When I’m talking to a New Orleans homeowners insurance resident and I’m reviewing their current coverage on their policy I often see missing coverage options that are important
A homeowners insurance policy does not cover everything but the insurance company does offer add on options you many not know about
Most insurance companies writing in Louisiana will use an HO-3 policy form but this policy does include all the coverage you need
You must add on or endorse the policy to get the coverage to protect your home and your bank account
Here is a review of the most common endorsements available on a New Orleans homeowners insurance policy
Animal Liability Endorsement
Equipment Breakdown Enhancement
Water Back up and Sump Discharge
Personal Property Replacement Cost
Service Line Endorsement
The cost of a homeowners insurance policy with the endorsements above could be the difference of $100 additional per year
Even if you don’t have a dog at this time, you should consider adding this endorsement.
The usual cost is $50 a year.
This endorsement will add usually a sublimit of coverage starting at 25,000 towards a defense of an alleged dog bite claim on your property.
Most dog owners believe “my dog would never bite anyone”.
Just remember this is not dog bite liability only
Your dog could get excited and jump on someone and cause an injury too
GOLF CART ENDORSEMENT
Obviously if you don’t own one or intend to own one this may be an easy decision but just remember if you do buy one, check with your agent to make sure its covered.
Some policies offer this endorsement but had some requirements in order to pay in claims
“The golf cart must be used in a gated community”
“The golf cart is covered if used in a neighborhood or community with a golf course”
Most homeowners policies exclude coverage because you can buy a stand alone Golf Cart policy that will cover liability and property coverage and the policy usually begins at $150 for year
Agent Tim Tip: Don’t depend on your homeowners policy to give you the coverage you need if you are driving a Golf Cart around your neighborhood
ORDINANCE OR LAW COVERAGE
Usually a percentage 10%, 25% or 30%, this endorsement will cover any improvements to the repairs to your house after a claim because of a building code requirement that was not in force when the house was built.
ex) If your house was built in 1985 and you have a claim today, its safe to say you would have to rebuild your house to the new building code enforcement.
When the house was built were hurricane straps required on the roof?
Are they required today?
If so, the estimate would not include the cost of installing roof straps because your house did not have any but the new code in Jefferson Parish or Orleans Parish may require you to do so.
Check with a local contractor and ask if the building codes in your Parish have changed since your house was built.
Most New Orleans homeowners insurance policies include a % such as 10% of the insured dwelling limit to be used for this type of issue in the HO-3 Special Form policy.
Most often this is the endorsement that gives coverage for the complete breakdown of your a/c unit or appliances but will exclude for wear and tear
If you have a home warranty policy you would be covered for wear and tear
The mechanical breakdown of the equipment in your house is usually subject to a special deductible.
Most often $100-$500 and there is a sublimit of damages
Could be a limit of around $50,000 of damage
The cost of this endorsement could be as low as $20
This coverage can add protection against any alleged Libel or Slander claims.
This coverage is needed more today with the popularity of social media.
People say or type the craziest things on social media these days.
Do you know what your child is typing on Facebook?
If a claim is brought against you for something that was said (slander) or written (libel) about another person your personal injury coverage would apply
Without this endorsement or coverage you would be left paying for your claim defense out of your own pocket
Some home policies have a sublimit such as $25,000, so check your policy.
Most insurance companies like UPC insurance company will add personal injury as the same limit as your current liability limit for as low as $50
WATER BACKUP COVERAGE
This endorsement is coverage for direct physical loss, not caused by negligence of any “insured” to property covered under Section I of the policy by water or water-borne material which
Backs up through sewers or drains on the “residence premises”
Overflows or is discharged from a sump, sump pump or related equipment, even if such overflow or discharge results from mechanical breakdown
Coverage does not apply to direct physical loss of the sump pump or related equipment which is caused by mechanical breakdown
The claim may be subject to a special deductible starting at $250 on some home insurance policies
What about an accidental water claim such as (caused by negligence)
- overflow of a toilet
- overflow of a bathtub
- frozen busted pipe resulting in water damage
These type of accidental claims are covered under the home insurance policy as water damage and are not subject to a Water Back Up Endorsement because the water issue did not originate through sewers, drains or discharges from sump, sump pumps and related equipment.
Common claim is the sewer line under the slab will collapse and water can no longer leave your home and it backs up into your bathroom or kitchen
The resulting water damage would be covered by the water backup endorsement and amount of damage could be limited to $5,000 to $25,000
Check your New Orleans homeowners insurance policy for the limit
This coverage will actually replace the sewer line plumbing under your slab to the street
Without this coverage you would be left paying for the replacement of the sewer line to the plumber
Most customers believe the sewer line running from the street to under their house is the responsibility of the parish but it’s not
This endorsement can provide up to $10,000 of coverage and it covers tree root intrusions and corrosion which would normally be excluded under a homeowners insurance policy
PERSONAL PROPERTY REPLACEMENT COST
There are two options offered to you on your contents or personal property.
- Replacement Cost
- Actual Cash Value
Replacement Cost allows you to replace the damaged item of like kind or quality.
So if you had a 5 year old 46” Samsung TV,
you could go out and purchase another 46” Samsung TV.
Actual Cash Value is Replacement Cost minus Depreciation
So if you had a 5 year old 46” Samsung TV,
the claims adjuster would deduct 5 years of depreciation from the replacement cost of a 46” Samsung TV.
Ex) 5 years of depreciation at $50/year = $250 deducted or depreciated
Replacement Cost is $500 for a new tv minus $250 depreciation,
You would receive a check for $250.
Not all insurance companies offer this coverage but if there is loss of power and you lose all your contents in your refrigerator or freezer this endorsement would pay for the replacement
The limit can go up to $500 and the cost can be as low as $10
This coverage will kick in if the parish orders a mandatory hurricane evacuation and you must leave New Orleans
You would be reimbursed for your hotel room up to the limit of either $1,000 or $1,500
Damage to your home does not have to apply in order to receive reimbursement if you purchased this coverage
So what’s this all about?
New Orleans Homeowners Insurance policies do not cover everything.
If they did you would receive one piece of paper from the insurance company when you purchased a new policy and that would be a receipt.
Instead you receive a thick policy full of exclusions and a description of what is not covered.
It is important you do an annual review of your homeowners insurance policy and coverage options
When you purchase your policy it is possible that some of the coverage options listed above were not offered but now they are are
Call your agent and ask or give us a call and we can do a price protection review 504.348.3131 or complete our quick form below