Lallis and Higgins Blog

Understanding Water Damage Coverage

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, March 12, 2019
Lallis & Higgins Insurance, Weymouth, Quincy, MA

When you think of water seeping into your home, the first thing you think of is probably a flood. But there are many more common causes of water backup, and they can get just as costly.

In fact, on average, water backup claims are the third most costly types of home insurance claims, after fires and liability claims. Additionally, basic home coverage doesn't always cover these types of incidents. For starters, having coverage against flood damage involves purchasing coverage from a federal flood insurance program. But, more common water damage incidents often involve specialized coverage, too.

Water, water everywhere

First, let's talk about water damage itself. This most commonly occurs when a drain, a sewer or a gutter backs up, or a pump fails, forcing water into your home. This could stem from a heavy rain, debris causing a clog, or even root invasion from your yard outside. The resulting water damage from such an occurrence is mostly likely to take place in a basement (roughly two-thirds of water backup events do), so one thing to consider right away is whether or not you have valuables stored there. If so, you have an increased risk of a costly insurance claim, especially if you happen to have a finished basement. In fact, claims involving finished basements are, on average, 65 percent more costly those in unfinished basements.

However, water backup isn't confined just to basements. Considering that your house is surrounded by water circulating through pipes and drains, this damage can occur on any floor. Thus, it's important to have some level of water backup coverage on your home. Your independent agent can help you assess your risks and determine the amount that's right for you.

Call for backup

Because water backup can vary in size and severity, good water backup coverage should be flexible and affordable. The Hanover offers both, with amounts ranging from $5,000 in coverage, all the way up to the replacement cost of your home (depending on which state you live in).

Getting dry

If you do suffer a water backup incident, some simple steps can help minimize the damage.

  • Remove any standing water as soon as possible. This will help stem any potential structural damage to your home.
  • Dry anything that has absorbed the water – especially carpets and rugs – to prevent mold growth.
  • Hire a water mitigation vendor in your area to professionally treat the damage promptly. Your independent insurance agent can help you find someone if needed.

Then, contact Lallis & Higgins Insurance to make sure you have the right level of coverage in place.


Water Damage: Make Sure Your Home is Protected

Joseph Coupal - Wednesday, March 06, 2019

Water damage by the numbers infographic

Water damage is one of the most common causes of homeowners losses, causing billions of dollars of damage to homes each year. Make sure you’re home is protected with the right homeowners insurance policy and a water backup endorsement.

Tip: in the event of water damage, contact the Hanover claims team for referral to a service contractor who can begin water cleanup and drying work.

Lallis & Higgins Insurance, Quincy, Weymouth, MA

Contact Lallis & Higgins Insurance for more information.


I’m borrowing my friend’s car … am I covered?

Joseph Coupal - Friday, March 01, 2019
Lallis & Higgins Insurance, Quincy, Weymouth, MA

Most people have an idea of what’s covered and not covered under their various insurance policies. But at Lallis & HIggins Insurance we get a lot of questions about borrowing or loaning a car.

You might be looking to borrow your neighbor’s truck for a home-improvement project or a trip to the local landfill, we thought it was a great time to provide a little more information.

Generally, auto insurance coverage follows the vehicle rather than the driver. So in most instances, as long as the owner of the car has insurance, it’s covered even if someone other than the owner is driving it — as long as they have the owner’s permission.

The borrower’s insurance is considered secondary, meaning that in the event of an accident, it could apply if the owner’s insurance is insufficient to fully cover the damage.

It’s important to note that there are some exceptions to what is called “permissive use” coverage. For example, permission must be given by the owner, unless the borrower has a reasonable belief that they are allowed to use the car. However, the borrower cannot give permission to someone else. So if your teenager allows one of his or her friends to drive your car to {local destination}, your coverage likely won’t apply.

Coverage might also be denied if the borrower operates the vehicle in a negligent or criminal manner. And if the borrower is using your car for business purposes, your personal auto policy likely won’t cover that.

If you have a regular long-term arrangement to either borrow or lend a car, the borrower should probably be added to the owner’s personal auto policy. Those who don’t own a car, but often borrow one, might also consider “named non-owner coverage,” an endorsement that provides bodily injury and property damage liability, uninsured motorists coverage and more.

Ultimately, it’s usually safe to loan your friend your car for occasional errands or projects. And the same goes for borrowing a car. Just make sure it’s for “normal” use. You’ll want to confirm that the car has coverage and that your insurance, whether you’re the owner or borrower, will apply.

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions — after all, you don’t want to wait until after an accident to get answers!

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