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EDISON BLOG

Category: Homeowners Insurance 101

5 Tips for Creating Your Home Inventory

Edison Insurance Company provides 5 important tips for creating a home inventory.  

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Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Your College Student's Possessions?

 

Amidst the emotional process known as, sending your children off to college, it is important to prioritize your child's safety. Whether your child is living in a dormitory or an off-campus apartment, it is essential you ensure they have the necessary coverage to account for their expensive belongings such as laptops, televisions, printers, jewelry, etc. An important question many parents with children heading to college often ask is if their homeowners insurance policy will cover their college student’s possessions in the event of a loss.  

 

Understanding A Student’s Coverage at College: 

  • Students under 26 years old who live on-campus are usually covered under their parents’ homeowners insurance policy, under “off-premise” coverage. Each policy is different, so be sure to refer to your homeowners insurance policy to understand your policy limits.  

  • Because of these limits, or if the student is living in off-campus housing such as renting an apartment or home, you may consider obtaining renters insurance. Renters policies cover their personal property in the event of a covered loss, such as damage from theft, fire, or any unexpected circumstance, which isn't covered by the landlord's or rental facilities insurance.  

  • Some items, like electronics, may have stand-alone insurance should they become stolen, lost, or damaged, depending on the warranty or the benefits used from the store or credit card at the time it was purchased.  

 

Should you have questions or concerns about your family's insurance coverage and the implications of your child becoming a full-time college student, or to determine if additional/supplemental coverage or renter’s insurance is needed, please contact your agent.  

 

Ways to Lower Your Risk of Theft or Damage of Personal Belongings While on Campus: 

  • Leave valuables at home. 

  • Consider purchasing a small safe to store important documents or valuables.  

  • Do not access personal accounts on public computers. 

  • Purchase and use a laptop security cable.   

  • Take inventory of all the possessions your child plans on bringing to college, preferably with pictures and dollar estimates of the object's value. This will provide you an estimate of how much coverage your child will need and will come in handy should you need to file a claim.  

 

We hope this information assists you in making important decisions while you send your children off to college. Should you have any questions in regards to your Edison Insurance policy, give us a call at 866-568-8922 or contact your agent.   

 

Go Back-to-School on Homeowners Insurance Coverages

Updated: August 1, 2020

 

 

As a homeowner, it is important to know and understand your coverage through your specific carrier. Having a reliable homeowners insurance plan in place will not only give you peace of mind but will protect your family and belongings as well. As a policyholder, you can make changes to adjust the amount of coverage you have, which may cause changes to your annual policy premium. Keep in mind, if you do not have enough coverage in place, you could be responsible for any out-of-pocket costs in the event of a loss. Each homeowners policy is different, and it is important you understand your coverages, so you and your agent can select the options which work best for the needs of your family.

 

What is covered?

Your homeowners insurance is made up of coverages which will pay to repair or replace your belongings and your home should they be damaged by certain perils such as fire, theft, or windstorm. These coverages may include, dwelling, personal property, loss of use, and liability. Edison Insurance Company offers additional types of coverage, should you choose to further customize your policy.

 

The ABC’s of Homeowners Insurance Coverage and Knowing What They Insure

 

Coverage A: Dwelling - which covers damage or destruction to your home, attached structures, and fixtures in your house like built-in appliances.

 

Coverage B: Other Structures - protects physical structures on your property and not attached to your home. For example, detached structures such as garages, storage sheds, and fences.

 

Coverage C: Personal Property - covers the contents of your home, including furniture, clothing, and appliances if they are damaged, destroyed, or stolen by perils covered in the policy.

 

Coverage D: Loss of Use - will pay for additional living expenses if your home is inhabitable during repairs.

 

Coverage E: Liability - Protects against financial loss should you be sued and found legally responsible for someone else's injury or property damage.

 

Coverage F: Medical Payments to Others - covers medical bills for those injured on your property. This coverage may also pay for some injuries which may happen away from your home.

 

 

What is Not Covered?

 

While your homeowners insurance covers many types of perils, there are exceptions, and it depends on your particular policy. Certain events, including neglect, intentional loss, earth movement and settlement, power failure, war, nuclear hazards, or other circumstances may not be covered within your policy. Another peril which is not covered under most standard homeowners insurance policies is flood insurance. Usually, flood insurance would need to be purchased as a separate standalone policy. However, Edison Insurance Company offers a certified endorsement to qualifying policies which is not offered through many other private carriers. If your property does not qualify for Edison Insurance Company’s endorsement, be sure to speak with your agent obtaining flood coverage through the National Flood Insurance Program.

 

Your home is likely one of the largest financial investments you will make. In the event of a fire, flood, or natural disaster, this investment can disappear in a matter of minutes, even seconds. Your insurance policy can cover not only damage, but it can save you from financial ruin. As such, it is important you understand what your particular policy covers and what may not be covered. If you have any questions or need to make any changes to your policy, please contact us at 866-568-8922 or speak with your agent.

 

Why You Need Flood Insurance

Updated: April 1, 2020
 

Flooding has become an increasing risk over the past few years, especially in Florida. Floods can occur at any time and anywhere, making them the most common and most costly disaster in the United States. Experiencing losses due to flooding can not only devastating but extremely costly should you not be covered. It is important you understand your risk of a flood and take precautions to protect your home, your possessions and your family.

 

What Causes Floods?

Floods can be caused for many reasons including storm surge caused by a hurricane or tropical storm, river, lake, dam or other water system overflow, or even just heavy rainfall. Floods can develop slowly or quite rapidly depending on the type and can come with little to no warning. What is your risk for flooding in Florida? Flooding is a frequent hazard in Florida and is a threat to communities from coast to coast. Florida’s coastal location, relatively flat terrain and low elevation puts the state at an increased risk of experiencing floods. Not to mention, and as we have seen over the past years, Hurricanes are frequent to Florida and bring heavy rains and storm surge.

 

The Cost of Flood Damage

FloodSmart estimates just one inch of floodwater can cause roughly $25,000 in damages to your home and your possessions. You do not need to live in a high-risk flood zone to experience flood damage either. More than 20 percent of all reported flood claims come from homes located outside of high-risk flood zones. Not only is flood damage extremely costly, but it also can cause quite a headache and frustration while homeowners must wait for repairs. Now with an understanding of the risks and the damage and costs of flooding can cause, let’s make sure you consider obtaining flood insurance coverage to avoid the costs and frustrations flooding can cause.

 

Obtaining Flood Insurance

As a homeowner in Florida, you more than likely need flood insurance to provide coverage for your home and possessions. If your home is located in a high-risk area and you have a mortgage, your lender will most likely require you to have flood insurance. However, those who live in moderate to low-risk areas may be surprised to learn flood damage is not covered under your standard home, condo, or renter’s insurance policy. Flood insurance must be purchased through private carriers, like Edison Insurance Company or through the NFIP. Edison’s flood endorsement allows eligible policyholders to secure flood insurance coverage up to a selected amount, eliminating the need for a standalone flood policy. Most standard flood policies provide coverage up to $250,000 for your home, and up to $100,000 for your contents/personal belongings. However, Edison’s Flood endorsement exceeds the limits of a standard flood policy providing up to $2,000,000 for your home and up to $1,000,000 for your personal belongings.

 

With hurricane season quickly approaching, you definitely do not want to wait until it is too late to obtain flood coverage to be sure your home and possessions are covered. To learn more about obtaining flood insurance with Edison Insurance Company, speak with your agent, or give us a call at 866-568-8922.


 

How Much Personal Property Coverage Do I Need?

 
Last Updated: March 1, 2020

 

 

Choosing the right personal property insurance coverage can be a challenging task. It’s important to ensure your policy will sufficiently cover the value of your belongings.

 

The Difference Between Actual Cash Value and Replacement Value

Although actual cash value and replacement value both relate to the coverage you receive for damaged personal property, they function in significantly different ways.

 

Replacement Value

Replacement value is the cost of replacing an item with a brand-new item. So, if your TV is stolen, the replacement value would be enough to purchase an equivalent, brand new model at the store.

 

Actual Cash Value

Actual cash value is determined based on the replacement cost minus the depreciation of a damaged or stolen item at the time of the loss.

For example, if a 5-year-old TV is replaced at actual cash value, the payout would be equivalent to the price of another 5-year-old TV rather than the price of a brand new one. This may be significantly less money than would be required to purchase a brand-new TV from the store.

This is because over time the value of nearly everything declines. Your furniture begins to wear after many years of binge-watching and game days, the TV begins to flicker, and your computer doesn’t run as fast as it used to.

 

Which is better?

Neither type of insurance is better than the other. Actual cash value insurance will be the best coverage for some, while not for others.

With replacement cost insurance you’ll receive more payment in case of damage or theft, but the downside is you’ll also be paying more in premiums. With actual cash value insurance, you won’t be paid as much for stolen or damaged items, but you will save money on premiums.

The right type for you depends on the value of your personal property and what you’re willing to pay.

 

Homeowners V. Condo Owners Insurance

Homeowners usually have less control over their personal property coverage. Their coverage typically amounts to half of their policy’s dwelling coverage limit. For example, if your dwelling limit is $300,000, then you will have $150,000 in personal property coverage.

Condo policies usually allow for more control when selecting a personal property limit. The allowed will vary depending on the insurer.

 

Understanding Sub-limits

Understanding your insurer’s sub-limits is key to buying the right coverage. For example, you might have $100,000 in total coverage but only be entitled to a smaller, fixed amount for an individual item.

Common sub-limits on personal property insurance include:

•             Cash and gold: $250

•             Furs and precious stones: $1,000

•             Home-based business property: $2,500

•             Silverware: $2,500

•             Firearms: $2,500

When the value of an item exceeds your insurer’s sub-limit, consider scheduling the item by listing it directly in your policy. Scheduling an item separately with your insurer will mean it’s protected for its entire value. This will slightly raise your premium, and an appraisal or detailed description of your possession may be required.

 

Now with a good grasp on personal property insurance, it may be time to consider purchasing coverage or updating a current policy. Edison Insurance Company can customize your policy to fit your needs. Call us at (866) 568-8922 to get a free quote.

 

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.

 

Animal Liability Coverage from Edison Insurance Company



 


Although our four-legged friends are like members of our family, we sometimes forget they can become dangerous when agitated or scared. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, roughly 4.5 million Americans are bitten by dogs each year. With the holidays approaching and family and friends entering our homes, now is the time to make sure you can prevent dog bites and make sure you are covered should an incident occur.
 

Tips for Preventing Dog Bites:
 

  • Do not disturb a dog while it is eating, sleeping, or chewing on a toy.
  • If you notice a dog is indicating it is uncomfortable and feeling the need to bite, put a safe distance between you and the dog.
  • Children are the most common victims of dog bites. Do not leave infants or young children unaccompanied with a dog.
  • Practice caution when exposing your dog to new situations.
  • If your dog develops aggressive and frightening behaviors, seek advice from your veterinarian.

 


Animal Liability Coverage:

According to the Insurance Information Institute (iii), homeowners insurance companies throughout the country paid approximately $675 million in animal liability claims due to dog bites or other dog-related injuries in 2018.  Most standard homeowners policies do not include animal liability coverage. However, Edison Insurance Company offers animal liability coverage at a minimal cost to protect our policyholders from expenses correlated with a dog attack or dog bite. This additional coverage provides a $25,000 liability sub-limit and medical payments of $2,000.  Please note, certain restrictions may apply and will be noted in your insurance policy.  Should you be interested in adding animal liability to your policy, contact your agent.
 
 


 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. 
 
 

 

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