A lot goes into purchasing a home. It’s not just time and money. There are emotions and expectations involved. For some, buying their first home means fulfilling a dream. For others, it comes with the anticipation of wonderful memories ahead. And for others who are into real property investing, it is a means to build wealth. Purchasing a home is a statement about one’s achievements; and at the same time, a reflection of one’s personality and lifestyle.
And when you know that your home’s value is higher than average, you wouldn’t want to go with an ‘average’ homeowners insurance. You’d want the best there is, because you’d also want to make sure that you don’t only get the protection and peace of mind every homeowner deserves, but also the excellent service that goes with choosing to have a high-value home insurance company take care of your needs. After all, you deserve nothing less. So, let’s talk about what high-value home insurance is about, who it is for, and who insures high-value homes.
What Is High-value Home Insurance?
High-value home insurance provides more comprehensive coverage for homes that have higher-than-average values--and this includes houses, high-value condos, and rental homes. Having a high-value home coverage also means more extensive coverage for personal property and additional structure. Because companies that offer this type of insurance understand the specialized needs of their clients, it can be expected that before and after-sales service would be more personalized and of higher standards.
Who Needs High-value Home Insurance--when Should You Consider Getting One?
- When you have a home that is considered heritage or one that has features that are no longer common in modern-day construction or architecture, your home will most likely have increased value.
- When your home has expensive landscaping, has additional structures, or attractive nuisances. Attractive nuisances are the features that present a higher risk for claims. Examples are having swimming pools or basketball courts on your property. Although these are amenities that provide fun and leisure to your family and friends, remember that the homeowner could be found liable for any injury that occurs on the property.
- When you have very expensive or priceless items in your home, such as antiques, expensive furniture, fixtures, and the like; not to mention very expensive paintings, priceless jewelry, and wine collections.
- When your lifestyle demands a more personalized service from your insurance provider.
Although similar in many ways to the standard homeowners insurance as we know it, high-value home insurance provides something more to its policyholders in terms of some unique privileges and benefits.
What Are The Benefits Of Having High-value Home Insurance?
- Personalized claims service - Any event that warrants a claim could mean trauma for you and your family. At the very least, having to make a claim can be time consuming and inconvenient. Having high-value home insurance takes the burden of having to worry about your claim off your shoulders. You can expect very quick responses and extended services such as getting help with finding you the “right” temporary home during repairs.
- More extensive coverage for expensive personal property - When you have jewelry, fine art, wine collections, and other special items in your possession that are considered to be priceless, you would need coverage with higher-than-usual limits. If you’ve shopped around for any type of insurance before, you’ll know that one drawback of lower policy prices is the limited coverage--and limited coverage means limited protection. If you have a collection of paintings worth at least $300,000, then it wouldn’t make much sense to get a policy with limits that aren’t even remotely close to this amount.
- Combined single limits - Normally, insurance policies would have subsections for coverage. For instance, coverage for personal property will have its own limit, and coverage for loss of use will have a separate limit. Imagine having a limit for repairs set at $300,000 and a limit for personal property of $60,000. If your kitchen sustains substantial damage from fire and repairs will cost $350,000, having split limits will mean that you would have to shoulder the extra $50,000 in repairs--even if your personal property claim only amounts to $10,000. When you have a combined limit, you can use your coverage however you like.
- Identity theft coverage - They say that the more money you have, the bigger or more complicated your problems get. And one of these would be identity theft, as this could include fraudulent transactions involving your assets.
- The option to get cash instead of having your home rebuilt when there is extensive damage - It is always good to know that if anything happens to your home, and you no longer feel safe living in the same area, you have the option to request for cash instead of having your home rebuilt.
- Unlimited loss of use coverage - When you want to make sure that in the event you need to make a claim and also won’t be able to use your home (i.e., it needs to be repaired or reconstructed), you would have access to unlimited loss of use coverage--and the magic word there is “unlimited.”
- More extensive coverage in terms of repair or property replacement - Whereas a standard homeowners insurance does not require the insurance company to replace partially damaged areas of your home or to replace an entire collection when only a part of it is missing, the same isn’t true for high-value home insurance. If, for example, half your kitchen is damaged by fire, your coverage will include replacement of the entire kitchen and not just the damaged portion. A standard policy, on the other hand, will leave you having to shoulder the reconstruction or renovation of the other half if you want everything in the kitchen to match perfectly (which you’d surely want).
- Complementary services such as assistance in preventing loss or damage from wildfires, 24/7 emergency services, assistance in detecting moisture or fire hazards, and referrals to pre-qualified contractors/service providers.
Which Companies Provide High-value Home Insurance?
Not every insurance company offers high-value home insurance, and understandably so. High-value homes can cost millions, and it’s not enough to have cash flow that covers just one to two claims at a time. So, you can imagine how much funds should always be available because it is not just about settling the claim, but also about being able to send the client a check within 24 to 48 hours. So, here are the top 4 insurance companies for high-value, upscale residential homes. Let’s see what kind of protection and services each one can offer.
Nationwide Private Client
Nationwide has been providing their services since 1926 and has been given an A+ rating from A.M. Best, an A1 rating by Moody’s, and an A+ rating from S&P.
Here are a few things that Nationwide Private Client promises you:
- Customized products to suit your needs and your lifestyle.
- Efficient service that not only meets your needs, but saves you time.
- An assigned claims professional from the Private Client team who will provide hands-on support throughout your entire claims process to ensure an exceptional experience.
- Access to a risk solutions team that provides proactive advice to prevent loss and minimize risks.
Taking up home insurance with Nationwide means you will have a comprehensive and customizable policy that offers unique coverages to protect you and your family, your home, and your lifestyle.
Below are some of the exceptional benefits you can expect from a Nationwide Private Client high-value home insurance:
- Temporary arrangements - should you go through a covered loss, and it will be necessary to permanently relocate or find a temporary place while you wait for your home to be brought back to a habitable condition, you will be covered for the increased living expenses needed to maintain the usual standard of living of your household.
- Replacement cost - the cost to replace your home “to its original specifications” will be covered even if the cost might exceed the policy limit.
- Replacement cash-out option - you will be paid up to the limit of your home and personal property’s coverage in the event of a total loss.
- Accidental breakage - they offer special limits of $50,000 to cover damage or breakage of fragile items in your home such as sculpture, figurines, statuary, mirrors, china, glassware, crystal, wine bottles, and other similar items.
- Identity theft assistance - your coverage will include identity theft assistance benefits to assist you in properly protecting your identity and reputation.
- Equipment breakdown - depending on the terms of your policy, the cost to replace or repair damaged household systems or appliances may be covered.
- Claims promise - Nationwide Private Client promises to quickly assign a “highly skilled, caring, and responsive professional” in the event of a loss so that you have the proper assistance throughout the whole process.
Through their website, you can find an agent, pay your bill, and even start a claim. The website also gives you access to a wealth of resources in regards to loss prevention tips. In addition to homeowners insurance, Nationwide Private Client also offers automobile insurance, personal collections insurance, and excess liability insurance.
PURE — Privilege Underwriters Reciprocal Exchange
PURE has been in business since 2006, with its President and CEO previously affiliated with The Chubb Group and AIG Private Client Group. The company takes pride in its “member-owned model” where there is an “alignment of interests” among its stakeholders. And as part of their “commitment to transparency”, an annual report is issued to its membership each year, where they share their “Pricing Principles” to show they set rates.
Pure has continued to innovate to present solutions to its high net worth members, finding ways to reduce their risk of claims. Indeed, prevention is better than cure. It has also been given a rating of A by A.M. Best, and was named “Best High Net Worth Insurance Company” at the 2019 Private Asset Management.
Some of the features of their homeowners insurance are as follows:
- Rebuild, replace, or choose cash settlement - in the event of total loss, you can opt to rebuild your home, or simply receive a cash settlement.
- Guaranteed replacement cost - should you choose to have your home rebuilt, you are guaranteed that this will be done in likeness to your home’s design and quality before it was destroyed, and this will be done regardless if the actual cost to do so exceeds your coverage limits. This feature, however, may not be available in all states.
- Jewelry protection - your homeowners insurance will include coverage of up to $50,000 for stolen or lost jewelry, with a limit of $25,000 for any single item.
- Sewer and drain backups coverage - when sewers back up, it can cause toilets or drains to overflow. The coverage includes payment for services required to clean up the damage and for the rebuilding or replacement of damaged property.
- Comprehensive risk prevention - PURE believes in the importance of risk prevention as this not only helps its members avoid the inconvenience of having to go through a claim. More importantly, minimizing risks means preventing losses and adding protection for the safety of your family and your belongings. The lower the risks, the more protection you and your family will have, and the more peace of mind there is for everyone. To do this, PURE has risk managers who give advice on how to make your home a safer place for you, your family, and your friends. PURE also has services available to help you implement those recommendations.
AIG Private Client Group
Established in 1999, AIG Private Client Group focuses on providing solutions to property and casualty insurance needs of high net worth individuals and families. AIG Private Client Group falls under the century-old umbrella of American International Group, Inc., a global organization providing insurance solutions and financial services in more than 80 countries. AIG has financial strength ratings of A from A.M Best and A+ from S&P as of 2019.
So, what does AIG Private Client Group have to offer in terms of high-value home insurance? Here are some of the features of a policy designed for high-value homes:
- Coverage to include homes outside of the United States.
- Coverage for items damaged by pets, breakage of fragile items such as china and crystal, and landscaping.
- Coverage customized to address your needs regardless of where your home is.
- Customized policy limits that address your needs according to your lifestyle.
- Repair or replacement (with new items) of covered personal property without deduction of depreciation.
- Availability of funds for additional living expenses in the event you would not be able to inhabit your home due to loss or damage.
- Rebuilding your home, whenever possible, to match its design and quality before the damage or loss--regardless of policy limits.
- The option to have your claims settled in cash without the obligation to repair/rebuild the property or replace lost items.
AIG Private Client Group also promises its clients that a claims specialist will be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week; and you will be contacted within an hour in case of an immediate crisis. And because they understand that some of your personal property has sentimental value, in the event an item is stolen or lost, attempts to recover the item will continue even after you have received a settlement.
CHUBB is a global company with a history that dates back to 1792. Since then, the company has continually grown and currently has presence in more than 50 countries, providing commercial and personal property insurance, as well as casualty insurance, among others. Backed by assets worth more than $174 billion, it has financial strength ratings of A++ from A.M. Best and AA from S&P.
The following are some of the features of high-value home insurance from CHUBB:
- Extended replacement cost feature where coverage will be extended even beyond policy limits should you need to rebuild your home after a loss.
- The option to get cash up to the policy limit in case you would not wish to rebuild your home after a loss.
- Assistance in finding a temporary place to stay while your home is being rebuilt or restored, with coverage for additional living expenses.
- Personal property can be insured for the amount it costs to replace them without considering depreciation and up to your policy limit.
- Damage due to water backup from interior sewer and drainage are covered up to your policy limit.Dependable claims service where you can expect to be contacted within 24 hours of loss or damage report--with payments issued within 48 hours of settlement.
- Emergency services available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
- Complimentary services that include referrals to pre-qualified service providers, wildfire defense and hurricane damage assessment, and detection of moisture and fire hazards.
Tips On Choosing The Right Company And Policy:
Ask questions and never assume - When it comes to buying insurance, there is no such thing as having “too many questions”; it is your right to ask and know the nitty-gritty details about your home insurance.
Compare policies - A wise buyer will always shop around and check options before making a purchase. Make sure you are clear about your coverage, policy limits and deductibles, and any complimentary service they provide.
Make sure you understand the claims process right from the start - Be clear about what you need to do and what information you would need to provide should you ever have to make a claim.
Check for discounts on bundles - Ask your agent about their other products and see if combining your homeowners insurance with another product you might need will mean savings and more convenient for you. But, never assume that having the lowest rate for home insurance will mean that the same company will automatically have the lowest rate of all the other products (i.e., auto insurance).
Don’t just rely on what a friend or colleague tells you about features and benefits - Coverage and services may differ, depending on where your property is located.
There is no doubt that each of the abovementioned insurance companies deliver their promises. And surely, with financial strength ratings the equivalent of “excellent”, you can have the peace of mind that these companies are financially stable and have the capability to payout claims. What’s important is that you practice due diligence in your research in terms of pricing and coverage, and you go with the company you feel best understands your needs.
Got any questions lingering in your mind regarding your current policy? Does it really cover everything? Call us today at 1-877-658-2472 and we'll be more than happy to provide a free policy review.