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Common Questions about MA Home Insurance
Home insurance is one of those things most people never think about–until they need it. And while we won’t pretend it’s the world’s most fascinating reading material, we do think there are a few key topics every Massachusetts homeowner should understand. So, click through this list of FAQs as you need them, or take a few moments to brush up on your Home Insurance 101 right now. You might uncover something worth discussing with your agent.
The Internet is always ready to provide a dollar amount, even for costs that are too individualized to quantify. Bankrate, for example, says MA home insurance averages $1,300 per year. That’s about $110 per month. But this figure is based on $250,000 in dwelling coverage. If you think it would cost significantly more than that to rebuild your home after a total loss, your home insurance premium will probably be higher. For a more thorough answer to this question, click on the question in blue.
Maybe. It depends on what caused the water damage. The short answer is that “sudden, accidental” water damage is usually covered by a standard home insurance policy. Problems that arise due to lack of home maintenance, on the other hand, may be denied. Sewer backup and flood water damage are also not covered unless the homeowners purchase specialty coverage for these risks. For a more thorough answer to this question–along with steps you should take if you have water damage in your home–click on the question in blue.
Again, this is a maybe. Depends on what caused the tree or limb to fall and also where it landed. It’s a homeowner’s responsibility to remove trees that are already dead or dying, before any property damage occurs. Failure to do so may mean your home insurance won’t respond to a tree claim. It’s also worth noting that home insurance doesn’t pay to remove trees that simply fall in your yard–even if they’re huge. The tree has to land on top of an insured structure or block access to your home. For a more thorough answer to this question–along with what you can do to identify sick trees and address dying trees in your neighbor’s yard–click on the question in blue.
Home insurance doesn’t cover everything. The most common exclusions fall into three buckets: major disasters (earthquakes, floods, war); property neglect (mold, rot, critter infestations); and certain hazards that increase your personal liability risk (trampolines, pool slides and diving boards, “black-listed” dogs). If you have concerns about any of these items or something else you want to be sure is covered, talk to your agent about ways to supplement your standard homeowner’s policy.
Maybe. For anyone who owns a home–even folks who aren’t especially wealthy–the answer is often yes. Legal defense costs and jury verdicts are on the rise. If you or a family member is ever named in a serious lawsuit (after a car accident, an at-home injury, or many other circumstances), umbrella coverage can help to make sure you don’t lose your home and other assets due to insufficient coverage limits.
Great question. It’s definitely worth asking an agent to provide you a quote. And we’re not just saying this drum up more flood insurance business. The fact is, in recent years, more than 40% of flood insurance claims came from properties outside high-risk areas. Floods can happen anywhere in Massachusetts. Doesn’t hurt to ask about adding this coverage.
If you own a swimming pool or hot tub, your MA home insurance will likely include some coverage for damage to the pool itself. But for most pool owners, the much bigger risk is your personal liability if a guest were ever injured while swimming, diving, or playing in your yard. While you do get some level of personality liability coverage built into your home insurance policy, the limits (the max amount your carrier would pay out for an injury claim) are probably insufficient. Read more about pool insurance and this liability gap by clicking on the question in blue.
What does Massachusetts home insurance cover?
Policies can vary quite a bit. It would be almost impossible (and very boring) to list all the different sections of different home insurance policies here. The following bullets will give you an idea of the main categories of protection home insurance is intended to provide:
- Dwelling Coverage: coverage for the physical structure(s) on your property, e.g. the house or building and anything attached to it
- Property Coverage: coverage for the possessions you own inside the house or building
- Liability Coverage: coverage for any injuries or damages that occur on your property (or possibly even elsewhere)
- Additional Living Expenses Coverage: coverage to pay for lodging expenses if you are displaced by a disaster on your property
Why choose C&S for help with your MA home insurance?
Whether you are in the process of buying a house or looking at alternative coverage options for your current house, C&S offers all the advantages of working with a local, independent agent. What are those advantages? So glad you asked!
- With a local agent you get dedicated support from someone who knows your name, your family, and your property. Instead of dialing into a call center or self-service menu, you can dial up your account manager directly. This is super helpful when you’re coordinating a new home purchase, filing a home insurance claim, or dealing with life changes that affect your coverage.
- Local, independent agents can give you more carrier options to choose from. For example, here at C&S we work with more than a dozen companies who write MA home insurance policies. Options are nice to have if your insurance needs are unique or complex, if your home insurance ever gets non-renewed, if you’re looking to bundle your auto/boat/trailer insurance, etc.
- Massachusetts agents understand Massachusetts home insurance. It’s as simple as that. We know the kinds of risks that local property owners encounter (floods, hurricanes, frozen pipes, ice dams, sewer backups), and we keep our clients informed when New England weather or other local trends threaten to impact our neighbors’ homes and condos. We’ll remind you (in our quarterly newsletters) when it’s time to clean the gutters, inspect your trees, check for termites, clean your chimney and dryer vent: all the steps that help prevent home insurance claims from arising the first place.
Insurance for Every Kind of Household
Homes come in many shapes and sizes. At C&S Insurance, we have experience insuring all of them. Apartments, condos, historic homes, energy-efficient homes, high-value homes, beach houses, rental units, houses with in-law apartments: we guarantee we’ve helped someone with a property like yours before. And in many of these cases, we’re uniquely skilled at mapping out the appropriate coverages with a specialty carrier. Whether you are buying your first home or condo, renting an apartment, or purchasing an investment property, read more about our experience in these distinct housing categories:
- MA Renters Insurance
- MA Condo Insurance
- High-Value Home Insurance ($1M+)
- Vacation Home/Beach House Insurance
- Airbnb Home Insurance in MA
Keep in mind, home insurance is not a one-size-fits-all purchase. When you work with C&S, your dedicated insurance agent will take the time to learn about your home in detail. She will explain the different kinds of losses that can be covered, along with recommended coverage limits for your possessions, your personal liability, and your home itself. She’ll then shop for today’s best rates, on your behalf, leveraging our access to a long list of different insurance carriers.