Is Internal Home Damage Covered by Insurance?

Understanding the extent of your home coverage.mold growing by a window

As a homeowner, you are bound to run into internal issues and damages, such as water damage, pest infestations, and so on.  This is why many homeowners wonder if these types of damage are covered by their insurance.  Here is what your homeowners insurance policy will cover when it comes to common types of internal damages.

  • Mold

Mold is considered a type of water damage.  So, if mold is caused by a sudden accident, then it may be covered by your homeowners insurance.  However, mold removal is not covered if it is the result of a flood, ground seepage, or poorly maintained pipes that have begun to leak.  As a general rule, mold infestations that breakout due to lack of maintenance are your responsibility and will not be covered by your homeowners insurance.

  • Pest Damage

If your home sustains damage due to a rodent or insect infestation, then your homeowners insurance will probably not offer coverage.  This is because infestations are considered a result of the homeowner’s negligence.  So, if your home or belongings are damaged by pests, then this cost will come out of your own pockets.

  • Malfunctioning Appliances

Your homeowners insurance will offer coverage for broken appliances if they were damaged during a covered peril, such as a storm or fire.  If an appliance breaks down due to lack of maintenance, then your insurance may cover damage to your property and belongings, but it will not cover the cost of repairing or replacing the faulty appliance.  Your home insurance will also not cover the cost of repairing or replacing appliances that breakdown due to mechanical failures.  This coverage can be secured through a home warranty instead.

This is what your homeowners insurance will cover when it comes to these common forms of internal damage.  Do you have more questions about your home coverage?  If so, then contact the experts at Miller Carlisle Insurance Services.  Our dedicated team is eager to assist you with all your insurance needs today.

What Can Invalidate Your Home Insurance Policy?

What can get your home insurance coverage canceled?red home cut out next to stack of coins and calculator

Just because you have home insurance coverage does not mean that you are guaranteed to have it forever.  In fact, there are several problems that can lead to the cancelation of your policy.  Here are some of the most common issues to watch out for.

Top Reasons for Policy Cancelations

  • The homeowner has filed too many claims.
  • The home is in a state of disrepair or requires maintenance or renovations that the homeowner is not taking care of.
  • The homeowner has failed to pay their premiums or has submitted late payments too many times.
  • The homeowner has been conducting criminal activity out of the home, made false declarations, or has been deemed a “moral hazard.”
  • The homeowner’s situation has changed significantly and is now too high-risk for their existing policy (also known as a material change in risk).

Can You Prevent a Policy Cancelation?

In some cases, your insurer might reconsider the cancelation if you are able to offer them an acceptable explanation for your risky behavior.  Calmly speaking to your agent and offering corroborating evidence to back up your story can help your case.  Offering proactive solutions to your risky behavior can also help.  For instance, if your policy is being canceled because you filed too many claims, then you can explain everything that you will do to prevent claims in the future.  Provide proof of your ongoing efforts to reduce your claims risk, and your insurer may give you the chance to keep your policy.

Another way to improve your chances of keeping your home insurance policy is by highlighting your loyalty.  This strategy is particularly helpful if you have been with the company for several years leading up to unfortunate claim incidents or missed payments.  To convince your agent, focus on how many years you have been with the company and remind them of the friends and family members that you have referred to them.  If you have other policies with the company, then you should also use these as evidence of your loyalty and stability.  Finally, tell your insurer that you will be willing to assume more risk by increasing your home insurance deductibles.  Taking these steps could convince your insurer to reconsider your policy cancelation.

Please keep in mind that your insurer is not obligated to continue coverage.  If you have violated the terms of your policy, then you are at your insurer’s mercy.  So, always be polite and accept their decision graciously, even if they do decide to go through with the cancelation.

This is what you need to know about having your home insurance policy canceled.  Do you have more questions about your home coverage?  If so, then contact the experts at Miller Carlisle Insurance Services.  We are ready to assist you with all your personal insurance needs today.

Preventing Customer-Related Liability Issues at Your Business

Keep your customers safe.injured customer

If you run a business, then the health and safety of your customers should be a top priority.  This is why it’s so important to make your workplace a safe environment.  Not only will this ensure that your customers don’t suffer injury or property damage, but it also protects your company from damaging liability suits.  To keep your customers safe, here are some of the precautions you should take.

  • Complete Routine Safety Inspections

One of the best ways to ensure that your workplace is free from major hazards is by conducting frequent health and safety inspections.   During your inspections, walk through your business and look for potential sources of danger.  You should also speak to your employees and take note of any safety concerns that they bring up.  If you do notice potential hazards, make sure that you take steps to address them right away.  Being proactive will reduce the chances of someone sustaining injuries or damage while on your property.

  • Make Use of Warning Signs

Oftentimes, customers are not aware of the hazards present in the workplace.  To prevent them from walking into a dangerous situation, you and your employees should be vigilant about posting the appropriate warning signs.  When you inform customers about risks, they will be much more careful.  This, in turn, reduces the chances of them sustaining injuries or damage while on your property.

  • Have Customers Sign Waivers

Depending on the nature of your business and the activities that your customers are participating in, you may want to have them sign waivers.  This way, if a customer is injured or sustains property damage while using your company’s services, you will not be held liable.  If you are interested in having clients sign a waiver, then make sure you check your state’s laws to verify that your waiver is in compliance.

These are some of the steps that you should take to prevent customer-related liability issues.  Want another way to protect your company?  If so, then contact the experts at Miller Carlisle Insurance Services.  We are ready to get you the coverage that you need today.

Most Expensive Home Insurance Claims

Filing these types of home insurance claims will cause your rates to increase toy home next to stack of coinssignificantly.

While filing any type of homeowners insurance claim will raise your rates, some types of claims will do more damage than others.  Watch out; filing these types of home insurance claims will result in significant premium increases.

  • Damage Claims

There are many perils that can result in property damage. Oftentimes, these types of claims are very expensive.  For instance, fire damage claims are the most expensive, resulting in an average premium increase of $273. Water damage claims are also very costly, increasing premiums by an average of $228.  Finally, weather damage claims are also quite expensive and result in an average rate increase of about $107.

  • Liability Claims

Personal liability claims will also cause your insurance premiums to increase significantly.  For instance, a single liability claim will result in an average premium increase of about $260.  Personal injury or medical claims are also pretty expensive, with a single claim resulting in an average premium increase of about $76.

  • Theft Claims

Finally, filing a theft claim will cause your homeowners insurance rates to increase considerably.  A single theft claim will result in an average premium increase of approximately $253.

These are the most expensive types of homeowners insurance claims.  Do you have more questions about your home coverage?  If so, then contact the experts at Miller Carlisle Insurance Services.  Our expert team is ready to assist you with all your home insurance needs today.

What to Do When Switching Auto Policies

Take these steps when switching to a new auto insurance policy.looking up auto insurance online

There are many reasons why you may want to switch to a new auto insurance policy.  For instance, you may be moving to a new state, want to set higher coverage limits, or want access to cheaper rates.  Whatever your reason, it’s important that you don’t leave yourself vulnerable during your insurance transition.  To maintain your coverage, here are some of the important steps to take.

  • Determine Your Best Time to Switch

The easiest time to change insurance carriers is when your current policy is up for renewal.  At this point, you will simply inform your carrier that you do not want to renew your policy.  Then, all you need to do it ride out your remaining coverage period, and your policy will be officially canceled.   However, you also have the option to cancel your auto policy outside of renewal periods.  All standard auto insurance policies include a provision that allows you to cancel your policy at any time, so long as you give your carrier proper notice.  Cancelation protocols are different for every insurer, but many will prorate your latest premium up to your cancelation date.  Additionally, many insurers will charge you a cancelation fee to cover administrative costs associated with canceling your coverage mid-cycle.

  • Choose and Activate Your New Policy

It’s not advised to cancel your auto insurance policy before having a replacement in mind.  When shopping for a new auto insurance provider, make sure you secure several quotes so you can compare different carriers’ coverage options, coverage limits, deductibles, discounts, and so on.  Once you have found your new auto policy, it’s important that you sign off on this coverage before taking steps to cancel your old policy.  While your coverage will overlap for a short period, taking this precaution will help you avoid any gaps in your car insurance.  Because coverage gaps equate to higher auto insurance premiums, it’s actually more cost-effective to pay for double-coverage temporarily than risk a gap in your insurance record.

These are some of the steps that you should take when switching auto insurance policies.  Do you have questions about your car coverage?  If so, then contact the experts at Miller Carlisle Insurance Services.  Our agents are ready to assist you with all your coverage needs today.

How You Can Lower Your Auto Insurance Rates This Year

Easy ways to lower your auto insurance rates in 2020.toy car next to calculator

Now that the new year is here, it’s time to start working towards your resolutions.  If you challenged yourself to spend less money this year, then you may be looking for ways to cut costs.  One way that you can save money is by lowering your car insurance premiums.  To save on your auto coverage, try out these suggestions.

  • Pay Your Premiums All at Once

Typically, auto insurance premiums are given in six-month terms.  While you have the option to pay your premiums in monthly installments, you may be able to save by paying your premium all at once.  Many car insurance carriers offer discounts to policyholders who agree to pay the whole six-month premium upfront.

  • Bump Up Your Deductible

Your deductible is the amount of money that you agree to pay towards insurance claims before your coverage kicks in.  The higher the deductible you assume, the lower your premiums will be.  If you can afford to increase your deductible this year, then do it so you can save on your auto policy.

  • Cut Back on Driving

The more you drive, the higher your auto insurance premiums will be.  This is because the more you drive, the higher your risk for accidents and vehicular damage.  By cutting down on the miles you put on your car, you can actually reduce your auto insurance premiums.  As an added bonus, driving less also saves you money on gas and helps the environment.

These are some of the policy and life adjustments that you can make to save on your auto insurance this year.  Do you have more questions about your car coverage?  If so, then contact the experts at Miller Carlisle Insurance Services.  We are ready to assist you with all your auto insurance needs today.

What to Know About Business Insurance and Rental Property

Does commercial property insurance cover rental spaces?smiling small business owner

While every business faces different risks that require unique insurance solutions, there are certain types of coverage that are considered universal.  For instance, if your business is operating out of a physical location, then you need to secure commercial property insurance to protect your building.  But is this true when you are only renting your business’s space?  Here’s what you need to know.

  • Commercial Property Insurance

Commercial property insurance is coverage that protects a company from losses related to physical damages to their building and other property such as equipment, supplies, inventory, furniture, and so on.  Business owners who own the building that they operate out of need to secure comprehensive commercial property insurance to protect the structure, contents, and other assets that their company owns.

  • Insurance for Leased Buildings

Many businesses do not own the building that they operate out of.  In this case, they lease a building or a portion of a building from a landlord.  In most cases, tenants are responsible for securing commercial property insurance to protect their rented space.  This includes important things like structural walls and fixtures.  Of course, their insurance should also provide coverage for their equipment, supplies, inventory, furniture, and other assets.

Landlords will typically lay out their tenants’ insurance requirements in the lease agreement.  So, your landlord will tell you the minimum amount of commercial property insurance that you need to secure in order to rent from them.  Please note that when you secure commercial property insurance on a rented property, you are not covering yourself.  Rather, you are protecting your landlord’s investment.  If you want financial protection for your business, then you should speak to your insurance provider and secure a separate policy to cover your losses.

This is what you need to know about commercial property insurance and rented spaces.  Do you have more questions about your business’s insurance needs?  If so, then contact the experts at Miller Carlisle Insurance Services.  We are ready to assist you with your commercial coverage needs today.

Why You Need Liquor Liability Coverage for Your Holiday Party

What is host liquor liability insurance?pouring glasses of champagne

Throwing a company holiday party is a great way to celebrate the end of the year and boost your employees’ spirits.  However, if you plan on serving alcohol at your company event, then you are leaving yourself open to serious risks.  To protect your company, you need to invest in host liquor liability insurance.  Here’s what you need to know about this specialized coverage.

What Does Host Liquor Liability Insurance Cover?

Businesses that allow alcohol to be consumed onsite or at an event that they are hosting are liable for the damage or injuries that intoxicated individuals cause following the event.  Business owners can protect themselves from this risk by securing host liquor liability insurance.  This type of insurance offers coverage for any third-party damages or injuries caused by intoxicated employees or party guests, ensuring that your business will not have to pay for these expenses out-of-pocket.

Does My Business Need This Coverage?

Some states have enacted laws that hold party hosts liable for the damages caused by an inebriated party-goers.  These states include the following:

  • Alaska
  • Arkansas
  • Connecticut
  • Hawaii
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Missouri
  • New Jersey
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Washington
  • Wisconsin

If your business is located on one of these states, then you absolutely cannot afford to skip out on host liquor liability.  However, even if you don’t operate a business within these states, you are still highly encouraged to carry host liquor liability insurance.  This is because an injured party can still sue you for the damages an intoxicated employee causes following a company party.  Host liquor liability insurance will cover your legal fees and minimize the negative impact that such a case has on your company’s reputation.

This is what you need to know about host liquor liability insurance.  Looking for assistance with your business insurance this holiday season?  If so, then contact the experts at Miller Carlisle Insurance Services for assistance with your commercial coverage needs today.

Common Holiday Home Insurance Claims

Don’t ruin your holidays with an insurance claim.living room decorated for the holidays

For most people, the holidays are all about having fun and celebrating with the family.  However, homeowners insurance agents know that the holidays are one of the most dangerous times of the year.  To ensure that your holiday isn’t ruined by damage, injuries, or other insurance issues, then watch out for these common types of claims.

  • Fires

During the holiday season, many homeowners light up candles or get a fire going in their fireplaces to create a cozy vibe.  Unfortunately, many homeowners forget to snuff out their candles or accidentally leave their fires burning after they go to bed.  This can often lead to nearby items igniting and a fire spreading throughout the home.

  • Burst Pipes

If you live in an area that experiences very cold winters, then your pipes are at risk for freezing over and bursting this holiday season.  Every year, insurance companies get an influx of claims to address the water damage caused by burst pipes.

  • Theft

There are more theft claims in December than any other month of the year.  This is because many burglars wait for the holiday season because they know there is a greater chance of expensive gifts being in the home.  Sadly, instead of waking up to a pile of presents under the tree, many homeowners wake up to a ransacked home instead.

Watch out for these common holiday home insurance claims.  Want to get covered for the holidays?  Then contact the experts at Miller Carlisle Insurance Services.  Our dedicated team is eager to assist you with all your home coverage needs today.

What Home Burglars Target During Break-Ins

What do criminals look for during a home burglary?person breaking into a home

As a homeowner, the idea of someone breaking into your home and going through your things is violating.  To make the situation even worse, break-ins often result in significant damage and the loss of valuable items.  While you cannot always prevent a break-in from happening, there are steps that you can take to protect your valuables from being stolen.  Here are some of the most commonly stolen household items and what you can do to protect them.

  • Personal Devices

Laptops, tablets, and smartphones are common targets during a home break-in because these items are easy to grab and can be re-sold at a good price.  Because we use our personal devices on a daily basis, it is inconvenient to lock them up whenever we leave home.  However, you can still protect these devices by hiding them when they are not in use.  Additionally, you can invest in other security measures like alarms and laptop locks.  You should also take steps to protect the personal information on your devices by securing your devices with a strong password and good encryption software.

  • Televisions

HD and 4D televisions are becoming popular with burglars because they are valuable, more lightweight than older tv models, and more common in households than ever before.  While you cannot conceal your television, you can make it harder to remove from your home by attaching it to a secure wall mount.  You can also go the extra mile by installing a tracking device on your tv so you can locate it if it is stolen.

  • Gaming Systems

Most homeowners keep their gaming devices out in the open, so they are easy to set up and play.  However, this makes them an easy target for burglars who are looking to grab and go.  One of the best ways to protect your gaming devices is by packing them up and storing them out of sight when they are not in use.  You may even want to consider locking them up to further reduce the chance of them being stolen.

Take these steps to protect these commonly stolen household items.  Are you looking for another way to protect your belonging from burglars?  If so, then secure the right homeowners insurance.  For assistance with all your home coverage needs, contact the experts at Miller Carlisle Insurance Services.  We are ready to get you covered today.