We had historic flash flooding in the St. Louis area several weeks ago. We were lucky not to sustain any property damage; however, others were not so fortunate. This prompted us to provide some education points for flood damage, and a few other areas in which people are often underinsured.
A 2017 survey by the Insurance Information Institute found that almost 50% of American homeowners have no coverage for flood damage. Standard homeowner policies cover water damage from burst pipes and leaky appliances, but not flood damage, which can only be covered by a separate flood insurance policy. Even if you have a standard flood policy, it may not be sufficient. Policies purchased through the National Flood Insurance Program are capped at $250,000 for your home’s structure and $100,000 for its contents. Higher coverage limits can be purchased from private insurers, if needed.
According to the FBI, over 1 million American homes are burglarized each year. Most thieves make a beeline for the master bedroom to look for jewelry and loose cash. A standard homeowners insurance policy has limited coverage for jewelry, and in case of loss, a deductible would likely apply. Whether your valuables consist of jewelry, fine art, or a wine collection, you may need a valuable articles rider to insure their full value.
Identity theft occurs when someone uses your name, Social Security number, credit card number, or other identifying information to commit fraud. Victims of identity theft can spend years cleaning up the mess that criminals have made of their good name and credit rating. In the meantime, you can be denied loans, lose job opportunities, and even get arrested for crimes you didn’t commit. Although it is best to minimize your risk by limiting access to your personal information and being educated and very careful with your online personal and business activity, cyber insurance may provide an additional layer of protection by covering losses arising from identity theft, hacking, cyberstalking, or harassment.
High net worth individuals are often targets for lawsuits. A personal liability policy, also referred to as an umbrella policy, provides excess liability coverage to help protect you when your home or auto policies are not sufficient to cover the cost of an accident or lawsuit. For most of our clients, we recommend purchasing a $2 million personal liability policy.
Many high-net-worth individuals title their homes in the name of a trust or limited liability company; however, homeowners often forget to add this entity as an additional insured on their homeowner’s policy. This can result in a lack of protection for the entity, and you as the beneficial owner, in the event of a lawsuit. This can usually be cleared up with a phone call to your insurance broker or insurance company with the submission of any required documentation now prior to any problems or claims made.