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.

Why Your Homeowners Insurance Policy Should Change along with Your Home

Even after purchasing a home and settling in well, your new home never really stays the same. Over time, a number of changes will be made, be it as a result of financial growth, marriage, or the presence of children. These changes can then increase the value of your home to twice what it used to be. It is important to change your homeowners’ insurance policy as more changes are made to your home. In the event of an emergency, accident, or any other unforeseen circumstance, this can protect you financially and serve as an incredible contingency plan as time goes on.

Home Insurance Policy

You might be wondering why an update to your homeowners’ insurance even matters. Here are some things to consider:

· There are certain improvements that could enhance the value of your home. For example, the addition of a mini quarter in the backyard of your home or the installation of a pool can enhance the value of your home, which is why you need an updated or different homeowners insurance policy.

·Also, the purchase of expensive items such as furniture, electronics, home appliances, and so on might require extra coverage insurance-wise. This is because they also need protection as much as the house itself in the event of any natural disasters.

·Just as the purchase of expensive things in the home needs more coverage, so do the valuables you possess. Valuables such as jewelry, family heirlooms, antiques, and expensive artwork are not always covered by the basic homeowners insurance policy, which is why a floater or rider will be needed as an addition to your policy for coverage.

· It is also important to be aware that you will be held legally responsible for the actions of whoever drinks in your home and is then involved in an accident. So, you have to be sure that your homeowners’ policy protects you against lawsuits or other damages in case you find yourself in such a situation. If your policy doesn’t offer this protection, it’s worth updating it.

·Certain items that could end up causing someone an injury in your home, such as a trampoline or swimming pool in your backyard, will need an excess liability or “umbrella” policy that is guaranteed to protect you in case someone gets injured by it.

·Most importantly, you should be aware of what your homeowners’ insurance policy covers and what it doesn’t. Most people believe, for example, that flood damages would be covered by a standard homeowners insurance policy in the event of a natural disaster. To avoid being caught off guard, review your policy and consider purchasing additional coverage.

As your home experiences more changes over time, these are some of the things to consider updating in your policy. For assistance with all your insurance needs and any questions you may have, contact the experts at Miller Carlisle Insurance Services in Carlisle, PA. We look forward to helping 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.

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.

Protect Your Property from Fallen Trees with the Right Property Damage

Protect Your Property from Fallen Trees with the Right Property DamageDetermine what you need to know about fallen trees and your insurance coverage.

Trees a wonder of Mother Nature. They provide plenty of shade in the summer and plenty of oxygen year-round. However, during the summer months, when more thunderstorms are likely to occur, it’s important that you take care to use precautions to avoid fallen trees. Despite your best efforts, sometimes fallen trees can cause serious damage to your property. Find out what you need to know about fallen trees and your insurance so that you’re well protected.

Property Damage.

If a tree falls and causes damage to the structure of your home, your homeowners insurance will likely give you some coverage to help remove the tree and fix the structure. However, it’s important to note that if the tree fell due to a lack of maintenance your insurance won’t cover you. Ensure that you stay up on your home maintenance and remove any dead tree limbs or limbs that are too close to the structure of your home.

Car Damage.

Should a car fall on your tree, you’re likely covered under your auto insurance policy. However, it’s important to check the specifics of your policy to make sure. While your coverage will help to make repairs to your vehicle, the removal of the tree is likely not covered under your policy.

No Damage.

In some instances, a tree will fall but cause no damage. Under these circumstances, you’re then responsible for removing the fallen tree out of pocket since there had been no physical damage to the structure of your home.

When it comes to fallen trees, ensure that you have the tools that you need to protect you, and invest in the right insurance policies. For all of your insurance needs, contact Miller Insurance Associates in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

How to Prevent Basement Flooding

How to Prevent Basement FloodingThe summer rains are perfect for hydrating our flowers and gardens, but they often bring unwanted basement floods.

Summer means beautiful weather, but, depending on where you live, it also means powerful thunderstorms. While it certainly makes our garden look robust and healthy, it can also lead to unwanted flooding. From our parks and streets to our basements. To keep your basement dry during the summer storms, check out these helpful hints.

Preventing Basement Floods

  1. Clean your gutters. If you don’t clean your gutters every fall and spring, you leave your gutters vulnerable to clogging. If not drained properly, it can spill over and leak into your foundation which can lead to a flood.
  2. Your downspouts should extend away from your home. Your downspouts should extend away from your home and lead six feet away from your basement. Make sure that these are not connected to the foundation as they could unintentionally leak down into your foundation–even if functioning properly.
  3. Purchase a sump pump. If properly installed, the sump pump can act as a huge floor drain by sucking all of the water that wants to enter your basement. Make sure it’s free of debris, and think about a battery or propane generator in case power goes out during a storm. A pump without sucking action is just a tube.
  4. Do an examination during a storm. If water starts pooling near or by your house, it’s best to call a landscaper or contractor to build ways to direct water away.
  5. Flood insurance. When all else fails, it’s an excellent idea to have flood insurance, as the typical home insurance policy will not cover such flooding.

For all of your homeowners insurance needs to ensure your home is fully covered for a complete reconstruction, contact Miller Insurance Associates in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.