Are you hosting a family reunion or neighborhood party at your house or perhaps an apartment? Before you have that big event in your home, it’s wise in this litigious age to make sure you are protected.
We all have that one uncle who drinks a little too much at Thanksgiving and then stumbles into something valuable and breaks it. It would be unfortunate if you were under the impression such incidents were covered by your insurance policy when they were not.
Here are some things that you will want to make sure are in your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy.
If an accident happens, take these steps:
If the structure of your home or apartment is damaged, or any of the property inside of it, take the following steps.
If you have taken steps to make your home safe and know what your policy covers, you can rest easy when guests arrive at your party that you are prepared.Continue Reading
In the Lakeland and Plant City areas, many homes have crossed the century mark. These beautiful old southern homes can be enticing, but restoring them can have hidden costs. Several factors should be considered prior to taking on a fixer upper; do-it-yourself or contracted home renovation.
A lower priced listing on a two-story Victorian home can be tempting. Restoring a fixer upper and increasing its value is an excellent way to increase your net worth. But, do you really know what’s involved? Renovating a home takes time, effort, and capital. The size of a renovation will dictate how long it takes; a fixer-upper can take up to a year to finish. As the home is worked on there will be hammers hammering, saws cutting, voices shouting and footsteps on the roof.
If all of this sounds like too much of a disruption for your family, you should avoid taking on the project. However, if you can take the bang and clatter of renovation, it can be rewarding both personally and financially.
The saying “location, location, location” carries just as much weight now as it did a century ago. You want to find a fixer upper to restore in an area where real estate prices are on the upswing, not the opposite. Factors like crime rates, school ratings, and undesirable things like liquor stores or strip clubs all should be considered before making your decision.
The condition of the home you are going to purchase makes a difference in the success of its renovation. Is weathered and only needs a coat of paint and new shingles, was it ravaged by termites, did squatters use it as a drug den before it was put up for sale?
The difference between cosmetic repairs and having to replace 70% of the structure can mean thousands of dollars more. Electric wiring should be factored into the cost if the home is over 50 years old. Fuse boxes and old wiring can’t handle the load that today’s electronics and appliances put on them and will have to be replaced.
Do you want a 19th or 20th-century floorplan in the 21st century? Do you like the charm of a room that is centered around a fireplace, or do you want wide open areas where a high definition TV is the center of attention? If the latter is the case, support walls in an older home may not be able to be knocked out for expansion. Air conditioning may not flow well in a house that was never intended to have it. Make sure the layout gives you enough square footage for your family to live comfortably. Lifestyle is a significant point to consider when deciding to live in a home that has been around since the Civil War.
Before you embark on your journey to restoring an old home, you should create a realistic budget. Make sure there are allocations for the cost of unforeseen issues, this will save you from going over budget. Here are a few of the things to consider in your budget:
Remember to shop for the best financing on your home; or seek a Federal Housing Administration 203k loan which lets borrowers purchase a property and also finances the cost of renovation. Once you have received financing, don’t gold plate your renovation project. Don’t add a new wing or an addition that will put you over budget and ruing the aesthetics of a home.
Saving a piece of history by renovating a home can be a rewarding experience, just be sure it is an experience you are prepared to have.Continue Reading
Living in Central Florida your home is at risk from a number of natural things such as hurricanes, lightning, flooding, sinkholes, and tornados. Natural disasters are not the only thing that put your home at risk, a grease fire in the kitchen has burned many homes to the ground over the years. Faulty electrical wiring can be the source of a fire, and old natural gas lines have caused entire homes to be leveled by an explosion.
With so many ways your home could be damaged, and your property lost forever, it is crucial that you create a home inventory list. Having a detailed inventory of your possessions can make things easier when you file a claim, and it can also guide you on what kind of coverage you want.
Creating a home inventory list to submit to insurance is not a difficult thing to undertake, but you can’t cut corners when creating the list and still hope to receive reimbursement for your lost property. Here are a few steps.
You should follow Nike’s advice when deciding on which room should be your starting point when composing a list “Just do it.” The room does not matter; what matters is that you start the process of compiling a list of your possessions. The logical choice would be a room with items which are the most valuable; but it really does not matter, what matters is you have started creating your list.
In the digital age, we currently live in documenting your possessions has never been easier or had more ways you can capture them. Apps like Sortly, Memento and Nest Egg can help you create list organize them and record details about each item on the list. These apps use your phone’s camera to add pictures to the list.
Apps are preferable to creating a physical list for two reasons. First, your phone is portable and likely to be on your person when you flee whatever disaster is damaging your home. Second, an app stores your list in the cloud, should you lose your phone in a fire or other emergency, you can log in to the app from another phone and retrieve your list. Be sure to include serial numbers, purchase dates, photos of receipts (if you have them), SKU numbers. With the technology available now there is no reason that your possessions should not be fully documented.
Lock Insurance has its own app that has an inventory list built into it. Our agents have access to the data in the app and they can send the list for you to the insurance company in the event of a claim.
Download the Insurance Agent mobile app below:
Things like art, jewelry, antiques, and collectibles may have increased in their worth and will require individual coverage apart from your standard homeowner’s insurance. You should research these items value and speak with your agent about coverage before they are lost to a disaster.
When documenting your possessions, it is easy to forget the attic or garage. Your tools, exercise equipment, golf clubs, and other valuable items may all be stored in your garage. Antiques and your children’s old toys may be stored in the attic, so don’t forget to climb up there and document items.
Remember to document your clothes along with your other possessions. Record how many of each article of clothing you own such as jeans, shoes, and shirts. If you have a coat or other item of clothing that is valuable, be sure to record details about it.
Items in your rented storage unit may also be covered by home insurance, ask your agent to be sure if your policy covers them.
When it comes to financial documents, family photos, and other important documents, be sure to store them in a fireproof safe or safety deposit box. Make sure to include a copy of your list as a backup to your home inventory app.
Creating a home inventory list doesn’t have to be a monotonous chore; it can be quick and easy if you just follow the above suggestions.Continue Reading
Whether its damage due to a natural disaster, an unexpected accident or break-in, knowing when you should file a home insurance claim and what the consequences will be either way, is important.
When should you file a homeowners insurance claim? What will that mean for your future rates or eligibility for a new policy with a new carrier? Here are some things to consider before contacting your insurance company.
The first thing to consider when making a home insurance claim is whether your current policy will cover the claim or not. You should know exactly what your insurance covers before you ever need to make a claim; however, checking on the specific claim you are going to make-before contacting your insurance company-will give you the upper hand.
Once you have determined whether you are eligible or not, the next thing to consider is whether a claim is necessary. There may be instances when the deductible for your particular claim is higher than the costs. In that case a claim would be a waste of time. You may also want to consider if the overall cost is worth any potential rate increases that may result from a claim.
If you do decide to make a claim, arming yourself with all the necessary information will make the process go quickly and smoothly. Be sure you have all your insurance policy documents readily available. You should also gather as many documents that relate to the claim-repair estimates, police reports, and photographs. It is also a good idea to keep track of all contacts with your insurance provider, in case a dispute occurs.
In most cases, making a claim on your home insurance is a good idea. Keeping calm, organized, and informed can make the process stress free as well, most importantly contact us for advice.Continue Reading
Homeowners insurance is an essential part of owning a home and is a cost usually considered as part of the regular maintenance and protection of your house. In most places it is also required by your mortgage lender, but how much home insurance do you really need?
The minimum coverage may suit some homeowners, but most need additional types of coverage that the minimum policies do not include. So what are the types of coverage home insurance policies typically provide, and how do you determine how much home insurance you really need?
While disaster insurance that covers natural occurrences such as floods, earthquakes, and hurricanes can be expensive, if you live in an area where these types of events occur frequently the cost of replacing your home will certainly far exceed the cost of the insurance. In the case of disaster insurance it is a matter of balancing risk, financial situation, and peace of mind.
While most basic home policies include content coverage, the amount of this coverage and the cost of the deductible may not be appropriate for your particular situation. If you have a number of valuables, such as jewelry or rare items such as antiques, your basic coverage will not protect these in case of theft or damage.
On the other hand, if you have few belongings, choosing a policy with a high deductible to save money may not be worth it, as the value of your items may not be much more than the deductible itself.
Again, most basic home insurance plans do not offer extensive coverage for loss from theft or damage due to a break-in. If having the peace of mind that comes with this kind of protection is important to you, then this additional coverage will definitely be worth the cost.
If you have a home-based business or own a condo, having homeowners liability insurance is important. If a client had an accident on your property or your negligence caused damage to a fellow condo owner’s property, liability coverage would protect you from the potential costs associated with this, including legal costs.
Seeking the professional advice from a Lock insurance expert can help you determine how much home insurance you really need.Continue Reading