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EDISON BLOG

What to Look for When Buying A Home and Potential Insurance Impacts

Purchasing a home can certainly be an overwhelming, emotional, and stressful process. Whether you are a first-time homebuyer or not, it is understandable to not know all the ins and outs of buying a home. However, there are a few things you may want to be aware of to help you throughout the home-buying process. This includes major red flags which may not only include costly and aggravating fixes but may also have a major impact on your home insurance premium. Here are a few examples:

 

The Neighborhood

Finding your perfect house in the wrong neighborhood can be quite a disappointment. Be sure you take some time to drive around to check out the neighborhood to make sure it is safe. If you have children, it is important you find a home in their desired school zone. Be sure to take note of the surrounding areas should there be water nearby, if the home is located on a busy street, etc.

Insurance Impact: If your new home is located within a gated community you could receive credits towards your premium. Should the home also be nearby water, it is important you purchase flood insurance to be covered in the event the waters rise.

 

Renovations

A few simple and easy DIY projects to make the home “yours” can be quite simple and inexpensive. However, should the house need a full remodel of a kitchen or bathroom it can average around $10,000- $20,000. If you are planning on making an offer on a fixer-upper, be sure to calculate the price of these renovations into your budget.

Insurance Impact: Should you decide to make major changes or additions to your home, you could be underinsured. It is important you provide your insurance agent with the information on the renovations to your home as soon as possible, so your insurance policy can be updated to ensure you have adequate coverage.

 

Make Sure the Home Has “Strong Bones”

Most home buyers aren’t looking at the foundation or the roof of the home at first glance, but these areas should not be overlooked. If the tile roof has not been completely replaced in the last 25 years, or the shingle roof in the last 15 years, a replacement is in the future. The cost of replacing a new roof can set you back anywhere between $5,000 to $15,000.  As for the foundation, major cracks could indicate larger issues and could cost tens of thousands to fix. It is also important to take a look at other systems included in the home such as electrical, sewer/septic or well, and HVAC as all these systems can be costly to repair or replace.

Insurance Impact: The home may be ineligible for coverage should the home have major foundational issues. If your new home features a newer roofer, a Wind Mitigation Form should be completed by a licensed inspector to show your home possesses certain characteristics to limit damage from wind. Once this form is submitted to your insurance carrier, you could be eligible for wind mitigation credits towards your premium.

 

Look for Damages

Although homeowners should always have a thorough home inspection done by a licensed inspector prior to closing, you should be looking for damages around the home from the first look. Water damage can pose a larger problem within the home, be sure to check ceilings and walls for water stains. Take a glance at the pipes in the laundry room and bathrooms for leaks.

Insurance Impact: Water damages can cost thousands, and should it be determined the damage is caused by everyday wear and tear or lack of maintenance it may not be covered under your homeowners insurance. Consider inquiring if the previous owner has had a history of filing insurance claims on the property. As a condition on the sale, you can request a C.L.U.E. report which will list the losses reported to insurance companies for the property.

 

As a homebuyer, it is very important for you to be well informed about the potential features and pitfalls associated with a home before closing. Another important thing to note, before closing, your mortgage lender will require you to purchase homeowners insurance. Just as you did your due diligence and research on finding your home, you should do the same when finding a home insurance carrier. Speak to your agent about obtaining homeowners insurance with Edison Insurance Company. We provide quality and customizable coverages at competitive rates. Edison Insurance Company also has an "A Exceptional" Financial Stability Rating ® (FSR) from DEMOTECH, INC. and are backed by only “A Rated” reinsurance companies. We offer homeowners and condo owners insurance as well as flood coverage as a certified endorsement, eliminating the need for a standalone flood insurance policy. To learn more about us, or to obtain a quote, contact your agent, or call us at 866-568-8922.

 

 

Can Home Upgrades Help You Save On Your Insurance Premium?

 

 

Many home improvement projects can increase your home’s value, but could it also result in savings on your homeowners insurance premium? Making certain updates to your home which could drastically reduce the risk of damage to your home and personal well-being can reduce your homeowners insurance premium in the event the unexpected occurs.  We would like to provide you with a few ways you could save some money on your insurance premium and a few other ways home updates could save you some money.

 

Hurricane Protection Devices

Should your home not contain hurricane protection devices on its doors, windows and garage doors, you could be missing out on significant savings. Many hurricane protection devices are available, including metal panels, hurricane impact windows and doors, accordion shutters, and hurricane/wind-proof fabrics. Do your research to determine which hurricane protection devices would work best in your home and best fit the needs of you and your family.  The state of Florida allows homeowners carriers to extend hurricane device credits only when all the openings of your home are protected, including your front door and garage. If one opening is not protected, you will miss out on receiving any credits. Should you be interested in adding hurricane protection devices to your home, we recommend researching vendors and gathering estimates well in advance of Hurricane Season to capture savings on the labor and materials and faster turnaround times.

 

A New Roof

If you have replaced your roof in the past few years or are planning to do so in the near future, you could be eligible for a discount on your home insurance. As a general rule of thumb, if your tile roof has not been completely replaced in the last 25 years, or your shingle roof has not been replaced in the last 15 years, a replacement is in the future due to everyday wear and tear. So, how will a new roof save you money? As with the hurricane protection devices, homeowners insurance carriers can only extend roofing credits to their policyholders when a Wind Mitigation Form is completed by a licensed inspector, detailing when the new roof was installed, its new features, and photos. Once the inspection has been completed and the documents submitted to your carrier, you may be eligible for savings on your insurance premium.

 

Security Systems

Regardless of the neighborhood you live in, your home is at risk of being burglarized. Having certain security and theft prevention devices installed throughout your home can not just protect your property and loved ones, but could result in an insurance discount. Having a security system which has an alarm can deter a burglar and alert the authorities immediately. Depending on your homeowners carrier, having such devices could provide you with some credits towards your premium.

 

Other Ways to Show Your Home Some Love and Save You Some Money

Although you may not necessarily receive any discounts on your homeowners insurance, showing areas of your home a little TLC can go a long way in keeping your home safe, increase its value, and may even save you some money. Here are a few ideas to consider:

 
Update your Curb Appeal: Your home’s curb appeal is the first impression others have of your home. Little improvements you make now, can go a long way. Remove dirt build-up from your sidewalk, driveway, and walkways with a good power wash. It’s the perfect time to exercise your green thumb and make some changes to your landscape while the weather is a bit cooler.
 

Have a Paint Party: See your home in a new light with a fresh coat of paint. Painting can be a simple and inexpensive way to change the whole look of a room. If you do not want to paint an entire space, consider adding a pop of color with an accent wall or painting a piece of furniture. Adding a fresh coat of paint could increase your home’s value and appeal should you be in the market to sell.

 
Easy Updates: There are so many innovations available for your home, which may save you some money and keep your home and family safe. Consider installing programmable lights and/or thermostats to give you the ability to set your devices remotely, or to work on your schedule. Doing so could save you some money on your next electric bill.

 

Remember to Contact Your Agent

It is important to note, making changes to your home could also impact your premium in the form of an increase. Should you be making any additions or major upgrades to your home, you want to make sure your new additions are adequately covered. Contact your local agent as soon as any updates are made so your policy can be updated.  Each homeowners carrier is different and may offer unique discounts. We recommend you contact your agent about what discounts may be available to you. Should you have any additional questions in regards to additions to your home and how it may affect your policy premium, contact your agent, or give us a call at 866-568-8922 for assistance.

Annual Check-Up on Your Home and Homeowners Policy

Family holding small house in hands.

 

The new year often serves as a great reminder for annual check-ups. Like your annual check-up at the doctor’s office, your home and homeowners insurance policy may require an annual check-up as well. Consider these tips when conducting an annual check-up of your homeowners insurance:
 
Make, or update your home inventory

Over the holidays, you may have received some new items which should be documented in your home inventory. In the event of a loss, having a home inventory can expedite the claims process. Create a home inventory by listing your belongings and their estimated value. Keep more than one copy of your inventory in a safe and protected location.
 
Conduct a home inspection
 
Keeping your home and family safe and healthy starts with maintenance and preventative measures. Conduct a home inspection by checking for damage such as cracks, leaks, and breaks in the interior and exterior of your home. Should areas of your home need repair, fix them as soon as possible to prevent further damage.
 
 
Review your homeowners insurance coverage
 
Many things can change over the course of a year, which may have an impact on your home insurance needs.  It is important you read through your policy to better understand the coverages you have purchased, Remember, Edison Insurance Company has several coverage options which can be tailored to suit your needs. In the event the unexpected occurs, you will have peace of mind knowing your home is covered. Should you need to make any changes to your policy upon completion of your annual checkup, be sure to contact your agent or call us at 866-568-8922.
 

 

Reviewing and Understanding your Homeowners Policy

An insurance policy on a table.

 

Many things can change within a year, which could impact your insurance needs. The start of a new year is a good time to take an opportunity to review your homeowners insurance policy and your coverages. Doing so may save you some time and money should the unexpected occur. Here are a few things to look at while reviewing your policy:

 

What is covered?

Your homeowners insurance is made up of several coverages which can help pay to repair or replace your belongings and your home should they be damaged by certain perils such as fire, theft or windstorm. A standard homeowners policy typically includes the following coverages:

  • Coverage A: The limit for your dwelling/home physical structure, and any other structures permanently attached to your home.
  • Coverage B: Often referred to as “Other Structures” protection, Coverage B provides coverage for structures not attached to your dwelling/home.
  • Coverage C: Extends coverage for your personal property and belongings.
  • Coverage D: Provides coverage for the additional living expenses incurred, as a result of your home being deemed uninhabitable due to damage sustained from a covered peril.
  • Coverage F:  Also known as “Medical Payments to Others” coverage, offers coverage for medical bills should someone be hurt or injured on your property.

 

Edison Insurance Company also offers additional coverages and increased limits to best suit your needs.

 

What is not covered?

Although your homeowners insurance covers many types of perils, there are exceptions. One notable exception is flood coverage, as a standard homeowners policy does not cover flood damages. However, Edison Insurance Company offers a certified flood endorsement to qualifying policies, which eliminates the need for a standalone flood insurance policy.

 

Should you have any questions or need to make any changes to your policy, please contact your agent for assistance.

 

7 Simple Holiday Safety Tips



The holiday season has arrived, bringing the season to spend time and create memories with family and friends. However, it is important you and your loved ones make safety a top priority. As such, we would like to provide the following tips to lessen the risk of an accident occurring this holiday season:
 
  1. Check electrical decorations for any cracks or damages prior to decorating.
 
  1. Keep candles and lit menorahs away from flammable items and out of reach of children and pets.
 
  1. Reduce your risk of a fire by never overloading electrical outlets.
 
  1. Plants, such as poinsettias are pretty for decorative purposes but are poisonous to humans and pets, so be sure to keep them out of reach.
 
  1. Be sure to water your live trees often, as dry trees pose a serious fire hazard.
 
  1. If you use an artificial tree, choose one labeled fire-resistant.
 
  1. Give children gifts which are age-appropriate and avoid small or toys with detachable parts which could pose as a choking hazard.
 
 
 
Remember to follow these tips to ensure a worry-free and safe holiday season with your loved ones.  For more safety tips, click here.
 
 
 
 
Keeping your family and home safe and protected is Edison Home Insurance Company’s number one priority. We have taken a bright and innovative approach to FL homeowners insurance with coverage options allowing you to customize a policy to best fit your needs. To learn more about Edison Insurance Company, or to get a personalized quote, call us at (866) 568-8922.
 

Usable Tips for National Package Protection Day



National Package Protection Day is celebrated annually on the Wednesday after Thanksgiving to encourage consumers to protect themselves against package theft. As online shopping becomes more and more popular, especially over the holiday season, several million packages will be shipped to doorsteps throughout the country over the holidays. Package theft has become an ever-growing concern in recent years. Take steps to protect your packages this holiday season by following these tips: 

 
  • Keep an eye out for when your packages are set to arrive at your home by tracking them online. Most online retailers provide tracking numbers once your items have been shipped.
 
  • Installing security cameras is not only a great deterrent from criminals but is also a great way to see when your packages have arrived.
 
  • Should you be away from your home for several hours or a few days, ask a trustworthy neighbor or friend to collect your package for you.
 
  • Reduce the worry altogether by selecting a “ship in-store” option. Although it may not be as convenient, it does provide additional security and is usually a free option. Should the retailer you are purchasing from not offer in-store pickup, consider shipping your package to a local pack and ship store for pickup.
 
  • An additional option is to have your packages shipped to an Amazon Locker facility or UPS Access Point, where you can pick up your packages by showing proper identification. 
 
  • Should you know you won’t be home when your package is set to arrive, most mail carriers allow you to reschedule your delivery. This is a great option, however, in some cases, it may cost you a few extra dollars.
 
 
By taking heed of these tips, your packages should arrive safely this holiday season. Happy shopping!
 
 
Thank you for visiting our blog. Hopefully, you came away with some great home insurance and safety tips. Edison Insurance Company’s mission is to provide quality coverage at competitive rates while providing exceptional service.  For more information on Florida homeowners insurance or to get a quote, please call (866) 568-8922.

Blast into 2020 Safely




New Year’s Eve is one of the most popular days of the year for fireworks displays. As fun and exciting as setting off your own fireworks display can be, it can easily become dangerous should safety precautions not be in place. Fireworks used incorrectly can lead to some serious injuries, and nobody wants to start their new year in an emergency room. In preparation for the upcoming New Year’s celebrations, we would like to share the following fireworks safety tips:

 
  • If fireworks are illegal where you live, do not use them.
 
  • Designate a responsible adult to set off fireworks.
 
  • Place fireworks on a level non-flammable surface.
 
  • Shoot fireworks off in an open area, away from spectators and flammable materials.
 
  • Do not point or throw fireworks at other people.
 
  • Young children should be supervised around fireworks and sparklers.
 
  • Never re-light or pick up fireworks which have failed to ignite.
 
  • Fireworks should be lit one at a time
 
  •   Move away quickly after lighting a firework.
 
  • Douse used fireworks with water before discarding.
 
  • The safest option is to leave it to the professionals and attend a public firework show.
 

We hope you will take our suggestions into consideration and be on your way to a safe 2020. Wishing you and your family a very happy and safe New Year.
 



 As a Florida homeowner, it is important to protect your property should the unexpected occur. Homeowners insurance coverage to fit the needs of your family is available through Edison Insurance Company. Should you have any questions or concerns about your policy, contact your agent, or call us at 866-568-8922. 

Fraud Alert

 
 
During the past several months, Edison Insurance Company has received reports of check scam involving our company.  If you receive a check in the mail along with a request to contact someone by text or phone, it may be fraud!
 
It has been discovered checks bearing the name of Edison Insurance Company have been fraudulently issued to consumers in response to an online employment/advertisement venture.  The scam may also request recipients to cash the check and pay a fee.
 
Should you think you have received a fraudulent check, have been contacted regarding a check in exchange for funds, or may have been a victim of this scam, please contact our Special Investigation Unit at 866-923-2920 or by email at reportfraud@floridapeninsula.com.  You can also report fraud to the State of Florida by clicking here.

Daylight Saving Time Ends November 3rd


 

The clocks will turn back at 2 a.m. on November 3rd, to mark the end of Daylight Saving Time. Other than the extra hour of sleep, here are a few things you should remember about Daylight Saving Time:
 
 
  • It will begin to get dark an hour earlier in the evenings. If you have any outside lights on a timer, do not forget to reprogram them to adjust to the new time.
 
  • Although most of our computers and smartphones will automatically adjust, remember to manually turn back the clocks in your home including those found on stoves, microwaves and other appliances, as most of them won't reset themselves.
 
  • Daylight Saving Time also serves as a great opportunity to test the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in your home and change their batteries if necessary.
 
  • Standard time will be used through March 8th, 2020, then the clocks will "spring" forward one hour for the start of Daylight Saving Time.
     
 


 As a Florida homeowner, it is important to protect your property should the unexpected occur. Homeowners insurance coverage to fit the needs of your family is available through Edison Insurance Company. Should you have any questions or concerns about your policy, contact your agent, or call us at 866-568-8922. 
 
 

Cooking Safety Tips for Thanksgiving




Thanksgiving is a time to enjoy your family, friends, and a delicious feast. A Thanksgiving meal can be a lot of work for a host, and if proper cooking safety precautions are not taken, your day of thanks could turn into a disaster. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports Thanksgiving to be the peak day for home cooking fires. In fact, the NFPA reported fire departments in the U.S. responded to over 1,500 home cooking fires on Thanksgiving in 2016.
 

We want your thanksgiving to be fulfilling and safe for you and your guests. As such, please consider the following cooking safety tips:
 
  • Before you begin cooking, test the smoke alarms in your home to be sure they are working properly.
 
  • Never leave a hot stove or oven unattended.
 
 
  • Keep your children and pets away from hot appliances, food, and liquids.
 
  • If you are deep frying your turkey, be sure your fryer is used outdoors and away from your home and flammable materials.
   
 
  • Consume or freeze leftovers within 3 to 4 days of your Thanksgiving meal.
 


From our family to yours, have a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving! For more safety information, click here.
 
 


Thank you for visiting our blog. Hopefully, you came away with some great home insurance and safety tips. Edison Insurance Company’s mission is to provide quality coverage at competitive rates while providing exceptional service.  For more information on Florida homeowners insurance or to get a quote, please call (866) 568-8922.