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  • Homeowner's Insurance Endorsements?

    I'm buying my first home at this time. I've been reading extensively about homeowner's insurance and some of its woes. I have a wife and 3 young children.

    I'd like to know what endorsements/riders you all have or would recommend putting on a policy. All my quotes so far have been for "broad perils" policies.

    I recently read an article on WCI that described a horrible situation where $16K of damage wasn't covered because it was caused by an overflowing toilet. My kids have been known to shove toys down the toilet, requiring me to remove the toilet to get the toy out. So I've already made sure to include the sewage backup rider.

    Open to other thoughts, suggestions, our discussion. Thanks!

  • #2
    Came across this thread as I always seem to start at Whitecoat for endorsements so hoping someone might reply?  StoneBriar Insurance Group is listed on the recommendations page, but I can't find a single mention of them on the site. USAA seems to be a top pick for home/car, but I don't qualify.  Also came across this site which was interesting although not sure about the accuracy: http://www.badfaithinsurance.org/indexdetaillist.html.  Would love any suggestions for home/car bundle.

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    • #3
      Not what you asked, but: you're a med student. Should you be buying a house right now in the first place?

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      • #4
        Don't go hyjacking the topic, there's a ton of other threads on not buying too soon and the OP should read all of them, but homeowners insurance is vastly under represented as a topic of discussion!!!   I can't speak for "Amedstudent", but we are 3 years out of residency and settling down after two years of testing it out. Anyone want to toss out some home owners and umbrella providers they like?  And still interested in if anyone uses StoneBriar Insurance Group?

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        • #5
          I use Statefarm for homeowners, auto, and umbrella. I switched to them years ago because some of the other ones I had (Geico, MetLife, Nationwide) all lured me in with low prices just to have them jacked up every 6 months for no reason. Plus someone with statefarm hit me years ago and they were great to work with. Their prices are also very competitive in my area. Special endorsements I have with them are jewelry, musical instruments, windshield coverage (no deductible, does not count as a claim), and they cover my offroad vehicle and its mods if i wreck it while I am offroading. I have a few other endorsements for the homeowner policy but can't remember them off the top of my head now.

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          • #6
            Not still a med student. It just happens to be the handle I created when I started reading the WCI blog 4 years ago... Never have bothered to change it up.

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            • #7
              Your original post is a bit old, did you end up closing on a house and if so who did you decide to go with for homeowners insurance? Any tidbits of wisdom you care to share?

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              • #8
                I just picked a reputable one that allowed a 5 million dollar umbrella. I think we have some Nationwide subsidiary. As far as riders I like the standing water or those to that effect.

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                • #9
                  Thought I would return to this thread and share what I learned after going through the homeowners insurance hunt since this website has been so helpful over the years. Maybe it will help a future buyer...

                  After looking on this forum I then went to google and digested a ton of articles on "How to select homeowners insurance". Then I started searching for insurance forums to see if I could get insight from the people who sell it. Insurance-forums.net had a few interesting threads that didn't necessarily show brokers/reps in the best light, but threads like this one discussing h03 vs h05 policies were useful.  I also searched bogleheads forum for home insurance input and came across many threads, here's a boglehead thread on h03 vs h05.

                  Another site I came across was badfaithinsurance.org, it focused on which insurers paid up when you needed them to. Not totally sure about the accuracy or who's behind the site but it left an impression and I used it as a data point.  Finally I did some digging on JD Power website and learned some useful info.

                  Some insurers only operate in certain states, so depending where you live you may have different options. Also being a fan of Vanguard I tried to find an insurance company that had a similar business model, it's Amica.

                  I ended up asking Geico (my car insurance for many years) for a quote to bundle auto, home and umbrella, they have a partner network and just look for the lowest quote among their partners. It came in high, really high, and the policy had the weakest coverage, so goodbye brand loyalty. I also asked Amica but they came in high as well, but they were my 2nd choice. My 3rd option was Erie which uses local brokers, they seemed to have a pretty good reputation, and turns out they had the lowest quote and best coverage. I did not reach out to the whitecoat recommended broker for home insurance simply because I was pressed for time and didn't find anyone here that had any input on them.

                  As with all insurance it was somewhat hard to compare apples to apples. I quickly learned I was dealing with different policy types in my quotes (H03 vs H05) with rider additions that made them somewhat similar on face value, but not always in the actual coverage terms.  Only one of the three quotes I got actually informed me what policy type they were quoting (Erie), I had to call back and ask the other companies after they delivered quotes.  Another fun fact, when I asked for the actual policy jacket and all other relevant docs with terms/conditions/definitions before making a decision, they all stated how rare it was someone wanted to see those. That just seems crazy to me...

                  If I learned anything it's this, give yourself plenty of time to get educated and be an informed buyer. I focused on this for more than a week before getting comfortable with my options and making a decision.

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                  • #10
                    So what coverage and endorsements did you end up going with?

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                    • #11
                      The two key things I was looking for were sewer/drain coverage in the basement and replacement cost coverage not cash value. We also added a 2m umbrella policy.

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                      • #12
                        Just to add, in a HO 3 vs HO 5 comparison, the key difference is on contents.  On a HO 3, coverage for contents is for named perils, meaning for coverage to apply, the cause of loss needs to be due to a named cause of loss.  On a HO 5, coverage for contents is for all perils, unless otherwise excluded.

                        The common instance where this matters relates to jewelry.  Theft is named peril, and not excluded, so covered under both.  However, mysterious disappearance of jewelry is not typically a named peril, so no coverage on a HO 3, but not usually excluded under a HO 5.  So if you lose your jewelry, but it's not stolen, with evidence of theft, a HO 5 is advantageous from a coverage standpoint.

                        Other things to look for: Replacement cost coverage, adequate limits of water/sewage back up especially for finished basements, service line coverage  on older homes, equipment breakdown for electronics, be aware of wind/hail percentage deductibles, flood & earthquake coverage depending on locale, inflation protection and code and ordinance can also be helpful.

                        From a claims background, no fault medpay coverage was helpful.  If someone is injured on your property, that coverage can be used to help them out with bills in the absence of liability or negligence.  This is a goodwill coverage so to speak, and can often prevent injury claims, or litigation from being filed.  Others have mentioned umbrella coverage, some carriers allow you to increase your UM/UIM auto insurance coverage to match your umbrella limits.  This basically increases your coverage if you are injured or killed by an uninsured or underinsured motorist.  As there are many people here with higher incomes and wealth, someone with minimum limits coverage will leave you with a big gap if injured, or off work.

                         

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                        • #13
                          WCI, any chance we could get a blog post on this topic?

                          I would be very interested to read more about this as I've also struggled in the past with finding reliable/noncommercial information on homeowners insurance.

                           

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                          • #14
                            I'd be happy put an insurance 101 together or collaborate with others.  I don't stand to benefit financially from any of the information that I would share.  We have been grateful for the information that others have shared here on other topics.

                            I'm sure WCI would first want to vet me better.  I post on bogleheads under the same user name, and I'm happy to provide him with more detail on my professional background and evidence of industry designations.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by ddscook View Post
                              WCI, any chance we could get a blog post on this topic?

                              I would be very interested to read more about this as I've also struggled in the past with finding reliable/noncommercial information on homeowners insurance.
                              Yes, I would love to see a blog post on this!
                              ​​​​​

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