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.

Home Insurance Policy Endorsements for Your Consideration

Secure these insurance endorsements to extend your homeowners insurance coverage.file labelled "home insurance"

Many homeowners make the mistake of assuming that their insurance covers every risk that they may encounter.  However, all insurance policies have coverage limits, and not knowing yours could leave you exposed to major threats.  Fortunately, homeowners have the option to secure policy endorsements to supplement their home insurance.  Home policy endorsements allow you to extend your homeowners coverage for specific losses for an additional premium.  But with all the endorsements out there, how do you know which ones are right for you?  Here are some of the most popular endorsements for your consideration.

  • Scheduled Personal Property

If you have high-value items that cannot be covered by your standard personal property coverage, then you can secure additional coverage by scheduling these specific items on your home policy.  This will ensure that high-value items such as jewelry, electronics, fine art, and so on are covered for their full value.

  • Sewer Backup

A sewer backup can cause considerable water damage to your home and can also pose a major health risk to your loved ones.  Unfortunately, standard home insurance will not cover the cost of dealing with sewer backup damage.  However, by securing a sewer backup policy rider, you can secure coverage for water damage and remediation efforts.

  • Home Business Endorsement

If you are running a business out of your home, then your insurance will not cover anything related to your business.  Rather than securing a totally separate business insurance policy, many home insurers offer the chance to secure a home-based business insurance endorsement to cover your business equipment, supplies, and legal liability.

These are some of the home insurance policy endorsements that you should consider.  Are you looking for assistance with your homeowners insurance?  If so, then contact the experts at Miller Carlisle Insurance Services.  We are ready to get you covered today.

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 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.

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.