How to Choose the Right Coverage Limitations for your Home Insurance

Although home insurance is not legally mandated by your state like auto insurance is, it is important to know that it is a necessity not an option and many lenders will require you to have coverage if you carry a mortgage. Keep in mind that a policy can be customized in a myriad of ways, but traditional policies will cover damage to the interior or exterior of your home resulting from hurricanes, fires, vandalism, theft, lightning, and other covered incidents. Flood damage is usually not covered by homeowners insurance and requires a separate policy. In addition to the damage to your home inside and out, homeowners insurance also includes personal liability coverage for damage or injuries to a third party. For example, if your dog accidentally bits a neighbor and that person sustains injuries or homeowners insurance will help pay for their medical bills. Last but not least, the majority of policies will provide housing reimbursement if you cannot stay in your current property because it is being rebuilt or repaired due to a covered loss.

When choosing the type of coverage limitations, it is important to consider a few factors such as the likelihood of being sued by a third party because you have a safety hazard like a pool or dog, the total value of all your assets (investments, savings, retirement accounts, etc), and the market value for your home. 

At BenefitSource Insurance Services Inc in Aliso Viejo, CA we’ll walk you through all your insurance options and help you choose the coverage level that makes the most sense for you whether it is actual cash value, replacement cost, or extended replacement cost/value. Give us a call today to learn more. 

What isn’t covered by home insurance?

Most of us would never debate the value of a homeowner’s insurance policy. It covers many different things, and as a result, can create great peace of mind. However, it’s important to understand that there are certain things that it doesn’t cover. It’s not uncommon to assume that this type of insurance is a blanket for anything and everything that could go wrong in or around your home. However, this is simply untrue. 

What Does Homeowners Insurance Cover?

What a homeowner’s insurance policy can cover can vary from one company to another. However, there are broad areas of coverage that are generally covered by most homeowners policies. Most policies cover your home’s physical structure, your garage, fencing, driveway, and your shed. However, it should be noted that some structures on your property wouldn’t be covered under your o=homeowners policy if they were designated for business. You would need a separate policy for a business structure. However, damage caused by some natural disasters is covered, in addition to vandalism, fire, and liability if anyone becomes injured or hurt on your property. Many insurance policies will cover the theft of your watercraft if it occurs on your property but this coverage won’t extend if it occurs on someone else’s property or away from your home. Your personal property is also included in your homeowner’s insurance.

What’s NOT Covered?

It may seem as if almost everything is covered under a homeowner’s policy, however, this isn’t true. Most homeowner’s policy’s wont cover flooding or earthquakes. These natural disasters require a separate policy. Also, earth movement that includes earthquakes and sinkholes aren’t covered. Water damage from overflows and backups, damage from your drains or sewer systems, and damage from termites, rodents, and general wear and tear aren’t covered. However, some of these issues can be covered under a separate policy or an addendum to your current policy. Other less common issues that aren’t covered include damage that occurs from a nuclear hazard or war. Also, most policies won’t cover artwork or jewelry. You may have to purchase a separate policy for that. Our team at BenefitSource Insurance Services Inc. is dedicated to helping Aliso Viejo, CA policyholders understand how homeowners insurance works and what is covered. Give us a call today. We look forward to answering your questions. 

3 Ways Home Insurance Can Protect You During the Holidays

There’s nothing like celebrating the holidays with family and friends. Hosting holiday parties and events can bring you closer to those you love. At the same time, a house full of guests can increase your risk of accidents. Home insurance from BenefitSource Insurance Services, Inc. can protect you against any eventuality this holiday season so you can enjoy festivities to the full. A standard homeowners’ policy can provide you with the following coverage:

Liability Protection

Home-cooked meals and treats help make holiday celebrations special. Too many hands in the kitchen, however, could lead to accidents. Liability insurance protects you against accidental injuries that your guests may sustain while visiting your home. If Aunt Mae burns her hand while roasting the turkey or Grandma Julie lops off part of her finger when chopping veggies, liability insurance will cover their medical costs.  

Contents Protection

Holiday gatherings often include a brood of young children. With cousins, nieces, and nephews of all ages running around, your goods are bound to suffer some damage. Contents coverage helps cover the cost of accidental damage to your belongings, whether it be a broken coffee table or a cracked computer screen. Contents protection can keep you from worrying or getting frustrated over accidental damage little ones may cause.

Dwelling Coverage

If a fire were to break out in your kitchen during the holidays and destroy part of your home, dwelling insurance would help cover repair costs. Kitchen fires are quite common during the holidays due to cooks being distracted when preparing holiday meals. With dwelling insurance, you have the resources you need to rebuild your Aliso Viejo, CA home after a disaster of this nature.  

For quality home insurance at reasonable rates, contact your BenefitSource Insurance Services, Inc. in Aliso Viejo, CA. 

After the Storm–What to Do if Your Home is Damaged by a Summer Storm

Summer storms in Aliso Viejo, CA can pack a surprising punch, leaving homeowners with damaged homes, outbuildings, or downed trees.  Use these tips from BenefitSource Insurance Services Inc. to know how to handle the damage once the storm passes.

Call Your Agent

After you and your family are safe, call your insurance agent, even if it’s after hours. You can call the national phone line for your insurance company and follow the prompts to get started filing your claim. Try to have your policy number nearby to expedite your claim. You should make notes about the time of your call and who you talked to. Be sure to write down your claim number if they give you one. 

In the days after the storm, the insurance adjuster will come by and look at your damage. Be sure to point out all damaged items, and make sure that the adjuster has your name, address, and policy number correct. Keep track of all paperwork in a folder or envelope and make notes any time you talk with someone from the insurance company.

Don’t Start on Repairs Unless Damage Is a Danger

While it’s tempting to get started right away putting things to rights, if you are planning on making an insurance claim, you may want to hold off on fixing things. Your insurance agent will want to see the damage in full before things are repaired.

You can temporarily repair things if your home is in danger of further damage. For instance, you can tack a tarp or piece of plywood on your damaged roof to temporarily keep the rain out. However, you should hold off on making permanent repairs.  If you have to buy items for these basic repairs, keep your receipts. You may be able to be reimbursed by the insurance company for anything that you have to buy to protect the structure.

Only Use Reputable Contractors

Sometimes, contractors will go door-to-door after storms to try to drum up work. The problem is that you have no way of knowing if these people are reliable and do good work. Ask your agent for a referral if you don’t know anyone who can make these repairs. Be patient and wait for someone who knows what they are doing. Shoddily done repairs with poor quality materials are worse than having to wait a week or two to have your project completed. 

If you need advice about storm damage in Aliso Viejo, CA, contact BenefitSource Insurance Services Inc..

How Should I Estimate My Home’s Worth?

Protecting you is our Sole Purpose!

Residents that live in the Aliso Viejo, CA area are not required by law to purchase homeowners insurance. Most lenders, however, will compel a homeowner to purchase coverage, which will help to protect their investment. For those without a lender, we still highly recommend that you acquire home insurance coverage to protect yourself from liability and damages that could result in financial strains from paying out of pocket. Below are some of the reasons we suggest a home insurance policy and help from one of our agents to make sure you are fully covered in any situation.

Count the Cost

If your home should become a total loss and need rebuilding, you are going to want your home’s estimate to reflect that reality. This is why it is vital that you not insure it for the dwelling’s current market value. The price that somebody would pay to buy your home may not be equal to the cost of building it from the ground up, as the total may be more, or it may, actually, be less. For this reason, it is good to be aware of the building codes in your area so that if construction rates change, you can keep your policy up to date.

It is vital to insure your structure for at least the amount that is owed on the mortgage, and you will need to update your figures if you have added on or performed renovations to your house. Other factors that affect your home’s replacement value are the footage of the home, type of roof, number of floors, exterior materials, types of interior features, and enhancements like garages and fireplaces.

BenefitSource Insurance Services, Inc. is There for You

BenefitSource Insurance Services, Inc. proudly serves the people of Aliso Viejo, CA, and we consider it a privilege to work for you. We invite you to call us or to visit our location to speak to a friendly representative about the insurance package that is right for you. Get a quote and a helping hand while we walk you through the insurance process.