Dog bite insurance and your New Orleans homeowners policy

Lose your dog or lose your homeowners insurance is not always the best option for your family

When you work the best insurance broker they are able to find an insurance company that will help you

You may have a dog that you believe “would never bite someone” but the facts show dog bite claims are very costly to the insurance industry

The average settlement from a dog bite claim was $43,653 in 2019

With medical costs on the rise and a growing litigious environment,

you are more than likely going to be sued if your pet bites someone or causes an injury because they chased or scared someone and an injury was sustained

Your dog doesn’t have to actually bite someone for a claim to be filed against you

Just an alleged incident can cost you

 

Not all New Orleans homeowners insurance policies cover dog bite liability

and if you have one of the breed of dogs on the prohibited list

more than likely you are on your own defending any alleged dog bite claim by a neighbor, friend or family member (not living in household) and paying out of your savings account

 

Here is a list of prohibited breed of dogs from one of our insurance companies we represent (list can vary with each company)

  • Akitas
  • American Bulldogs
  • Beaucerons
  • Caucasian Mountain Dogs
  • Chow Chow
  • Doberman Pinschers
  • German Shepherds
  • Great Danes
  • Pit Bulls
  • Rottweilers
  • Staffordshire Terriers
  • Wolf Hybrids

 

If your family pet is listed above, it does not indicate your dog is vicious and likely will attack someone but is more likely to be involved in an animal liability claim

 

What to do if you own a dog on the list above?

 

Well “get rid of it” is the simple answer,

but for most family pets,

a dog can be like another family member.

 

1. First thing to do is contact your insurance broker and ask if owning your breed of dog will exclude all coverage under you New Orleans homeowners insurance policy

It may have been an exclusion to coverage when you initiated the policy and either the agent didn’t ask or you didn’t disclose the breed of dog or you brought home your dog after the policy was sold and didn’t notify your agent.

Either way the entire policy may be voided so ask if there is an issue with policy coverage.

 

2. Find a homeowners policy that will allow your breed of dog

If you have a prohibited breed of dog, it is possible some insurance companies will allow you to keep your home insurance policy, but will not extend liability to any claim involving an alleged dog bite or attack.

 

A simple email to your agent and ask if there is a coverage issue only takes a few seconds

What if my homeowners insurance company is going to cancel my policy because of a dog bite claim?

 

It happens

An unexpected or alleged claim against your dog

There is nothing you could have done

Most homeowners companies will cancel you after a dog bite claim or surcharge your insurance rate at renewal

 

If you are being canceled, your options are limited

The liability claim is now on your record and most insurance companies pull a CLUE report

Insurance companies share your claim history and when you apply for a new homeowners policy,

the new home insurance company can view your claim history usually up to 7 years

So before you attempt to not disclose your dog bite liability claim to the new insurance company,

save yourself some time and just ask if the homeowners insurance company will accept the application with a dog bite claim.

 

What to do if every company has declined to write a new homeowners insurance policy because of your claims history?

 

Good News

We have an insurance company that will consider your application for dog bite insurance coverage with a dog bite claim on your record

All applications are subject to underwriting approval

The insurance company will write the policy but you will not get any animal or dog bite liability insurance coverage

 

But the insurance quote will be expensive and more than my current policy?

 

Not so

We are seeing on some insurance quote proposals a lower premium than your existing policy that is being canceled

 

What’s this all about?

After you received a notice of cancellation on your homeowners policy and you decided you don’t want to get rid of your dog,

you now have an option

Complete our quick form or contact us to discuss your claim history so we can determine if we can help you get dog bite insurance in New Orleans you need without having to get rid of your dog

 

 

5 Tips to lower your Laplace homeowners insurance rate

If you own a home in Laplace and you are looking for ways to lower your expenses including your homeowners insurance rate here are a few ways to accomplish lower rates

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 insurance rate 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 Laplace homeowners insurance

 

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

When you work with the best Laplace insurance broker you get access to more discounts and more A rated insurance companies so you can lower your insurance expenses

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

 

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 broker

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

Their auto insurance somewhere else

and their homeowners insurance with they purchased through some insurance broker their real estate agent recommended and they have no idea who their agent is or where they are located

 

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 Laplace 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 Laplace 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 $125-$165 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

When you are ready to work with Laplace homeowners insurance broker that can help you lower your insurance expenses and give you the protection you need complete the form below

 

 

2 reasons your Kenner homeowners insurance rate went up

One of the most common questions we get when we talk with Kenner homeowners is why did my home insurance rate go up?

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

When you review your homeowners insurance the best Kenner homeowners insurance broker you can start to uncover the reason(s) you received a rate increase on your renewal

When you initially get a 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

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

Each year at renewal your insurance coverage amounts will increase by the % of the inflation guard endorsement and as a result with increased insurance coverage your rate goes up

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 after a claim

It has nothing to do with property values going up or down in your neighborhood and is never based on recent home sales

The cost of a 2×4 piece of lumber has no bearing on your neighborhood resale value but the cost of a 2×4 has almost tripled in the last year

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 insurance broker can determine the estimated replacement cost of your home and if the cost to rebuild your home is less than the insured value on your Kenner homeowners insurance policy you can request the insurance company lower the insured value

If you own a 2000 square foot house and your insured value has increased to 350,000 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

 

YOU RECEIVED A RATE INCREASE

All insurance companies will take a rate increase at some time

As a result of one of the most active Gulf Coast hurricane seasons in recent memory insurance companies will be taking rate increases as high as 20% in some zip codes

If over 25%, something might be wrong

You home insurance 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 zip code 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 Kenner 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

Kenner Homeowners Insurance discounts you may qualify for

Did you get a new roof? 

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

Did you purchase a monitored burglar and fire alarm? 

Did you purchase your flood insurance with your current insurance agency? 

New discounts are being introduced by homeowners insurance company every day

If you are ready to talk with the best Kenner insurance broker to deliver low rates from A rated homeowners insurance complete complete the form below

Homeowners Insurance Deductible Guide: Transfer of risk strategy

Majority of customers don’t select their own home insurance deductible on their homeowners insurance policy

Their insurance agent does

When we meet with potential homeowners insurance  customers we often see the All Other Perils deductible at $1000 on their existing home insurance policy regardless of the value of the house.

A home valued at 750,000 should not have the same deductible as a home valued at 100,000.

As I discussed in previous blog posts about New Orleans homeowners insurance, a home insurance policy is not a maintenance policy or a home warranty policy.

 

To keep your home insurance rate at an affordable level, you should take the highest deductible you can afford.

Can you handle a $2500 deduction from a water damage claim check to replace your wood floors?

If not, you want a $1000 deductible.

Here is a quick rule of thumb guide to determine the correct amount of your All Other Perils Deductible

If the value of your house is

100,000 – 199,000 your deductible should be $1000

200,000 – 499,000 your deductible should be $2500

500,000 – 750,000 your deductible should be $5000

You should have at least the amount of your deductible available in your bank account

 

HOW MUCH RISK CAN YOU AFFORD?

1.  Have you ever made a claim that was the result of a hurricane or a tropical storm?

2.  Have you ever made a water damage, fire, theft, hail or vandalism claim?

If you are not a home owner that makes claims, you should take a higher deductible and pocket the rate savings if you can afford to do so.

 

TIP:  A home insurance deductible is not the amount you owe to the Insurance company if you make claim.

It is the amount deducted from the claim check.

It is also the amount you agree to pay for damages out of your pocket to the contractor making the repairs.

 

RATE SAVINGS TIP

You should keep your Hurricane Deductible as low as possible and adjust your All Other Perils Deductible based on your financial comfort level and claim history record.

 

How much can I save by taking a higher deductible?

This all depends on the home insurance company you are insured with.

Some companies may only offer a minimal premium savings by taking a higher deductible.

But other insurance companies understand the transfer of risk and will offer a much deeper premium discount.

Discussing your All Other Perils deductible with an insurance advisor is important because we can provide not only more than one deductible option but more than one deductible option from multiple homeowners insurance companies so you can choose the company YOU want and the premium discount that makes financial sense to you.

 

My name is Tim D’Angelo and I would like the opportunity to review some different deductible options with you.

Call me at 504.348.3131 or complete the quick contact form to get started

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