one policy for rental properties

Can you purchase one Landlord rental property policy for all your properties?

Most companies will not allow you to purchase one policy for all your properties because most companies want to write one policy for each property

There are a few companies that will allow you to “schedule” your properties on one policy

You can list each location based on the address, year built, frame or brick, 1 to 4 family units

Some companies will require you to start a scheduled policy with at least 10 properties but we do have a company that will start with 2 and you can write up to 100 properties if you want

The issue for you will be billing

If you have a mortgage on a property the insurance does not have the capability to bill your mortgage company on each location on a scheduled policy

You would receive one bill to your house and you would be responsible to bill your mortgage company

A scheduled Landlord rental property policy with multiple locations on one policy really works for a real estate investor that owns the properties and carries no mortgage

 

The scheduled policy will include 

  • Liability from 100,000 to 1,000,000
  • Loss of Rental Income (claim forces your tenant to leave..you get loss of rental income)
  • Wind, Fire, Hail, Vandalism, Water damage and more
  • Slip Trip and Fall included
  • Property limits from 100,000 to 1,000,000
  • Multi Family units 1-4 family
  • If more than 5 we can write a commercial property policy

 

DISCOUNT AVAILABLE

  • Hip shape roof
  • Owner over 55 years old
  • Flood insurance with same company
  • Monitored Alarm discount

 

COVERAGE EXTENSIONS

  • Water Backup
  • Limited Theft
  • Service Line endorsement
  • Equipment Breakdown (replacement of A/C unit if not a result of wear and tear)

 

How much does the Landlord Rental Dwelling Scheduled policy cost?

  • Rates start at $500 for one property
  • Factors that can determine the price you pay are, but not limited to
  • Original year built
  • Brick or Frame 
  • Claim History
  • Hip or Gable shape roof
  • Monitored Alarm
  • Credit worthiness with some insurance companies

 

Can we write the policy in an LLC?

Yes we can and we can include liability insurance for your LLC

 

At FM Agency Group we provide the protection you need for the value you want

From 1 to 100 properties we have the insurance policy for you

 

Give us a call 504.348.3131 or complete the quick form

 

Does home insurance cover my rental property?

Majority of real estate investors have one or two properties and own their own home

A common mistake is to think that your home insurance liability extends to all of your rental properties

It doesn’t

Your home insurance liability does extend to vacant land you own but not to rental property

Some home insurance companies will extend liability to rental properties but this is an endorsement that must be added and the company will charge you an additional premium

To protect yourself most real estate investors will buy a home in an LLC

Buying a home in an LLC is a good way to protect yourself personally from a claim but its not bulletproof

You can still personally be brought into a claim because the plaintiff attorney is going to name everyone they can in a lawsuit and see who pays

So what happens if you own a rental property in an LLC and you are named personally in a claim?

If you are the managing member of the LLC and the title of the property is in the same LLC,  you personally will get a liability defense

If you own the home in your personal name, but you purchased insurance in an LLC,  you have an issue

The LLC does not legally own the home.

Only the owner of the home must be listed on the declarations page of the rental property insurance

Complicated?

I’ve seen many mistakes made with owning rental property and buying rental property insurance

Often a property is owned in an LLC but the insurance is in the personal name

or the opposite….the property is owned in a personal name but the policy is written in an LLC

You must match the owner on the property title to the named insured listed on the policy

If you own the property in an LLC and you are the only managing member, you don’t have to add yourself personally to the policy as long as the policy provide liability in the LLC

Most rental property insurance policies will not offer liability in the name of an LLC

The Liability gameplan you need to protect yourself from a claim

It is ok to own rental property in your personal name as long as you buy a personal umbrella policy

You can list all your rental properties on the umbrella and you will get an additional 1,000,000 of liability to insulate yourself from any claims

 

What type of claims?

Slip, trip and fall from your tenant and their friends and family

Property damage claims

What do I need to do to get a personal umbrella policy?

Raise your car insurance liability limit to 250,000/500,000

Raise your home insurance liability limit to 300,0000

Raise your rental property liability limit to 300,000

Purchase a personal umbrella policy for as low as $1/day

 

If you own your rental property in an LLC you can’t qualify for a personal umbrella

If you are interested in protecting your real estate investments, FM Agency Group has created the Rental Advantage program that may interest you

click here to see how we can help you THE RENTAL ADVANTAGE

 

6 Tips to lower your homeowners insurance rates

 

homeowners rates

Comparing homeowners insurance rates can sometimes leave you guessing if there is any method to the madness.

Why would your friend pay so much less than you for home insurance when your home basically has the same replacement cost value?

Unfortunately there is no easy answer but I do know of a few underwriting factors that can change the rate you pay.

HERE ARE SOME TIPS TO LOWER YOUR HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE RATES

 

LOCATION

Since we quote more than one homeowners company, we can see rates vary in a given zip code or even a neighborhood.

Maybe an insurance company had a bad claim experience or high frequency of claim payouts in a particular zip code or neighborhood so they go in and raise rates so they are not the most competitive company in that area.

No insurance company could sustain profitability if they were the lowest rate on every risk in every neighborhood.

Some companies do race to the bottom with their rates to gain market share,  but if they want to be around after the next hurricane,  they do take a rate increase eventually.

 

AGE OF HOME

Your house may look just like your friend’s house and may have the exact same square footage but was it built at exactly the same time?

Home insurance companies give a greater discount on the most recent year built of a house.

So if you have a 3000 square foot house,  but it was built in 1970 instead of 1990, your year built credit would be less.

Older homes and their electrical, plumbing, heating a/c and roof are more likely to result in a claim than newer updated systems.

 

CLAIMS HISTORY

Claims stay on your record for 5 years but some companies will only surcharge your policy for the last 3 years.

So if you made a small water damage claim to your bathroom and you only received $800 above your deductible,  this water claim is still on your record and any new insurance company will surcharge the quote for not having a clean claim history.

Homeowners insurance companies will run a claim history report so the majority of all home insurance companies report your claim to a shared database (C.L.U.E.) or a CLUE REPORT so when you apply for a new home insurance policy, the underwriter can see if you really have had no claims in the last 3-5 years.

The underwriter is trying to determine if you are someone that uses a home insurance policy as a home maintenance policy.

Someone that makes claims will more than likely make more claims in the future.

Remember natural weather events do not count against you on your claim report and a company should not surcharge your policy premium if you had to make a hurricane, hail, tornado or wind claim.

 

ROOF SHAPE

Insurance companies will give a premium credit to the shape of your roof.

Hip shaped roof and Gable shaped roof are the most common.

A hip shaped roof would receive the most premium credit because the belief is during a wind event, this type of roof has been able to deflect the wind and result in lower claim damage.

 

hip roof discount to lower your homeowners insurance rates

ROOF SHINGLE TYPE

Some insurance company will offer an insurance premium rate discount on the type of shingle you have.

Architectural Shingles will give you a discount on your home insurance policy.

Benefits of Architectural Shingles

  • Sustain Higher wind speeds up to 120 mph (3 Tab up to 60mph)
  • Thicker than 3 Tab which tend to curl or lift
  • Longer lifetime warranty up to 40 to 50 years

Architectural shingles will usually cost more 20%-40% but the majority of New Orleans area roofers are moving towards architectural shingles which is good because insurance companies are offering lower homeowners insurance rates for architectural shingles.

These shingles became very popular after hail storms and hurricanes that are very common in South Louisiana.

For a detailed analysis report from the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety click on the link below.  The report studies the data from Hurricane Gustav and Hurricane Ike and the performance of shingles in high winds.

Surviving Nature’s Fury: Performance of Asphalt Shingle Roofs in the Real World

 

3 TAB SHINGLES vs. ARCHITECTURAL SHINGLES

roof shingle comparison to lower homeowners insurance rates

 

CREDIT SCORE

A very polarizing topic of conversation between insurance professionals and customers is what does my credit score have to do with the rate I pay in New Orleans on my home insurance?

No matter what side of the argument you stand on, the reality is to get preferred lower rates from the majority of homeowners companies writing new policies, you need to have a very good credit score.

Underwriters are of the belief that someone with a very low credit score is more likely to make a future claim on their home insurance policy.

Remember insurance companies are a business.  

They want to take your insurance premium and are betting that you never make a claim.

You purchase homeowners insurance because you believe you will need to make a future claim.

Having a good to excellent credit score will result in a lower rate you will pay.

 

raise your credit score to lower your homeowners insurance rates

 

Here are some options available to you to lower your premium

 

1.  Take a 2500 all other perils deductible

A homeowners policy is not a maintenance or home warranty policy.

As a home owner you need to absorb any claim under 2500.

If you don’t have $2500, go to a $1000 deductible.

If you make a claim within the initial three years of the policy, you could be canceled

and you would have a claim on your claim report that may make it either difficult to get another policy or cause a surcharge on your new quote.

 

2.  Adjust your contents to the actual amount you own.

If your house were destroyed by a fire, would $50,000 be enough to replace your contents or personal property?

Most homeowners companies automatically give you 50% of the Coverage A insured value amount so if you insure your house for

200,000 Coverage A

You would get 100,000 of contents coverage.

If there is a fire and you can only prove you had $42,000 of property inside,

you are not getting a check for $100,000.

 

 

What’s this all about?

Calling around and getting a bunch of quotes from a bunch of different insurance agents will only help you find the cheapest quote or the lowest homeowners insurance rates, but if you are attempting to protect your most valuable asset, you need to determine if the cheapest option is the best option for you.

Some valuable coverages or endorsements may be left out of the quote proposal and that is why your quote is some much cheaper than all the others.

CHEAP IS NOT ALWAYS THE BEST OPTION

cheap homeowners insurance

Do you walk into a shoe store or search on amazon for the cheapest dress shoes?

Probably not.

You don’t want to wear the shoes twice and they fall apart.

So should shopping for a pair of shoes be the same as protecting a $250,000 house?

When you make a claim,  you want that claim paid.

After a hurricane,  you want a company to 

  • inspect your house as fast as possible
  • write an estimate
  • send you the money so you can get your house back to normal

 

Do you think all home insurance companies writing in New Orleans are capable of giving you what you need after you make a claim?

Cheap is great if you never have to make a claim.

Unfortunately we live in an area that will be hit again with a Hurricane.

We want to give you some homeowners insurance quote options so you can decide what is the best option for you.

You want to properly protect what you can’t replace during a financially devastating event.

 

WE MAKE IT EASY TO CONTACT US

Call us at 504.348.3131

click here to complete our quick contact form

click here to complete our homeowners quote form

click here to generate an automated email from you.

 

5 Tips to lower your Home insurance premium

lower home INSURANCE

We often get asked how can I lower my Home Insurance premium?

I put together a few things you can do to save hundreds off of your quote.

RAISE YOUR DEDUCTIBLE

 

When you raise your deductible (the amount deducted from a claim check) your premium goes down.

You want to raise your deductible to a level of affordability.

 

If you only have $1,000 in your checking account,

you don’t want to take a $5,000 deductible.

 

Your next claim would be a financially devastating event.

But if you have never made any claims other than weather related,

you need to begin to consider transfer of risk.

You want to transfer more of the risk to you and away from the insurance company by considering a higher All Other Perils deductible (not hurricane or named storm)

When you take a low deductible, you are telling the insurance company to take on more of the insurance responsibility if you make a claim.

When you do that, the insurance company charges you more on your New Orleans home insurance policy.

I put together a Homeowners Insurance Deductible Guide to help determine the right deductible for you.

 

BUNDLE YOUR AUTO, HOME, UMBRELLA AND FLOOD WITH ONE INSURANCE AGENCY

 

Bundle your auto, home, umbrella and flood with the same agency and you will get discounts on your

  • auto policy
  • homeowners policy
  • umbrella policy
  • flood insurance policy

 

The majority of homeowners insurance companies do not write all lines of insurance

but they will give discounts if all of the lines of business are with the same insurance agency.

 

I talk to many customers who have their flood with one agent.

Their auto insurance somewhere else

and their homeowners insurance

they purchased through some agent their real estate agent recommended and they have no idea who their agent is or where they are located.

 

Multiple Discounts and the ability to make one phone call to know where all your insurance is serviced is a great benefit for you

so that when the next flood happens or

the next Hurricane Katrina makes landfall

you only have to contact one company

 

IMPROVE YOUR HOME SECURITY

 

Two discounts available are monitored fire alarm and monitored burglar alarm.

There is a race to the bottom with pricing right now for security systems.

The standard at one time was $40-$50/month for monitoring services.

Today monitoring alarm companies are cutting prices against their competition and you are going to benefit.

 

If you have not priced a new security system,

now is the time.

No more landline needed.

Some New Orleans home insurance companies will offer large discounts for monitored security systems (up to $300 annually)

But don’t just do it for the discounts.

Protecting your family and your house with a monitored security system in New Orleans is  just a responsible thing to do.

ADJUST YOUR PERSONAL PROPERTY CONTENTS COVERAGE

 

For many years, homeowners insurance companies would provide you 50% of the home insured value for your personal property.

It was packaged and there was nothing you could do.

 

If you had a 400,000 house,

you would get $200,000 of contents coverage.

Regardless if you could only prove you had $75,000 of property 

you had to take $200,000 of contents coverage,

but would only be paid for $75,000.

 

Now you can adjust your contents coverage to the actual replacement value of your property.

Determine the replacement cost of your property inside your house.

Specialty items like jewelry, guns and collectibles have limitations so don’t include these items in the total value of your contents.

You would need a personal articles scheduled stand alone policy

ADJUST THE INSURED VALUE TO THE REPLACEMENT COST

 

Due to the inflation guard endorsement on a homeowners policy,

the endorsement could make your insured value increase considerably if you have been with the same insurance company for a long time.

The inflation guard endorsement will automatically increase your insured value usually 1-3% every renewal in an attempt to keep up with the actual replacement cost to rebuild your house.

A quick rule of thumb is to take $100-$125 x total square feet of your house to get an estimate of the cost to rebuild your house.

$100 x 2465 square feet = $246,500 estimated replacement cost

This is just a quick guide to help you get an idea if your home is under or over insured.

A licensed home builder will give you a more accurate picture of the cost to rebuild your house.

 

What’s this all about?

Lowering your insured value on your home insurance policy to a point of under insuring your property is not a smart idea because you need enough money on the claim check to rebuild your house.

There are other ways to lower your New Orleans homeowners insurance premium.

We can help maintain replacement cost on your house and determine if we can help you lower your premium.

We work with your mortgage company to make the transition to a new homeowners insurance policy.

We make it easy for you to get the coverage you need for the value you want.

Give us a call today.

We’re here for you.

See a list of Louisiana homeowners insurance companies writing new policies and also see some sample home insurance rates click here

Tips to perform a background check on a contractor

contractor background check

Hiring a contractor is never an easy process. If you could do it yourself, you would, but sometimes you need a professional contractor and before you hire your next contractor, conduct your own contractor background check.

If you are about to start a renovation project on your house, here are a few steps I created that can help protect you and your bank account.

 

The problem in New Orleans is some contractors are not honest, trustworthy and professional.

 

Tips to perform your own contractor background check

 

1. You can look up the contractors name in the Louisiana Contractors Search

 

By searching the database,  you can determine 

  • If the company is registered with the state
  • How long has the company been in business
  • The name of the owner or registered members
  • License Number
  • Registered Address for the business

 

2. Run a google search on the Contractor’s name and Business name

Determine if any negative reviews 

Determine if any litigation exists

Any Better Business Bureau reviews?

Google reviews?

 

3. Ask the contractor who will be performing the work

Sometimes the person you are talking to is not the individual performing the work

They may subcontract the work to another contractor

If so,  get the name of the subcontractor and perform 1 and 2 above

 

4. Ask the contractor for a certificate of liability insurance

click here to view sample insurance certificate

 

But it’s not over when you receive the certificate of insurance

  

Contact the insurance agency listed on the certificate

 

Ask if the policy is active

Certificates can be issued to a contractor but some contractors may not be up to date on their payments and the policy is canceled

 

Ask “what type of work is the contractor covered for?”

General Liability policies cover a specific type of work.

If after a hail storm,  a plumber wants to replace a roof,

more than likely his policy does not cover him to replace a roof.

 

Ask “does the policy cover work performed by subcontractors?”

Some general liability policies exclude subcontractors work.

The policy may only cover the contractor’s work.

 

A few more tips when hiring a contractor

 

Don’t ever give a contractor money up front

If your contractor asks for money before the work begins,

think about hiring a more successful contractor that has money in their business checking account

It is ok to break up the payments as work is performed

If the job is $1,000,

you could make 4 payments ($250) 

Hold the last payment until work is complete and you are satisfied.

 

Get a scope of work to be performed

I recently had this issue with a contractor.

I received the scope of work and the contractor didn’t perform the work we both discussed.

His scope of work did not include the work.

So since I failed to review the scope of work,

I had to pay an additional cost to have the work performed.

A scope of work or estimate should be line itemized and very clear to understand

Both you and contractor should be on the same page of work performed and it should be in writing

Also if any additional work is to be added to the original scope of work,

have them write up a supplement to the original, 

give you the cost of the additional work and

sign the supplement so there are no surprise payments

upon completion of the work

 

“I don’t have insurance or a license, so I will take off 10%”

Don’t do business with an uninsured contractor.

You want to be covered after the job is completed.

A contractor’s warranty is not worth much if the contractor never answers his phone,

but an insurance policy will cover resulting damage from his work.

Poor workmanship is not covered so you can’t make a claim if you are not satisfied with the quality of work.

Only resulting damage from work performed.

Example)  Plumber fixes your leaking toilet only to have it damage your new wood floors 3 months later while you are out of town.  The resulting water damage to your wood floors would be covered under the Plumber’s General Liability policy.

 

What’s this all about?

We all can get burned by a contractor,

but if you take a few steps before you hire your next contractor and perform your own contractor background check, you can lower the probability of being taken advantage of and you can save yourself money and headaches if something does not go as planned.

 

Homeowners Insurance Report: Kenner, La 70065

 

Louisiana Homeowners Insurance>New Orleans Homeowners Insurance>Kenner Homeowners Insurance

Is it possible that you have been paying too much for homeowners insurance in Kenner?

 

For years the Kenner homeowners insurance premiums were not very competitive.

The majority of companies that were writing in our area for some reason had higher rates than in other areas of New Orleans.

Maybe because Kenner has a lower elevation than other areas in our city?

Underwriters believed they would be more likely to flood than areas such as Metairie, New Orleans or the Westbank?

A 500,000 house in Kenner with the same construction (year built, brick, type of roof)

would cost more than a 500,000 house in New Orleans.

The good news is this has changed.

We are seeing two insurance companies begin to offer very competitive house insurance rates in Kenner.

How much does Kenner Homeowners Insurance cost?

It depends on a number of underwriting factors that can determine a premium.

  • Favorable Credit Score
  • Brick vs Frame construction
  • Hip roof vs Gable roof shape
  • Claims history
  • Monitored Burglar Alarm
  • Monitored Fire Alarm
  • Homeowner over 55 years old
  • Year built of house
  • Year of updates to Roof, Electrical, Plumbing, Heating A/C
  • Auto Insurance discount
  • Flood Insurance discount
  • Umbrella Discount

 

Can I lower my Kenner Homeowners insurance premium?

 

[ultimatetables 6 /]

*rates are based on many underwriting factors including but not limited to home construction type, roof shape, credit worthiness, claims history…

 

 

Can we help everyone in Kenner lower their homeowners insurance premium?

No. 

We can’t.

But we can review what you have and determine if it makes sense for you to move your insurance or stay with the insurance company you are with now.

 

Can you offer a lower hurricane deductible than 5%?

Yes.

Companies in Kenner are offering deductibles as low as 1% of your dwelling value.

 

What is the difference between a 5% and a 1% deductible?

If you have a 5% hurricane deductible and your house is insured for 500,000

your next claim check deduction for a Hurricane would be $25,000.

You are basically self insuring your home for a hurricane for the first $25,000.

If you have 1% hurricane deductible, 

your claim check deduction on the next hurricane claim would only be $5,000.

 

What’s this all about?

If you have been with a company for a very long time and have never taken the time to see what the Kenner Homeowners Insurance market has to offer today,

it is worth your time.

If your current agent tells you “there are no other insurance companies writing”

or

“you can’t get lower than a 5% hurricane deductible”

you need to give us a call.

My name is Tim D’Angelo and here at FM Agency Group I would like the opportunity to talk to you about your homeowners insurance.  

We’re here for you.

504.348.3131

 

2 reasons that caused your home insurance premium to go up.

home insurance rate increase

We talk with a lot of home insurance customers on a daily basis.

One common question we get is… Why?

 

“Why did my renewal premium go up?”

Why did my home insurance premium go up when I didn’t make any claims?

 

The answer is there could be a few things at work here.

Its never a simple reason.

After a discussion and review of your current insurance plan,

we can start to uncover the reason(s) you received a rate increase on your home insurance policy.

When you initially get another rate increase, your first reaction is

“I want to switch to another insurance company”

Before you jump ship and move your homeowners insurance,

you should consider a few factors

 

1.  INFLATION GUARD ENDORSEMENT

 

All homeowners policies have an inflation guard endorsement built into the policy.

The increase could be a standard 1-3% increase of all coverage amounts at renewal.

 

example)

100,000 Dwelling A

10,000   Coverage B other structures

50,000   Coverage C your personal property

 

At renewal, if your insurance company has a 3% inflation guard endorsement,

the insured values on your policy would increase causing an increase

 

New policy amount

103,000 Dwelling value

10,300  Other Structures

51,500  Personal Property

 

That is not a large increase but what if you were insured with the same company for 10 years?

That would equal a 30% increase in value and a 30% increase in premium since policy inception.

 

What is an inflation guard endorsement?

The reason this endorsement exists is an attempt to keep up with rising home construction costs.

The insured value of your home is based on the cost it takes you to hire a contractor to rebuild your house.

It has nothing to do with property values going up or down in your neighborhood.

The cost of a 2×4 piece of lumber has no bearing on your neighborhood resale value.

Building materials go up in value and so goes the cost to rebuild your house

Can I remove the inflation guard endorsement?

No you can’t.

But you and your agent can determine the estimated replacement cost of your house.

If you own a 2000 square foot house and your insured value has increased to 300,000 due to an inflation guard endorsement,

it may be time to run a replacement cost estimator or have a home builder give you an indication of the current replacement cost of your house.

 

Homeowner:  “I have a 2000 square foot two story brick house.  Can you give me a ballpark figure of the price per square foot to rebuild?”

Contractor:  “$125-$135 price/square foot”

 

That gives you a ($125 x 2000 sq ft = $250,000)

You can now request a reduction of your insured replacement cost to 250,000 instead of 300,000.

You only want to do this if you believe you can rebuild your 2000 square foot house for 250,000

 

2.  YOU RECEIVED A RATE INCREASE

 

All insurance companies will take a rate increase at some time.

We are seeing new homeowners insurance companies coming into Louisiana from Florida.

Some are undercutting the market and offering low unsustainable rates in some areas.

Most insurance companies have investors and they need to make investors happy so

they are trying to gain market share in our area.

It is only a matter of time before they take a rate increase.

If you receive a rate increase on your renewal,

you need to determine the percentage of increase to see if it is a sign of troubled times ahead.

 

If over 25%,  something is wrong.

You renewal should never jump 25% at renewal.

 

If it did there are some possibilities at work here

  • your policy was initially rated incorrectly
  • your insured value may have been too low at inception and the company is raising the insured value to meet the current replacement cost of your house
  • the company is losing money in your area and either did not properly rate your area or they are taking heavy losses and need to take action
  • they are trying to get out of your area and either leave your zip code or leave Louisiana
  • something happened to your credit score since policy inception and the company ran your credit again and it went up

 

If your rate increased due to an adverse condition on your credit report, you need to get a copy and review it.

To get a free credit report, try

www.freecreditreport.com

No credit card required 

 

If the rate increase is 1%-10%,

this may not be cause for concern or a reason to jump to another homeowners company

Like I said all homeowners insurance companies will take a rate increase at some point.

One question you want to consider when getting a quote is

When was the last rate increase for the company?

If the agent says “never”, more than likely that company is offering introductory rates and only a matter of time before they take a rate increase.

In New Orleans basically all the major, long standing insurance companies that you know by name because you see their insurance commercials on tv or your parents have insurance with them, no longer write new homeowners insurance policies including wind under their own name or brand.

They either purchased a surplus lines company or they partner with another much smaller insurance company and push you to that company.

If the majors don’t offer homeowners insurance, what makes you believe that the insurance companies writing new policies are going to come into Louisiana and be profitable and never raise rates?

Rate increases are going to happen.

If you want to get on the merry go round and requote and rewrite your home insurance every year,

you can,  but that is not a fun process.

As an independent insurance agency, FM Agency Group can offer you more than one homeowners insurance option, so we can make the process of moving you to a new insurance company much easier.

 

Do we want you to move to a new homeowners insurance company every year?

No.

 

Not all insurance companies are the same.

Not all homeowners insurance companies in our agency are the same.

We know which companies pay claims.

Which companies have rate stability.

Which companies just took a rate increase.

Which companies may disappear after the next Hurricane Katrina.

Jumping from Company A to Company B to Company C to save 8% on your renewal is not something you want to do every year.

But sometimes an insurance company will raise rates beyond your comfort level.

Go ahead and make the switch but don’t forget it is possible the new company you are going with can raise their rates at renewal too.

 

So if you are ready to make the move and switch,

just consider a few more things

 

Review all available discounts with your current insurance company.

Maybe some things have changed from the initial purchase of the policy.

Did you get a new roof? (discount)

Did you purchase your auto and umbrella with the insurance agency? (discounts)

Did you purchase a monitored burglar and fire alarm? (discounts)

Did you purchase your flood insurance with your current insurance agency? (discount)

New discounts are being introduced by homeowners insurance company every day.

Insurance underwriters are trying to retain more customers without having to lower their rates.

They are offering more discounts on a policy than ever before.

It is very possible you may be leaving discounts on the table that you are either unaware of or they are brand new offerings.

Ask your insurance agent about any new discounts being offered before you just switch.

 

What is the #1 reason to move your homeowners insurance today to another company?

 

Check your hurricane or named storm deductible.

Is it 5%?

If so, it is time to move to another insurance company.

We have seen hurricane deductibles as low as $1,000 is some areas.

You should not have a 5% hurricane or named storm deductible on your policy in our current homeowners insurance market.

 

What is a 5% Hurricane or Named storm deductible?

example)

You have a 250,000 house.

Your deductible would be 5% of 250,000 so on the next hurricane or named storm that hits our area,

the insurance company would deduct $12,500 from the claim check.

If you a have wind/hail deductible, the 5% deductible of $12,500 would be deducted on any wind or hail event regardless if the event was named (tropical storm or hurricane)

 

What’s this all about?

 

FIND YOURSELF A TRUSTED INSURANCE ADVISOR

 

I wish all insurance agents in our area were trusted insurance advisors.

They are not.

Some are quote pimps.

Some will chase the lowest possible rate by cutting coverages and do anything they need to do to make their quote lower than your current policy.

When this happens, you lose.

We’ve seen some agents, offer owner occupied dwelling policies instead of a homeowners policy to be more competitive.

This is bad.

You lose important coverage when this happens.

You will lose replacement cost on your contents (depreciation)

Say goodbye to theft coverage on your contents (your personal property)

Busted pipe under slab and water backs up into the house?

Water Back Up not covered.

 

Here are some phrases to know to determine when you are NOT talking to a trusted insurance advisor

 

“You don’t need those coverages”

“You don’t need Uninsured Motorists coverage”

“100/300 limits is enough on your auto insurance”

“100,000 liability limit is all you need on your homeowners insurance”

“Replacement Cost on contents?  You have new stuff.  You don’t need replacement cost”

“You don’t need an Umbrella Policy

 

The Takeaway

Not all homeowners insurance companies are the same.

Not all insurance agents are the same.

“What if I just buy direct from the insurance company?”

 

You can do that but you just lost the most valuable free resource available to you today.

The trusted insurance advisor on your side.

 

When you buy direct from the insurance company,

you are on your own when you have a claim.

You have no one to help you.

You have no one to ask “what if” questions such as

“Should I turn in this claim?”

“Will my rates go up if I do?”

“If the insurance company cancels me, do you have another company we can go to?”

 

You can’t talk to your insurance company representative and ask these questions and receive an objective opinion.

You are talking to the company employee.

 

What should you do?

Find yourself a trusted independent insurance advisor that can offer you more than one homeowners insurance company proposal when you are considering moving to a new insurance company.

Get a few home insurance quote proposals and ask a few simple questions that the agent can answer….

Has the insurance company ever taken a rate increase?

How long have they been writing new policies in our area?

How is the company claims service?

Are they an admitted insurance company or a surplus lines insurance company?

Are they A rated by AM Best or Demotech?

 

If you are ready for a conversation about your homeowners insurance needs,

we are here to help.

If you are not sure you have a homeowners insurance problem,

take our quick 4 question survey

homeowners insurance

Homeowners Insurance: Swimming pool liability

pool insurance

If you own a swimming pool, your personal assets are exposed and your homeowners policy liability limit may not be enough.

 

A standard liability limit is 300,000

but we are seeing many homeowners policies with only a 100,000 limit.

The cost between 100,000 and 300,000 can be as low as $10.

 

But is a 300,000 liability limit even enough in our litigious New Orleans environment?

 

There is no greater risk of injury at your house than having a swimming pool.

 

Invite your friends over for a pool party and serve alcohol?

 

Your kids want their friends to come over and play?

 

All it takes is one slip.

One dive into the shallow end of the pool

and you are getting an attorney letter in the mail.

 

You need to ask yourself when you receive the letter,

 

How much liability do you need to sleep well at night?

 

100,000?

No.  That limit will be exhausted in a few months.

 

300,000?

Maybe but if a child is paralyzed or sustains a prolonged injury,

those limits will be exhausted.

 

Your homeowners insurance policy only pays up to the limit of the policy.

You are on your own after your policy limit runs out.

An out of pocket legal defense can evaporate any savings you have.

 

What you need is a low cost Umbrella policy.

Limits began at 1,000,000 and can go up to 5,000,000.

 

And if you have a diving board, trampoline or slide,

your homeowners policy more than likely will provide no coverage defense for you.

But a true Umbrella will cover you.

 

What is the cost of an Umbrella policy?

The premiums start at $200/year.

 

If you purchase a 1,000,000 Umbrella policy,

you would have an additional 1,000,000 of coverage over your 300,000 homeowners liability limit.

So if you have a claim,

you have 1,300,000 available for a liability coverage defense.

 

That could help you sleep a little better.

 

You also get an additional 1,000,000 over your

  • cars
  • boat
  • rv
  • motorcycle
  • rental dwellings

 

How do you qualify for an umbrella?

Your underlying policies must meet the minimum liability limit

  • Auto 250,000/500,000/100,000
  • Homeowners 300,000
  • Boat 300,000
  • RV  300,000
  • Motorcycle 250,000/500,000/100,000
  • Rental Dwellings 300,000

 

Don’t rely on your New Orleans homeowners policy to cover you for a swimming pool liability claim.

And don’t believe in New Orleans you have to be negligent to be legally liable to an injured party.

This is New Orleans.

You will receive a letter from an attorney.

Even if you are not negligent,

more than likely your insurance company will still pay at the very minimum a nuisance settlement.

 

We offer a complete 360 Protection Plan for New Orleans homeowners.

We review your 

  • Auto
  • Homeowners
  • Boat, RV, Motorcycle
  • Rental Dwellings

and put together an analysis of your policies to make sure you are not exposed to uncovered claims or lawsuits

 

Own a swimming pool and only have 100,000 of liability on your homeowners?

You’re exposed.

 

Own a nice house but your auto limits are only 15/30/25 and you didn’t purchase Uninsured Motorists coverage because it was not explained to you properly?

You’re exposed.

 

Every commercial you see on television about insurance is 

“switch and save”

Its all about the cheapest rate.

 

Insurance is not about the cheapest possible rates to get just the minimum coverage to get by.

Insurance should be used to protect yourself from a devastating financial event you can’t recover from.

 

If you are interested in a no obligation review of your insurance protection,

we offer a complete 360 Protection Plan review to uncover gaps in your coverage and we will make recommendations to you.

 

Are termites covered on my homeowners insurance?

termite eats house

My house in New Orleans was recently attacked by a swarm of termites.

A few even found their way under my door and were flying around before I went to bed.

Yes one of the first phone calls I made when I moved in was a termite inspection contract.

I know New Orleans residents are under attack every year and there is nothing we can do about it.

Swarming season in New Orleans is April to July.

Termites have been labeled the silent destroyer of homes in our area.

When you discover termite damage, it may be too late.

 

Before you even consider making a homeowners claim,  

you should be able to recognize a few common signs you have termite damage

 

FLOOR DAMAGE

Termites can damage laminate flooring and baseboards.

If you think your floor feels spongy or soft,  take a look underneath.

 

WALL DAMAGE

Cracks or tracks in your sheetrock is a sure sign you have termite damage.

Termites love cellulose found in wood within walls.

 

CEILING DAMAGE

Wooden support beams and rafters in the attic are at risk.

Look for tracks or cracks in your ceiling and take a look in your attic.

 

SLAB OR FOUNDATION

Although your slab is concrete, they can get in between the slab and your wooden floor joists.  

Homes built on piers with a crawlspace are at a greater risk because there is no concrete slab barrier.

 

WINDOW FRAMES

If your windows are sticking or no longer open, 

the termites may have tunneled underneath are eating away at the window frames.

 

ROOF DAMAGE

Broken roof tiles hold moisture and attract termites to the wood decking underneath.  

Replace any damaged or water-soaked roofing tiles.

 

If I discover I have termite damage should I make a New Orleans Homeowners insurance claim?

 

The fundamental principle of covered claims on a homeowners policy is simple.

When in doubt ask yourself one question.

“Was the damage sudden and accidental?”

 

If not, more than likely the claim would be denied.

 

Termite damage is not sudden and accidental.

Termites can destroy a house and cause major damage over a period of time.

 

Common Claims not covered on a home insurance policy.

  • Termite Damage
  • Mechanical Breakdown
  • Wear and Tear 

 

A homeowners insurance policy is not a home warranty policy.

 

What should you do?

 

If you have not already purchased a Termite contract from a local Pest Control company,

you should.

Most contracts with Pest Control companies will come out and treat your house for termites.

If they discover termites, you may be able to get them to repair the damage.

You need to read the contract for the conditions that apply to you.

If you don’t meet certain conditions, it may void the contract.

Most Pest Control companies will give you a free inspection so now is the time to start the process of protecting your house from the termite swarm

and don’t rely on your New Orleans Homeowners policy to respond to a termite damage claim.

 

Other Resources to help you make a Homeowners Insurance buying decision

46 REASONS TO NOT DO FOR SALE BY OWNER (FSBO)

NEW HOMEOWNERS BUYING GUIDE

HOW TO BUY HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE IN NEW ORLEANS

HOME INSURANCE WHEN YOU HAVE A TRAMPOLINE, POOL SLIDE OR DIVING BOARD

FACTORS THAT INCREASE YOUR HOME INSURANCE PREMIUM

HOW TO CHOOSE THE CORRECT HOME INSURANCE DEDUCTIBLE

YOUR JEWELRY IS ONLY COVERED FOR $1500 FOR THEFT. HERE IS WHAT YOU DO

WHAT IS WATER BACKUP COVERAGE AND DO I HAVE IT?

ITS RAINING LAWSUITS. DO YOU HAVE AN UMBRELLA?

46 reasons to NOT do For Sale by Owner (FSBO)

homeowners insurance

Not sure if you should hire a real estate agent or just stick a sign in your yard FOR SALE BY OWNER if you are going to sell your house?

The decision can be tempting so you can save the real estate broker commission but before you do, take a look at the 46 reasons you should hire a real estate agent to work for you and what they do all day every day.

 

  1. Keep transaction on track
  2. Negotiate necessary repairs
  3. Keep up with changing laws
  4. Verify buyers have ordered homeowners insurance
  5. Keep social media profiles active
  6. Verify delivery of title commitment
  7. Schedule closings
  8. Return email asap
  9. Show hundreds of homes
  10. Answer your phone
  11. Determine fair market value
  12. Coordinate closings
  13. Manage client’s emotions
  14. Remind clients to schedule utilities
  15. Dispute low appraisal
  16. Meet with the inspector
  17. Prepare local market analysis
  18. Check in with clients regularly
  19. Schedule listing appointments
  20. Return missed phone calls
  21. Help stage and present listings to network
  22. Verify completion of repairs
  23. Review HUD for errors
  24. Schedule and perform final walk through
  25. Negotiate contract terms
  26. Verify home warranty was ordered
  27. Attend property inspection
  28. Get all disclosures delivered and signed
  29. Know your local market stats
  30. Provide comps for appraiser
  31. Explain neighborhood amenities
  32. Keep MLS listing data current
  33. Advise buyers on offer price
  34. Educate consumers
  35. Get signed contract to the title co
  36. Run comparables
  37. Answer questions from online inquiries
  38. Schedule showings
  39. Translate inspection report
  40. Negotiate offers
  41. Maintain yearly continued education
  42. Verify clear title on property
  43. Meet the appraiser
  44. Make sure the loan is funded
  45. Check up on past clients
  46. Deal with vendors

 

Here are some FSBO For Sale by Owner statistics to consider

FSBO accounted for 8% of home sales in 2014.

The typical FSBO home sold for $210,000 compared to $249,000 for real estate assisted home sale.

 

The 7 Most difficult tasks for For Sale By Owner FSBO sellers are:

  • Understanding and performing the paperwork
  • Getting the right price
  • Preparing fixing up a home for sale
  • Selling within the planned length of time
  • Having enough time to devote to all aspects of the sale
  • Way too many people to negotiate with
  • Your yard sign is not online (agents have a network and you don’t)

 

What’s this all about?

If it were so easy to just stick a sign in your yard, you would hand over the keys and the buyer would hand over a bag of money.

But the reality is the transaction is an extremely complicated and difficult one to navigate on your own.

 

You can hire a real estate professional to help you 

  • sell your house
  • get the most money the market will generate for you
  • handle all the paperwork 
  • provide a trusted resource to answer every question

 

The decision to hire a real estate professional is a no brainer.

If you are buying a house and need a homeowners insurance protection proposal,

my name is Tim D’Angelo and I would like the opportunity to talk to you about homeowners insurance.  

FM Agency Group knows homeowners insurance.

Contact us to discover the difference.