Personal Protection

Six Top Tips for Home Protection

A big part of owning your own home, or even renting a property, is protecting it and your personal belongings inside. If you’re concerned about home protection, then here are six of the best tips that you need to keep your home and belongings safe from harm:

  1. Change Your Approach

The only way to achieve comprehensive protection is to consider just where your home is the most vulnerable. Instead of going into home protection blind, you need to create a tailored plan that pinpoints the exact liabilities of your property.

Go around your home, look for weaknesses, and take note of where others might be able to see into your home. Then assess your doors, check their strength, and think about how you would break in if you were in the shoes of an intruder.

  1. Think About Security

Doors and windows should be secure, which means that new locks, stronger frames, and better hingers, may be an investment that you need to make. Double check to make sure there are no cracks around your doors or windows, invest in a security door or high-impact glass, and always lock-up when you’re leaving the house.

  1. Hide Your Keys

If you’re constantly losing your keys, having a spare outside may seem like a good idea. However, it’s one of the easiest ways for someone to break into your home.

Try a different approach and opt for a keyless door, or even leave a key with a trusted friend, instead of outdoors.

  1. Protect Your Wiring

Wiring is a major vulnerability in the home, and the weak spot of a security system. Make sure all wiring is fully hidden and properly covered.

  1. Change Your Garden

Anywhere outside that restricts your view from the property can be detrimental to property protection, but so can landscaping that puts your home on full view from the street. Consider a garden makeover and take care of blind spots in your landscaping.

  1. Insure Your Home and Belongings!

Prevention methods to stop burglaries are vital, but so is protection if the worst happens and your belongings or property are damaged. Getting adequate home insurance is a must to avoid the financial stress and upheaval of having to pay out for expensive repairs and replace belongings in your home.

Talk to us today for information about comprehensive home insurance and plans that are tailored to your needs. For a peace of mind over home protection and the best insurance, don’t delay in giving us a call.

First Time Getting a Home Insurance Policy? Here Are the Top Tips You Need…

Buying a home is one of the biggest decisions that you’ll make in your life. Not only does it free you from the restraints of having to pay rent, but it’s a valuable long-term investment that makes sense in more than one way when it comes to finances.

One of the biggest things that first-time home buyers have to face, is how to save vital funds when they are trying to purchase a property. This puts home insurance near the top of the priority list, not just because it can protect your belongings and property, but because it’s a key area to start saving money.

First-Time Home Insurance Policies – The Costs

You can expect insurance rates to cost you around an average of $952 a year, according to the statistics from Value Penguin. While this is the average, prices can fluctuate quite severely. There are a number of key factors that can influence home insurance cost, including:

  • Non-payment that resulted in insurance cancellation
  • High-risk properties, use of specialist materials in construction, high-claim area, or special feature properties
  • No insurance history or sparse insurance history
  • Paying separately for different insurances instead of using bundles
  • Making insurance claims

Many homeowners get the benefit of discounts on their home insurance, but this often isn’t the case for first-time buyers. Due to this, it’s important to make sure that you thoroughly investigate all the options open to you and take advantage of all money-saving opportunities.

Top Tips for Saving Money on Home Insurance 

Just a few simple tips and tricks may lead to some substantial savings on both the purchase of your first home and your home insurance. Here are our top five ways to make savings:

1.) Plan Ahead

Leaving home insurance as the last item on your to-do list means limiting your options for a good home insurance policy. It will pay in the long-run to research early, know your options, and find the right insurance for your needs. Always bear in mind:

  • Your home insurance will be in relation to your dwelling value not your real estate value.
  • Never feel pressured into making a decision without knowing what you’re covered for.
  • Get complete coverage for the important things.
  • Plan for potential increases in other insurance areas.

2.) Think About Insurance History

Your insurance history is incredibly important when getting house insurance – the better established your history is, the better discounts you’ll have access to. If you don’t have an established insurance history, then try building a good history by getting renters insurance or even contacting your parent’s insurance and seeing if you can be recognized by them.

3.) Know When Costs Change

Your home insurance will likely not be the same as the insurance that the current owners of the property pay. Personal information is needed to create an insurance plan, so be prepared to pay something different!

4.) Get That Home Inspection

A home inspection may be a big cost, but it could save you so much more in the long-run. Spotting major problems with a property now, could prevent serious financial disasters in the future. You might also get some top tips from your inspector about bringing down insurance costs.

5.) Double-Up and Get Mortgage Insurance

Not all insurance bundles are good, but it doesn’t mean that they are all bad either. Consider mortgage insurance alongside your home insurance, as the price may be substantially cheaper than if you went to a mortgage lender.

Need advice on home insurance, or want to get a head start with renter’s insurance? Give us a call today and we’ll make sure that all your insurance questions are answered!

Hurricane Season starts June 1st!

 

Here’s the Atlantic Hurricane Season forecast from the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA):  NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center is forecasting a 35% chance that the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season will be above-normal, 40% chance that is will be near-normal and a 25% chance it will be below normal.  Click HERE to go to the article on their website.

 

Accuweather predicts a more active season with 12-15 tropical storms, 6-8 hurricanes, 3-5 major hurricanes with 3 or 4 named storms making U.S. landfall.  Click HERE for their article.

 

Important Note:   When there is a hurricane or major storm that may threaten our area we, as your insurance agent, are often unable to place or increase insurance coverage until the storm has passed!   Don’t wait until the last minute.   Look into your coverage with us now.

 

 

 

Hawaii Volcanoes Made WORSE by State Insurance Risk Pool

 

Why would anyone live in the path of lava floes from a known, active volcano?  In part, because the state-created Hawaii Property Insurance Association ensures they can get subsidized insurance coverage for properties in high-risk lava zones, creating a perverse incentive to develop in dangerous areas that are now at risk of being destroyed.

 

The better question might be what idiots in the state legislature lacked the intelligence to recognize this as a bad idea, not just financially, but morally as well.

 

For more on how this scheme ‘works’ go to the Wall Street Journal article at https://www.wsj.com/articles/a-housing-boom-then-a-volcanic-eruption-1526841109?mod=searchresults&page=1&pos=2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4 Tornadoes Confirmed in CT

 

Depending on your source, either 2 or 4 tornadoes have been confirmed to have hit CT in the storm that passed through the state on Tuesday, May 15th.

 

Did you have a claim or trees down?  We have filed claims and answered questions from our clients about trees coming down and who is responsible for what when they do come down.

 

Contact us with your questions or to review your property insurance needs to be prepared for the next one.   That’s what were here for!

 

 

 

 

 

Flood Insurance at a Lower Price

 

We now work with a number of private insurers that have recently entered the flood insurance marketplace.  That means competition with the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which means you may be able to get a lower price for the same coverage!

 

We’re seeing lower pricing come in on policies that have a premium of $1000 or more annually. And they’re coming in about 15 to 20% lower than NFIP! This is on policies that are in most “A” zones (high-risk) and even “V” zones (subject to potential flooding by wave action; i.e., shorefront).   If you’re in an “A” or “V” zone look for our postcard.  You’re the most likely to benefit from this!

 

Grab your current policy and call us.  If you can send the coverage page (aka ‘declarations’ page) to us we can have a quote back to you shortly.   We’ll see if you might be in line to save some significant $ at your next renewal!

 

 

 

New Market for Vacant Condos and Residential Rental properties!

 

Do you have an unoccupied condo? It can be hard to find an affordable insurer for vacant property of any kind. One of our insurance partners, Foremost, will be starting a new program for vacant condominium units next month. It includes vacation, short-term rental, and condo landlords, too. Contact us to put them to work for you.

 

 

Tips on how to lower car insurance rates in 2018

Car insurance rates can be crippling, especially if you’re young, have been caught up in accidents, or if you’re not able to afford to latest state-of-the-art car with futuristic safety features. Though car insurance premiums can be a pain to pay, here we offer you 8 tips on lowering your car insurance rates in 2018.

1. Car insurance discounts

There are numerous discounts which you may be entitled to with your auto insurance, here are but a few examples!

LOW MILEAGE – Do you drive less than 7,500 miles per year? You may get a 5-15% discount on your car insurance! Some insurance companies even offer discounts if you do some of your travel via public transport such as buses or subways.

MULTI-CAR DEALS – You may see 10-25% discounts on your comprehensive, collision, and liability premiums if you have more than one vehicle on the same insurance policy.

MODERN CAR DISCOUNTS – Does your car have airbags, anti-lock brakes, and automatic seat belts? Perhaps it has tracking systems and anti-theft alarms? You could see discounts from 5-30% depending on how modern and safe or thief-proof your car is.

2. Complete a traffic course

You can often see a 5-15% discount if you take a traffic course to improve your driving skills. The eligibility for these tests varies from state to state, however. Traffic school courses are usually 4 to 6 hours long, and can be done online, in person, or via a mixture of the two. They often set you back around $25 to $75, though you’ll make that back in discounts quickly. You may remove points from your record for minor traffic violations, though you can’t get this AND a discount. New York, however, is an exception to this rule.

3. Watch your credit report closely

Auto insurance companies take many factors into account when calculating your premiums, and your credit history is one of them. Some states have made this illegal, but in many, it remains a legal and common practice. Pay your bills on time and maintain a decent credit rating; it will help you to seem low-risk and therefore help to keep your car insurance rates down. The difference in auto insurance rates for “good credit” drivers and “poor credit” drivers is a staggering 67%.

4. Be a safe driver

It sounds so obvious, but it’s true. People with no traffic violations or accidents get lower insurance rates (over time) as they are simply presenting themselves as low-risk (i.e. safe) drivers. A single speeding ticket can increase your auto insurances rates 11-13%, so why take the risk with your life and your insurance premiums?

5. Invest in a safer car

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Vehicle Safety Ratings Page (long name) contains a list of all the safety ratings for various cars, taking multiple factors into account. Prioritize safety ratings when you buy a new car, as you’ll likely decrease your insurance rates and better protect your own life!

6. Discounts for paying in full

You can usually see a 5-10% discount if you pay your car insurance premium in full, rather than spreading the payments out over an extended period. Though many people cannot afford to do this straight away, it could save you hundreds of dollars over the year.

7. Evaluate what you really need from your policy

Do you really need comprehensive and collision coverage? Vehicles that are worth less than $3,000 or less than 10 years old simply don’t require these forms of coverage. According to the Insurance Information Institute, getting rid of comprehensive and collision coverage (assuming you don’t need them) could save you around $660 per year on average.

8. Compare the market

As with any form of insurance, you should be sure to compare the rates, policies, and details of different insurers. Auto insurers have slightly different methods of ascertaining how much you will pay, so one insurer could happen to see you in a much more favorable light than another.

Among the myriad of circumstances used to calculate your auto insurance rates, your insurance could significantly drop (or spike) if you get married, move house, have an accident, buy a new car, or add a young driver to a household policy.

Consider taking the customer service ratings (and customer reviews) of the insurers into account when making your decision, as insurance companies are notorious for wanting to escape paying out whenever they can. Evaluate what is most important to you, what price you’re willing to pay, and what excess you’re willing to pay, assuming it is applicable. It pays to compare competing companies!

Looking for more help with lowering your car insurance rates? Get in touch today and we’ll be able to help you with a personalized plan which aims to lower your auto insurance rates for good.

Meet Leia

 

We love animals.  Especially friendly ones!

 

Come meet Leia.  We let her come to the office on some Mondays and Wednesdays between 3 and 5 so she’s not home alone.  As she gets older and a little calmer we hope she can visit more often.  Right now she’s only 2 and very energetic and playful.  She’s a Black Labrador / Australian Shepherd mix and her favorite thing is to chase, wrestle and play with other dogs.  She’s about 75 pounds and is bigger than she looks.

 

We can set you up with Pet Insurance for your dog or cat.

 

 

Preventing Dog Bites

Preventing Dog Bites

We love our dogs… the wagging tails… the kisses. And yet dog ownership has challenges. Dogs bite more than 4.5 million people each year. Of those, nearly 900,000 are severe enough to require medical intervention.

In addition, dog bites are costly. The typical cost per canine attack case settled through insurance is over $28,000. It’s a big number. It’s also why home insurance rates go up when you get a new dog…

Thankfully, there are actions you can take to decrease the chances of your dog biting or attacking someone.

First, choose your dog carefully. There are varying viewpoints on whether dogs of certain types are much more hazardous than others are or if home atmosphere has more to do with a pet’s nature. Speak with your veterinarian regarding prospective behavior and also wellness problems connected with details breeds.

Also, talk to our team about potential dog breeds that may be excluded from being protected your insurance coverage representative regarding breeds omitted from protection under your house owner’s insurance plan.

Next, introduce your family pet to your pet early. Well-socialized puppies are more likely to become grown-up pets who feel comfortable around people and other animals. It’s also good to keep exposing your dog to new situations…

Also be sure you you keep your child is older because nearly 50% of all severe dog bites involve youngsters. A good age is at least 4 years old. Kids of this age are better able to understand how to behave around your dog. And NEVER leave your baby or young child alone with a dog, no matter how much you trust the dog.

Finally, be sure to take care of your dog’s health. From spaying or neutering to controlling parasites… your dog’s health impacts their attitude. Be sure your dog also is seen by a vet regularly an is properly vaccinated.

Whether you already own a pet dog or are considering bringing a pooch into your home, give us a call to assess your insurance coverage responsibility coverage for bites and various other pet-related injuries. We’re here to help!

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