Rising home and construction costs could impact insurance coverage

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Rising prices could hit you hard in the event of a disaster. Soaring home values ​​and construction costs are leaving gaps in the coverage of some homeowners.

Much of this varies by policy – most relate to what is being replaced rather than the actual cost of materials. But at least one disaster cleanup expert notes that some mishaps may have limits that don’t match today’s high prices.

What happened at the Parsons home could happen anywhere.

“As I got out of bed, I felt like the floor was wet,” said Josh Parsons.

Josh Parsons made the discovery.

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

A toilet leaked all over the floor and below.

“I was going to put some stuff in the garage, and when I opened the door, it sounded like there was a slight flow in our garage,” Jeramie Parsons said.

Three levels collapsed as water seeped through the rafters and behind walls and cabinets.

“And then all of the flooring has to be removed because we trapped moisture underneath,” said Ryan Marriott, owner of Floodsmen Disaster Cleanup.

Marriott said rising values ​​are making some of these types of events difficult to clean up.

“We find that for some of our customers it leaves a service gap in their insurance,” he said.

And in the Parsons’ case, Josh said, “It was only $10,000, and that’s what I could achieve.”

Josh said her insurance company initially tried to cover it as a sewage backup. Marriott said it can help them cover it as another part of their policy, but it’s an example of why it pays to know your insurance agent.

“It really makes a big difference in knowing you’re covered and arming it with security,” Marriott said.

“The detour we had with it is an eye opener, and it kind of makes you regret,” Jeramie said. “Retrospect is 20/20, right?”

KSL asked Utah’s insurance department on the subject and they said it’s always a good idea to do a checkup with your insurance agent every few years. They also recommended documenting all repair work done on your home with pictures in case there are disputes with coverage in the future.

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