From the Michigan Department of Insurance
Are you properly insured for this holiday season?
LANSING – The holiday season should be a time to focus on friends and family, not worry about whether your insurance coverage is sufficient. As you prepare to celebrate the season, the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) recommends you review your insurance policies to avoid potential holiday nightmares.
“It is a good idea to review your insurance policies once a year,” said DIFS Director Ann Flood. “You want to be sure you have the best policy for you and your family.”
The following are some examples of scenarios you might face this time of year.
- A visiting relative is in an accident while driving your vehicle: Because Michigan is a no-fault state, everyone seeks coverage under their own insurance policy for damage to their vehicle. This is only provided, however, if you have purchased collision coverage as part of your automobile policy. The visiting relative’s insurer would not be required to repair your vehicle. If a visiting relative is injured in the accident, they would first seek medical benefits from their own auto insurer. Talk with your agent who can explain your Michigan no-fault policy benefits.
- Someone steals the holiday decorations from your front yard: A standard homeowner policy would typically provide coverage for this type of theft, subject to your policy deductible and coverage limits. Thefts of these items are also generally covered if you have a condominium or renter's insurance policy.
- Presents are stolen from your home or your vehicle: Items stolen from your vehicle are NOT covered by your auto insurance, but by your homeowners insurance. A standard homeowner insurance policy provides coverage with special limits for certain goods, such as electronics and jewelry. Standard condominium and rental insurance policies provide similar coverage. Check your policy for specific item limits, and be sure to add new items acquired to your policy as soon as possible to ensure you are covered. It is also a good idea to add the items to your home inventory and keep receipts to ensure that you can provide support to the insurer for the items purchased.
- Your coworker slips and falls on your icy driveway at your New Year's Eve party: A standard homeowner insurance policy can provide limited medical payments coverage when your guest needs medical attention. A standard homeowner's insurance policy will also provide liability coverage should the guest seek compensation for additional damages. Check with your insurance agent or company to be sure you have adequate liability limits.
- An ice or snow storm causes a tree to fall through the front window of your house: Home damage and tree removal is generally covered by a standard homeowner’s insurance policy, subject to a deductible.
- A menorah falls over and lights a curtain, causing a house fire: A standard homeowner insurance policy will cover your home and belongings destroyed by a fire, up to policy limits and subject to a deductible. Standard homeowner policies typically provide additional living expenses if you are unable to live in your home due to damage from a fire or other disaster.
Credit Card Theft
- Someone uses your credit card to buy a big screen television: The purchase might be covered as part of your contract with your credit card company. Standard homeowner insurance policies typically provide a limited amount of coverage toward your legal obligation to pay your credit card company. However, there is no coverage if, for example, a family member entrusted with the card buys a big screen television. Federal law also limits a cardholder’s responsibility as long as the credit card company is promptly notified per the cardholder agreement.