FAQs about Homeowners Insurance

The Consumer Services Division receives many calls from customers with questions about their homeowners insurance.  We have provided a list of the more frequent questions and the answers below.  If you have a question that is not listed below or need further clarity, please feel free to ask your agent or contact us at 855-408-1212.

If my roof is damaged, does the company have to replace my whole roof?

If my roof is damaged, does the company have to replace my whole roof?

No, the homeowner policy provides coverage for direct physical damage. They only have to replace the damaged area; even if the shingles will not match. (Original shingles may be discontinued.)

What is the difference between a dwelling policy and a homeowners policy?

What is the difference between a dwelling policy and a homeowners policy?

The homeowners policy offers a combination of property and liability coverage. A dwelling policy provides limited property coverage. Dwelling policies may be used to insure a house that does not qualify for homeowners insurance. It may also be used to coverage additional structures (stand alone garages, metal buildings, workshops, etc.) located on your property.

How does depreciation apply under a homeowner policy?

How does depreciation apply under a homeowner policy?

Depreciation is the amount of money needed to fix your home, minus the decrease in value of your property because of age and use. If you have coverage for only the Actual Cash Value (ACV) on your home, you will only receive the depreciated amount. However, if you have Replacement Cost Value (RCV), your insurance company will reimburse you for the repair of your home or replacement of your belongings at today’s cost of the similar or like item.

If my house is destroyed, do I have to rebuild within a certain period of time?

If my house is destroyed, do I have to rebuild within a certain period of time?

You may disregard the replacement cost loss settlement provisions and make a claim under your policy for loss or damage to buildings on an actual cash value basis.  You may then make a claim within 180 days after the loss for any additional reimbursement according to the Loss Settlement Provisions in your homeowner policy. 

My policy has a limit for other buildings and structures, but I do not have any other buildings (garage/shed etc.) on my property. Am I paying for coverage I do not need?

My policy has a limit for other buildings and structures, but I do not have any other buildings (garage/shed etc.) on my property. Am I paying for coverage I do not need?

The homeowner’s policy is a package policy designed to meet the needs of most homeowners. Although it may provide coverage that you do not need, it is less expensive for the company to issue a policy this way than to tailor it to each policyholder’s needs. This results in a policy that provides broader coverage at a lower price.

A tree fell in my yard during a windstorm. My agent said my policy does not cover the cost of removing the tree. Why?

A tree fell in my yard during a windstorm. My agent said my policy does not cover the cost of removing the tree. Why?

The homeowners policy will pay reasonable expense, up to $500 for any one loss, for the removal of trees from your premises provided that the tree has damaged a structure or blocked the driveway.

The company is not renewing my homeowner policy. Can they do that?

The company is not renewing my homeowner policy. Can they do that?

Yes.  Homeowners insurance is not required by NC law. Therefore, insurance companies develop guidelines that help them determine if you qualify for their policy.  These guidelines may vary from company to company.

Can the insurance company change my deductible without me requesting it?

Can the insurance company change my deductible without me requesting it?

Yes. If a company determines that an increase is necessary, the change is usually done at the renewal with notification.

Does my policy cover a flood?

Does my policy cover a flood?

Homeowners policies do not cover flood or rising water damage. Some mobile home policies do include flood coverage. Flood insurance can be purchased through the National Flood Insurance Program.  Contact your agent to assist you with the purchase.

How long does a company have to settle my claim?

How long does a company have to settle my claim?

The insurance company should acknowledge receipt of your claim within 30 days. There is no specific time limit in which the company must settle your claim since each claim is different and the length of time to settle may vary.

During a power outage, food in my freezer and refrigerator spoiled. Will my insurance cover the loss?

During a power outage, food in my freezer and refrigerator spoiled. Will my insurance cover the loss?

Unless you have extra coverage with your homeowners policy, food lost in a power outage/disaster is probably not covered. You may be able to purchase an endorsement to cover food loss. Check with your agent.

If my neighbor’s tree falls and damages my house, whose insurance covers the damage?

If my neighbor’s tree falls and damages my house, whose insurance covers the damage?

Generally, if a tree falls on your home or other structure, your own homeowners policy would cover the damage.

Does my policy cover me if a person is injured on my property?

Does my policy cover me if a person is injured on my property?

Only if you are negligent, causing the injuries.  If you are not negligent, then coverage is available under the medical payments to others coverage provision in the policy. This would cover only incurred medical expenses up to a limited dollar amount. It would not cover payment for pain and suffering, loss time, etc.

If my vehicle is damaged by falling trees or debris, will my homeowner policy cover it?

If my vehicle is damaged by falling trees or debris, will my homeowner policy cover it?

No.  Your auto insurance would cover this kind of damage, if you carrry Other Than Collision (comprehensive) coverage.