Cincinnati Home Insurance 2020
Over 850,000 People In Greater Cincinnati Own Their Homes!
From Montgomery to Mason, West Chester to White Oak, Cheviot to Clifton, and everywhere in between, Cincinnati is home to a wide variety of home styles that reflect the heritage and history of our city. But regardless of the neighborhood, the uniqueness of those homes presents their homeowners with their own personalized needs for homeowners insurance.
Why Should I Budget For Cincinnati Homeowners Insurance?
There are a variety of reasons, each very important. First, it is going to be mandated by your mortgage company that you carry some form of property and liability coverage on your property. Those are requirements of your loan and the mortgage company will outline the limits they require you to carry.
Without it, your mortgage company can call the loan or place a policy on your property. Maybe that sounds great if they “take care of it” but the coverage is typically pretty sparse and can be very expensive.
But even beyond the loan requirements, this is your most valuable asset so how would you plan on rebuilding it if your home was damaged? And there are so many ways that a home can be damaged just beyond things such as fire and wind.
And let’s not forget about the things that are inside your home. How would you replace those personal effects? These are things that you need each and every day.
Does Cincinnati Home Insurance Cover Liability
Outside My Home?
Fortunately yes. If you are found negligent for an act that resulted in bodily injury or property damaged it is typically covered. Even if this event occurred off your premises. Perhaps you are at a hardware store picking up some 2x4s for a home project. You accidentally hit someone walking by resulting in an injury. Your Cincinnati homeowners insurance has liability coverage that protects you from damages and medical bills. Home insurance in Cincinnati will defend you in court with a valid claim.
What Should I Know About Home Insurance In Cincinnati?
If you intend to be a well-versed consumer when it comes to home insurance in Cincinnati, you should understand that there are multiple policy forms available to you for purchase. Some of these forms come into play due to many factors such as the age of the home, condition or coverage requirements. But the forms that you should acquaint yourself with the most are called an HO-3 or an HO-5. Each type of home insurance policy provides coverage for a dwelling, personal property, liability and medical expenses as well as others. The perils can differ quite a bit between the two if you aren’t aware of the endorsements available.
So what is a peril in a Cincinnati home insurance policy? A peril is considered the cause of loss. So if you think you have a claim to file, ask yourself what caused the damage or loss. Things such a fire, wind, or theft are considered perils in a policy. This is where things can get a bit tricky so always make sure if your policy is a named perils policy or an open perils (or all-risks) policy.
A named-perils policy will only cover the perils that are listed in the policy. So in this case, if the policy only lists that wind and fire are covered in a policy, then a claim for vandalism wouldn’t be covered.
An open perils policy, while often a bit more expense, gives you much more robust coverage. It basically covers all perils, except for those it specifically lists as excluded from the policy.
So what is the key difference between an HO-3 vs an HO-5? The perils can vary quite a bit when it comes to your personal property. Your dwelling will typically be covered as open perils on both policy types. However, your personal property will default to named-peril coverage and actual cash value rather than replacement on an HO-3. This means that if you want the broadest coverage for your personal property and you want it replaced, you will need to endorse your HO-3 to match HO-5 coverage. Otherwise, even if your peril is covered on an HO-3 policy you would only get a depreciated amount for your property and not the ability to replace it.
This chart should help you understand how the perils (and the potential settlement) work.
|Your House||Open Peril||Open Peril|
|Your Personal Property||Named Peril||Open Peril|
|Personal Property Settlement||Actual Cash Value||Replacement|
On the surface, it looks like the HO-5 is your best bet. So you can avoid any gaps in coverage by asking for an HO-5 policy and rest easy. However, some insurance companies only offer HO-3 policies. But don’t worry, you can add endorsements to get named-peril coverage and replacement cost settlement on your personal property. Those will cost more but can be well worth it.
How Much Does Home Insurance Cost In Cincinnati?
The answer to this can vary as much of the types of homes you find in Cincinnati. And that really stems from not only the variety of factors an insurance company finds important but what you think you need to be covered in your Cincinnati home insurance policy.
An insurance company will consider the dwelling amount as well as the age of the home. Location can play a part as well how close you are to things like fire hydrants or fire stations. And many carriers will consider your credit score as well to determine a rate.
And what other perils or coverage do you want to add to your policy. Are you concerned about an earthquake? Did you include sewer backup coverage, service line coverage or schedule any additional personal property?
But there are ways to mitigate the cost of a policy through a variety of discounts that can include multiple policy discounts, age of roof discounts or other affinity discounts.
As you see, it can get a bit complicated so always check to find an experienced and well-versed agent who is up to the task to thoroughly review your unique situation.
Frequently Asked Questions About Cincinnati Home Insurance
While we attempted to address a variety of issues regarding Cincinnati home insurance there are still so many questions that people have. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions.
Are home insurance payouts taxable?
A settlement from an insurance company is meant to return you to your position prior to the loss. In this case, it means that you wouldn’t profit from the loss so a claim payout would not be considered taxable income.
Are home insurance claims public record?
No, they are not, to the public record. However, be aware that insurance companies share the claim history of their clients between themselves. When we run a home insurance quote for a new client we can see their past claim history with other carriers, typically dating back five years. Maybe longer if the claim is related to a dog bite.
Are home insurance premiums tax deductible?
We recommend always consulting our accountant regarding your taxes, but home insurance is not tax-deductible.
Can home insurance cover mobile phones?
A mobile phone is considered a part of your personal property and would fall under that particular coverage in the event of a theft claim. However, this would probably fall below a deductible limit and would need to be paid out of pocket.
However, you should review your auto insurance and its endorsements. Many times a robust auto insurance policy may provide coverage for mobile devices that aren’t subject to a deductible.
Can home insurance drop you?
While this is not something that insureds want to hear, the honest answer is yes. What an insurance company will consider most of all is a claim history over time. The frequency of claims is probably one of the most prevalent reasons for cancellation.
Also, some carriers will inspect a property after it has been insured. In some instances, if the company feels the house is in disrepair or has some major hazards attached to it, the company could cancel it in the first 30 days.
How do home insurance claims work?
This is really a two-step process with many insurance agents and their carrier(s). The first step is filing the claim and while most agents would just tell you to call the carrier to file the claim we prefer to be notified first. We want to discuss your loss, your deductible and your claim history to sort out how this will impact you in the long run.
The second is your interaction with the claim adjuster. There will be a recorded statement from you regarding the loss such as the date of loss and the damage or reason you are filing the claim. Once the adjuster is assigned, they will come out to assess the damage and work to sort our your settlement minus your deductible. But don’t be caught off guard if the check doesn’t match the amount the adjuster confirms is the settlement. Since policies are written on a replacement cost basis the first payment would sometimes be a percentage or depreciated basis with the remainder paid out once you confirm that the repairs have been made or your personal property was replaced by you.
Which home insurance companies are the best?
That is certainly a subjective comparison. What do you define at best? Rate? Coverage? Claims experience? You can certainly check Google reviews but we also recommend looking at JD Power rankings. Visit J.D. Powers list here.
Why home insurance goes up?
Keep in mind that an insurance company is just like any other business. It has overhead like payroll, facilities, benefits and all the other expenses that pretty much like every other product or service you consume. And those expenses go up each and every year.
What those other goods or services don’t have are claims to pay. So when a carrier looks at how it’s home insurance products preformed they pool all the home insurance policies in any given state. From there they look at the claims paid out by that pool. If the year didn’t experience any heavy losses, chances are the increase will be very minimal in general. They will also look at your own losses which could impact the rate even further with a surcharge.
Will you inspect my home?
Now, this depends on the underwriting guidelines of your carrier. In most instances, insurance companies prefer that your agent has spent some time reviewing your home. That the agent has taken a close look at the replacement cost but also things like that age of the roof or other updates. And then those insurance companies might ask the agent to go get some photos of the outside of the house prior to binding the policy.
Even in this case, some carriers will still send their own inspectors out to get pictures of the house and double-check the replacement cost of the property. They will look at the condition of the roof and or any other potential hazards that could potentially cause a claim such as steps, railing and sidewalks.
Can home insurance be transferred to a new owner?
Your Cincinnati home insurance policy is in your name because you have a financial interest in the property. However, if you were to sell the property to someone else the insurance company would not be interested in just transferring that policy. While many of the coverages may stay the same, you are unique. And so is the person buying that property. They potentially have different claim histories or credit score so insurance companies would want to underwrite a new policy.
Will my child’s property be covered while away at college?
Yes, and no. This would fall under “off-premise” however that could only be defined as an on-campus dorm room. It is possible that any off-campus living arrangements would not qualify so make sure that you consult your agent or the policy language. It might be prudent to consider a renters policy for your college-bound student. It would insulate you from the risk and they are very inexpensive for what a college student would need to insure.
How are home insurance rates calculated?
To get a Cincinnati home insurance policy, the premium is calculated using a variety of factors. The things that can impact the premium on a home:
Age of home – A newer home is often cheaper to insure because the construction materials are typically frame or a brick veneer surface. Older homes can sometimes be solid brick or utilize plaster instead of drywall. This drives the replacement cost up and subsequently the insurance premium.
Age of the roof – This is often a little known discount for homeowners. The newer the roof, the bigger the discount.
Location of a fire hydrant – While this might not impact homeowners in a more suburban or urban environment, the further away a fire hydrant is then the higher the insurance rate. Anything more than 1000 feet could negatively impact your Cincinnati Home Insurance rate.
Proximity to a fire station – Similar to a fire hydrant, if a fire station is more than 5 miles away or possibly a volunteer fire department, then you will see a higher Cincinnati home insurance premium.
Credit score – This has been a very touchy subject ever since insurance companies started pulling credit to calculate insurance premiums. A higher credit score will typically lead to a lower rate. However, not all companies value your credit score equally. Some may use it but may give it less weight in the overall insurance rate.
Discounts – There are tons of them for all sorts of reasons. Multi-policy, umbrella, age of the roof, security systems. Some even have affiliations with professional organizations or alumni associations that can lead to discounts. Make sure you ask your agent.
Will homeowners insurance cover trampolines?
Yes. But some insurance companies aren’t big fans. While an insurance company may cover you if you chose to have a trampoline, they will have requirements such as a net. But that just makes sense to have one regardless of what the insurance company thinks, right?
When does homeowners insurance cover mold?
Many policies do have mold exclusions so be very careful to review the exclusions in your policy. However, with some carriers, it is possible to purchase an endorsement that would restore mold coverage to your Cincinnati Home Insurance policy.
How do you determine the dwelling limit on my policy?
At Chip Berry Insurance we are very diligent in determining your dwelling amount on your Cincinnati Home Insurance policy. Our process involves reviewing public records such as your county auditor site. At that point, all of our carriers utilize industry-leading software to calculate your dwelling amount. There are many different vendors, but each surveys the cost of construction in a variety of cities. The software will pull in public records to determine things like square footage, date of construction among others.
This is where our attention to detail can save you money and make sure that you are adequately covered. Our personal review of your property makes sure that the software is using the correct assumptions.
Why is the dwelling limit more or less than what I paid for my house?
This is one of the most common questions we get when we quote a homeowners policy, especially when there is such a discrepancy between the two numbers. And really this boils down to a typical real estate saying – location, location, location! And this can even be impacted by other market conditions as property values rise and fall during the ebb and flow of the economy.
We may find that a house is selling for far more than what it would cost to rebuild the home. This is due to a desirable location with good schools or other amenities. This can drive the market price up as demand increases.
What can be more difficult to understand is when the dwelling amount is more than your purchase price. This is very common with older homes that may have slate roofs, solid brick construction or other elements that make it much more expensive to rebuild. Or, did you get a good deal on the price? Sometimes a home needs some work so you may have negotiated a better sales price.
Why are certain dogs not covered by insurance policies?
Most carriers will not insure you if you have a certain breed of dog. This is done because these breeds are typically vicious and account for the majority of dog bit claims. In fact, over 90% of dog bites come from breeds such as Akitas, Pit Bulls, Rottweilers, Chows, Presa Canario or Wolf Hybrids. And these claims can get very expensive due to cosmetic surgeries over a period of time. So always check with your agent before you decide to get a dog.
Some carriers will exclude the dog rather than refusing to insure you so be very careful because this could set you up for a serious liability issue. Or some will cap the coverage limit, which could also be problematic.
Cincinnati Home Insurance From Chip Berry Insurance
Chip Berry Insurance is a highly regarded provider of home insurance in Cincinnati. With years of experience in learning the nuances of each client’s needs for home insurance and the right coverage and endorsement for them, you can rest easy knowing that you are covered.
Our agency was founded on three key principles. Practical. Prudent. Personal. We believe that there is a policy that is right for you with a practical price tag.
What’s Your Style?
- Do You Need Coverage but Want to Keep the Chit Chat to a Minimum? Don’t worry. We aren’t offended – we understand how busy you can be. You can start the quoting process right here.
- Do You Feel Like Talking About It? Just call Chip Berry Insurance at 513-444-2100 and a home insurance expert can help you get the right coverage for your situation. Or, set up a meeting with Chip at your convenience right here.