Homeowners insurance is one of the most basic protections you can have and yet it can be one of the most complicated. Before the unthinkable happens, it is important to make sure your home and property is adequately insured.
For more than 140 years, Rossmann-Hurt-Hoffman, Inc has been a trusted name in Maryland homeowners insurance. We believe that your home is an investment deserving the protection that only an experienced professional firm can provide.
As an independent insurance agency, we represent multiple insurance companies, allowing us to design a customized policy that fits your needs.
Basic Homeowners Insurance Coverage
Basic homeowners insurance provides protection for:
- Your home
- Other buildings or structures on your property
- Your personal belongings – furniture, clothing, appliances, etc.
- Additional living expenses
- Your personal legal liability
Additional Coverage for Homeowners Insurance Policy
We also offer special features and coverage for additional security:
- Guaranteed replacement cost coverage
- Extended replacement cost coverage
- Building code upgrades coverage
- Automatic inflation guard coverage
- Content replacement cost coverage
- Inland Marine and Personal Umbrella Policies
- Flood Insurance
- Earthquake Coverage
Condominium insurance, also known as HO6 insurance, is similar to homeowners insurance, but not the same. Choosing the best condo insurance can be confusing. An RHH Insurance Agent will review your association’s master policy and explain what is and what is not covered and determine the extent of your responsibility.
Condo Insurance FAQs
What’s commonly insured under an association’s master policy?
Often, a master policy insures the condominium buildings and commonly owned property, and coverage typically stops at the exterior walls of the buildings. This means you’re responsible for insuring the interior of your unit, which likely includes any alterations, fixtures and improvements, such as cabinets, interior walls, carpeting and flooring, etc.
You’ll also need to insure all of your personal possessions. Your individual condo insurance policy (commonly known as an HO-6 policy) provides protection for situations such as theft, damage to the interior of your condo, and your personal liability (such as if someone unintentionally gets hurt while visiting your condo).
What are some key considerations in determining my overall coverage needs?
We will take into consideration two key factors: personal property and loss assessment.
- Personal Property – When determining the amount of coverage, be careful not to undervalue your personal possessions. And, because a standard condo insurance policy only reimburses you for losses at “actual cash value” (the price you paid, minus depreciation), you’ll want to consider having your personal possessions insured at “replacement cost”.
- Loss Assessment: Bylaws customarily allow for proportionate assessments to be levied against all individual unit owners in the event a loss suffered by the association isn’t adequately insured for under its master policy. As an example, pretend a fire destroys a couple of buildings in the complex, which were insured by the association for $350,000, but the cost to rebuild them would be $500,000. Under such a scenario, the association is permitted to assess each unit owner his or her share of the $150,000 deficiency. A standard HO-6 policy provides for $1,000 of loss assessment coverage, but this amount can be increased.
What are some of the standard coverages?
- Dwelling Coverage: Provides coverage for the interior walls, drywall, flooring, carpeting, built in cabinets, etc., and represents the coverage you need to insure your part of the building – the unit you own.
- Personal Property: Provides coverage for your household belongings, such as furniture, televisions, clothing, small appliances, books, bedding, etc.
- Loss of Use: Provides coverage for alternate housing and additional expenses in the event your unit becomes uninhabitable due to a covered loss.
- Personal Liability: Provides coverage if you are sued for bodily injury or property damage caused by your negligence.
- Medical Payments: Provides coverage for medical costs and expenses arising from injuries suffered by a visitor at your condo.
Are there any optional coverages I should consider?
Several coverage options you should discuss with your agent are:
- Replacement cost coverage
- Flood Insurance
- Water back-up/sump pump failure
- Personal Umbrella Policy
- Identify theft
- Business property in the home
Actual Cash Value vs. Replacement Cost
What do I need to know when purchasing homeowners insurance?
When purchasing homeowners’ insurance, you can have your home, and its contents, insured by one of two methods: “replacement cost” or “actual cash value. Homeowners insurance also includes personal liability coverage, you’ll want to talk to your RHH homeowners insurance representative about what amount is right for you. You may also want to consider a personal umbrella policy which acts like an “umbrella” over and above your homeowners insurance coverage to protect against devastating claims and judgments.
What is actual cash value?
If you file a claim and the basis of coverage is actual cash value (ACV), this is the amount of money the insurer would pay you, after having subtracted depreciation. Once again, as an illustration, imagine your 10-year-old roof is completely destroyed and would cost $30,000 to repair. Assuming your 10 – year – old roof had a useful life of 20 years and ACV is your basis of coverage, the insurer would only be required to pay you $15,000, representing the “actual cash value” of the roof, which would not be enough to fully repair or replace the roof.
What is replacement cost?
Replacement cost refers to the amount it would cost to replace or rebuild your home or repair damages, using materials of a similar kind and quality, without deducting for depreciation (depreciation being the decrease in value because of age and wear and tear). If you are adequately insured, and have replacement cost coverage, your home will be replaced or repaired to its prior status. As an illustration, imagine your 10-year-old roof is completely destroyed, and would cost $30,000 to repair. Even though the roof has lost half its useful life, the insurer will cover the entire cost to repair the roof, if you have replacement cost coverage.
What happens if I don’t carry enough insurance on my home and suffer a loss?
Many insurance companies require you to insure your home for at least 80 percent of its replacement cost. If your home is insured for less than 80 percent replacement cost, the insurance company may assess a “penalty,” and only pay for part of a loss. This is referred to as a co-insurance penalty. Insuring your home for the appropriate percentage of its replacement cost is extremely important.
What factors might contribute to my home not being insured for at least 80 percent of replacement cost?
Making improvements to your home, such as finishing a basement, upgrading a bathroom or kitchen, or adding a new room, patio or deck, can increase the replacement cost of your home. Increases in the cost of building materials, labor rates, energy costs and inflation can add significantly to replacement costs.
Wouldn’t I be better off insuring my home to 100 percent of its replacement value?
Under a standard homeowners’ policy, are the contents of my home covered on a replacement cost or ACV basis?
Contents are commonly covered on an ACV basis, but many insurance companies offer an option to insure contents at replacement cost.
What can I do to ensure I maintain adequate homeowners’ coverage?
If you’ve made changes or improvements to your home, are unsure of what “loss cost valuation” method your policy contains, or are simply concerned about having and maintaining adequate coverage, you should contact your agent and request a coverage analysis as soon as possible. While making policy coverage decisions are yours — and yours alone under the law, as your independent insurance agent, we can help explain your options, so you can make informed decisions.
Home Insurance Discounts
Rossmann-Hurt-Hoffman, Inc provides a comprehensive blend of personal insurance policies and we can often extend discounts for having multiple policies with our company.
Additional discounts may be available for:
- Qualified fire alarm and sprinkler systems
- Qualified burglar alarms and security systems
- Some gated communities and homeowner associations
- Certain professional organizations such as police, fire or teachers
- New homes
- Improvements to electrical, plumbing, heating and/or cooling systems
- New roof replacement
Other Ways To Save
- Claims free history
- Continuous coverage with on-time payments
- Raise your deductible