What Homeowners Should Know About Fires

Fire damage and your home insurance.firefighters at work

As a homeowner, fires are one of the most common and costly risks that you face.  This is why it’s very important to understand what your home insurance will cover when it comes to fire damage.  Here’s what standard homeowners insurance policies will cover when it comes to fire damage to your property.

  • Coverage for Fire and Smoke Damage

Standard homeowners insurance policies will offer coverage for both fire and smoke damage to your home and belongings.  You have this coverage regardless of where a fire starts.  For instance, if your home sustains damage from a fire originating at a neighbor’s house, your insurance will still offer coverage for repairs.  Most home insurance policies also offer coverage for the damage caused by wildfires.  However, if you live in an area particularly prone to wildfires, then your policy may limit the amount of wildfire coverage that you have.  You may have to secure endorsements or supplemental insurance policies to get the comprehensive protection that you need.

  • Additional Living Expenses Coverage

If the fire damage that your home sustains is particularly extensive, it may not be safe to remain in the home.  In this case, you can access the additional living expenses (also known as loss of use) coverage included in your homeowners policy.  This coverage will help you pay for temporary housing, as well as essentials such as food, laundry services, parking, and so on while your home is being repaired.

  • When Are Fires Not Covered?

The only time your homeowners insurance will not offer coverage for fire damage is when you or anyone named on your policy caused the fire on purpose.  Intentional acts of damage are never covered by insurance.

This is what you need to know about your homeowners insurance and fire damage.  Do you have additional 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 home coverage needs today.

What You Should Think About When Buying Renters Coverage

Questions to ask yourself when buying renters insurance.renters moving into home

If you are living in a rented home or apartment, then you need renters insurance to secure personal property, personal liability, and loss of use coverage.  While renters insurance seems pretty straightforward, it’s important that you do not simply choose a policy on a whim.  Ask yourself these questions to ensure that you are choosing the right policy to fit your needs.

  • How Much Are My Belongings Worth?

As mentioned, renters insurance is designed to protect your belongings.  To ensure that your policy is offering the comprehensive coverage that you need, you need to determine the value of all your possessions.  While itemizing your possessions is tedious, taking this step is better than finding out that you do not have coverage for major loss events.

  • Do I Need Coverage for Valuables?

Like all insurance policies, renters insurance is subject to coverage limits.  This means that if you have particularly high-value items, such as fine jewelry, antiques, collectibles, electronics, and so on, then your policy might not offer enough coverage to protect these items.  To ensure that you aren’t leaving your high-value items vulnerable, consider adding coverage endorsements onto your renters policy to secure the supplemental protection you need.

  • What Are My Personal Liability Risks?

In addition to protecting your possessions, renters insurance also provides personal liability coverage.  Personal liability issues can arise when someone is injured while in your rental property, you or a member of your household accidentally causes losses or injuries to another party, or when a pet causes harm to another.  Because personal liability suits can be very costly, it’s important that you have enough coverage in place.  To secure an adequate amount of personal liability coverage, speak to a trusted agent so they can get a better understanding of your personal risks.

These are some of the questions that you should ask yourself when choosing a renters insurance policy.  Do you have additional questions about your renters coverage?  If so, then contact the experts at Miller Carlisle Insurance Services.  We are ready to assist you with all your coverage needs today.

Important Home Insurance Terms to Know

Common home insurance definitions.handshake in front of home

If it is your first time securing a homeowners insurance policy, then you might be feeling a little out of your depth.  One reason why new homeowners struggle to get the coverage that they need is because they are unfamiliar with common insurance terms.  To ensure that you make smart coverage decisions, here are some of the important home insurance definitions that you should know.

Liability Insurance– Your homeowners insurance policy is made up of several different types of coverage.  One of the main types of coverage included in your policy is liability insurance.  Liability insurance protects you and your family from legal claims that arise if someone sustains injuries or property damages that you can be held responsible for.  Personal liability insurance will cover the medical and compensation costs of affected parties.  This type of insurance will also cover the cost of your legal defense should the affected parties decide to sue.

Dwelling Protection– Dwelling protection is one of the main coverages included in home insurance policies.  This portion of your policy offers coverage for the physical structure of your home and all the components that are attached to the home.  This includes things like flooring, cabinetry, fireplaces, attached garages, decks, and so on.  Your dwelling protection will help you pay to repair the damages your home sustains during a covered peril, such as a storm, fire, break-in, and so on.

Additional Living Expenses Coverage– Additional living expenses is one of the main types of coverage included in your homeowners insurance policy.  If your home is made uninhabitable due to a covered peril, then this coverage will help you cover the cost of temporarily living elsewhere.  This coverage will help you pay for things such as hotel stays, temporary apartment/home rentals, restaurant bills, clothing, pet boarding, and so on.

Insurance Adjuster-An adjuster is a representative of your insurance company who will handle claims.  If you call to report a claim, then an adjuster will come out to your home, assess the damage or situation, and then file and payout your claim.

These are some of the important home insurance terms that you should know.  Do you need further help with your homeowners insurance?  If so, then contact the team at Miller Carlisle Insurance Services.  Our experts are ready to assist you with all your coverage needs today.

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.

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.

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.