How a Home Security System can Decrease Insurance Costs

How a Home Security System can Decrease Insurance Costs

One principle we’ve stated over and over again is that the cost of homeowners insurance is based off of your perceived risk of filing a claim. Simply put: people who are more likely to file an insurance claim will pay more for their home insurance premium than people who are less likely. If you’re unhappy with the amount you pay for your home insurance premium, it’s possible to take steps to reduce it – in during the course of your current policy. According to the FBI, a burglary occurs in the United States once every 15 seconds, and homes without security systems are burglarized three times more often than homes that have them. When you install a monitored home security system, the likelihood of being burglarized immediately drops – and your homeowners insurance premium should, too. As a matter of fact, the Insurance Information Institute has studied insurance premium discounts among people with home security systems and their data has shown that it’s possible to get as much as a 15% to 20% reduction in your premium by installing one. Is a Home Security System Right for You? Admittedly, an argument can be made that any home that isn’t protected by a monitored security system should have one; especially by the home security industry! In reality, whether or not you can truly benefit from a monitored home security system will take a bit of thought. People who tend to fill their homes with more expensive items including furniture, electronics, or artwork, and as well as those who keep particularly valuable items like jewelry or expensive collections, will likely benefit...
Holiday Home Safety Tips from Insurance SCV

Holiday Home Safety Tips from Insurance SCV

During the holiday season, people tend to do more celebrating – and that means more cooking, entertaining, and decorating. Unfortunately, it also means the risk of accidents increases pretty significantly this time of year. Homeowners insurance is all about risk assessment, and having to file a claim – even a minor one – can cause your premium to go up significantly for years to come. With that in mind, here are a few holiday home safety tips from Insurance SCV. Lighting When you put up extra lights as part of your holiday decorations, quality definitely trumps quantity. Make sure that the lights you put up are made from materials that are flame resistant, fire-retardant, and/or non-combustible. If you decide to use candles instead of artificial lights, never leave them alight when you leave the house, or even if you leave the room for an extended period of time. Your home insurance policy probably covers fire-related damage, but if the fire starts due to negligence, your protection can be voided. Trees If you’re going to have a tree this holiday season, going the artificial route can save you a lot of time and mess. Be sure that your tree is clearly labeled as “fire-resistant” before you buy, though. For those who prefer live trees, the fresher the better, as the trees become easier to ignite as they dry out. Whatever type of tree you buy, make sure you set it up away from fire places or other sources of heat, and see that it doesn’t block any doorways. Entertaining Always be mindful of what you have cooking, and don’t leave...
Elements of a Standard Home Insurance Policy for New Homeowners in Santa Clarita

Elements of a Standard Home Insurance Policy for New Homeowners in Santa Clarita

No matter how you look at it, purchasing a new home is a big deal. For first-time home buyers, signing on the line and making it official is a huge milestone in their lives. For others, buying a new home can represent a fresh start. Whatever your reasons are for buying a new home in Santa Clarita, you’ll want to make sure you buy a homeowners insurance policy that provides you with the proper coverage to keep your new investment well-protected. There are four types of coverage essential to any new home buyer that the standard home insurance policy covers: structure, personal belongings, liability protection, and additional expenses. The Structure The structural portion of your home insurance policy provides coverage if you need to rebuild or repair your home if it’s damaged or destroyed by one of the covered losses (fire, hail, lightning, hurricane, or other disaster listed on the policy). It typically won’t cover floods, wildfires, mudslides, or earthquakes. For these, you’ll need separate policies. Personal Belongings Personal belongings are things like clothes, furniture, jewelry, sports equipment, etc. They’re covered under this section of your homeowners insurance policy provided that they were damaged or destroyed by one of the listed losses (typically fire, plumbing issues, theft, vandalism). If you have particularly valuable personal items such as expensive jewelry or art, it’s best to get a rider on your homeowners insurance to extend extra coverage in the event you need to file a claim, as the general coverage for personal belongings on a standard home insurance policy is limited. Liability Liability is relatively simple. It provides you with protection...
Homeowners Insurance Mistake to Avoid – Assuming Mold is Covered

Homeowners Insurance Mistake to Avoid – Assuming Mold is Covered

When it comes to owning a home, mold is a particularly vicious risk hazard for two major reasons; the presence of mold isn’t always immediately apparent and, certain types of mold can be extremely hazardous to your health. If mold is discovered in your home, it’s notoriously difficult to repair. Mold cannot be cleaned – it, and what it’s growing on, must be physically removed from the home. This often results in pieces of the home’s structure being cut away and, due to this fact, even the presence of a relatively minor amount of mold can be costly to repair. A standard homeowners insurance policy doesn’t always cover the cost of removing mold and repairing any damage done while doing so. The only instances in which mold will be covered are those where mold appears as a result of a “sudden and accidental” incident. For example, if your water heater springs a leak while you’re out of the home and mold forms before you’re able to call and have the problem fixed, the cost of removing mold will likely be covered by your homeowners insurance policy. Situations in which your insurance will probably not cover you are those that stem from humidity, a preventable water leak, or flooding. For example, if the roof of your home is old and neglected and, as a result, water leaks in and causes mold to grow, your insurance likely won’t cover you. Most insurance policies require that a homeowner keep up with regular home maintenance as part of the deal. When a home falls into disrepair – for whatever reason – and a...
Will Homeowners Insurance Fix Your Leaky Roof?

Will Homeowners Insurance Fix Your Leaky Roof?

When it comes to home ownership, one of the single most devastating acts of betrayal is when your roof, which is supposed to keep water out of your home, starts letting it in. The good news is that if you ever find yourself in a situation like this, your homeowners insurance can pay for the repairs. The bad news is that it will only do so under certain circumstances. Covered Perils vs. Non-Covered Perils Simply put: covered perils are things expressly stated in your homeowners insurance policy that, if they occur, will allow you to file a claim. Some common covered perils include: lightning strikes, falling objects, wind, hail, theft, vandalism, and explosions. Homeowners insurance policies will vary from policy-to-policy regarding which covered perils they include, so make sure to check your own for a complete list. Some common non-covered perils include: earthquakes (though you can get a separate earthquake insurance policy), floods, wildfires, and lack of regular and proper maintenance. Lack of Regular and Proper Maintenance It’s crucial to understand what your homeowners insurance policy defines as “regular and proper maintenance.” Most insurance polices, whether home, auto, or even life insurance, will include language that protects the insurance company from a policyholder’s claim if the damage is due to neglect. For example, you can file a claim if something damages your roof and causes a leak. However, if the leak is due to having neglected any sort of maintenance for several years, you’ll probably get stuck paying for any damages yourself. It’s important to note that time is of the essence when you notice your roof is leaking....
Improvements that can Add Value to Your Home

Improvements that can Add Value to Your Home

It can get boring living in the same home year after year, but going through the hassle of selling your current home and buying a new one just because you’re bored really isn’t practical. That’s why a lot of people choose to make upgrades to their existing homes. Depending on the size and type of upgrade, the value added to your home may be on par with what you paid for the upgrade, so if you do ever decide to sell your home, you won’t be left in the hole. Below are a few of the most common home upgrades, and how you can make the most of them. Building a Deck Adding a deck to your home can really enhance your enjoyment of the outdoor living spaces around your home. Depending on its size, a good deck can run you on average anywhere from $2,000 to $7,000. Unfortunately, the addition of the deck likely won’t add that much to the price of your home. Bathroom Remodel If you want maximum bang for your buck, remodeling your bathroom is one of the best investments you can make. If you’re planning to keep the home for a while, go with what you like. However, for those who have a mind to sell, the best type of remodel will be something that includes amenities that a home buyer is likely to value. If you’re not sure, you can always ask a real estate agent. Kitchen Remodel Like bathrooms, remodeling your kitchen can pay off big time. Unfortunately, they’re also some of the most expensive remodeling projects you can undertake – even...