How to Buy Home Insurance: 6 Easy Steps to Get the Coverage You Need

Having your own home is a huge achievement. That’s exactly why you should do your best to ensure it is protected at all times. One of the best ways to do this is to purchase the appropriate insurance coverage. However, due to the multiple types of coverage available, you should weigh your options and put some thought into it. Consequently, you will be able to choose the most suitable for your situation.

In this guide, we will provide you six practical steps to choose the best insurance policy for your home.

Steps Involved in Getting the Coverage You Need

With the steps below, you can confer your home with the protection it needs. They are applicable to all types of policies.

Step One: Understand What You Require

Plans usually include coverage for loss or theft of possessions, destruction and property damage to a house’s exterior and interior, or personal liability. Before you purchase insurance coverage, ensure you understand what you need. Also, understand the different available options.

Here are some of the options:

  • Dwelling coverage: This covers damages to your housing structure. It also covers the associated electrical, plumbing, heating, and other home systems.
  • Other structures coverage: This covers damages to sheds, fences, detached houses, and other structures not attached to your home.
  • Medical bills coverage: It covers the medical bills of guests who get injured on your property or by your pets.

Other coverages are:

  • Liability coverage
  • Loss of use coverage, and
  • Personal property coverage

Note: These policies may not cover valuables like jewelry, collectibles, artworks, etc. Therefore, you may have to get endorsements at an additional cost. Also, you may require additional coverage if you own a trampoline or a swimming pool.

Step Two: Determine How Much Insurance You Need

Remember that all homeowner insurance policies are different. Thus, the amount of insurance you need will differ from that of others. To determine the amount you need, calculate the repair or rebuild costs of your home. Also, factors like construction costs, number of bathrooms, square footage, associate home systems, etc., will affect the insurance amount you need.

Step Three: Familiarize Yourself with Local Threats and Disasters

While home insurance is an effective protection for you and your family, it doesn’t protect against all threats and disasters. To ensure your chosen coverage protects against these elements, familiarize yourself with the dangers in your area. Is it a flood-prone area? Do wildfires occur regularly? Ask and answer questions like this to gauge a proper understanding of what your policy should cover.

Step Four: Gather Necessary Information

Before you purchase coverage, ensure you have all the necessary information about your home and yourself. Usually, this would include the home address, prior insurance inspection reports, if any, along with the home’s square footage, heating type, plumbing, and electrical system details, etc. Apart from the ones mentioned above, the following are also important: your birthdate, social security number, lender requirements for homeowners’ insurance coverage, and insurance appraisal, among others.

Step Five: Compare Prices and Policy Options

Most insurance companies have similar insurance policies. However, the premium they charge differs. Due to this, contact different insurance companies to find out their insurance rates and policy options and study insurance plans carefully because companies may have similarly priced coverage plans which offer different benefits. Then, compare them with one another.

Note: Pay attention to the deductible and policy type of each coverage.

Step Six: Choose an Insurance Company and Finalize Details

After careful consideration of each company’s policy, choose your preferred insurance coverage and finalize policy details. Further, set your policy’s deductible. Then select the date you want the policy coverage to begin.

Home insurance is a smart decision to make as it protects your home and your belongings. Regardless of the type of policy you want to buy, the process remains the same. By adhering strictly to the steps above, you will find that it is easy to buy home insurance.

If you find any part of this confusing, we can help. Contact us at Miller Carlisle Insurance Services to consider your options and be guided on what to do.

What Can I Expect While Filing a Home Insurance Claim?

As a homeowner, it is best to purchase an appropriate homeowner insurance policy. This will give you the guarantee of being covered in case of losses or damage related to your home. Still, it is important that you know when to file a claim in the event of a loss or damage.

The Types of Events That Can Require Filing a Claim

Before you can file a claim for a certain loss or damage related to your home, make sure to contact your insurance agent or insurer to know which events are covered by your policy. If a certain hazard is not included in your coverage, then you won’t be able to file a claim for it.

Some of the most common losses or damages homeowners insurance covers include:

  • theft and vandalism
  • fire
  • hail and wind
  • explosion
  • falling objects (asteroids, meteors, space debris, falling satellites, etc.)
  • flooding
  • hurricane
  • mold infestations

However, some of these damages (e.g. hail and wind, flooding, hurricane, and mold) are not covered under the standard home insurance policy and might need additional coverage depending on the extent of risk you are exposed to while living in a specific location.

Filing a Claim for Homeowners Insurance

Most people don’t know this, but it is better to file a claim for loss or damage as soon as the damage occurs. This is because the sooner you file the claim, the earlier the issue can be resolved.

Step 1- Speak to Your Insurer

Contact your insurer and ask them questions related to the claim you plan to file. You should understand your policy coverage, limits, and deductible costs before filing a claim.

Step 2- Submit the Claims Form

Once you are sure that you wish to file a claim, the next step is to fill out the claims form. This is just for the insurance company to know specific details related to your claim. You’re required to fill out questions like your personal information, policy number, location of the loss, date of the incident, the cause for loss, and estimated loss amount. You can also add a picture or video clip of the loss for additional evidence. Once the information is confirmed, emergency alleviation will be provided to you.

Step 3- Schedule an Appointment with the Claims Adjuster

The submission of your claim is usually followed by your insurance company sending over a claims adjuster to inspect and assess the situation of your damage before filing an official report for the approval of your claim. Schedule an appointment with your insurance company’s insurance adjuster, or hire your own, and finally, the claim pay-out checks will be provided to complete your repairs.

While filing a claim, it’s a good idea to manage your home to prevent further damages. For assistance with all your home insurance needs, contact the experts at Miller Carlisle Insurance Services in Carlisle, PA. We are here to assist you with all your coverage needs.

5 Tips to Lower Your Homeowners Insurance Cost

Home insurance rates can be quite costly if you don’t compare rates and policies. If you want to get the lowest home insurance premiums possible, you need to find the right policy for your home and family. There are several things you can do to lower your premiums and keep your house sufficiently covered. Talking to your insurance agent regularly is the first step.

Here are 5 tips to help you lower your homeowners insurance cost.

  1. Do A Little Comparison Shopping

When you buy a home, your lender may recommend a specific insurance company. However, it is up to you to choose the insurance carrier and policy you think will be the best for your needs. Talk to your current agent to find out what they have to offer. If you don’t like what you hear, keep looking. Getting quotes from two or three insurance providers will give you a good idea of what type of coverage is available for what you are willing to pay.

  • Ask About Discounts

Most insurance companies offer a variety of discounts to homeowners to help reduce premium costs. Simply performing a few upgrades to your home can make you eligible for certain discounts. Putting up a privacy fence, installing a home security system, or adding exterior lighting in your landscaping are all ways you can reduce your risk of liability or loss. Once you have completed any new improvement, contact your insurance agent to determine if there are discounts you may be eligible for. Bundling your home and auto insurance is another way to lower your home insurance costs.

  • Review Your Policy Every Year

Things can change from year to year and could affect your homeowners insurance. You might make a few home improvements or add on another room. Review your homeowners insurance with your agent every year or two so that you know you have all of the coverage you need and that you are taking advantage of every discount for which you are eligible. Review your deductibles as well. Talk to your insurance to ensure that any of your items that need additional coverage are protected as well.

  • Raise Your Deductible and Lower Your Premiums

Raising your deductibles will also lower your home insurance premiums. When you first purchase your policy, you can choose a lower deductible to make your premiums much higher. If you raise your deductible, the reverse happens. Higher deductibles will lower your monthly premiums and make them more manageable. The only time you will really notice that your deductible has been raised is if you file a claim. Many people find the monthly savings to be worth having a higher deductible. It is essential not to choose one that is too high or will cause undue hardship should you need to file a claim sometime in the future.

  • Find Out if You Need Flood Insurance

Homeowners insurance normally does not cover floods. If you live in a flood plain, it’s important that you look into flood insurance. Talk to your agent and find out how much it will cost to include flood insurance with your homeowners policy. This will allow you to include it in your budget and get the coverage in place.

Lowering your homeowners insurance premiums can be a challenge. However, with a little bit of research, you can often find a few options to help bring down the costs. For assistance with all your insurance needs and questions, contact the experts at Miller Carlisle Insurance Services in Carlisle, PA. We will help you get the right coverage you need.

Will My Home Insurance Cover Pipe Bursts?

Specific types of water damage are covered under most homeowners insurance but that doesn’t always include burst pipes. Some policies will cover water damage that is caused by burst water pipes if the cause is deemed an act of God. A burst pipe that is caused by faulty plumbing or a malfunctioning appliance can pose a unique situation where only part of the damages will be covered. In these cases, usually, the cost of repairing the pipes will be your responsibility to cover. If it is determined that the burst was caused by normal wear and tear, you may be responsible for the entire amount.

HO-2 vs HO-3 Policies

An HO-2 policy offers broad but very basic coverage that will cover most types of damage. This includes the damage from burst water pipes, with a few exceptions. An HO-3 policy goes a step further and will cover any type of water damage that isn’t listed as an exclusion. Common exclusions include flooding, sewer back-ups, and foundation leaks. Water damage that leads to black mold is also considered an exclusion and may not be covered.

Certain Perils May Not Be Covered

When it comes to water damage, it is up to the homeowner to prove that the damage was caused by an unpredictable event and not basic wear and tear. If plumbing is more than a few years old, the insurance company may deny your claim based on the fact that the damages were caused by normal wear and tear. When the water damage is allowed to remain in place and black mold begins to form, the insurance company can also deny the claim if you have an HO-2 policy.

Partial Coverage

There are situations in which at least part of the water damage may be covered. When a burst pipe claim is approved, the insurance may cover the actual water damage but will deny the part of the claim requesting compensation for repairing the pipes themselves. All policies are somewhat different in how they are written. Some policies may cover specific perils or incidents, while others won’t. This applies to exclusions as well. It is important to understand your policy’s details to know what types of partial coverage are included.

Ask for a Policy Review

Many people do not know all the details of what their insurance does and does not cover. If you fall into that category, call your insurance company, and ask for a review of your homeowners policy. Your agent will go over what is covered and what is not so that you have a full understanding of everything that is included in your policy. You will also be able to ask any questions you may have about whether or not your policy is sufficient to meet your needs.

Don’t wait until you have a pipe burst to find out if you have the right type of homeowners insurance coverage. Take the time to review your policy and ask whatever questions you need to to feel secure that you have enough coverage. After a review, you may choose to upgrade your policy to ensure you have the type of coverage you want. For assistance with all your insurance needs and questions, contact the experts at Miller Carlisle Insurance Services in Carlisle, PA. We will help you get the right coverage you need.

What If Your Homeowners Insurance Does Not Cover Christmas Hazards?

No one wants to worry about having an accident at Christmas, yet inevitably, they do occur. This is why having homeowners’ insurance hazard coverage is so important. Following a few well-thought-out Christmas safety tips will ensure that your holiday is stress-free and without any major accidents. A little common sense will go a long way in keeping your holidays festive and bright.

Here are a few tips that you can follow to avoid unpleasant Christmas hazards.

1. Watch Out for That Tree

A Christmas tree can prove to be the greatest threat in the holiday season. The longer the tree remains in your home, the drier it gets. Make it a point to check the water at the base at least twice a day to prevent the tree and branches from becoming too dry and brittle. A dry tree is a fire hazard that can spark a flame in just a few seconds. If you want a live tree without the fire hazard, purchase a live tree that still has the root ball attached. When the holidays are over, you can set it aside and keep it watered so as to plant it in the spring.

2. Carefully Examine the Lights

Carefully go over all of your light strands and check for damaged wires. A bare wire can cause a spark that will put flammable items on fire. When you are hanging your lights, be careful to use a sturdy ladder that has been properly set up. Make sure to test each strand of lighting before hanging them up or placing them on the tree. If you have any doubts about the safety of your lights, buy new ones and make sure they are all in good working order before putting them up.

3. Be Careful in the Kitchen

It always pays to be extra careful in the kitchen. Never leave pots on the stove unattended or handles hanging over the edge where small hands can grab them and try to pull them off. Always wipe up spills as soon as they happen to prevent a slip and fall accident. Put knives and other sharp objects toward the back of the counter to keep small children from reaching them.

4. Avoid Extension Cords

Avoid using extension cords as too many cords can overload your electrical outlets and start a fire. Surge protectors are excellent devices to get the power you need without creating a fire hazard. When running an extension cord, make sure to keep it out of walkways to prevent it from becoming a tripping hazard. Make sure not to cover the cords with rugs or run them under furniture because if they get too hot, they could spark a fire within a short time frame.
Christmas is a time to celebrate with family and friends, so don’t let your negligence spoil the fun and festivity. Put these four tips into practice to prevent avoidable Christmas hazards that may be beyond the coverage of your homeowners’ insurance.

In addition to these tips, make sure that you have the right homeowners’ insurance coverage to meet your unique home insurance needs. For assistance with all your insurance needs and questions, contact the experts at Miller Carlisle Insurance Services in Carlisle, PA. We will help you get the right coverage you need.

Analyzing Homeowners Insurance: Does It Cover Rain Damage?

Heavy rains can cause major water damages to your property, including water leaks, flooding, and drain overflows. If these damages are not fixed on time, they can lead to significant problems in the foundation of your home.

When you hire a water damage restoration agency to repair the damages, you must know how much of these costs are covered by your homeowner’s insurance. The following points will help you understand whether your homeowner’s insurance covers water damage.

Rain Damage

Certain damages caused by rain are covered by your home insurance policy. For example, if the rain or storm has caused a leak in your roof, the cost to repair it will be covered by the policy.

However, you won’t get coverage if you already had damage in a wooden pillar on the porch and the rain worsens it further, as it is considered preventable damage that could have been fixed.

Flood Damage

Your regular homeowner’s insurance may not cover flood damage. It will cover only minor leaks, so you will need separate insurance to cover flood damage.

Due to the extent of flood damage and the expenses involved, only some insurance providers offer flood damage coverage.

Other Damages Due to Rain

The extent of damages your property faces depends on the severity of the rain. Generally, most homeowner’s insurance covers damages caused by hailstorms, wind, and lightning.

Consult your provider to understand the type of water damages covered by your insurance. While homeowner’s insurance covers various water and rain damages, they are meant for emergencies. You cannot expect coverage for damages caused by regular wear and tear.

Investing in homeowner’s insurance is necessary to protect your home from unexpected damages. For assistance with all your insurance needs, contact the experts at Miller Carlisle Insurance Services in Carlisle, PA. We help you find the best coverage that suits your needs and budget.

Everything You Need to Know About High-Risk Homeowners Insurance

It takes a lot of capital in building or purchasing your first home. When your home falls into the category of high-risk, it is important to understand the pros and cons of house insurance before selecting one

If you are looking for high-risk homeowners insurance in Carlisle, PA, the following information will help you make an informed decision.

What Is High-Risk Homeowners Insurance?

Your home may be considered high-risk if it is situated in a location that faces extreme weather. Other factors, like old houses, interior damage, and structural problems, are also considered high-risk. A high-risk homeowners insurance policy protects your home from such factors.

Which Factors Influence the Cost of Homeowners Insurance?

The most important factor that can affect your house insurance rates is the location. If you live in a high-crime neighborhood or an area that is prone to natural calamities, your insurance premium will be significantly high.

Most home insurance agencies will quote different rates to you, based on the building’s structure. Your carrier may ask you about the type of roof and the age of your house to determine your premium rates. They even take added security measures into account, such as installing a reliable security system.

The best way to choose an ideal homeowner insurance policy is to compare different home insurance quotes from insurance companies.

How to Reduce the Cost of Homeowners Insurance

Here are a few effective ways to reduce high-risk house insurance costs:

  • Repair your roof or foundation to make your home less risky.
  • Install a reliable security system if you live in a high crime area.
  • Look for discount options from insurance companies.

Choosing the best homeowners insurance in Carlisle, PA, is now easier than ever! Contact the experts at Miller Carlisle Insurance Services. Our team will be happy to answer all your questions and assist you with all your coverage needs.