There is no disputing that the internet has changed our lives in the past 15-20 years. It has altered how we live, shop, and interact with each other. Companies such as Facebook, Amazon, Google, and Apple have become household names. But technology has also brought the expectation that everything should be quick and easy. To meet this demand, some technology companies have tried their hand in the insurance space which can be problematic for the consumer.
While being able to access a quote online is a convenient and viable option for the consumer, there is a very dangerous reality that the consumer may end up with serious deficiencies in coverages if they only view the price when quoting online. The fact is not all quotes or policies are alike; some quotes offer higher limits, more “enhanced” coverages, coverage exclusions, and different deductibles. Unfortunately, most consumers do not realize these differences or deficiencies until a loss occurs.
Seeking a trusted independent insurance agent is the best option to avoid coverage gaps or deficiencies. Independent insurance agents are licensed professionals who can find the right coverage for the individual needs of a client, and at a fair price. Independent agents represent several different insurance companies so they can present the best options for the client. Insurance is an essential product in our everyday lives that can provide the invaluable piece of mind knowing your assets are protected. But buying insurance online to seek the best price, may leave you exposed to uncovered loss exposures you were not aware of. As the old saying goes, “the devil is in the details.” It may be prudent, but it’s important to take your time when quoting online so coverages can be compared and reviewed more closely. Your assets are more valuable than a few quick minutes of your time.
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Did you know that washing machines are one of the main sources of water damage to homes? Others that top the list include hot water heaters and dishwashers. Fortunately, there are a few easy and inexpensive steps you can take help to prevent these types of losses:
- Check for leaks: Thoroughly check the area around appliances for any signs of leaking every four months.
- Check supply hoses: Check the supply hoses regularly to ensure a tight connection, and no breaks or tears. It’s a good idea to replace supply hoses for washing machines and dishwashers every five years even if there are no signs of wear. Sometimes, wear only shows on the inside. Reinforced, steel braided hoses are recommended.
- Read the manual: Always refer to your manufacturer’s guidelines for types of soap and load recommendations for the washing machine and dishwasher. Most new washing machines require HE detergents.
- Flush your water heater: It is recommended to flush your water heater once per year to ensure you have fresh water and to remove sediment.
- Don’t leave running appliances unattended. Try to only operate washing machines and dishwashers when someone is at home.
- Replace hot water heater as needed. It’s recommended to replace the hot water heater when it is nearing the end of its life expectancy, even if there aren’t any problems. As the water heater ages, the risk of a slow leak or sudden burst increases.
- Leak detection systems are a great tool to monitor your appliances, and even automatically shut off water in the event of a detected leak. While there are expenses with a leak detection system, it might just score you a discount on your homeowners policy! Leak detection systems can be added to individual appliances or an entire house.
Of course, not all losses can be prevented, but following these tips should lower your chances of a loss. In the event of a water leak, it is important to know where your water shut-off valve is located so that water can quickly be turned off to minimize damage.
After the holiday season, many like to start the New Year by organizing new gifts and purchases and cleaning out the closets. As each year goes by and your needs continue to change, it’s easy to forget to update your insurance policy in the process. There is no better time than now to make sure both your new, as well as old belongings, are insured properly on your homeowners policy.
It might surprise you to know that an unendorsed homeowner policy has limits of coverage for theft of certain types of personal items such as jewelry, watches, furs, and firearms. Coverage for items like coins and stamps can be limited to a special limit of coverage no matter what the cause of damage is.
A common limit for theft of jewelry, watches, furs, precious and semi-precious stones on a homeowners policy is $1,500. Not to mention, your policy deductible would apply to this type of loss. If you misplace those items opposed to a loss by theft, you may not be covered at all under your normal insurance coverage. [READ MORE]