Following is a list of the most frequently asked questions from
our homeowner customers. The answers have been designed to give you
general information. Each company defines their own coverage,
terms, limitations and exclusions, therefore, we recommend you
thoroughly review your policy for more detailed answers.
Q: Why should I choose Westwood
Insurance Agency as my agent?
A: We offer personal insurance products in more than 40
states. We pride ourselves in the insurance experience that our
licensed agents have and also our affiliation with top rated
Q: What is covered on a Homeowner
A: A Homeowner's policy is a package type of policy, which means
that it includes protection for several types of possible losses,
including damage to your structure, your personal property and any
liability or medical claims that may arise.
Q: What perils does my policy
A: The standard homeowners policy covers Fire, Lightning, Smoke,
Windstorm, Hail, Theft, Vandalism, Malicious Mischief, Explosion,
Aircraft and Vehicle Damage, Riot & Civil Commotion, Falling
Objects, Accidental Discharge of Water or Steam and Freezing of
Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning Systems.
Q: How much coverage should I insure my
A: The dwelling should be covered for the estimated replacement
cost. This is generally determined by the average cost contractors
in your area would charge to rebuild your specific home in the
event of a loss. Do not be underinsured! A company charging you a
lower premium does not mean you are adequately covered.
Q: What are "Separate" or "Other"
A: The standard homeowner policy provides coverage for
"separate" or "other" structures which are not attached to the
dwelling such as fences, sheds, pool, and detached garages. This is
generally 10% percent of the dwelling amount, but can be increased
if the replacement value is greater than this amount.
Q: How much contents coverage is
A: Coverage for your contents (personal property) is provided at
a percentage of your dwelling amount. This generally ranges between
50% and 75% of your dwelling coverage. There are special
limitations on certain personal property items such as jewelry,
furs, watches, guns and silverware. Please check these limitations
on your policy and be sure the amount is adequate in case of a
loss. If not, a Personal Articles Schedule can provide broader
coverage for specified items at an additional premium. Ask us for a
Q: What is Loss of Use / Additional
A: This coverage pays for increased costs of temporary living
arrangements after a covered loss occurs. This includes items such
as hotel and food expenses incurred beyond your normal monthly
Q: What does Personal Liability
A: This coverage protects you against claims resulting from
bodily injury or property damage for which you may be legally
liable. You would be covered up to the liability limit stated in
your policy for each occurrence. This excludes auto and business
Q: What does Medical Payments
A: This coverage pays for medical expenses of guests or others
injured at your premises up to the coverage limit.
Q: How is the deductible applied?
A: The deductible is the co-insurance amount you pay towards a
settled claim. The company will adjust and settle each claim for
the full amount less the deductible. You do not have to pay this in
Q: How can I lower my premium?
A: There are several things which help reduce your insurance
premiums. These options vary by state and company and include items
such as having both your automobile and homeowners insurance with
us, alarm discounts, retired person discounts, and optional
coverages. Please call us to discuss the best options for
Q: Can I keep my policy after I pay
off my loan?
A: Yes. Please notify us immediately when you pay off your loan
so we can delete the lender from your policy.
Q: What do I do if my mortgage
A: Call us immediately and we will endorse your policy to
reflect the new mortgage company. This is very important,
especially if your lender pays for your insurance policy through an
escrow or impound account. One of the most common reasons policies
cancel is due to non-payment because the renewal invoice was sent
to the incorrect lender.
Q: Is my personal property covered
while I am moving from one home to another?
A: Your current homeowner policy extends coverage for 30 days.
Personal property coverage may be subject to limitations and
exclusions so please review your policy to make sure you know what
the limitations are.
Q: Can I transfer my current
insurance policy to another property?
A: No. Your policy is not transferable. Each policy is issued to
cover a specific property address which is shown on the
"Declaration" page. When this property address changes, a new
policy must be issued.
Q: What are the common optional
A: Several optional coverages can be purchased to meet your
- Earthquake This provides coverage for earthquake
damages that exceed specified earthquake deductibles.
- Excess Personal Liability This provides additional
coverage beyond the liability limits stated in your Homeowner's and
- Personal Articles Schedule This provides coverage above
standard limitations for certain items (i.e., jewelry, furs, fine
arts, silverware, etc.)
- Building Code Upgrade This provides coverage for
the extra cost required to bring your house "up to code" in the
event of a covered loss (i.e., replacement of a wood shingle roof
with a composition roof).
- Flood Insurance The Homeowner's policy excludes coverage
for damages due to surface floodwaters. A separate policy can be
written to obtain coverage for floodwater damage.
- Loss Assessment Coverage For condominium owners, this is
a valuable coverage. This coverage will pay for your share of the
loss charged by a corporation or association of property owners
(i.e. HOA) up to the specified limits of the policy.