Homeowners Insurance | Boizelle Insurance Partnership

When It Comes to Homeowners Insurance, How Much Do I Need?

For many, buying a home is the single most important investment they will make in their lifetime. Because of this, it’s especially important to protect that investment the best way you can. To help you better understand how a homeowners insurance policy works, let’s break down the six basic coverages of a typical homeowners policy:

Dwelling

What does the dwelling portion of a homeowners policy cover?: This coverage pays to restore your home to its original state before the insurance claim was filed. Anything from fire, windstorm, hail, lightning and vandalism is covered.

How much coverage do you actually need?: This value is determined by the estimated cost to rebuild your home which may be determined by an insurance adjuster.

Other Structures

Other Structures are any structure that is detached from the dwelling such as a shed, a fence, or a detached garage. If you were ever in a situation where filing a claim with your insurance company was necessary to restore these structures, this portion of your homeowners insurance policy would apply.

How much coverage do you actually need?: Typically speaking, most insurance policies cover detached structures about about 10% of the total amount of insurance that you carry on your home.

Personal Property

Your personal property are basically your belongings i.e. clothing, furniture, kitchen items.

How much coverage do you actually need?: There is more than one way to go about covering your personal property as it relates to insurance. Normally, actual cash value or ACV is included in a typical homeowners insurance policy. Replacement Cost Coverage is optional. In order to effectively determine the cost of your personal property, it is highly recommended that you do a home inventory. A home inventory is a breakdown of everything in your home from clothing in your closet, jewelry, kitchen utensils, cookware, exercise equipment, entertainment systems, etc. It is much more difficult and a much longer process to determine these values if you do not have a home inventory to refer to. Oftentimes, you won’t remember every little thing in your home. Take care pictures of your items and determine the value of each before disaster strikes. You’ll be thankful you did!

Loss of Use

If you suffer a disaster like a fire or a windstorm or any other covered loss that effectively makes it impossible to live in your home, Loss of Use will pay for additional living expenses during the process of having your home rebuilt. For example, if you need to stay in a hotel, these costs will be covered under the Loss of Use portion of your homeowners insurance policy.

How much coverage do you actually need?: Typically, Loss of Use Coverage is approximately 20-30% of your dwelling coverage limit.

Personal Liability

This particular coverage is for instances when another party is injured as a result of an occurrence in your home i.e. a slip and fall. This coverage also applies to another party’s property being damaged while in your home.

How much coverage do you actually need?: A typical homeowners insurance policy offers $100,000 of personal liability coverage per occurrence. If you feel you may need higher limits, we will be more than happy to discuss your options with you. Now, a homeowners insurance policy has certain limits regarding coverages for injuries. One option you may want to consider is purchasing an umbrella policy. An umbrella policy is extra coverage that would kick in if the limits under your homeowners insurance policy were exhausted. If an incident does happen in your home where someone becomes injured and you are sued as a result, your investments and savings could be at risk. Purchasing an umbrella policy may be a very wise choice.

Medical Payments

If someone suffers an injury while on your property that requires medical treatment, this portion of your insurance policy would cover that. Your policy’s limits are listed on your policy’s declarations page (the first page of your policy). It is important to keep in mind that if injuries sustained are bad enough to exhaust your policy’s limits, you are directly responsible for covering the remaining costs. Again, this is another reason why obtaining an umbrella policy is smart.

No one knows when disaster may strike. Of course, no one wants to go through life in fear of financial ruin. Planning for the future and giving yourself a sense of security and peace of mind is what insurance is all about. Take the necessary steps to protect yourself, your loved ones, and your futures! We’re here for you!

 

 

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Grilling Safety Tips

Steak. Fish. Chicken. Shrimp. Peppers and sausages—what do you like to grill? Enjoying grilling with friends and family is something we all can appreciate. While we enjoy these moments with our loved ones, it’s important to take certain safety measures:

  • Whether you have a portable grill or one that is built-in on your patio, it’s important that your grill is stationed at least 10 feet away from any structures. Flames have a tendency to flare up on occasion, so your grill should never be placed under wooden overhangs. This rule applies to both gas and charcoal grills. Plants and other forms of vegetation should be a safe distance away from your grill.
  • Make it a habit to clean your grill regularly. It is possible for grease and fat to build up to a substantial amount if you avoid cleaning your grill routinely. And since grease tends to be a major source of flames flaring up, a fun social event can quickly turn to disaster if you’re not careful.
  • Be certain that your grill is stable.
  • Check for any gas leaks. In order to safely check your grill for gas leaks, formulate a solution consisting of half liquid dish soap and half water. Rub it on the hoses and connections. Once you complete this step, turn the gas on (with the lid of your grill open). If you see large bubbles forming, you may have a leak. This is because the hoses may have holes or the connections may not be secured tightly enough.
  • Setting up your grill on a flat surface is essential. You don’t want any chance of your grill tipping over.
  • Any decorations should be placed far away from your grill. Items such as hanging baskets, pillows, or umbrellas may be aesthetically pleasing to the eye, but they also provide fuel for a potential fire. Furthermore, a lot of what you can buy in stores today is made from artificial fibers that tend to burn fast and hot.
  • Keep a spray bottle of water nearby at all times. In the event of a flare-up, water can instantly tame the flames of the fire. Even more important is the water will not affect your food in any negative way. All of the time and money you’ve invested in preparing your meal will not go to waste!
  • Keep a fire extinguisher close by. Having a fire extinguisher close to you while grill is a good idea. But, even more so is knowing how to properly use it. If a fire does break out and you do not know how to use it safely, dial 911 immediately. It’s better to be safe than to suffer bodily injuries.
  • Never leave your grill unattended. Fires can expand more rapidly than you might think. Preparation and planning ahead is an essential part of grilling safely. You want to minimize distractions as best you can, so you can focus on cooking for your food.
  • Never pour lighter fluid on a gas grill. This should really go without saying, but any fluids that contain chemicals that mix with gas have the potential to create an enormous, uncontainable disaster!
  • Grills should never be used indoors. Grills release carbon monoxide into the air which is a potentially lethal, odorless, and colorless gas. It needs to have the ability to vent in fresh air. It has the ability to kill you, your family members, or your pets. We don’t want any tragedies to occur,
  • When you are finished using your grill, make sure to completely close the valve of your gas grill.

 

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Swimming Pool Safety Tips

A lot of people dream of having their very own swimming pool, their very own personal escape from the heat on hot summer days. It’s important to understand the responsibilities that go along with owning and maintaining a swimming pool as well as the potential risks.

Swimming pools are meant to be enjoyed, giving many relief from blistering temperatures. If you’re a parent, always keep an eye on your children when they are either in the water or on the pool deck.

Here are a few ways you can protect your loved ones while they are enjoying their time at the pool:

  • If you’re a parent, always keep an eye on your children when they are either in the water or on the pool deck.
  • When no one is using the pool, remove any flotation equipment that a small child could possibly get their hands on.
  • When children are in the pool, an adult should always be present, ready to take action at a moment’s notice should they need help. Getting distracted is easy. It’s important to stay focused on the children when they’re in the pool.
  • Inexperienced swimmers should wear either a life jacket or “water wings”.
  • Buy some pool safety equipment i.e. life hook, life rings, or a safety rope. A leaf skimmer is a good tool to keep around since it’s a net that’s attached to a long metal pole. Any object that someone can grab on to is good to have around. Once they grab ahold of the pole, they can be dragged to safety.
  • Make sure you and the rest of your family are familiar with how to apply first-aid and CPR. The American Red Cross, fire departments, and hospitals all offer CPR certification courses.
  • Consider installing an alarm for when someone opens the gate to your pool without your knowledge.
  • Limit alcohol consumption when you, your family, or your guests are around the pool area. Consuming alcohol can lead to losing your balance. According to the CDC, half of swimming pool deaths of teenagers and adults were the direct result of drinking alcohol.

 

We hope everyone is able to enjoy the beautiful weather this summer all while being safe! We’re here for you!

 

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What Can I Do to Stay Safe In the Kitchen?

Each year in the United States, over a million people suffer burn injuries that require medical attention. 50,000 of those require hospitalization, 20,000 have major burns over at least 25% of their body; 4,500 of those people succumb to their injuries.
Since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus or COVID-19, we’ve seen a surge in the number of people being admitted to the hospital for burns and other injuries. You may ask yourself why this is happening. The answer isn’t as shocking as one might believe: because restaurants and other public areas have placed restrictions upon their establishments limiting the number of patrons, more and more people are spending time at home. And that means more time in the kitchen. Now, whether you’re a master chef or a beginner, accidents do happen. There are several things you do to protect yourself and your loved ones while you’re at home.
Kitchen safety is extremely important and practicing good habits while in the kitchen can prevent you or a loved one from being injured.
• If you’re going to be cooking, it’s best to avoid wearing loose clothing. If you have long hair, tie it back.
• Remove any and all loose jewelry that may become tangled around pot handles.
• Always keep your oven gloves or mittens near you and use them! Never try to pick up a hot pot or pan without wearing some kind of protection.
• Never leave your pot or pan handles facing out. Young children can grab them, resulting in a dangerous spill.
Being safe in the kitchen isn’t only limited to avoiding burn injuries. Food poisoning is another potentially disastrous scenario. There are ways to protect yourself.
• Check your bread for any signs of discoloration or mold. If you find some, throw them away.
• Don’t leave temperature-sensitive foods out in the kitchen: raw meat, fish, and various dairy products like yogurt or milk can spoil fast. It’s best to put them in the refrigerator or the freezer right away.
• Clean up spills immediately. A wet floor can lead to slips and falls.
• If you’re handling raw meats or fish, always remember to wash your hands afterwards.
Do what you can to avoid distractions.
• It’s okay if you use your cell phone to listen to music while you’re cooking. It’s best to create a playlist that you enjoy, so you don’t feel the need to change the song every few minutes. Taking your eyes away from the stove or the oven for an extended period of time could be catastrophic, not only because of potential injuries, but you may end up burning your food!
• Try to limit the amount of people hot surfaces. If you have too many people moving around the kitchen, especially around hot surfaces, someone could get burned.

Keep any sharp objects like knives or skewers away from children.

As insurance professionals, we understand the risks of being in the kitchen. Managing risks is what we do. We’re here for you!

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