Three Common Home Hazards And Your Insurance Coverage Options

Posted by on Aug 29, 2015 in Uncategorized

Without taking the time to read all of the declaration pages that come with your homeowner’s insurance policy, it’s tough to know everything that the policy might cover. In fact, you’re likely to eventually come across something that may leave you questioning your coverage. Here are a few unusual situations you might experience and the coverage standards that typically apply. Ground-Based Natural Disasters If you live in an area that has a history of earthquakes, you may find that your homeowner’s insurance automatically excludes damage caused by earthquakes. You’ll have to talk with your agent about an additional policy that covers earthquakes, otherwise you’re going to have to pay for any quake-related damages yourself. For homeowners living within a close proximity to a volcano, you may actually have coverage for volcanic ash damage. You’ll have to check your declaration pages or talk with your agent specifically about ash damage, though, because those fine particles can seep into cracks and crevices, not to mention how heavy an accumulation can be on your roof. Power Outages If your home suffers any kind of damage as a result of a power failure, you’ll have to consider the type of power outage before you can determine your coverage. If the power failure was caused by something such as lightning striking your house, you will probably have coverage for the damage. You’ll have to pay your deductible, but the damages should be covered under your policy. For power failures caused by a lightning strike on the transformer or other indirect actions that affect your power, you’ll probably find that standard homeowner’s policies don’t cover it. And, most policies won’t cover food lost as a result of the power outage. You may, however, be able to buy a separate policy rider that extends coverage for these types of things. Injury and Illness Any direct bodily injury to someone else in your home should be covered under your homeowner’s liability and medical protection. Germ threats, on the other hand, won’t typically be covered. For example, if your neighbor tries to sue for catching a case of chicken pox, your policy won’t likely extend coverage. It’s always in your best interest to understand exactly what you’re getting when you buy a home insurance policy, but it can be tough to decipher. Talk with your agent in detail about what your policy covers and specifically what it excludes. That way, you can add policy riders for any hazards you’re concerned about. For professional homeowners insurance services, contact a company such as The Selzer...

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Avoid Home Insurance Claims By Knowing How To Identify Problem Trees On Your Property

Posted by on Aug 14, 2015 in Uncategorized

Many homeowners don’t give much thought to the trees on their property. After all, for the most part, trees can take care of themselves, right? While this may be true, the fact remains that trees can become dangerous if damaged by a storm, diseased, or dying. In such instances, you should know how to identify and handle a problem tree so as to avoid homeowners insurance claims that could increase your policy premiums. Remove Dead Branches Immediately You should never ignore dead branches on a tree, even if there are just a few of them here and there. Dead branches could be the sign of a tree in the early stages of a disease. Not to mention, dead branches can easily break off and fall to the ground during storms or periods of high wind. You don’t want a large branch falling on your roof or car, so be sure to prune dead branches back or call a professional to handle it for you. Watch Out for Leaning Trees It’s not uncommon for trees to lean slightly as they grow. However, it you notice that a leaning tree appears to have raised ground near the root structure, this could be a sign that the tree is in danger of falling over. If this is the case, you may need to have the tree professionally removed before it becomes a hazard to your home or a neighbor’s. Have Diseased Trees Professionally Removed Speaking of tree removal, be sure to contact a professional tree service right away in the event that you have a diseased tree on your property. Trees that are diseased or dead (no longer budding during peak season) no longer have a strong enough root structure to remain firmly planted in the ground. As such, these trees are especially prone to falling over during a storm or even on a windy day. Know How to Identify Weak Root Structures Even if a tree isn’t obviously diseased, the root structure could still be compromised, which could increase chances of the tree falling over and causing severe damage or even injury. Sometimes trees grow multiple trunks. When assessing a tree for a weak root structure, be on the lookout for v-shaped (as opposed to u-shaped) joints on conjoining trunks. This can be a sign of ingrown bark, which can weaken the tree’s root structure. Call a professional to assess the tree and determine the best course of...

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