Three Benefits of Homeowners Insurance You May Not Be Aware Of

Three Benefits of Homeowners Insurance You May Not Be Aware Of

Buying homeowners insurance will help protect your property and your belongings inside it from from a variety of losses from relatively minor to catastrophic. A good homeowners insurance policy can be a life saver when a burst pipe causes tens of thousands of dollars worth of damage to the interior of your home, or if someone breaks in and steals expensive equipment. Aside from providing protections for the home itself and your property within it, homeowners insurance provides coverage for some potentially-dangerous situations. Dog Bites A lot of homeowners insurance policies include liability coverage designed specifically for situations in which the homeowners dog bites somebody. No matter how friendly your dog is, it’s important to remember that it’s an animal and isn’t going to interpret every situation the same way a person would; just because it hasn’t bitten someone before doesn’t mean it never would. Bringing Your Home Up To Code When you experience a loss covered by your insurance, and new codes or regulations exist that require additional expenses to meet, your homeowners insurance policy may cover any new mandates required to bring your home up to code above and beyond the cost to repair or replace what was damaged in the loss. Food Spoilage Due To Power-Outages If your power goes out and you have to throw out everything in your freezer and refrigerator, your homeowners insurance policy may cover the cost to replace it all. Many policies provide up to $500 in repayments for any food lost due to power outages. However, just because your insurance could pay for the loss doesn’t mean you should necessarily...
Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Swimming Pools?

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Swimming Pools?

If you’re interested in getting a new swimming pool, or you’re buying a house that already has one, you’ll want to make sure to buy homeowners insurance that covers it. Generally speaking, your typical homeowners insurance policy isn’t going to provide enough protection if you have a swimming pool. To keep you covered, you’ll likely need: Increased Liability Protection – Swimming pools can be fun, but they bring with them a whole lot of extra dangers. Increased liability protection will be necessary to keep you covered in the event someone is injured. Increase in “Other Structures” Limit – Pools are considered “other structures” when it comes to home insurance, and the coverage limit for these “other structures” is usually 10% of the home’s total value. If this amount isn’t enough to cover your pool (and if you have other “other structures” on your property, it may very well not be) you’ll need to increase the coverage limit to cover damages to the pool. An Umbrella Insurance Policy – An umbrella policy provides additional liability insurance beyond that of your insurance policy’s stated limits. People who find themselves the target of major claims or lawsuits that their insurance won’t completely cover. Swimming pools can be a lot of fun, and owning one can enhance your living experience quite a bit. However, they can also be incredibly dangerous. When you own a swimming pool, you should take precautions to keep the area as safe as possible. Children should never swim when an adult isn’t present, and nobody should swim alone. Installing at least a four-foot fence around the pool with a...
Handy Tips for Real Estate Agents Regarding Home Insurance

Handy Tips for Real Estate Agents Regarding Home Insurance

A real estate agent serves their clients in many capacities, one of which is being their go-to source for information concerning home ownership – including homeowners insurance. While your job doesn’t necessarily require you to be an expert on insurance, the ability to direct your clients to the information they’re looking for can be invaluable. Here are a few handy tips to help you out: Do a little research on your own and provide your clients with a general breakdown of the various types of homeowners insurance available and direct them to an agent who can answer any further questions in detail. Know which exclusions the home is likely to be subject to and let your clients know about them. Make sure your clients know if the home is in a high-risk area, what type of risk they face, and what type(s) of policies they’ll need to ask an insurance agent about to keep their home protected. Explain the difference between replacement cost, market value, and actual cash value to your clients. The state of the home and the market in which it’s located will have a big impact on which type of coverage is best for your clients. Knowing the differences between them will help put your clients in a more knowledgeable place when it comes to speaking with an insurance agent about a home insurance policy. Last but not least, work with a trusted local insurance agent directly. After giving your clients the information mentioned above, providing them with a number to call with any further questions or to purchase a home insurance policy is the final...
Choosing Your Homeowners Insurance Coverage Limits and Deductibles

Choosing Your Homeowners Insurance Coverage Limits and Deductibles

One of the most important decisions you’ll have to make regarding your homeowners insurance is how much coverage to acquire. The exact amount will vary from one homeowner to another, but a general rule is to get enough protection to cover the cost of rebuilding your home. The cost to rebuild a home is highly likely to be different from its purchase price and current market value. The purchase price is what you paid for the home, its current market value is what the home is worth right now, and its rebuild cost is the cost of materials and labor if the home were to be completely destroyed and rebuilt using similar materials. You can get a ballpark figure of the rebuilding cost by taking the square footage of your home and multiplying that by local construction costs per square foot. Your home insurer or your real estate agent can help you if you need it. When it comes to personal property coverage, some home insurance companies will automatically set it at 50% of your dwelling coverage amount. If the policy you’re looking to buy doesn’t have a set coverage limit for personal property, you can use 50% as a guideline. If you have particularly expensive personal property – such as jewelry or artwork – your homeowners insurance policy almost assuredly won’t provide enough coverage. For expensive items, speak with your agent about riders that can be added on to your policy that cover these items specifically. When it comes to choosing deductibles, the higher you go the lower your premium is likely to be. Going with a higher...
Will your insurance cover the removal of Phos-Chek from your home?

Will your insurance cover the removal of Phos-Chek from your home?

With all of the fires burning in California, we’re seeing more and more of that red powdery stuff firefighters drop to help slow the spread of wildfires. The material, for those who don’t know, is Phos-Chek. The fire retardant is applied ahead of wildfires and to homes and vegetation by ground crews and aerial firefighting units. Phos-Chek is comprised of 85 percent water, 10 percent fertilizer and 5 percent coloring. It can help slow the spread of a fire – but it can also do a number on your home or car, leaving a heavy residue of bright red. Will your homeowners or auto insurance cover this? Believe it or not, it won’t but that’s only because the stuff can be washed off – although in some cases it may require a high-pressure power wash to get rid of all traces of the material. Recent news reports indicate that some cities will clean Phos-Chek off your sidewalk or driveway for free. With all of these fires burning, your house could also end up covered in ash. Don’t try to remove it by brushing it away – that could scratch the finish. Instead, water it down and then remove it.  Smoke is another issue you may deal with. Some insurance companies limit coverage for smoke damage to $5,000, but in some cases that’s not nearly enough. Damage from smoke can sometimes reach $20,000 or even higher, so check your homeowners policy to see what your coverage is. Questions? Call Carol Smith at 661-803-3803 or visit insurancescv.com for a free...
What to Do When Your Home Suffers Severe Water Damage

What to Do When Your Home Suffers Severe Water Damage

Water damage can be a nightmare; it ruins drywall and carpets, warps hardwood floors, and when it’s severe enough, it can inflict serious structural damage to your home. When water leaks into a home, whether from a flood or a burst pipe, it has a tendency to spread around the house very quickly, leaving  homeowners frantically trying to figure out what to do next. Below are a few tips to help you figure out what to do if you ever find your home flooded. Stem the Flow If water is leaking into your home from a burst pipe, shut off the water immediately. If it’s leaking from a fixture such as a sink, faucet or toilet, there are usually valves either under the sink or behind the toilet that will shut off the water and stop the leak. If the leak doesn’t stop, or if it’s coming from someplace else, go outside and shut off your water main. If water entered your home because of a flood, then you’ll need to find out if your region is considered a disaster area or not. If it is, you’ll have access to a lot of helpful resources. Contact Your Homeowners Insurance Company Your standard homeowners insurance policy should cover you if water damages your home due to faulty plumbing, but if your home was flooded during a natural disaster, you’ll need a separate flood insurance policy. As dry as Southern California can often be, floods can and do happen. If you don’t have a flood insurance policy in addition to your homeowners insurance, it’s worth checking into. Check Out the Damage...