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Category Archives for Home Insurance

Florida Condo

Important Things When Shopping for Condo Insurance

If you are looking into buying a condo, you might not consider the cost of condo insurance.  Condos are not like houses – there is no backyard, no basement, and generally you have a homeowners association, or HOA, that takes care of fixing things around the property.  But you will still have to provide some insurance for a portion of your property.

It is important to look at your master policy in order to find out what kind of insurance you need, and what the condo association already covers.  There are two main types of insurance that will be discussed in the master policies: bare walls-in and all-in insurance policies.

Bare Walls-In Insurance

Bare walls-in insurance covers all real property, but does not cover the fixtures and installations in the condo unit, including countertops, bathroom and kitchen fixtures, and flooring.

All-In Condo Insurance

All-in condo insurance refers to the type that covers fixtures, installations, or additions within the interior surfaces of the perimeter walls, floors, and ceilings of individual units.

It is important to check the individual condo association’s master policy in order to see if there are any specific details or variations in it.  Generally, the cost of the condos master insurance policy is included in the HOA fees.

What Kind Of Coverage Do I Need?

In order to decide what kind of coverage you will need, you should consider how much coverage to acquire.  Look at what other owners are paying for upgrades, such as flooring, cabinetry and countertops, in order to determine what kind of coverage will be needed if you are under a bare walls-in insurance policy.

Also, you have to decide if you want cash-value or replacement-cost coverage.  It is generally recommended to get replacement-cost coverage, as this will generally pay more (the entire value of getting the item replaced at today’s cost standards).

You also need to decide if the coverage will be for content, structure, or both items.  Content coverage looks at furniture, area rugs, electronics, jewelry, valuable artwork/collectibles, while structure items include the flooring, cabinetry, countertops, carpeting, and lighting.  You can look at what you have and what you want covered in order to also decide how much coverage to acquire.

Other Things to Consider

Other things to consider are flood and wind damage coverage.  While the condo association flood coverage will cover the floors and structural issues for the most part, it is highly unlikely it would cover any of your property that was damaged.

Once you have figured out the type of coverage, as well as the amount of coverage, you are looking for, it is time to start getting quotes and make sure that your condo is full protected from any potential damage it could receive.

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Combining Insurance Policies To Save Money

Trusted ChoiceThe number of insurance policies that you need, and the premiums that you pay for them, can seem to take a huge part of your monthly budget. So how can you keep you and your family protected while saving some money? Often you can save by combining  insurance policies with your home insurance without sacrificing coverage.

Insurance companies are more than happy to insure policyholders with multiple policies such as; auto, motorcycle, boat, Recreational, Home. So they are eager to offer you great discounts. This will help you to save more on your premiums.

When you combine your home and auto insurance, for example, you will not only save money, but you will have the added convenience of one insurance package, one payment to make each month, one renewal date, and one single deductible that will apply in the event a claim is made.

As with any type of insurance, it is important to do your research. You should find out how a company ranks in terms of how well they pay their claims and how strong they are financially. You should also read the insurance policy carefully so that you know exactly what you are covered for and how much the provider will pay for a claim. It is important to remember that having the right amount of coverage outweighs the cost of having inadequate coverage.

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What You Must Know About “Hurricane Insurance”

Some insurance companies in the Southeast have come under heat from their subscribers as hurricane season brings about changes in the policies. Companies are informing customers that their insurance policies will not be renewed as the insurance companies are adjusting the amount of risk they are willing to face with their insurance policies.

Customers are up in arms – some agree they could understand if there was a hike in the costs of the premium to give insurance companies a better incentive to insure the properties, but are miffed at the complete dismissal of their policies.

But storms are more frequent and severe, making insurance companies concerned. The Insurance Information Institute offered insight into this, showing how there were many more hurricanes this decade than the last, and even more have made landfall in the United States – 6 hitting in 2004, the largest number since 1991. 2005 also saw the most deaths, with over 1,000 in the United States – after there had been less than 60 deaths due to hurricanes a year since 1991. With the dismissal of some customers’ insurance policies, they may not know where to turn. But there are options. Some home insurance policies do cover hurricane damage, but more frequently there is a clause in them that excludes hurricane-related damage claims.

It is important to look at this first and foremost when looking for a new insurance policy. If a home insurance policy with a built-in hurricane insurance policy cannot be found, it may be important to get additional coverage. Even if you do have coverage, though, it is often important to also have cash on hand to protect yourself.

This is because the deductible for hurricane-related damage is usually a percentage of the total value of your home, and it can be quite high in some cases.
Besides specific hurricane insurance, you may also want to look into flood insurance. Generally, hurricane insurance is limited to wind damage, and does not cover damage that could be incurred by a possible storm surge or subsequent flooding. Flood insurance will help you to be completely protected.

In conjunction with this, you should check on your plan’s policy in terms of mold damage, as mold can be left after water intrusion during a hurricane and also cause expensive problems.

Lock Insurance Staff 10/25/2011 9:35:00 AM

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Premiums Rise for High Risk Homes

With citizens consuming high risk properties for several different reasons such as:

 

  • IMG_0296High Risk Area
  • Prior Insurance claims
  • Age of home
  • Type of home

 

That is why they have to increase premiums to have the assets to pay the claims for high risk properties. Underwriting for companies are always changing so it would be in your best interest to look around and see if there are other companies that could help you.

 

Although State Farm Insurance, Nationwide Insurance, and Allstate Insurance Companies in Florida are not accepting new homeowner insurance policies, there are a lot of Home insurance companies that are currently writing home insurance. Do you your home work and you will find that there are sources to check companies to see their financial rating and assets. Give us a call or request a quote, we would to love to save you money.

 

Related story on Google news.

 

Don Westerfeld 10/3/2010 10:54:00 PM

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Where to Start with your Home Insurance Claim

Home Insurance claim

 

Whether it is a burglar, a fire, or a hurricane, it is always devastating. Check your policy or call your agent to see what is covered. If the incident has already happened, that is not the time when you want to find out what is not covered.

 

As soon as the claim occurs or as soon as you realize there is claim there are a few steps you need to take.

 

  • burnthouseTake pictures of any and all damages – the more you have the better.
  • It is your responsibility to stop any further damage that could have been prevented, within reason.
  • Any money you spend keep your receipts for the adjuster.
  • Have an independent agent that can direct you to the right people for help.

 

Call one of our experienced staff today! We would be more than happy to discuss your policy even if you are with someone else.

 

Issues with a current claim? Here is a helpful sight: reclaims.

 

Don Westerfeld 9/13/2010 7:15:00 PM

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Most Inexpensive Insurance Coverage You Can Buy!

apartmentsIf you’re renting, look around your home, anything you can pick up and take with you is considered personal propertyand is only covered if you purchase Renter’s Insurance. Whether you own or rent, your belongings mean something to you and should be insured. If you rent whether you live in a home or an apartment you should consider protecting your valuables.

 

What’s the Difference from Homeowner’s Insurance

Unlike Homeowner’s Insurance which is required when you have a mortgage, renters insurance is not and many tenants go uninsured. Do not assume that your landlord’s policy will cover you as landlords carry their own insurance that typically covers for liability on the premises if anyone is hurt and any damage to the structure (home). It will not cover for your property. Apartment Associations are the same, covering for liability on the premises and damage to the structure.

 

That leaves you the tenant expose and without coverage for theft, fire, or any other named peril. Your property in of itself is not the only thing you should consider. Like most insurance policies, Tenant Insurance is comprehensive, covering more than just personal property. It also covers for liability to others caused by your negligence while inside of your home. Not only will your personal property be insured but you will also be protected from lawsuits up to the amount of the policy limits.

 

How to Prepare for a Claim

As a tenant you should take inventory of the belongings inside of your home. You probably own more than you think. Keep any receipts for items that are of value, take pictures or video of your property as all of these things will help speed up the claims process.

 

Now for the shocker, most tenant policies are no more than $100 per year depending on the amount of coverage you desire, this means that you can have a peace of mind that in the event of an unforeseen lost you and your property are covered.

 

Give your local agent a call and see how easy it is to start insuring your things, you’ll be glad you made the call.

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Do You Have Identity Theft Coverage on Your Home Insurance Policy?

idIf you’ve never had something stolen from you in your lifetime, then you’re
one of the lucky few. For everyone else who has been a victim of theft in some form or another, the feeling of violation is enormous. Although some material possessions are sentimental, most can be replaced. Theft of material possessions however is not the only thing thieves are stealing. Your identity is much more valuable to a thief than any of your possessions.

Identity Theft

Identity Theft is on a rise and does not seem to be slowing anytime soon. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) millions of Americans become victims of Identity Theft each year and although there are some things you can do to prevent Identity Theft there is no guarantee that you yourself will not become a victim.

Correcting the affects of Identity Theft takes time and money and in some cases can have a lasting effect. There are a few things you can do however to help mitigate the damage of identity theft. As a homeowner your valuables, your belongings and your peace of mind is important. Like most coverage on a homeowner policy an endorsements can be added to your policy for little to no charge. To add “Identity Theft” on to your policy on average is only $25 and gives you protection up to $25k for expenses incurred as the direct result of identity theft.

Although you cannot necessarily prevent someone from stealing your identity, you make sure you are covered in the event a need arises. Call your local agent today to inquire about how you can go about added this coverage to your policy.

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Water Back up and Sump Overflow Coverage… Do you have it?

WATERBACKUPImagine coming home from a long day at work to see that your carpet is completely soaked and your home reeks of sewage. It can happen and has for many of homeowners. Do you know what your next step would be or an even better question is, would you have adequate coverage for the damage that has just been caused to your home? The cost of ensuring that you have protection against such a loss is minimal in comparison to the peace of mind you will gain from knowing that you are covered if such an event arises. Water damage can happen in the blink of an eye, and most times cannot be prevented. Make sure that you are prepared for the unexpected.

 

For many homeowners the answer to that question is no, unfortunately many people do not carry what is known as Water Back Up and Sump Overflow Coverage. Water Back up and Sump Overflow is an endorsement that can be added to your policy to protect you from loss resulting from water which backs up through sewers or drains or which overflows from the sump. Most companies offer $5k in liability coverage and the estimated premium for adding this coverage is $25 for the year.

 

Most people fee l that if they have a newer home that this coverage is not needed but that is not the case as water damage can happen anytime. Water pressure in pipes, a clogged septic tank or just a loose screw can cause water to backup into your home.

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Dog Liability Coverage on Your Homeowners, Do You Have It?

bitting dogIf you’re a dog lover, you know the importance of making sure your furry friend feels like a part of the family. Like everything else, dogs come in all shapes and sizes. Not all dogs however are considered as friendly as others. If you are a homeowner and required to carry homeowners insurance, it is important to know that not all dogs are welcomed in the world of insurance.

In recent years liability suits have become a common pastime resulting in millions of dollars being paid out by insurance companies each year, suit of all kinds are settled daily​. One in particular is dog bite claims. Most homeowner policies will cover liability in the event your dog attacks or bites someone, if the “Dog Liability Endorsement “is on your policy. Dog Liability in short, covers to loss arising from dogs that you own or keep.

Keep in mind however that not all insurance companies offer this endorsement. Also keep in mind that even though most companies do, there are still stipulations involved, such as the breed of dog you own.

Some companies do not offer dog liability for certain breeds such as Pit Bulls, German Shepherds, Akitas, Doberman Pinchers, Chows, Rottweiler and others. These dogs are put on the vicious dog list.​

The vicious dog list is different for each company so check with your agent to see which breeds your current homeowner insurance company considers to be vicious. In some cases if you wish to keep your dog you may be forced to obtain a non standard homeowner policy. Knowing what’s covered on your policy and what your options are will definitely help you make an informed decision on what type of policy you need and maybe even what type of dog you want.

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Replacement Cost vs. Actual Cash Value… Which would you prefer?

floridahomeWhen consumers shop around for homeowner’s insurance most only get a quote based on the amount of their loan. Here lies the problem, even though your mortgage company would be okay with you insuring to only cover the loan (their interest) you would be doing yourself a gross disservice, the reason being is, the amount you purchased your home for and the amount it would cost to replace your home are two different amounts and most times are at opposite ends of the spectrum.

 

In order to avoid customers from being under insured and possibly suing insurance companies for the difference it would cost to replace a home, insurance companies require that most homes be insured at Replacement Cost. Unless you are in the insurance industry some terms may be foreign to you to say the least. Terms such as Replacement Cost or Actual Cash Value are sometimes hard for even insurance professionals to explain to clients.

 

So let’s break down one term at a time. The term Replacement Cost for the most part is exactly what is says, it’s the type of policy that would cover to replace your home in the event of a total loss. The most common type of these policies are known as an HO3 Homeowner Policy, this policy covers damage to your home up to the replacement of your home if deemed necessary, including debris removal, for instance, if there is a fire to your home that results in a total loss, your policy would pay to have your home rebuilt to its original state prior to the loss.

 

Actual Cash Value is a little more complicated to define but for the most part has been narrowed down to mean the cost to replace with new property of like and quality less depreciation, depreciation meaning the decrease in value due to wear and tear. Sounds simple enough but many have seen that a grey area exist with this type of coverage, because determining depreciation can be tricky. These types of policy are called HO8 / Actual Cash Value policies and are usually geared toward older homes. These policies also have limited water and theft coverage.

 

The most important thing is that you have adequate coverage in the event there is a total loss, enough to not only satisfy your home loan but also to replace your home if the need arises. The difference in price to have a Replacement Cost policy versus an Actual Cash Value policy is minimal and could save you thousands in out of pocket expenses. Your home is your biggest asset; make sure you protect it.

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