Real Estate

Homeowner Insurance Policy and Home Warranty

如果你買房是付現金, 你就不需要買Homeowner Insurance (屋主保險保單), 因為這是貸款公司, 為了保障他們借給你的錢, 所做的要求. 不過貸款公司的最低要求, 也不過是保一個Hazard Insurance, 只是多數的屋主都會加買, 來保護他們最貴的資產和避免可能的風險, 畢竟, 這就是保險的功能啊.

Homeowner Policy 包含二大類: Property (房屋相關) Coverage and Liability (責任相關) Coverage.

[1] Property (房屋相關) Coverage 的理賠項目包括下面幾類,

  • dwelling (主要房屋),
  • attached structures (增建部分或與主屋相連的車庫),
  • detached structures (主屋不相連的車庫, 倉庫, 圍牆, 加建房),
  • personal property (傢俱, 家電, 衣服鞋子, 珠寶, 運動器材等等個人財物), and
  • loss of use of the dwelling (房屋因故暫時無法居住而需要外宿).

Policy coverage for property insurance is written to cover either the Replacement Values or Actual Cash Value of the building.

  • Replacement Values (重建價值) – for the amount it will cost to rebuild or replace lost or damage property with new property of like kind and quality in the local market. 以當時物價蓋一棟類似規模和品質的房子所需要的費用來計算.
  • Actual Cash Value (實質現金價值) – at the depreciated value of the loss which means the amount paid is equal to today’s cost to replace the structure minus depreciation. 以當時實價扣掉折舊貶值的價值.

Trees, plants, and shrubs are also covered besides when demanded by wind or disease.  樹木, 植物和灌木也都理賠, 除了是因風或疾病造成的損失.

[2] Liability (責任相關) Coverage 的理賠項目包括下面幾類,

  • Personal Liability Coverage (個人責任保險): it covers the homeowner’s legal liability for loss or damage to real and personal property of others as the result of his or her negligent act or omissions.  It may also cover injuries or damages done by a member of the family or pets. The loss or damage must be caused by a covered peril (including loss of use).  The homeowner may be held responsible for the damages caused.  Most homeowner’s policy provide a minimum of $100,000 in personal liability coverage. If more protection is needed, a personal liability umbrella policy can be purchased as well.  如果有第三者在你家因故受傷或個人財物受損, 都可理賠, 多數的屋主的保險提供基本十萬塊的賠償金額, 如果需要更高的金額, 可以加保.
  • No-Fault Medical Coverage (Medical Payments to Others) 無過失醫療保險: The homeowners policy provides for the payment of reasonable medical expenses for people who are accidentally injured on the property regardless whether the homeowner is legally responsible  However, it doesn’t cover the people who lives there so it’s not a substitute for health insurance. 第三者在你家因故受傷的合理醫療費用都有給付, 不論是不是你造成的, 但不給付住在屋子裡的人, 所以這不是替代醫療保險的方式.

哪些情況發生會理賠? 哪些情況則不理賠呢?

“Peril” is a cause of loss.  An insurance policy uses the term “peril” to explain what risks the insurance contract will cover or exclude.

通常會理賠的情況如下,

  • Fire 火災
  • Lighting 打雷閃電
  • Smoke damage 煙霧
  • Windstorm or hail 刮大風或下冰雹
  • Explosion 爆炸
  • Breakage of glass 玻璃破碎
  • Falling objects 東西墜落
  • Theft, vandalism, and malicious mischief 竊盜, 破壞行為和惡意的惡作劇
  • Damage from or within vehicles 汽車造成的損失
  • Aircraft 飛行器
  • Sudden & accidental water damage (exclude water backup, foundation or slow leaks) 突然和意外的水損失,, 但不包括因堵塞造成的水位回升, 或緩慢的漏水
  • Weight of ice, snow, sleet 冰, 雪, 雨夾雪的重量
  • Riot or civil commotion 騷亂或內亂
  • Volcanic eruption 火山爆發

不理賠的情況如下,

  • Mold 霉
  • Flood 淹水
  • Water damage cause by seepage or leaks 因水滲漏引起的損失
  • Neglect, wear and tear, or maintenance 忽視, 磨損或維護
  • Termites, insects, rats or mice 白蟻, 昆蟲或老鼠
  • Tidal wave 海嘯
  • Losses to house vacant for 60 days or more 房屋空置六十天以上所造成的損失
  • Insurrection, war or nuclear hazard 叛亂, 戰爭或核災
  • Earthquake or earth movement 地震

Endorsements (背書): is a rider attached to a lender’s or an owner’s policy to expand or limit the policy coverage. 是附加在解款銀行或屋主保單上, 以加大或縮小保單的承保範圍.

  • Inflation Guard Endorsement (通貨膨脹)
  • Building Code Upgrade Endorsement 建築代碼升級
  • Water Damage (to include water backup, foundation or slow leaks)  包括因堵塞造成的水位回升, 或緩慢的漏水的損失
  • Flood Insurance* (註一)  (水災險) – covers structural damage, damage to furnace, water heater, and AC; flood debris clean up and the replacement of floor surfaces.
  • Earthquake Insurance (地震險) – usually doesn’t not cover anything that the homeowners policy already covers.

Home Warranty is NOT an insurance policy.  It’s a contract between a homeowner and a home warranty company that provides repairs and replacement services for things like plumbing, heating, electrical systems, and malfunctions of major appliances 房屋保固不是一個保險單. 它是一個屋主和房屋保固公司之間 提供有關排水管線, 暖氣, 電線系統和主要電器故障的維修合約.

 

註一: 2017年8月25日德州歷經颱風哈維 (Hurricane Harvey) 嚴重淹水所造成的損失慘重, 70%的住家因為沒有洪災險而無法得到保險理賠.

 

 

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