Common Reasons to Purchase a Homeowners Insurance Rider

Posted April 26th, 2010
by HomeownersInsurance.org Staff (no comments)

For many folks, the basic homeowners insurance coverage policy that their insurance company offers is sufficient. It will cover the cost of damage to the home, a certain amount of value of possessions in the home, and a certain amount of liability. The vast majority of homeowners are probably safe with this kind of basic coverage. However, there are some situations in which you might want to consider adding a little bit of extra homeowners insurance – known as a “rider.”

Here are some of the most common reasons to purchase a homeowners insurance rider:

  • You have a home office. If you have a home office that includes a great deal of equipment or furniture, you should consider a rider. Many homeowners insurance policies have a maximum payout for office equipment and furniture of $1,000 or less, although this is changing as more and more computers enter the household. In addition, if vendors or customers enter your home, they won’t be covered if there is an accident and they were there to do business.
  • You have a substantial investment in jewelry. Sometimes, your coverage may have a limit on what it will pay out for jewelry. Whether it’s a $2,000 Rolex or whether it’s a family heirloom, if you have jewelry valued at more than a couple of grand, you’ll want to talk to your homeowners insurance agent about a jewelry rider.
  • Your home is located in a flooding or earthquake prone area. Flooding and earthquakes aren’t covered under a standard homeowners insurance policy. For earthquakes, you’ll have to purchase a rider. For flooding, you may be eligible to participate in the National Flood Insurance Program. You can call their number at 800-427-4661 to find out more and to see if you qualify.
  • You own art, antiques or collectibles. Usually, there is a limit to the coverage on these items that is somewhere between 50 and 75 percent of the value of the homeowners policy. If you’ve got Mickey Mantle baseball cards or the first issue of Spider Man, however, you may want to consider a rider. The same goes for fine art. You wouldn’t want to be out the $100,000 you paid for that Van Gogh hanging in your bathroom.
  • Building or zoning codes and laws change. If you have a homeowners insurance policy and the zoning or building laws change after the home is built, your policy’s replacement cost won’t cover them. Make sure you talk to your agent and find out whether you need a rider for these kinds of changes, too.

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