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Under the Umbrella

April 9th, 2015 | Posted by Brenda Snow in Homeowners Insurance - (0 Comments)

Some people may not understand why it is important to own an umbrella insurance policy, but the benefits of umbrella insurance should not be ignored. It is a broad form of insurance coverage. It helps to take care of damages or expenses that are incurred over a specified amount of liability coverage.

Auto and homeowner’s insurance coverage only provides liability protection up to a certain amount. One umbrella policy provides coverage for all of your original or underlying policies. An umbrella policy automatically kicks in whenever any of the original policies are exhausted.

An umbrella policy may also provide coverage for something that is not listed on your main policies. This type of policy could actually cover more things than the original policies. This means that it may not have the same exclusions as your home, auto or boat insurance policies.
It is also good to have umbrella insurance when it comes to lawsuits and major claims. The following are just a few examples of how it provides peace of mind:

  • Bodily Injuries– Just imagine if someone slips and falls on your property. But the court awards him a settlement that is more than your homeowner’s insurance coverage. Umbrella insurance coverage handles the difference. It will take care of that person’s medical expenses.
  • Property Damage– What happens if you cause an auto accident, but your auto insurance does not provide enough coverage to get the other person’s car fixed? Umbrella coverage pays the difference.
  • Landlord Protection– Your tenant does something that causes harm, but the injured party wants to sue you instead. Your umbrella policy will handle this lawsuit claim.

Think of umbrella insurance as being extra liability insurance. It offers an extra form of protection when liability coverage on underlying policies is exhausted. It is an excellent way to get extra coverage when needed.

Spring Has Sprung!

April 2nd, 2015 | Posted by Brenda Snow in Homeowners Insurance - (0 Comments)

Most people look forward to the end of winter and the coming of spring. However, homeowners need to be certain that their homes are ready for the changes in the weather that occur during the spring months. By being prepared for the weather changes, a homeowner can reduce the risk of damage to his or her home.

Roof Damage

As the cold temperatures of winter can cause serious roof damage, it is important to inspect a roof in the early spring. Roofing material that is loose, cracked or otherwise damaged may become worse during the high winds common with spring time weather and may begin to leak when exposed to spring rains. If any roof damage is found during an inspection, it needs to be repaired quickly to prevent further damage to the roof and its supporting structure.

Insect Inspection

Bugs become more active and enter homes during the spring months. To prevent bugs from entering and damaging a home, it is important that the home is inspected for damage and to seal off openings where insects may enter. Though it is impossible to perfectly seal off a home, making certain that exterior doors, windows and siding are properly sealed will help to repel bugs from the home. Any visible damage from termites or other bugs also needs addressed to repair the damage and prevent new infestations.

Insurance Checkup

Despite the best preparations, things can go wrong during the spring months or any other time of the year. To be ready to deal with whatever may come along, it is important for a homeowner to have the right types and amount of homeowners insurance coverage. Spring is a good time to meet with an agent and review insurance coverage. Homeowners should remember to make certain to have coverage for expensive holiday gifts and pools or trampolines that may be used during the summer.

Though it is important to have insurance coverage to protect against financial loss, it is not always easy to choose the right policy as there are a number of differences between policies that a consumer must consider. One of these differences is the amount of the deductible on the policy. The deductible is the amount of loss that a person must have before the insurance provides coverage. Whether a person is buying auto insurance, homeowner insurance or another type of insurance coverage in Melbourne, Florida, almost all policy types offer different deductible levels.

Many people choose insurance policies with a higher deductible as they are the least expensive. However, this is not always a good decision as many people do not have the cash savings needed to pay a high deductible in the event of a covered loss. For example, a person who has a car insurance policy with a $1000 deductible would to pay the first $1000 of any covered loss to the repair person out of pocket to have the car repaired. For a person who does not regularly have $1000 in his or her bank account, choosing an insurance policy with a lower deductible would be a wise choice.

To further complicate the decision, some complex types of coverage such as business insurance coverage and renters insurance coverage may have differing deductible amounts for the same policy depending on the type of insurance claim. As there are many factors for determining insurance deductibles beyond simply having cash on hand to pay the deductible, a person buying an insurance policy needs to make a careful decision concerning the deductible amount and other insurance factors. One of the best ways to make an informed decision is by meeting with an insurance agent and discussing all of the available options.

Many people are leery about insurance, but that’s often because they have inaccurate information about how insurance works. Here are five of the biggest misconceptions about insurance coverage.

It’s too expensive

Cost is relative, but considering what you get for what you pay for, insurance is fairly cheap. The Affordable Care Act has made health insurance affordable for most people, and other types of insurance, such as renters insurance coverage, have always been pretty reasonable.

It excludes more than it covers

Though just about all insurance policies have exclusions, or things they won’t cover, these are small in number compared to what they do cover. And insurers are required by law to spell out in their policies things they won’t cover.

I don’t need insurance

There’s an old saying that you don’t need insurance until you need it. You could be one of the lucky ones and go through life never once needing to use your auto insurance, homeowner insurance or business insurance policy. But everyone dies and has to go to the doctor at some point, so you will always have use for a life or health policy. Plus, certain types of insurance are mandated by law.

Insurance companies do everything they can not to pay claims

Insurance companies are businesses, and their goal is to make money. But they are required by law to pay legitimate claims. As long as you have followed the rules of your policy and your claim is for a covered event, your insurer will pay.

Insurance fraud doesn’t hurt anybody but the insurer

Though insurers make some of their money on investments, a big part of their business model is bringing in more in premiums than they pay out in claims. For every false claim they pay out, that means higher premiums for insurance customers.

Trust Is A Must!

March 5th, 2015 | Posted by Brenda Snow in Homeowners Insurance - (0 Comments)

If you’re searching for a homeowner insurance policy that’s not too expensive, then consider calling several companies for a quote. However, it’s not always about the money, because the way you interact with your agent is also important. Trust is a must for a good insurance relationship to develop. Trust factors include honesty, discounts and good communication skills. Auto insurance is very competitive in today’s markets.

People can easily get a quote over the Internet with many different insurance companies. Call several insurance companies to inquire about homeowner insurance coverage, renters insurance coverage, business insurance coverage and auto insurance coverage. You can often get a really good deal by combing all of your insurance coverage needs with one insurance company.

Business insurance is especially important if you own your own company. Bundling your insurance coverage will reduce your premiums since business insurance can be expensive. A good insurance policy can give you peace of mind in case your disabled and can’t work. Insurance will also protect you against natural or man-made disasters that may affect your home or business.

An insurance agent must know a lot about various financial products so they can choose the right protection for customers. A good insurance agent is always learning. The Internet has changed the way insurance agents work with a variety of new marketing methods. Insurance agents can place an ad on a sponsor’s website and share the revenue from pay-per-click methods.

An insurance agency must market heavily to attract new customers from its competition. They must learn how to get more visitors to their webpages and entice new customers to buy insurance. It usually takes time for Internet marketing techniques to bring in new business. But, perseverance is key when it comes to Internet marketing and attracting new customers who need a variety of insurance policies. To learn more about homeowners insurance in Melbourne, Florida, visit Snow Insurance Company.

If you have kids and want to protect them, you are going to want to make sure they can’t let out of the window. Not only can they fall and get injured, but they may Ned up leaving he area and getting lost. With that in mind, here are three things to do to protect kids from the home windows.

Leave furniture far from the windows: If you have homeowner insurance, you are going to want to put your furniture far from your windows. When doing this, you won’t deal with kids who jump out the window and onto the street. In the end, with no issues, you are going to have a better time getting homeowner insurance coverage.

No false sense of security with the screen in place: Without a doubt, if you have screens, you can protect your kids and lower your insurance coverage. However, when putting up screens, you may have a false sense of security. Remember, you will want to do more if you have kids.

Really watch them as much as you can: Finally, if you really want to keep your kids healthy and safe, you are going to do so if you watch them and let them know when they make mistakes. Remember, you can’t watch your kids all the time, and home window safety is more than juts moving furniture and not relying on screens. Yes, you will need to, instead, watch them and punish them when issues arise, which they probably will if you are not careful.

If you have renters insurance coverage, you can protect your financial and personal interests. However, if you have kids, you should take it further and make sure they don’t have easy access to the windows, which will keep them safe and out of trouble all the time.

Burglary is a potentially big threat for all homeowners. This is why top-notch homeowner insurance coverage is absolutely vital. If you want to reduce your chances of experiencing a burglary, these home theft prevention tips can be extremely helpful.

1. Inform reliable nearby neighbors if you’re going to be gone for an extended period of time. If you have a trustworthy neighbor next door, for example, let him or her know that your home will be empty so he or she can help keep an eye out for any suspicious activities that might be going on in or around your property.

2. Get a watchdog. If you’re an animal lover who has the time to take care of a dog, this can be a smart idea. Wary, persistent barking dogs can be highly effective for dissuading burglars who wish to stay low-key.

3. Use lights to your advantage. When you’re not home, invest in timers that turn lights on and off frequently so you create the illusion of someone being in the property.

4. Lock the doors of your residence. No matter how safe and peaceful you perceive your neighborhood to be, lock all of the doors into your property whenever you’re not around to watch after it.

5. Purchase a dependable security system that produces a loud alarm sound whenever it detects unwanted visitors on the premises. If you don’t wish to spend the money, place security system stickers on your home so potential burglars think that your home is indeed equipped with one.

These handy tips — along with A+ homeowner insurance or renters insurance coverage — can be extremely useful for keeping your beloved home safe. With the right insurance coverage and preventative measures, you can feel more peace of mind — an absolute must whenever you’re not at home.

Reflection Time

December 24th, 2014 | Posted by Brenda Snow in Homeowners Insurance - (0 Comments)

It is important to review your insurance coverage periodically in order to make sure it fits your needs. There are several reasons you may need to update your insurance. For example, if you have purchased new items for your home that are expensive, such as artwork or jewelry, then you may need to update your homeowner insurance. You may not have enough coverage to cover those expensive items.

You may also need to update your homeowner insurance coverage if you have added safety features to your home, such as a security system or smoke alarm. Many companies offer discounts to people who add safety features to their home. Keep in mind that safety features can also help you save money on your renters insurance coverage.

Remodeling your home is another reason you may need to have your insurance coverage updated. Home remodeling projects often increase the value of your home, which is why changes in insurance coverage are often necessary. Furthermore, it is time to check your home insurance coverage if you recently started a home-based business. Your home-based business may not be covered by your homeowners insurance. If your policy does cover home business, then you may have limited coverage. That is why you should ask your insurance provider about riders.

Riders are extra benefits that are added to an existing insurance policy. These benefits are provided at an additional cost. A rider can cover things such as your home office.

You not only want to look at your home or renters insurance coverage, but you also need to review your commercial insurance coverage. Adequate commercial insurance coverage helps protect your business against risks that could cause serious financial problems.

Whether you choose a real tree or an artificial tress this Christmas, there are some safety considerations to keep in mind. The National Fire Protection Association reports that every season, there are an average of 210 fires caused by Christmas trees. These tips for Christmas tree safety will keep you and your family safe this holiday season.

When buying an artificial tree, make sure that it’s labeled as a fire-retardant tree. These trees will resist fire if there’s a problem with the electric string lights or a heat source too close to the tree. The best way to reduce home insurance premiums is to practice safety precautions during the holidays.

If you’re buying a real tree this year, there are a few safety points to keep in mind while shopping. The tree shouldn’t be dry. Dry trees are a serious safety hazard. Don’t purchase a tree if the needles are falling off the branches. The needles should be green and flexible to the touch.

Place your tree in a location that doesn’t block any exits or escapes from the home. While your home insurance coverage will cover fire damage to the home, you don’t want to test that policy. Insurance coverage is never a replacement for safety.

Once the tree is placed in the proper location, check the lights before adding them to the tree. There should be no frayed wires or unlit bulbs. The lights should be fairly new and have been tested by a testing laboratory. The label will indicate if they’ve been tested. While older strings of lights might be great for the memories they invoke, they should be replaced with new, tested lights for safety.

To keep real trees from drying out and becoming a serious fire hazard, place water in the stand every single day. Don’t buy the tree too early since it needs to last until the holiday without being brown and withered.

As the mercury drops, so can the comfort level in your home or office. To stay toasty during the cold winter months, many Americans use space heaters. However, that comfort comes at a cost: an estimated 25,000 fires a year are connected to the use of space heaters. While a homeowner insurance and renters insurance coverage will generally pay for the damage, they may fight the claim if the space heater wasn’t safely used.

Space Heater Safety Tips

To keep your home and loved ones safe, and avoid any issues with your insurance coverage, please follow these safety tips.

  • Follow all instructions that come with your heater.
  • Never operate an old space heater, and never buy a used space heater.
  • Only buy a space heater with a UL (Underwriter’s Laboratory) label. These heaters have met rigorous safety tests.
  • Make sure that every room in your home has a working smoke alarm.
  • Heaters with a thermostat are considered safer to use; they won’t keep heating a room when it gets warm enough.
  • Space heaters should always be placed on a level surface to prevent them from tipping over. As a best practice, only buy a space heater that will automatically turn off if it’s tipped over.
  • Please remember that children and pets will not understand space heater safety. Ensure that they never have access to the heater.
  • Never use a kerosene or natural gas heater inside, unless you know how to properly vent the unit. The fumes from these units are hazardous to your health, and you could even die.
  • As tempting as it may be, never use an extension cord with a space heater; homeowner insurance coverage policies report that this misuse is a common cause of fire.
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