How Much Coverage Should Home Insurance Include?

Buying home insurance is never easy. You want to make sure that you have enough coverage for your home in Federal Way, WA so that you aren’t left spending a significant amount of money out-of-pocket if there is a catastrophe. At Hart Insurance, we can help to build a customized policy for you to earn sure that you have sufficient coverage.

A standard policy will provide coverage in for specific areas. This includes for the structure of your home, personal belongings, liability protection, as well as additional living expenses.

You want to make sure that you have enough coverage in all of these areas. You can increase the amount based on the value of your home, whether you have expensive items in your home or you want additional liability protection, such as if you have young kids in the house.

Essentially, you want to look at building a policy so that you don’t have holes within your coverage. These holes are what could end up costing you a significant amount of money if you have to file a claim. If you don’t have the coverage in an area, insurance will not cover it. This could leave you repairing various parts of your home or replacing personal belongings out of your own money – and that could get extremely expensive.

The goal of an independent insurance agent is to find the amount of coverage that will protect your home. This includes looking at the value of your home, any other structures on your property, as well as the value of a home inventory. From there, it’s easier to determine how much coverage your home insurance should include for your home in Federal Way, WA.

Reach out to one of the Independent insurance agents at Hart Insurance so that we can work with you to build the right policy for you and your home.

 

Prevent Water Damage to Your Home

Preventing water damage to your home in Federal Way, WA is a lot cheaper than repairs from water damage.  The core that holds your house together is the foundation, and the foundation is the one area that most often is damaged by water.  The damage that causes weakness in the foundation, leads to weakness of the home structure.  Here are some easy strategies to prevent water damage to your home.

One of the most important places to start is the drainage system.  Make sure the water has pathways away from your home.  Do this by keeping the gutters clean, make sure the downspouts are designed to direct water 5 – 10 feet away from your home, and your yard should be sloped at least 6 inches from the foundation.  These items work to keep the water away from the foundation where it can lead to cracked masonry and damp conditions. 

If your home has a sump pump, it should regularly be tested to make certain it stays in good working condition.  It is not working well; a heavy storm could flood the basement or crawl space and lead to wet conditions.  Check for home water leaks that may result in mold, mildew, and rotting, soggy wood where termites and carpenter ants love to take up residence.  Having the roof inspected yearly to have any loose or damaged shingles repaired is important to keep damage from the top-side.  Finally, examine the outer walls of your home, especially after the winter months, for cracks or other openings that need to be repaired or caulked to keep moisture out.

Hart Insurance

Hart Insurance provides homeowners insurance in the Federal Way, WA area.  Contact a Hart agent today so we can help you explore your flood insurance options.

3 Ways to Childproof Your Home for Summer

Childproofing your home will make it a safer environment for your kids to play during summer vacation. Although homeowner’s insurance coverage from Hart Insurance in Federal Way, WA protects you and your family against accidents, you can do your part to make accidents impossible to happen. Here are a few childproofing ideas to help you get started.

Store Tools and Cleaners in a Safe Location

Gardening and grilling are favorite summer past-times that can be enjoyed by the whole family. At the same time, they can pose a risk of danger to your children if tools and equipment are left unattended. By establishing a safe location to store gardening, grilling, carpentry and automotive tools when not in use, you reduce the risk of accidents. Safe and secure storage of this equipment will create a safer home environment.    

Household cleaners can also pose a threat to young children if not stored properly. Household cleaners should be stored on high shelves out of a child’s reach or behind locked cabinets for greater safety.

Secure Heavy Furniture

Children are notorious for breaking rules about climbing on furniture, especially if there’s something they want on top of a dresser or cabinet. If you have loose furniture that can topple over, it could pose a serious threat to your child’s safety. Securing dressers, televisions and other furniture to a wall for stability will help reduce the risk of accidents from climbing.

Declutter

Getting rid of clutter gives your kids more space to play safely. Clutter is not only a fire hazard but increases the risk of kids tripping and falling. Your kids will appreciate having a clean, clutter-free home to enjoy their summer vacation.

By combining childproofing measures with adequate home insurance coverage from Hart Insurance, Federal Way, WA you can protect your family from any eventuality.  

Winter Storms: How to Protect Your Home

The thought of winter might bring to mind a white wonderland complete with icicles hanging from the roof, a white blanket of snow covering the ground and warm baked cookies. Although winter scenes like these make winter wonderful, snow storms can put your property at risk for serious damage. This is something no one likes to deal with, especially not during the holidays. These recommendations, from Hart Insurance Agency serving Federal Way, WA, will help you avoid major problems from winter weather.

#1 Make Sure That You Have an Emergency Kit

This is perhaps one of the most important things that you can do to prepare for winter storms. An emergency kit ensures that you have the essential supplies in case a winter storm prevents you from leaving your house. In the middle of a winter storm, power and other utilities sometimes go out for days. The Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, recommends identifying things that you would need during a storm adding them to your emergency kit before disaster strikes. Here are some items to include in your emergency kit:

  • Enough water and non-perishable food for three days for each member of your family

  • Rock salt to help melt ice on driveways

  • Warm clothing and blankets

  • Flashlights

  • Battery powered smoke and carbon monoxide detector

#2 Prevent Ice Dams

An ice dam is an accumulation of ice that forms along the edges of your roof. When the snow melts, water runs down your roof and will refreeze at the edge. This build-up of ice keeps water from draining off of your roof. The water is forced under your roof and runs down into your attic or the inside of your walls. Once this happens, the damage can be quite serious. To prevent ice dams, keep drainage spouts and gutters clean. Carefully remove any snow accumulation with a roof rake before it has a chance to melt. If you suspect that you have damage from an ice dam, call in a professional.

#3 Make Sure That You Have the Right Insurance Coverage

Now is the time to check with your homeowner’s insurance agency to make sure that you will be adequately covered in the event of damage from a winter storm. Do not wait until after a catastrophe strikes to check your coverage. If you are in the Federal Way, WA area and would like to learn more about homeowner’s insurance coverage, speak with an agent from Hart Insurance Agency today.

 

Policyholders’ Tips: Preparing Your Home for Fall

Fall is now upon us, and there are different precautions that should be taken care of for your home this fall. There are also crucial things to be aware of this season to prevent possible great losses. Having said that, the following includes different preparation measures that should be taken for your home this fall:

  • Have a qualified technician to inspect and clean the furnace annually.
  • Keep flammables away from wiring and water heaters in the basement.
  • Turn the thermostat up during really cold temperatures, and get water pipes that are exposed in cold temperatures insulated.
  • Make sure the chimney is annually maintained and cleaned professionally.
  • Check the caulking around the toilet bases, sinks, bathtubs, and showers and make needed repairs.
  • Check the caulking around the windows and doors that are deteriorated.
  •  Check, clean, and repair accordingly the gutters, roof, and downspouts to keep down debris. This will prevent  the extra building of leaves in the gutters.
  • Remove and clean out the clothes dryer exhaust duct,  space underneath the dryer, pieces of material, dust, and lint.
  • Check electrical outlets for possible fire hazards, and make sure there’s no overloading of extension cords, fuse boxes, electrical outlets, and all power services.
  •  Make sure to have a filled and readily operable multi-purpose fire extinguisher.
  • Have a smoke detector on each floor of your home, inspect them, have monthly testings, and change the battery as needed.

Taking these steps will get you on your way for safety, to prevent dreadful losses, and to ensure your home insurance rates won’t raise. Most homeowner insurance policies cover damages associated with falling trees, wind, wind driven rain, and collapse caused by snow or ice. There are, however, some damages that  homeowners’ policies won’t cover, such as landslides, floods, busted pipes due to negligence from the homeowner, etc. Be sure to contact Hart Insurance for more details.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anger Management

Find yourself frequently overwhelmed with the urge to run other drivers off the road? You’re not alone, and these tips for diffusing the rage may save your life.

  • Yell into the abyss

One of the most natural, mild stages of road rage is screaming out your frustrations. While potentially off-putting for your passengers, it’s still a better option to let off steam than channeling the anger into your vehicle. If you’re the sort who gestures with their arms while talking, this method may not be for you.

  • Make a pit stop

If you have the time to spare, consider pulling off of the road and getting away from the driver’s seat. Have a drink, eat a meal, or call up your family on the cell phone. Do anything but think about the road, and wait for your rage to dissipate.

  • Think about the cost of losing control 

"Road rage" as a term tends to conjure up images of shouting drivers hurling insults at stop lights or riding too close to someone’s bumper, both aggravating but not inherently costly behaviors. Rage doesn’t stop there, though. If it takes over, drivers may find themselves deliberately causing accidents that threaten the lives of themselves of those around them. Even the seemingly innocuous tailgating can dramatically increase the risk of accidents occurring.

When you feel the urge to take an action based on anger while driving, it is essential to think ahead. The person who cut you off and made you slam on the brakes is certainly infuriating, but driving recklessly because of it could turn what was an insignificantly minor increase in used gas into the cost of repairs, rising insurance premiums, and even time in jail.

If you would like to know more about how road rage incidents can impact everything from your right to drive to the cost of your insurance premiums, contact the automotive insurance specialists at Hart Insurance.

 

Federal Way, WA Packing Tips

So it’s time to move from one place to another and you are dreading packing. This is a common concern. But if you follow a few helpful tips about how to pack more efficiently, the process won’t be so bad. Below are some packing tips to make your move a lot easier and keep your stress levels down.

DON’T PAY FOR BOXES

You are already spending enough on your move most likely. Save money on not buying boxes. You can get free boxes from friends, from various stores like liquor stores or from your work’s mailroom, if you have access to such a place. Also, if you can use them, don’t hesitate to put items into trash bags as you are simply transporting them from one place to another and these bags are durable enough for this purpose and perfect for a one time use.

INSURE YOUR MOVE

Make sure you have insurance during your move so you can protect yourself from having to pay for any lost or stolen items during this period of transition. Call a local insurance provider like Hart Insurance, who serves the greater Federal Way, Washington area to set up home or renters insurance so you can concentrate on packing and moving and not worry about losing items or having them stolen from you.

LABEL YOUR BOXES

By simply labeling what is in your boxes and what rooms the boxes belong in when you get to your new place, it will save you a tremendous amount of time packing and unpacking your belongings, especially the unpacking part. This can also be done by color coding boxes if you don’t want people carrying them to know exactly what is in them, with a key you only have access to.

3 Tips for Keeping Your Home Safe for Halloween Guests

Whether you are having a party or just handing out candy to trick-or-treaters, Halloween is certainly a fun time for all. However, it is important to take a few precautions before the festivities begin to ensure nobody gets hurt. Consider these three tips for keeping your guests safe.

#1: Keep a Tidy Yard

Keeping a tidy yard is definitely important around Halloween. Eliminate any hazards on your property that pose a risk of injury, such as a low hanging tree branch, a garden hose that could be tripped on, or a loose landscaping brick. Make sure any plants that can snag on clothing and costumes are also trimmed back accordingly.

#2: Turn On the Lights

As the evening festivities are getting started, it is time to turn on the lights. Keeping a well-lit home not only lets parents know that your home is handing out candy, it can help keep little ones from being injured on the way to your door. Use any exterior lights you have, but be cautious about using candles and other decorative items as a lighting source as they pose an increased fire risk.

#3: Protect Your Pets

One more important thing to consider this Halloween is where you will keep your pets during the evening. Many dogs and cats are easily spooked by small children coming to the door, which may cause them to try to get out each time a new visitor arrives. Instead of running the risk of your animal biting someone or becoming lost, it is always a good idea to have a plan in mind of where you will secure the pet until the fun is over.

Another important tip? Make sure you have the proper level of homeowner’s insurance coverage. Each time you have visitors at your home, you run the risk of having a liability claim. This rings true even if the guest is only on your porch for a moment or two to collect candy—i.e. trick-or-treaters. For more information on coverage or for a no-obligation insurance review, please contact us at Hart Insurance today.

How Do I Buy Home Insurance In Federal Way?

Buying home insurance for your home in Federal Way, WA is of the utmost importance. If you have a mortgage it is not only required, but also helpful in the event that something should happen to your home.

It can be intimidating to find a home insurance policy because you want to make sure you get the maximum level of coverage. You want to be covered for such things as:

– Fire/smoke damage
– Theft
– Flood/water damage
– Storm/snow damage

All insurance companies who are licensed to issue home insurance policies in Washington must provide actual-cash value coverage. You can also choose to get replacement-cost coverage, but you will need to specifically request it.

The type of policy you buy is going to depend on your type of dwelling, such as single family home versus condo, mobile home, or ranch.

There are various details you will want to know about, which is why it is advantageous to work with independent insurance agents. Our agents are knowledgeable and can walk you through all of the different coverage options. We can also talk to you about what happens if you rent your home out, such as suggesting renter’s insurance to the tenants.

Buying a policy doesn’t have to be a complicated process. You simply need to know when to ask for help, and that’s where we come in. We will show you how the different insurance companies vary within the marketplace and obtain quotes from multiple companies so you can compare more effectively.

Make the call to talk to one of our insurance agents today at Hart Insurance Agency. We can help you to find a good policy at an affordable price without having to do all of the work on your own. You can have quality coverage, too.