Getting Mold

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Mold has become a discussion most of us would like to avoid since it has” blossomed” into a real menace in the insurance world. Mold by itself is not covered by insurance but when it appears as a result of a claim, there is coverage. Mold often occurs when there is water involved-i.e. putting out a fire, flooding, or proliferation of rain. In the old days it was eliminated through common cleaning methods with relatively little cost. Now, however, mold has been trumped up to be a biological hazard and people exposed to it have claimed to have experienced respiratory problems. Because of this the methodology used to eliminate it has become specialized and expensive. Many companies have curtailed the amount of coverage available when it used to be open ended. In addition the testing procedure is intricate and costly with very little tolerance for acceptable levels. The hysteria regarding mold has abated a bit but it will continue to be a problem for insurance companies and victims alike. Insureds should ask what coverage is provided in their policies for mold and other potential “pollution” possibilities.. Insurance carriers have been quietly withdrawing from the generous levels of coverage provided in the past.

The author of this blog, Guy Hatfield CPCU CIC, can be reached at 203.256.5660.

The Price is Right

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On occasion I get complaints from my clients about the cost of homeowner insurance and they ask that I shop around for a better price. I tell them I will look into their premium but I also remind them that homeowner insurance policies are not a commodity. It is not like buying a bag of potatoes where the product is homogeneous and easily discernible.

There are many homeowner insurance companies with varying degrees of premium. if you look long enough, you will find one that is a comparative bargain -but at what price?, pardon the pun. What is behind that piece of paper that seemingly is available at an attractive cost? Are there hidden exclusions and sub limits of coverage? Is the carrier experienced in homeowner claims? Do they get a good grade from consumer reporting agencies? Will they let you use a contractor of your choosing in the event of a major fire? Will the replacement materials allowed be the same as what was lost or ones of “similar” quality?

Most people will concede that their home is their most valuable asset. it should be protected by an insurance company that is prepared to restore it properly. The premium charged should be a fair one. If you are insured by an insurance carrier known for their reliability, fairness, and attention to detail in settling claims, the price that you will pay for the policy will be the “right price”.

The author of this blog, Guy Hatfield CPCU CIC, can be reached at 203.256.5660.

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