Irene Miller is the editor at ostanding’s Blog. Blogging and Social Media is her passion by night, while project management and business development fills her day.

Characteristics of top home insurance companies

Characteristics of top home insurance companies

You should protect your home against damage using the top home insurance companies. Some of the damage is due to disasters such as fire, windstorm and other natural disasters or loss due theft and vandalism. Taking homeowners insurance ensures that the home is covered against these losses and you will not end up suffering losses in case these catastrophes take place.
However, when choosing an insurance company, you should make sure that it is one of the top home insurance companies. This way you will get the best service and it will be available for you when you are in need. Some of the characteristics to look out for should be in areas such as customer satisfaction, financial strength of the company, price of its policy and the service it provides on claims.

Customer satisfaction and service

A company with high rating on customer satisfaction means that it meets its customers’ needs. If a customer has a problem in billing, making claims, changing the policy or any other problem associated with home insurance, the company provides prompt response. The company should respond whether the customer makes contact by telephone or using the website.

The value of the policy and price

Top home insurance companies provide value for money. Their policy should provide you with the coverage that you need and at an affordable price. They respect that your money is hard earned and you want to get the best value for it.

Good ratings on financial strength

Financial strength is important in a good home insurance company. This is because the strength portrays the company’s ability to meet its financial obligations and to make payments on claims. It is also a sign that the company will be available to assist you in the event a disaster strikes.

Services on claims

The time of making a claim is the most stressful because someone has just experienced loss. The policyholder needs a lot of support during this time. A good company should provide claims service that is effective by being there on each step of making a claim. This is by helping in the process of claims filing, sending an adjuster to come and look at the damage on the property and repairing your home where it has been damaged. It should also pay claims promptly without much delay. This will ensure that you recover from the loss without additional stress from the insurer.

These and more are some of the characteristics you should look for in top home insurance companies and on the company you intend to use. You should ensure that you choose an insuring company wisely. Assess your needs and your situation in determining the insurance company that is right for your insurance needs. Before choosing one company, do a comparison on different companies and choose the one with the best ratings on customer satisfaction, financial strength, policy pricing and on claims service. This will ensure that you will get the best value for your money.

Continue reading

Home warranty insurance VS homeowners insurance

Home warranty insurance VS homeowners insurance

Home warranty insurance just like homeowners insurance is meant for relieving the homeowner the burden of making hefty payments in case there is damage to the home or belongings. The homeowners insurance covers the home structure, personal possessions and other home structures in case they are damaged by insured perils. Home warranty insurance provides replacements and repairs for home systems and appliances due to wear and tear. It fills the gap that is left by the homeowners insurance by providing coverage for repairs due to normal usage, something that homeowners insurance does not do. Both types of insurance are important to homeowners. For example, when the boiler stops working due to normal usage, the warranty comes in and it repairs or replaces the boiler. If on the other hand, there is a fire and the boiler is damaged in the process, the homeowner’s insurance covers for the damage.

Their differences

However, the two have differences. While the homeowners insurance is a policy, the home warranty is in form of a contract. It covers repairs and replacement of systems and appliances that include plumbing, boilers, dishwashers, ovens and air and heating systems. The items covered vary from policy to policy provided the item was in the home and in working condition at the time of purchasing the warranty. It is optional to purchase a home warranty. Someone other than the homeowner can purchase it. For instance, a seller of a home can purchase it so that the buyer is reassured when buying the home that the repairs for the appliances and systems will be catered for by the warranty provider. A home owner can also purchase the warranty. In case there is a problem with any of the items covered, the homeowner calls the provider of the warranty. The provider calls a contractor who comes to the home to check the problem and to repair or make a replacement. The home owner is charged a small fee called trade service fee. Home insurance is only purchased by the home owner. When there is damage due to an insured peril, the owner of the home contacts the insurance company, which sends an adjuster to assess the damage. The company later pays for the repair or replacement of the damaged property. In addition, it can also pay for personal liability of the home owner in case a visitor is injured in the property. This is something that is not covered by home warranty insurance companies.

Home warranty misconceptions

One of the misconceptions of home warranty insurance is that it covers the repair and replacement all the items in the home. The truth is that it all depends with the policy. Some items such as the septic systems or the pool are included in some policies. Others cover them at additional cost while other policies exclude them altogether. It is therefore important to find out what a policy covers and the conditions that it puts before you buy a policy.

Continue reading

Filing for removal of a tree with homeowners insurance coverage

Filing for removal of a tree with homeowners insurance coverage

A fallen tree can cause damage to your property especially if it falls on your house. Your homeowners insurance coverage may cover the expenses of removing trees and the required repairs. Contact the insurance company immediately to enquire if your policy covers the situation. Some insurers cover the removal of trees in order to prevent damage in future while others cover the removal of trees that have fallen and caused damage. If the tree removal is covered, then you should start the claiming process. Make sure you note and take the contact of the agent you have talked to in relation to making your claim. The information could be useful in the future. This person should also let you know what to expect in your claiming process.

Have evidence of the fallen tree

Let the tree remain where it is. Only remove it if it is blocking the way or is in unavoidable situation. To have the evidence of the damage, take pictures showing the fallen tree and the damaged caused to the property. Make sure you have many pictures and from different angles. Chances are that the insurance company will send someone to take their own pictures showing the damage. However, having your documentation can come in handy especially if the insurance company pays less in relation to the damage caused by the tree. Get an independent estimation of the repair costs. You can use the services of a contractor. If possible, look for someone trustworthy and who is willing to provide you with a timely estimate for free or at a small fee. This will ensure that you have the correct estimate and you do not end up spending a lot of money on it. Keep the copy of estimates with your for the record. You might need them to justify your claim in case the insurer underpays you.

Let in the adjuster

Your insurer will send an adjuster to examine the damage caused by the fallen tree and to provide you with an estimate of the damage. If you are not in, make sure you schedule a particular time when the adjuster can come. If the damage can be accessed without getting in then there is no need to arrange for the time. Inform the adjuster that you have many pictures of the damage and you have an estimate of the damage. You can offer to share the information.

Follow up on the claim

After filing a claim and the adjuster comes to your home, it may take some time before the insurance company contacts you. This is due to the many claims the adjuster has to deal with and on the extent of the damage. It is therefore up to you to contact the insurer once every few weeks to check on the progress of the claim.
Your homeowners insurance coverage should pay for the removal of the tree and for repair of any damages that the tree may have caused.

Continue reading

Homeowners insurance mistakes that you should avoid

Homeowners insurance mistakes that you should avoid

Taking homeowners insurance is an important step towards protecting your home in case there is a disaster such as fire, vandalism or theft. However, the insurers should avoid some mistakes in order to reap the full benefits of insuring their homes. Some of those mistakes include:

Under insuring

One of the biggest mistakes that homeowners make is to under insure their homes. They fail to make enough coverage for rebuilding their homes. For an insurer to rebuild your home in case there is a disaster, you need to have provided the full coverage of rebuilding. That is why you should know how much it would cost to rebuild your home so you can insure accordingly. Most homeowners only insure the home at the value of the mortgage or at the current value, which can be much less than the value of rebuilding. When the disaster strikes is when you realize that the amount that the insurer gives you is not enough for rebuilding. To curb this, you can request an insurance agent and if possible, a home replacement cost estimator to provide you with an accurate figure of what it would cost to rebuild your home. You can also get the average cost of rebuilding per square foot from builders, real estate agent, building association or a contractor from your area. After you have the rebuilding cost figures, you should check if your home owners insurance coverage is enough and if it is not, you should increase it. You should also ensure that you have enough coverage for your personal possessions. If the figure it is not enough you can include riders especially for valuables such as jewelry.

Assuming you are covered for flood

The standard homeowners insurance does not cover against flood. If you live in flood prone areas, you should get coverage. The coverage is easy to get considering it is a federal program and the rates depend on the amount of coverage that you want and the risk of flooding.

Thinking that your deductible is flat

A deductible set as $500, $800 or any other figure may not be the maximum you pay in case of a disaster. If a major disaster such as a hurricane, windstorm or earthquake occurs, the deductible can become a percentage of the coverage. To be on the safe side, you can ask the insurer if the policy is based on changing deductible and if it is, you can get a policy with a flat deductible if it is available. If your deductible is the changing one, ensure you have enough savings to cover it in case there is a disaster.

Thinking that homeowners insurance covers you for sewerage backup or mold

Standard home owners insurance policy does not cover for molds or sewerage backup. In case it has, there are claim limits. You can enquire about additional coverage if your policy does not have the coverage. Sewage coverage cost is low to about $50 per year. Mold coverage is more expensive and you should assess if you need it before taking it. This is if your home is in a humid area or you have an old house that has not been built with materials that are mold resistant.

Continue reading

How homeowners insurance companies provide their services

How homeowners insurance companies provide their services

Many homeowners insurance companies provide insuring services. You should therefore be keen in finding the insurers with covers that will meet your full satisfaction when it comes to matters of protecting your property at an affordable price. A policy with insurers will shield your house against the losses that one incurs when incidents such as fire, hostile weather and also theft occur.

Insurance coverage provided

Policies last for twelve months with a number of ways in which a member can pay for the premiums. With some insurers, a member should have an online account in order to make online payments. You can also pay your premiums by writing a check to the insurer. All these are services offered by the insurance company to make it convenient in meeting the needs of its members. If you have an insurance cover with a home owners insurance company and your property is damaged, lost or stolen depending on the loss covered, the company arranges how to compensate you or repair your property. It is evident that if you get damage at your home due to an accident, quick action to rectify the situation is required to prevent further damage. Most homeowners insurance companies cater for this as one has access to them twenty-four hours each day through their emergency number. It also offers one with an opportunity to cover other valuable items that one may be having such as jewelry, sculpture or any other form of art one may be having. At other times, accidents do happen and there is no remedy to accidents that is why if one of its members accidentally damages a property of another it shields one from any claim and compensates the damages caused until it reaches the limits of its member’s policy with the company.

Insurance discounts

Due to the variety of discounts offered at homeowners insurance company, one could be at a point of saving a lot of money. For example, they offer the multi policy discount that when one insures not only his/her home but also his car. Because of this, a discount is given to the member. If you have a cover and you have installed protective devices such as the alarms, extinguishers and deadbolts you certainly receive a discount. In addition, if you also uphold a record of loss-free for a period of three years you are also given a discount. This is to encourage the members to try as much as possible to be more responsible when handling their property to reduce damage. With some home owners insurance companies, houses that have been recently renovated also are advantaged as they get a discount and those houses have not been in use for long. When a member also proves to be keen on keeping up with the inflation and adjusts the amount he gives as premium a discount is given to him.

Continue reading
To our email newsletter

Write for us

At Home and Social, we want to provide useful information to readers in order to improve their overall home experience. Featuring topics including furnishing ideas, home security, DIY helpful tips, home upkeep, and interior design among others. Our mission is to be the best website...