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Home Insurance

• The 17 Perils
• Actual Cash Value vs. Replacement Cost
• Understanding Deductibles
• Documentation of Valuables
• Expanding Coverage
• Floaters for the Finer Things
• Flood Insurance
• Insuring a Home
• Liability Coverage
• The Basics of Homeowners Insurance
• Cover Yourself with an Umbrella Liability Policy
• Insuring a Condominium
• Special Circumstances: Property Under Construction and Rental Property
• Renters Insurance
Auto Insurance

• On the Move: Insurance Protection for Your Automobile and Other Vehicles
• Auto Insurance Basics: Liability, Collision, Comprehensive
• Additional and Optional Coverages
• Who's At Fault?
• Premiums and Discounts: Factors that Affect Your Rate
• What To Do After an Accident
• Getting Your Car Back
• Using Your Personal Car for Business
• Risky Drivers
• Adding a Teen or College-bound Driver
• Motorcycle Insurance
• Watch the Hull: Insurance for Boats and Other Watercraft
• Specialty Policies Insure Fun
• Aviation Insurance
Risk Management

• Term Life Insurance
• Whole Life Insurance
• Universal Life Insurance
• Variable Life Insurance
• Auto Insurance
• Insurance Claims
• Maximizing Insurance Benefits
• Protecting Your Home
• Assessing Disability Insurance
• Types of Health Care
• Additional Liability Coverage
• HMOs and PPOs
• Evaluating Insurance Companies
• Long-Term-Care Costs
• Medicare Coverage

Special Circumstances: Property Under Construction and Rental Property

You probably know that a homeowner's policy is essential. But you might also own other types of property with special coverage needs. If you are in the process of building a new home, or if you own a rental property, you should think about safeguarding your investment.

Building a Home

Property owners can face significant financial losses if a new home is damaged or destroyed before it is completed. One way to protect an unfinished home is to purchase a standard homeowner's policy that covers damage to the structure, theft of building materials, and liability - for injuries to people visiting or even trespassing on your property. Any contractors should have their own insurance for their workers. You would need to reevaluate the policy once the home was completed to make sure you have adequate coverage amounts.

A "dwelling and fire" policy is another option. These policies cover damage to the physical structure and some liability, but don't provide coverage for theft. If you still live in your previous home, the homeowner's policy you already have may provide coverage for theft at the construction site. Some companies offer specific "builder's risk" policies that cover both the structure and theft on the building site, but not liability. However, liability coverage under a current homeowner's or renter's policy can often be extended to cover the construction site.

Rental Property

Rental property owners also have a unique situation to consider. In many cases they will want to cover their property for damage and have plenty of liability protection. Unless the property is rented out with furnishings, theft insurance is probably not necessary. Some companies will provide basic hazard or "fire" insurance that does not cover theft. You may be able to add endorsements to your own homeowner's policy that extend liability coverage to rental properties. Other companies offer specific "landlords" packages that are designed for one- to four-family rental property. Some mortgage lenders require insurance for rentals that includes a "rent-loss" provision. If a rental is damaged and unlivable, the insurer reimburses the owner for rent that is lost while repairs are being made to the property.

Variations in the names and details of these policies can make it confusing and difficult to compare policies against each other. When shopping for a policy, it's a good idea to carefully consider the specific kinds of coverage you need - in conjunction with what you already have for your own residence.

© 2003 Emerald Publications

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