Home Insurance

13
Jan

Homeowners Insurance Coverage for Fire Damage

Homeowners insurance is something every homeowner should have, especially since it helps to provide adequate coverage for your home and belongings in the event of an unfortunate incident such as a fire outbreak.

In order to be more prepared for fire damage to your home or belongings, it is important that you are well-informed about the coverage provided by your insurance policy and how much protection it provides. You should also know that if your policy will help pay for repairs or replacement of your home and its contents in the event of a fire outbreak.

Coverage Limit for Fire Damage

Your coverage limit is simply the maximum amount your insurance policy is liable to pay you after a loss that is qualified for coverage, and it can be based on the worth of your property and its contents. There are a lot of things to consider before choosing a coverage limit offered by your insurance policy, and they are:

  • Personal Property:

    Most times, personal properties are damaged alongside the building during a fire outbreak, so it is important that your policy provides adequate coverage for them by increasing the limits for personal property. For things like pieces of jewelry, expensive arts, etc., you might need to purchase additional coverage for their protection. Also, before making your decision, be sure to inquire if your policy offers actual cash value coverage, which pays for the depreciated value of your damaged items, or replacement cost coverage which pays for the purchase of a new item at the recent price.

  • Dwelling Coverage:

    This is a very important thing to consider when choosing a coverage limit as construction costs and home values are known to vary from time to time, so the cost of rebuilding your home after a fire might not be the same as the price you initially paid for it.

Fire Damage Not Covered by Homeowners Insurance

Although homeowners insurance has coverage for fire damage, there are certain types that it might not provide coverage for. For example, homeowners insurance does not offer coverage for a fire that has been intentionally started in your home for whatsoever reason, which is why you should pay close attention to toddlers if you have any in your home. Also, homeowners insurance will not pay for repairs or replacement of fire-damaged properties in your home if the fire is caused by an act of war.

Safety Measures

Although you might have purchased homeowners insurance coverage for fire damage, there’s no harm in engaging safety measures against a fire outbreak in your home, especially since losing one’s belongings is a sad occurrence. You can also install smoke detectors and place fire extinguishers at strategic places in your home to protect it and its content in the event of a fire. If possible, also educate those who live with you about the proper ways to kill a fire once it starts.

Be sure to contact your insurance agent or company for more knowledge on the risks covered by your insurance policy and those that aren’t. Purchase the right insurance policy with suitable coverage for your situation and needs today. We provide a comprehensive choice of homeowners insurance policies at Abatelli Insurance that will undoubtedly meet your needs. To learn more, please get in touch with us immediately.

23
Dec

4 Effective Tips to Lower Your Home Insurance Costs

Just like for any other type of policy, your homeowners insurance costs can increase over time. However, there are several ways to keep your premiums manageable and still have the level of coverage you need to feel secure and protected. Something as little as improving your credit score can keep your premiums low.

The following tips will not only lower your home insurance premiums but will also give you peace of mind.

  1. Install a Home Security System

Install a home security system with surveillance cameras that gives you the option of having a third-party monitor your home or allows you to monitor it on your own. Many home security systems also have environmental sensors that inform you if temperatures rise or fall unexpectedly in your home. Home automation is also helpful in getting the lights turned on and off on schedule. A quality home security system can be purchased for less than $300.

  1. Increase Your Deductible

Increasing the amount of your deductibles will help lower your premiums and keep them more affordable. The more you are willing to pay out of pocket when you file a claim, the lower your monthly premium will be. You will also be able to save money if you choose to pay your premiums semi-annually or annually. Managing your premiums is much easier when you understand how your deductibles work and the many options you have when it comes to paying them. Moreover, you can adjust your deductibles at any time.

  1. Comparison Shop

Your homeowners insurance is an investment that will protect your financial security. Before purchasing your homeowners insurance policy, make sure to check out several different ones. Talk to different insurance providers to find out what each one has to offer. You may be surprised at what each one has to offer for the same price. Most of them will give you the option of adding specialty policies for events like hurricanes, floods, or earthquakes. When you talk to an insurance provider, make sure to tell them about all of the different coverages you will need as part of your homeowners policy.

  1. Bundle Your Policies

Bundling your home, auto, boat, or other policies together not only minimizes the amount of administrative work but also helps manage multiple policies in one place. Talk to your insurer to learn which policies can be bundled, the premium to be paid, etc.

Lowering your homeowners insurance costs is easy if you know where your risks are and how you can best prevent them. Contact us at Abatelli Insurance to set up a review of your existing policy or to get a quote for a new one. Each of our agents has special training to help you find the right home insurance policy to meet all of your needs at an affordable price.

25
Nov

Will My Homeowners Insurance Cover Any Fire Damage?

Fire damage makes up a huge portion of homeowners insurance claims every year. Having a fire disaster is bad enough on its own, not to mention not having the right coverage for it. As a homeowner, you may wonder if your homeowners insurance will cover any fire damage. First, you need to understand the different types of coverage available, what they cover, and which one you should buy.

A standard homeowners insurance policy offers five different kinds of coverage, namely:

  • Home structure coverage
  • Personal property coverage
  • Medical expenses, if someone gets injured at your home
  • Liability coverage
  • Additional living expense

Types of Homeowners Insurance Policy & What They Cover

HO-1 policy

The HO-1 policy is the most basic type of homeowners policy, and it offers limited coverage. It covers your home and belongings at actual cash value against named perils, such as

  • lightning
  • fire
  • windstorm
  • hailstorm
  • explosion
  • riot or war
  • aircraft damage
  • vandalism or theft
  • falling objects

HO-2 policy

The HO-2 policy is also known as the broad form policy because of the additional perils covered by it.  It covers the home structure at replacement cost and the personal belongings at actual cash value. A few additional perils covered by it include:

  • weight of snow or ice
  • volcanic eruption
  • freezing
  • accidental damage from electric current

HO-3 policy

The HO-3 policy is also known as the special form policy. It is the most common policy among policyholders. It covers all risks for the home and property and is therefore known as open coverage. It protects against the risks specified in both HO-1 and HO-2 policies unless otherwise stated. Some commonly excluded perils are government actions and intentional damage.

Ho-4 policy

This is a content broad form or a renters insurance policy. It only covers the policyholder’s belongings, additional living expense, and liability.

HO-5 policy

The HO-5 policy is the comprehensive form. It provides coverage for both belongings and home structure at replacement cost. It also provides open risk coverage but at a very high price. It is suitable for expensive structures and belongings.

HO-8 policy

It is a modified policy for homes that do not meet the conventional requirement for insurance. It covers old houses with outdated structures that are almost falling apart. It provides coverage from named perils at actual cash value.

Thus, most homeowners insurance policies will provide coverage from fire damage, but not all fire incidences will be covered. Some policies may cover damage resulting from arson, accidental fire, explosion, and lightning. However, they may not cover fire damage due to war or intentional acts.

As a homeowner, you need the right home insurance policy with adequate coverage to ensure your home is entirely covered in case of an unfortunate event. At Abatelli Insurance, we have a wide range of homeowners policies that will surely cater to your needs. Contact us today to learn more.

7
Oct

What You Need to Know about the Different Types of Home Insurance

The importance of purchasing a homeowners insurance policy becomes obvious when you consider the magnitude of the financial burden you would have to bear if a tragedy occurs. There are different plans available on the market which can offer partial to full coverage for specific situations. A basic understanding of the major types will help you find a perfect

fit for you.

Types of Homeowners Insurance

They are usually designated with the code HO-X, where X is their allocated number as in the list. They include:

  1. Basic Form – HO-1
  2. Broad Form – HO-2
  3. Special Form – HO-3
  4. Contents Broad Form – HO-4
  5. Comprehensive Form – HO-5
  6. Unit-owners form – HO-6
  7. Mobile Home Form – HO-7
  8. Modified Coverage Form – HO-8

What Are the Features of a Standard Homeowners Insurance Policy?

Here are a few features that characterize the various kinds of homeowners insurance available.

Coverage

This shows what part(s) of the home is covered in the policy, and the extent of coverage varies with the type. Common kinds of coverages to expect include:

  • Dwelling Coverage protects the home structure, including everything attached to the building; for example, HO-5 protects only single-family homes, and it is one of the most commonly used policies. On the other hand, HO-6 is for those who live in a condo or co-op.
  • Contents Coverage protects the belongings in your home; For example, HO-3 covers personal belongings like furniture and appliances.
  • Personal Liability covers for injuries to self or guests.

Named Peril

This refers to the list of casualties that are covered by the policy. They are specifically named in the agreement, and while some policies cover more than others, there are those that cover all. HO-1 covers ten events, including damage caused by:

  • Theft
  • Smoke
  • Vehicles
  • Fire/Lightning
  • Explosion
  • Volcanic Eruptions
  • Aircraft
  • Riot/Civil commotion
  • Windstorm/Hail
  • Vandalism and Mischief

Any damage caused by a factor that is not on the list will not be covered for this kind of policy. The special form (HO-3) usually lists perils that are not covered, which may include:

  • Neglect
  • Sinkhole
  • Act of War or Government Action
  • Nuclear Accident
  • Flood
  • Earthquake

Applicable Reimbursement

The terms of the policy agreement state the quality of the reimbursement, whether your home or belongings are covered at actual money value or replacement cost. Replacement cost is higher than actual cash value. It covers claims of damages at current prices. For example, while your personal belongings are covered at the actual value under an HO-3 policy, HO-5 policies cover them at replacement value.

Endorsements

The basic policies listed above will only cover specific structures and items as listed in the agreement. However, you may need to extend coverage to an ancillary structure, for example. You will need to add more coverage in the form of riders to cover specific events.

At Abatelli Insurance, we have a wide range of homeowners policies that will surely cater to your needs. Contact us today to learn more.

9
Sep

3 Common Questions Related to Homeowners Insurance

Every homeowner needs homeowners insurance. The reason for this is that it guarantees the financial protection of their home and personal belongings.

In this article, we will discuss the basics of the standard homeowners insurance policy and what it covers.

1. What Is Homeowners Insurance?

Homeowners insurance is a policy that protects your home and belongings from damages or losses caused by covered perils, including theft and fire. It may also cover the costs you incur if a guest sustains an injury at your home or you accidentally cause damage to another person’s property.

2. How Much Does Homeowners Insurance Cost?

A standard homeowners insurance policy does not have a specific cost. Instead, you can determine how much coverage you want to purchase and at what price. The cost of coverage will depend on several factors, including the features of your home and the value of your personal belongings. You also have to consider the type of insurance coverage you want.

3. What Does Homeowners Insurance Cover?

A typical homeowners insurance covers the following:

  • Your home’s structure
  • Your personal belongings
  • Other structures on your property
  • Liabilities arising from injuries to guests or damages to someone else’s property

A typical homeowners insurance covers a wide range of perils such as fire, theft, lightning strikes, hails, windstorm, etc. However, it does not cover floods and earthquakes. Consequently, you need to purchase special insurance policies to protect your home from these disasters.

  • Your home’s structure

This is one of the most important coverages offered by a typical homeowners insurance policy. It covers the repair or replacement of the damages to your housing structure due to some of the aforementioned perils.

  • Your personal belongings

Apart from damages to the structures on your property, the typical homeowners insurance also covers all the personal belongings within your home. These include your clothing, jewelry, and electronics. In short, homeowners insurance offers protection from thefts or damages to your personal items upto a certain limit. You can also buy extended coverage for items such as jewelry, fur, and watches with values above your personal property coverage limits.

  • Other structures on your property

Homeowners insurance also covers damages to other structures on your property not attached to your house. For example, a detached garage, fence, and tool shed.

  • Liability coverage

Finally, a homeowners insurance policy covers you when a guest is injured on your property and sues you for their injuries. It covers your legal expenses as well as the related medical bills of the guest if you are found guilty.

In conclusion, homeowners insurance is an effective safety net for the unexpected perils your home and personal belongings may face. Therefore, purchase one today if you don’t already have it. At Abatelli Insurance, we can provide you with customized coverage for your homeowners insurance needs. Contact us today to get started!

22
Jul

Hurricane Insurance Breakdown: What You Need to Know

Hurricane insurance is a safety net for people who reside in an area with a high hurricane risk. Hurricane deductibles (an amount that you need to pay out of pocket before your policy kicks in) are based on a percentage of your home’s value.

Therefore, if in case a hurricane destroys your home, hurricane insurance will ensure that you have adequate protection to alleviate the financial burden of repairing your home.

Hurricane deductibles are calculated based on damage classified by the National Hurricane Center or National Weather Service. Without the appropriate classification, a windstorm deductible is applied to the damages. In addition, your insurance company has a trigger for utilizing the hurricane’s deductible. Generally, the trigger is invoked if the National Weather Service declares a hurricane watch.

Origin of Hurricane Insurance

After analyzing Hurricane Andrew, insurance companies saw that total losses from hurricanes could be higher than originally anticipated. The aftermath of Hurricane Katrina cost insurance companies almost $50 billion. The substantial losses caused reinsurance companies to declare that they would be unable to assume so much risk moving forward.

During the Atlantic hurricane season, every coastal state is at risk. To reduce exposure to huge losses as a result of natural disasters, insurance companies are including hurricane deductibles in home insurance policies. The percentage deductibles are influenced by the level of hurricane or windstorm. Every year, more homes are at risk of severe weather windstorm damage. Once insurance companies develop deductible plans, they are reviewed by the state insurance department to ensure that it adheres to local laws and regulations.

Hurricane Deductibles Explained

Hurricane deductibles are applicable for damages resulting solely from hurricanes. There are also windstorm deductibles that apply based on any type of wind damage. Percentage deductibles are anywhere from 2-5 percent of a home’s insured value. You will be responsible for the amount of deductible before your insurer handles the rest of the claim. In some coastal areas that are prone to severe wind damage, the deductible may be higher. Your deductible will be based on your home’s insured value and your insurer’s trigger that determines when the deductible applies.

New York Deductibles

The New York State Insurance Department outlines that the common deductibles are between 1-5 percent of the insured amount. Some insurers use category 1 hurricanes as the trigger, while others use category 2. The State Insurance Department also requires insurance companies to offer discounts to homeowners who installed hurricane-resistant storm shutters, windows, or doors on their property. The New York Property Insurance Underwriting Association offers windstorm coverage if you are unable to find it elsewhere. The Coastal Market Assistance Plan will help you find coverage if you stay in Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island, and parts of Long Island.

Be prepared for the hurricane season with the right insurance coverage. Want another great way to protect your home? Secure reliable homeowners insurance that protects you through disasters. Call one of our trusted advisors at Abatelli Group, Inc. We are ready to get you the protection and peace of mind you need.

24
Jun

Home Repairs and Improvements Tips for Proactive Homeowners

As a new homeowner, particularly of a new house, you might believe your house doesn’t need any improvements or repairs. While a newer house may not have experienced the same trials as an older one, there may still be imperfections and other problems that have to be addressed.

During the pandemic-induced lockdown, most homeowners realized the importance of investing in home improvements and repairs. This is especially true of remote workers who, having to spend more time indoors than outdoors, invested significantly in the improvement of their interior decorations and furniture. Some even spent more money on the purchase and maintenance of both office and home equipment.

Tips for Home Repairs and Improvements

The following are a few tips that you can follow for improving or repairing your home

1.Inspect your home down to the structural aspects and create a list of maintenance and repair costs. By doing this, you will learn more about the condition of your home. You can even hire professionals or licensed inspectors to do the inspection for you so as not to miss out on anything.

2.Make adequate plans and schedule your home improvements and repairs based on priority. Once the full inspection is done, start working on the prioritized recommendations and schedule your home repairs/improvements accordingly.

3.Perform maintenance at specified intervals or hire a professional to take care of inspection tasks. This will prevent repairs from piling up and will keep you on your toes about what needs to be improved or repaired in your home. The goal is to do this regularly rather than to wait for major disasters to worsen the damages.

4.Schedule replacements of things that need to be improved or repaired. You can do this by setting aside savings for home appliances and replacing them after they reach a certain age. Doing so can prevent collateral damage caused by any failures of their systems.

Benefits of Home Improvements and Repairs

Being proactive towards home improvements and repairs has its own benefits, including a longer home lifespan and a more enjoyable home to live in. Some other benefits include:

1.Protection during emergencies: Making sure you’re on top of the improvements and repairs required in your home can save you from having to pay expensive fees for emergency repairs. You should also keep your warranties handy in case of an emergency.

2.Prevention of avoidable disasters: Regular maintenance of your home can also help avoid disasters like flooding caused by burst pipes and other related repairs.

As a homeowner, the best thing to do is to be proactive towards home improvements and repairs. This will help you live more comfortably and without the worries of emergency breakdowns. If you are looking for reliable home insurance in Whitestone, Flushing, Bayside, Little Neck, and surrounding cities of New York, you can check us out at Abatelli. We will help you find a suitable insurance policy for your home in no time. Contact us today!

 

17
Sep

Homeowner Tips to Reduce Fall and Winter Property Damage

Winter is coming and with it comes cooler temperatures and the potential for storms to wreak havoc. If you haven’t properly prepared your property for these cooler months, then now is the time to do so. Leaving your home unprepared could result in property damage and digging into your pockets to get back on your feet. Take a look at these tips on how to prepare your property and prevent damage during fall and winter.

Inspect the windows

If there are leaks in the windows, then you can expect a chillier home this winter. There are many seal repair kits available at local hardware stores that will stop breezes flowing through your windows. Do the same for doors – check if there are leaks and seal them up. If a window is improperly sized, cracked, or broken, it may need to be replaced. Doing this helps to keep the cool air out in winter and the warm air inside.

Test the smoke alarm

Every six months, replace batteries in all the detectors in your home. Test them to ensure they are in good working order. Remember that you should have an alarm on every level of the house. If you do not have a fire escape route planned out, now is the time to draft one up.

Tend to interior pipes

With fall comes cooler temperatures. One of the main vulnerabilities in cold weather is pipes. However, winterizing pipes is one of the easiest, most valuable ways to protect your property over winter. Fit insulation around pipes to prevent them from freezing. Give priority to the pipes that are closest to the outdoors and are exposed, such as those in the garage and underneath the sink. Now is the time to turn off the water to any area that won’t be used, and to check pipes for cracks that could grow into a significant leak.

Trim the trees and clean the gutters

Trees, believe it or not, can cause a great deal of damage come winter. Wind from winter storms and the weight of snow and ice combined with cold temperatures causing branches to break can crash into your home. To avoid this, trim dead and dying branches around your property. If you have tree limbs hanging over your home, now is the time to remove them before they crash down. It’s also important to keep water away from your home. Ensure the gutters are clear of debris and that downspouts are directed away from the home’s foundation.

Review the roof

A roof inspection may not be on the top of everyone’s fall maintenance checklist, but it should be. Your roof is the first line of defense against harsh winter weather, and you want to be sure it is up for the task. Take a look to see that the roof has no broken tiles or cracks. Any missing shingles should be replaced immediately, as the last thing you want in winter is rain coming in through the roof. Checking the roof also gets more dangerous the wetter and colder it gets, so it’s best to check it now before the weather turns.

Check your insurance policy

No one wants their home to be damaged by cold weather or to submit an insurance claim in winter, for that matter. But just in case you do face this situation, you will want to know exactly what your policy covers. Give your insurer a call to go over the specifics of your policy and make sure you ask about common winter damage. This could unearth some key coverage that you are missing but you thought you had. Fill in the gaps with riders or extra insurance to ensure you are covered.

How are you protecting your home from fall and winter damage this season? Let us know! Want another great way to protect your home? Secure reliable homeowners insurance that protects you through disasters. Call one of our trusted advisors at Abatelli Group, Inc. We are ready to get you the protection and peace of mind you need.

20
Aug

How Does Coronavirus Impact Home Insurance?

There’s no doubt that coronavirus has impacted homeowners, businesses, communities, and the rest. While businesses are working out how to recover, as a homeowner, it’s also worth knowing how COVID-19 has impacted and will continue to impact your home insurance. Here is what you should know.

Home insurance inspections

If you need to purchase home insurance right now, whether you’ve just bought a new home or you’re shopping for a better policy, you might need to have a home inspection as a condition of the policy. However, a professional may not be able to visit your home during this time. As a result, you may be asked to record a video of the rooms around your home on your smartphone and send it to the insurer. If a professional is able to visit, you can expect them to maintain social distancing during the process.

Creating a claim

If the worst does happen, you may need to file a claim. If you do experience damage and an appraiser is unable to visit your property, many insurance companies offer virtual inspections to limit the people in your home and to speed up the processing. If there are repairs that need to be made, essential workers such as plumbers are able to help.

If you’re having trouble making payments…

If you’re a homeowner who has suffered from the pandemic financially, you may be having trouble paying your monthly home insurance. If this is the case, talk to your home insurance provider as soon as possible to work out how to handle manageable payments.

If you’re looking for home insurance during this time, call one of our trusted advisors at Abatelli Group, Inc. We are ready to get you the protection and peace of mind you need.

6
Feb

3 Ways Extreme Weather Can Affect Your Home

How heavy wind and rain can impact your property.

 

The winters in Wisconsin can be unpredictable. Heavy winds and rain can wreak havoc on a property, causing damage that homeowners least expect. We’ve taken a look at the effects of extreme weather conditions so you can be better prepared.

 

Wind

This is probably the most obvious type of damaging weather pattern. Extremely powerful winds can scrape shingles off the tops of roofs and pull gutters away from rooflines. Even wind gusts that aren’t as strong can cause large tree limbs to break and fall onto homes, which can cause roof leaks and bring down gutters. Be sure that your roof is in good condition, and that weak tree limbs are cut down before they’re turned into flying debris.

 

Rain

Though the rain itself usually doesn’t cause structural damage, any water that leaks into a home through gaps in the roof or walls can lead to messes that can be costly to clean up. The rainwater can also lead to damage to walls, ceilings, and floors, which can cause mold and mildew problems throughout a home. Before a rainstorm hits, make sure that the gutters are clear of debris that could cause blockages and leaks.

 

Snow

A little bit of snow usually doesn’t cause any problems. Multiple feet of snow can weigh on a roof or gutters and overwhelm physical support systems, causing buckling or holes in the roof and gutters to snap. The same effect can be seen on overhanging tree branches, which can fall onto houses and wreak havoc.

 

Make sure you have a homeowners insurance that you can rely on. Need help finding adequate insurance? Contact Abatelli Group, Inc., serving Whitestone and neighboring cities in New York with the right and reliable coverage.

COVID-19 Update

Our office remains open and our staff is working remotely to continue to service our clients. You can reach us at (718) 352-6000 Letter to Policyholders