Pennsylvania Logo


Home Insurance and Your Options for Supplemental Coverage: An Interview with Brandon Hanson, Property and Casualty Specialist ("PCS"), MetLife Auto & Home®

By Brandon Hanson

Tell us a little bit about your company and the services you offer.

MetLife Auto & Home is the trade name for Metropolitan Property and Casualty Insurance Company and its subsidiaries. Established in 1972, MetLife P&C is one of the nation's leading personal lines property and casualty insurance providers. Subsidiaries of New York-based MetLife, Inc., the MetLife Auto & Home companies' administrative home office is located in Warwick, Rhode Island, and collectively hold licenses to operate in all 50 states and Washington, DC. MetLife Auto & Home insures nearly 4 million autos and homes countrywide.

I personally specialize in providing insurance policies and other products that meet the personal, financial, and business protection needs of my customers, working with not just MetLife Auto & Home, but also with other third parties through our insurance agency, MetLife GASM - Property & Casualty.

What is an example of typical/basic coverage for home insurance in PA?

Your typical home insurance policy covers dwelling, private structures, household contents and personal belongings, additional living expenses, and personal liability. But, there are many coverages and options to choose from, depending on the company. From MetLife Auto & Home, there are also enhanced products like GrandProtect®, which is a policy package that provides customers who need greater levels of insurance protection with additional benefits.

When should a homeowner consider additional policies on top of his or her basic protection?

There are numerous coverage options and benefits provided under homeowners insurance. Most customers do not want to be surprised nor financially impacted when they have losses or claims. Your insurance agent can assist you in identifying your coverage needs and inform you of those options.

One coverage that is recommended is Backup of Sewer, Drain, and Sump Pump Coverage. This is often an overlooked optional coverage that could cost a homeowner a substantial amount of out of pocket expense, if it were not purchased. This valuable coverage is automatically included with some policy forms; For example, with MetLife Auto & Home's GrandProtect policy package you'd be provided $10,000 of this coverage with your homeowner's policy. The need for Identity Theft and Credit Protection Coverage is also often an overlooked part of one's insurance protection. MetLife Auto & Home provides Identity Theft and Credit Protection Coverage to our homeowners customers. With MetLife Auto & Home's GrandProtect, our policyholders are provided $25,000 for reimbursement of unauthorized charges along with Identity Theft and Credit Protection Coverage.

How should homeowners decide what supplemental coverage they need?

Your agent should work with you to help you determine those products that are most important to you. In addition, the agent will provide the cost associated with the coverage offering her or his insights. The final decision around your needs and final coverage is up to you. What is most important to you? What is your budget for insurance? We recommend that customers do their research, determine what kind of coverage they want and think they need, and work with their agents to narrow down the options that best suit them.

Can you briefly explain what flood insurance policies and earthquake insurance endorsements are?

Just a few inches of water from a flood could cause tens of thousands of dollars in damage. From 2008 to 2012, the average residential flood claim amounted to more than $38,000 according to 2012 research conducted by the National Flood Insurance Program. Flood insurance is the best way to protect you from devastating financial loss.

Flood insurance is available to homeowners, renters, condo owners/renters, and commercial owners/renters. Costs vary depending on how much insurance is purchased, what it covers, and the property's flood risk. It is not normally provided as part of your homeowner's policy coverage. All NFIP flood policy forms provide coverage for buildings and contents. However, you might want to discuss insuring personal property with your agent, since contents coverage is optional. Typically, there's a 30-day waiting period from date of purchase before your policy goes into effect. That means now is the best time to buy flood insurance. MetLife Auto & Home sells separate flood insurance policies as a participant in the NFIP, which is administered by the federal government.

Earthquake coverage pays for direct physical loss to your dwelling, private structures, and personal property caused by an earthquake or volcanic eruption. Across all states, the deductible is a percentage of the property's insured value. This coverage is an additional premium to your homeowners' policy.

What does animal liability cover?

Many homeowners' insurance policies cover liability for animal bites in the event someone were injured and the owner were deemed responsible. It's important that the consumer verify with her or his agent that the policy she/he is considering provides this coverage before purchasing the policy, as some policies may exclude coverage.

What are two or three of the most popular supplemental coverage endorsements or policies for homeowners in PA?

A personal excess liability policy or an umbrella provides you additional liability coverage limits over both your auto and home policies at a reasonable cost. It's important to have proper limits in the event you are deemed responsible for a covered loss. It offers financial security and protection.

Computer coverage on your homeowner's policy may not provide the coverage necessary to protect your computers and other equipment. You may want to consider a separate computer coverage endorsement. Do you have a young adult who remains a legal resident of your household, but who is temporarily away at college with a computer? Do you take your equipment "off premises"? What if you knocked the computer off the desk or spilled something on it? Would your current policy provide coverage?

Jewelry, art, or special items may not be covered over a certain limit. What about those items lost due to theft or mysterious disappearance, are they covered under your homeowners policy? Many times these are high?valued items and difficult to replace. Ask your agent about a scheduled personal property endorsement.

What's the best way for people to contact you and your company?

Remember, all policies have exclusions, limitations, reductions of benefits, terms under which they may be continued in force or discontinued. For costs and complete details of the coverage, call or write your insurance agent or the company. I, Brandon Hanson, can be contacted at MetLife Auto & Home Phone 610-621-4567 / Fax 888-431-5621 / E-mail / Website PA License number: 441518MetLife Auto & Home is a brand of Metropolitan Property and Casualty Insurance Company and its affiliates: Economy Preferred Insurance Company, Metropolitan Casualty Insurance Company, Metropolitan Direct Property and Casualty Insurance Company, Metropolitan General Insurance Company, Metropolitan Group Property and Casualty Insurance Company, and Metropolitan Lloyds Insurance Company of Texas, all with administrative home offices in Warwick, RI 02886. Coverage, rates, and discounts are available in most states to those who qualify. In the event of any conflicts between these coverage descriptions and the policies themselves, the policies prevail. Life insurance provided by Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, 200 Park Ave., New York, NY 10066. The insurers referenced in this material operate independently and are not responsible for each other's financial obligations.

Share this:


Leave a comment:

* Login in order to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join for Free

About The Author

Phone: 610-621-4567

View Profile

Become an Expert Contributor

Have some knowledge to share, and want easy and effective exposure to our audience? Get your articles or guides featured on Pennsylvania Homes today! Learn more about being an expert contributor.

Learn More