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Get a Rider For the Storm

Homeowner’s insurance may not cover everything you have of value. Some belongings require a rider, which is a separate policy that serves as an extension of your current policy. A rider can cover valuables, or it can increase the coverage you already have in the event of a disaster or for damages to certain property or possessions.  

According to Allstate.com, an insurance rider is an optional add-on to an insurance policy which amends your basic policy limitations. A limit is the stated maximum amount your insurance company will pay for a covered loss. By purchasing a rider to augment your standard policy, you can expand your coverage for certain types of property including fine jewelry or fine art. You can also receive increased coverage for risks such as fire or property damage where the risk has been capped at a lower amount. 

There are six types of homeowner’s insurance for specific amounts of coverage and/or type of residence, explains TheMoneyAlert.com. They are HO-1, which is the most basic fire, theft policy; HO-2 covers specific perils; HO-3 covers all perils minus exceptions; HO-4 is for renters, HO-6 is for condos/co-ops, and HO-8 is for older homes to be insured at a lower rate. 

PolicyGenius.com says that the following perils are included in basic policy coverage: include fire, lightning, windstorm, hail, theft, explosion, civil riot, vandalism, aircraft and vehicle damage to the home, smoke, volcanic eruption, falling objects, damage due to weight of snow or ice, accidental discharge of water or stream, sudden and accidental tearing apart, cracking, burning, or bulging freezing, and sudden and accidental damage from artificially generated electric current. 

However, there are some hazards that require additional coverage, which is where the rider comes in. These hazards include normal usage, pet damage, flooding, earthquakes and war and more. If you work from home, your electronics may be limited to $1000 or a little more. And if you live in an area that is prone to earthquakes, flash flooding, or severe windstorms your basic policy won’t even begin to cover these! Floodsmart.gov offers a list of identified flood zones, and mortgage providers may require that you get flood insurance as a condition of your loan terms.  

What do you need and how much coverage should you have? Each homeowner has his or her own need for a specific rider. To find out what’s right for you, make an extensive inventory of your possessions to see if you need to add anything to your policy. You may need “scheduled personal property coverage for jewelry, furs or antiques. You may also consider water backup coverage, building code coverage, business property coverage, identity theft restoration coverage, and riders for landscaping and renovations. 

The best thing about having homeowner’s insurance is peace of mind, so if you’re unsure what you need, call your insurance agent, and be sure to schedule an annual review as you add valuables to your home.