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Types of Homeowners' Insurance: An Interview with Cresta Combs of Menicucci Insurance Agency

By Renee Smith

Tell us a little bit about your company and its foundation.

Menicucci Insurance Agency is a local family owned Independent Agency. We represent many A-rated, financially sound insurance companies in New Mexico as well as nationally. Our broad access and knowledge in specialized markets enables us to provide unique insurance policies that are customized to meet our clients' needs.

What are some of the services your company provides?

We are leaders in Industry Specialization, Commercial and Personal Insurance. Some of which include but are not limited to:

  • Oil & Gas
  • Construction
  • Lawyers & Accountants
  • Bonds
  • Professional Liability
  • Errors & Omissions
  • Builder's Risk
  • Homeowners
  • Personal & Collector/Antique Automobile
  • Personal Excess (Umbrella) and Special coverage for Valuables and/or Hobbies

Please briefly explain the idea of home insurance to our readers.

Homeowners insurance was created to help people who own homes in the event of catastrophic, total or partial loss. This coverage is meant to protect the homeowner financially; owning a home is most likely the largest investment that the typical consumer will ever make. By purchasing a homeowners policy you will have the expectation and security that the coverage you have purchased, will put you back to where you were before the loss occurred.

Typical coverages included in a homeowner's policy are:

  • Coverage A Dwelling: coverage for the structure/building; this value should reflect the cost to rebuild the home, not the current market value.
  • Coverage B Other Structures: detached structures on the premises such as walls/fences, detached garages, swimming pools or sheds.
  • Coverage C Personal Property: any personal belongings that are moveable (furniture, clothing, appliances, kitchenware, electronic apparatus, and limited art, jewelry, firearms, furs, etc.)
  • Coverage D Loss of Use: In the event of a loss which deems your home uninhabitable; loss of use coverage would allow the homeowners and any other residents to live in accommodations comparable to the home while is it being repaired.
  • Coverage E Personal Liability: the personal liability coverage within your homeowners policy provides coverage for bodily injury and property damage sustained by others for which you or your family members are legally responsible.
  • Coverage F Medical Payments to Others: non-negligent medical payments for guests (non-residents) if they are accidentally injured at your home; this would be used in lieu of liability when applicable.

There are additional coverages available for additional premium; we review each risk and offer coverage as needed. **Flood and Earthquake coverage is not included in a typical homeowners policy, they are available by request in certain areas, contingent on underwriting review and for an additional premium**

What different types of homeowners' insurance are available?

There are different types of residences, such as:

  • Homeowners: owned by the occupants.
  • Condominium: either Stud-in or Drywall-in; typically insured under a Condominium Association for the exterior walls/stucco and all common areas.
  • Tenant Homeowners: coverage for personal belongings; no coverage for the structure.
  • Dwelling Fire (home(s) rented to others): structural coverage only.
  • Vacant Homeowners: coverage for homes that are unoccupied, have been unoccupied for 60 days or more or properties for sale. Coverage is provided for the dwelling only, no personal property.

Depending on the carrier the coverage varies; coverage can be added to the policy as needed or requested. We offer our unique expertise and knowledge and have the ability to tailor each policy based on individual needs; we also provide a comprehensive review of each risk to reduce the exposure and close any gaps in coverage.

What type do you or your company most often recommend and why?

We always recommend the broadest coverage available with the intention of properly insuring each client; we base our suggestions and recommendations on each individual risk. In order to offer the best coverage at the best rates, we must first identify the risk exposures and identify the areas of potential loss as each client's needs vary. We are well known and have a reputation for the best service, honesty, fair dealing, industry knowledge, respect for relationships, and the highest quality insurance products at the most competitive prices.

For someone with low income, what do you suggest they do in regard to their home insurance?

When needed we counsel them on frequency of claims which can increase homeowners premiums and we also review deductible and additional coverage options. Because we are an Independent Agency, we have the ability to quote with several different carriers to provide not only the best coverage, but also the best pricing. In the event of a major loss, if there is not adequate coverage, the clients could potentially lose any savings, retirement or future earnings. We make it our business to educate and provide our clients with the most up to date and broadest coverage available for consumers of all demographics.

There are programs available through the state as well as non-standard programs available for homes that cannot be insured through a standard market or that have been declined due to excessive losses, have a unique building structure, are located in an extremely rural area or are built with unique materials.

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

For more information, please contact Cresta Combs by phone at (505) 923-9933 or email at or please refer to our company website:

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