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What is NH High-Value Homeowner's Insurance?

Written by April Weismann on 07/10/2019 12:00 AM in High Value Home Insurance.

 high end home insurance

If you have a home that has more than the average amount of customization you may want to consider a high-value home insurance policy to ensure your insurance policy meets your expectation.

Why Consider a NH High-Value Home Insurance?

Homeowner's insurance is designed to meet the needs of most homeowners with standard or builder's grade construction standards.  Determining a coverage amount for such homes is done using a standardized software as it assumes materials and labor will not be an issue should a claim occur.  However, if your home contains more than the average amount of customization, built with high-end materials, you will want to select an insurance policy that can respond in kind.  

Beyond the house itself, you may have worked diligently to accumulate items that reflect your personality and style.  Perhaps you have an antiques collection that you have scoured the best antique stores throughout the world collecting, or perhaps a cherished necklace that has been passed down to you.  Without the proper insurance and professional guidance on how to insure such items, you may have a serious gap in coverage.  Many insurance companies simply don't have the expertise to settle such claims. 

What is the Difference Between Standard NH Homeowners Insurance and a NH High-value home insurance policy?

Many insurance companies can offer home insurance coverage upwards of $1 million for the building itself, but just because it can be done does not mean this is the right company for your high-value home.  Here are some additional questions to consider:

  1. Many insurance companies use a computer program to determine the estimated replacement cost of the average home, but is your home considered average with standard construction?
  2. Many insurance companies offer jewelry coverage but are limited by the value of each item.  Do you own jewelry greater than $10,000? 
  3. Many insurance companies offer liability limits, but is it enough to protect all of your assets?

Here is an in-depth look at some of these issues:

Replacement cost coverage

Whether it's a stained-glass window, custom-built cabinetry or geothermal heating, the standard homeowner's insurance company agent may not be asking you the necessary questions to properly calculate your home's true replacement cost.  This calculation is critical because if the building coverage is not properly determined (also known as dwelling coverage) this can lead you to be under-insured and having to pay for much of your customization out-of-pocket. 

This miscalculation can also have a rippling effect as most homeowner policies base the amount of coverage for your personal property and loss-of-use as a percentage of the dwelling coverage.  If the dwelling coverage is low, your personal property coverage will also be too little to replace what you have worked so hard to accumulate.

With a NH high value home policy, the agency typically works closely with you and the insurance company to figure the true replacement cost of your home.  This will often require a personalized inspection done by a professional appraiser sent by the company who understands custom construction costs.

Jewelry and special collection insurance

Every home policy has a coverage limitation for jewelry should it be stolen.  With the average home policy this limit could be as little as $1,000 so it is important to discuss your coverage needs with an agent experienced in working with high net-worth clients.

A high value home policy may offer higher limits or provide coverage options like blanket coverage which can protect the total value of your jewelry collection and not each piece.  It is really going to come down to what matters to you but having a NH high-value home policy provides options that are not available in the standard homeowner's policy.

It is also standard practice for most insurance companies to contract with a jeweler of their choice, not yours.  Every insured is typically entitled to like, kind and quality to the piece scheduled when replacing or repairing it, but that is the extent of the requirement.  Should you have a relationship with a particular jeweler, without high value home insurance, you would most likely be limited to deciding who to work with.

High value home policies can also offer coverage for other precious collections such as fine art, antiques, guns, wine or many other personal property items that are either unique or have exceptional value. There are simply more options available to meet your needs.

Are your Assets Protected with Your Current NH Homeowners Insurance?

Most people realize that homeowner's insurance covers a home as well as its contents, but the other critical coverage is liability protection.  Most homeowner's insurance automatically includes a liability limit of either $300,000 or $500,000.  As the liability coverage should be enough to cover all of your assets in the event of a covered lawsuit, this limit may not be enough.  Your insurance professional should be offering a higher liability limit as well as an excess liability or umbrella policy. 

Umbrella insurance or excess liability policy is usually a separate insurance policy that will supplement personal policies such as auto, home, recreational vehicle and boat insurance for the liability portion.  An umbrella or excess liability policy can provide a higher liability limit than that offered by the other policies and should be written to a limit to protect your assets.

Many standard insurance companies and agencies are not pro-active in offering this coverage if you do not directly ask.  Some insurance companies may not be able to offer umbrella or excess liability limits in excess of $3 million as it is beyond the underwriting guidelines.  When you choose to work with a high value home insurance company and agency, there are more options to meet the asset protection needs of the high value client.

Knowing When to Switch to NH High Value Home Insurance?

When you purchased your first home you had homeowner's insurance to protect it.   Over the years your financial portfolio may have grown along with your home. If you stayed with the same insurance company who covered your first home, you may have out-grown the mass-marketed policy designed for the average consumer.  The very nature of what you now own is not average, so neither should your insurance policy.

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