Recently, a friend asked me to comment on “IPad Insurance” that he’d seen provided by an online entity. It appeared to be a “stand alone” policy for the device that included several perils.
For non-insurance folks, a peril is just the “thing” that is responsible for the loss…the hurricane, the fire, the airplane falling from the sky. You get it.
As with any policy, I would urge a close look at the actual document, not just the marketing materials in a paper brochure or a web page. If that can be obtained, it will often clarify more things, especially any “limitations and/or exclusions” that might exist.
Many of the perils listed are actually included on a regular homeowner’s policy. Policies do vary. My best carrier actually has three different versions, so it’s important to know the specifics of your policy. In some situations, you may be purchasing duplicate coverage for something you already have covered!
However, one big difference is in the deductible. On a regular homeowner’s, the deductible you’ve chosen would apply to the loss. For some “stand alone” policies, a smaller deductible may be available.
Another difference involves actually having a claim. If the loss is paid on the “stand alone” policy, you may avoid activity on your homeowner’s policy, should you have a claim. Depending on the carrier, the policy type, the slant of the moon on any particular day, this could be a worthwhile option.
It’s also important to “know” the carrier and agent involved in insuring your stuff. Do they have local claims staff? Are they financially strong and able to pay claims? Are they “reference” worthy?
Additionally, some folks choose to “self insure” on certain items. That simply means that you are willing to absorb the loss on that item yourself, you are not asking to insure it for reimbursement by another. Think of the times when you’ve bought an electronic device at your favorite Office Superstore…did you buy the warranty/insurance program or did you decide you’d just “bear it” should there be a problem? From a personal perspective, for items under $500, I’ve declined and smiled. And hoped for the best. Don’t forget the hoping part. Very important. :)
My best advice is to review your current coverage with your existing agent to determine what you may already have. And, discuss whether the additional premium is worth the potential benefit of having a smaller deductible and/or a “claims free” history on your regular homeowner’s policy. Then, if you go forward with a “stand alone” policy, ask to examine it before you buy. Read it carefully. Focus on the sections about Limitations and Exclusions.
Thanks, Patrick. You inspired this blog entry, simply because I couldn’t answer you adequately in 140 characters! But I will embed this post into a Tiny Tweet, just for you and @MadOx75.
Further questions, find us at www.hosfeldinsurance.com or 610-530-0304.