Insuring Your Property
When insuring your home in Berkshire County you will need purchase at least two or three types of coverage, each under separate policies: Home Owner’s Insurance, Wind & Hail Insurance and Flood Insurance.
A Home Owner’s Policy combines various personal insurance protections, which can include losses occurring to one’s home, its contents, loss of use (additional living expenses), or loss of other personal possessions of the homeowner, as well as liability insurance for accidents that may happen at the home or at the hands of the homeowner within the policy territory.
Wind and Hail
In other areas, coverage for wind damage might be included in your home owner’s policy. In South Carolina, that is not the case. Wind and hail damage is covered in a separate policy backed by the State and issued through the South Carolina Wind and Hail Association. Typically homes have a 1% to 10% deductible. If damage occurs as a result of a wind storm, the deductible is 1% of the home value. If damage occurred as a result of a “named storm” or hurricane, the deductible is 3%. Policy holders can increase the deductible up to 10%. Remember that wind and hail does not cover water damage caused by a storm. That falls under flood insurance.
Flood insurance is offered through the Federal Flood Program. There are some basics to flood insurance that are generally true. The maximum coverage for a policy is $250,000 on the dwelling and $100,000 contents. Factors that affect rates can include, but are not limited to location and elevation, the year the home was built, ventilation and other factors related to construction and building codes. There have been major adjustments to regulations surrounding flood insurance in the last few years, and it is best to speak with an insurance agent to get up to date information and answers to your questions related to a specific property or type of property.
Condos, Regimes and Insurance
When purchasing a condo, villa and sometimes a townhome, you may have a regime fee that includes certain types of insurance coverage. These policies generally cover from the exterior framing inward, but do not cover the fixtures and installations within the unit. Items such as granite countertops, bathroom and kitchen fixtures, and the flooring would not be covered by a master policy. You will want to know the details to the master policy, if it is included to determine what additional coverage you need. Questions to ask include:
Is insurance included in the regime?
What does the master policy say?
How expensive is the association deductible?
How much coverage is appropriate?
Cash value or replacement cost coverage?
Have you insured contents and structure?
Are you covered for flood and wind damage?