February 22, 2019

High Value Homeowners Insurance

High Value Home Animation2

If you own an old, hard to replace home or a large custom home, you will likely benefit from the broader coverages provided by our companies that specialize in writing High Value Homes.  They offer many coverages not even available from standard carriers.  They have claims units that have been specifically trained to handle complex claims for not only hard to replace homes, but for expensive Contents as well. These companies not only offer better coverage for your home, but they also offer much broader Auto and Umbrella coverages as well as the ability to cover your secondary and rental homes. 

Here are some of the benefits of these carriers' Homowners policies:

  • They Pay Claims Based On Real World Local Costs, Not Based On Computer Program – Most standard companies pay claims based on what a computer program tells them it should cost based on national averages.  The problem is that these estimates are usually half what the repairs actually cost, especially for older homes in Georgetown, Chevy Chase, and Old-town Alexandria.  Our high value home carriers will allow you to pick your own contractor and will pay the claim based on the actual costs.  This may not sound like a big deal, but if you value your time and your money, this is a major deal.  Any claim is bad, but having a carrier accept your contractor’s estimate and approve the repairs quickly, saves you both time and money. On the other hand, having a standard carrier that refuses your contractor’s estimate and tells you they will only pay half, will end up costing you a lot of time trying to find a contractor that will accept this lower offer, will likely force you to have to pay some of the claim out-of-pocket, or accept inferior repairs done by contractors who lack the skill or experience to properly repair old and custom homes.
  • Guaranteed Dwelling Replacement Cost - The most notable feature of the policy is that unlike almost every other policy, it guarantees to completely rebuild your home with like materials and quality, regardless of the cost.  Most companies have a set limit that they will pay, and many do not even include coverage for increases due to law and ordinances.  It will also allow you to replace your home with the same quality materials and construction techniques. 

  • Unlimited Loss of Use/Rents - Most standard companies limit this coverage to only 10% of your Dwelling limit.  Many will tell you they offer "Unlimited Loss of Use", but don't mention it is limited to only 12 months.  Our High Value Home carriers all provide Unlimited coverage with respects to both the dollar amount and the time.  For example, if your home burns down, you will need to rent another place to live for at least 18 months (It would take at least this long to settle your claim, have plans drawn, permits approved, and to actual complete the rebuilding of the home).  With our carriers, they will pay whatever it costs you to rent a comparable place to live for however long it reasonable takes to have your home rebuilt.

  • Cash Settlement on Contents - This means if you have $60,000 of property damaged in a fire, they give you a check for $60,000.  You can then do whatever you choose with the money.  Most other companies only pay you the ACV, which might be only $35,000.  They will eventually pay you the full replacement cost value of $60,000, but only after you replace each item with an identical item and provide them with a receipt.

  • Cash Settlement on Dwelling – This feature allows you to elect a cash settlement as opposed to rebuilding your home.  For example, your home is destroyed by a fire and will take at least a year to rebuild, which means that you and your family will have to live in a temporary home or hotel for an entire year.  This can be a real inconvenience, especially if you have kids.  You could choose to simply have the company pay you the cost to replace your home or the full policy limit (whichever is less), sell your land, then use the money to buy a new house.  You could buy a house in the same neighborhood or anywhere else you desire.  Most other companies would only pay you the actual cash value or ACV for your house if you do not rebuild it.  This can be as much as 40% less than your policy limit.

  • Agreed Value Plus 50% for Scheduled Items - If you insure a diamond ring for $20,000, that at the time of the loss costs $26,000 to replace,  they would pay the full $26,000.  If the current replacement cost is less than $20,000, they would still pay you the full $20,000.  Standard policies only pay you up to their limit or less, if THEY feel it can be replaced for less.

  • They Let You Shop Where You Shop – In the example above with a $20,000 ring, lets says you bought it at Tiffany’s and you want it replaced from Tiffany’s.  These carriers would all accept the cost from Tiffany’s, while most standard carriers would only pay you based on what THEY feel it should cost to replace, which is often much less.

Here are some of the benefits these carriers offer on their Auto policies:Car - 1966 Jag

  • Worldwide Liability Coverage – Most standard policies only provide coverage for claims that occur in the United States and Canada.  Our High Value Home carriers provide liability and uninsured motorists coverage for claims that occur anywhere in the world.  
  • OEM Parts and Manufacture Trained Mechanics – Your car will be repaired with original manufactures parts by manufacture trained or certified mechanics.  Most standard companies will not pay for OEM parts or for manufacture trained mechanics.  For example, you lease a BMW through BWM Financial Services.  Your lease agreement will state that all repairs must be made with OEM parts.  You have an accident and the standard carrier will only pay for the aftermarket parts, which are $2,000 less than the OEM parts. You will have to pay this $2,000 out-of-pocket to comply with your lease.  If you own a luxury car like a Mercedes, BMW, or especially a Tesla, this is a very important coverage.  Cars are considerably more complicated then they have ever been, especially cars with various drivers aids and safety features.  It is critical to the safety of these cars that they be repaired properly, which is why this coverage benefits most new cars.
  • Agreed Value - which means the value of your car is set every year when the policy renews (or the price you paid for a new car you add mid-term), which means you do not loss any value due to depreciation during the year.  For example, you purchase a new car for $65,000 and 9 months later it is stolen or totaled, you will still get the full Agreed Value of $65,000.  Standard policies only pay you the ACV (Actual Cash Value) at the time of loss, which due to depreciation, can be considerably less. 

Here are some of the benefits these carriers offer on their Umbrella policies:

  • Worldwide Liability Coverage – Like their Auto policies, they provide Worldwide Liability coverage.  Most standard Umbrellas do not provide any coverage for claims that occur outside the United States or Canada.  
  • Uninsured Motorists Coverage – This alone might be the most important reason to get your insurance with one of our High Value Home carriers The majority of the large claims we have had over the last 25 years have been Uninsured Motorists (UM) claims.  Everyone one of these claims were caused by drunk drivers, which is why we often call it drunk (or now distracted as well) driver coverage.  This coverage protects you and your household family members from injuries caused by a vehicle that either has no insurance or not enough insurance.  This coverage follows you and your household family member anywhere in the world, not just when you are driving.  For example, you are injured while riding in an Uber, riding a bicycle, or just walking your dog.  Sure, you likely have health insurance, but that does not pay for your lost income and other expense that go into a large loss.  UM coverage provides these coverage.  Almost all standard carriers exclude this coverage from their Umbrella because they know that most of the large losses are UM claims. 
  • High Limits Available - Limits are typically available up to $100M.  Most standard carries don't offer limits over $5M.

Does my home qualify?  Typically they require a home with a replacement cost of $750,000 or more. 

 

Our High Value Home Insurance Companies Include the following:

AIG Private Client Group
AIG Private Client Group
Chubb
Nationwide Private Client



Contact us today for more information about High Value Homeowners Insurance or fill out our online quote form.

Click here for Frequently Asked Questions

3201 New Mexico Ave NW #300
Washington, DC  20016
202-966-0700
Info@howard-hoffman.com