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Homeowners Insurance: The In’s & Out’s of Your Policy’s Coverage

disaster

Homeowners Insurance: The In’s & Out’s of Your Policy’s Coverage

By Devin Valdez

Over the past few weeks our world has encountered hurricanes, floods, fires and earthquakes. Cities and countries have been ripped to pieces, as we watch helplessly. Millions of people have lost loved ones, homes and personal belongings to circumstances that were unforeseeable and unanticipated.

Now, more than ever, we need to be prepared for the unexpected. Besides protecting ourselves and families, homeowners need to be aware of how to protect their homes, in case of catastrophic emergencies.

Hurricane and winter seasons are nearing, and the weather is likely to be even more unpredictable. To be safe rather than sorry, it is highly suggested that all homeowners begin to investigate more into their homeowner’s insurance policies and coverages.

Hurricane Irma left behind close to $50 billion worth of damage, with over half of the damage caused by flooding- which is typically uninsured.

What’s Typically Covered:

Homeowners insurance usually covers damages due to wind storms, hail, fire, vandalism and lightning, but it more than likely DOES NOT cover damage caused by earthquakes or floods.

Typical types of insurance within your policy include:

  1. Dwelling Coverage: Coverage that will pay to rebuild or fix any damage that is covered by cause of loss.
  2. Other Structures Coverage: Pays for damages to detached buildings on your property such as sheds, a garage, fence, etc.
  3. Personal Property Coverage: Pays for items in your home that may be damaged or destroyed by a covered cause of loss. Items may include furniture, clothes, electronics, etc.
  4. Loss of Use Coverage: Will pay for expenses that can accrue if you need to leave your home while it is being restored. Expenses like food and lodge are included.

How to Check Your Policies Coverage:

Data shows that 2 out of 3 homes in America are underinsured. To avoid your home from falling into that category, make sure you contact your insurance agent and report any upgrades or specifics about your home you think they should know, to help generate a more accurate policy and coverage.

United Policyholders lists these 5 ways to doublecheck your coverage on your homeowner’s insurance policy.

  1. Take the time to explain your property…details, unusual features, collections, etc.
  1. Follow reasonable recommendations to increase limits
  2. Buy the biggest extended replacement cost endorsement you can afford. Extended replacement cost coverage, will pay up to 25 percent above your limits.
  3. Arrange for a professional home replacement cost estimator or building contractor to come to your house and provide an estimate of the cost to rebuild. Many insurers offer this service at no charge.

Extra Coverages to add to your Insurance:

Below is a list of items that usually ARE NOT covered by your homeowners insurance, but may be a good idea to buy the extra coverage.

  1. Mold Coverage
  2. Sewer Backup
  3. Sinkholes
  4. Earthquake Insurance
  5. Flood insurance
  6. Termite Infestations
  7. Jewelry/Fine Art/ Expensive Valuables
  8. Pool accidents: You may have your pool covered in your policy, however what may not be covered is if there is a drowning in your pool. It may be wise to purchase additional liability insurance.

The main point of this article is to not find yourself at a loss should tragedy strike. Your home is a big investment, so it may be wise to fork out a few extras dollars, to obtain the right coverage for your home.

Should you have any more questions regarding your homeowner’s insurance policies, give your agent a call today!

 

 

 

 

 

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co-livingBrian Harkin, New York Times

Co-Living: The Newest, Oldest Housing Fad

By Devin Valdez

There’s a new trend hitting the real estate world by storm. Its core idea is to have strangers move in together, live together in their own rooms and share communal spaces…

Sound familiar? That’s because it is. The idea of “Co-Living,” as the fad has been named, is really nothing new. It’s simply another, fancier, way of saying “living with roommates.” For decades people have been finding roommates to occupy empty rooms in their homes or apartments and to help share with the cost of rent.

This old school concept has become a fad because now apartment developers are running with the idea of “co-living” and building complexes to habitat such social living styles.

How it Works: Living quarters in these complexes will have a communal area for all tenants (usually 3 people in one unit) , and separate bedrooms and bathrooms for each tenant. Instead of leasing an entire apartment or studio, tenants will each lease out a bedroom and bathroom of their own and share communal living spaces, such as the kitchen and living room. Many developers will have the communal areas already fully furnished, and will have cleaning services for these living areas.

Developers in Chicago, New York and Miami have already began building these co-living units in apartment buildings, and have seen a positive desire for the units. Homes or townhouses in San Francisco and Oakland, have taken on the same concept as these apartments, as well.

What’s New: As I continue to say, co-living is an old thought, just with new twists. One of the biggest twist is the emphasis on community. Co-living units will work to put you together with like-minded people, and encourages an atmosphere to hang out, and make new friends. And in the instance that you get paired with someone you can’t get along with, there are ways to move to a different unit in the building.

“People have been renting and living with strangers for a long time. The Craigslist model is established, and it’s something that people, especially younger generation of people are very used to dealing with. I think what we’re trying to do to be effective is to mitigate the negative aspects of that,” explains Noah Gottlieb, principal at Property Markets Group (PMG), an apartment developer company in New York, Miami and Chicago.

Some negatives that are trying to be eliminated are the chores of cleaning and decorating. Communal areas developed by PMG will be fully furnished and will have a cleaning service that takes care of the mess you and your roommates make. This eliminates the fight over whose turn to take out the trash it is. Another negative, and probably one of the best parts of the co-living situation, is that rooms are leased, individually, so no one is responsible for their roommates if one isn’t paying their rent. This eliminates the need for an awkward conversation when one of your roommates is late on their rent money.

The Benefits: One of the biggest and most attractive benefits of co-living is the ability to afford to live on your own, so to speak. Co-living enables you to move out of your parent’s home and into your own place, without having to be literally alone. And on the even brighter side, co-living offers rents per room which are much lower than what you would typically pay for an entire apartment unit.

Co-living has seen the biggest demand in major cities like San Francisco and New York, where rents are on a ridiculous rise.

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