Charmaine Sample-Hawkins: Alrighty! So, we’re sitting with Marc Rovner. He’s going to answer some Homeowners Insurance questions that come up quite often and we’d like to get some answers to it! How are you, Marc?

Marc Rovner: I’m doing wonderful, how are you?

Charmaine: I’m great, thank you. So, to start, what is homeowners insurance?

Marc: Context clues! Homeowners insurance protects you and your home. The different components that comprise your homeowners insurance policy would include, specifically in Miami but anywhere, property coverage as well as liability coverage. So it would cover you for your home burning down if you had coverage for things like fire or hurricane damage. That would be coverage for your structure as well as packaging in there liability coverage, should somebody slip and fall in your home or outside your home; in the northeast if someone slips and falls on your snow it would cover you for that as well.

Charmaine: Why do we need it?

Marc: You’re not required to have it unless you have a mortgage. Most people do have a mortgage but it’s really the concept of risk transfer. If somebody wants to transfer the risk of their home burning down or getting destroyed by a hurricane or transfer the risk of somebody slipping and falling and suing them then they need homeowners insurance. That’s from a macro perspective. From a micro perspective, most individuals who purchase homes will buy the homes with a mortgage and the bank will require that you maintain homeowners insurance. If you’re in a flood zone, like many people in South Florida, they’ll require that you have flood zone and wind coverage as well.

Charmaine: So homeowners insurance is not required by law?

Marc: It is not required by law, no.

Charmaine: Are there different types of homeowners policies? How do we know which is the best?

Marc: Well this is really a birds-eye view type of discussion so obviously a renter would have a homeowners policy, it’s called a HO4 but it’s really specific for a renter. If you own the home there are more robust forms; everything from HO1, HO2, HO3, HO5, so there are very many different designations. Within the different type of policy you purchase there are many variables that will increase or decrease the coverages that are there. In terms of knowing which one is best, you should really speak to a qualified agent to direct you.

Charmaine: We talked about protecting the home but what about the things inside of the house?

Marc: That’s a great question. Obviously, that would be contemplated within a homeowners insurance policy if it was insured appropriately. You want to make sure you have replacement costs both on the dwelling as well as the contents, special cause of loss, no coinsurance. You really want to make sure that you have somebody that knows what they’re doing, will review it, and make sure it’s done appropriately.

Charmaine: Is homeowners insurance expensive?

Marc: That all depends. Everything is relative, so what’s expensive for one person is not for another but it depends on the exposure. The value of the home will play into that, the location, do you need flood, do you need wind? If you’re in a flood zone, obviously that’s going to drive the cost of flood insurance. If you’re in an exposed wind zone, that will drive the cost of the wind insurance. So, really you want to make sure that it’s taken to the appropriate carriers and that you have the appropriate coverage. Once you’ve done that, you want to make sure that you price it appropriately.

Charmaine: Are there any discounts?

Marc: There absolutely are. We typically review wind mitigations to see what sort of discounts we could apply as respects to wind. Alarm credits are very often used that give somebody a substantial discount. Additionally, when we package deals together like auto and umbrella there can be further discounts for that as well.

Charmaine: Ok, great. So does everyone qualify for discounts?

Marc: When they work with us they qualify for discounts! W analyze every single account on a risk-by-risk basis to really maximize the results for that individual  so I can’t say on a blanket basis that everybody qualifies but we really take a targeted approach to yield the best results.

Charmaine: Well that sounds great! Thank you so much for answering those for us.

Marc: Thank you.