How to avoid home insurance claims this spring

The spring season is finally here. The beautiful warm weather comes with many opportunities to get your home back in shape. A few tune-ups, particularly on the outside, can help prevent damages that could have been caused by the winter elements. Frozen or burst pipes, fallen branches, and cracked roofs are quite common in Somerset and Johnstown, PA, and can cause a severe toll on your wallet. 

However, if you have a home insurance policy, you may want to avoid unnecessary claims by taking specific measures. Asset Planning Insurance Agency LLC explains how you can prevent home insurance claims.

Thoroughly inspect the roof

With the warm weather first hitting your roof, you may need to seriously consider checking it from end to end to make sure that there are no cracks or any eye-brow raising damage. Are there any missing shingles? weak spots? or overflowing gutters? If there are any, you can call a professional to fix it before the problem escalates.

Check for uneven flooring

The winter season can be harsh and deadly to your floor and walkways outside your home. It may cause cracks and ugly marks that ultimately make the surface of your home look uneven and irregular. However, you can always save the situation by acting early and smoothening your home’s walkways to reduce the chances of people tripping and getting injured on your property.

Avoid fire hazards

Get rid of the paper clutter and dust that could have accumulated in your home to reduce the chances of starting a fire in your home. Old newspapers and dust are the most common culprits when fires are concerned. As you clean, dispose of or shred unnecessary paperwork to decrease fire risk.

There are many things that you can do to avoid insurance claims during the spring season. If you still need more information on staying safe with home insurance, Asset Planning Insurance Agency LLC is here to help. Feel free to visit us in Johnstown, PA today!

How Often Should I Have My Homeowners Insurance Reviewed?

The agents of Asset Planning Insurance Agency LLC understand that things change. They make themselves available to their clients who live in the Johnstown, PA area and are facing changes that could alter the type and amount of homeowners coverage they need. Reviewing their homeowners’ policy at least once a year or ever two or three years if there are no significant changes in the near future.

Life Changes

Life changes are often a major reason to review a homeowners’ policy. A new baby or the last child leaving for college are huge transitions. As your children grow, you may see an increase in the number of electronic devices you find in your home. You may even upgrade your furniture. Both of these life changes can substantially increase the value of the contents of your home. Making sure you are fully insured means that you won’t be at a loss to replace those newer items if the unthinkable happens.

Home Changes

The birth of a new baby may mean renovations to the home. Adding a nursery, swimming pool, or any other significant structural changes will increase the overall value of your home. Increasing the amount of insurance you have in place will protect your investment as well as cover your liability.

Residents in Johnstown, PA can look to the agents of Asset Planning Insurance Agency LLC for all of their homeowners’ insurance needs. The agents have the answers to all of the most frequently asked questions and are available to help figure out the right answer for you. Call and set up your appointment today to make sure your home is fully insured and your investment is protected.


5 Things Every Pennsylvania Resident Must Know Before Buying Home Insurance

Are you spending too much on home insurance?

Each year, Johnstown, PA homeowners lose hundreds of dollars instead of saving. Asset Planning Insurance Agency, LLC aims to help you save by providing you with crucial factual information. Home insurance is one of the significant no-brainers. Here are five things you must know before buying the coverage to save.

Search and Compare Rates 

Previously, finding affordable policies was left for cars and tickets. Currently, home insurance has landed on the same page. With a few internet searches and phone calls, you can land on good deals. Nevertheless, don’t let cost be the only determinant factor, but also keep the coverage details in mind.

Refurbish Your Home 

You must have heard that renovating your home leads to reduced premiums. Well, most insurers are sensitive to house condition. Things like the house’s structure, wiring condition, and plumbing are game changers as far as insurance is concerned. Renovating these features imply that risks such as bursting pipes and fire from electrical faults are minimized. Consequently, your premiums reduce saving you money.

Understand Cash value versus Replacement Cost 

As a homeowner looking for a suitable home insurance coverage, comprehending and distinguishing actual cash value from replacement cost is vital. Replacement costs cover the amount of money it will cost to replace your home together with personal belongings while real cash value focuses on home value and not individual properties.

Increase your Deductible 

Increasing your deductible significantly reduces annual premiums when buying home insurance. The high deductible helps you manage premiums when you make claims since the number is reduced. 

Get Umbrella Coverage 

Most of you won’t agree with this because you incur costs upfront. However, if you ever use your home insurance coverage entirely, the umbrella policy becomes essential. For instance, when a guest gets in an accident and breaks a bone in your home. 

Asset Planning Insurance Agency, LLC proudly serves Johnstown, PA residents. Reach out to our offices to speak with an agent and get a quote, or try our online rating tool.

Protecting Your Home: Understanding Your Home Insurance Policy

As a homeowner, one of the most important aspects of your home isn’t something you use daily. And it isn’t something flashy you show off to friends. It’s your homeowners insurance policy, and it protects you in more ways than you may think, helping you rebuild your home or repair damage that results from a covered loss.

But, that’s not all. It can also help cover the costs of a lawsuit, help you pay for somewhere else to live when your home is uninhabitable and much more.

Home insurance is typically very comprehensive, but all policies have exclusions and coverage limits. It’s vital to know what those are so you know what’s covered and what’s not. Fire damage? Typically covered. Flood damage? Typically not.

With this guide, you can begin to understand what a typical home insurance policy covers. Just keep in mind that coverage varies from carrier to carrier, region to region and even policy to policy. Only your individual home policy can tell you the coverage you have and that which you don’t. For an even better understanding of your home policy coverage, review it with one of our agents.

What Home Insurance Covers The typical homeowners insurance policy has six types of coverage. They are commonly known as:

  • Coverage A: Dwelling, for damage to your house that occurs due to covered losses, such as a fire. Following a covered loss, dwelling coverage helps you repair or rebuild your home, including the structures, such as a garage or a deck, attached to it.
  • Coverage B: Other Structures, for damage to other buildings or structures on your property that result from a covered loss, such as a tornado. This may include a detached garage, a barn or a fence.
  • Coverage C: Personal Property, for damage to or loss, including theft, of your personal belongings and possessions, such as jewelry, furniture, guns and other valuables. If you experience a covered loss, this coverage will help you replace items up to the defined dollar limit in your policy. In certain instances, your belongings may be worth more than the typical home insurance policy covers. In this case, you may be able to purchase additional coverage through a process known as “scheduling valuables.” To help expedite a personal property claim, it helps to keep an updated home inventory of your belongings.
  • Coverage D: Additional Living Expenses, for costs incurred, up to your set policy limit, due to “loss of use” of your home, meaning your home has been damaged to the extent that you cannot live in it and you need to live elsewhere. This coverage helps you handle the costs of your temporary housing and related expenses.
  • Coverage E: Personal Liability, for damage to other people’s property for which you are responsible. This coverage may also help you handle legal costs and liability judgments resulting from a lawsuit, up to the defined dollar amounts outlined in your policy.
  • Coverage F: Medical Payments to Others, for bodily injuries to other people, such as a houseguest, that occur in your home or on your property. Like personal liability coverage, this coverage helps with the costs of a lawsuit or legal decision, up to your defined policy limits.

Remember that, despite having all of these different types of coverage, you’re only covered up to the dollar amounts that you select and only for covered losses, as outlined in your policy. Typically, you can change these policy limits at any time if you’d like to purchase more coverage. This is a good idea if, for example, you’ve recently added on to your home, acquired some pricey personal belongings or made other updates to your property. If needed, you can also reduce your coverage, though always ensure you are adequately protected.

What Home Insurance Doesn’t Cover

It’s just as important to know what your homeowners insurance doesn’t cover as it is to know what your home policy does cover. For starters, your policy does not cover any damage or repairs costing less than your deductible. It also does not cover any costs that exceed the coverage limits outlined in your policy. You are solely responsible for excess costs, unless you have an umbrella policy to provide additional liability coverage for a covered loss.

More than likely, your policy also does not cover routine maintenance and repairs, as well as damage due to animals, termites, floods, earthquakes, sinkholes, sewer backups, and other incidents. These are often considered non-covered losses. If you experience a non-covered loss, as outlined by your policy, you will be responsible for the costs.

What Home Insurance May Cover

Outside of the typical home insurance coverage, optional or separate coverage may be available from your carrier or from a different carrier. For example, you may be able to purchase earthquake or flood coverage separate from your homeowners policy.

Other coverage options are add-ons to your existing homeowners insurance. These can include identity protection and equipment breakdown coverage, which covers the cost to repair or replace a range of appliances and other equipment, such as pool equipment, in your home. If this sounds similar to an extended appliance warranty, it is. The difference is that you can insure an array of appliances at once through this optional coverage rather than purchasing a separate warranty for each one.

This guide is a starting point for understanding your home insurance policy. Your own policy may vary greatly from the descriptions above depending on the state where you live, your carrier, and the coverage you have selected. So take a close look at your policy by reviewing your documents or viewing your coverage online. Or, even better, sit down with one of our insurance agents who can explain your coverage in detail, as well as discuss whether your policy provides adequate protection for your home, property, and belongings.

Reposted with permission from the original author, Safeco Insurance®.

Top image by UnSplash user Nathan Fertig used under their license. Image cropped and modified from original.