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are you protecting your home?

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Top 3 Tips for Purchasing Homeowners Insurance

homeowners-insurance Have you reviewed your homeowners insurance coverage lately?  If you purchased your insurance in a bit-by-bit fashion, chances are you're not properly covered.  These tips courtesy of Fox Business offer insight into correctly protecting  your assets.

Tip #1: While homeowners policies cover fire and storm damage, flood insurance is not automatically included.  Consider adding this to your policy regardless of where you live.  Check out Floodsmart.gov for details on government flood insurance.

Tip #2: Working from home necessitates what’s called an “incidental occupancy endorsement.”  This addition to your policy will cover any injuries to those who are on your property specifically for business purposes.  At only $30 per year it’s a worthwhile and inexpensive investment.

Tip #3: Standardize your liability limits on each of your insurance policies to at least $500,000. If there are assets you are concerned about losing in the instance of a lawsuit, adding a $1 million "umbrella" policy at $200 per year will provide you with an extra layer of protection.  Rest assured knowing you would be able to cover any subsequent medical bills, lost wages and charges for pain and suffering if need be.

For more tips on purchasing insurance, check out this Fox Business article.

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Invest in your home now to save in the future.

Invest in your home now to save in the future. The best way to invest in your home is to take good care of what’s already there.

Remodeling your home is great, but not everyone has the money to take on such a project, especially in this economy. However, there are less glamorous projects that can be relatively simple and inexpensive that will add to your home's value. These projects may seem minor now, but they can be big money savers in the long run.

1. Caulk You may be noticing caulk along your sink, countertops and bathtub coming loose if you've been in your home a few years. While gaps may not seem like much, the water leaking inside can wreak havoc on areas unseen. Why let moisture turn into mold when small leaks can be repaired with a tube of kitchen and bath caulk for just a few dollars?

2. Insulate It's a well-known fact that insulation saves money on your utility bills, but so many of us overlook this simple project. Your walls are surely insulated, but what about your attic, basement and garage? If the energy savings aren't enough to convince you, check with the IRS for tax credits allowing you to deduct energy-saving expenses from your taxes.

3. Change Filters When was the last time you changed your furnace’s air filters? A simple stop online or at your local Home Depot will keep your furnace running efficiently while improving the quality of the air inside your home. Change filters at least every three months to keep your furnace efficient for years to come.

4. Install a Programmable Thermostat One of the easiest ways to manage energy bills is with a programmable thermostat. By programming your heat or air conditioning up or down a few degrees during the hours you are regularly away from home, you'll save on the money it would cost to heat or cool an empty house. Simple steps like keeping curtains closed during hot summer days and sealing doors and windows in winter will produce much nicer bills from the utility companies.

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