P.O. Box 1750, Cockysville, MD, 21030
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Building Your First Home

Bookmark and Share 4If you're building a new home, congratulations! However, if you don't insure your new residence during construction, you're exposing yourself to a huge risk if a fire, theft, or other event damages or destroys your partially-completed home.

You can protect yourself by buying a standard homeowners policy on the new dwelling. This will cover you for any damage to the home as it's being built, and might also provide some coverage for theft of building supplies (although the building contractor's insurance should also cover this).

The policy includes liability insurance, which would come in handy if one of your friends trips during a "tour" of your dream house and decides to sue you. However, homeowners insurance will not cover your personal property until the building is secure or "lockable." Once construction reaches this point, you can add coverage for your personal property.

As an alternative, consider a dwelling and fire policy, which covers damage to the physical structure, but provides no theft coverage. This might be an appropriate choice if you're living in your old house during construction, because the homeowners policy on this dwelling would cover theft of items from the construction site. Dwelling and fire insurance also provides liability coverage.

Once your new home is complete, it makes sense to re-evaluate your coverage. If you chose dwelling and fire coverage, you might want to replace it with a homeowners policy. If you have a standard homeowners policy, make sure that you have insured the home to its full value, especially if you have altered the original building plans (for example, by adding a room or upgrading building supplies).

If you have any questions about protecting your new home while it's being built, just give our insurance professionals a call. We're always here for you.
 

Renters Insurance - Don't Gamble with Your Property

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A recent nationwide survey found that only 34% of tenants carry a Renters policy which means that most renters are taking a financial gamble with all of their belongings.

The three leading reasons that respondents gave for not buying Renters insurance show that many people don't understand what this policy covers - and doesn't cover:

  • Nearly three in five (57%) felt that their rented home has such effective security that they don't need protection against losses from theft.

    However, without a Renters policy, tenants still remain highly vulnerable to other risks. A fire could damage or destroy their possessions, requiring replacement at a high cost. An accident might leave the unit temporarily unlivable, costing hundreds or thousands in living expenses. An injury to a visitor on the premises could result in costly medical bills - not to mention a lawsuit. The typical Contents policy will provide protection against these losses - and a wide variety of other risks.

  • More than half (52%) believed that they couldn't afford the coverage. Among respondents, 21% estimated the annual premium at $1,000 or higher, while another 60% pegged the cost as $250 a year or more.

    However, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), the average Renters policy costs only around $185 a year.

  • Nearly half (48%) thought that the landlord already had coverage.

    Although the landlord carries insurance in the building itself, the policy does not cover risks to tenants' property and liability.

For more information on how Renters insurance can protect you, feel free to get in touch with us.

 

Weddings and Mishaps - Protect the Big Day

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As the average cost of getting hitched keeps rising (to $27,000 in 2012), more and more couples are using Wedding Insurance to protect their investment against mishap - and help ensure peace of mind on this special day.

Wedding policies will reimburse you for losses due to:

  • Weather: The cost of rescheduling if the event has to be postponed because of rain or other bad weather.
  • Illness or injury to the bridal party. The expenses of postponing the wedding if essential people (such as the maid of honor or best man) can't be there.
  • A missing celebrant. Some of the costs if your minister, justice of the peace, rabbi, or other celebrant doesn't show up.
  • Missing vendors. Some, or all, of the expense (including rescheduling) if the caterer, florist, photographer, or other key vendor is missing in action.
  • Damage to the venue. Your losses if fire, electrical or mechanical outage, or going out of business makes the wedding or reception site unusable, forcing you to reschedule. (This coverage might not apply if the sites already carry insurance).

You can also buy coverage "riders" for a variety of other risks, ranging from a military service call-up to the bride or groom and damage to a wedding gown or tuxedo, to stolen or damaged gifts, and cancellation of your honeymoon due to illness, bad weather, or other mishap. If you're holding the ceremony in your home, you might also want Liability insurance in case a guest gets hurt or injures someone.

Premiums can range from $100 to $1,000 (if you buy Liability coverage and host an open bar).

We'd be happy to tailor a Wedding policy to meet your needs, and budget. Just give us a call.

 

ChaChing! Getting Discounts on Your Homeowners Policy.

Bookmark and Share 1You're probably familiar with the basic discounts that most insurance companies offer on Homeowners coverages, such as bundling Home and Auto insurance, loyalty rewards, and installing smoke detectors and/or home security systems.

However, a growing number of companies offer significant premium discounts on Homeowners insurance to policyholders who are:

  • Senior citizens. If you're 60 or older, you could lower your premium by as much as 15%.
  • Non-smokers. If you've given up the habit -- or have never picked up a cigarette, cigar, or pipe -- you might qualify for a discount.
  • Married couples or widows/widowers. Could be eligible for discounts of up to 5%.
  • New buyers who have closed a home purchase within 60 days.
  • Willing to increase coverage to reflect a rise in inflation.
  • Ready to buy coverage for the full value of a home.
  • Prepared to buy from a new carrier before the policy with your current insurance company expires.
  • New policy holders with the company (the "welcome" discount) and purchasing coverage for the entire value of your home.

You might also be eligible for a discount if you don't have a Property damage claim for a specified period, such as three years.

Bear in mind that many insurance companies might not offer some (or any) of these discounts.

To see if you're eligible, check with the professionals at our agency. We might be able to save you some big dollars.