3 Reasons to Make a Home Inventory

As a homeowner, you may cringe at the thought of making a home inventory due to the time and effort involved. A home inventory, however, can be a lifesaver if you were to suffer a major loss in a disaster. A home inventory is a practical means of documenting your personal possessions. By taking photos or videos of pricey items and collecting receipts, you can prove ownership of these goods and verify their value. If you’re still not convinced a home inventory is worth your time, the following reasons may change your mind.

Accurate Insurance Coverage

A home inventory will make it easier for you to choose accurate insurance protection for your personal belongings. This can help reduce home insurance costs. After reviewing your list, an agent from 1st American Insurance Agency will have a better idea of what kind of personal property protection you need so you don’t waste money on useless coverage.

Simplify Filing a Claim

A home inventory can simplify filing a home insurance claim if and when the need arises. If a fire or natural disaster ravages your Longmont, CO home and destroys most of your personal goods, you can simply refer to your list to see what you have lost. You don’t have to rely on memory to claim loss of personal property as you’ll have an accurate account of your goods to include photos and receipts as proof of ownership and value. This will take the stress out of making a claim after a disaster.

Verify Financial Loss

When you file your tax return, your home inventory can come in handy to verify your financial loss. It may also help you get financial assistance, if needed, after a disaster.

For help in selecting home insurance coverage, contact 1st American Insurance Agency in Longmont, CO.  

Protect Your Home from Hail Damage

Residents in the greater Longmont, CO area are very familiar with hail storms and the damage that they can cause. At the 1st American Insurance Agency, we are here to help you protect your home and your family from the disruption that our many hailstorms can cause. If you have experienced damage from a hail storm, we are here to help you navigate the claims process and help you get your life back to normal! Your home insurance policy should provide adequate coverage from these storms, as they happen frequently in our area, and they can cause damage and destruction to your roof and home.

Don’t Let Hail Damage Ruin Your Day

When you work with a full-service insurance company you will have the assistance you need to make it through any hail storm that Colorado can throw at you! From a smooth and streamlined claims process to quality repair of the damage caused to your home, a professional insurance agent will be with you every step of the way. Roof damage is the most common side effect of a hail storm in our area and can be a nuisance for you and your family. These storms can also cause damage to your siding and windows as well. A comprehensive home policy will provide the coverage that you need to get this damage repaired in a timely manner and with the least amount of inconvenience possible to you and your family. 

Are you concerned about hail damage and want to make sure that your home insurance policy provides the coverage that you need? Call the 1st American Insurance Agency or stop by today and we will make sure that your Longmont, CO home is protected in the event of hail or other storm damage.

What Coverage Should Your Longmont, CO Home Insurance Policy Provide?

1st American Insurance Agency is proud to serve the people of the greater Longmont, CO area and help them to meet their auto and home insurance needs. When it comes to protecting your family’s house and belongings it is important that your policy is comprehensive and does not leave any gaps that can cause you to have to pay for damages yourself. Below are some of the main coverage areas that should be included with your policy. Our agents are here to help you get the protection that you need!

  • Theft – do not let a burglary cause you unnecessary expense on top of the high amount of stress that a break-in can cause. Many policies will also provide coverage for some items that are stolen outside of your house, such as bicycles and other movable items.
  • Water damage can include interior damage caused by a leaky roof or an event that is due to a plumbing mishap. Be careful that your policy provides comprehensive coverage for secondary damage that may not be included in a base-level policy.
  • Weather-Related Damage such as wind and lightning that uproots trees that cause damage your house or other property. This can also provide reimbursement for costs associated with clean-up from weather events. Be sure that hail damage is also included in your coverage!

1st American Insurance Agency is proud to serve our friends and neighbors in the greater Longmont, CO area. If you are in need of a comprehensive home policy or would like some help reviewing your current auto or home policy, we are happy to help! Please give us a call or stop by our office today to learn more about the different protection options that are available with your house insurance policy.

What to Do if Your House has been Robbed

No one wants to come home to see their front door ajar, and their home in shambles because a break in. Unfortunately, there are approximately one burglary every 15 seconds. If a homeowner encounters this situation, they should not panic. While this may be an automatic response, it is best to remain calm and take the proper steps to handle the situation. 

Contact the Police 

Before moving anything, touching the door or anything else, the homeowner needs to contact the local, Longmont, CO police department. Keep in mind, the best chance the police have to catch a burglar is to find evidence they left behind in the home. If the homeowner begins moving things or cleaning up, they may accidentally destroy extremely helpful evidence. 

While it may be difficult, it is best to take a step back and let the police come and do their job. Once they are through with their investigation, make sure to get a copy of the report to give to 1st American Insurance Agency when making a claim. 

File a Claim with the Insurance Company

Once the police have done their work, it is necessary to contact the insurance company and file a claim. In most cases, they will need certain information from the homeowner, such as what was taken, a copy of the police report and any other pertinent information. This is necessary to help ensure that a homeowner is able to recoup all their losses after the break-in. 

There is no question that having a home robbed can be an extremely difficult situation. Not only is it scary, it can also be quite emotional. Knowing what to do is the best way to handle the situation. While calling the police is an important first step, it is also necessary to file a claim with the insurance company. For more information about handling a robbery situation, contact the staff at 1st American Insurance Agency serving Longmont, CO for more information. 

 

Is It Time to Update Your Home Insurance Policy?

If you have owned your Longmont, CO home for more than 10 years, it might be time to review your home insurance policy with your agent at 1st American Insurance Agency.  While your policy met all the requirements of your bank back when you moved in, does it really protect your most valuable investment now?

Are Your Home Improvements Covered?

Long-term homeowners often will add an extra room, install an in-ground pool, or erect a garage at some point.  If your home has not been reassessed since you’ve completed such projects, it may not be sufficiently covered by your home insurance policy. In a case of total loss, your policy should allow you to rebuild your home exactly as it stands today, not 15 years ago.

Could You Rebuild in the Current Market?

Since the housing crash nearly a decade ago, many real estate markets have fully recovered.  If you have paid off your mortgage, there’s a good chance that your existing policy only has your home assessed at pre-crash values.  It’s time to sit down with your agent and make sure that the structure and possessions have sufficient coverage to protect all your investments, ensuring that your home continues to provide for you for years to come.

Is Your Liability Up to Snuff?

As time goes by you might start a new business and begin to enjoy all the benefits of a good life.  However, if your liability portion of your home insurance policy only meets minimum requirements, your lifestyle can come under fire if somebody suffers an accident on your property.  Make sure that your Longmont, CO home insurance policy is able to cover most medical expenses in an accident by reviewing it with 1st American Insurance Agency today.

What are the available add-ons for a homeowners policy?

In Longmont, CO, as well as the rest of the United States, a homeowners insurance policy is vital to cover emergency issues, such as theft or natural disasters. But what if you experience a sewage backup, as many unfortunately do? Most policies do not have this coverage, so owners end up paying thousands out of pocket to clean up the mess! The add-on for coverage of sewage backup is often only in the ballpark of $50 per year. 

It is essential that you speak to an agent at 1st American Insurance Agency, serving the needs of Longmont, CO, in order to discuss a plan that works for you. Basic homeowners insurance policies cover possessions (like art and jewelry), damage to the physical structure from certain disasters (fire, for example, but not floods), and the medical expenses and/or lawsuits against you caused by someone’s injury within your dwelling. Again, individual policies differ, so talking to an agent at 1st American Insurance Agency is vital.

If you own pieces that are very valuable, consider special coverage for them, whether individually or as a collection, which drops the deductible and adds additional coverage like theft from the premises or breakage. 

If you live in an area that is more prone to disasters such as earthquakes or floods, separate plans are necessary, as they are not covered by a standard policy. 

If you own recreational or watercraft vehicles and store them at your house, chances are they won’t be covered by your basic policy, either. A rider to cover the cost of these apparatuses must be purchased.

Additionally, if you have a home-based business, your homeowner’s policy will exclude it from coverage. If you are going to have a business, be sure to get an add-on just in case there is damage to electronic equipment, computers, etc.

Will a Smart Home System Reduce Home Insurance Costs?

At 1st American Insurance Agency, we provide each of our clients with the comprehensive home insurance right for their needs. One of the key factors in determining the cost of your insurance is accessing the amount of risk your home presents to the company. If you can take steps to minimize those risks, you may be able to save money on home insurance. For some people, smart home systems can help.

What Can a Smart Home System Do for You?

A wide range of smart home systems exist today. Each offers a few different features – and not all will offer the same benefits. However, some features can enhance the security and safety of your home. For example, if the system features a security camera outside of the home’s doors, this video can help to minimize the risk of theft. Like the addition of any home security system, this could help to reduce your premium.

In addition, some smart home systems feature sensors that monitor for high levels of carbon monoxide or smoke. Some also monitor temperature and can detect when a fire is present. These automatically alert the family and may even alert the local safety forces of your need. In doing so, they help to avoid the risk to your home from fire damage. In this way, they may also help to reduce your costs.

Should You Invest in One?

If you are thinking about investing in a smart home security system, call your experienced agents at 1st American Insurance Agency first. Let our team help you determine if this can be beneficial to your specific needs and costs. We serve residents in and around Longmont, CO and can help you to get the lowest possible premium for your home insurance needs.

Ways to Get Your Home Ready for Spring

There is no doubt about it: the cold weather is about to go away and spring is coming to Longmont, CO. You likely cannot wait to get out and enjoy the area in the new season but before you do any of that, you need to do a few things around your home to prepare. Use these tips from 1st American Insurance Agency to help get you started on your list. 

  • De-winterize your home. Many people in the area likely took the time to winterize their home before the winter began and if you were one of them, then you need to make sure you de-winterize it too. You can call a professional to get this taken care of for you. 
  • Get your A/C checked. You may not need it yet but you do not want to find out that your A/C does not work in the heat of the summer. Get it checked out now so you can avoid that problem later and get everything taken care of now. 
  • Clean up a bit. You can do a little bit of spring cleaning and it will go a long way. If you do not have the time for a huge project, do not fret. Do what you can and it will look better. Even doing some basic dusting can change how it looks and feels in your home. 

One other thing you need to make sure you have in place is a great home insurance policy. If you do not already have one then 1st American Insurance Agency, serving Longmont, CO, can get you a free quote. If you do have one, they can take a look at your current policy to make sure that you do not have any gaps in coverage. Be sure to contact them today.

What is covered by standard homeowners insurance?

Homeowners in Lafayette, CO know that the uncertainties of living in the Front Range of the Rockies provide unique challenges to maintaining their homes. Sudden and volatile changes in the weather can cause unexpected and disastrous damage to your home. 

Has your basement ever flooded? Did you know that most homeowners policies don’t cover the damage caused by a sump-pump that can’t handle runoff water from a lot of snow melt?

In fact, most homeowners and renters policies don’t cover flood damage at all. You’ll need a separate policy for flood damage if you’re in an area with a high risk of flooding. 

Have you had a lot of snow this winter? Standard homeowners policies don’t cover the cost of repairing collapsed roofs or shrubbery damaged from the weight of snow, or from freezing.

If your pipes or appliances freeze and burst, you may not have coverage either for the damage to your pipes or the damaged caused to the infrastructure of your house when your pipes burst.

Often homeowners policies don’t cover landslides, mudslides, and avalanches – these could be common in the Front Range.

If your sewer backs up and causes damage to you home, this is not usually covered by your homeowner’s insurance policy or your flood insurance policy. You’re also responsible for maintaining the sewer lateral—the pipeline between your house, and the city sewer system. This is usually located on your street and can cost a fortune to repair.

If you’re worried that you don’t have enough insurance coverage for your home, speak with an independent insurance agent at 1st American Insurance Agency. They can go through your policy with you, and create a policy to fit your unique needs to make sure that you have the protection that you need for your home.

How to Save On Your Energy Bill This Winter

The winters in Lafayette, CO can get pretty cold. Unfortunately, this can also mean a high heating bill. Are your energy bills consistently high during the winter? At 1st American Insurance Agency, we recognize that costs add up. Fortunately, there are some simple measures you can take to help lower your monthly energy bill. Most of these only take a few minutes of your time. However, if you would like to save on energy costs, they are certainly worth doing!

Turn Down the Thermostat

We don’t want you to freeze all winter long, however, did you know that you can save significantly by turning your thermostat down just one or two degrees? If you are willing to put on a warm robe or sweater and keep it a little cooler, you will see a difference on your next bill.

Regularly Clean Your Furnace

While most people recognize that they need to change out the filter for the air conditioning each summer to keep it running efficiently, they often forget about this in the winter. If you make it a habit to change the filter out every two months, you will increase its efficiency by a full 50 percent.

Check Your Energy Bill Rates at Different Times of Day

It is quite common for energy companies to charge higher rates during what they consider to be “prime” hours of the day.  These rates go down during other parts of the day such as early mornings and later in the evening. Look at your rates and try to run appliances like the dishwasher or washing machine during times with lower rates. At 1st American Insurance Agency of Lafayette, CO, we hope you find these tips helpful for saving on your next energy bill.