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Homeowners’ Policies Not Created Equal

(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

feldman_amy Amy Feldman
Amy E. Feldman is a business commentator and legal business...
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By Amy E. Feldman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - What does your homeowners’ policy actually cover? You could be surprised.

Summer at the Jersey Shore this year looks different than last, and it’s not because motherhood has matured Snooki. It’s because of the almost 400,000 Hurricane Sandy-related homeowners claims, 71,000 – close to 1 in 5 claims – were denied and no insurance payouts were made.

The most common reasons for the denials were that the loss was less than the policy’s deductible and because the claim was filed for something the policy didn’t cover.

Ever read your homeowner’s policy? Yeah, thought not.

Homeowners’ policies generally cover damage to your dwelling, its contents, and liability coverage if someone is injured. But not all policies are created equal. If your possessions are destroyed, you might be covered for their replacement cost – what it costs to buy them new – or for actual cash value of your old stuff, which will be much lower. And some things may or may not be excluded – damage caused by mold, loss of special items like jewelry, or host liability.

So look at the first page of the policy which should state in plain English what’s covered and what the deductible is, then decide if you need more coverage or less Snooki – or both.

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