Written by Chris Hogan

Preparing for something to go wrong isn’t fun, but as a homeowner, it is critical. Have you ever thought about what would happen if a 100-year-old oak tree landed on your roof? Or if water leaked from your upstairs bathroom while you were on vacation and ruined everything? 

You might think if you have a homeowners insurance policy you can relax. But how do you know if you have the right coverage? 

I taught myself insurance during the pandemic and decided to open my own agency, Goosehead Insurance. Having been in real estate for 10 years, it was crazy how little I knew about insurance, what’s covered and what isn’t covered. Since I’ve been in real estate for so long, I have a great understanding of what each homeowner is looking for and the best way to insure them!

Here are some of the most common questions I get about homeowners insurance. 

What does homeowners insurance cover in the Charlotte area, generally? 

A basic homeowners insurance covers everything from the home itself to the other structures on the property, your personal contents and liability.

What is a rider and when do you need one? 

A rider is an add-on to a basic policy. The most common ones are water backup and additional coverage on the dwelling. Water backup gives you protection in the event your plumbing backs up and damages your home or personal property. Additional coverage on the dwelling gives anywhere from 25% to 50% of additional limits to your home. This can protect you if material and labor costs increase.

When do you need flood insurance?  

Since homeowners policies don’t cover floods, having that kind of coverage from a private flood insurance company is definitely worth having. It’s one of the most common areas where people fall short on insurance. If the home is located in a designated flood zone, most lenders will require you to carry a flood insurance policy.

How does homeowners insurance differ in a coastal environment?  

A flood policy is a must in coastal regions. Another difference when you have a home near the coast is wind and hail coverage. In the Carolinas, if you’re located in a designated area, wind and hail damage is often excluded from the homeowner’s policy. In some cases, carriers might not even provide coverage within a certain distance from the coast. If that’s the case, you can purchase wind and hail coverage from a state-approved carrier or from a surplus lines carrier.  

What is the price difference?  

Depending on whether you’re insuring a single-family home or a condo/townhome, your cost for property insurance is going to be higher than property further from the coast. Since the risk is higher for storm damage in coastal areas, claims tend to be higher which results in higher rates and premiums

Chris Hogan is originally from central New York and moved to Charlotte in 2004. He was involved in his family’s construction company for many years, working side-by-side with commercial and residential developers on projects ranging in size from 1,000 square feet to 115,000 square feet. His clients benefit from his extensive knowledge about quality, construction materials, and construction methods.