Spring Check-Up for your Roof

After our winter weather here in Coppell, it’s a good idea to check your roof for damage.

1. Look for loose shingle tabs,  broken or missing tabs, cracks in shingles, buckling or curling shingles, blistering of tabs, or majority of granules worn off tabs.

2. Check roof penetrations to be sure they are sealed and tight, check for gaps or signs of missing sealant, check for badly or deteriorating holes or gaps.

3. Inspect ridge vents to be sure they are tightly screwed down.

4. Check for leaks inside and outside the home.

Do I need special coverage if I install new stereo or audio equipment in my car?

Most auto insurance policies provide coverage for personal property inside the vehicle. However, to have this coverage you need a Comprehensive policy. A Collision only policy does not protect your belongings. In addition, aftermarket equipment may not be protected by your auto insurance in Dallas, Texas.

Comprehensive Insurance

Your comprehensive policy should cover factory-installed components. If you add a new stereo or complete audio package, it may not be covered. Aftermarket portable or plug-in equipment is also not normally cover as it is easy for a thief to steal. These items should be removed from your vehicle, or placed in the trunk, when you park your car. This equipment may be covered under the personal property portion of a homeowner or renter’s policy, if you have one.

If you are having a high-dollar system installed in your vehicle, you should consider having extra insurance or a rider added to your current policy. You will most likely be required to provide documentation of the equipment value to your company. It is also important to consider the deductible on your insurance. If you have a deductible of $500 or more, your $450 stereo would not be covered. However, keep in mind that if damage is done to your vehicle because of the theft, the total can add up to more than your deductible.

Companies that issue auto insurance policies can differ in the exact protection that you are provided. This makes it extremely important to look over your policy carefully and take the time to understand the fine points. As your independent agent, we will go over your current insurance with you. You can also compare quotes to make sure you have all of the protection you need at the lowest cost.

What type of insurance coverage do I need if I’m just a renting a house?

When you rent a property, you need a different type of insurance protection than you would if you owned the home. You should realize that you do need your own policy; the landlord’s policy does not cover your belongings. While rental policies differ by the insurer, some features are standard.

Facts About Rental Policies

A renter’s policy provides you with protection similar to a homeowner’s plan. The main difference is that the structure itself is not part of your package. Your possessions are protected from the same common perils including theft, fire, storm and vandalism. When you have a rental policy, you do need to choose from cash value or replacement costs for your property.

Cash value means that you would receive the depreciated amount for your items. For example, the sofa you paid $500 for three years ago might only have a value of $300 at the time of your claim. With a replacement policy, if an equivalent new sofa now costs $600, that is what you would receive. Remember that deductibles still apply.

Your policy provides you with liability protection and medical payments for someone injured in your rental unit. Most policies will also cover your additional expenses if you need to relocate if your rental unit is unlivable due to a covered event. This is beneficial protection to look for.

Additional features can include a certain level of credit card protection. You may also elect to have extra protection if you have expensive jewelry, art or other collections. Some landlords will require you to have renters protection. Fortunately, these policies are normally very affordable.

As an independent agency, you can use our service to compare quotes online. This allows you to get the information you need at your convenience. We will be there for you to answer any questions you have and make sure you have the insurance coverage you need.

If my house is damaged by a natural disaster, will my homeowner’s insurance cover my house?

Damage to your home can come from many sources, including a natural disaster. Depending on the type of disaster and your homeowner’s policy, the solutions that may be available for your house in Texas can vary.

Type of Disaster

The type of natural disaster that strikes your home may make a difference on your coverage. Some insurers will offer coverage for certain disasters, like tornados, but other situations may not be covered.

In most cases, floods are not covered by the standard policy. Some insurers may not cover earthquakes. Other types of disasters may or may not be covered, depending on the policy that you purchased. A standard policy will usually only offer limited coverage for disasters that are caused by nature, so it is important to recognize the situations that are covered before you face a serious situation.

Obtaining Additional Coverage

Since some situations may not be covered in your policy, it is usually a smart idea to obtain additional protection under your current plan. Some insurers will allow you to add to a particular policy or you can purchase a separate policy to address your specific concerns.

Identify the situations that your insurer covers in the current policy and then purchase additional protection based on the situations that are not covered. For example, you may need to purchase flood and earthquake protection, but you may already be covered against wind damage or tornados.

Ultimately, the type of disaster that occurs may determine if you are covered or not. Some insurers may not offer protection against natural disasters, so you might need to purchase additional protection for your house. Contact us to speak to an independent agent for more information about protecting your assets.

Am I entitled to a discount on my homeowners policy if I recently installed more smoke alarms in my home?

Some costs of home ownership are beyond our control, but others can at least be adjusted or reduced with a little bit of effort from the homeowner. Home insurance is one of those costs that can be reduced with certain home improvements or safety additions, such as smoke alarms.

The theory of insurance premiums in general is pretty simple–people pay based on their risk of needing to file a claim. In the case of homeowners insurance, premiums tend to go up if you are more likely to experience a fire, weather event or burglary, and they go down as those events become less likely. It stands to reason, therefore, that taking an action to reduce risk, such as adding a smoke alarm or two, should bring your premiums down.

Fire alarms, sprinkler systems and burglar alarms are all safety systems that many insurers will consider giving premium discounts for. If you already have these systems, sometimes upgrading them or adding a few features or a smoke alarm can still get you an increased discount. Larger projects that might result in a discount because of the reduction in risk they provide include replacing aging pipes or electrical wiring in your home.

Every home insurance policy and insurer is different, so if you are making changes to your home just to save on your insurance premium, you should definitely check with your agent first. If you have general questions about insurance, you should call us today. As an independent agent, we have a wealth of insurance knowledge and we can not only answer your questions, but we can also get you quotes on homeowners insurance to make sure that you’re getting the best possible rate.