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IPS / Lighthouse Insurance Group Blog: michigan homeowners insurance

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image of kid jumping on trampolineThough trampolines are a popular toy among young children, they are also dangerous enough to raise red flags for many insurance providers. In 2010, trampoline injuries resulted in over 92,000 trips to emergency rooms. 40 percent of these injuries involved strains and sprains, 30 percent involved fractures, 13 percent involved lacerations and 11 percent involved more serious injuries. It’s easy to bruise or break a bone from an improper landing, but the most common injury occurs when two people collide midair.

Because of the very high risk for injury, some insurance providers will not offer coverage to homes with trampolines, while others require you to take certain safety measures for continued coverage. Your agent can help you determine if you need to take any steps before and/or after purchasing a trampoline. It’s important that your agent knows about your trampoline because if you file a claim for an injury sustained and your insurance provider did not know about your trampoline, that provider has the right to deny your claim.

Despite the dangers of trampolines, there are safety precautions you can take to reduce the risk of injury:

·         Always supervise children while on a trampoline

·         Prevent children and pets from going underneath a trampoline while in use

·         Do not allow roughhousing or flips

·         One jumper at a time is the safest way to use a trampoline

·         Children under age 6 should not jump on a full-size trampoline

·         All springs and hooks should be covered with padding

·         Use net enclosures to prevent falls from atop the trampoline

Purchasing a personal liability umbrella policy will give you additional protection for claims that exceed the liability limits on your Michigan homeowners insurance. These umbrella policies can be bought in $1 million increments. Your agent can help you determine the right amount for your needs.

Trampolines are fun toys that have the potential to cause large amounts of financial liability. Call Insurance Planning Service at 800-220-5582 for more information on homeowners insurance.

Home InsuranceBroadly speaking, homeowners insurance covers you for potential loss resulting from risks such as burglary or theft, severe storms, fire and also your personal liability. The specific risks you may face as a home owner could include floods and earthquakes, which you must cover with separate policies, as these disasters are not included in home insurance.

Your home liability coverage protects you in the event that someone is injured on your premises or you are responsible for damage to someone else’s property. Your homeowners insurance can even protect you against injury you cause to another person off-premises under certain circumstances. Note that liability insurance will not cover acts of violence or intentional damage.

Your liability insurance would also typically provide coverage if:

  • Your child throws a baseball through the neighbor’s window
  • Your dog bites a visitor to your home
  • A visitor is injured on your backyard swing set or trampoline, or by falling on your icy sidewalk
  • A dinner guest gets food poisoning and is hospitalized

If someone files a liability claim against you, your insurance can pay for property repairs, medical or funeral costs or even a lawsuit if the injured party chooses to launch a legal process.

When evaluating the amount of liability coverage that makes the most sense for you, be sure to fully discuss your limits and deductibles with your agent. Take time to understand your risks, and determine whether you will be well covered in various circumstances. In the event of a disaster, the costs of recovering can devastate household finances. Quality home insurance can make a difficult situation bearable and help you get your life back on track.

Call INSURANCE PLANNING SERVICE at 800-220-5582 or contact us on the web today!  We would be happy to help you evaluate your insurance and to provide a no-obligation quote!


Michigan MillersWe are pleased to announce that Insurance Planning Service has just become contracted to represent the Michigan Millers Mutual Insurance Company.  We welcome them as one of our agency's carefully selected partners.

Established in 1881, Michigan Millers is located in Lansing, Michigan and offers a wide range of propery and casualty insurance products for individuals, families and businesses.  Our agency will be offering Michigan Millers' personal lines products including policies for auto, homeowners, watercraft, recreational vehicles and umbrella liability.

Michigan Millers has a long and storied history of providing superior service to their agents and policyholders.  Their philosophy is to offer a more personalized and affordable way to buy insurance and they recognize that an insurance policy is only as good as the company and people behind it. 

We are looking forward to a long and valuable relationship with Michigan Millers!

white houseIt’s undeniable that we live in a “litigation happy” world, which makes it quite necessary to have insurance on everything from your car to your home. While most forms of insurance will cover a specific type of damage, homeowner’s insurance is designed to cover a number of situations, some of which don’t even have to occur at your home.

What Does Homeowner’s Insurance Cover?

Standard homeowner’s insurance policies often include a section related to personal liability insurance coverage.  This section specifies the amount of insurance available to you in case another individual is harmed on your property. This often includes accidents that occur off the property.  Most policies will also cover incidents related to pets, for example if your dog gets lose and bites an individual.

Many policies offer a $100,000 coverage minimum which is provided under the personal liability insurance coverage section.  This amount compensates individuals that are harmed by occupants of your home or on your property.  It will also cover the hiring of an attorney to represent you and usually will also cover the attorney fees of the plaintiff if you happen to be found legally responsible.

What Isn’t Covered?

There are several instances in which a homeowner’s insurance policy will not pay off after injury.  Common exclusions are abuse, transmitting a communicable disease, and anything involving the distribution, sale, or manufacturing of illegal drugs.  These policies also do not cover intentional acts, business related accidents, or other accidents that are covered under your auto insurance or workers’ compensation.

An insurance policy also doesn’t cover anything involving personal liability over the amount specified in that section of the policy.  This means that if your policy provides $100,000 worth of coverage and an accident victim wins $120,000, you will be responsible for the additional compensation.  These types of incidents are usually foreseeable, so hopefully you can be fully prepared for their occurrence.

When to get Additional Coverage

As mentioned earlier, you will definitely be responsible for covering any damages that exceed the specified coverage amount involving personal liability.  This means that you should purchase a higher insurance coverage amount if you know you may face severe personal liability issues.  One common example is if you own a swimming pool.  If by some unfortunate means a neighborhood child drowns in the pool, a minimum coverage amount will usually not even come close to covering the damages a court may reward.

You may also take out an ‘umbrella liability policy’ to further protect yourself.  Lawsuits related to slander, libel, false arrest, defamation of character, and invasion of privacy are not covered under typical personal liability policies.  Adding an umbrella policy to the existing homeowner’s policy will protect you and the occupants of your home in the case of a lawsuit involving any of these and other alleged torts.

For more information about Michigan home insurance, call Insurance Planning Service at 800-220-5582.

house at nightIncidents that we believe are insurable and are covered by our home insurance policies are not always quite as straightforward as they seem. What might look on the surface to be a sudden and accidental incident could actually have resulted due to an underlying issue, such as neglect.

When a claim is made against a  Michigan home insurance policy, a claims adjuster must first explore the evidence presented and then dig a little bit deeper in order to ensure that the cause of the incident is what it seems to be. For example, after a snowstorm, the roof on your shed might collapse leading you to believe that the weight of the snow created the collapse. If your policy covers damage due to snow load then you might want to submit a claim. If your insurance adjuster finds that there was some underlying cause, such as termite damage, that weakened the support system in the roof and that without that underlying cause, there would have been no incident or damage, the claim could be denied.

One of the easiest ways to prevent denied claims and help reduce the potential for damages to your home is to keep up with your preventative maintenance. Inspect your home annually for things such as dry rot, insect infestation, cracked siding and roof tiles, leaks, and so on.

Another way to help prevent claims – even those that would be paid but could result in increased premiums – is to make home improvements that comply with current building codes. Upgrading areas of your home that will eventually need to be repaired allows you to reduce your likelihood of claims, limit the deductibles you must pay and helps control potential premium increases as your claims experience will be limited.

If you've had a claim denied and don't understand why or you want to discuss possible situations during which a seemingly valid claim could be denied, stop by or give us a call at 800-220-5582.

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Lighthouse Group Main Office in Grand Rapids, MI
Mailing Address | P.O. Box 530009, Livonia, MI 48153

Phone: 734.421.9900 | Toll Free: 800.220.5582 | Fax: 734.421.9911

Also serving these Detroit area communities in Michigan: Livonia, Farmington Hills, Ann Arbor, Southfield, Plymouth, Canton, Westland, Northville, Novi, Dearborn, South Lyon & Walled Lake