When Home Improvements Can Save You Big

When you’re buying a new home, or building your dream home, there are all kinds of ways to improve your homeowner’s insurance rate both before and after moving day. Check out some of these credits and warm up that Visa card, because you’re not going to want to miss these.

  1. Hail damage might be one of the biggest payouts that insurance companies have to deal with, costing about $1 billion in damages to property and crops every year and almost four times that much in payouts. Whether you’re building a new home, or looking for a better roof for your current residence, a professionally installed, certified impact resistant or Class IV roof can save you and your insurer a lot of money and hassle. Insurers are more than willing to offer credits of 5 to 10 percent to offset the cost of installing such a roof, especially as payouts from hail damage are soaring. Such roofs might also qualify you for state or federal tax deductions or credits.
  2. Old wiring causes fires. That gorgeous older home that you’ve fallen in love with may harbor a terrible hazard in out of date and often out of code wiring. Updating your wiring is expensive and a hassle, but when you look at your family, do you really want to save money that badly? Your insurance company may also require that you rewire, if the wiring is old enough. Why? The United States Fire Administration pegged electrical wire and its insulating jacket as the cause of almost 30 percent of residential fires. Save as much as 10 percent, and your loved ones’ lives, with safe and modern electrical wiring installed by a licensed contractor.
  3. Nonsmoking discounts do exist! […]
By |2015-04-29T08:30:59-04:00April 29th, 2015|Insurance|0 Comments

Insurance Goes to the Dogs

Owning a dog is a commitment to caring for another being, and many dog owners consider their companion animals as part of the family. However, in Florida, homeowners are running into problems with obtaining homeowners insurance specifically because of their animal’s breed. It’s not just the usual breeds like Rottweilers, Staffordshire terriers, pit bulls, or even the 140 pound Presa Canario mastiff targeted by vote hungry legislators with breed bans, but little guys like the 20 pound Belgian Schipperke who doesn’t even appear on breed bans.

How They Decide

The state of Florida is no stranger to attempted breed bans, but the overriding definition of what constitutes a dangerous dog was only recently updated by the state legislature. The updated statute makes it clear what is considered “dangerous” as well as what “unprovoked” means in clear and unequivocal language, however many insurers go by a different definition completely, using a list compiled by the CDC using information from the Humane Society – called the “bite list.” The list calculates the number of bites per year, and which breeds were doing the biting. Insurers also tabulate the number of bites and the breeds for which they are paying out claims. Any breed appearing on those lists could set of a red flag, even if undeserved by the individual dog and owner, and stop any homeowner’s insurance in its tracks. They’re trying to be proactive, after all, dog bites requiring medical attention cost insurers nearly $500 million in claims for 2012. That’s almost a third of all claims.

Insurers also take into account a dog’s personal history, such as if the animal has been a reported biter, or had a previous history of attacks and aggression. […]

By |2018-06-09T09:47:50-04:00April 22nd, 2015|Insurance|0 Comments

How to Protect Your Home from Burglary

You may not think that burglary can happen to you, but you’d be surprised as how many things you’re doing wrong to make yourself a victim. Several home burglary convicts were interviewed about how they chose which houses to rob, according to DNAinfo Chicago, and presented as a panel to local homeowners. The men relayed the different ways they chose which homes to target, including popular places to stash valuables and times of day they’d break in. Here are some tips to help keep your home and valuables safe from these types of criminals.

Don’t Advertise Your Home as Empty

One of the most common times for burglars to enter your home is when you’re away from it. Today News took some tips from crime prevention expert Chris McGoey about how to avoid advertising your home to burglars as ripe for sacking. Nothing is as appealing to a criminal as a porch stacked with newspapers or a mailbox full of circulars. If your home looks empty, then the likelihood of it becoming a target for burglary skyrockets.

Do Stash Your Valuables Somewhere Unexpected

Today also highlighted McGoey’s suggestion of putting your valuables somewhere unexpected, like a can safe designed to look like an Ajax container or empty cereal box. This is especially effective since the thieves interviewed by DNAinfo Chicago also indicated that the prime location of the most valuable items was almost always the same. Underwear drawers or things stored under the bed were usually some of the most desirable to steal. Given that the average time in and out for burglars is under ten minutes according to the three thieves interviewed, they’re not going to spend extra time searching in unlikely places to […]

By |2018-06-09T09:47:50-04:00April 15th, 2015|Insurance|0 Comments

How Much Home Insurance Coverage is Enough?

One of the many questions money-smart people ask themselves is this: is my home insurance enough?

How can you tell? According to Bankrate, two chief factors that affect how much your insurance should run to include your dwelling and personal possessions. That’s the suggestion put forward by Michael Barry, who is the spokesman for the Insurance Information Institute, a trade group.

Dwelling Coverage

That means the cost of your dwelling coverage must be enough to cover the cost your home should you need to replace or rebuild the structure, especially in the event of storms, earthquakes and other natural. So for instance, if you choose to insure your home for $500,000, then that’s the cost you’re going to need for rebuilding efforts, using materials more or less the same to your old home, and essentially in the same place.

According to Park, there are three levels of insurance coverage you should know before you settle on a choice:

Actual Cash Value Policy.

This policy factors in deductions for depreciation. While this policy often comes at a cheaper cost, with rising construction fees, your property will end up with property values lower than your replacement cost. You’ll have to pay for the difference then, which could cost you more than a pretty penny.

Replacement Cost Policy.

This policy ensures your home is repaired but only up to the amount specified in your policy.

Guaranteed Replacement Cost Policy.

Go for this policy if you can. You can have your home repaired or rebuilt regardless if it exceeds the sum of the policy limit or not.

Personal Possessions

For personal possessions, the rule of thumb is this: you’d want to make sure the coverage you get is enough to cover 50 to 75 percent […]

By |2018-06-09T09:47:50-04:00April 8th, 2015|Insurance|0 Comments