Can Owning a Home Help You Save on Auto Coverage?

Does owning a home help everyone save on auto insurance?hands holding a toy home and a mini piggy bank

You may have heard people say that homeownership unlocks special discounts on your auto insurance.  But how much truth is in this statement?  While some homeowners can access savings on their car coverage, others cannot.  Here’s why.

  • Bundling Home and Auto Insurance

One reason auto insurance is cheaper for some homeowners is that that they secure an auto policy from the same insurance company that they insure their home with.  This allows them to bundle these two policies, which automatically unlocks savings.  However, if a homeowner chooses to insure their car through a different insurance company, then they obviously do not have the option to bundle.  Sadly, these homeowners will not be able to access this auto insurance discount.

  • Improved Credit Score

Some homeowners may also get access to lower auto insurance rates because they have a higher credit score than non-homeowners.  Typically, homeowners have better credit scores and more stable finances than individuals that do not own a home.  This is particularly true for homeowners who have successfully paid off their mortgage.  Because auto insurers consider your credit score when determining your auto insurance premiums, the better your credit, the lower your car insurance rates will be.  However, homeowners who miss mortgage payments or who are struggling financially may not have strong credit.  These homeowners will not be able to access lower auto insurance rates.

This is why some homeowners save on their auto insurance while others do not.  Do you have more questions about your home or auto insurance?  If so, then contact the experts at Miller Carlisle Insurance Services.  We are ready to assist you with all your coverage needs today.

Suggestions for Filing Your Home Insurance Claim

Make your claim process proceed more smoothly.insurance claim forms covered in coins

For many homeowners, experiencing property damage is a nightmare situation.  When you think about the insurance claims process, the situation seems even worse.  Fortunately, there are some steps that you can take to ensure that your claim proceeds smoothly and efficiently.  Here’s what you can do to improve the homeowners insurance claims process.

  • Report the Claim Promptly

Most homeowners insurance policies include a clause that requires you to report claims “promptly.”  Generally, this means reporting a claim within 24-hours.  Please keep in mind that for claims related to a break-in or theft, you need to contact the police and file a report before attempting to make a home insurance claim.  When you file these types of claims, you will need to provide information on the officer you spoke to as well as your case number.

  • Take Pictures of the Damage

Before you contact your insurer, you need to take pictures of the damage.  This is a great way to document the damage and can help your claims adjuster determine just how extensive repairs or remediation efforts will be.  Having pictures ready will help your claim proceed much more easily.

  • Provide a List of Stolen or Damaged Property

To ensure that you are receiving adequate compensation, you will need to provide a list of all the personal possessions that were stolen or damaged during a claim event.  While this isn’t a big deal if only one or two items were affected, this can be a daunting task is your home was completely destroyed.  This is why it’s important to create and update your home inventory.  A home inventory is a comprehensive list of all the things that you own, how much they cost, where you go them, and so on.  Having this document ready will help you in the event that you need to file an extensive personal property insurance claim.  Work on this document now to ensure that you are ready if disaster strikes.

Taking these steps will help you simplify the homeowners insurance claim process.  Do you have additional questions regarding your home coverage?  If so, then contact the experts at Miller Carlisle Insurance Services for assistance today.

Swimming Pools and Home Insurance

How building a pool will affect your homeowners insurance.child swimming in pool

While you might love the idea of having a personal pool in your yard, it’s important to consider this decision carefully.  One of the things that you need to take into account is how installing a pool will affect your home insurance risks and rates.  Here are some of the insurance considerations that you should make.

  • Personal Liability Considerations

If you have a pool on your property, you will automatically be responsible for the wellbeing of anybody who uses it, regardless of whether you have given them permission or not.  As thousands of pool-related injuries and deaths occur every year, it’s important to understand that having a pool on your property increases your personal liability risks significantly.

Because swimming pools increase the homeowners personal liability risks, standard coverage limits might not be adequate.  While a standard home insurance policy might offer $100,000 in personal liability coverage, a homeowner with a pool is recommended to purchase up to $500,000 in coverage.  In some cases, homeowners will need to secure an umbrella policy to get even more coverage.  Because higher coverage limits translate into higher insurance costs, it’s important to speak to your insurer to see how installing a pool will increase your premiums.

  • Property Damage Considerations

When you have a pool on your property, your home policy will cover the damages that it sustains.  However, your coverage will differ depending on what your insurer classifies your pool as.  For instance, your insurer might include your pool in the replacement cost value of your policy.  As the average in-ground pool costs $20,000 or more to install, it will increase the value of your home.  This means that you will have to increase your replacement cost value, leading to an increase in your home insurance costs.

Your insurer might also consider your pool as an external structure.  In this case, your pool would have to be declared and listed in your policy.  Most home policies cover external structures up to 10% of the overall policy replacement cost value.  This means that, if the replacement cost of your home is $100,000, then your policy would cover up to $10,000 of damage to external structures such as your pool.  As this will not be enough to cover the full value of your home’s pool, you may need to purchase additional external structures coverage.

Consider how a pool will affect your homeowners insurance before building one in your yard.  Do you have 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 coverage needs today.

What Constitutes Insurance Fraud?

Learn more about insurance fraud.scale and gavel

While telling a small lie or concealing the truth doesn’t seem like a huge deal, it is when it comes to your insurance.  This is because anything less than truthful constitutes insurance fraud.  Here’s what you need to know about this illegal act and why you should avoid it.

  • What is Insurance Fraud?

In general terms, insurance fraud is lying to an insurance company in an attempt to receive compensation or undeserved benefits.  Insurance fraud can take different forms.  For instance, lying on your insurance application, exaggerating your damages during an insurance claim, or making a fake claim are all instances of fraud.

  • Understanding the Different Types of Fraud

Legally, there are two main types of fraud: hard fraud and soft fraud.  A person committing hard fraud might fake an injury, theft, or accident and file a fake claim with their insurer in hopes of receiving compensation.  Soft fraud is like a smaller scale version of hard fraud.  A person committing soft fraud might have a legitimate insurance claim, but they exaggerate their damages in the hopes of receiving additional monetary compensation.  While soft fraud doesn’t seem as bad as hard fraud, it’s important to understand that it is still highly illegal and punishable by various penalties.

  • Consequences of Insurance Fraud

If you are caught committing insurance fraud, then the penalties can be very severe.  While soft fraud is considered a misdemeanor in many states, it is still punishable by fines, probation, community service, and even imprisonment.  Hard fraud is always considered a felony, and the perpetrator can be charged with over a year of jail time, major fines, and restitution payable to the insurance company.

This is what you need to know about insurance fraud.  Do you have further questions regarding your personal insurance?  If so, then contact the experts at Miller Carlisle Insurance Services for assistance today.

Ask These Insurance Questions When House Hunting

Insurance considerations for your new home.keys on a wooden home keychain

If you are house hunting, then you probably have a lot on your mind.  However, one of the things that you cannot overlook is the home’s various risks and how this will influence your homeowners insurance.  Before you close on a property, ask these insurance questions about the property.

  • What is the condition of the plumbing and electrical systems?

When you are having a prospective home inspected, ask your inspector to pay particular attention to the state of the home’s plumbing and electrical systems.  Poorly maintained plumbing systems can lead to major damage events such as flooding and water damage.  Outdated electrical systems increase the property’s chance of electrical fires and, in extreme cases, explosions.  If the home you are looking at has poorly maintained, unsafe, or outdated plumbing and electrical systems, then it will cost more to insure.

  • If the home at risk for wind damage?

Homes located in certain areas (such as tornado and hurricane-prone areas) face a higher risk for wind damage.  While standard home insurance policies will provide some coverage for wind damage, it may not be enough to address your risk completely.  As a result, you may need to invest in additional private or state-run insurance that is specifically designed to cover the damage caused by windstorms.  Securing this additional coverage comes at a cost, so make sure you consider this before closing on a home.

  • What is the property’s flooding risk?

All standard home insurance policies explicitly exclude coverage for flood damage.  This means that, if the home you are looking at is in a high-flood-risk zone, then you would need to secure supplementary insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program.  Paying for this insurance on top of your regular homeowners insurance will result in considerable costs, so make sure you consider a property’s flood risk before you make an offer on the home.

These are some of the insurance considerations you should make before closing on a home.  Do you need assistance with securing the right coverage for your new home?  If so, then contact us at Miller Carlisle Insurance Services.  Our dedicated team is ready to get you covered today.

Tips to Get Your Home Ready for Spring

Try out these suggestions to get your home ready for the change in seasons.Tips to Get Your Home Ready for Spring

With spring on its way, it’s time to get your home ready for the change in seasons.  Not sure which home maintenance tasks you should complete to get ready for spring?  Then crossing these items off your to-do list is a great place to start.

  • Inspect Your Roof

Now that the weather is a little clearer, you should take the opportunity to inspect your roof for signs of damage and wear.   By taking the time to replace damaged or missing shingles and patch up cracks, you can ensure that your roof holds up against spring showers.

  • Examine Your Concrete

This spring, you should also check the concrete of your driveway and walkways for cracks and other damages.  Because cracks in your concrete can trap water and direct it towards your home’s foundation, it’s important that you repair these damages asap.  Simply applying concrete crack filler or silicone caulk will seal up your concrete and keep your home safe.

  • Check Your Power Equipment

The return of nice weather means that you will probably be spending a lot more time on yard maintenance and landscaping.  However, before you undertake these tasks, it important to check your power equipment and make sure that it’s working properly.  For instance, you should check things like your lawn mower, hedge clippers, chainsaw, and so on.  Making sure this equipment is well-maintained will ensure that your yard work goes much more smoothly.

These are some 0f the home maintenance tasks that you should take care of in preparation for spring.  Want another way to take care of your home this season? Then make sure you have the right homeowners insurance protections in place.  For assistance with your home coverage needs, contact the experts at Miller Carlisle Insurance Services for assistance today.

Do I Have Enough Personal Liability Insurance?

Is your homeowners policy offering you enough liability protection?Do I Have Enough Personal Liability Insurance?

When you secure a homeowners insurance policy, it actually consists of four main coverages: property coverage, personal property coverage, loss of use coverage, and personal liability coverage. Your personal liability coverage is what will offer financial protection in the event that an accident takes place on your property, or if you are found responsible for third-party injuries or property damage. As personal liability issues tend to result in the most expensive claims, it’s important to ensure that you have adequate protection. Here’s what you need to know about securing the comprehensive personal liability insurance that you need.

Do I have adequate coverage?

When it comes down to it, there is no set amount of liability coverage that you need to carry. Because everyone has different risk factors, everyone has different liability insurance needs. The amount of coverage that you carry is dependent on a series of individual factors. For instance, if you own a pet, have a swimming pool, or have a trampoline on your property, you would need more coverage than someone who does not. Additionally, your coverage limits should increase along with your income, investments, and home property value. To determine exactly how much liability protection you need, speak to a trusted insurance agent today.

Can I increase my coverage?

If you would like to secure more personal liability insurance, you have some options. You can speak to your insurer and have the personal liability coverage limits on your existing homeowners policy increased. This is convenient if you only want to increase your coverage a little. If you would like a more comprehensive insurance solution, you should secure a personal umbrella policy. This type of insurance offers coverage in the event that a liability claim exceeds your existing coverage limits or is not covered under your policy. Investing in an umbrella policy is a great way to fill your liability coverage gap.

This is what you need to know about securing the right amount of personal liability coverage. Do you have further questions regarding your liability or homeowners insurance? If so, contact the experts at Miller Carlisle Insurance Services. We are ready to assist you with all your coverage needs today.