Category Archives: Home Insurance

Roof Repair and Homeowners Insurance

Roof Repair and Homeowners Insurance:

7 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Making a Claim

For some, spring is the season of blooming flowers and milder temperatures. For your house, it’s the season for snow melt, heavy rains and mold. These can cause many headaches for homeowners.

According to the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety, the roof is considered the most important part of your house by insurance companies. This is because any damage to the roof can lead to secondary issues—and more claims—involving other parts of your house.

After homeowners become aware of roof damage, they may wonder if they need to do roof repairs or replace their roof entirely. If there is damage to your roof, don’t expect to be covered by your Homeowners Insurance until you’ve asked yourself a few important questions.

  1. Whose fault is it? When it comes to insurance, it’s always a question of whose fault it is. If you have done your job as a responsible homeowner, regularly maintaining your roof, and an unforeseen incident happens, resulting in damage, you’ll likely be covered by your Homeowners Insurance policy. However, if you’re found to have been neglectful, the cost of repairs or replacement could be yours alone.
  2. Was the roof damaged by fire? A fire is considered one of those events that is usually accidental, and you would most likely be covered for fire damage.
  3. Is my roof older than 10 years? Typically, if something happens to your roof when it is under ten years old, it falls in the category of something beyond your control. But since regular maintenance is expected of the homeowner, if there is damage resulting from age (more than ten years old) and wear and tear, you may be held responsible for those costs.
  4. What if a storm damaged my roof, and now it leaks? Rain, strong winds and hail can be a recipe for disaster for your roof. A hole could let water in, which could result in mold. Again, if the initial cause of the damage was beyond your control, such as a natural weather event, you’ll most likely be covered. Typically, to fix a leaky roof involves sealing the leak, replacing the shingles and sealing them. This can range between $150 (if there aren’t many shingles damaged) to $1,100 for a single repair. Also, mold remediation costs can be very expensive, so it’s wise to make your claim as soon as possible, to alert your insurance company that the roof damage and the mold resulted from the weather event. Provide plenty of documents and take pictures!
  5. Do I need to replace my roof? First, you’ll want to consult with professionals to assess the level of damage to your roof. If there has been no damage, but you’re concerned about ordinary wear and tear, here are a few guidelines about the expected lifespan of your roof: You can expect a roof made of fiber cement shingles to last about 25 years. If you have wood shake roofs, they typically last around 30 years. And slate, tile and copper roofs may last more than 50 years. If all you need is a repair, that may be the better way to go, especially if you’re on a tight budget. Replacing the entire roof can be very costly. For example, if you have a 2,500 square-foot home with cement shingle roofing, the average cost to install a brand new roof of the same material is approximately $9,000.
  6. Have I performed regular maintenance on my roof? Regular maintenance includes checking for water damage in the eaves just under the roof—a prime spot for decay after a season of storms. Check the structural integrity of your fascia and soffits, the horizontal bands at the end of your roof rafters. Remove any debris from this area. Also regularly check for and wipe away moss and mold to prevent further growth. Check that vents and chimneys aren’t blocked by leaves or other debris. Last but not least, schedule regular inspections with a professional. Because your roof is such an important part of maintaining the overall health of your home, it’s worth the cost to keep it regularly inspected.

If you follow these guidelines, and then find yourself dealing with unexpected roof damage, you’ll most likely be covered by your Homeowners policy.

Keep checking our blog for more insurance coverage information and tips!

And consult the professionals at Zawada Insurance Agency to go over your insurance needs. We’ll help you get the right insurance coverage for your home, car, boat—and offer you bundling options that may save you money.

Talk with us today!

Zawada Insurance Agency, Inc. is a family-owned and operated independent insurance agency, located in Worcester, Massachusetts, serving central Massachusetts and beyond.

Is Mold Removal Covered by Homeowners Insurance?

Mold is a dangerous substance that, at the very least, can cause sinus problems, and at the worst, even more serious health problems. If you have a mold allergy or asthma, it can be a real struggle. Mold is an insidious problem that you may not even notice in your home until it’s visible. Read on to find out what you can do about it.

Signs of Mold in Your Home

Does your house smell earthy, like dirt? Or is there a persistent musty smell? These could be indicators that there is mold growing inside your home, even if you can’t see it. If you do see   dark patches on your ceiling, especially collecting in a corner, that is likely mold.

The Cost of Removing Mold

If you have a mold problem, you will likely face high costs to have it removed. A mold remediation company will come and assess the degree of the damage, checking ceilings, attics, walls, ductwork and more. These costs can range from $500 to $6,000.  Because of the high costs, you may hope your homeowners insurance will cover it. But odds are, it won’t.

What Homeowners Insurance Will Cover

You’ll find that homeowners insurance is more likely to cover an immediate problem, such as damage caused by a burst pipe. If mold starts to grow after a specific incident—a burst pipe, leaking dryer hose, air-conditioning water overflow—it will typically grow within 24 to 48 hours. If you make a claim right then and there, you will likely be covered. But if the mold is weather-related or something that has been growing for a period of time, you most likely won’t be covered. Here’s why: Usually, the cause of the problem is more important to insurance companies than the result. For example, if you’re found to be negligent in some way, resulting in a mold issue, your insurance company will likely not cover it. From the insurance company’s perspective, they expect you to maintain your home and prevent issues like mold. So if you haven’t visited your basement in months, and you suddenly find that mold has taken over the carpets and walls down there, you’ll be considered negligent and out of luck when you make a claim.

How to Prevent Mold in Your Home

The key to saving money from mold problems is prevention. Mold thrives in humid, dark areas where the temperature doesn’t fluctuate too much. That’s why it’s important to have proper ventilation in your bathroom. Remove any leaking water immediately, whether it’s from a leaky roof or in your laundry area. The water that forms from these places may result in mold that will be evident over time, and it will be too late to be covered by insurance.

Once you’ve found mold in the house, you can try to remove it with a water and bleach solution. But if it’s already spread, it may be best to consult a remediation company to safely remove it, so you don’t develop a health problem.

When Homeowners Insurance DOES Cover Mold

If you live in an older home and aren’t sure if there could be a growing mold problem, you can have extra mold coverage added to your insurance policy. However, keep in mind that this will cost extra, especially if your house is considered a higher risk.  High-risk homes are usually older, because the condition of the pipes and other areas inside aren’t certain. Also, if there were previous mold claims at your existing home, you can expect to pay even more for additional mold coverage. For many homeowners in the Northeast, the age of the house and volatile weather conditions—producing snow melt and water runoff—can make tackling mold an unpredictable, frustrating task. And for that reason alone, you might want to opt for some additional coverage just in case.

Keep checking our blog for more helpful insurance tips!

Zawada Insurance Agency is a family-owned and operated independent insurance agency, working to get you the most comprehensive coverage at a competitive price.

For more information about auto, life, homeowner and other insurance coverages, please contact Zawada Insurance Agency today.

Zawada Insurance Agency, Inc. located in Worcester, Massachusetts, serving central Massachusetts and beyond.

Is Snow-Related Damage Covered by Homeowners Insurance?

For homeowners, it can be confusing as to what conditions are covered by which insurance policies. After all, winter poses a host of different problems, from ice dams to downed trees caused by high winds, to water damage from melting snow. Read on to find out if you’re adequately covered for these events.

With Snowstorm-Related Insurance Coverage, Timing is Everything

You’ll find that it’s easier to be covered right after a storm has hit. If your home suffers immediate damage following a big storm, and the damage is caused by snow, ice and wind, these issues are nearly always covered. It’s a little trickier, however, to make a claim when damage is caused by melting snow over time.

Do You Need Homeowner’s Insurance or Flood Insurance?

Unfortunately, after a severe snow storm, the effects can last far longer than the storm itself. Snow melt on gutters, roof leaks, even a basement flooded by water from melting snow—all are considered outside issues, even if they affect the inside of your home. For these, you would need to be covered by flood insurance. However, if items such as appliances or furniture inside your basement are destroyed, you’ll need to rely on Homeowner’s Insurance, because flood insurance won’t typically cover those items.

Is it Flood Damage or Water Damage?

The main difference between a claim for flood insurance versus water damage is how many people are affected. If a naturally occurring water source—rising rivers, coastal flooding and torrential rains—are flooding all the homes in your neighborhood, it’s a good bet that you’ll be covered if you have flood insurance.

Water damage, on the other hand, occurs when water destroys something in your home, but doesn’t necessarily affect the neighbors. For example, if a pipe bursts or a toilet overflows, this would be considered water damage, and you’d need to make a claim with your Homeowner’s Insurance.

How to Prevent Costly Homeowner’s Insurance Claims

It’s better to prevent problems than to have to make expensive insurance claims. In the winter, there are several things you can do to cover yourself before you have to contact your insurance company. Among the most common snow- and winter-related claims are frozen pipes and roof damage. To protect your pipes, insulate the pipes in colder parts of your home, like in the basement. Keep your house at a warm temperature. And when you go to bed at night, let the faucet drip slowly to keep pipes from freezing.

Roof damage can be tough to prevent. In winter, you can get ice dams, fallen trees from wind, or damage caused by hail. The best thing you can do is to regularly inspect your roof, and make sure you have adequate insulation in your attic. If you see questionable, potentially loose, tiles, have them replaced before turbulent weather strikes.

Remember, it’s a good idea to have flood insurance, not only Homeowner’s Insurance. If you don’t live by a lake or ocean, or in a low-lying area, flood insurance can still protect you from conditions caused by snow melt. When you live in areas like the Northeast, where snow is a regular way of life, it’s better to be covered and have greater peace of mind.

Keep checking our blog for more helpful insurance tips!

Zawada Insurance Agency is your all-in-one resource for helping you find the right coverage for you and your family. We’re a family-owned and operated independent insurance agency, working to get you the most comprehensive coverage at a competitive price.

For more information about auto, life, homeowner and other insurance coverages, please contact Zawada Insurance Agency today.

Zawada Insurance Agency, Inc. located in Worcester, Massachusetts, serving central Massachusetts and beyond.

Insurance Questions for Winter Weather

Winter Insurance Q & A’s

Depending on how you look at it, January through March can be a winter wonderland or the most dangerous time of year. Cars skidding on icy highways, snowy roofs caving in. . . If you want to enjoy the winter, just make sure you have the right insurance coverage. Below we’ve compiled some of the most common winter insurance Q & A’s to help you navigate this slippery season!

What winter damages am I covered for? Usually, standard Homeowner policies cover things like flooding from melting snow, roof damage from the weight of snow, frozen pipes, falling trees, high winds and temporary relocation due to a power outage. You should call your insurance company to find out exactly what coverages you have.

What happens if someone falls on my icy driveway?  After a storm, you haven’t had time to get outside and salt your driveway. Then a delivery person slips and falls on your property and threatens to sue you. What are your options? First, make sure you have Liability coverage in your Homeowners Insurance policy. This will help cover medical and/or legal costs in the event someone has an accident on your property.  Remember, Liability coverage differs from Personal Property coverage. Liability protects you in case of lawsuits, while Personal Property covers you for stolen or damaged belongings, including jewelry or furniture.

Winter is causing serious damage to my house, from ice dams to burst pipes. How do I know if I’m able to make a claim? Odds are, your Homeowners policy will cover things like this. However, if your insurance company believes you’ve neglected to properly maintain your home, they may not cover some things. For example, to keep pipes from bursting, you should keep the heat on, or let your faucets drip slowly at night so the water won’t freeze. Taking good care of your roof and applying effective insulation will help prevent ice dams from forming. If you haven’t done some of these things, you could be considered negligent, and your claim denied.

How soon do I need to contact my insurance company? As soon as you realize you have damage to your house caused by winter weather. Call immediately, so too much time won’t pass after the storm.

What if someone steals my car while it’s warming up? We all do it. It’s freezing outside, and we’d like to get the engine, and mostly the heat, revved up before we have to go. Yet during the winter, car thieves are trolling driveways to see if a car is unattended. If your vehicle should get stolen, you can replace the cost of it with Comprehensive Auto Insurance coverage. Comprehensive is the way to go, especially for accidents caused by natural events, too, like a tree branch cracking your windshield in a storm.

What if I skid off the road and land in a ditch? Before winter comes, check that you have Roadside Assistance included in your coverage. This will enable you to call for a tow truck, instead of having to be stranded in a major snow storm. It will also be helpful in case your car battery dies.

Zawada Insurance Agency is your all-in-one resource for helping you find the right coverage for you and your family. We’re a family-owned and operated independent insurance agency, working to get you the most comprehensive coverage at a competitive price.

For more information about auto, life, homeowner and other insurance coverages, please contact Zawada Insurance Agency today.

Zawada Insurance Agency, Inc. located in Worcester, Massachusetts, serving central Massachusetts and beyond.

How Winter Affects Your Home Insurance: Top 4 Tips!

Winter can be a tricky time, especially for home and auto insurance policies. But if you follow some of these safety tips, it can make things easier for you, and less likely for your deductible to be raised.

  1. Rake your roof!

When the first snowstorm hits, and you’re done shoveling the driveway, make sure you don’t neglect your roof. Roof rakes can be purchased in most hardware stores. They’re long tools that help you scoot excess snow to the edge of your roof and away from the center. If you don’t rake your roof when it snows, you could end up with so much heavy snow that your roof will cave in! As we said in a previous blog, Homeowners Insurance won’t cover damage that is the result of poor maintenance, so you could pay a heavy price.

For further prevention of cave-ins or leaky roofs, you could replace your roof before winter storms start blowing in. This is especially necessary if you have an older home and / or need roof repairs.

  1. Cut down problem trees.

In a standard Homeowners Insurance policy, you’ll be covered for damages caused during storms. This covers damage to your home or related structures, including detached garages. However, some trees in your yard can pose a threat when a major winter storm hits. For example, if you have a tree that could fall into your neighbor’s yard, or if it’s a tree that falls on your own property—you’ll be responsible for the cost, either to the neighbor or to have the downed tree removed. Another issue to consider is the proximity of a tree to power lines. In some winter storms, heavy wet snow can cause a tree to bend to such a degree that it affects power lines. These are all good reasons to consider having certain problematic trees removed from your property.

  1. Get your snowmobile insured!

Snowmobiles are considered high-risk machines. There are more than 200 deaths and approximately 14,000 accidents caused by snowmobiles every year. When getting insurance for your snowmobile, look up the laws in your state, because some require you to get insurance, while others don’t.  The types of coverage you can get include comprehensive, collision, bodily injury and property damage. You’ll save money if your snowmobile has additional safety features, too.

  1. Make sure you have comprehensive coverage for your car.

During this time of year, comprehensive coverage—including collision and liability—comes in handy if you get into an accident that’s caused by slippery roads or anything weather-related. This may include a snow-covered tree branch falling through your windshield. It will cover you if you have to be on the road, even during a state of emergency. It will even cover you if someone steals your car while it’s warming up in the driveway! Be sure you also have roadside assistance in case you get caught in a severe storm and have to abandon your vehicle to be picked up later.

For more information on which types of insurance are right for you, please contact Zawada Insurance Agency. We work hard to give you comprehensive coverage at a competitive price.

Zawada Insurance Agency, Inc. is a family-owned and operated independent insurance agency, located in Worcester, Massachusetts, serving central Massachusetts and beyond.

Repair Your Roof: How to Prevent Water Damage to Your Home

Your Homeowners Insurance policy most likely covers various types of water damage. If you live in New England, your house is subjected to wind-driven rains, melting snow, and other weather conditions that can make the exterior vulnerable to rot and mold. What your policy doesn’t cover, however, is water damage that is caused by poor maintenance. For example, if your gutters are overflowing or your roof is leaking, don’t expect your Homeowners Insurance to cover that. This is why you need to constantly maintain your roof and home exterior. Check it regularly and make repairs as needed.

Areas that are particularly susceptible to water damage are the eaves just under your roof.

The Purpose of Fascia and Soffits

The fascia is the horizontal band at the end of your roof rafters. The soffit is found under the rafter tail. While these pieces create visual, architectural interest, they are also very practical. They protect the exterior of your house from damage when wind and rain blow upward. They also help to keep out unwanted animals such as birds and squirrels, AND they provide a nice cover for your attic vents. But if your fascia and soffits aren’t properly maintained, water will likely collect in that eave area.

How to Check and Repair the Fascia and Soffits

When you inspect and clean out your gutters, once a year, you should also take a look at the fascia and soffits to check for peeling, areas of wood rot, and any other potential problems. If there is rotted wood underneath, you’ll need to completely replace all the fascia and soffits. However, if you see only one or two areas that might be compromised, you can fix them by caulking and sealing the areas.

Should you need to replace your fascia and soffits, you should choose a material such as vinyl, an increasingly popular choice for this area under the roof. Vinyl has proven to be more durable and is aesthetically appealing, able to blend seamlessly with most home exteriors. Unfortunately, many older homes have fascia and soffits constructed of wood, which is very likely to decay after a few rough winters in New England. One spring, a homeowner heard a pecking sound outside and found a woodpecker trying to make a home in the soft wood underneath the roof! That’s when you know it’s time to replace the fascia with a tougher material that can not only withstand the weather, but also not create a hospitable environment for birds!

Aluminum is another popular choice when replacing your fascia and soffits. They won’t peel or rot, and will last many decades.

Whichever material you choose, it’s best to go with something that will last a very long time, because you don’t want to have frequent repair and replacement costs. In the long run, it will also save you money, because you’ll be preventing damage that Homeowner’s Insurance won’t cover.

So be sure to check your roof, fascia and soffits before winter hits. That way, you can rest assured that your home is protected.

And be sure to consult the professionals at Zawada Insurance Agency to go over your insurance needs. We’ll help you get the right insurance coverage for your home, car, boat—and offer you bundling options that may save you money.

Talk with us today!

Zawada Insurance Agency, Inc. is a family-owned and operated independent insurance agency, located in Worcester, Massachusetts, serving central Massachusetts and beyond.

Is Your House Ready for a Hurricane?

How to Prepare for Severe Weather

Did you know there is an average of 11 tropical storms a year, and six of these turn into hurricanes? When most people think of hurricanes, they think of places like Florida and tropical regions. But we’ve had our share of hurricanes, making their way up the coast of New England. If a hurricane in the Atlantic comes near Massachusetts, it’s likely to affect the Cape and the islands. But in addition to causing beach erosion and other structural damage, hurricanes can affect areas that are hundreds of miles inland. That’s why it’s important to make sure your home and property are protected in case of severe weather.

If your house is located in a flood zone, and in some cases, even if it isn’t, you should consider getting flood insurance. This is because most homeowner’s policies don’t cover any damage caused by flooding from a hurricane.

Before a storm hits, make a list of your possessions—outdoor and indoor items—patio furniture, appliances, etc. This will assist your insurance broker if any items need replacing after the hurricane.

Outside Preparation

If you live near the coast, it’s a good idea to install storm shutters. If you have them, make sure they are in good condition. If your windows aren’t made of hurricane glass, you may want to replace them so they’ll have the strength to withstand the winds of a bad storm.

You may need to reinforce your roof with gables, hurricane straps, braces and brackets.  Also secure all windows, doors and garage doors. Make sure your rain gutters are secure and that there aren’t any areas clogged with debris.

Next, bring in all outdoor items, such as patio furniture, toys, etc., anything that can be turned into a projectile during a strong wind. Other potentially dangerous things include broken tree branches, loose fencing—anything in your yard that isn’t secured.

Inside Preparation

Make sure you have a hurricane preparedness kit. This should consist of flashlights, batteries, a radio—anything that can keep you in contact with local news. You should also stock up on water in case drinking water isn’t available for a while after the storm. Sometimes, when news of a hurricane comes, people panic and go to the store, clearing out all available jugs of water. Here’s a tip: If the shelves in the beverage aisle are empty, try the baby aisle. There are gallons of water that are just as good for drinking, but often people don’t think to go there, so you can usually find some. Also, you can fill your bathtub with tap water just in case.

Other items in your kit should include non-perishable foods, such as canned goods and a manual can opener. Be sure to have medication for family members, as well as pet food if you need it.

Keep valuable items, such as legal documents and family heirlooms, in protective coverings on a high level inside your house, in case of flooding.

Last but not least, if you can afford it, buy a portable generator, so you won’t have to lose power when power lines go down. If you get a generator, practice safe handling and keep it outside, at least 20 feet away from your house’s doors and windows. Finally, never plug your generator into a wall outlet in your house.

At Zawada Insurance Agency, we’ll help you shop around to find the best deals on car, home, and other types of insurance.  Please contact Zawada Insurance Agency for details.

Zawada Insurance Agency, Inc. is a family-owned and operated independent insurance agency, located in Worcester, Massachusetts, serving central Massachusetts and beyond.

How To Lower Your Insurance Risks

Are You a Landlord?

How To Lower Your Insurance Risks

Owning an apartment building can be an exciting venture and wise investment. But it does come with its share of responsibilities.

Make Sure You’re Covered

As a landlord, you can be vulnerable to liability claims by tenants and / or contractors doing work on your property. And it isn’t just things like property damage or bodily injury, either. Of course, you want to make sure your property is as safe as possible to reduce the likelihood that someone could slip and fall. In past blogs, we’ve talked about making sure you have coverage for theft, vandalism, storms, fire, acts of nature, flooding—all necessary coverages.

But there are other liability issues you may not have thought of.

For instance, Advertising Liability encompasses things like libel and slander. In this age of social media, be especially careful about what you post. If you make a reference to a competitor in a negative way or repost an unflattering image of someone without their permission, you could be at risk. You also need to be careful of any advertising that misrepresents your property.

What Things Can You Be Held Liable For?

Here are just a few of the things that you, as a landlord, could be held liable for:

  • If your negligence caused an injury.
  • If asbestos is discovered, and you didn’t take steps to contain it, and a tenant becomes sick.
  • If old plumbing isn’t replaced, and a leak damages a tenant’s property.
  • If there is a break-in because of little or no security—broken locks, poor lighting, etc.

How Landlords Can Save on Liability Costs

There are several things that you, as a landlord, can do to ensure that you lower your risk of liability claims. First, make sure that all electrical and gas appliances and lines are in good working condition. Fix any plumbing leaks and do a thorough inspection of pipes. This is not only to prevent flooding, but also mold, which can result from trapped moisture. Do a thorough maintenance check before a tenant moves in and include all of these things, as well as anything that could be a potential fire hazard.

For security purposes, provide a good amount of outdoor lighting at night. Install peep holes in every door. Have all sidewalks and parking lot area cleared of snow and ice after a storm.

As a protection for yourself, keep all communications with tenants in writing. If something is ever disputed and you have to go to court, you’ll have it all on paper. Also, never enter a tenant’s apartment unless it’s an emergency, such as a fire. And don’t discriminate against a potential tenant based on things like race or religion, etc.

Last But Not Least. . .

Check what discounts may be available for making enhancements to your property. Don’t make the mistake of reducing your coverage to save a few bucks. In the long run, it’s better to have a higher deductible, so you’ll get a lower premium.

Zawada Insurance Agency is your go-to place for home, auto and other types of insurance. Please contact Zawada Insurance Agency for details.

Zawada Insurance Agency, Inc. is a family-owned and operated independent insurance agency, located in Worcester, Massachusetts, serving central Massachusetts and beyond.

Homeowner’s Insurance DO’s and DON’Ts

What You Need to Know

How do you know if you have enough homeowner’s insurance? How can you save money on your insurance? Are there hidden costs to look out for when choosing insurance? For many people, homeowner’s insurance can be mysterious and sometimes complicated. So here we’ve compiled some of the most important Do’s and Don’ts that can help save you money.

DO shop around when trying to find the most affordable Homeowner’s Insurance.

It’s not only important to consider all your options, but also to consider bundling your home, auto and other types of insurance. Sometimes bundling will help you to get a lower rate.

DON’T expect your Homeowner’s Insurance to be based on the real estate market value of your home.

In fact, your coverage will be based on what it would cost to rebuild your house. The cost can vary, so be sure to contact an insurance agent.

DON’T buy an older home.

Your insurance company will look more favorably on a newer home because the risk level is lower. For example, the wiring is likely to be in good shape and thus, safer. Also, the pipes will be in better shape, which can prevent flooding. Insurance companies are always looking at ways to reduce the likelihood of too many claims being made. So if possible, a newer home is the way to go.

DO choose a home in a safe location.

Good security will help keep insurance costs down. Choose a home in a gated community or in close proximity to the fire department. If you live out in the country or in a very remote area, your insurance costs may be higher.

DO make sure your Homeowner’s Insurance policy covers flood, earthquake and other natural disasters.

These policies don’t automatically cover these things. Believe it or not, most policies don’t cover types of water damage. It’s up to you to make sure it’s included.

DO use Homeowner’s Insurance to cover tractors and garden equipment.  

Many people assume these items fall under Auto Insurance, but they don’t. In fact, you’d be surprised how many things are covered under Homeowner’s Insurance. It’s not just about your home. Homeowner’s Insurance Property Protection covers other buildings that aren’t necessarily attached to your home, such as a detached garage, a barn or storage shed, patios, fences and other things.

DON’T expect your insurance policy to cover an unhealthy tree that falls in your yard.

If you have a tree that was rotting due to neglect, and it falls on your property, this is considered a maintenance issue on your part. And the insurance company would not pay for it. If a tree falls in your yard and doesn’t cause any damage, you should expect to pay for the cost of removing it yourself. This is not covered by the insurance company.

Contact Zawada Insurance Agency for all of your auto, home, boat and other insurance needs.   

Zawada Insurance Agency, Inc. is a family-owned and operated independent insurance agency, located in Worcester, Massachusetts, serving central Massachusetts and beyond.

 

Lower Your Homeowner’s Insurance – Part 2

Surprising Ways to Get Better Deals! 

In our last blog, we talked about some ways to save on your homeowner’s insurance. Believe it or not, there are still many more, some of which are lesser-known credits offered to homeowners just for doing some very simple things. Read on to find out how you can benefit—and save big on your new home!

Keep Your Homeowner’s Insurance Costs Low:

Did you know that homeowner’s insurance rates can vary as much as hundreds of dollars? That’s why it’s worth it to 1) shop around, and 2) research all of those hidden factors that can help to keep your costs down. If you haven’t already, check out Part I of this blog for helpful ideas. And here are more things you can do:

Consider raising your deductible. The deductible is the amount you have to pay before your homeowner’s insurance kicks in. If you can afford it, consider raising it as much as your budget will allow, because the higher your deductible, the lower your monthly premiums.

Try bundling your insurance policies. Often an insurer will give you a break if you purchase at least a couple of policies from them, such as home and auto. They could give you a deal from anywhere between 5 to 15 percent. But as with everything else, be sure to do your homework. If you shop around, sometimes you might discover that purchasing your policies from different insurers will actually cost less.

Be a loyal customer. Some insurers will give you special discounts, anywhere from 5 percent or more, just for being a customer for five or more years. As we mentioned above, still check your rates against those offered from other companies to make sure you are still getting the best deal each year.

Don’t file many claims. This is true for all types of insurance companies. The less they have to pay, the more that savings may be passed on to you. It doesn’t count against you if you have damage from a weather event, but if your claim involves theft or possible flood damage, be sure to get a contractor to your house to get an estimate, just to prove whether or not you’ve passed your deductible.

Maintain good credit. Like we said about auto insurance, your credit history does affect your rates. So always pay your bills on time, keep your balances low, and pay them off quickly. Also, check your credit to make sure there are no errors that could negatively impact your credit rating.

Take advantage of 55+ discounts. If you are a mature homeowner, there are insurance credits available. The reasoning is this: when you are a young adult, a working professional, you’re away from your house a lot during the day. If something should happen—a gas leak, a burst pipe, fire—you’ll be gone and won’t know about it until possibly a great deal of damage has occurred. If you’re of retirement age, you tend to be at home more often, and can immediately address any issue before it becomes a disaster. So ask your insurance company about giving you a break!

At Zawada Insurance Agency, we’ll help you shop around to find the best deals on car, home, and other types of insurance—including bundling, if it helps you to save more.

Please contact Zawada Insurance Agency for details.

Zawada Insurance Agency, Inc. is a family-owned and operated independent insurance agency, located in Worcester, Massachusetts, serving central Massachusetts and beyond.