Archive for the ‘Homeowners Insurance’ Category

Your Burlington Homeowners Insurance Annual Checkup

It’s one of those Burlington documents most of us stash in a safe, out-of-the-way place—somewhere in the furthest recesses of a linen closet or at the back of a bureau drawer. Renters do the same: they don’t actually read the thing, but they know they want to keep it somewhere where they hope they’ll never have to find it.

The document that they value and simultaneously avoid is their Burlington homeowners or renter’s insurance policy—the thing they make sure to purchase and hope to forget. As much as I consider it my job to cater to my clients’ every wish, it is also a document that I’m afraid prompts me to risk violating that part of my job.

Sorry, everyone. You really should go find it and give it a read. Once a year, even.

The fact is, it’s certainly time for your Burlington homeowners insurance policy’s annual checkup!

How do I know that you haven’t done that for at least a year? It’s because when your agent sent you this year’s policy renewal, you may have read the cover letter and the top page, but that’s when your eyes glazed over and you remembered you had something else to do right then. You stuffed it back in the envelope until later (which was when you stashed it in the safe place).

Unless you are the one-in-twenty who likes legal minutiae, you figure you’ll read it when you need it, which you fervently hope is never. I sincerely join you in that hope, but all the industry experts are deadly serious in recommending that you bite the bullet and review your policy at least once a year.

Why? Many reasons—here are just a few:

  • Type of coverage. Is it ACV or Replacement cost? ACV stands for “actual cash value” which means depreciation is deducted in the event of loss.
  • Liability limits. ‘Nuff said.
  • Accurate inventory. As your possessions come and go, they need to be reflected in the policy. This is where over-insuring is most commonly spotted. Here’s the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ handy inventory worksheet.
  • The amount of deductible in your Burlington homeowners or renter’s policy is where you can reap significant savings…if you are willing to absorb more of the expense should a loss occur.
  • If you have more than one type of insurance policy with the same company or are a long-term customer with few claims, you might qualify.

After your house insurance checkup, you should experience some degree of relief. After all, not only are you newly confident that you are accurately covered, but even better: now you don’t have to read the thing for another year!

My job is helping my Burlington clients make the most of their real estate opportunities and decisions. Whenever you can use some help or advice, do give me a call!

Joan Parcewski, Realtor & Notary

LAER Realty Partners           http://www.JoanParcewski.LAERRealty.com

JParcewski@LAERRealty.com    cell 978-376-3978

Laer Realty PartnersJoan Parcewski Full Picture 102017

 

Top 3 Ways Billerica Homes Could Save on Insurance

For most area homeowners, the 110-decibel wail of nearby fire engines may not be a sought-after feature when selecting the ideal neighborhood.

Nonetheless, according to The Wall Street Journal, living close to firehouse has its advantages. Safety is one. A reduction in your homeowner’s insurance bill, another.

Not all homes in Billerica can have the advantage of being next door to a firehouse, but just about everybody knows that having the proper insurance is important to protect not only the structure itself but also the valuables within. Here are three possible actions you could take this month, any or all of which might reduce the cost of your homeowner’s insurance premium:

Shop Around – We are much more likely to spend our time “liking” dancing cat photos on social media annually than in planning advanced insurance plan strategies. Nonetheless, a visit to the website of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners can help identify important nuances when selecting a vendor. Example: review complaints.

Reduce Coverages – Most people insure their homes for the full amount they paid at the time of purchase. If you bought your home in Billerica for $450k, you automatically insured it for that amount. But in the event of a loss event like a fire, you don’t necessarily need the full purchase price to rebuild the property—remember, that purchase price included the cost of the land. This idea should be weighed realistically against today’s costs. Take care not to go light on the replacement cost of your belongings (many folks do). A new inventory can help in that department.

Just Ask! – While discounts vary with each insurer, the following details might qualify your home in Billerica for a discount if you just go ahead and inquire:

  • Multi-policies with the same company.
  • Length of time with the same company.
  • A smoke detector or sprinkler system.
  • An alarm system, deadbolt locks, or other security measures.
  • You have not made a claim in recent history.
  • Your household doesn’t include smokers.
  • You qualify for a senior discount.
  • Your credit score has improved.

While not all of us are willing to move next door to a firehouse to save on our home insurance, there are multiple ways to whittle down policy premiums. I’m here as a resource for your Billerica property-related questions anytime: just give me a call!

Joan Parcewski —CRS, MRP, CSHP, SRES, CBR, LMC, Realtor & Notary
978-376-3978   JParcewski@LAERRealty.com    OR    JParcewski@gmail.com
 
Licensed MA & NH    
Introductory Video  https://youtu.be/RrM4q17cjU0
Joan_Parcewski (1 of 1)    Laer Realty Partners

 

 

Is Your Water Damage A Covered Loss – Guest Blogger Tony Lucacio

We know that we have to have homeowner’s insurance but what does that policy cover?  Tony Lucacio, owner of Merrimack Valley Insurance, reminds us that “a homeowner policy does not insure loss by ground water or seepage.”  Read the article for more info

Every spring our phones ring with homeowners that have experienced water damage from spring rain? This year was a bit different because we had such a mild winter with no snow runoff, and little spring rain.

Often homeowners are surprised to learn that a homeowner policy does not insure loss by ground water or seepage. Every policy clearly states that water damage caused by “flood, surface water, waves, tidal water, overflow of a body of water, or spray from any of these, whether or not driven by wind” is excluded. Further, water damage caused by “water below the surface of the ground, including water which exerts pressure on or seeps or leaks through a building, sidewalk, driveway, foundation, swimming pool or other structure” is also a listed exclusion.

So, how does a homeowner protect against water damage from the above occurences? The federal government has made available flood insurance that is backed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Policies covering flood can be purchased through your independent agent and are priced according to your property’s risk of flood. Flood maps are designed drawn by FEMA and have recently been updated to reflect recent data. Your agent can look up your property flood zone by providing them with the exact address. It is important to know that flood insurance may not cover all circumstances of water entering your home. Be certain to understand the definition of a flood as defined in the policy and discuss with your agent where your home contents and service machinery are located.

To find out more about flood insurance you can click here to visit our virtual insurance office. Or you can visit  www.floodsmart.gov . One of our licensed agents is able to discuss your personal needs at any time by phoning (978)667-2541.

Tony Lucacio   Merrimack Valley Insurance   alucacio@mvins.com

Ph: 978.667.2541 Fx: 978.671.4514      http://www.mvins.com

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