At Summit, we have access to a wide array of dwelling products for home, condo, rental properties, and even renovation projects. We write property insurance across the entire state of CT and have multiple marketplaces to find the most competitive rates for whatever your situation is.
Your standard homeowner's policy, also known as an HO3 covers a few key items:
Dwelling coverage - this is the true replacement value of your house if you took your exact house and built it again. Market value does not apply and is not to be confused with replacement cost. When we choose a carrier to quote you through, we obtain the details from your specific home directly from the town assessor office and perform a detailed report to arrive at a value. In addition to whatever the dwelling value is, you can also purchase extended dwelling coverage. This means your policy can cover 25%, 50% or an unlimited amount above your stated dwelling limit.
Other Structures - this covers anything detached from your house, such as garages, sheds, barns, fences, etc. This is usually calculated automatically at 10% of whatever your dwelling amount is.
Personal Property - Anything you can carry in or out of your house is covered here. These items include clothing, personal belongings, furniture, televisions, and other belongings. This is usually calculated between 50% and 70% of your dwelling amount.
Loss of Use - If your house is damaged in a catastrophic event, your policy provides coverage towards living elsewhere while your house is being repaired and rebuilt. Your carrier will reimburse for meal costs and living expenses for hotel stays or renting another space. This is usually calculated at 20% to 30% of your dwelling amount.
Personal Liability - the classic example is someone slipping and falling on your property and then suing you for their injuries. Or perhaps your son drove a baseball through your neighbors window and caused property damage. This is where your liability would come into play to cover bodily injury and property damage out of negligence. Personal injury is also an important coverage that extends for claims against libel and slander.
These are the core coverages of your home policy. However, there are many additional coverages that are usually built in or can be purchased separately as well.
These coverages are not limited to: Water backup coverage / Identity Theft / Refrigerated items / Limited Mold, etc.
Scheduled Personal Property - can be added to a homeowners, condo, or renters policy. Typically you will see the cost per $1,000 of jewelry coverage fall between $11 - $14 dollars. You can also schedule items such as musical equipment, fine art, furs, cameras, and silverware.
A Condominium policy (HO6) is almost exactly the same as your regular homeowner's policy. The biggest difference is that you will not have as much Coverage A (Dwelling) as a normal home. This is due to the fact that your association's policy is insuring the building as it stands.
The purpose of the Coverage A on your individual condo policy is to fill the gap between the deductible that is on your association's policy. In some cases the deductible might be large, for example $50,000 if it is a coastal association. If this was the real deductible you would want to make sure you have at least $50,000 in dwelling coverage.
The other reason you have dwelling coverage on a condo policy is for betterment and improvements you have done to your own unit. If you dumped $30,000 into your condo unit and your association policy doesn't cover those improvements, you will want to protect them on your own policy.
Another important coverage we recommend is Loss Assessment. Let's say your condominium complex has a total of 25 units. Assume there is a tree that crashes through three of the units and causes $150,000 of damage. The association may ask each of the 25 unit owners to help pitch in to cover the deductible on the master policy. We will again assume the association has a $50,000 deductible. They can assess for each owner to pay a portion of the loss; $2,000. Loss Assessment coverage would pick up this charge.
Just like a standard home policy, you can get coverage for your personal property, loss of use, liability, and scheduled items if you have them.
A renter's policy (HO4) is what you would purchase if you are occupying someone else's house, apartment, or condo. There is no dwelling coverage on this type of policy. The main items you are covering are your own personal property, loss of use, and liability.
Liability is the key factor here. If you rent a unit and are negligent for any damage to the property you are renting, your policy would pick up coverage. Perhaps you accidentally set a fire in the house by forgetting to turn the stove off. Or you may have accidentally shut off the heat before you went away for vacation and had a cold spell which froze up the pipes in the house, resulting in water damage. These sorts of items would be covered under liability on your renters policy.
Dwelling Fire (DP1, DP3)
Similar to a home policy, a special form dwelling fire (DP3) covers a property you are renting to tenants. These are replacement cost policies. You are covering the dwelling itself, any other structures on the premises, personal property if you furnish the house or unit you are renting out, and loss of use if the place burns down and you can't collect your rental income. You will have premises liability for slip and fall claims and coverage for malicious mischief / vandalism. Most of the perils that are covered by your standard home policy are recognized on a DP3 as well. The main difference is the occupancy.
Vacant - when you vacate a house for a longer period of time, typically you will only be offered an ACV (DP1) or actual cash value policy which is less broad in coverage and will only respond to specifically named perils. Companies generally do not offer replacement cost on a vacant policy. In some cases if you are pending sale on a home or between tenancy, select companies will allow replacement cost.
Student Housing - Student housing is a completely separate market and needs to be quoted specifically for such a risk. Due to the increased risk profile of housing students (bangers, frat parties, people jumping off balconies...), you will have to obtain a specialty quote through the excess and surplus market.
High Net Worth (HO5)
For successful individuals who have acquired larger homes, more expensive automobiles, and finer jewelry, we have multiple marketplaces for you.
No Coverage A Cap - we have access to carriers such as CHUBB, AIG, and NatGen Premier that will write dwellings up to $25,000,000 in replacement value. Options such as unlimited replacement cost apply even if it costs more than your dwelling limit to restore your home after a loss. With most standard carriers, once you start getting past $1,000,000 in dwelling coverage, you start to fall out of their risk appetite.
Higher deductible options - If you are someone who can withstand a higher out of pocket cost after a loss, HNW carriers offer a wide variety of deductible options up to $50,000 to reduce premiums.
Cash Settlement Options - If your house is destroyed after a major loss and you decide not to rebuild, you can opt for cash up to the policy limit.
Open Peril Replacement Cost on Contents - Versus a normal HO3 policy, an HO5 policy will cover your personal contents & belongings on an open peril basis without limitation unless specifically excluded.
Waiver of Deductible - If you sustain a large loss, the carrier can waive the deductible past a certain threshold.
Higher Per Item Value on Scheduled Property - If you have Jewelry that is worth thousands of dollars per piece, you will have more flexibility on adding those item to your schedule.
Higher Underlying Liability Limits & Umbrella Coverage - On a HNW policy, you will have access to obtaining higher limits on underlying liability and umbrella limits past $5,000,000.
If you have a manufactured, modular, or mobile home, you will need specific insurance to cover your home.
In many ways the coverage you obtain on your mobile or manufactured home mimics a homeowner's policy. There is comprehensive coverage available for direct loss such a fire, lightning, explosion, vandalism, and falling objects. These are the same perils that are also covered by a standard HO3.
With a manufactured home, you will have the option for total replacement cost or actual cash value.
A replacement cost policy will allow you to receive a settlement for the cost to fully replace your home plus personal property items without depreciation opposed to an actual cash value policy.
Agreed Loss - If you paid $60,000 for your manufactured home brand new and you want to insure it to the dollar, you have the ability to do so. What the contract says the value is will be the amount you receive back after a total loss.
Liability Coverage - Just like a normal home policy, you will have liability coverage for slip and fall claims that happen in or around your home.
Living Expenses - Your mobile home might be your permanent home. If you are unable to live in your home after a loss, you can purchase loss of use to cover you in the event you need to live elsewhere and pay for meals while your home is repaired or replaced.
You can also purchase homeowner-like coverages such as water backup & sump overflow, identify theft coverage, personal injury on liability, and scheduled property.
What Determines Homeowner's Insurance Price?
Credit Score - just like auto insurance, this plays a huge factor in determining the price of homeowners insurance.
Coverage A amount - Coverage A is the cost driver of your policy because the rest of your coverages such as B, C, and D are calculated from it. The higher the dwelling coverage is on your policy, the higher the other coverages, the higher the overall rate.
Deductible - By choosing a larger deductible, you will get a credit since at the time of the claim, more money comes out of your pocket before your insurance company will begin to reimburse you. If you have a larger home, carrying a higher deductible is a great option to reduce cost on your homeowners policy.
Distance to coast - typically the closer you get to the coast line, companies charge more due to hurricane exposure. You may see an automatic hurricane deductible applied to your policy. If you are within 2,600 feet of the coast, you could see a mandatory 5% named storm deductible on most policies. As you move further away from the coast the deductible will diminish.
House Construction - Certain characteristics like having a non-combustible masonry built house versus a frame house can make your insurance less expensive.
Territory - Certain cities & towns simply have lower rating exposures versus other areas based on company loss statistics in those areas and other rating factors.
Alarm Credits - If your house has a central station burglar and fire alarm you can receive credits for protective safeguards.
Loss Experience - if you have not submitted any claims within the past 3 to 5 years, you can receive a loss free credit.
Account Credit - Pairing auto and umbrella insurance with the same carrier can generate big savings, typically in the range of 20% to 30% savings on your overall premium.