Home Insurance – Save time and let us do the shopping for you!
Leslie S. Ray Insurance Agency represents a wide array of home insurance carriers. After a short interview process to learn more about you and your home, we will shop your home insurance coverages amongst many top insurers to find you the best fit and the best value. We’ll do the shopping for you – that saves you time…and money!
It pays to package your home and auto insurance with the same insurer!
Several of our insurance partners are giving package discounts of 20% or more off of their home insurance base premiums to clients that have auto and homeowner policies with the same insurance company. In addition, some are even offering smaller package credits on their auto insurance.
Here are some important things to review when purchasing home insurance:
- Insure to the full replacement (or reconstruction) value of your home and add an endorsement called extended replacement cost coverage on the dwelling. This endorsement will provide you with some coverage over and above your dwelling coverage limit, if ever necessary. Note, your home’s replacement value has little to do with market value, your tax assessment, or your mortgage amount. Also note that most insurance companies will not provide the extended replacement cost endorsement on older homes.
- Increase your coverage if you remodel or renovate — if you don’t you may find yourself underinsured if you have a major claim and quite possibly could jeopardize the extended replacement cost endorsement.
- Homeowner dwelling coverage protects against fire, windstorm, snow and ice damage and many other perils. Earthquake and flood exposures are excluded unless insurance coverage is purchased separately.
- Concerned about a flood? — understand what you are covered for (and not covered for) before you buy a flood insurance policy. For example, flood insurance does not cover finished basements or even personal property kept in basements.
- Concerned about an earthquake? You may add coverage this coverage to
your home insurance policy.
- Cover your personal property with the replacement cost endorsement to
ensure that your general personal property is not depreciated.
- Review the policy limitations for jewelry ($1000), silverware ($2500), fur
- “Scheduling” personal property:
- Eliminates the deductible
- Avoids the policy limitation on those particular items
- Broadens the coverage (includes coverage for misplacing the item)
- Understand that there is limited coverage for business activities:
- NO liability coverage is provided for activities arising from businesses
- $2500 on premises business personal property limit
- $250 off premises business personal property limit
- You may be able to add incidental business occupancy endorsement for $25 – $50 to extend premises liability for business exposures and cover some business property at home.
- Raise your deductible to $500 or $1000 (or higher on high valued homes)
- Add the “package” endorsement offered by your company as it should provide good coverage extensions at an excellent value.
- Carry as much personal liability as is offered — $500,000 or $1,000,000 – you will probably find the added premium for this valuable coverage to be minimal.
- Strongly consider purchasing a personal umbrella liability policy which will increase the coverage for your homeowner liability, auto liability, second home liability, and boat liability exposures.
Ideas for controlling your homeowner insurance premiums
- Review your policy with us every few years as programs change.
- Are you getting a “package” credit on your homeowner policy? Some companies give a discount if they insure both your home and personal auto(s).
- Consider the highest deductible that makes sense for you. Most of our home insurance clients carry a $500 or a $1000 deductible but $2500 and $5000 deductibles are becoming more common.
- Credit for alarms – make sure that you are getting the full and proper credit for burglar and fire alarms.
Problems / issues that could make it more difficult to obtain insurance or that could increase your insurance premiums
- Homes that are close to the coast (and for some companies that could mean within one mile of the ocean.)
- Homes “out in the woods” with no fire hydrant within site and with a volunteer or non-existent town fire department.
- Some businesses that are run out of the home.
- Homes that may not be well updated with their electrical service or have an older heating system, roof, or plumbing.
- Poor past claim history
- Less than satisfactory personal credit history
- Dogs of an aggressive breed