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How To Get The Best Homeowners Insurance Deal
Unlike other assets you are likely to own, a home of your own has perhaps the best value for money. Not only is such an investment likely to last a lifetime, but it will also appreciate in value over time. It is for this reason that you need to look for the best homeowners insurance coverage to ensure that you have protected your property adequately.
Not only does insurance protect you from the risk of property damage but also any liability that may arise from accidents. Moreover, many mortgage providers will require that you have an active policy to qualify for funding. If you do not have one, the lender will take one out on your behalf. The problem with this arrangement, though, is that it doesn't look out for your interests. Rather, it benefits your mortgage provider.
Before calling up a company advertised in your local business directory, ask friends and family members if they have a reputable company in mind. This is in fact considered the most effective method to use in search of professional referrals. This is because the advice you will receive from those you trust has more credence than what you can garner from third party sources and forums.
Like all long term service providers, insurers value and reward loyalty of clients. If you already have a policy for your car for instance, the same company may give you a very good discount on your homeowners insurance policy. You can also ensure lower premiums if you offer to pay a higher deductible right away. This are some issues to consider as you compare home owners insurance quotes.
Article Posted by Expert Author: 1 on 01/05/2014
Article Posted In: Homeowners Insurance
Understand HO1 - What Does Basic Homeowners Insurance Cover?
HO1, also known as Basic Homeowners Insurance is a bare bones policy that will cover your home in the case of very specific situations. It is not the most popular of options but some people do find it to work for their needs. For example, it does cover the home in the event that it becomes damaged by fire or lighting. Both of these situations can be catastrophic, and for some homeowners owning a policy that covers them in these events is worth the premium, even though it isn't the most comprehensive coverage available.
In total there are actually 11 situations that an HO1 homeowners insurance policy will cover against. In addition to fire and lighting, homeowners are protected from damage that results from smoke, the building being hit by an aircraft, hail or windstorm, explosion, broken glass inside the structure, and a few others. One thing to keep in mind is that no homeowners policy will cover a situation that could have been avoided by the homeowner. For example, if you purposely set a structure on fire, or you sustain roof damage solely because you have not had a broken roof repaired, then you can expect these not to be covered.
Article Posted by Expert Author: 5 on 11/22/2013
Article Posted In: Homeowners Insurance
Compare Homeowners Insurance Quotes Properly
One of the easiest ways to save on your homeowners insurance is to compare your options from a variety of providers. However, not everyone knows exactly how to do this. It's tempting to simply pull a few quotes, look at the cost and then choose the one with the lowest premiums. But this can often lead to not as much coverage as you deserve or specific items or situations not being covered that you need covered. As a result, it's essential to look at more than just the cost and to instead compare the actual value of the quotes.
For example, when you compare homeowners insurance quotes you'll find that some policies will include flood coverage and others won't. Those who live in areas with a higher than average likelihood of flooding may find that they're required to have flood coverage and in that case you will of course want to make sure that it's included. But for those who live in an area that's very unlikely to flood, you may not find this coverage to be worth the extra cost. On the flip side, some policies may come with additional coverages that cost only a few dollars more and are well worth the extra fees.
Article Posted by Expert Author: 1 on 11/01/2013
Article Posted In: Homeowners Insurance
Saving Big On Homeowners Insurance: Advice From The Experts
It seems that these days, everyone is tightening their belts. Indeed, saving as much money as possible has become a habit for many families in this country. But among all of the things that money can be saved on, few think there is anything that can be done about saving money on their homeowners insurance. The good news is that there is more than one thing you can do to save money.
Your Policy And Your Needs
You may never have thought that reviewing your homeowners insurance policy was a part of your yearly home maintenance. But not doing so could actually cost you a lot more in the long run, especially considering that the number and frequency of natural disasters that have recently occurred will bump premiums to over a thousand dollars for many homeowners.
Looking at your coverage needs is the first way to save money. But instead of concentrating on the things inside your home and other aspects like living expenses, consider how much coverage you have for your house itself. When considering house coverage, getting the replacement costs for your area will be a big help. Taking note of exclusions on your policy will help you to point out the weak spots in your coverage and cover them with endorsements which can save you money if the time comes to correct a mold problem or fix broken pipes.
Revisit Your Deductible
Your deductible may have changed since last year, thanks to the transition of many insurance companies from dollar amounts to percentages. So recheck your policy to see how much of a deductible you will currently have to pay before help kicks in.
One way to save money on your homeowners insurance is to boost your deductible. Even by increasing your deductible from $500 to $1000 can save you as much as twenty percent on your premiums. If you have enough money stowed away for emergencies, you may even be able to take advantage of your insurance company's much higher deductibles, which can save you even more.
Bundle Your Coverage
The easiest way to save money on your homeowners insurance policy may be to get multi-line discounts. This means having your homeowners insurance with the same company as your vehicle and other insurance is with. Most insurance companies will give you a discount on your homeowners insurance when you also purchase vehicle or health insurance.
Another way to save on homeowners insurance is by making additions which improve the security of your property. Items like a monitored security system, motion sensor lights and new locks on windows and doors can make you look like much less of a risk to your insurance company. And plus, the money you save on monthly premiums can mean that your security system doesn't have to come completely out of your pocket.
Employer Deals And Membership Discounts
If you are covered by insurance from your employer, you may be able to have your premiums reduced. Sometimes, insurance companies will offer discounts to certain employers. As well, if you are a member of an organization such as the National Military Family Association, you may also be able to get your insurance for less.
It Never Hurts To Ask
Believe it or not, you may be missing out on big savings for your homeowners insurance by not talking to your agent. Asking them whether or not there are any ways to save on the cost of your coverage may result in more than a few ways you can spend less on your insurance.
A useful resource like http://www.homeownersinsurancegeek.com/ can help you with this annual task by helping you ask the right questions, including issues such as remodeling or adding on, which can increase your coverage needs.
Article citation: http://money.cnn.com
Things Not Automatically Covered By Your Homeowners Insurance Policy
Contrary to what many homeowners believe, there are some perils that aren't covered by homeowners insurance policies. And not looking at your policy's fine print could leave you without any recourse in the event that something unexpected occurs.
Problems With The Grid
While some policies do cover home appliances like refrigerators and freezers that have been the victims of a power outage, they will not cover the food items that were stored inside. You can purchase extra coverage in the form of 'refrigerated property', however, to the tune of about twenty dollars per year.
Power surges are another place where homeowners insurance coverage won't necessarily reach. If your home is struck by lightning, and lightning is listed as a covered peril on your insurance policy, then damage to items like a computer are very likely to be covered. However, if lightning isn't listed specifically, and if the surge occurs due to lower line issues, coverage will not exist. However, there may be exceptions to this, such as when a massive outage occurs, such as one that is city-wide and affects thousands of residents.
Damage caused by pets is another item that you won't get reimbursed for. So keeping your new puppy away from your brand new wall-to-wall carpeting or deterring your new kitten from scratching are the best ways to prevent damage to your items.
Speaking of animals, squirrels can make your attic or other parts of your house its home and cause significant damage. But that damage won't be covered under a standard policy, many because the squirrel is classified as a rodent, and standard policies exclude damage by rodents.
And while upgrading your home to bring it up to municipal code can get up to ten percent of your costs reimbursed by Orlando homeowners insurance, that money may not be enough to cover you should damage occur to your home.
If your home is considered to be a condo, townhouse or co-op building and is a homeowners association member, then loss assessment insurance should be included on your insurance policy. This will allow any damage to common areas to be covered. This can be useful in cases where the homeowners association expects residents to pay for damages.
Certain Natural Events
Not all of Mother Nature's weather events will be covered by homeowners insurance. Many homeowners are surprised to discover that events like earthquakes are not covered by homeowners insurance companies. However, you may be able to get some coverage for this natural even by going for a 'named perils' clause. This clause allows you identify specific events, and will require you to pay more to be covered for those events.
Hurricanes are also not covered under homeowners insurance. Ironically, damage by hail or wind is likely to be covered. Many companies are now being more specific about what constitutes damage from a hurricane. This is because of the fact that how close to your home a hurricane occurred can be difficult to determine, which makes an insurance liability determination equally difficult to determine.
Another type of natural event not covered is flooding. This is surprising, considering that floods are number one as far as natural disasters go in this country. But there is coverage available from The National Flood Insurance Program, even if your area represents a high flooding risk.
Areas where landslides occur are another realm not covered by homeowners insurance companies. In fact, no insurance companies will provide coverage for landslides anymore. And so the only advice here is to be careful about where you either build or choose to purchase your home.
Understanding what is and is not covered by homeowners insurance can be a real timesaver when you are faced with the unexpected that life seems to throw at us. Let us help you make sense of this particular coverage and the specifics that it covers.
Article Posted by Expert Author: 5 on 09/19/2013
Article Posted In: Homeowners Insurance
Reduce Your Liability By Preventing Accidents At Your Home
Did you know that almost 8 million people are injured each year in falls, and that fall injuries didn't discriminate where it came to age? In fact, falls remain the leading cause of injury among those aged 25 to 54. And although your home is your sanctuary, it can quickly become a huge money pit if someone injures themselves at your home and you don't have the right amount of homeowners insurance to cover it.
How To Prevent Accidents
The key to prevention, say many insurance companies, is to be able to recognize potential hazards and other issues well before an accident occurs. You can ensure the safety of all who come to visit your home easily by taking the following steps:
- Trimming any shrubs and trees on your property will not only increase visibility for visitors, but will also help to thwart any burglar who may want to trespass on your property.
- Ensuring that any trash or other clutter like old vehicles are removed from your property will definitely make it look better, and will also remove any risk to visitors becoming injured while on the property.
- Keeping an eye on your pets is one of the easiest ways to prevent falls. Dogs can be tied up outside, or be told to sit and stay if they are well-trained. Along with pets also comes toys, so either inform your guests to watch their step, or put the toys away for the duration of the visit.
- Turning off the lights is a great way to save electricity. But your home can quickly become a hazard to those who don't know their way around as well as you do in dimmer light. Lights at the top and bottom of stairs, in addition to lighting room entryways, indoors and out, can help guests more easily find their way.
- Keeping 'attractive nuisances' like trampolines, pools or swing sets fenced in or cleared from the property will significantly lessen the risk of visitors, especially those who are children, from becoming injured while using your property.
- Your walkways or driveway should be free of any obstacles like children's toys or wayward stones that can be tripped on and cause injury.
- Regular inspection of stairs, decks, driveways and stepping stones for uneven placement, cracks and other damage can help you to more quickly address issues.
- Your home's sliding glass doors can easily cause injury to anyone wanting to use them to enter your home. As such, an easy way to prevent injury is by placing decals or other window decorations on your doors so that visitors know when the door is open or closed.
- Slipping can occur with even a small puddle of water or fruit or vegetable peeling. Cleaning up any spills or dropped food immediately will prevent injury.
- For guests that use your shower or bath facilities, ensuring their safety is as easy as placing a non-slip mat or strips on the floor of the bath tub.
- Saving medicine means stocking up on potential poisons. Ensure that all expired medication is disposed of safely by bringing it to your local pharmacy, who can safely dispose of them.
Anyone in the market for Jacksonville homeowners insurance may want to look into other issues related to this topic, such as flood insurance, sink holes, etc. that may prove to end up being a springboard for accidents in your home. In fact, it's important to understand any regional issues due to weather that might impact your rates.
Check out http://www.homeownersinsurancegeek.com/ for more great tips on how to reduce your liability at home, as well as prevent accidents. We have assembled many useful tips and articles to help homeowners make the most of their options.
Want To Get Sued As A Homeowner? Here Are Three Easy Ways
Most homeowners don't envision becoming the target of a property-related lawsuit. But both you and your home could be a ticking time bomb. Not having enough homeowners insurance to cover you should such incidents occur could quickly lead to years of financial strife for you and your family.
Having An Overprotective Dog
One of the most common property lawsuits stem from dog bites occurring in the home or on the property, which accounted for over 1/3 of all the home insurance liability claims paid in 2011. And some states may delay the time to begin filing a claim until the victim reaches 18. Although having a dog is a good idea for the safety and security of your family, dogs that are overprotective can and have been accused of crossing the line by those who have visited home and been subsequently bit.
Not Making Necessary Repairs When They Need To Be Made
Those rickety front steps could be a lawsuit waiting to happen should a visitor injure themselves. Should homeowner negligence be found to be the main cause of injury in a courtroom, the case will stick, leaving the homeowner stuck with thousands in legal costs to be paid out-of-pocket should they not have an umbrella policy.
Although making repairs will cost a homeowner money, the longer you wait to make them, the worse the damage can get, and the more it can end up costing you to fix. As well, damage to property features like stairs that get worse with time can also result in a higher severity of injury, and therefore higher requested settlement amounts.
Having An Attractive Nuisance On Your Property
Did you know your liability risk increases with the addition of an attractive nuisance to your property? Attractive nuisances are defined as items which attract children to use them, even if those people must overcome a fence around the item to do so. Not only can they end up costing homeowners more for insurance, but they can also result in legal action against homeowners.
As far as pools go, children who injure themselves as a result of falling into or using your pool can result in a successful lawsuit being filed from the child's caregivers. And this can occur even if the child didn't have your permission to be near or in the pool.
The best way to protect yourself against being sued for attractive nuisances is to ensure that your have the right safety measures in place, as well as the right kind of liability coverage. The other option is not to have attractive nuisances like trampolines and pools on your property at all.
Commenting About Contracting Companies
It may be possible to be sued just for submitting comments online about any companies you may have dealt with while your home was being built or repaired. Such is the case with at least two homeowners who posted on Angie's List, a site where consumers can submit their reviews of contracting companies.
A contractor who feels that a homeowner knowingly posted false and derogatory comments may very well be able to sue that homeowner for defamation of character. The reason the homeowner can be sued and not the site on which the comment was posted is due to a common inclusion in site policy. This inclusion states that the site itself is not responsible for the statements its members use the site to make.
While this is not an exhaustive list of issues of how to get sued, it does happen to be areas that homeowners insurance companies may red flag you. It pays to research this up front before you sign on the dotted line.
Choosing the Right Amount of Chicago Homeowners Insurance
Deciding on the right amount of homeowners insurance can be tricky. Remember that there are two types of coverage you're dealing with. One of them covers the actual structure of your home. Some people feel comfortable with simply enough coverage that they could pay off what they owe on the home, or even enough to replace the entire value of their home. However, others feel more comfortable purchasing enough insurance to actually be able to rebuild their home – which is often significantly more than the actual value of the finished product. The right level of coverage for you depends on what you can afford and what you feel comfortable with.
The other type of Chicago homeowners insurance coverage you must consider is the type that covers the possessions in your home. This includes your furniture, major appliances like fridge and stove, and other items. Remember that some items won't be covered, such as cash kept in the home or certain kinds of precious metals like gold. Some policies will cover just what the items are currently worth, while others will cover replacement value. Consider what you have in your home and then compare policies to see which one will make the most sense for you.
Article Posted by Expert Author: 5 on 08/13/2013
Article Posted In: Homeowners Insurance
Save Big on Homeowners Insurance – Know What to Ask for On Home Owners Insurance Quotes
What other steps can be taken to ensure the most affordable prices for home owners insurance? First of all, you can eliminate coverage for items whose value has gone down significantly. While you may have previously wanted maximum coverage on things like computer equipment, you may find that the replacement value is now low enough that it doesn't really make sense to have additional coverage for them.
Another simple change is to update the locks or security system on your home. Most homeowners insurance companies provide discounts for homes that have extensive security but you'll find many also offer savings to those with just basic extra features. You may also try to roll several coverages into one policy. For example, if your insurer offers both auto and homeowners insurance then you can have a single policy that covers both – often at a significant savings. Finally, consider a surveillance system. Not only will provide you peace of mind but it often means a savings on your premiums. It can be a win-win for many families. We all want to get the best deal possible on our insurance, and most people know that the first step is to get numerous home owners insurance quotes and compare them.
Article Posted by Expert Author: 5 on 06/14/2013
Article Posted In: Homeowners Insurance
What's Included in Flood Insurance? Get the Facts on How You're Covered
There are several types of flood insurance coverage, including those that protect just a building, just the contents of the building, or both. The maximum coverage for the contents of a building is $100,000 while the actual building coverage can be as high as $250,000. The amount you'll pay will depend on a wide variety of factors, including how likely your home is to become a victim of a flood, but one thing is certain: You'll have the best chance of the best rates if you collect homeowners insurance quotes from several companies. Just get the info from a few companies and then compare them to see who offers the best fit.
Flood coverage usually covers things like the replacement of window blinds, certain appliances like stoves and fridges, the foundation of the building, the removal of debris, items that are permanently installed (like paneling or carpeting), and repairs to the plumbing and electrical systems. Coverage for the contents typically covers like things like portable appliances (such as dishwashers or air conditioners), personal belongings, valuable items up to $2,500 and furniture. Of course you must always read the fine print of your policy to verify what's covered by your policies.
What Do Credit Scores Have to Do With Homeowners Insurance?
It's normal for a credit score to be considered if you want to take out a loan or if you want goods or services before you've made a payment. However, homeowners insurance is money you pay upfront to cover you in the event that something happens to your property. So why would an insurance company consider your credit? The truth is that more and more this is happening and there's actually a pretty simple explanation. It turns out that by and large, those with lower credit scores are the most likely to make a claim against their homeowners insurance.
Does this mean that those with low credit scores will always pay more for their home owners insurance? Not necessarily. Not all companies consider a homeowners' credit score when quoting a policy. As a result, if you have bad credit and are given a high insurance quote, keep shopping around. You may find a company that doesn't check your score and who offers you a significantly lower premium. This is just one reason that it's essential to not simply take the first quotes that comes your way but to get numerous quotes, compare the coverages, and choose the one that will work best for your needs and your budget.
Chicago Homeowners Assess Their Options in Homeowners Insurance
There are many options for homeowners insurance coverage in Chicago, but not all are created equal. At the same time, there isn't one particular company or type of policy that's best for every homeowner. As a result, it's up to every individual to decide what's best for them and to choose a policy that will best cover their needs. The first step is to determine how much coverage you need. For some this will be the amount they currently owe on their home, while others want to insure their home enough that they'd get the necessary capital to completely rebuild their home if necessary.
Next you'll need to get a few policies and compare their prices. As you look at your options for home owners insurance Chicago, remember that you may not be able to simply compare the prices on each policy and have the cost be the sole factor you consider. It's true that in some cases the lowest cost is the best choice, but in others you'll find that a company offers additional coverage for just a little more. It may be worth it to upgrade even though technically you'll be paying more. The key is to find the perfect value.
Article Posted by Expert Author: 5 on 04/15/2013
Article Posted In: Homeowners Insurance
Do You Need Extended and Guaranteed Replacement Cost Coverage?
Do you know whether or not your San Jose homeowners insurance policy will cover the entire cost to rebuild your home when disaster strikes? If not, checking your policy for extended and guaranteed replacement cost coverage is a good idea. This extra coverage takes property value fluctuations, cost of labor and materials and inflation into account at the time you are struck by disaster.
Extended replacement cost coverage will pay you an amount exceeding your policy's limit so that you can rebuild a home that was damaged or destroyed. But this coverage has a limit, usually approximately 125% over and above your policy's coverage. Guaranteed replacement cost coverage does not have any preset figures which you must abide by.
Those living in earthquake or hurricane-prone areas can greatly benefit from extended and guaranteed replacement cost coverage. Perhaps the benefit for these residents is greater than for others, as the costs of materials and labor can greatly increase following a natural disaster.
Particularly in these areas, adequate homeowners insurance coverage is crucial because of the increased risk of environmental and weather-related damage. Make sure you understand exactly what you need by discussing this with your insurance agent.
How To Get Sewage Backup Coverage
Along with damage to floors, walls and major appliances, flooding can cause sewage systems to back up into your home's pipes. Not only can sewage seriously damage your home and appliances like your washing machine, but untreated sewage can pose serious health risks to you and your family. While some Los Angeles homeowners insurance policies may cover sewage back up, this is not the case for all of them.
Some homeowners may think they're protected by government flood protection policies. Unfortunately, this is not the case. The first thing to do when faced with the question of whether or not flood insurance is needed is to check whether you are in a high-risk zone for flooding. After that, speaking with those you know about their coverage may help you to determine whether flood insurance will benefit you.
Using a quality resource to compare homeowners insurance policies for affordable sewage backup coverage can help you ensure that you are never without help in the event that a flood causes your city's sewer systems to back up.
Comfort Is Key With Your Homeowners Insurance Company
Comparing San Antonio homeowners insurance companies can be a daunting task, especially if there are many to choose from in your area. But you can make choosing the right one for you a lot easier by checking their customer satisfaction ratings. This can be done by consulting independent companies like JD Power and Associates. Your state's Department of Insurance is another good place to get this information.
Looking at customer ratings can really help to put things in perspective for you. But should you see a negative review, try not to let it taint your opinion of a company. Several negative reviews will be more indicative of trouble with an insurer than one.
The most important thing about the homeowners insurance company you end up with is that you are comfortable with them. Should the time come to file a claim, having the knowledge, professionalism and expertise of a quality company will help you settle your claim that much more efficiently.
Your Homeowners Insurance, And The "House Year"
You may have seen something called the 'house year' when searching for affordable Phoenix homeowners insurance policies online. And it's an important item to pay attention to, because it is the term used for the 365 days that your plan will cover. Knowing when your coverage ends allows you to make plans for the future about changing the coverage in your policy, renewing your terms, canceling your policy altogether or switching your policy to another provider.
No matter how many times you purchase or renew your homeowners insurance policy, keeping track of the end date of your policy is a good idea. You never know when you will need to know that date for repairs to your home following a natural disaster, or to justify your claim to your insurance company or other party who requires it. You can also keep an eye on the end date of your policy for the purposes of making your home safer in the event that some type of disaster occurs.
Article Posted by Expert Author: 5 on 04/08/2013
Article Posted In: Homeowners Insurance
After The Flood: What You Should Know
Once your home has become the victim of a flood, regardless of the cause, the first thing that may cross your mind is whether your Boston homeowners insurance will be there to protect you, and when you can get in there and start cleaning up so that you can return to regular life as soon as possible. But there are a few things to consider before you do.
First of all, can you afford the cost for medical care if you become exposed to flood waters? These represent some of the most contaminated water you can encounter, with the potential to lead to serious infections. In the times following a flood, the time needed to respond and tend to medical needs can be lengthened. Therefore, staying as far away from flood water as possible is something to be considered.
If you can see your home from where you are, and it still appears as though it's surrounded by floodwaters, entering your home could mean high danger. Depending on the length of time your foundation has been surrounded by flood water, its strength may have been severely compromised. In addition, any structure, although it may not show it, may have incurred serious damage to its electrical systems.
Here at The Home Protection Geek we have done much of your homework for you, enabling you to turn to us as a trusted resource for information, advice, tips and contacts. We will update our site with current information regarding the industry as it becomes available.
Insuring Your Vacation Residence
It sure can be nice to have a place where you can get away for part of the year. The vacation home is certainly a well-deserved luxury, but it's also something that will require Chicago homeowners insurance. And this can be tricky, as some companies won't cover you for the year if you only stay at your vacation home for a few months.
The quotes you receive for a vacation home will differ from those for a full-time residence. This is because your vacation home will lie more or less vacant for the better part of the year, leaving it more vulnerable to perils like fire and theft. Declaring how a residence is to be used is the most important thing to do when searching for a vacation home insurance policy.
This is because, by not declaring the usage of the home, you could run into much difficulty should the time come that you need to settle a claim for that property.
At The Home Protection Geek we help you identify issues such as what to do with insuring a vacation home that, if left unaddressed can end up causing you a lot of unnecessary problems later on. Consider it your trusted resource for helping you brainstorm all of the issues that you may not think of up front.
Using The Annual Statement To Make Your Decision About An Insurance Company
Many homeowners looking for a better insurance policy will often resort to online resources that allow for side-by-side comparison. While this is definitely a smart way to compare homeowners insurance companies, there is another way, and that is to take a look at an insurer's annual statement.
The annual statement is something that every company who provides homeowners insurance must file on a yearly basis. It summarizes the company's financial operations for the previous year, including a balance sheet. Knowing how an insurance company is faring financially can help you determine their stability. You can also put their balance sheet against what they are willing to offer those they insure. In order to get the annual statements for the insurance companies you're considering, visit the Department of Insurance web site for your state. And never hesitate to contact an insurer when you have questions about items listed in their annual statement or policy.
Report States Higher Insurance Premiums For Texans
A report presented by state insurance commissioner Eleanor Kitzman revealed that Texas homeowners insurance premiums have risen over 20% in the last three years. The increase has several reasons, according to the Dallas Morning News, who first reported on this story. Among the many causes for the increase are the predicted greater losses due to disasters like wildfires, hail storms and hurricanes.
But Texas also has a high exposure to catastrophes, thanks to its coastal location. Hail seemed to be the biggest culprit of high insured losses, with $7.6 billion in claims being made since 2009. Water damage came in second at $7.3 billion, and hurricane winds at $6.2 billion.
Loss reduction is a possibility if stronger building codes, increased fraud penalties and state licensing for roofing contractors is put into place, according to Kitzman. Homeowners can also avoid large losses by preparing themselves for natural disasters in the form of additions to the home such as wind shutters.
While homeowners insurance might be an important part of your budget, taking the time to educate yourself on steps you can take to physically protect yourself and your home from the perils of life might be the best advice you've ever taken.
Summer Maintenance Tips For The Home
Believe it or not, there are many ways to prevent paying more in insurance claims and utility costs in the summer.
If the airflow in your home is below average, chances are there is a blockage somewhere in your cooling system. In order to compensate, you have probably turned up your air conditioning, which also turns up how much you pay in electricity each month. But a call to your local HVAC technician is all it takes to discover and clear any blockages and ensure the maximum efficiency of your cooling system.
The same is true of your sprinkler system. Why pay more for water than you have to when all it takes is to call a professional or perform a system check yourself? Any blockage in your water lines can cause your plumbing to work harder than it should, which can mean costlier repairs down the road.
Speaking of repairs, have you checked your driveway and walkways lately? You may know where all of the cracks or uneven places are, but remember that your guests will not. Avoid costly trips and falls and nigher Dallas homeowners insurance by giving those areas a good once over and repair.
For more useful tips check out http://www.homeownersinsurancegeek.com/. Sometimes a little planning ahead can save you a bundle in liability or damage later. But when life throws us a curve ball that simply can't be avoided, that's when the right coverage is crucial for protecting your finances.
Identifying And Eliminating Mold
Although mold can be dangerous and damaging to the health of both you and your home, it is not something that's normally covered by your Philadelphia homeowners insurance. This is because mold is considered to be a preventable issue. So if you've recently experienced flooding in your home due to a natural weather event, knowing how to identify and eliminate mold will be high on your priority list.
The most common types of mold are brown, green, white or black in color with a dust-like texture. Mold can easily grow in many places, including inside dust and lint, paint, wallpaper, pipes and roofs, to name but a few. Thoroughly cleaning affected areas with a bleach solution of 1 gallon of water for every cup of bleach has proven to be highly effective.
A dehumidifier will 'starve' the mold of the moisture that it needs to grow, as will ventilation in the form of exhaust fans in the bathroom and kitchen. Unfortunately, any materials considered to be porous and absorbent materials may need to be thrown away if it's discovered that mold is present. In more serious cases of mold severity, there are professional services which deal exclusively with mold damage in the home.
There may be a number of preventable issues that are not covered by home insurance that you can deal with before any potential liabilities crop up. We can help you identify some of these issues up front so that you don't have to suffer the consequences later.
Is No-Maintenance Siding For Real?
There's no doubt that when choosing siding for your home, it will cost you money, both to install and replace it. And recent advances in the siding world have resulted in vinyl siding, which is incredibly easy to install.
Not only that, but vinyl siding is available in a wide range of textures and colors. You can even choose siding that looks like wood. And it's also durable, something that will definitely interest those looking to improve the safety of their homes in the event of a natural disaster, which can help reduce the costs of Atlanta homeowners insurance.
But is vinyl siding really zero maintenance? It is true that this type of siding doesn't require the regular painting and caulking that other siding types do to prevent rot and other siding weaknesses. However, washing your siding is required if you want to keep the exterior of your home looking fresh and clean.
The cost to purchase and install vinyl siding has also remained fairly stable over the years. And so, for installation and maintenance over the long term, this type of siding offers a lot of convenience for significantly less money.
Homeowners insurance may not seem like a necessity until you actually need it. Things come up that we all don't foresee - unexpected fires, storm damage, theft, injuries etc. that can end up harming a family financially without an adequate safety net.
Unfortunate Post-Disaster Realities That You Should Be Aware Of
There are many kind and decent people in the world. And ideally, everyone should help one another unconditionally following a natural disaster. Thankfully, many do. But there are other things which every homeowner should be aware of that can happen to them.
Everyone knows that supplies of essential items like generators, food, ice and fuel can be scarce following a disaster. And there are those who try and capitalize on the destruction by charging unrealistic prices for these necessities. However, it's important to note that doing so following the declaration of a state of emergency is illegal in most states. Price gouging can be reported by getting in touch with your state's Attorney General's Office.
Fraudulent home repair companies can also pop up quickly following a natural disaster. Those who attempt to scam homeowners out of their money will often follow storms closely, as this helps them to pinpoint where people will be most in need. While it may be tempting to pay cash for services and get your repairs completely quickly, it is strongly urged that several estimates be obtained before work begins.
When in doubt, it may behoove consumers in this situation to check with their homeowners insurance company to see if they have a list of reputable home repair companies in their area before signing up with an unknown entity that may end up being a scam artist. During the time following a disaster, the last thing you need to worry about is something like this.
Should You Purchase A Trampoline For Your Home?
If you've been reading or watching the news lately, then you already know that a trampoline can offer you and your family a host of health benefits when it's been set up properly and if careful supervision occurs. But even the most diligent parents can't protect their home and property from liabilities resulting from the ownership of a trampoline.
The risks of owning a trampoline are many; so much so, that Austin homeowners insurance companies consider them 'attractive nuisances' and have specifically excluded them from policy coverage. An 'attractive nuisance' is anything that invites trespassers. Even if you have taken every precaution to prevent injury, someone who comes onto your property uninvited, uses your trampoline and sustains injury as a result can cause you to be guilty of negligence.
Checking with your insurance company before you purchase a trampoline is the best way to be prepared. Should you wait until after you've purchased it and not inform your insurance company, they may visit your home for an inspection and do have the authority to order its take-down and removal.
If you have questions like this one that may impact your potential liability in any given situation, check it out at The Home Protection Geek. Our site is dedicated to helping consumers identify and answer important questions surrounding the protection of their most important asset - their home.
Should You Purchase Earthquake Insurance?
In virtually all of today's homeowner policies, protection from earthquakes is excluded. So if you live in an at-risk area, you will have to purchase earthquake coverage separately. The most active areas for earthquakes in the United States are:
Whether earthquake insurance is something you consider will depend upon the level of risk for your area. There are maps available online which are updated by the hour that show the frequency and severity of earthquakes.
If you purchased your insurance via a private agency, you may be able to have an earthquake endorsement added to your Charlotte homeowners insurance policy. The premiums you pay will depend on where you live, the probability of a quake occurring, the soil type in your area, and the materials your home is made of.
Do not put off looking into hazard insurance for your house, particularly if you live in a region where you may be at risk for perils like earthquakes, flooding, hurricanes, etc. In this case, procrastiination could wipe a family out financially, which makes the cost of coverage a small thing to put up with compared with the alternatives.
NOAA Prediction About 2012 Storm Season Says More Hurricanes For Atlantic
Although it falls within the normal category for hurricanes, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has predicted there is a seventy percent chance that up to 15 named storms could be produced by the 2012 hurricane season, which began in May and ends in November. Of those fifteen storms, the NOAA predicts that three will be major hurricanes with winds exceeding 111 mph. Despite the widespread knowledge that the most active period for hurricanes begins around August 1, and that many citizens live in hurricane zones, there are a large number of residents who are not properly prepared for this type of natural disaster.
But Barry Davis, Senior Risk Services Consultant says that protection is simple. For the home, storm shutters, emergency supplies, and a practiced evacuation plan will help minimize the threat to lives and property. Businesses should include a continuity plan which will allow them to continue operating in the event of a hurricane, in addition to the above. This plan will allow for data back up and recovery.
Make sure you understand specifically what your homeowners insurance plan covers, particularly if you find yourself living in a hurricane zone. You may require additional coverage, or certain things may not be covered at all due to the risks.
Free Ways That You Can Burglar-Proof Your Home
Every 15 seconds, someone's home is robbed in the United States. And while there are many products available which can help protect homeowners from becoming the victims of burglary including Houston homeowners insurance, there are also several ways to make it more difficult for burglars to steal your property.
Your mailbox may be the first thing to tackle if you want to protect yourself from burglary. Having your name on your mailbox makes it incredibly easy for a robber to locate your phone number, and then call to see if anyone's home. The same is true of any mail that is left in the mailbox for a long time after it's been delivered.
Your garbage and recycling can be another way to alert robbers that you've got valuables. Items like televisions and computers come in easily-identifiable boxes, meaning that any thief who happens to be going by your home as you're placing your waste at the curb will know what you've got inside. Consider putting boxes of this nature out just before the garbage man arrives.
There are many common sense tips and ideas that are assembled at http://www.homeownersinsurancegeek.com/. Taking time to read through our condensed articles is a great way to begin making your own "To Do" list to make sure you are adequately protected.
Renting Out A Room In Your Home? Your Insurance Needs Will Change
So you've decided that renting out an empty room in your home can help you make a little extra monthly cash. And why not? An unused room could be money in the bank. But if you're not properly covered by your insurance plan, that extra money could end up going toward your legal costs.
Renting even a room means that you will become a landlord. And doing so will mean that you are now responsible for the well-being of the person who is renting from you. This will mean getting landlords insurance to cover any potential liability, such as medical costs if your renter injures themselves while on your property. Landlord insurance will also help to cover you in the event that your tenant decides to take any legal action against you.
Landlords insurance is there to cover you, and as a landlord, you are only responsible for the safety of the dwelling you are renting out along with the walkways, driveways and other access points around your home. Your tenant will still have to purchase renters insurance in order to safeguard their own belongings.
This specific subset of homeowners insurance is something you should probably speak specifically to an agent to understand the ramifications of renting out a room, and making sure that you and your tenants are properly covered in the event of any incidences.
Illinois Homeowners Can Learn How To Avoid Insurance Mistakes
A licensed home insurance agent in Illinois announced today that a new consumer awareness guide is now available for homeowners wishing to avoid mistakes when purchasing a home insurance policy. Entitled "How to Properly Insure Your Home for the Lowest Possible Price", the guide highlights five common mistakes while providing four ways to find the bet agent and covers six important questions to ask prospective insurance agents.
R.J. Weiss, the agent behind the guide says that it was created out of the discovery that there was much confusion among the general public where it came to insurance concepts, one of the most common being how much to insure a home for. Also revealed in the free downloadable guide is the time of year best for quoting insurance, how to save money via discounts, and the definition of important insurance terms such as scheduled property. Understanding concepts such as replacement cost versus actual cash value are also covered by the guide.
For more information like this check out The Home Protection Geek. Our site is loaded with information about the industry so that you can make an informed choice.
Insuring Your Historic Home
Unlike newer homes, an historic home requires special attention. The preservation of the home must be taken into consideration, as well as ensuring that all repairs adhere to modern building codes. And finding the right historic homeowners insurance begins with finding a company that has the proper knowledge and expertise. The right company will have local knowledge of both historical and residential codes, and will be available to help contractors and suppliers to maintain the home's historical integrity.
Because the coverage of an historic home is different from standard coverage, more research will need to be conducted by the insurance company into things like the original features of the structure as well as the property, in addition to unlimited loss of use coverage until restoration has been completed.
The cost of repairs and the replacement of period furniture and other fixtures will be higher with an older home. As a result, it will cost the homeowner considerably more to insure their historic home. It's important for consumers to consult their individual property liability coverage policy to understand exactly how their home is covered in the event of a specific peril.
Home Insurance Tips For Renters
You may already know that renters insurance can be quite affordable, costing as little as $12 per month in some areas. For that small amount, the protection you can receive as a renter is quite valuable. But yet, a very large chunk of American renters - well over fifty percent - do not have renters insurance. This is because many renters incorrectly assume that they are covered under their landlord's policy.
This is true, but that coverage only extends to the building's public areas and walkways. Anyone who rents their home should be aware that the loss of personal possessions due to flood, fire or other perils, as well as injuries sustained by visitors to the apartment is solely on the renter themselves. Renters insurance covers you against many perils, and also provides you with services you may need following a theft, or the payment of additional living expenses should your apartment need repair or replacing following a peril such as fire. Because this type of coverage can differ greatly from homeowners insurance coverage, knowing the difference is important.
Any questions you may have regarding renters or homeowners insurance can be found at The Home Protection Geek, a site dedicated to helping consumers manage the process of educating themselves on this type of coverage, and receiving quotes online.
Don't Get Scammed By Your Home's Hail Damage
If your home has been through a hail storm and you've got visible damage that can lend proof to your claim, you may think that's as good as money in the bank. But the truth is that you could be very vulnerable to fraud by home repair scammers.
This type of insurance scam usually results in the making of unnecessary repairs to your home by the scammers, who try to charge insurers for them. Other fraudulent home repair companies may actually cause additional damage to your home's siding or roof in order to necessitate more repairs.
You should be suspicious if, very shortly following a storm, a company approaches you about making repairs. Many of these scammers actually track the storms moving over an area in order to better target their victims. You can protect yourself by:
- Getting more than one estimate
- Demanding a contract be created which includes the costs, payment schedule and work to be completed
- Keeping detailed records of the damage to your home, including when and how the damage occurred and photos of the damage.
Once all is said and done, considering how to protect your home from future hail damage will not only keep scammers at bay, but could net you homeowners insurance discounts as well.
To learn about the various perils that this type of insurance covers, check out http://www.homeownersinsurancegeek.com/ for the latest in news, tips, and solid advice. Your home is one of your most precious assets . . . make sure you're covered in the event of an emergency.
Local Fire Ratings And Your Homeowners Insurance
Did you know that 70% of the firefighters in the United States are volunteers? That high number could very well mean that your local fire department is not full of paid professionals, and therefore, wind up costing you more on your homeowners insurance.
Your home insurance rates are calculated according to a score obtained by the existence of certain factors in your area, such as whether the fire department is volunteer or paid professional. And a whopping fifty percent of that score rests on the status of your local fire department!
The fire rating of your community is measured on a scale of one to ten, with ten being the worst according to homeowners insurance terminology. A community with a paid firefighting staff would rate a 3. Unfortunately, your insurance rates will likely suffer should your community's volunteer fire department either close or merge with a department nearby. This is because the proximity of the new fire department could place your home outside of the preferred five or six mile distance from it, which could increase the response time, ultimately increasing the damage to your home by fire.
Understanding issues like this one can dramatically alter the cost of your homeowners coverage. Make sure you check out all of the articles on our site to understand your specific scenario.
Prepare Beforehand For A Hurricane
Technology has allowed us to know when a hurricane is heading for our area, and be able to see its path. This leaves no room for guessing, and can provide us with the time needed to ensure we are as prepared as possible, including having adequate coverage with San Diego homeowners insurance.
The loss of utilities is one of the most common occurrences during and after a hurricane hits. Therefore, items like flashlights, batteries, non-perishable food and bottled water will allow for meals to be prepared without the need for electricity. In addition to the human members of your family, any pets will also need to be cared for. And so ensure that your pets will have the food and water they need as you shop for your own supplies.
Making sure that your vehicles are filled up with gas will help you avoid long lines at the pumps should you need to evacuate your home for a period of time. You may also want to ensure that you have gas on had for tools like your chainsaw. Having cash on hand can ensure you are able to get the supplies you need in the event that power is out in your area for more than a few days.
Being prepared also means you have the right homeowners insurance policy to protect you from unexpected perils that can end up devastating your budget without the right safety net. Make sure you educate yourself on all of your available options and understand what is and isn't covered.
HomeOwners Insurance Geek Launches New Site
As the old saying goes, you've got to start somewhere! We are thrilled to be launching our new site, HomeOwnersInsuranceGeek.com, which we are confident will become a valuable resource for anyone looking into this important topic. On our site you will find several pages built with the consumer in mind, to help educate and advise on how to research, compare, and purchase homeowners insurance to protect your assets. There are several "perils" that homeowners face every day, including fire, storms, theft, and injury. It's crucial to have a reliable safety net to protect you from financial ruin should you personally experience one of these or the many other perils. You might want to begin with our "Terminology" page which covers the basic insurance coverage types, and explains what affects the premium you pay. We also have provided invaluable tips on how to quality for homeowners insurance discounts. Finally, you can receive and compare quotes from top companies in your area, which will help you with comparison shopping. Please feel free to contact us by email if you have any questions.
Homeowners Insurance Made Simple: Understand the Homeowners Insurance Coverage Types
You won't be able to get the best deal or the appropriate amount of coverage unless you understand the intricacies of homeowners insurance coverage types. The good news is that it's actually simpler than you think once you understand the choices. The first is the Basic Form and it's frequently referred to in the industry as HO1. It protects against 11 different types of issues, including fire, smoke, theft, vandalism, windstorm, and explosions. Read the policy carefully as it must clearly lay out what is covered, how much it's covered and what the exclusions are.
The next is Broad Form, typically called HO2. It covers everything that's covered by an HO1 policy, plus seven additional issues like falling objects, freezing of plumbing, and the collapse of part or the entire building. Finally we have HO3, which is what more than 85% of Americans choose. It covers almost all types of situations with a few notable exceptions, like termites. This policy must clearly state what isn't covered so you'll know exactly what you're getting. It is typically the choice of those who want the peace of mind that their home is safe in the event of almost any type of damage.
Are Home Owners Insurance Plans Really Necessary? Consider the Consequences of Not Being Covered
Most people think that not getting home owners insurance simply means that they're taking the risk of not being covered in the event of damage to their property. While this is a huge and unnecessary risk to take, it's important to realize that there are other risks in play as well. For example, if you don't get home owners and you are paying a mortgage every month, be prepared to see your mortgage payment rise. Your lender does require this coverage and they will add a policy if your property isn't covered. And you'll have no say in how much it costs.
Home owners insurance plans don't just cover your property. They also protect you from liability. For example, if someone injuries themselves on your property, depending on the circumstances you could be held responsible. Without a homeowners policy you could be on the hook for thousands and thousands of dollars. If you don't have the cash at your disposal then a lien could be placed against your property or your wages could be garnished. It's important to remember that one reason you have this coverage is to protect yourself against this type of situation and without it you put your financial security at risk.
Compare Home Owners Insurance Quotes the Right Way – Do You Have All the Facts?
The best way to compare home owners insurance quotes is to get quotes from several companies and then decide which one is best for you. This advice may seem simple, and it is, but there's also a little more to it. First of all, you want to make sure that you're comparing the same types of coverage. A common mistake is for homeowners to simply get quotes from a few different companies and assume that the coverage that each one will offer will be the same. They then compare the dollar signs and choose the company with the lowest premiums.
Instead you must make sure that the quotes you get are for identical coverages, or make sure that you're taking into consideration that the coverages vary. For example, one policy may include a type of coverage that another doesn't. This may not be coverage that's essential to you, but may be worth it if it's just a few bucks more. On the other hand, you may find that it's significantly more and is not worth the added price. The key is to make sure that you truly understand what types of coverages are available, what you need, and what each policy you consider covers.
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Article Posted by Expert Author: 1 on 01/16/2013
Article Posted In: Homeowners Insurance
Categories: Homeowners Insurance, Finding Discounts, Useful Tips, Home Owners Insurance by City, News,