Water Damage and Flood Damage – What’s the Difference?

Water Damage and Flood Damage – What’s the Difference?

Suppose you were to go on vacation and return to find your home had been flooded. Do you think your homeowner’s insurance would cover the damages? It might, and it might not. It depends on how the water entered your house. When Home Insurance Covers You If you have homeowners insurance that covers water damage, it will only do so if the source of the water comes from a sudden, unexpected event like a burst pipe or a rainstorm. If the water enters your home due to a reason that could have been avoided, your policy may not cover you. Most avoidable situations are simply a matter of maintenance. Make sure you clear your gutters regularly, maintain the roof of your home and watch for condensation build up. If you notice condensation buildup, it probably means that the area is poorly ventilated. When Flood Insurance Covers You Should your home suffer water damage as a result of flooding, your homeowners insurance policy won’t cover it. For the purpose of insurance, a flood is defined as the rising and overflowing of a body of water onto normally dry land. To protect yourself from flood damage, you need a separate flood insurance policy to supplement your homeowners insurance. It’s possible for both homeowners and renters to buy flood insurance, and the cost will vary depending on a few different factors – not the least of which is the home’s risk. If you live in an area nearer a body of water that’s prone to flooding, you’re probably going to pay more for your flood insurance. Flood insurance can be purchased anytime,...
How an Accident Affects Your Auto Insurance Rates

How an Accident Affects Your Auto Insurance Rates

Sometimes, when a driver gets into an accident, they don’t file their claim right away. They fear that in filing a claim, their insurance rates will skyrocket and that it might be less expensive in the long run to just pay for the repairs out-of-pocket. Fortunately, filing a claim after an accident does not mean your insurance rates are going to go up all that much (and in some cases, not at all). It’s going to depend on the specifics, such as your insurance company, the circumstances surrounding the accident, and the type of insurance you have. How Severe Was It? The damage incurred as the result of an accident can vary widely from a few scratches to a totaled vehicle. Less damage to your vehicle means less of a payout by the auto insurance company. When payouts are small, the potential rate hikes are too. Whose Fault Was It? In most cases, if the accident was your fault your rates are going to go up. If the accident was the other driver’s fault, it’s possible that your rates will stay the same. If you live in a no-fault state, then it won’t matter whose fault it was and your rates are likely to increase. Additionally, some companies will still increase your rates if they find you statistically more likely to get into an accident. What Is Your Overall Risk? A good driving record poses less risk than a bad one. If historically you’re a safe driver and haven’t had to file claims in the past, or received tickets, convictions, etc. as a result of your driving, then odds...
If You’re Looking To Buy A Home In Santa Clarita, Pay Attention To Potential Fire Risks!

If You’re Looking To Buy A Home In Santa Clarita, Pay Attention To Potential Fire Risks!

When it comes to brush fires, Santa Clarita can’t seem to catch a break. Last week an 850-acre wildfire swept through the dried brush above Castaic Lake, and now firefighters are battling another 870-acre blaze along Placertia Canyon and the 14 freeway. That fire started when a motorist ran into a tree. We seem to get brush fires every year. Sometimes fire officials will say they occur because of the extra growth that has cropped up as a result of the winter’s heavy rains. But in drier years they’ll claim it’s because everything is simply dried out and prone to ignite. As I said before, we can’t seem to catch a break. Carriers have pulled back on writing insurance near the edges of Santa Clarita as a result. And this is something you need to be aware of if you’re buying a home in the area – because you might not be able to purchase preferred insurance. Your carrier may decline to offer insurance – even if your home is seven or eight streets away from a brush area. The rule of thumb is that a home must be 2,500 feet away from high brush and 1,000 feet away from medium brush to qualify for preferred coverage. That’s typically not a problem if you already own a home with a policy that’s in effect. Be sure to consult with an insurance broker because they deal with multiple carriers and will have more options to choose from. What you want is a preferred policy with Open Peril on the structure.  You also want to check for any limitations on wildfire...
Reasons Why You Need Renter’s Insurance.

Reasons Why You Need Renter’s Insurance.

Renters insurance is oft-overlooked, but important nonetheless. If you’re renting a home or apartment, and something happens to that property (fire, flood, etc.), how are you going to replace all your stuff? People don’t buy everything they own all at once; they purchase items one or two at a time and eventually accrue a number of possessions. Because everything is purchased slowly, people don’t realize just how much it’s going to cost to replace everything they own, and that’s where renters insurance comes in handy.  Most policies actually replace your items new for old – without depreciation – as long as you have Replacement Cost on Contents. For those new to renters insurance, here are a few handy tips that can help you get covered and save money while doing it. Pay Your Premium in One Lump Sum If you pay your renters insurance for the entire year in one lump sum, you’re going to save a significant amount of money. When you break the amount down into monthly payments, most insurance companies will charge an extra $10 or 20$ per month to allow you to do that. Take an Inventory Did you know that the average person owns about $20,000 worth of stuff? Do you think that’s what your things are worth? Before you buy renters insurance, you’ll want to know just how much coverage you’ll need, and taking a detailed inventory can help you find that out. Once you know what it’s going to cost to replace what you own, you’ll have a figure to work with when you buy insurance. Typical Coverage May Not be Sufficient...
Do You Know The Ins And Outs Of Life Insurance? Here Are Some Things You Should Know.

Do You Know The Ins And Outs Of Life Insurance? Here Are Some Things You Should Know.

Most people have a pretty limited impression of life insurance. But there are many kinds and they all have their own, unique benefits. Let’s start with the traditional kind you’re probably familiar with. It can be a real life-line if you happen to die. No one likes to think about that. But suppose you took a trip to the Las Vegas area and went rock climbing at the rugged Valley of Fire recreation area. What if you were climbing around on the “Seven Sisters” pictured above,  lost your grip and fell 75 feet to the ground? Needless to say, you probably wouldn’t be around long after that. Here’s where the benefits of life insurance come in: It could help your wife or husband continue to make mortgage payments on your home, it could help to pay off debts, it could provide income for you family … heck it could even be used as a college savings plan for your son or daughter. Life insurance also comes in handy in the world of business. A Buy-Sell Agreement is a prime example. If you own a business with a partner and he or she dies, the proceeds from your partner’s life insurance policy will go to you, and that money can be used to buy out his or her share of the business from their family. And you definitely don’t want to go into business with your ex-partner’s family. That could be a real disaster! You’ll need an attorney to write the buy-sell agreement after which you would fund it with life insurance. Another kind is Key Man life insurance. This comes in...