Supplemental Insurance Coverages: What and Why

It Puts the Coverage in the Basket

Written by: Mike Tonsetic

Yeah, we’re going there! LOL! Ok, ok, we’ll omit the discussion on the insurability of a skinsuit…well, just maybe. Actually, in preparation for this blog I reached out to an underwriter colleague to solicit a verdict on the infamous taxidermy. We actually couldn’t come up with a viable coverage exclusion remarkably so. However, at the end of the day, it’s usually up to the interpretation of the adjuster, and if need be, the courts.

So, let’s start this blog off right and address the elephant in the room. Well, hopefully there’s not an elephant head hanging in the trophy room, but let’s talk about wall mounts and such. While animals (as property) are excluded from your standard homeowner’s policy, taxidermy is covered. Given the simple logic that although there is perhaps a perceived sentimental value, the piece is no longer a living animal. So, there’s no need to go out and skin a cat. Sorry, bad joke!

It Does This Whenever It is told!

While Buffalo Bill might not be your first choice as a fashion consultant, an agent always knows what’s best when it comes to supplemental insurance coverages. How you ask, even if I don’t know you from Adam? Let’s just say we’ve seen more than our fair share of homeowners heave the old junk sofa into the back of the non-descript van over the years, only to wake up in a cold, dark well, abandoned by their coverage. This being said, I’ve compiled a list below of supplemental insurance coverages that may save your life one day, explained in layman’s terms:

(*DISCLAIMER: These are NOT legal definitions and will NOT actually save your life)

Supplemental Coverages

Personal Property Replacement Cost: If you don’t like anything you own now, you’re really not going to like pawn shop prices aka Actual Cash Value (ACV). Don’t believe me? Well, if your home is ever burglarized, and I hope for your sake this doesn’t ever happen, you may actually be looking for your belongings at the local pawn shop. That is if your deductible doesn’t completely dissolve the balance of your claim’s check.

Water Backup: Albeit it’s only $5K, it goes a long way when the sewer or septic system fails. Now, if you really do have a well in the basement, I can recommend you a certain psychologist/cannibal. In any case, your covered, and you might need a session if you’ve ever seen a municipal sewer system fail during a hurricane and hiccup everyone else’s business from the porcelain basin.

Animal Liability: Yes, we know precious would never ‘hurt’ a moth, but the word itself is open to interpretation whether you’re the victim or their attorney. Even a little ankle nibble can cause what we call ‘permanent scarring’, and that can become a pretty expensive bitemark. Although the coverage is usually limited to $25K, it goes a long way in settling a lawsuit, and it’s one of the more popular injuries attorneys go rabid for.

Don’t Get the Hose Again!

FL’s insurance market is notorious for the ‘coverage-tuck dance’, as in the homeowner rarely is cognizant of what they are actually purchasing. This is not their fault though. This just naturally occurs in markets where rates are hyper-inflated to match the volatility or high-risk markets like FL or CA. The actual utility of the product becomes secondary to the baseline price. Most agents fall victim to the competition instead of their obligation to the client to provide relief during the worst of times.

So…what did we learn here today kids? Quid pro quo: If you’re going to purchase insurance, make sure it actually works.


Read our blog: ‘NO…You Can’t Rebuild for That’ to learn about replacement cost and why it is vital to your policy.

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