Why You Need to Make a Home Inventory

How home inventories help you manage your homeowners insurance.making home inventory

As a homeowner, there are certain responsibilities that you need to take care of.  One of the important things that you need to do for your home is create and regularly update a home inventory.  However, because creating an inventory means documenting every item that you own, many you may want to put off this task as long as possible.  While this may not seem like a big deal, failing to create an inventory can cause problems with your homeowners insurance.  Here’s why it’s so important to have a home inventory.

Home inventories are a log of all your possessions and their value.  Homeowners are advised to create a home inventory before they start looking for insurance because it helps them determine how much personal property coverage they need from their policy.  If you do not know how much your belongings are worth when you select a homeowners insurance policy, then you risk securing insufficient coverage.  This means that you may have to cover the cost of replacing or repairing your possessions after a claim event.

It’s also important to have an updated home inventory because, in an emergency, it can serve as a guide to help you identify all the items that were damaged or lost.  For instance, if your home was partially destroyed in a fire, then you can use your inventory to figure out which belongings were lost in the fire.  This, in turn, helps you file an accurate insurance claim and ensures that you get all the compensation you need to replace or repair your belongings.

This is why it’s so important for homeowners to create an inventory of their belongings.  Do you have additional questions about your home inventory or homeowners insurance?  If so, then contact the experts at Miller Carlisle Insurance Services.  Our dedicated team is eager to assist you with all your coverage needs today.

What Separates Personal and Commercial Car Insurance?

Why personal and commercial car insurance are different.line of semi-trucks

If your business requires the use of company vehicles, then you must secure the right commercial auto insurance to protect your business’s risk.  But why can’t businesses simply use personal auto policies to protect company vehicles?  Here’s what separates personal and commercial car insurance.

In actuality, personal and commercial auto insurance is not that different.  In fact, both types of insurance essentially offer the same types of coverage.  For instance, personal and commercial auto policies both offer coverage for collision, comprehensive, liability, and so on.  The main difference between these two forms of insurance is the amount of liability coverage each offers.  Because businesses have more assets and face a higher risk for liability lawsuits, commercial auto insurance policies have much higher liability coverage limits than personal policies.  Additionally, commercial policies are also equipped to cover a wider array of vehicles, such as delivery vans, shipping trucks, as well as standard cars.

There is also a special form of commercial auto insurance designed to cover heavy-duty vehicles.  Because heavy vehicles cause more damage in an accident than light vehicles, they need higher liability coverage limits.  So, if your business owns things like minibusses, cement mixers, semi-trucks, tow-trucks, and so on, then talk with your commercial insurance provider to make sure you have the right amount of coverage.

This is what you need to know about the difference between personal and commercial auto insurance.  Do you need help securing coverage for your company vehicles?  If so, then contact the experts at Miller Carlisle Insurance Services.  We are ready to assist you with all your business insurance needs today.

Steps to Take After Your Life Insurance Application Has Been Denied

What you can do if you’ve been denied life insurance coverage.man looking stressed as he looks at life insurance online

If you’ve applied for life insurance and been denied, then this may come as a shock.  One common reason for getting denied is because the life insurance provider has determined that you are too high-risk to insure.  However, just because you’ve been denied coverage doesn’t mean that life insurance is an impossibility for you.  Here are some of the steps that you can take after your initial application has been denied.

  • Collect Information

As insurance companies consider life insurance applications, they conduct research to determine the applicant’s risk.  If they determine that you are high-risk, then they will deny your policy.  Luckily, you can request information about your denial from the company.  At this point, the insurer will provide detailed information on why they refused coverage.  For instance, they will say if the denial was due to your medical history, current exam results, driving record, or another factor.  Once you understand why your application was denied, you can take steps to address your risk.

  • Confirm Results

Underwriters are human, which means that it’s possible for them to make mistakes.  This is why it’s important that you double-check their findings.  For instance, if bad medical exam results were stated as the cause of your denial, then verify your current state of health with your primary care physician.  If they determine that you are in good health, then turning in this official report could mean your application will be reevaluated.

Sometimes, life insurance applications are denied due to occupational dangers, recreational hazards, criminal records, or financial instability.  If you have these records, but they aren’t updated or detailed enough, then an underwriter may deny you coverage because they cannot accurately assess your risk.  So, by providing additional information, you can have your application reevaluated and potentially accepted.

  • Work with an Independent Agent

Sometimes, the first company you apply with isn’t the best option for you.  After your application is denied, you should partner with an independent agent so they can help you find some better options.  Your agent can sort through all your carrier options and find a company that’s underwriting guidelines will accept you, despite your risks.  For instance, if you have diabetes, then your agent can look for companies that will cover individuals with diabetes so long as their condition is well-managed.

If your overall risk is just too high for coverage under standard life insurance policies, then your agent will help you explore other options such as “graded” or guaranteed life insurance options.

These are some of the steps that you should take if your life insurance application was denied.  Do you need help securing the right life insurance policy?  If so, then contact the experts at Miller Carlisle Insurance Services.  We are ready to get you the coverage that you need today.

What Does Home Insurance Cover When It Comes to Natural Disasters?

Here’s how your homeowners insurance will cover you when it comes to natural disasters.stormy sea

As a homeowner, natural disasters are some of the only perils that you cannot do anything to avoid.  This is why it’s so important to have the right home insurance protection to rely on.  But does homeowners insurance cover all natural disaster damages?  Here’s what you need to know.

  • Hurricane Coverage

If your home is in the path of a hurricane or tropical storm, then your home may sustain damage from high winds, heavy rain, and extreme flooding.  Fortunately, your home insurance policy will offer coverage for the damages related to wind, rain, and hail.  However, if your home is damaged by floodwater, then your policy will not offer coverage for repairs.  The only way to secure flood coverage is with a specialty flood insurance policy.

  • Gas Explosion Coverage

If your gas pipes explode, then this can result in a major fire in your home.  Fortunately, all home insurance policies include fire as a covered peril.  This means that your policy will offer coverage to repair fire damages, including damages to your personal belongings.  Your insurance will also offer loss of use coverage to help you pay for the costs of temporarily living elsewhere while your home is undergoing repairs.

  • Land and Mudslide Coverage

Insurance companies categorize land and mudslides as earth movement.  As earth movement damages are excluded from standard home insurance policies, you will not have coverage for these types of natural disasters.  Specialty policies are available for those who live in areas prone to land or mudslides.

  • Tornado Coverage

The damage caused by tornadoes can usually be categorized as wind or water damage, which are both covered perils on standard homeowners insurance policies.  However, you can run into trouble if your insurer determines that your damages are caused by flooding.  If a tornado causes a nearby dam to break, and your home is damaged as a result of this rushing water, then your home insurance will not cover these damages.  In this case, you would need the coverage offered by a specialty flood policy.

This is what your homeowners insurance will cover when it comes to these types of natural disasters.  Do you have more questions about your home insurance coverage?  If so, then contact the experts at Miller Carlisle Insurance Service for assistance today.

What Home Insurance Will Cover

Know how far your home coverage extends.paper home cutout cupped in hands

As a homeowner, it’s vital that you know what your homeowners insurance will and will not cover. This allows you to evaluate your current protection and secure additional coverage if necessary. To help you understand the extent of your home coverage, here’s what your policy covers when it comes to these common risks.

Mold

Mold in your home is covered by your insurance if it is caused by a covered loss. For instance, mold is covered if it is the result of fire, lightning, ice, frozen pipes, or another covered peril. Mold repairs and remediations are only covered if it is caused by something sudden and accidental. For instance, if a pipe burst, but you did nothing about it and mold formed, then you would not have coverage because the mold is seen as the result of your negligence.

Mold is also not covered when it grows over time. For instance, if mold pops up in your shower or tub or around other perpetually damp places in your home, then it is not covered by your policy. This is because this mold is considered a result of your lack of maintenance.

Theft

Homeowners insurance covers theft both inside and outside your home.  For instance, if someone broke into your home and stole your television, then you would have coverage to replace your television and repair the damages the burglars caused. If your phone was stolen while you were traveling, then your home insurance would also cover the cost of replacing your phone.

Homeowners insurance will only cover your belongings up to a certain coverage limit. So, if you have high-value items that exceed these limits, then they will not be covered by your policy. You can secure additional coverage for high-value items through policy endorsements or by securing specialty policies for specific items.

Dog Bites

Typically, your home insurance will provide coverage if your dog bites someone on or off your property. However, there are three main coverage exclusions:

  1. Your home insurance will not cover dog bites to someone covered under your policy (you or the immediate family members living in the household).
  2. Your insurance provider may exclude your dog from coverage if they have a history of biting.
  3. Your insurance provider may exclude your dog from coverage if it is considered “high-risk.” Certain breeds, such as pit bulls, Doberman pinschers, rottweilers, German shepherds, Siberian huskies, and so on are typically labeled “high-risk” by home insurers.

This is what your home insurance will and will not cover when it comes to these common perils. Do you have more questions with your home insurance? If so, then contact the experts at Miller Carlisle Insurance Services. We are ready to assist you with all your home coverage needs today.

How to Can Manage Work-Related Stress

Try out these stress-management tips at work.employee looking stressed at work

For most people, work stress is an unavoidable part of life.  Unfortunately, constant stress can wreak havoc on your mental, emotional, and physical health.  To protect yourself from the negative effects of stress, try out these stress-management strategies at work.

  • Take a Time Out

Everyone has moments where their job feels too overwhelming.  If you notice yourself starting to get panicked, then it’s important that you take a moment to calm yourself down and assess the situation rationally.  Momentarily step away from the stressful situation and take a bathroom break, have something to eat, or simply clear your mind.  Once you feel your anxiety ebb away, revisit the issue that is triggering your stress.  Now that you are calmer, you will have an easier time thinking of productive ways to deal with the problem.

  • Delegate

Having too many responsibilities on your plate can be stressful, even for the most efficient employee.  If you find yourself overwhelmed with work, you need to think about things rationally.  Rather than attempting to handle everything on your own, think about the tasks that you can pass on to a co-worker or subordinate.  Once you have taken some of the smaller things off your schedule, you can handle the remaining tasks more carefully and efficiently.

  • Be Flexible

No one wants to hear that they have a major assignment due in a couple of hours.  Unfortunately, getting hit with last-minute assignments is often part of the job.  Rather than wasting time lamenting the unfairness of it all, it’s best to accept the situation and start thinking about how you will complete things in the given time frame.  By being flexible and making things work, you can keep a cool head and earn the respect of your peers and superiors.

These are some of the things that you can do to manage work-related stress.  Are you looking for another way to reduce your stress?  Then turn to the experts at Miller Carlisle Insurance Service for the easy insurance experience that you deserve.  Our experts are ready to help you get the coverage that you need today.

Avoid These Common Home Damage Issues

How you can prevent these home issues.home repair man

If you want to save money on your home insurance, then you need to limit the number of claims that you file every year.  Fortunately, staying vigilant and keeping up with routine maintenance can help you avoid common claim events.  Take these steps to prevent these common forms of home damage.

  • Roof Damage

If your roof begins to leak or collapses completely, then this will be a pricey insurance claim.  To prevent this claim event, you should keep up with basic roof maintenance, such a routine gutter cleaning and shingle replacement.  You should also be sure to remove dead limbs and trim overgrown branches on the trees that overhang your home’s roof.  This will prevent your trees from causing roof damage during a windy or stormy day.

  • Kitchen Fires

Most household fires break out in the kitchen.  To avoid kitchen fires, you should make sure to never leave your oven or stove unattended while cooking.  You should also install a smoke alarm in your kitchen, so you are immediately alerted if a fire breaks out.  Finally, you should keep a fire extinguisher in your kitchen so you can quickly put out a cooking fire before it spreads.

  • Theft and Vandalism

Many homeowners are forced to file insurance claims after their home is broken into or vandalized.  To prevent your home and belongings from being damaged or stolen, you should install a security system to deter criminals.  Installing bright outdoor lighting and surveillance cameras is another way to keep criminals away.  Finally, make sure you close and secure all points of entry, so burglars and vandals do not have an easy way to get into your home.

These are some of the most common types of homeowners insurance claims and what you can do to prevent them.  Are you looking for further assistance with your home coverage needs?  If so, then contact the experts at Miller Carlisle Insurance Services today.

Storm Preparation Tips for Your Home

How you can prevent storm damage to your home.hands protecting chalk drawing of a home from rain

As a homeowner, news of an incoming storm can be a terrifying prospect.  Fortunately, there are steps that you can take to keep storm damages at a minimum.  Here are some of the steps that you can take to protect your home from a looming storm.

  • Tree Maintenance

During a storm, strong winds can cause dead tree limbs to fall onto your home, resulting in serious roof and other exterior damage.  Additionally, windy conditions can cause overgrown tree branches to scrape across your home’s exterior, causing further damage.  To protect your home from this risk, make sure that you clear away dead tree limbs and trim the tree branches that overhang your home.

  • Clear Your Gutters

Storms bring significant rainfall.  If your home’s gutters and downspout are filled with leaves and other debris, then they will get clogged and prevent rainwater from draining away.  This can cause water to pool on your roof, increasing your chances for leaks and water damage.

  • Safeguard Critical Areas

During a storm, your roof, windows, doors, and garage doors are most at risk.  If a storm is on the way, then you should install temporary protection like special shutters or coverings for your patio.  You should also reinforce garage doors, entry doors, and windows with pieces of plywood.  This will minimize the damage that your home sustains during intense storm conditions.

  • Protect Your Valuables

If a storm gets very bad, then you may be forced to evacuate your home.  If you plan on taking valuable items with you, then make sure they are packed securely and wrapped in waterproof materials.  You should also make sure that your home inventory is updated to include all the new items you have purchased for your home.  Having an updated home inventory will help you file an insurance claim in the event that your possessions are damaged in the storm.

These are some of the steps that you should take to protect your home from storm damage.  Want another way to keep your home, loved ones, and belongings safe?  Then make sure you have the right homeowners insurance protections in place.  For assistance with your home coverage, contact the experts at Miller Carlisle Insurance Services today.

How You Can Keep Your Home Safe

Try out these suggestions to protect against common home security and safety firefighter putting out home firerisks.

Protecting your home, loved ones, and personal property is a tall order to fill.  Fortunately, there a many small steps that you can take to keep your home safe.  Here are some of the things that you can do to protect your home from these common risks.

  • Natural Disaster

No matter where you live, you are at risk for some kind of natural disaster.  Whether it be wildfires, earthquakes, hurricanes, or floods, it’s important to know which emergencies you are most likely to face.  Once you know which natural disasters you are most likely to be exposed to, follow expert guidelines to protect your home and prepare your loved ones.  For instance, you may have to create an evacuation plan, pack a family emergency preparedness kit, and make structural upgrades to your home.  It’s also important that you read through your homeowners insurance to see what your policy will cover after a natural disaster.  Oftentimes, homeowners need to secure supplemental forms of insurance to cover the damages related to natural disasters.

  • Fire

Home fires are one of the most common and devastating damage events that a homeowner can face.  In homes, cooking equipment is the leading cause of fire.  However, fires can also break out due to faulty lighting fixtures, malfunctioning appliances, overheated electronics, and so on.  Smoke detectors are one of the best fire prevention tools, and homeowners are advised to install a detector in every room and floor of their homes.  You should also keep a fire extinguisher on every floor of your home and in your kitchen.  This ensures that you can quickly put out a fire before it spreads.

  • Slips, Trips, and Falls

Falling is a common household hazard.  In fact, statistics show that one in three older adults fall in their homes, with one in five falls resulting in a head injury or broken bone.  The best way to reduce the risk for someone slipping or tripping is by keeping your home clear of clutter such as toys, electrical cords, loose papers, and so on.  You should also secure floor mats and rugs to ensure that they do not curl up and pose a fall risk for your loved ones.  Finally, make sure to install adequate lighting throughout your home, so family members have an easier time spotting and avoiding potential fall risks.

These are some of the top safety and security risks that homeowners have to face.  Want another way to protect your home, belongings, and loved ones?  Then make sure you have the proper homeowners insurance in place.  For assistance with all your home coverage needs, contact the experts at Miller Carlisle Insurance Services today.

Don’t Skip These Home Repair Jobs

Avoiding these home repairs will cost you.tool belt

When you own a home, it seems like there’s always something breaking down and going wrong.  While most minor issues can be handled at a later date, there are certain repairs that you need to take care of as soon as possible.  Here are some of the home repairs that you can’t afford to procrastinate on.

  • Roof Damages

Your roof is one of the only things standing between your home and the natural elements.  If your roof is damaged, leaking, or rotting, then it is more of a liability than a source of protection.  Failing to repair a damaged roof in a timely manner can lead to leaks, water damage, mold, pest infestation, and total roof collapse.

  • Clogged Drains

Clogged drains are more than a minor inconvenience.  When drains are left clogged, it’s possible for the blockage to pile up and extend through your pipes.  This increases your risk for burst pipes, flooding, and leaks.  Additionally, if a clogged drain backs up into your home, then you will suffer contamination from dirty water, foul odors, and harmful airborne particles.  To ensure that a single clogged drain doesn’t become a more serious issue, it’s best to unclog as soon as you notice this problem.

  • Mold

While mold and other signs of water damage may seem minor on the surface, they often indicate much more serious and major issues.  For instance, if you notice mold on a wooden surface, then it’s possible that you have water rot all through the wood, making it necessary to completely replace the damaged wood.  Additionally, mold poses a danger to you and your family’s health.  So, when you see mold and water damage, it’s best to hire a professional to inspect the damage as soon as possible.

These are some of the home repair jobs that you cannot afford to skip out on.  Want another way to take care of your home?  Then make sure you have the right insurance protections in place.  For assistance with all your homeowners insurance needs, contact the experts at Miller Carlisle Insurance Services today.