Has Your Home Insurer Undervalued Your Tornado Damage?

Check If  ValuedIf you’ve got tornado insurance coverage and you haven’t had to use it yet, consider yourself lucky. But even if you do have to use it, you’re in a far better position than someone who isn’t insured under the same circumstances. Having home insurance coverage to be able to rely on at a time like that can be a lifesaver, both physically and emotionally.

As you’re dealing with your insurance company in the aftermath, it’s important that you stay very involved in the process. For some, there’s a tendency to just let go and let the insurance company take control – it can be comforting to do that, and to relax in knowing that someone’s acting on your behalf as an advocate to put a roof back over your head. But there are some stark realities you should consider, chief of which is the tendency by some home insurance providers to underestimate the amount of damage done, and therefore the amount of money they pay out to you.

If you feel that your home damage has been undervalued by representatives of your home insurance company, you’re well within your rights to get a second opinion. Doing so won’t forfeit your right to coverage, and is standard practice when events as devastating as tornadoes occur. In order to ensure that this doesn’t happen in the future, be sure to review your level of coverage when comparing insurance quotes to set in place an accurate value for your home and its belongings.

Temporarily Lowering Insurance Costs

Lower Insurance CostsWhether you have California auto insurance, California homeowners insurance, or both, if you are thinking of taking action to temporarily lower your insurance costs, you better think twice. If you cut back on your coverage, you are adding to the risk and may expose yourself to higher out-of-pocket expenses in the event of an accident that results in bodily injury or property damage.

In today’s difficult economy, many people are struggling just to be able to pay their regular monthly bills. If you are thinking of raising your deductible or temporarily cancelling some optional insurance in order to save some money on your monthly premium, you could be making a bad decision.

Imagine what would happen if you cut back on your coverage on your automobile insurance and then got in a serious accident. Trying to save $100 or $200 per month can wind up costing you thousands of dollars because of inadequate coverage or high deductibles. Instead of cutting back on insurance, maybe it would be better to give up the premium TV subscription or cut back on some other non-essential expenses.

California homeowner insurance can protect you if your home is damaged by fire, wind, or other forces of nature. Depending on the type of coverage you have, you will be reimbursed for theft, vandalism or other types of contingencies that might occur on your property. Temporarily lowering your insurance costs can wind up costing you a lot of money. If a tree falls through your roof and you do not have coverage, it could cost you thousands to repair.

Why take a chance? If you have a house, you do not want to lose it because you were trying to save a few dollars. As hard as it may be to pay the extra premium amount, it is the responsible and right thing to do.

California Homeowners Insurance Requirements

Know Its RequirementsYour home is most likely your biggest and most valuable asset, and you should have California homeowners insurance to cover any physical damage to your home and any liability you may incur as the owner of that home.

If you have a mortgage on your house in the state of California, or for that matter, in any state, your lender will require you to purchase and maintain homeowners insurance on that home. Even if you have completely paid off the mortgage and own the house outright it is still very prudent to have a California homeowners insurance policy.

In order to qualify for a mortgage every lender will require you to have an insurance policy that will provide adequate protection against any damage or destruction to the property that they are financing. A California homeowners policy should cover all hazards as well as any liability that may occur on the property.

Mortgage companies differ in their requirements over the specific amounts of coverage you must carry, but, for the most part, they want you to carry replacement value and not actual cash value coverage. Replacement value protects the lender in the event that your home needs to be repaired or rebuilt due to a covered hazard. It pays the full cost and not the depreciated cost of the materials needed for repairs or reconstruction. Actual cash value only pays up to the limit of the policy which can be below the current market price for the materials and labor needed to actually restore the home to the same condition as it was in before the damage occurred.

Most homeowners policies in California also cover liability which protects you as the homeowner in the event someone gets injured on your property and sues. While this type of insurance is not mandatory, every homeowner that cares about protecting their house should carry personal liability coverage.

Car Maintenance – Keep Your Car Away from Early Retirement

Consider these TipsYou can save money that you might end up spending on repairs by properly maintaining and a regular check of you vehicle. Specially when the vehicle has achieved great mileage and is old. To have that peace of mind and increase vehicle’s longevity, there are different ways and below are few tips to help in getting most out of your investment.

  1. Regular Check on Tires: To know how suspension and steering is performing, have a check on your tire wear. A shoulder wear or excessive edge indicates that maintenance is needed. Check regularly for tire pressure, spare parts as tires might get a premature wear. Conduct an inspection on side wall and tread areas to find any irregularities in wear or unevenly placed parts can cause damage to your vehicle.
  2. Check for Brakes Frequently: Have a thorough check of shoes, pads, rotors, fittings, calipers, parking brake and brake hardware. If squeal is found in brakes then replace it immediately.
  3. Check on Fluid Levels at Times: You need to change and replenish engine oil when needed. Check for lubricants and vehicle fluids and check them at regular intervals. If found dirty fluids, it will damage your vehicle’s engine.
  4. Check for Hoses, Engine Belts, and Fuel Filter: Preventing a breakdown or a serious damage on engine by a measure of replacing hoses and belts at regular recommended intervals is a must as a drive belt alone can supply power to many accessories of engine and also hoses are found to carry fluids vital to your vehicle under heavy pressure.
  5. Change Air Filter: Protecting vehicle’s engine from contaminants in done by the air filters. If there is no sufficient air flow to the engine, it effects the performance and will also result in fuel consumption to greater extent. An air filter helps in easy flow of air free of dirt for better performance and longer life.
  6. Check for Battery and it’s Performance: Critical part of the vehicle is the battery which helps in start up, running of ac and other accessories. If you find a corroded, cracked or bulged terminals, it’s a clear indication that the battery has reached its extreme condition and has to be checked or replaced. Battery life is limited, it has to be tested and replaced when necessary.
  7. Check Wiper Blades: If wiper blades are worn out then it affects the ability to see vehicles and road in front of you making the driving difficult. It is better to opt for all season wiper blades which helps in smooth operation and greater visibility. These blades are reliable, durable and gives strong performance.

An Act of Nature – Falling Trees

Be Aware of Falling TreesOne of the common hazard could be faced being an home owner is falling trees, specially during ice or snow storms. Natural calamities such as fires, lightning, windstorms, and even insect corroding causes the branches or trees to fall on your home resulting in property damage. You need to be careful and watch out for trees with trunk hollows or cracks, limbs of trees hanging around, dead trees or with mushrooms on tree bark have high chances of falling and causing extensive damage to your property.

Falling  trees – What’s Covered?

Working of your insurance coverages under such scenarios:

  • You can file a claim on your home insurance policy, if yard or a tree even if rooted in your neighbor’s house fell over damaging your home and other
  • As any home insurance policy covers detached structures such as garage, they are covered when any damage occurs due to tree fall.
  • Please note that, tree rooted in your home if falls on your neighbor’s roof, then he should claim under his own insurance policy and you are not liable for it.
  • Comprehensive coverage pays when your car is damaged due to a tree fall, natural disasters, theft, vandalism or collision with animals.
  • Your deductible can be reimbursed If your neighbor’s tree caused damage and he goes after his insurer.
  • The standard insurance policy replaces shrubs and trees damaged by vandalism, fire, lightning and other perils, but not wind or water.
  • A tree rooted by you falls and does not damage any structures or house but blocks the road or ramp, insurance might pay to help in removing it. Not all insurance companies pay you to have the tree removed unless specified in your policy.

Securing Celebrations at Home

Are You Secured ?It’s always fun to dust off your party shoes and get ready to welcome home your guests for gathering, party or any celebrations. Be it holidays or festive season, you invite people home, serve them delicious food, desserts and drinks. It is always a good idea to make sure you are planning a fun yet safe party to avoid any further potential problems. It is important for any homeowner to take necessary precautions, habit home safety to prevent filing of claims under your homeowners insurance policy.

Tips for Home Safety to Avoid Claims

Decorative Candles: The most common insurance claims made by homeowners are due to fire damage in their home. House decorated with candle light, where candles are one of the easiest ways to start fires.. Be sure to keep open flames away from curtains, decorations or any flammable materials.

Glorious Food: Be any party or celebration, food is always a concern. Make sure, guests are served with hot food and refrigerator has enough room to hold all the food. Let the food not look all spoiled. If any of your guests incur food poisoning, you will be held responsible and will end up paying medical bills.

Loving Pets: Do keep your pets away from guests, no matter how friendly they are. You will not be able to predict when your dog will get furious. Also, make sure to keep the dogs away from food and any such decorated parts of home, just in case if they cause damage to home or any possible fire.

Home Security: Festive season is when thefts and burglars celebrate. Ensure to have a proper reliable security alarm system installed , also a motion sensitive lights in and around your property. Also, check for smoke alarms to prevent, or minimize damage from fire.

Turn The Lights On: When u arrange for a party at night, do lit all the lights. Keep the path leading to front step and your home well-lit. This can prevent any elderly person or kids from being a victim of painful fall. You are just avoiding a liability coverage claim which was all set to happen.

Drinks: A party or celebration is never enjoyed without alcohol and other drinks. Make sure to be a good host and set an end time for the party, not to worry about long drinking hours. Do hire some person to serve drinks and monitor guests. Have an eye on kids and teenagers, keep them away from alcoholic beverages. Do not let anyone drive home if they are found to be drinking all the time. Any accident occurring, you will be liable for it.

Fearful Natural Phenomenon – Earthquake

Do Not Be A VictimYou may sit back and peacefully enjoy with your family till a sudden and violent shaking of ground called earthquake, a tremor occurs. Perhaps, earthquake is one the most fearful natural phenomenon. It is unpredictable and occurs without any notice. Earthquake may occur due to many reasons such as explosions of high atomic bomb or nuclear power, high flow tides, heavy traffic in city streets, tumbling of streams over high falls etc. Many scientists have failed to predict when an earthquake occurs.

Earthquake in Ohio

Since the Revolutionary War, Ohio has a record of atleast 120 earthquakes which resulted in heavy damage and major injuries. So far, there have been six earthquakes in Ohio in 2010. The largest recorded earthquake with 5.5 magnitude in Ohio, shook the entire Anna city in the midnight. The area around Anna has been the epicenter for more than 40 quakes. Even Ohio’s two nuclear power plants are not free from the risk of quakes. The Geological Survey of Ohio has recorded earthquakes which had 4.5 magnitude or even more. Though many earthquakes occurred, no one were severely injured or killed. The state of Ohio’s designs it’s seismic network to identify high risk zones and communicate the same information to its residents after an earthquake.

Ohio Earthquake Insurance

If you are looking for a comprehensive home owners insurance or purely an earthquake insurance policy, obtaining an earthquake insurance quote in Ohio much before any other policy is a must. If your location is very much prone to earthquake then do not delay in choosing a policy which provides you financial support when disaster strikes. Not all homeowners insurance policy will pay when their homes are damaged by earthquake.

Do remember if you are opting for ‘all perils’ coverage, make sure you check with your agent if it covers earthquake. Generally ‘all perils’ coverage does not cover earthquake, it differs from one company to another. There are such few instances where a home owner with a requirement for mortgage needs to have an earthquake insurance. If you are residing in earthquake zone areas and looking for that peace of mind to be protected financially in the event of any damage then insurance is definitely a good purchase.

Liability Insurance for Financial Stability

Liability insurance - A MustEnsuring that your biggest asset which is of high priority for you and your family is financially secured by home owners insurance and also equally considering coverages to shield your personal assets. You will not know when and what kind of injuries will be sustained by anyone on your property. You will also not know the heights of damage which will occur or unintentionally being caused by any of your family member. Incidents and it’s severity cannot be predicted and hence a claim over your personal liability and law suits for it. Liability costs are not covered by your home insurance policy to greater extent, hence recommending more coverage on personal liability.

Liability Insurance – Two Types

  • Home Insurance Personal Liability: Personal liability insurance covers bodily injury and/or property damage against every claim and law suits causing any accident when on your property or if your personal activities results in any damage or injury at your house. Home Business related damages and loss are not included.
  • Home Insurance Medical Payments: Medical Payments coverage is a another form of liability insurance basically covering others to pay for medical treatment of injured at your home or in your property. It includes doctor’s fees, hospital stays, x-rays, and other similar expenses.

Homeowner Liability

Property owners have this huge responsibility of maintaining safe conditions in and around their home to avoid any injuries for people coming home or when on their. There are different categories of people who might visit your property and you will be held liable for any incident occurring and protecting these specific groups of people is major duty of a home owner.

  • Invitees: Category of people who are invited by the home owner for general purposes of work at their premises. Contractors and workers are usually labeled invitees.
  • Licensees: A person who does not have any relation contractually with the owner of premises but he has the permission to go to the premises is known as a licensee. A licensee is typically considered as a social guest welcome at any residence.
  • Trespassers: A person who steps into the premises of another person without any permissions implied by the owner, purely for their amusement or benefit is known as a trespasser. Skateboarders in a swimming pool, not having a finish will fall into the category without any evidence, then the owner exercises a duty in order to avoid injuries to the trespasser.

Home liability insurance is generally included in policies. But it comes usually with $100,000 coverage which is not sufficient when some other person is injured severely. So its always better to play safe by setting $300,000 coverage or even more in case of any accident at your home. This just requires an increase on your premium rates slightly resulting in tremendous peace.

Drain Your Home from Water Damage

Prevent Water DamageThere are certainly many ways by which a water damage can occur. Whether you live in own house, apartment, rented house or a condo, you will be a victim of water damage one day. In Ohio, often reported damage is majorly due to leaky bathroom sink or flooding due to heavy storms. However, water damage can occur as a result of  burst pipe, leaking roof, malfunction in pipe, sewage over flow or due to natural disasters such as tornadoes, floods, hurricanes, storms. Any type of standing moisture or water is capable enough to cause water damage. An immediate response within 48 hours is necessary in order to prevent mold growth and potential further damage.

Severe Impacts

Water damage when ignored or not looked upon sooner, causes microbial growth and increases damage over time. Within few hours, wood finishes and furniture legs swell and begin to bleed. Metals will tarnish, dry walls will swell and soften and you smell bacterial odor. When left for days, it results in permanent damage to metal, wall coverings and plastering. Paint will blister, wood structure will warp and if you do not take any preventive measures, you create a room for fungi, mold and other microbial organisms. Contaminated water can cause many water borne diseases, few such as cholera, typhoid, dysentery can be cured and many may not.

Steps to Prevent Water Damage

A thorough inspection of your house is a must before you go for a vacation or leave home alone for long time. Water leakage can occur in kitchen, bathrooms, roofs, laundry room and even unknown spots. Check hoses and pipes of dishwasher, refrigerator, sinks, washbasins, tubs and toilets to confirm there is no leakage. Keep debris out of gutter, ventilate roofs to reduce moisture segregation. Make sure your house is properly equipped and modern techniques are implied much before you buy or rent a home. If any leakage is found, call an expert water damage technician to your premises to evaluate the situation. Leave it to them to take control of the emergency upon their arrival.

Remember, when an insurance agent evaluates your home he will check for any leakage or water damage occurrence. If found, it can increase your premium rates in turn burning a hole in your pocket. A fully equipped home, plumbing update, roofing update, renovation done to curb the water damage will fetch you discounts on your home insurance policy.

Caring for Your Collectible Valuables

Value Those Precious ItemsProper insurance coverage offers financial reimbursement in the event of loss or damage to a collection. Both the valuables and insuring them are equally important if you want to prevent them from theft or damage. Whether you have an expansive collection of vintage stamps or autographed baseballs, homeowners insurance may not provide adequate coverage, making an additional plan necessary. If you’re improperly covered and your collection is lost or damaged, an insurance claim may return only a partial value of your original investment. Despite an accurate assessment value, guarding your valuables against damage is your responsibility.

Know Your Collection

Proper care and storage for your collectibles is integral to their safety and their continued appreciation in value. Considering their value, valuables will be insured under your renters or home insurance policy. Most homeowner insurance coverages are limited to certain items such as coins, jewelry, collectibles, furs and furs. In case you have insurable of high-value in your home, then you would need a good-thought about management risk strategy.

Items like antique baseball cards may be valued based on their condition. As such, their care may require additional steps, such as protection from UV rays. Other collections like model trains may require frequent cleaning, lubrication and service. In the most extreme cases, your collection may be valued so high that its care is beyond your expertise.

Know Your Damage Risks

Here are the guidelines to know that you have enough coverage:

  1. Have an inventory of your valuables, including ,art, jewelry and other items, like an baseball autographed.
  2. Get an appraisal for more valuable items. Be ready to contact a specialist to get estimated value of all special items.
  3. Specialized floaters or policies are useable for the coverage of valuable items at an dollar amount as scheduled on the policy.
  4. Find out the additional services what your insurer would offer. If they can help you in the preservation and conservation of your valuable property, It can be in a “no loss’ state if these bundle of services come together in a cost-effective manner