Increasing home, construction costs could impact insurance coverage

Increasing home, construction costs could impact insurance coverage

Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

SALT LAKE CITY — Rising prices could hit you hard if disaster strikes. Skyrocketing home values and construction costs are leaving gaps in some homeowners’ coverage.

A lot of this varies by policy — most are written in terms of what’s replaced rather than the current cost of materials. But at least one disaster cleanup professional is finding that some mishaps may have limits that are not set to today’s high prices.

What happened in the Parsons’ home could happen anywhere.

“When I got out of bed, I felt like wetness on the ground,” said Josh Parsons.

He made the discovery.

“I came rushing in here, and there was probably about an inch, inch and a half of standing water,” he said.

A toilet leaked all over the floor and down below.

“I went to put some things out in the garage, and when I opened the door, it sounded like a light river in our garage,” said Jeramie Parsons.

Three levels were impacted as water came through the rafters and behind walls and cabinets.

“All of the flooring has to be removed because we have trapped moisture,” said Ryan Marriott, owner of Floodsmen Disaster Cleanup.

Marriott said rising values is making it tough to get some of these types of events cleaned up.

“We’re finding that it’s leaving a gap in service with some of our customers on their insurance,” he said.

And in the Parsons’ case, Josh Parsons said “it was $10,000 only, and that’s what I could go up to.”

He said their insurance company initially tried to cover it as a sewage backup. Marriott said he was able to help them get it covered as another part of their policy, but that it’s an example of why it pays to know your insurance agent.

“It really makes a big difference to know that you’re covered and to know it for a surety,” Marriott said.

“The runaround we’ve had with it is an eye-opener, and it makes you kind of regret,” Jeramie said. “Hindsight’s 20/20, right?”

KSL checked with Utah’s Insurance Department on this and they said it’s always a good idea to have a checkup with your insurance agent every couple of years. They also recommended documenting any repair work being done on your home with pictures, in case a dispute with the coverage comes up in the future.

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Increasing home, construction costs could impact insurance coverageMike Anderson

Mike Anderson often doubles as his own photographer, shooting and editing most of his stories. He came to KSL in April 2011 after working for several years at various broadcast news outlets.

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