Home insurance

Halloween Safety Checklist

Halloween is around the corner, are you ready for the holiday? Costumes and candy are what the holiday is all about, but you may want to keep a few things in mind to keep the ghoulish festivities from turning into a real nightmare.

  1. Watch out for trick-or-treaters while you are driving tonight. Swerving to avoid all the people running around on the streets and neighborhoods is a real concern. Make sure that you slow down and be prepared to slam on the brakes if someone jumps into the road.
  2. Kids and their parents will be running around all night, but you could be held liable if someone hurts themselves on your property. Your home policy includes coverage for people hurt on your property under the liability section, but keeping pathways well lit can avoid these type of claims.
  3. Treats are a big part of Halloween, and so are tricks. If you are the victim of some holiday pranks, then rely on your home and car policies to clean up the vandalism.
  4. Everyone loves spooky candles and lighting for decorations, but these can pose serious fire hazards. Be careful around lit decorations and keep a fire extinguisher close at hand in the event that something catches fire.
  5. Some decorations can be expensive and, therefore, a target for thieves. All the commotion around the holiday can be an invitation to burglars, so make sure your belongings are adequately covered from theft.

Here is our holiday checklist to keep you safe this October 31st: (more…)

Break the Insurance Mold, Go Independent!

An independent insurance agency is more than just another cookie-cutter coverage provider. They offer a unique set of opportunities to their customers that could be missed out on if you choose to work with agents representing only one company. These captive insurance agents can have competitive rates for personal, business, and life insurance, independent insurance agents provide their clients with policy package flexibility, more personalized customer service, and the ability to shop your insurance for you. This ensures that you get the best coverage for the best price.

Many single-company insurance providers have their own exclusive agents that sell for only that insurance company and their primary responsibility is to their employer, not necessarily to the client. This can create a conflict of interests that adversely affects the customer in the event of a dispute.

Multi-company independent agents are licensed professionals who must understand all of the offerings of the insurance carriers that they represent.  This means that they will be able to find a specific policy that fits your insurance needs best.  They do not work for the company, they work for you which keeps your best interest and their best interest aligned.

What does this policy personalization get you? (more…)

Wow! It’s Wet In Here! How To Avoid Costly Water Damage Claims

Water Damage Infographic

 

Water damage claims are messy and a hassle to deal with. The best way to avoid them is to understand where the high risk areas of your plumbing are and to implement maintenance and preventative care. The Institute for Business & Home Safety identified 9 of the biggest plumbing risks in a survey of home water damage claims and offers several tips for keeping them from becoming water damage nightmares.

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Is Insurance on Your Back to School Checklist?

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As your new or returning college student heads back to school for their next semester you will have a lot on your mind. Moving all their furniture and belongings back to campus, making sure tuition is paid in time, setting up meal plans, and shopping for class books and school supplies. If your student is moving into an apartment off campus then one thing that you should not overlook is your insurance. While your own home insurance policy may extend some coverage for your student’s school housing, this is not always included and can be very limited if it is present at all.

Home policies may cover some of the student’s property while he or she is away at school, but they are not suited to handle all of their insurance needs for several reasons. The first is that a home policy generally has a high deductible which can lead to very limited coverage for inexpensive belongings like TVs, computers, and furniture. If you have a $500 deductible on your home policy with a coverage extension, then a $1,000 laptop that is stolen from your son or daughter’s apartment would only be covered by half. Additionally, filing small claims like these on your main homeowners policy can reduce your insurability and increase your cost of insurance in the future. (more…)

Flood Insurance Basics

Flood insurance is a bit different than other home insurance types. Dwelling fire policies and basic named peril or broad peril policies protect against most of the perils that can damage your home, but notable exclusions include floods and landslides.  The difference in what your home policy covers and a flood policy covers is where the water damage originated.  The home policy will cover damages due to busted pipes or windblown rain damage, while a flood policy will protect you from water damage caused by rising water, for instance water overflowing from a river or a mudslide caused by the loosening of soil during or after a storm.

Flood damage also differs from home policies in its availability.  This insurance type may be available through certain insurance companies as an additional coverage to your home policy or as a separate policy. However, certain low-lying areas or those near rivers may not be eligible for flood insurance since the risk of flood damage is so high in those locations.  If the insurance carriers were to write policies in these hazardous areas, the premiums for those policies would be too high to afford.  Due to this, the government instituted the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
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Home Insurance: Back to the Basics

Home Insurance

Insuring your home and valuables is one of the most important things you can do to secure your financial well-being.  Unlike car insurance, home insurance is not mandatory, and there are multiple options for coverage.  Home policies are broken down into eight types, each of which provides protection against different sources of risk, called perils. (more…)

10 Easy Insurance Discounts that You Should be Getting

Discount is a word all people love to hear, especially if it involves a required expense.  Insurance is no different; it is something that you either should have or are required to buy. But if you look into the different savings options that are available, you can save a huge amount on your policies.  Here is a list of our Top 10 ways to save money on your personal and business insurance.

  1. Home and Auto Multi-Policy: Most companies will provide a multitude of discounts on your personal insurance for bundling your home, auto, life, and umbrella insurance. Some companies are very vocal about offering these cost-saving options, but most companies will offer 3% to 5% off of your total premium for each additional policy you buy with their company, possibly saving you hundreds.
  2. Business & Life: Buying a life insurance policy can give you a discount on your home and auto insurance, as stated above, but it can also save you money on your business’s insurance. Company executives who buy a life policy through the same company that they use for business insurance can get a significant percent off of their business package policies. For large companies, or those with large coverage amounts, this could be a huge money-saving opportunity.
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Hurricane Season is Here. Are You Covered?

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July 1st marks the beginning of hurricane season. If you live on or near the coast, be sure to check your homeowner’s policy to be sure you are covered for the full replacement cost of your house and its contents.  Storm surges can wipe out homes close to the shore, so take time to check that your jewelry, art, family heirlooms, and any other valuables are adequately covered by the policy limits or additional property riders (see our post on high value items for more information on insuring your valuables). (more…)