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

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.

 

Don’t Get Soaked – Florida Water Damage Insurance

Of all the appliances found in the home, the water heater and washing machine are the most likely to cause serious damage, and cost home owners a bundle.

According to a nationwide analysis, one out of every 10 water-damage claims can be traced back to a malfunctioning hot water tank or washing machine. These two appliances are more likely than Mother Nature to inflict damage on the home.

Insurance Covering Water Damage

Water is the most common cause of home damage today – even more likely than fire.

Americans are spending twice what they were 10 years ago to repair water damage. In most cases, home owners can save themselves a lot of time and money by adding a few simple protective devices and doing routine maintenance. These tasks usually take just a few minutes and the parts often cost less than $20.

Some water damage is covered under homeowners insurance, but some damage is not, he noted. Home owners who fail to maintain appliances and plumbing systems may face thousands of dollars in repair costs and weeks of invasive home repairs.

Simple fixes, such as installing a $10 stainless steel hose or replacing an aging water heater, could save a homeowner thousands of dollars and a lot of hassle.

Florida Homeowner’s Water Damage Insurance

But home owners can take simple steps to reduce their chances of water damage.

  • Replace old water heaters. Water heaters do damage when they get too old and the tank rusts and bursts. Replace your tank once a decade. Today’s energy-efficient systems also will be cheaper to operate.
  • Stainless steel hoses: Inspect standard rubber or plastic hoses used with washing machines, refrigerators and dishwashers and consider replacing them with stainless steel-braided or mesh hoses. Worn-out hoses with kinks, cracks or bulges need to be replaced immediately. A $10 braided steel hose can save thousands.
  • Turn it off before you leave. Don’t leave dishwashers and washing machines running if you leave the house.
  • Check attic air conditioners. At least once a year, go up to the attic or roof to check these appliances before they wear out. Look for wear and tear and loose connections.

Let us provide you a home insurance quote today. Click here for home insurance quote.