5 Things to Consider Before Buying Home Insurance

Buying home insurance is a big decision, though it’s often pushed aside in favor of different questions when owners first move into their place. Much more immediate matters are usually given priority, such as moving logistics or how to fill out all the necessary paperwork to close the deal. Here are just a few tips from San Marcos Insurance Group for what to consider before buying home insurance. 

1. Neighborhood Threats 

Where you live is a big factor when it comes to buying home insurance. If you’re in Chandler, AZ, you need to understand everything from crime rates to how many major storms you get a year before you choose which clauses you want in your policy. 

2. Lifestyle Threats 

Another thing to consider is your lifestyle. Are your children particularly accident-prone? Do you often work with dangerous tools? Home insurance may be the only thing that helps in the event of a major catastrophe. 

3. Long-Term Planning 

Home insurance is meant to be a long-term investment, so you need to re-frame how you see it. It’s a major part of your personal safety and your peace of mind, and it also helps you to get a better final resale value on your home.

4. Personal Resources

When people don’t have the right home insurance, they have to rely on their own personal resources to help them. If you don’t have people who can take you in or funds you can use to get your home back in shape, you’ll want to reconsider your policy. 

5. The Right Partner 

San Marcos Insurance Group serves Chandler, AZ, and we can help you figure out what you need when it comes to a home insurance policy. Let our staff help you today when you give us a call. 

The Top 3 Mistakes That Homeowners Make When Purchasing Home Insurance

Purchasing insurance for your home is no piece of cake. It can be difficult to find the right insurance agency, pick the right plan, and feel confident about the coverage that you have. In fact, many people make devastating errors when it comes to choosing a plan.

Fortunately, you can learn from these mistakes and make better choices for yourself and your family. Here are the top mistakes that many homeowners make when purchasing home insurance:

#1 Assuming flood insurance is included

Flood insurance is not a standard part of any home insurance plan. But floods can happen nearly anywhere. Make sure you’re covered by  adding a flood insurance plan to your coverage.

#2 Assuming you have one deductible at a flat rate

In some cases, a flat rate deductible is exactly what you’ll have to pay before the insurance plan you’ve purchased will kick in. But in other, more complicated situations, your deductible may become a percentage of the coverage that you have. This means that you might end up paying a lot more than you originally thought after an accident and serious damage.

#3 Not purchasing enough insurance

Finally, it’s common for people to not realize that they need quite a bit of insurance to cover all their bases as homeowners. A recent study found that more than two-thirds of homes are underinsured, and this can lead to devastating financial losses if an accident occurs.

Get in Touch With Us at San Marcos Insurance Group

We know that searching for the perfect home insurance plan in Chandler, AZ can be a challenge, and we want to help. If you are a Chandler, AZ resident, we can help you find a plan that works for you and your family and meets all of your unique needs. Call San Marcos Insurance Group at your earliest convenience to learn more about your home insurance coverage options.

5 Smart Things Every New Homeowner Should Do

What is more exciting than turning that key in the lock of your first new home in the Chandler, AZ area?  Knowing no landlord has access to your home is an amazing feeling.  Sometimes first-time buyers can make mistakes that may jeopardize what they’ve worked for and these 5 suggestions can help new homeowners avoid costly mistakes.

  1. You likely handed over most of your life savings. Don’t make the mistake of overspending on new furniture and remodeling. Make sure you know what your monthly expenses will be because they can be more than you initially expect.
  2. Keep in mind that there’s no landlord to call when something breaks down, so you’ll need to be one top of home repairs. Don’t neglect small problems that can turn into much larger and costlier ones.
  3. Don’t try home repairs if you’re not qualified to make them. Hire a qualified contractor to save time and money on a repair.
  4. You may want to get some help with your taxes to make sure they are done correctly to maximize your refund, especially the first year.  Over the year, make sure to keep home improvement expense receipts so you can write them off at the end of the year.
  5. You’re required to have home insurance, so you want to make sure you have the right home policy to fully replace your property in case of a total loss.  You also need to make sure you have adequate liability coverage for accidents.

San Marcos Insurance Group

The San Marcos Insurance Group in the Chandler, AZ area wants to make sure you have the best coverage through local insurance agents. Don’t hesitate to contact one of our agents to help answer your questions and walk you through home insurance options.

Adding an Above Ground Pool to Your Backyard in Chandler, AZ

The summers in Chandler, AZ are hot and it’s not unusual for temperatures to hit the triple digits from June to August. But who wants to stay inside all summer and hide from the sun?  If you’ve decided to beat the summer heat by putting in an above ground pool in your backyard, you’ll want to consider how this effects your homeowner’s insurance policy.  

Having a backyard swimming pool is a wonderful way to spend the summer with family and friends in Chandler, AZ. However, this also means added responsibility for you the homeowner.  You will want to be sure you are covered in the event that something unexpected happens.  

Typically, pools are covered by a homeowner’s insurance policy.  However, you will want to take a few minutes to read over your insurance policy to make sure you are protected.  In many cases, what is called the "property component" of your policy includes your above ground pool.  To know for sure, give your insurance agent a call and discuss your plans to put in a new pool.  Ask if your policy covers things like a tree branch falling and ripping the lining.

As for liability, this is another area to consider.  If someone is injured in your pool and needs to go to the emergency room, you will want to make sure you are covered for situations like this.  You just can’t predict what could happen in your pool and you will want the available coverage to incur any medical or legal expenses.  

At San Marcos Insurance Group, we can help you understand how to be covered for anything that arises from owning and enjoying and above ground pool in your backyard.  To discuss this and homeowner’s insurance in general, call San Marcos Insurance Group today to speak to a friendly agent.  

 

 

 

How Does Home Depriciation Affect Home Insurance Premiums

Your home insurance premiums are a combination of a few different factors that help to set the amount that you will need to pay each month, bi-annually, or even each year depending on how you decide to pay. Your agent can explain more, and if you live in the Chandler, AZ area, the agents with San Marcos Insurance Group can tell you more.

Your home insurance premiums are first and foremost determined based on the overall value of your home. Though there are tons of other factors that go into the premium, the home value is the primary decision maker. Home depreciation is the concept that as your home ages, it is worthless and therefore you might not need as much coverage on it.

When it comes to figuring your home insurance premium, only very large depreciation is going to make a difference in the cost of premiums. Say you took out your policy in 1999, it is now 2017, and that means that 18 years have passed, this is going to amount to a great deal of depreciation and likely some deduction in your premium if you report the depreciation.

For those that took out a policy in 2015 and two years have passed, this is not likely to create much of a change in your overall monthly premium. If you are looking to reduce your premium, you want to speak with an agent about things that you can do to reduce your premium. Your agents can help you decide if adding safety features is going to help or if changing to safer building materials might help. For those that live in the Chandler, AZ area, the agents with San Marcos Insurance Group can help you find the policy that is right for you.  

How Home Insurance Fraud Affects You

Insurance fraud is a real issue when it comes to home insurance in Chandler, AZ. Fraudulent home insurance claims can be phony claims and fake property damage, to name a few. If you are considering exaggerating your insurance claim, don’t. If you know someone who you suspect committed insurance fraud, then you should report them because it affects you as well.

Fraud Drives Up Premiums

Fraudulent insurance claims are often paid by insurance companies. If you couple that with the fact that insurance claims are increasing, then it’s easy to see how fraudulent claims can increase the rate you pay for your home insurance each month. As a whole, everyone with insurance covers insurance companies’ costs. With more claims, the cost of covering your home can increase over time.

Fraudulent Insurance Claims Affect Risk Factors

Insurance companies consider a lot of risk factors when you apply for home insurance in Chandler, AZ. All those factors boil down to estimating the odds of paying out a claim. If there is a steep uptick in the number of claims in an area, then it could affect the rate you pay for insurance. You see, if there is an increased chance of paying out a claim, then the cost of protecting your property increases too.

The Cost of Fraud

The NCIB estimates that the cost of fraud can cost people between $200 and $300 each year. If you consider the fact that the additional cost of home insurance is completely avoidable, then it makes sense to report instances where you suspect someone is filing a false claim.

No matter what company you have for home insurance, you have a duty to report home insurance fraud. If you suspect someone in your area is guilty, then you can contact us or our Arizona Department of Insurance to inquire about the steps you should take to report their behavior.

 

 

Tips for Winterizing Your Home

Every home deserves proper care. Many homeowners, however, find it difficult to fit home maintenance and repairs into their busy life schedules. Fortunately, though, keeping your home in good condition does not have to be a hassle. Here is a quick look at a few tips for winterizing your home.

Clean Out the Gutters

During the wintertime it is especially important that water be able to flow freely through your gutters. If it can’t, it will set in your gutters and likely freeze. This is why you should clean your gutters on a regular basis, especially during the colder months of the year. Fortunately, cleaning them out toward the end of fall is an excellent way to help guarantee they stay as clean as possible during winter. 

Flush the Water Heater

To ensure your water heater is performing at its optimal level of performance, it needs to be flushed once to twice a year. Just like cleaning out your gutters, performing this winterizing task is absolutely free. 

Turn Ceiling Fans to Spin Clockwise

To keep the heat flowing in your home and to improve heating expenses, make sure to turn your ceiling fans to spin clockwise; this helps to ensure the heat is being pushed from the ceiling down toward the floor and throughout your home. 

Replace Filters

Lastly, you will want to make sure your home is winterized by making sure all HVAC filters are cleaned or replaced. The cleaner the filters, the better the air flow in your home, which helps reduce heating expenses.

To learn more about winterizing your home and home insurance, contact San Marcos Insurance Group serving the Chandler, AZ area. 

How to Avoid Kitchen Fires

Nothing is better than a home-cooked meal. But all that activity in the kitchen during cooking time can spell trouble unless a few precautions are taken into consideration. Avoid kitchen fires with these tips.

Don’t Leave the Kitchen

Food that is being sautéed, steamed, or boiled can easily burn once the cooling liquid has evaporated. Once that food is left to cook on a dry skillet or pot, it can easily catch on fire.

Whoever is cooking should never leave the kitchen while anything is on the stovetop. If food is in the oven, be sure to set a timer so that the oven either turns off automatically, or the cook can return to the kitchen to remove the food from oven before it burns.

Don’t Multitask Activities

When the cook is trying to do too many things at once, it’s too easy to forget about what’s cooking on the stove or baking in the oven. This can quickly lead to burned food and worse – a kitchen fire.

San Marcos Insurance Group in Chandler, AZ recommends planning family activities so they don’t interfere with meal preparation. For instance, don’t expect the family cook to keep tabs on dinner while playing a family game in the living room at the same time.

Keep Kids Out of the Kitchen

The kitchen is the heart of the home, but kids can get rambunctious and out of control, and there are a lot of dangers in the kitchen during cooking time.

To be on the safe side, keep kids away from hot stoves and pots sitting on the range or countertops. Keep children out of the kitchen as much as possible, or at least on the other side of the kitchen island, where they will be far away from dangerous stovetops and sharp implements. San Marcos Insurance Group in Chandler, AZ suggests distracting kids with another activity in other room, to occupy them while you’re cooking.

Control Consumption

If you’re preparing a particularly involved meal or cooking in the midst of a party, you may be sipping alcohol as you cook. This is a common behavior during cooking that many consider makes meal preparation more enjoyable. However, indulging in too much alcohol consumption can lead to neglecting kitchen safety.

Control your alcohol consumption so it doesn’t interfere with your ability to monitor safety precautions and food preparation. A good idea for doing this is to alternate having a glass of water in between each alcoholic beverage.

With these cooking safety tips in mind, your holiday meal preparation should go smoothly and without any fire emergencies.