Category Archives: Insurance

What The Heck is HO-6 Condo Insurance?

You might have HOA insurance coverage when buying a condo, but you have to purchase your own “walls-in” coverage during escrow.

Lenders require what’s known as HO-6 insurance. Otherwise known as hazard or individual unit coverage, HO-6 insurance provides personal property and liability coverage for whatever happens within your unit’s walls. Continue Reading

Should You Buy Earthquake Insurance?

That’s one of the top questions home buyers ask me on a regular basis.

Only about 12-15% of California homeowners have earthquake insurance, and I believe that ratio drops further in The Bay Area and San Francisco. This is because earthquake insurance is very expensive. In a condo building, it will double your homeowners association dues (HOAs). Additionally, most policies come with a 10-15% deductible. This means the damage to the building would have to be pretty severe in order for you to use your coverage. Continue Reading

New Law Requires Fidelity Bond Insurance for All HOAs

A new law took effect in 2019 that requires all homeowners associations (HOAs) to carry what’s called Fidelity Bond insurance. This policy basically protects the HOA from actions taken by board directors and officers, such as transferring money in and out of HOA accounts.

Most large HOAs already have Fidelity Bond insurance in place, but this new law extends to small HOAs in two- to four-unit buildings. The good news, says Roger Larson of TWFG Larson Family Insurance Brokers, is that the Fidelity Bond limit of insurance required is based on the size of the HOA. So smaller HOAs only have to purchase and maintain coverage that’s at least equal to the combined amount of reserves in the HOA account and total assessments for three months.  Continue Reading

Make Sure You Have Enough Dwelling Insurance Coverage

The catastrophic wildfires last year were an unfortunate reminder of how important it is to carry sufficient dwelling insurance on your home. Many homeowners didn’t have sufficient insurance coverage to cover rebuilding costs. In fact, more than half of homes across the United States are underinsured by 21%. I’d like to make sure my readers aren’t among those in that category.

Your dwelling insurance is the centerpiece of your policy. The coverage amount represents how much it would cost to rebuild your home. In San Francisco—and probably The Bay Area in general—we’re looking at $500 per square foot in average construction costs. So a 1,500-square foot single-family home should technically have a total of $750,000 in dwelling coverage. Continue Reading

Earthquake Brace + Bolt Program Helps Owners Reduce Retrofit Costs

If you’re a homeowner thinking about doing a seismic upgrade on your property, you may be eligible for a $3,000 grant to offset costs—and be able to significantly lower your earthquake insurance cost.

The California Earthquake Authority (CEA) is currently promoting its Earthquake Brace + Bolt program, which reimburses qualified homeowners for up to $3,000 if they complete a building code-compliant seismic retrofit. Seismic retrofits reduce risk for older homes, and the work takes only one or two days to complete. Cost typically runs from $3,000-$6,000. Continue Reading

Here’s Your Home Insurance Primer

When you’re buying a house in San Francisco, there’s a lot going on. One of the key escrow activities is nailing down your insurance policy and provider. So it’s important to know what you’ll be looking for in terms of coverage level and annual cost.

Here are the main items for comparison that should be standard in your home insurance coverage: Continue Reading

Buy the Right Insurance for Short-Term Rentals

The legalities are a work in progress when it comes to short-term rentals in San Francisco. But if you’re leasing any part of your property for fewer than 30 days via a site like airbnb, it’s critical to have sufficient insurance.

Though Airbnb guarantees up to $1M for property damage, there’s no coverage for an extremely important item—personal liability. If a guest is injured on your property, you’re on your own.

What you need to have in place is a vacation rental policy, which includes coverage called “personal injury,” says Roger Larson of Larson Insurance Brokers/TWFG Insurance Services. This protects you if a short-term tenant is injured during his or her stay. Larson says that many property owners assume they’ll be covered for personal liability on their existing policy. But liability on a primary home policy doesn’t cover any type of rental exposure. Continue Reading

10 Reasons Why You Should Buy Title Insurance

One of the most expensive items on your home purchase closing statement is title insurance. If you’re getting a loan, the lender will require a policy on the loan. But you may not be required to purchase a homeowner’s policy. Should you skip it?

In a word, no. The owner’s title policy will protect you against future claims against the property. Though the title company does a search through public records prior to the closing, unexpected things can pop up. Without title insurance, you’re flying without a net. Continue Reading

Contact Eileen for Real Estate Help

Eileen Bermingham

Corcoran Global Living

415.823.4656

eileen@insidesfre.com

DRE# 01352627

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