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
The 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.Continue Reading
Their Mission: People’s Trust is committed to making Florida homeowners insurance affordable by providing our customers with protection that emphasizes savings, security, and customers first.
People’s Trust is in the business of protecting the foundation of our customer’s lives – their home. We were founded by Florida homeowner Michael Gold who was inspired to create a new kind of company when his own homeowners insurance premiums skyrocketed.
Determined to make a difference for Florida homeowners People’s Trust was founded. A team of experienced and tenured insurance executives were assembled to build out the vision. A distinguished board of directors was recruited to provide governance, oversight and counsel to the venture. Together, a company committed to integrity, ethics, and doing the right thing for their policyholders was born.
People’s Trust knows that when you purchase homeowners insurance you want to be a part of a strong dependable company. We are financially backed by “A” rated reinsurance companies and we are proud to have been assigned a Financial Stability Rating® of A, Exceptional by Demotech, Inc., a financial analysis and actuarial consulting firm in Columbus, Ohio. We have met or exceeded all of the State of Florida requirements to write and service insurance policies.
We offer the exclusive benefit of the Rapid Response Team, an affiliated company of People’s Trust that provides our customers with professionals that can guarantee 24 hour a day, 7 day a week response and outstanding service in the event of a loss. Rapid Response operates out of statewide warehouses that are stockpiled with top quality materials – ready in the event of an everyday loss or catastrophe.
With our employees all living in Florida, approaching property insurance from a Florida homeowner’s perspective comes naturally to us. We have each felt the financial pain of increasing premiums and we are committed to reversing the trend. Trust isn’t just part of our name; it’s a fundamental component of the way we do business.
TAKE CONTROL – Switch to People’s Trust Insurance Today!Continue Reading
Home insurance in Lakeland is a very important insurance policy that you should consider getting for you and your family. It is important for a number of reasons. First, having your home insured provides protection in case an accident occurs, allowing for costly repairs to be made once you have paid the deductible.
Without this, it would be highly costly to cover repairs that can be incurred during a fire or other damage to the home all on your won. Besides covering the actual dwelling, many types of home insurance will also cover the content of your home, including furniture, jewelry, stereo equipment, appliances, and other items.
Content that is insured is based on the percentage of the dwelling that is covered. It is really up to you to decide how much or how little is covered, and under what circumstances your insurance company will pay for something, as there are many different types of home insurance. Policies can cover damage caused by a variety of sources, including fire, vandalism, hurricane, lightning, or other specific events.
Some policies also cover liability, in case someone is hurt on the property. It is also important if you are planning on getting a loan to cover parts of the purchase of the home or for additions to the home. Many lenders will require the homeowner obtain adequate insurance before they will fund a loan as a way of insuring their investment.
In order to receive money from your insurance company when something happens to your home and possessions within it, you will first have to file a claim. Once the claim has been issued, the insurance company will normally issue a check to the contractor that is doing the repairs or a check to you to cover the cost of buying new items. It is important to keep up to date with your insurance, as if you drop your coverage and something does happen to your home, you could lose the building and your place to live.
The home is often the biggest asset someone owns, so it is important to keep it protected. Even if fire or wind damage, or some other catastrophic event never occurs, a slip by an uninsured worker who is doing repairs to your home could cost you thousands for medical care and lost wages, money you may just not have. Decide what aspects of coverage are the most important to you, and look for a policy.
Consider where your home is, as home insurance in Lakeland will need to cover different weather variables than that in other states – hurricanes and heavy rains that can cause floods, or lightning that can cause fire are both distinct possibilities in this area.Continue Reading
Security First writes in these counties that most companies will not:
Security First offers a variety of insurance products to cover your home or property and keep you secure.
Credits and deductibles are two more important issues that we find that most people looking for homeowners insurance. Properly applied credits and deductibles allow you to maximize your coverage while minimizing your premium. Paying higher deductibles will reduce your premium amount but some mortgage companies only allow certain limit. Your home can qualify for credits based on the year it was built, the type of construction, having an alarm system, and others.
This can be a huge saving, the windstorm loss mitigation credit. Your home may be strengthened against storms and you may not even know it. Depending on the year your home was built or the mitigation upgrades added to it, you may qualify for significant savings on your premium. Be sure to discuss windstorm loss mitigation with your agent.
When insuring your home, there are some very important issues to consider. One of the most important is insuring your home to its proper replacement value.
In the event of a total loss, you will need to rebuild. To determine the most accurate replacement cost for your home, We have powerful tool that allows our agents to calculate as accurately as possible the construction costs of rebuilding your home.
Homeowners 3 – Special Form Policy: Owner-occupied homes with one or two family units and town homes.
Homeowners 6 – Unit Owners Form Policy: Owner-occupied condominiums.
Dwelling Property 3 – Special Form Policy: Dwelling Fire policies are typically used for residential rental properties but may be owner occupied as well. Contents coverage only is also available. Policies can be written for up to four units in a single structure.
Don Westerfeld 8/7/2011 1:36:00 PMContinue Reading
When looking at Lakeland insurance plans and policies, the options can sometimes get overwhelming. Which plan is right for you? First, you must consider the property you want to insure. Options for insurance include homeowners insurance, landlord insurance, renters insurance, vacant land insurance, condo insurance, and vacant home insurance. If you own the property and plan on living in it yourself, homeowners or condo insurance may be right for you. If you own the home but do not plan on living there, vacant home insurance or landlord insurance could be the key. If you are only renting a home or apartment, renters insurance is the obvious choice. And finally, vacant land insurance is often overlooked, but what happens if someone has an accident on your property? Once you have determined which category of home insurance is the one you need, you need to start your research. There are many ways to go about this. Most states offer an insurance website, and this can be a valuable tool at the beginning of your research. These sites offer information including company ratings and any complaints that have been filed. From there, other insurance sites such as J.D. Power can offer more background information, including Better Business Bureau ratings for insurance companies near your ZIP code. After you have done this research, you can narrow your search to a few companies with good ratings that you think might be a good fit. From there, you can comparison shop for the lowest rates. Many websites will offer you instant insurance quotes, helping further narrow your selection even before you call an agent. When you finally place a call, the companies will have agents ready to answer any questions you may have left about their insurance offerings. After you have done this research, you can narrow your search to a few companies with good ratings that you think might be a good fit. From there, you can comparison shop for the lowest rates. Many websites will offer you instant home insurance quotes, helping further narrow your selection even before you call an agent. When you finally place a call, the companies will have agents ready to answer any questions you may have left about their insurance offerings. By doing your homework and researching the companies, you can cut out a lot of the headache involved in finding the best home insurance for you. Soon you will be able to rest assure that your Lakeland property is properly insured. By doing your homework and researching the companies, you can cut out a lot of the headache involved in finding the best home insurance for you. Soon you will be able to rest assure that your Lakeland property is properly insured. Don Westerfeld 3/3/2011 12:55:00 PMContinue Reading