Why Are Homeowners Insurance Premiums So High?

Friday, April 22nd, 2016

By Russ Stanton
A little background………………..
For decades the “1943 New York Fire Policy” was the industry standard. The policy consisted of 2 pages, contained 165 lines of text and covered just 3 perils (fire, lightning and removal). For an additional premium “extended coverage perils” could be purchased adding 6 additional perils (wind, explosion, smoke, riot, aircraft and vehicle damage), vandalism coverage could also be purchased. To this day it remains the basic core of all property insurance policies!
The homeowner’s policy was developed in the 1950’s to “package” various coverages previously written under separate policies. Coverage included the basic perils (stated above) plus additional perils such as theft, vandalism, vehicle damage etc. and Liability coverage.
Over the years, homeowners policies have evolved into so-called “All Risk” policies and thus could lead one to expect coverage for almost anything that could happen. (Based on one company’s TV commercial you might think “Mayhem” is a covered peril ….but its not!)
According to some pundits, the public ‘s mindset has slowly evolved to the point where some insureds now view their insurance policy as a “maintenance agreement” as opposed to the policy intent as an indemnification agreement for fortuitous, sudden and accidental loss caused by the perils covered (or those perils not excluded) by the policy.
In these cases the practice has resulted in payment of losses that the premium rates did not contemplate, thus contributing to rate increases. This trend has been reversing in recent years because insurance companies have found it extremely challenging to pay “maintenance” claims and still keep premiums affordable.
What can you do to keep your premium reasonable?
Maintain your property. How a home is maintained says volumes about the owner and is a major factor in determining the premium. (An updated and well maintained older home will have a better rate than a newer home in disrepair).
Carry the highest deductible you can reasonably handle and avoid making claims for minor damage (small claims affect premiums just as large claims do). Use the premium savings from the higher deductible to create a “rainy day fund” to pay for a small loss. Also, if you have an older home ask about” Functional Replacement Cost” coverage.
Check your credit score. Insurance companies use a “cousin” of financial credit scores called “insurance scores” Chances are, if you have a good credit score you will also have a good insurance score.
Review your policy with your agent and ask that they quote your home and auto coverage with the same company. This usually (but not always) results in overall lower insurance costs. Also inquire about discounts that you might be eligible for such as: new roof, paid in full, fire, smoke and burglar alarms, group discounts, non-smoker discounts etc.

Cold weather is coming! Take steps now to prevent frozen pipes in your home

Tuesday, January 12th, 2016

It’s about to get very cold outside! Freezing temperatures can lead to frozen pipes and water damage in your home. Fortunately, there are several steps you can take right now to help prevent freezing pipes.

  • Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage.
  • Disconnect all outdoor hoses and turn off water to exterior faucets and sprinkler systems.
  • Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing.
  • Keep heat at 55 degrees or higher even when you are out of town.
  • During a cold spell, turn on both hot and cold faucets near outside walls to allow a small trickle of water to run during the night.
  • Wrap pipes in foam insulation tubes, especially those close to outside walls, attics or crawl spaces where the chance of freezing is greatest.
  • Seal air leaks surrounding or near pipes.
  • If you need to be away from home, leave the heat on and drain your water system before you go.
  • Identify the locations of shutoff valves so you are prepared to stop the flow of water as soon as possible should a pipe burst.

For more tips, including what to do if a pipe does freeze, check out this helpful article: http://bit.ly/1VNDNkrfrozenpipes

7 Safety Tips For Those Who Love To Fish

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

Fishing and boating safety tipsSafety should be your top priority when going fishing. It sure is a relaxing and pleasurable activity but to fully enjoy the moment, you should also do what you can to stay out of harm’s way. This way you can do it over and over again with peace of mind and heart. So below are 7 tips you can do to keep safe before and when you’re in the water.

Let your family know

Before going fishing, let your family know when and where you plan to go. This will give them peace of mind too knowing where you are and what you’re doing.

Check the weather first before heading out

This is the wisest thing every good fisherman does before hitting the waters. Knowing the kind of weather you’ll face for that day will help you prepare tools and other equipment you might need. Or help you decide if it’s really a good time to fish or not or how far to go from shore.

Have safety devices on hand

Lifesaving devices like a flare gun and lifejacket should always be in your boat. Accidents can happen even on the most serene lakes and rivers and even on the quietest of days.

Drive safely

Boats fit for fishing like John boats often have motors that can help you go faster in the water. But make sure to drive your boat at just the right speed all the time to avoid losing control of it.

Have oars for backup

Oars are another tool you should consider having at all times even if your boat runs on motor so should your motor stops running, you still have a means to drive your boat and go back to land.

Bring your mobile phone

Even if you want to spend the day all by yourself and just enjoying the peaceful sound of nature around the river, it’s still a good idea to have your mobile phone handy so you have a means to communicate with your family, friends, or other people who can help you should you run into any trouble while fishing.

Put your insurance in place before using your boat

Boat insurance is a necessary yet affordable expense when you own a boat. It protects you from liability and helps you cover your own medical expenses and equipment repair or replacement. It adds to your peace of mind so get one before bringing your boat in the water.

If you’re planning on going fishing this weekend and still need to put boat insurance in place, contact us here at Stanton Insurance via phone or email, we’ll help you get the right one that fits your budget.

Photo credit: MizGingerSnaps away…

Call today for a free quote (309) 734-2171 or email us at [email protected]

Stanton Insurance | 96 Public Square - Monmouth, IL 61462