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HOMEOWNERS Insurance

  Most insurance professionals will tell you that "Your home is your largest single asset; therefore you must protect it with Homeowners insurance".  While this is usually true, think of this protection from a slightly different perspective.  The insurance policy is a contract between you and the insurance company- a two party contract - you and the company.  The company's job is not just to collect $$$ and protect you against the specified "perils" listed in the policy and then pay out $$$ should you have a loss under one of them.  The company will make recommendations on how to prevent losses.  This not only helps them avoid paying unnecessary claims, it helps you avoid major inconveniences while repairs are being affected.  The major homeowner losses (claims) in San Diego County are from brush and wild fires; fortunately these don't occur every year.

  When an insurance company declines to offer new or renewal property insurance coverage due to brush hazard being too close, it is not just to avoid paying a claim.  They are trying to tell you something - Avoid the emotional and financial hardship.  Cut back the brush!  Plant a fire resistant barrier!  Cut back that offending tree limb over your roof!  It is going to cause an avoidable problem!  You can ignore and pay more!
 
Water damage losses.

Maintain your plumbing fixtures, appliances and hoses.  Braided hoses go a long way toward preventing these losses.  Keeping fixtures in well maintained condition helps.
 
Dog liability.

Your homeowners insurance covers this peril, but how comfortable are you with your pet's exposure to others?  There are ways to deal with this.

The standard homeowner policy protects against specified perils named in the policy.  In California the majority of people think of protection against fire damage but fire is only one of multiple perils covered by the policy.  Losses or claims paid by insurer’s for damage caused by water damage - not flood  damage - and dog liability are also major contributors to claims paid.  Earthquake damage is covered by a separate policy, not by the insured’s underlying homeowners policy.

Your insurance company is your partner in the insurance contract.  It is not just a matter of YOU paying in and the INSURER paying out claims.  Your insurance company will make recommendations about avoiding claims- brush removal or abatement, plumbing maintenance (braided hoses for fixtures and appliances), tree removal or trimming, etc.  Following recommendations can avoid disasters and serious inconveniences as well as reduce claims payments which helps hold down rates for everyone.