What Home Insurance Coverages Should I Consider?

If you own a home in Federal Way, WA, you need the right mix of home insurance policies to protect your investment against perils like fire, hail, lightning, falling objects, etc. But because you may not be an insurance expert, you may not understand the coverage options to include in your home policy. However, worry not because Hart Insurance is here to guide you every step of the way as you shop for your home insurance coverage.

Here are insurance options to consider for your home insurance:

  • Dwelling coverage: Since your building structure can be threatened by perils like fire, vandalism, and numerous natural disasters, you need to invest in home insurance to compensate for damage to your home.
  • Contents coverage: Home insurance not only covers your building but also protects the assets inside. For instance, if damage or loss occurs to your furniture and electronics, home insurance pays for the damage up to your coverage limit.
  • Liability coverage: This is one of the most underrated home insurance policies. Liability coverage protects you when accused of bodily injury or property damage by others. For example, if your canine friend bites someone, home insurance covers the medical costs and even legal suits if sued. Similarly, home insurance covers the damage if you cause property damage, such as reversing into a neighbor’s wall.
  • Loss of use: Suppose a peril like a fire consumes your home. Where would you and your loved ones go? You would probably seek a temporary shelter in a hotel. But since you hadn’t planned for such expenses, it can mess with your finances. However, the “loss of use” coverage covers additional living expenses until your house becomes habitable.

Are you looking for a robust home insurance policy in Federal Way, WA? Please get in touch with Hart Insurance.

How to Find Out What Level of Home Insurance You Need for Your WA Home

Home insurance is a necessity if you have your own house. If you’re new to owning a home or new to living in Washington, you might not know the level of insurance coverage you’ll actually need for your WA home. Hart Insurance of the Federal Way, WA area can assist you. 

Dwelling Coverage in Washington 

At the least, you should have dwelling insurance in place. This coverage is to replace or repair your home after it’s been damaged or destroyed. It also applies to attached structures like a deck or garage. Replacement coverage will replace your house up to your policy’s limit amount. If you have guaranteed replacement cost in your policy, the insurance company pays the full replacement cost even above your policy limit. Be sure to talk to your agent to find out if this is something offered. 

Other Structures 

If you have other structures that are unattached but on your property, you should get coverage for them as well. A typical amount is 10 percent of the coverage you’d have for your dwelling. It may not cover buildings on your property that are occupied by renters or a structure that you use for business. It’s a good idea to ask your agent specifics so you know if you need an insurance rider. 

Personal Property 

Items that are inside your home such as appliances, furniture, and clothing would fall into a policy for personal property. Pay close attention to the wording since it may only cover the used value of the property instead of its full replacement value. 

Liability 

If you’re concerned that someone could become injured on your property and you want to make sure you can cover hospital bills and possibly more, it’s ideal to have liability insurance. This is especially good to have if you’ll be hiring someone to do work on your property and they don’t have commercial insurance that would cover any expenses for potential injuries. Liability insurance also applies to neighbors and delivery people who enter your property. 

In addition to the above, you may want to talk to your insurance agent about natural disaster insurance that covers damage from floods, earthquakes, and landslides among other things. Contact us today at Hart Insurance, serving the Federal Way, WA region and we’ll do our best to put together an insurance package that works for you.

Home Insurance: The Roof Over Your Head

Home insurance protects your family and the investment you have made in the home you love. The unexpected can happen, but acquiring home insurance will keep you covered throughout the life of your home.

One area that homeowners should think about is the state of their roof. After all, the roof of the house protects residents and their property– it’s quite an important feature of a comfortable, happy home.

Federal Way, WA residents know that weather can change unexpectedly and can cause damage to your roof. One way to ensure proper maintenance is to fix nail pops on a regular basis. This can prevent leaks, which can lead to further damage.

Unaddressed nail pops can result in lost shingles during a bad windstorm. No one wants to go chasing after shingles during a storm! That’s why it’s a good idea to have your roof inspected periodically.

Your roof inspector will also check to make sure your flashing is in good condition and will look at roof vents for any damage. If you ever see water coming down through your ceiling, it’s a good idea to call a roof inspector right away to make sure the roof leak is repaired before any mold begins to grow.

Hart Insurance knows that you love your home and want to prevent lost shingles and leaks. But eventually, sometimes roof repair is necessary. Repairing a roof in a timely manner can delay the need for a fully replaced roof down the line.

If you have questions about your home insurance coverage, reach out to Hart Insurance to discuss your policy. After all, your home insurance policy is the roof over your head that mitigates the financial risks caused by damage to your home. A trusted home insurance agent provides security and confidence that will help you weather any storm. Federal Way, WA residents should reach out today.

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Mold?

Federal Way, WA residents are not mandated by law to carry homeowners insurance, but their lenders will usually compel them to. In addition, people whose mortgages are paid in full will often choose to purchase a policy to safeguard them against unforeseen occurrences. 

Mold Coverage

Your insurance agent can go into greater detail regarding what your specific package will and will not pay for, but in general, mold is covered, but only under certain circumstances. If, for example, your property develops growth as a stand-alone problem, you may need to take care of this situation from your own funds. 

When you have an issue for which you need to make a claim, for example, busted pipes, this can lead to water damage, creating the perfect environment for growing mold. Your insurance, in many cases, will cover the mold that results from perils like this that are listed in your homeowner’s coverage, including events that occur suddenly and those that are accidental. 

If your air conditioner malfunctions and causes a leak, that may be covered, but if your unit dripped due to a lack of maintenance, you will likely be responsible for the cost. Issues due to flooding will not be included under your standard policy, as you’ll need to purchase flood insurance separately.

In the event of a claim, resist the urge to clean, as the adjuster will need to see the true condition of the property. Make sure to keep detailed documentation so that it can be proven if need be that your issue with mold is due to a covered peril. 

Hart Insurance Faithfully Serves Federal Way WA Residents

Hart Insurance can answer any questions you may have about mold coverage and homeowners insurance. We carry a variety of indemnifications, and we look forward to working with you. Reach out to us today!

 

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.