Serving the Penn-Ohio area
Homeowner's insurance policy covers your house, the garage and other structures, as well as your personal possessions such as furniture, appliances and clothing, against a wide variety of perils including fire, windstorm, bursting of pipes and theft. The extent of the perils covered depends on the type of policy, with an “all-risk” policy offering the broadest coverage. Reimbursement is usually on a replacement cost basis, though a depreciated value settlement is also available. The policy also covers Additional Living Expenses to reimburse you for extra costs if you would have to live elsewhere while your house is being repaired.
The liability portion of a Homeowner's covers against injury or property damage, a third party alleges is caused by your negligence — such as a slip and fall at your house, an injury during a hunting accident, or a bite caused by your dog. The costs of legal defense are provided in addition to the limit for legal damages assessed against you.
Homeowner's insurance is available to renters as well, usually at a modest premium. This provides the same type of coverage as if you owned the home, except, of course, with no coverage on the structure. Renters often neglect to purchase Homeowner's Insurance, with some under the mistaken impression that they are covered by the landlord’s insurance.
If you live in a condominium, your Homeowner's policy would add in an amount for the building items the association agreement makes you — as a unit-owner — responsible for.
Mehler Insurance's salaried staff are all licensed agents and have decades of experience.
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Additional coverage may be needed, depending on your circumstances. Among those more frequently encountered are:
1. Under a Homeowners policy, certain types of property— notably jewelry, furs, guns and silverware—are subject to special limits for theft. We can help you assess the best way to insure such items. Other property, such as collectibles or fine arts, may not be subject to any special limitations, but may still need broader coverage—such as for breakage—than your other household contents. Again, we can help you select an insurance plan that best fits your individual needs.
2. Earthquake: Unless coverage is added by endorsement, all Homeowners policies exclude damage caused by earthquake. Note that an earthquake endorsement is subject to a separate deductible—you may choose either 2%, 5% or 10%. This is a percentage of your dwelling or contents limit (not of the claim) and so can be significantly higher than the deductible applying to other claims. In this part of the country, premiums are generally reasonable. Note that brick homes suffer more damage in an earthquake, and so carry a higher rate than wood-frame homes.
3. Flood Insurance: Flood Insurance is excluded from most property insurance policies. Coverage, underwritten by the Federal Government, is available through our office. For further information, see Do I need flood insurance? under our FAQ page.
4. Mine Subsidence: With the Shenango Valley a center of coal mining in the 19th century, the old mine shafts continue to present the possibility of collapse and subsidence. This type of loss is not covered by any Homeowners’ insurance policy. We do, however, have available a separate Mine Subsidence policy, with coverage underwritten by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. While the extent of the old mine shafts is not fully known, we do have some maps that show approximate areas of mining activity. If you are interested in a quote, let us know. In Ohio, in Trumbull and nearby counties, the coverage is automatically included for nearly all properties, up to $300,000. A nominal charge of $1 appears on your Homeowners policy for this coverage which is underwritten by the State of Ohio.
5. Identity Theft: Developed to respond to recent surges in incidents of identity theft, this coverage consists of two elements. First, in the event of a potential claim, a case manager is provided to assist you in recovering control over your identity, including contact of authorities, credit bureaus, banks and businesses. Reimbursement of expenses to recover your identity are included in the case management service. Second, reimbursement for fraud—whether unauthorized use of a credit card or debit card number, criminal deception, or from an identity theft incident—is included. With a $25,000 limit, this coverage is available for $20 a year endorsed to an Erie or a Millville Homeowners policy.