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. 

What can happen if you don’t have homeowners insurance?

Homeowners insurance is a very important thing to have. To understand why it is so important one must understand what homeowners insurance is. Homeowners insurance is a form of property insurance that is designed to protect ones home against damages to the house itself or the possessions that are in the home. It can also provide liability coverage against accidents that take place in the home or on the property. In the United States there are seven forms of homeowners insurance that have become standardized.

Disasters can strike at any time and in Lafayette, CO it is important to be covered. Many things can occur in Lafayette, CO such as severe storms, floods, wildfires, and more. The weather in Colorado changes so often that a small storm can drop a funnel cloud or tornado for a quick warm up to melt off the snow with the intensity. Luckily the National Weather Service relays weather messages, but if your home is not protected then it can be a disaster. Wind, wind driven rain, falling objects, or the collapse of a structure can cause damage to one’s home and if they are not insured then that can cause a lot of pocket expenses. Severe storms can cause floods and water damage to the home, which can lead to mold.

Wildfires threaten homes and personal property in Lafayette, CO, and without the homeowners insurance the home can have smoke damage and fire damage to the property and no help will be provided for damages. With those damages it can get expensive, but with homeowners insurance it can help cover your home and personal property for the actual cash value.  Contact an agent at 1st American Insurance Agency to learn more today.

Personal Factors Impact Home Insurance Premiums

Individuals in Lafayette, CO may be surprised to realize that personal factors will impact home insurance premiums. While people may wonder how their own personal qualities impact home insurance, the fact remains that insurance companies take every factor into account when calculating a home insurance rate. Make sure to take steps to minimize personal considerations that lead to higher home insurance premiums.

First of all, many people don’t know that smoking will lead to higher insurance premiums. While this might seem unfair, the fact is that a cigarette is an open flame. Cigarettes in the home lead to a higher risk of the house catching fire. This can lead to a large claim being filed against the home insurance policy that an insurance company is on the hook for. Insurance companies adjust their premiums accordingly because anyone who smokes has a higher chance of burning their house down.

Next, a good credit score can lead to much lower insurance premiums. Anyone with a good credit score has demonstrated that they have a history of paying their bills, such as their insurance costs, on time. This means the company can rely on the customer to pay their insurance payments on time. The company rewards fiscal responsibility with a lower insurance rate.

Finally, people who have a history of filing insurance claims will be forced to pay higher insurance premiums. Companies know that people who have filed a claim in the past have a greater chance of filing a claim in the future. Therefore, insurance companies will hedge their risks by charging these individuals a higher home insurance rate. Make sure to only file insurance claims when necessary. If the deductible is more costly than the actual repair, home owners should pay for the repair themselves.

When it comes to the residents of Lafayette, CO, ensure that nobody is paying more for home insurance than they must. Take steps to control personal factors that will lead to higher home insurance premiums. Contact 1st American Insurance Agency today.

 

Top 3 Things That Should be on Your Fall Home Safety Check List

Now that the fall is finally here, conducting an annual safety check on your home is the best way to ensure you’re ready for the cooler months. No matter the size or location of your home, some things are essentially universal. The following is an overview of 3 things that should definitely be on your fall home safety check list. 

Medical Supplies 

First and foremost, the fall months is an excellent time to replenish your medical supplies. Given that many ailments are seasonal in nature, you may want to double check your supply and ensure you have all the medical supplies required to make it through the colder months. 

Cleaning Supplies 

Much like spring cleaning, the fall is an excellent time to clean out old clothes, papers, as well as things such as things such as changing decor, color schemes, and even the general arrangement of furniture. Be sure to stock up on all necessary cleaning supplies to make this process as easy as possible. 

Firewood/ Fire Safety Plan

Lastly, if you live in a home that uses firewood in the cooler months, stocking up on your firewood is of the utmost importance during the fall. This is a time in which your home will be getting colder and you may need to light a fire at a moment’s notice. On the flip side, this is also a great time to review your fire safety plan, for obvious reasons. 

Overall, for those who live in Lafayette, CO, conducting a fall safety check should be on the top of your to-do list. Let 1st American Insurance Agency provide the answers to all of your home insurance inquiries. 

When You Need to Make an Insurance Update

Every once in awhile, a life event will occur that will change everything for you. This could be the birth of a child, the purchase of a new home or vehicle, or maybe one of your kids are going off to college. These are the times that it is a good idea to take a look at your insurance coverage and see if it would be prudent to make some changes.

Auto Insurance

Before you purchase a new vehicle, you should consider contacting a local insurance agent to see what kind of coverage you can get and to get an estimate on how much it will cost. The independent insurance agents at 1st American Insurance Agency can help. They are always available to give you the knowledge you need before you hit the dealership. 

Another important time to update your auto insurance is if you have a child who has recently become legally licensed to drive. Colorado has a graduated program for licenses, so if your child has turned 18, they will be moving into an adult driver’s license. Make sure your child is covered under your policy, or if they are getting their own vehicle, they will need a policy of their own.

Home Policies

The biggest update is when you are moving into a new home. This will require a new policy. Before contacting 1st American Insurance Agency, it would be a good idea to have some information ready about your new home. Knowing how large the home is and how long ago it was built is a good start and can give you a good idea of what kind of coverage you will be looking at. Of course, you don’t have to be afraid to ask any questions that might come to your mind when talking to an agent. They will do what they can to get you the answers you need.