Navigating the waters of homeowner’s insurance can feel intimidating. Luckily, the fine folks at Assure-Us are here to help residents in Miami Beach, FL and surrounding areas, figure out these important decisions. If you are a first time home buyer, you probably have many questions concerning types of insurance, such as flood insurance. We are here to help you better understand these topics and to better understand your options.
Understand Your Location
You should understand that FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) establishes flood zones each year. These are areas that the Federal government deems at risk for flooding. If your new home you are purchasing falls into one of these risk zones, your mortgage company can force place flood insurance on you. Force placed insurance is often much more expensive than policies that you shop for yourself. In order to avoid this happening, you need to research the FEMA flood zones to find out if your new home will fall into this category. If your new home is in one of these areas, it is best to purchase your own flood insurance to make sure you get the best deal. It is also important to note that 20% of flooding takes place outside of FEMA flood zones.
Flood Insurance Is Not Covered in Homeowner’s Insurance
Many first time home buyers make the mistake of thinking that their homeowner’s insurance covers flooding. This is usually not the case. To be certain, you should discuss homeowner insurance options in-depth with a trained insurance representative.
Purchase What You Need
Your flood insurance needs will be different from other people’s. Make sure that your flood insurance policy is customized to your particular needs.
If you would like to learn more about flood insurance, please contact us at Assure-US, now serving Miami Beach, FL and surrounding areas.
Here at Assure-Us, one of the questions that we are frequently asked is whether your home insurance policy in Miami Beach, FL covers solar panels that you may be planning to install on your roof. Here is important information that you need to know about your homeowner’s insurance policy if you are thinking about solar panels.
Whether the Solar Panels Are Covered
In most cases, solar panels are considered a permanent fixture or addition to your home. As such, they are included in most policies. However, it is important to not assume they are covered under your policy. Contact your home insurance policy or carefully read your policy to ensure solar panels are not an exclusion under your policy.
Reasons the Solar Panels May Not Be Covered
It is important to understand that while solar panels may be covered under your policy, they may not be covered in every event. For example, if your homeowner’s insurance policy excludes hurricane damage, solar panels damaged in a hurricane would still be excluded. Maintenance-related issues are typically not covered as well.
Other Important Factors to Consider
Finally, it is important to consider whether your home insurance policy limit needs to be increased if you are installing pricey solar panels. Your policy may need to be increased once solar panels are installed.
In most cases, solar panels are covered by your home insurance policy. However, in other cases, you may need to make changes to your policy or purchase a separate solar panel add-on policy to ensure yours are covered. If you are looking to purchase home insurance in the Miami Beach, FL area that covers your solar panels, contact us here at Assure-Us. We can help find a home insurance policy to meet all of your needs.
Miami is subject to tropical storms, hurricanes, and a predicted rise in the ocean levels that is continuing. Homeowners may risk having a catastrophic loss, which is not covered by their home insurance if they do not understand the details of their insurance policy.
Here are some tips about what to consider when conducting an insurance review along with your agent at Assure-Us, serving Miami Beach, FL and the Miami metro area.
Understand the Policy Limits
There is an overall policy limit, which should be enough to cover the replacement cost of the entire home if it is completely destroyed. Be aware that rebuilding a home after a wide area has been impacted by a natural disaster is much more expensive due to the high demand for construction services.
In some policies, there may also be sub-limits. A sub-limit creates a limit on the coverage for certain kinds of claims. Be sure to discuss any policy sub-limits with your agent because they are much lower than the total coverage limit.
Understand the Terminology
The meanings of the words and the specific definitions in an insurance policy are critically important. Disputes have come up over the terms used to describe coverage. For example, damage from hurricanes due to high winds is different from damage to a home caused by storm surges.
Evaluate the Financial Strength of the Insurance Underwriter
A natural disaster may cause billions of dollars in insurance claims that might exceed the insurance company’s ability to pay all the claims. Insurance coverage is only as strong as the financial capacity of the insurance underwriter that stands behind the policy.
Now, more than ever, it is a critical time for homeowners in the Miami metro area to work with their agent at Assure-Us in Miami Beach, FL to make sure their home insurance coverage is adequate.
Adding an “in-law" apartment is a common practice in a home where the residents do not need to utilize all the space for just themselves. Sometimes this apartment is occupied by an actual relative of the homeowner. Other times, it is rented out to help offset some of the costs of operating the home.
In both cases, it is a good idea to talk with your insurance agent at Assure-Us in Miami Beach, FL, to make sure you have the correct home insurance coverage that is adequate to protect the new configuration and use of your home.
When the use of home changes, especially if a portion of the home will be rented out, it is important to talk this situation over with your insurance agent.
Here are some things to discuss with your insurance agent:
- What coverage does the existing homeowner’s insurance provider if a new person is using part of the home?
- What is the difference between a relative using part of the home without paying rent and an unrelated person who pays rent for a portion of the home?
- If rent is paid for part of a home, how does this change insurance needs?
- Should the tenant get “renter’s” insurance for their personal property?
- Should the home insurance be upgraded for the replacement costs of the renovations that are made?
- What are the problems with renovations that are made without having a proper building permit?
Luckily, you do not have to know these answers. Just make the effort to discus them with your agent at Assure-Us in Miami Beach, FL. Your agent will guide you to make sure your home insurance coverage is adequate and make suggestions about what might need to be added to the coverage and possibly what other coverage should be in place.
If you are planning to add an in-law apartment go ahead and contact your agent at Assure-Us in Miami Beach, FL, today, in order to get everything properly organized in advance.
The weather outside is really starting to look and feel like spring in Miami Beach, FL. Once it starts feeling like that outside, it is difficult to contain the need to do some spring cleaning inside. If you are not sure where to start or simply want to make sure you get the basics done, be sure to use these tips from Assure-Us.
- Start with dusting. Over the winter, a lot of dust can build up so start your list by making sure you dust everywhere. Once you have taken care of that, you will likely notice a difference in how much better you feel inside.
- Take on small tasks. Even if you have a lot of things you have to take care of on your spring cleaning list, make sure you break it up into smaller tasks so you can stay motivated.
- Ask for help. You do not have to do this all on your own. You can reach out to family members and friends to help you if you have a lot to do.
- Don’t get discouraged. If you cannot finish everything on your list, do not get discouraged. Most people create too long of a list for spring cleaning anyway. You should focus more on getting one or two items taken care of first then moving on to smaller things.
Even if you have finished all of your spring cleaning, you still need to make sure you have a great home insurance policy in place. It is the best way to protect your home and your investment. If you do not already have one, be sure to reach out to Assure-Us, serving Miami Beach, FL. They will be happy to pull you a quote that meets your protection needs and your budget.
A recent study by the National Center for Atmospheric Research found Florida, Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi are communities most threatened by hurricanes in the US. There is an affordable way to protect your insured home in these states with strategic reinforcement of its’ weakest areas.
Reinforce Doors and Windows
In Miami Beach, FL, hurricanes ca gain a foothold in destroying homes when they can blow in a flimsy garage door. This is an access point that can begin water damage and destroy an entire house. First line of defense against hurricane damage is to reinforce or replace a flimsy garage door. Check in with your Assure-Us insurance agent to see if this upgrade or new purchase allows an insurance credit for your home insurance premiums.
A tornado ranking 5 on the enhanced Fujita scale will be devastating to any home in its’ path, but for lesser tornadoes, hurricanes, and severe weather storms you can prepare against damages before the storm hits. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), has seen enough storm damage to document which products work and what does not.
Safest and Affordable Protection
In-residence shelters in Miami Beach, FL are safer than independently standing shelters. They can be built stronger and are more affordable. Underground safe rooms are better than shelters where families must go outside to enter during a storm. It’s not so much the wind force that will injure a person, as what the wind has picked up and is hurling toward you.
The Debris Impact Facility located at the Texas Tech University tests building materials, debris-resistant doors and windows, shelter components, and shelter structures. The testing of doors able to withstand severe storms include storm doors tested to stand up against a 15-pound 2" X 4" and 12′ long. Two-hundred-fifty mile-per-hour winds will turn lumber into a 100-mph missile.
No one ever wants an emergency situation to happen to them in their home but that never stops it from happening. Sometimes you know something is about to happen and other times it comes out of nowhere. In Miami Beach, FL, you need to protect your home and the people in it in the event of an emergency by putting together an emergency kit. If you do not already have one in your home, use this list from Assure-Us to get you started:
- Food. You need to have plenty of food in your home in case you are stranded there. You should have a supply of at least three days of food for each person who is living in the home. Consider getting non-perishable food as well as food you do not have to cook.
- Water. Water is another thing to get in case you cannot leave the home for some time. You need to have at least a gallon per person per day. As a rule, you should have at least a three-day supply of water.
- A first aid kit. Having a first aid kit available can help you take care of minor injuries even if you cannot leave the home. You can purchase one at your local grocery store that is completely put together.
In addition to the emergency kit for your home, you should also always have a great home insurance policy to protect you, your home, and your finances. If you do not have one in place, be sure to contact Assure-Us, serving Miami Beach, FL, for a free quote. They can also take a look at your current policy, if you have one, to ensure that you are not paying too much or that you do not have any gaps in coverage.
When it comes to taking care of a home, many people often fail to realize the importance of taking care of the garage. The garage, however, is a very valuable part of the home, providing ample space for storage as well as recreational activities, such as shooting pool or throwing darts. Whether your garage concrete floor has been painted over with epoxy or you’ve never even sealed it, it is imperative to keep it as clean as possible. Not only will this help it to look better, but it will increase its longevity. Here is a close look at three tips for taking care of your concrete floor in your garage.
Tip #1: Apply a commercial-grade floor wax
If your garage concrete floor has not been sealed, it needs to be, and it is highly recommended to cover it with a commercial-grade floor wax. This type of wax is easy to reapply as needed and will keep your garage floor looking its best.
Tip #2: Put down floor mats or rugs
Are there certain areas of your garage that tend to endure heavy amounts of traffic? If so, you should put down rugs or mats in these areas to help protect the concrete. You can even put down an old piece of carpet to park your car on; this helps prevent oil or other liquids from your car from dripping onto the concrete.
Tip #3: Sweep regularly
One of the easiest ways to keep your garage floor looking its best is by sweeping it on a regular basis. Ideally, you will want to sweep it daily, but if you can’t, at least once a week is highly advised.
To learn more about taking care of your garage as well as to learn about proper home insurance, contact Assure-Us serving the Miami Beach, FL area.
In Miami Beach, FL, the weather is starting to get cooler and fall is in the air. With winter quickly approaching, it is not all fun and games if you want to prep your home for the colder months. Use these tips from Assure-Us to make sure your home is ready for winter.
- Get your heater checked. Even though you may not use your heater much in Florida, there may be a cold snap or two. You do not want to turn on your heater just to find out there is an issue and you have to get it repaired. Before you need it this winter, have an electrician come out and perform some maintenance. It is better to have this checked on before it gets cold. While you are at it, you may even want to change your air filters.
- Clean out your gutters. During the fall, there are lots of leaves that fall to the ground. These leaves can easily get into your gutters and clog them up. Once all of the leaves have fallen, you should clean out your gutters so they can continue to work properly. When they are clogged, you will not have the proper drainage and it can cause some big issues later such as roof problems, leaks, and more.
- Get a great home insurance policy. The best way to protect you home all year long is with a great insurance policy. If you do not have one already, you should take the time to get one now. A great home insurance policy can protect you from countless things and it is always a good idea to protect your biggest investment.
Contact Assure-Us, serving Miami Beach, FL, today to get a free quote and explore your options. We will even take a look at your current home insurance policy to ensure you do not have any gaps in coverage.