Blog

How to Insure Your Home

 

how to buy homeowners insurance

 

Owning a home in Southwest Florida is a blessing. But with the beauty of a tropical environment comes dangers that can take out your subtropical home. Homeowners insurance protects your home, the contents in your home and other assets in the event of fires, theft, or disasters. Things like floods and earthquakes are not covered by a standard policy and require additional coverage.

How much coverage do you need? Your home insurance policy should cover enough to rebuild and furnish your home if there was a problem.

It is a good idea to ask a home builder to walk through your home and give you an estimate of what it would take to rebuild. Point out unique or expensive details that would add to the replacement cost.

When you have determined the replacement cost of your home, you will need to know what kind of coverage you want.

Quoted content below from: http://guides.wsj.com/personal-finance/insurance/how-to-insure-your-home/

Guaranteed Replacement Cost Coverage— This means that the insurer will pay for the rebuilding of your home no matter the cost. These policies are hard to find these days. • Extended Replacement Coverage— Many insurers offer coverage that caps the payout at around 125% of your home’s insured value. • Inflation Guarantee (or Guard) — This feature makes sure that your home’s insured value stays current with the marketplace.

If you get a reliable appraisal, extended replacement coverage and an inflation guarantee, you should be in good shape. The appraisal provides a realistic starting figure and the inflation guarantee makes sure that your home’s price stays current. The 125% coverage means that, even if construction prices outpace inflation, they probably didn’t outpace it by 25%, so you should have enough money for whatever work you need done.

One last thing: The law requires you to have flood insurance if you live in an officially recognized high-risk area. To find out your flood risk and to find plans (which are offered by the government), go to floodsmart.gov.

When it comes to protecting your possessions, you may want more coverage than your standard policy allows. If you have anything of exceptional value (a family heirloom, a piece of art, jewelry, etc.), you should insure it separately. Insurers will charge extra for this coverage (something like an extra $10 on your monthly premium per $1,000 of value insured), but it pays to be covered.

Also keep in mind that there are two different kinds of coverage when it comes to personal articles. There’s “actual cash value” and there’s “replacement cost.” You want coverage for replacement cost. Actual Cash Value Insurance is what you’d get if you sold your valuable today — a lower amount than what you initially paid. Replacement Cost Insurance pays you the amount of money you’d need to buy a brand-new item to replace your old one. Liability Coverage Say a guest stays at your home and slips on the floor and sprains his ankle. He decides to sue you. Your homeowners policy includes liability coverage in case you lose the court case. Generally speaking, standard policies offer $100,000 to $300,000 of liability coverage.

Supplemental liability coverage can boost your protection to $1 million or more. If you don’t own a car, adding that kind of coverage can be relatively cheap—less than $100 per year—and isn’t a bad idea. If you do own a car (putting you at greater risk for causing damage to people and property), expect to pay $300 to $400 a year. Check out your auto policy to see what kind of coverage you already have.

Your Deductible Like auto or health insurance, your homeowners insurance has a deductible (the amount you must pay before coverage kicks in). Like those other policies, you should opt for the highest deductible you can afford. If you do, the cost of your insurance premium (the monthly bill you pay) will surely be lower. Plus, a low deductible forces your insurer to cover more of your costs — costs they pass on to you in the form of increased premiums.

Remember: You should not use insurance to cover every conceivable expense, just the big ones. If reinstalling a gutter will cost you $200, pay the $200 — don’t start filing claims for it. Insurers hate it when you file too many claims, and may raise your monthly premium or even cancel coverage because they’ll view you as too risky. It’s not about gutters—you want the insurance when you have to pay for a whole new roof.

A good rule of thumb to follow: If you can fix anything for less than $1,000, don’t file a claim.




Read more...

Homeowners Discounts

 

SAVING IS EASY WITH US.

naples florida homeowners insurance

 

Protecting the place you call home doesn't have to be expensive. And with a variety of discounts and savings opportunities, Allstate makes it even easier to get a good deal. Talk to an agent to take advantage of available discounts.

FEATURED DISCOUNTS

 

Multi-policy discount

Save up to 25% when you bundle home and auto policies with Allstate.

Easy Pay Plan®

Save up to 5% when you set up automatic payments.

Claim-free discount

Save up to 20% when you switch to Allstate without a recent home insurance claim.

 

 

 

 

 

SEE EVEN MORE WAYS TO SAVE.

  • Protective device discount
    Save when your home has theft or fire protection devices.

  • Early signing discount
    Save up to 10% on your home insurance premium when you sign up for a new policy at least 7 days before your current one expires.

  • Welcome & loyalty discount
    Save up to 10% on your home insurance premium just for switching to Allstate. As long as you're a customer, you'll continue to save 10% every year after that.

  • Home buyer discount
    Save if you purchase a newly constructed home, or if you're a recent homebuyer.

  • 55 and retired discount
    Save if you're over the age of 55 and are retired.

  • Additional discounts
    Save for smoke-free homes, homes with storm shutters, homes with hail-resistant roofs and more.

 

Article Here

 

Read more...

3 Most Frequently Asked Flood Insurance Questions

As you know we are in hurricane season! Flood insurance is essential for homeowners living in Florida.

Check out our video below where we answer 3 of the most frequently asked questions about flood insurance

Our Florida insurance expert explains things about flood insurance and answers 3 questions that are frequently asked.

Read more...

Hurricane Season Predictions 2019

 

If you're planning a trip to Florida this August, September, or October, you should be especially cautious when visiting coastal cities. As an added precaution, you can download the Hurricane app from the American Red Cross to get up-to-date information on current tropical storm movement that may affect your trip.

What Hurricane Season Means for Vacation Plans

While it's unlikely that you will be visiting Florida during a hurricane, if you're planning a trip between August and November, you might consider reserving a room at a hotel that offers a hurricane guarantee or paying a little extra for travel insurance on your flights. This way, even if a weather-related emergency cancels your plans, you'll get a full refund or equivalent rescheduling.

You should also keep in mind that hurricanes don't have to make landfall to put a damper on your summer vacation as even tropical storms bring high winds and heavy rains to Florida coastline. Before you pack for your trip, you should check the latest weather forecasts to plan your clothing and accessories. You might want to pack an umbrella just in case because late summer and early fall is particularly rainy across the state.

Predictions for the 2019 Season

A number of meteorological organizations and weather stations often issue predictions on how they expect the next hurricane season to pan out based on data from previous years. However, these predictions are rarely accurate—especially in volatile years like 2016 and 2017.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA): NOAA predicts a “near-normal” 2019 Atlantic hurricane season with up to 15 named storms with winds of at least 39 mph. But, of these, NOAA predicts, four to eight could turn into hurricanes of 74 mph or greater and two to four of these storms could strengthen into major Category 3, 4, or 5 storms. So "normal," doesn't exactly mean quiet.

Tropical Storm Risk: The TSR (Tropical Storm Risk) anticipates "a season with slightly below-norm activity."

Accuweather: AccuWeather forecasters are predicting 2019 to result in a near to slightly above-normal season with 12 to 14 storms, with five to seven of those becoming hurricanes, and two to four of those storms having the potential to become major hurricanes.



Article from Trip Savvy: https://www.tripsavvy.com/how-often-do-hurricanes-hit-florida-3266726

Read more...

What Perils Are Covered By A Homeowners Insurance Policy?

 

A peril is an event that may damage your home or belongings. Perils are covered by your homeowners insurance and they are listed in your policy.

Listed below are what the  Insurance Information Institute say are the most common perils covered by a homeowners insurance policy:

Check your homeowners insurance policy to learn what perils it covers.

The perils and descriptions below come from an allstate article here.

FIRE AND SMOKE

A home, belongings and structures like a garage or shed are all usually covered for fire damage (including smoke damage). If the condition of the home requires its residents to live elsewhere for a time, a policy will typically help reimburse for those expenses as well.

LIGHTNING STRIKES

Damage from lightning is typically covered by homeowners insurance. Some policies will also extend that protection to power surges that happen as a result of a strike, covering, for instance, damaged electronics.

WINDSTORMS AND HAIL

Wind damage — even when it's from a tornado — is normally a covered peril. Protection usually also includes hail damage, or wind-driven rain or snow that gets inside after a home has been damaged by a storm. Read your policy, though, to learn of any exclusions.

EXPLOSION

Whether it's from an aerosol can or a propane grill, it's never good when something explodes in or around a home. Damage resulting from such explosions is usually covered by homeowners insurance.

VANDALISM AND MALICIOUS MISCHIEF

Homeowners insurance typically covers damage that results from such acts. That would include repairing or rebuilding your home, or replacing your possessions if they were damaged by the event.

DAMAGE FROM AN AIRCRAFT, CAR OR VEHICLE

It may not be often that a plane or car crashes into a home, but when it happens, the images can be pretty dramatic. The good news is that most homeowners policies help pay to repair damage resulting from such an event.

THEFT

If an intruder breaks a window or door to gain access to your home, insurance will likely cover the damage. Items that are actually stolen are generally also protected by the personal property coverage that's part of most homeowners insurance policies. But you should know that most policies have limits on how much they'll pay out for specific types of personal property. You may be able to purchase additional coverage for those items.

FALLING OBJECTS

If your home is damaged by a falling object, whether it's a meteor or a healthy tree that topples in a storm, homeowners insurance may help pay for the damage.

WEIGHT OF ICE, SNOW OR SLEET

When the weight of heavy, wet snow or ice causes your roof to cave in, you'll find that your homeowners insurance will typically help cover the loss — for the damage to your home and your property inside.

WATER DAMAGE

Most homeowners policies will cover water damage from burst pipes or water heaters when the cause is sudden and accidental (but not the damage to the pipe or water heater if they burst because of defect or wear and tear). So, if your water heater bursts and soaks your drywall, you're likely protected from the water damage. Water damage from a flood requires a separate flood insurance policy. Water damage from water backup from sewers or drains or overflow of water from a sump pump typically requires additional optional coverage.

 

A homeowners insurance policy may help cover damage resulting from a number of incidents, but likely also comes with a list of scenarios that it won't cover. Also, remember that coverage limits and deductibles will apply. Get informed about the specifics of your coverage by reviewing your policy, or call your agent with questions.

 

Read more...

What Perils Are Covered By A Homeowners Insurance Policy?

 

A peril is an event that may damage your home or belongings. Perils are covered by your homeowners insurance and they are listed in your policy.

Listed below are what the  Insurance Information Institute say are the most common perils covered by a homeowners insurance policy:

Check your homeowners insurance policy to learn what perils it covers.

The perils and descriptions below come from an allstate article here.

FIRE AND SMOKE

A home, belongings and structures like a garage or shed are all usually covered for fire damage (including smoke damage). If the condition of the home requires its residents to live elsewhere for a time, a policy will typically help reimburse for those expenses as well.

LIGHTNING STRIKES

Damage from lightning is typically covered by homeowners insurance. Some policies will also extend that protection to power surges that happen as a result of a strike, covering, for instance, damaged electronics.

WINDSTORMS AND HAIL

Wind damage — even when it's from a tornado — is normally a covered peril. Protection usually also includes hail damage, or wind-driven rain or snow that gets inside after a home has been damaged by a storm. Read your policy, though, to learn of any exclusions.

EXPLOSION

Whether it's from an aerosol can or a propane grill, it's never good when something explodes in or around a home. Damage resulting from such explosions is usually covered by homeowners insurance.

VANDALISM AND MALICIOUS MISCHIEF

Homeowners insurance typically covers damage that results from such acts. That would include repairing or rebuilding your home, or replacing your possessions if they were damaged by the event.

DAMAGE FROM AN AIRCRAFT, CAR OR VEHICLE

It may not be often that a plane or car crashes into a home, but when it happens, the images can be pretty dramatic. The good news is that most homeowners policies help pay to repair damage resulting from such an event.

THEFT

If an intruder breaks a window or door to gain access to your home, insurance will likely cover the damage. Items that are actually stolen are generally also protected by the personal property coverage that's part of most homeowners insurance policies. But you should know that most policies have limits on how much they'll pay out for specific types of personal property. You may be able to purchase additional coverage for those items.

FALLING OBJECTS

If your home is damaged by a falling object, whether it's a meteor or a healthy tree that topples in a storm, homeowners insurance may help pay for the damage.

WEIGHT OF ICE, SNOW OR SLEET

When the weight of heavy, wet snow or ice causes your roof to cave in, you'll find that your homeowners insurance will typically help cover the loss — for the damage to your home and your property inside.

WATER DAMAGE

Most homeowners policies will cover water damage from burst pipes or water heaters when the cause is sudden and accidental (but not the damage to the pipe or water heater if they burst because of defect or wear and tear). So, if your water heater bursts and soaks your drywall, you're likely protected from the water damage. Water damage from a flood requires a separate flood insurance policy. Water damage from water backup from sewers or drains or overflow of water from a sump pump typically requires additional optional coverage.

 

A homeowners insurance policy may help cover damage resulting from a number of incidents, but likely also comes with a list of scenarios that it won't cover. Also, remember that coverage limits and deductibles will apply. Get informed about the specifics of your coverage by reviewing your policy, or call your agent with questions.

 

Read more...

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Storm Damage?

WHAT TYPES OF STORM DAMAGE DOES HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE COVER?

Homeowners insurance typically helps cover the following types of storm damage:

 

  • Water and Ice Damage

  • Lightning Strikes and Power Surges

  • Wind, Hail and Fallen Trees

Water and Ice Damage

 

Whether it's a thunderstorm in the spring or a roof covered in ice, water can damage a home. While ice and hail damage are typically covered by homeowners insurance — up to the limits stated in your policy — coverage for water damage varies, depending on the cause. For example, you may find homeowners insurance helps protect you if a frozen pipe bursts in your home. Review your policy to learn what types of water damage it covers.

 

Water and Ice Damage

Whether it's a thunderstorm in the spring or a roof covered in ice, water can damage a home. While ice and hail damage are typically covered by homeowners insurance — up to the limits stated in your policy — coverage for water damage varies, depending on the cause. For example, you may find homeowners insurance helps protect you if a frozen pipe bursts in your home. Review your policy to learn what types of water damage it covers.

Lightning Strikes and Power Surges

Should lightning strike your home or other structure covered by your policy, the resulting damage, such as fire or smoke damage, is typically covered by homeowners insurance. Some policies also provide coverage for power surges and outages that are the result of a lightning strike, such as damaged electronics or appliances. As with any coverage, limits will apply. Check your policy or contact your agent to learn the types and amount of coverage it provides.

Wind, Hail and Fallen Trees

If a strong storm roars through, you may find your siding damaged by hail and shingles that the wind ripped off the roof. Homeowners insurance typically covers wind damage. Coverage also usually includes damage from hail, wind-driven rain or snow that gets inside the home when a roof or wall is damaged due to wind. Most policies also offer some coverage for fallen trees that damage your home, provided the tree broke because of a storm or wind. 

WHAT TYPES OF STORM DAMAGE ARE EXCLUDED FROM HOME INSURANCE COVERAGE?

Earthquakes

Damage caused by an earthquake or earth movement is typically not included in homeowners coverage. However, earthquake insurance may be available as a separate policy. An agent can tell you if this coverage is available in your area.

Article found here:

https://www.allstate.com/tr/home-insurance/homeowners-insurance-cover-storm-damage.aspx 

 

Read more...

Pros and Cons of Homeowners Associations: What to Know About HOAs Before You Buy

 

Elenathewise/iStock/thinkstock

If you’re shopping for a new house, you’re likely to come across at least a few properties that are part of a homeowners association, or HOA. Some 26 million homes across the country are governed by them, according to the trade group Community Associations Institute (CAI). Of course, amenities like…

If you’re shopping for a new house, you’re likely to come across at least a few properties that are part of a homeowners association, or HOA. Some 26 million homes across the country are governed by them, according to the trade group Community Associations Institute (CAI).

Of course, amenities like swimming pools or club houses can make it tempting to gloss over the realities of living under an HOA – but it’s important that you don’t.

For one thing, there’s the money. HOAs assess fees that help maintain common areas and cover community services, so knowing the size of the fee (and what it covers) can help you decide if you want to live in the community, or whether you can afford to.

It’s also important to understand the HOA rules, which you have to abide by if you purchase a home there. Association regulations are designed to protect property values, according to CAI. But they can touch on anything from how you paint your home to where you park your car. CAI suggests looking into rules about pets, flags, outside antennas, clotheslines, satellite dishes, fences, patios and home businesses before you buy.

There are also other aspects of an HOA to consider. Here are some pros and cons of community living to help you decide if it’s right for you:

PRO: HOAs provide amenities

Buying into an HOA may give you access to amenities like a tennis court or fitness center that you might not otherwise be able to afford, or be able to enjoy in such close proximity to your home.

PRO: They reduce your responsibilities

The fees you pay to an HOA typically go toward services (like snow removal) and maintenance that you might otherwise have to perform, or contract for, yourself.

PRO: They help keep up appearances

HOAs typically have rules to prevent property neglect and resulting neighborhood decline. They can help to maintain the property values for the homes within the community.

CON: An HOA can foreclose on your home

If you get behind on your fees, the HOA may be able to foreclose on your home, attorney Benjamin Childs tells the Wall-Street Journal. (The process of doing so varies by state). Though, CAI advises HOAs to only use foreclosure as a “last resort.”

CON: They can spring assessments on you

If the HOA doesn’t have cash reserves to cover an expenditure, it can impose an assessment to come up with the money, the CAI says. That’s important, since 70 percent of all HOAs are currently underfunded, according to Reuters.

CON: They may limit you from renting your place

HOAs can put an array of rental restrictions in place. One Denver-area association limits rentals to 15 percent of homes in the community, requires HOA board approval of tenants, and says rentals must be on two-year leases.

So, consider the pros and cons against your own lifestyle and get familiar with the community rules before you buy – you just might find that association living is equally as satisfying for you.

Artlce: https://www.allstate.com/blog/homeowners-associations/

Read more...
Subscribe to this RSS feed