construction. In fact, such claims can arise regardless of the homeowner's status as general contractor or owner. Does the HO policy cover these claims or is workers compensation coverage needed?
Recently we've seen an escalation of questions regarding the insurance coverage implications of chinese drywall. Everyone is familiar with the press being given to claims involving drywall shipped from China between 2004-2007, much of the demand following Hurricane Katrina. In this article, we'll explore potential coverages under homeowners, commercial property, and CGL forms.
Homeowners in Transition
With summer upon us, now is the time that many families make the move from one home to another. Most likely, many of them are already looking or even negotiating for a new home. Serious coverage gaps can arise during the transition between two principal residences, involving both property and liability exposures. This article discusses these issues and how they can be remedied.
Insuring Rental Dwellings
An insured has 15 rental properties, none more than 4 units. An insurer covers them under 15 dwelling policies and has endorsed his homeowners policy to extend liability coverage to each of them. The agent has recommended commercial insurance, including a CGL policy rather than an HO endorsement, as he feels it is better coverage. Insuring it commercially will cost 30-40% more so, of course, the insured wants to keep the coverage like it is. What do you think?
Top 10 Best Changes in the ISO HO2000 Program
In most major insurance filings there are policy changes that broaden coverage, some that restrict coverage, and some that claim to make 'no change' in coverage. In this article, we'll take a look at the 'best' changes (from a policyholder's perspective) in the new ISO HO2000 program. In another column, I'll examine the 'worst' changes.
Top 10 Worst Changes in the ISO HO2000 Program
In most major insurance filings there are policy changes that broaden coverage, some that restrict coverage, and some that claim to make 'no change' in coverage. In this article, we'll take a look at the 'worst' changes (from a policyholder's perspective) in the new ISO HO2000 program. In another column, I'll examine the 'best' changes.