Homeowner’s Insurance: Valuing the Invaluable

The purchase of a house is generally the largest investment of anyone’s life. And the home in which your family lives must be protected. Avoiding risk and selecting an appropriate amount of insurance coverage best accomplishes this. For homes in and around the Blue Ridge, GA area, the insurance professionals at The Insurance Mart are ready to help homeowner’s with their insurance needs, including guidance regarding the three valuation methods that can be used to safely estimate the value of the items to be covered by their homeowner’s policy.

Replacement Cost

Replacement Cost is the actual cost to buy the necessary materials and fund the labor costs to restore the property to its undamaged status.  It is noted that homeowner’s insurance policies are written with a maximum provision that limits the policy’s payout, to protect the insurer from dramatic market fluctuations.

Actual Cash Value

Actual Cash Value can be simply calculated by subtracting the depreciated value from the item’s replacement cost. An Actual Cash Value policy will have a lower payout than the Replacement Cost, however, they are not written with maximum payout provisions. 

Market Value

The Market Value of a home is the indicated value of a home on the open market if a similar match could even be found. It might appear that the Market Value approach is the fairest method however, the American Insurance Association cautions homeowners to opt out of this method.  Market Value includes the cost of land, which would have no need to be rebuilt. 

 

The Take-Away

Before deciding upon which valuation method to use for your home’s insurance coverage in and around Blue Ridge, GA, reach out to a licensed agent at The Insurance Mart to allow them to assist in the entire insurance process. 

Why You Need Secondary Homeowners’ Insurance Year Round

Everyone knows that having homeowners’ insurance is a must year round, but did you know that you should have your insurance to extend liability coverage to your vacation or rental property? It is important to protect yourself because the likelihood of a covered event is increased with secondary homes.

Extended Coverage

When you purchase or rent a second home or vacation home, you should also have your primary home insurance to extend liability insurance to cover that residence year round. There could be a covered event when you are away, so you should ensure you are protected if that incident occurs. Determine the cost of the property and any contents and select the next dollar value offered to adequately cover the replacement cost of the property. Some people may feel that you should only have insurance for a portion of the year when the home is in use, but that is not the case and should be avoided.

Adding A Second Home

If you purchase or rent a second home, make sure you talk to your insurance agent and let them help you work out the specifics of your policy. If you wish to purchases additional umbrellas coverage you may want to consider doing so. Ask about addition Personal Umbrella Protection or PUP, that can go up to $1 million in coverage. For more information about second home insurance, call or stop by Blue Ridge, GA, The Insurance Mart and let our agents help you decide what type of protection is right for your second home.

Don’t leave your second residence vulnerable. Get the coverage you need year round with additional second home insurance from Blue Ridge, GA, The Insurance Mart and have peace of mind knowing you can enjoy your second home when you are ready to get away.

 

 

Make Your Home the Perfect Spot for a Staycation

If you’re planning to stay home for summer vacation this year, why not make your home the best vacation spot it can be? With a little ingenuity and advanced planning, your Blue Ridge, GA home can become a stay-cation hotspot. Here are a few ideas to help you get started.

Establish Entertainment Zones

Establish entertainment zones where you can relax and enjoy each other’s company. These areas could be both in and outside the property. Your outdoor patio could be transformed into an exotic cafe with relaxing lounge chairs, mini-bar, colorful pillows, beautiful plants and subdued lighting to set a tranquil and relaxing mood.

Convert your living room into a comfy, cozy niche where you and the kids can gather for games, snacks or video watching. Invite family and friends to share in the fun.    

Upgrade Landscaping

Maximize your landscaping so you can enjoy your natural surroundings. A well-trimmed lawn and attractive garden will give you greater incentive to spend time outdoors. Cutting back low branches on trees and clearing out unsightly debris gives you more space for outdoor play. For a romantic touch, create an attractive walkway that winds around your property so you and your spouse can enjoy relaxing strolls in the moonlight after the kids are in bed.

Stock Up on Succulent Foods

Food can make or break a vacation so feel free to splurge on exotic foods and experiment with different recipes when staying home. Better yet, order out from restaurants you’ve never tried before along with old time favorites everyone enjoys.

Whether you’re coming or going for the summer, don’t forget to keep up with your home insurance coverage. At The Insurance Mart, Blue Ridge, GA, we can help you choose an insurance policy suited to your needs. For information on home insurance options and costs, contact us at The Insurance Mart. 

Are You Truly Covered for Natural Disasters?

Mortgage lenders generally require homeowners to carry an insurance policy to protect the bank’s interest in the event of a loss. Although the State of Georgia doesn’t force you to buy a homeowners policy, it definitely provides a sense of security. But many policies don’t automatically cover natural disasters. At theThe Insurance Mart, our professionals are here to help people in the Blue Ridge, GA community with a policy that meets your unique circumstances. We’re available to answer questions and will work with you to create or update a policy to reflect those coverage needs.

Flood Insurance

Although it’s been a while since the area suffered a flood, but Mother Nature can produce downpours that swell local waters and exceeds their banks.

Many homeowners are unaware that standard policies may not include losses due to flooding. In extreme cases, a home could be washed away. In less dramatic cases, rising waters can damage your home and require expensive remediation. If dangerous molds take root, you could be looking at major cleanup work.

Wind Disasters

The good people of Georgia have become too familiar with the devastating force of tornados. These whirlwinds have ripped through communities and left many with badly damaged or destroyed homes. While most homeowners policies cover damage by wind-related storms, you may find yourself underinsured if a total loss occurs. Consider the cost of replacing your property. Today’s construction costs hover at about $150 per square foot. Even though you may be covered for losses due to extreme weather, you may need to revisit that policy to ensure it meets current building costs.

At the The Insurance Mart, we’re pleased to serve the people of Blue Ridge, GA. Our insurance professionals are available to help you with a homeowners policy that provides you and your loved ones with secure coverage.

Do Homeowners Need Additional Coverage for Hurricanes?

As the country approaches the end of hurricane season, the east coast did not escape unscathed. Hurricane Matthew recently left a swatch of destruction from Haiti through the Bahamas, Florida, Georgia, and the Carolinas. Residents of Blue Ridge, GA need to make sure their homes are protected from natural disasters such as hurricanes. Do typical home insurance policies cover hurricane damage? Is there any additional protection that is needed? The Insurance Mart has the important answers below.

Hurricanes typically cause their damage in two different ways. The first of this is high winds. Hurricanes have sustained winds of at least 75 MPH and can reach wind speeds of 200 MPH. These winds are strong enough to completely rip a home off of its foundation and cause a total loss. Residents will be happy to know that most home insurance policies cover damage due to high winds. On the other hand, make sure that the policy completes covers wind damage and make sure the policy also covers personal belongings inside the home in addition to the structure. Hurricanes can sweep away items inside the home.                                                                                                                                                             Unfortunately, most home insurance policies do not cover damage due to water. Another element of hurricanes, storm surges can bring catastrophic flooding to homes in its path. These waters can sweep away homes or at the very least cause substantial damage to the structure and the items inside the home. Residents should look into purchasing additional flood insurance coverage to protect against the potential for major damage caused by floods. Furthermore, if the roof is ripped off of a home water has a second path into the home. Ensure that additional coverage is supplied for flood damage.

When it comes to the potential destruction a hurricane can bring, make sure the home is protected from all of the damage this storm can cause. Contact The Insurance Mart today for help protecting a home against hurricanes in Blue Ridge, GA.

Packing for Business Trips

After you finish corresponding with all the right people for your business trip, get your tasks plugged into your agenda, arrange for your stay and breathe a sigh of relief, you realize that you only have 20 minutes until you have to leave home and you haven’t packed anything yet. Having any kind of plan clears your mind and lowers your stress level. Setting a timer will help you focus. Read about using your daily routine as a last-minute packing plan.

Morning Shower

Put a toiletries bag on the counter and leave it open (it will be the last thing you put in your suitcase). Put all the toiletries you used that morning (not the ones you usually use at night) in the bag.

Getting Dressed

Pack 2 of each outer clothing item (2 pants, 2 shirts, etc.). Open each dresser drawer and grab what you need within 30 seconds. Don’t over think it. Write down what you need to take but isn’t in your bedroom.

Head to the kitchen for food

Grab a plastic bag and move through the kitchen from left to right stopping to pick up snacks and containers to put snacks from the refrigerator into. Stop at the refrigerator last to make a couple of sandwiches for the road.

Nighttime Routine

Head back to your bedroom and grab 2 pajamas, slippers, a robe, etc. then throw the toiletries you use at night into the still-opened toiletries bag. Pack a couple of magazines or books to read before bed and you’re done.

Don’t forget to come to The Insurance Mart, serving Blue Ridge, GA, to purchase a new policy or renew an existing one that complies with Georgia state insurance regulations -insurance laws vary from state to state-.