Insurance laws may change widely from state to state, different allocate of property require specialized coverage, and collections of art, antique cars, and other unique items may be difficult to protect fully
Getting adequate property and casualty insurance coverage may not be on your list of financial priorities. Compared to investment decisions and real estate planning issues, questions about formulating your homeowner’s policy, for example, are not worth considering. However, the more successful you are, the more complex your asset protection needs, and the more you have to lose. For example, suppose that in addition to your main residence, a historic house, you also have a beach house and a city apartment. Properties are in three different states. The value of his collection of abstract expressionist paintings is growing rapidly. And he just volunteered to be a member of the board of directors of a charity.
Almost all aspects of this situation can be expensive. Insurance laws can vary widely from state to state, different types of property require special coverage, and collections of art, vintage cars, and other unique items can be difficult to fully protect. However, serving on the board of a non-profit organization can carry additional personal responsibility.
Additional insurance may be required to keep you and your family safe, but additional insurance is not necessarily the solution. Rather, it is important to look at all of your needs, consider special policies or policy options, and align your insurance coverage with other aspects of your financial situation. Here are 6 different downsides that can get expensive.
1. Leaving gaps in homeowners’ insurance.
Any homeowner should review coverage regularly to keep up with rising replacement costs. But ensuring different types of houses in different regions creates additional problems. If you buy insurance from more than one company, you may face opposite rules, restrictions, and renewal dates. For example, the policy liability limit for a second home may fall below the minimum for an excess liability policy designed to supplement your primary home insurance coverage. You may be responsible for the difference.
2. Ignore the unique characteristics of properties.
One of the benefits of wealth is the ability to own exceptional homes; One drawback is that it can be difficult to secure them properly. Standard homeowners insurance does not cover the materials and labor required to restore this carefully restored 19th-century building. Coastal homes can be affected by a hurricane and places in California’s mountains can be prone to earthquakes or wildfires. Meanwhile, urban cooperatives or condominiums may need policies designed to cover their buildings or associations.
3. By insuring works of art and collectibles.
Standard homeowner’s policies limit insurance coverage for the loss of antiques, furs, and other valuables. And while you can plan for additional coverage, insuring the true value of a collection of modern art or vintage sports cars will likely require a dedicated policy that addresses several critical issues. How is the value of the collection determined? ? (When developing a policy, you’ll need professional judgment, with frequent updates as items are evaluated.) Will the damaged or destroyed item be paid for in cash or will you need to replace or repair it? Will automatic completion of your collection be covered?
4. Forgetting to insure domestic workers.
When someone works for you or your family as a babysitter, landscaper, personal assistant, or another role, you may be liable for medical expenses and lost wages if the employee is injured on the job. Some states require local employers to contribute to the workers’ compensation fund, while other states do not, but such insurance may be required to ensure their financial well-being. If an employee drives your car, make sure it’s included in your policy as well.
5. Neglecting your responsibility as a member of the board.
Excess liability insurance can help protect you if you are sued as a director of the board of a nonprofit organization. Or, for more comprehensive protection, you may want to consider executive and officer liability insurance.
6.Lack of frequent reviews and policy updates.
Your financial life is not static, and neither are your insurance needs. The cost of collection may increase; Major home renovations can dramatically increase the value of your property; and a change in ownership of assets as part of your estate plan, or due to divorce, family death, or childbirth, may require a policy change. Even in the absence of major events, you will likely need a full review of all your insurance coverage at least every two ye