Some insurance carrier appetites may be limited due to certain criteria. As Independent Agents, the experts at Avery Insurance will help you navigate the marketplace and help you find appropriate coverage solutions. The following list is meant to help you identify areas that may require a closer look when purchasing a new home and the impacts these might have for obtaining homeowners insurance.
Underground Oil Tanks
These are a major concern, and many companies will not write the risk at all. Companies will want to know when the tank was installed, if there’s a liner, and when the tank was last inspected.
Above Ground Oil Tanks
Most tanks need to be protected from roof slide possibility and be on a slab.
These are considered a higher liability risk and many standard companies will not write coverage. Some carriers will write homes with trampolines if they are properly netted.
Most standard middle-market companies restrict certain breeds. Companies will ask the specific breed and if there is any history of biting or aggressive behavior.
Older / Antique Homes
Companies will be looking for the original age of construction and updates on all major systems (roof, heating, electrical & plumbing). Be aware of any existing knob and tube wiring as standard companies will find this unacceptable. Because some insurance contracts are based on “like kind and quality”, replication of existing construction is a concern. Homes on the National Historic Register can also present a challenge.
Coastal / Island Homes/Isolated properties
There are a multitude of factors regarding a home’s location that can affect eligibility. Coastal Proximity can mean the policy is subject to a special, separate deductible for wind/hurricane losses or can even mean ineligibility in the standard market. Island homes can be challenging due to accessibility issues and properties that are considered isolated share these same obstacles. Not being within 5 miles of a fire station or 1,000 ft of a hydrant or being located on inaccessible roads can all be underwriting concerns. There are certain companies that specialize in covering these types of risks, and often, protective measures like central alarms, water leak detection systems and low-temperature alarms can help improve insurability.
High-Value Homes (Generally dwelling value over 1.5M)
Due to unique craftsmanship and finishes, these types of homes are best placed with companies that specialize in high-net-worth insurance where coverage can be customized to respond to the needs of successful individuals and families. Avery represents the top high-net-worth companies in the marketplace and has a dedicated team knowledgeable on how to best protect these assets.
Flood insurance is excluded from standard homeowners policies. Several factors determine the risk of flooding in a specific area and Avery has tools to classify a property’s zone and recommend coverage accordingly. Lenders will require flood insurance for properties that fall into high-hazard flood zones. There are now both federal and private options available at different levels of coverage.
Generally, standard homeowners policies will allow 4-6 weeks of rental annually. If it is a true rental property, then it needs to be written as a dwelling fire or as a business policy depending on ownership structure and the number of units. Airbnb /VRBO or other home-share programs require specific coverage evaluation as companies underwrite short- and long-term rentals very differently.
Eligibility depends on the type, number, and usage of animals at the residence. Risks that involve horse boarding, training, or barn rentals typically require specialty coverage as this goes beyond the scope of what a personal homeowner policy can cover.
Some incidental business use out of your home is acceptable but should be reviewed. Many classes of business use could void your policy contract and require some form of commercial coverage.
If you’ve purchased a home with any of these special characteristics, contact an Avery Agent. We will help you get the best possible coverage at the most competitive rate.