General Home Security Options

Keeping your home secure

 Everyone wants to keep their home safe from burglars or intruders, but not everyone wants to have an alarm system installed. There are plenty of people who prefer the do-it-yourself route, whether it’s home improvement or home security.

 And nowadays, there are more options than ever when it comes to home security, so we at Atlass Insurance Group want to help you sort through those options with a few tips.

 Do-it-yourself options

The widespread availability of electronic tools means that homeowners can set up their own monitoring systems if they choose, without the help of a home-security company.

  • Cameras: Smaller and more inexpensive than ever, cameras can be placed nearly anywhere on the exterior of your home and monitored from inside wirelessly — or set to record footage for review later. Available software even allows you to point your laptop camera in a particular direction (say, at the front door) and check the images from a remote location.
  • Lights: Motion-detecting floodlights are an excellent deterrent to thieves, because they don’t want to be seen. Make sure they’re installed near entryways, and that they aren’t easily reached from the ground. And using timers for interior lights is a good way to give the appearance that your home is occupied.
  • Alarms: Vibration alarms are available for windows, alerting you if someone is trying to get in. Similarly, other monitors can be installed near doors and programmed to sound if a person comes within a set distance. Some even emit barking sounds to make it appear that a dog is in the house.

 

Even if you aren’t interested in installing security equipment around your home, there are a number of things you can do to increase safety:

  • Keep your home locked. It sounds simple, but you’d be surprised how many people leave windows or doors unlocked. Make sure that sliding doors and windows have extra security, such as a track lock or dowel in the track.
  • Don’t leave a key outside. If you need to provide access to your home while you’re away, leave your key with a trusted neighbor or friend.
  • Watch the landscaping. Thick shrubs and bushes around your porch or yard can give thieves a good place to hide. Keep them well-trimmed and ensure that problematic areas can be illuminated with your outdoor lighting.
  • Use common sense. If you’re going away on vacation, cancel your newspaper and other deliveries. Ask a neighbor to keep watch, and park a car out front. Don’t post publicly on social media or leave a message on your answering machine or voicemail indicating that you’ll be away for an extended period.

 Burglars really do consider deterrents such as alarms, cameras, dogs, etc., when looking at targets, according to a study released by the University of North Carolina.  So a small investment in security can make a big difference!

It’s a great time for a home inventory

If your home was burglarized, would you know what was missing? A home inventory is a crucial tool to help replace everything that was lost.  

Contact Us!

 At Atlass Insurance Group, we can work with you to make sure you’ve got the coverage you need, while at the same time using all possible credits and discounts to make that coverage affordable. Just give us a call at 800-959-3313 or send us a note at agent@atlassinsurance.com. We want to help you meet your goals, and make sure what’s important to you is protected!

 

Content provided by Safeco Insurance

Electrical Panels May Prevent Getting Insurance

After having a Four Point inspection done, you might have found out your home has an electrical panel installed that is considered not eligible by your insurance carrier. The insurance carrier could terminate coverage or give you 30 days to replace the panel.

Is my panel safe?

Federal Pacific Electric “Stab-Lok” service panels and breakers are a latent hazard and can fail to trip in response to overcurrent, leading to electrical fires. The breakers may also fail to shut off internally even if the toggle is switched to “off.” Some double-pole (240-Volt) FPE circuit breakers and single-pole FPE Stab-Lok circuit breakers simply do not work safely. There are other panel-defects independent of the breaker problems, panel and panel-bus fires and arcing failures in some equipment. The failure rates for these circuit breakers were and still are significant. In some cases failure to trip occurs 60% of the time – a serious fire and electrical shock hazard. Failures are documented in the CPSC study and by independent research.

How to Identify a Federal Pacific Panel?

  • Logo (if present)

  • Orange breaker color
  • Stab-lok load center label

What if my home has a Federal Pacific Panel?

If your home has a Federal Pacific Stab-Lok main panel or sub-box installed, then please contact a licensed Electrician to have it replaced. The panel may have been there for 30 years and seem to work fine, however, the underlying problems are there and it’s simply not worth the risk.

 

 

Orlando Do You Have Enough Coverage to Rebuild Your Home?

Imagine how devastating it would be to lose your home in a fire. Now imagine not being able to rebuild it completely because you didn’t have the correct amount of insurance.

 

Selecting the proper amount of coverage is the single most important decision you can make with your Homeowners policy. Without it, you may not have enough coverage to rebuild after a total loss. This is called “insurance to value.” Below are some explanations and tips to help you make the right choices for your needs — and remember, if you need help, we’re just a phone call away!

 

What is insurance to value?

Insurance to value is the relationship between the amount of coverage selected (typically listed as “Coverage A” or “Dwelling Coverage” on your policy declarations page) and the amount required to rebuild your home.  Insuring your home for anything less than 100% insurance to value could mean you wouldn’t have enough coverage to replace your home in the event of a total loss

 

Why is the cost to rebuild different from the market value?

A home’s market value reflects current economic conditions, taxes, school districts, the value of the land and location, and other factors unrelated to construction cost.  The cost to rebuild your home is based only on the cost of materials and labor in your area.  It is important that you insure your home based on its reconstruction cost, NOT its current market value

 

Why is reconstruction more expensive than new construction?

New-home builders typically build many homes at once, and solicit bids from various sub-contractors to receive the best pricing. Their business model is based on economies of scale. For example, they may purchase 20 bathtubs at once, securing a lower unit cost. These economies of scale don’t exist when building a single home.

 

How can I make sure I have the correct amount of insurance?

  • Work with your agent to provide detailed information at time of purchase to be sure that you receive a thorough and accurate quote.
  • Ask us about additional coverage options that may be available.
  • Review your insurance to value calculation on a regular basis with your agent.
  • Tell your agent about any changes or improvements that you make to your home.

Allow us to provide a quote for your home insurance. Click here for a home insurance quote.