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 insurance companies. 

Q: What is covered on a Homeowner policy?

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 cover?

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 home for?

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" Structures?

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 adequate?

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 quote!

Q: What is Loss of Use / Additional Living Expenses?

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 expenses.

Q: What does Personal Liability cover?

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 related claims.

Q: What does Medical Payments cover?

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 cash.

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 you.

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 company changes?

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 coverages?

A: Several optional coverages can be purchased to meet your insurance needs.

  • 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 Auto policies.
  • 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.