Home Insurance

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.

5
Dec

Homeowners Insurance Endorsements to Consider

Consider these coverages to add on to your home insurance.

Your homeowners insurance is designed to protect you when the worst happens. For the most part, it does. However, every policy has limitations and exclusions. The best way to protect y our property is to know what your policy excludes and how to fill those gaps. Home insurance endorsements can help. Take a look at common home insurance endorsements to consider.

  • Scheduled personal property

While your home insurance will cover your belongings, your high-value items may not have enough coverage to be replaced if they are lost in a peril. Scheduling your property with a rider helps to ensure that your expensive belongings, such as jewelry, art, antiques, musical equipment, and more are covered from disasters.

  • Sewer backup

A sewer backup can be caused by anything from clogged drains to damaged sewer lines – and it can cause sewage to back up into your home. Just a few inches of this can quickly ruin your property. Since sewer backup coverage isn’t always included in standard home insurance policies, adding it as an endorsement is a smart move to make.

  • Home-based business

If you’re thinking of launching your own business from your home, be sure to talk to your insurance agent first. Business activities, even small-scale ones, are not covered by standard home insurance policies. This means that your business property is vulnerable. You may be able to add a home-based business endorsement to your home insurance policy instead of purchasing a full commercial insurance policy.

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.

21
Nov

Do I Need to Take a Home Inventory?

How and Why You Need a Home Inventory List

If you were asked to make a list of everything inside your home from memory, could you do it? Chances are, you’d end up forgetting a few things, right? What if there was a major disaster and you had to file a homeowners insurance claim. Then, your insurer asks you what belongings you lost in the disaster. This is where a home inventory list comes in handy – yet is often overlooked by homeowners.

What is a home inventory list?

A home inventory is a list of everything you own and that is inside your property. It helps insurance carriers understand the value of belongings you lost in a peril, and what needs to be replaced. Having an up-to-date home inventory on hand can speed up the claims process after a disaster, helping you to get back on your feet as quickly as possible.

How to start your home inventory

Creating a record of everything your home can sound daunting. But there’s no need to get overwhelmed.

  • Choose a starting point – and work room by room
  • Take pictures or a video of all of your belongings
  • Make sure to capture serial numbers/identifying features
  • Write down a list of all of your belongings and their value
  • Keep your receipts and scan them in or take a picture so that you have a digital copy
  • Store the inventory both on paper and digitally so that you have multiple versions to rely on

Make sure to update your inventory when you purchase new belongings or sell any possessions. 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.

24
Oct

How to Prepare Your Home for a Safe Halloween

Make this Halloween a safe one with these useful tips.

Plenty of people love a good Halloween scare – as long as no one gets hurt. Even though tricks, spooks, and haunts are welcome on Halloween night, accident and injury are not. To ensure Hallows Eve is a safe night in your home, read on.

Light it up. Party guests and trick-or-treaters will need to be able to clearly see the path to your front door once the sun sets. Ensure that there is ample lighting, especially around steps.

Use LED lights instead of real candles. Fill your jack-o-lanterns with LED lights instead of real candles. An open flame, even if placed safely inside a carved pumpkin, poses a fire risk for children, pets, and adults.

Tighten the railings. If you have stairs on the way to your front door, ensure that the railing is secure. Wobbly or broken porch railings is a trick-or-treating safety hazard as they can cause severe injuries.

Keep the pets inside. Whether you’re hosting a Halloween party or are waiting for trick-or-treaters, Halloween night can upset your pets. Keep them calm by confining them to an area or one room of the house. It only takes one spook for your dog or cat to run out the door when you greet trick-or-treaters.

Clear the curb. Reduce risks to little pedestrians by clearing parked cars from the curb for better visibility and placing a reflective ‘Watch for Children’ sign at the edge of the road. If the street is busy, consider having adults take turns maintaining safety.

These tips can help prevent your home from facing horrors on Halloween night. Another great way to protect your property is to secure reliable homeowners insurance coverage. Need help finding adequate insurance? Contact Abatelli Group, Inc., serving Whitestone and neighboring cities in New York with the right and reliable coverage.

19
Sep

3 Preventable Home Insurance Claims

Avoid Common Home Insurance Claims with These Tips

Your home is your castle. While many homeowners think of home insurance claims as only possible from mass-destruction events, such as hurricanes and tornadoes, the most common claims are the ones that homeowners least suspect. Fortunately, many home insurance claims can be entirely preventable. To protect your castle, take a look at these home insurance claims that are preventable.

  • Loose/damaged washing machine hoses

Unfortunately, the nature of the washing machine makes it possible for disasters to occur – alternating water temperatures, shaking machines, and containment in low-traffic areas. To prevent claims, it’s wise to replace plastic hoses at least every three years and inspect them regularly for any damage.

  • Roof damage

Most home insurance policies will offer coverage for roof deterioration caused by unpreventable triggers, such as vandalism or fire. Unfortunately, leaks and pest infestations can weaken a roof and cause more damage in the event of a disaster. Basics roof maintenance, such as gutter cleaning and shingle replacement, is key to a longer life.

  • Cooking/candle fires

Open flame (or gas) is often necessary for cooking, warming, and illuminating the house. Next to water damage, fire devastating is the number one source of homeowners insurance claims. You can prevent fires by taking care in the kitchen, placing candles away from children and pets, and switching to electrical tealights.

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