Increase in home and construction costs could affect insurance coverage

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SALT LAKE CITY – Rising prices could hit you hard in the event of a disaster. Skyrocketing home values ​​and construction costs are leaving coverage gaps for some homeowners.

This largely varies by policy – most are written in terms of what is being replaced rather than the current cost of materials. But at least one disaster cleanup professional finds that some incidents can have limits that aren’t set at today’s high prices.

What happened in the Parsons’ house could happen anywhere.

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

He made the discovery.

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

One toilet was leaking all over the floor and bottom.

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

Three levels were affected as water passed through rafters and behind walls and cabinets.

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

Marriott said rising values ​​make it difficult to clean up some of these types of events.

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

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

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

“It really makes a big difference knowing you’re covered and knowing it as surety,” Marriott said.

“The sleight of hand we had with him is an eye opener, and it kind of makes you regret it,” Jeramie said. “Hindsight is 20/20, isn’t it?”

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

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mike anderson

Mike Anderson is often his own photographer, filming and editing most of his stories. He arrived at KSL in April 2011 after working for several years in various media outlets.

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Justin D. O'Neill