Homeowners insure their homes and assets from all types of liability with general, auto, flood and homeowner insurance liability policies. Determining the types of coverage to purchase is a complicated process and most homeowners need the assistance of an insurance professional to help determine the best coverage needed for risk mitigation.
When homeowners engage a home watch service to care for their home, they usually assume the Home Watch service is properly insured. DO NOT MAKE THIS ASSUMPTION. Some home watch service providers are uninsured, underinsured or without adequate coverage and are putting you at financial risk. Why is this important? Just as you, a homeowner insures for liability risk your home watch service provider should insure their business from liability risk.
How can you be SURE your home watch service provider is properly insured?
Once insured, and a policy is issued, the insurance company provides the home watch service with a Certificate of Insurance listing them as the Named Insured. The Certificate of Insurance will include the types of coverage, the policy number(s), the policy effective and expiration dates and amounts of coverage. The Certificate of Insurance provides evidence of coverage.
In addition to receiving a copy of the Certificate of Insurance from the home watch service provider you can ask that a special endorsement be added to their policy that adds you as an Additional Insured. This endorsement will provide coverage to you for claims arising out of the acts or omissions of the primary insured.
REQUEST EVIDENCE OF INSURABILITY
Prior to selection of a home watch service provider, Homeowners are encouraged to request and obtain a Certificate of Insurance from the service provider. The International Home Watch Alliance (IHWA) requires all members to maintain a General Liability Policy with a single limit coverage of $1,000,000 and combined coverage of $2,000,000 in order to maintain their accreditation by the IHWA.
The IHWA suggests that their membership businesses provide these types of coverage:
- General liability ($1,000,000 single limit/$2,000,000 combined limit)
- Workman’s Comp (or State exemption)
The IHWA has prepared an article in their December 2021 newsletter, The IHWA Scoop, for home watch service providers that describes the types of coverage they should have to help mitigate risk. The newsletter is included in this article (reprinted with permission) to help you understand the coverage that should be provided by a home watch service provider.