Protection From Rising Waters

Flood Insurance

Flood Insurance Basics

Your house is probably the biggest investment you have ever made, which is why choosing the right homeowner’s insurance policy is so important. However, your home insurance policy is not the only insurance policy needed to protect your home and assets, since it will not provide coverage for every situation, including a flood.

The only way to ensure that your home and personal belongings are protected in case of a flood is to invest in a specific flood insurance policy. When deciding on the right policy to meet your needs, it is important to keep in mind that flood insurance policies take 30 days to kick in, so if you are waiting until the first storm to invest in a policy, it may be too late. If your flood insurance policy is still in the waiting period when a flood hits, you will be left paying for the repairs to your home out of your own pocket.

The cost of a flood insurance policy will depend on many factors. The biggest factor that is taken into consideration when choosing the right policy is where your house is located. If you live in a high risk flood area, you will be left paying more for your coverage than if you live in a low risk area. The size of your house will also help to determine your premiums. The larger your house, the more it would cost to repair it after a flood, which means that you will pay more for your policy.

When looking for the right flood insurance policy that will properly protect your home, contact the insurance professionals at The Insurance Shop in White Bear Lake, Minnesota. As an independent insurance agency, we will work with you to ensure that you have the right amount of coverage, all at the right price.

Good News For Housing Trends in 2015

Paperwork at home

Paperwork at home2015 Housing Trends

The increasing economy is showing great signs for homebuyers. Many millennials are expected to start looking for their first home in the coming year, with rents rising much faster than incomes. There are many different housing trends that are helping to shape the housing market for the year, including:

  • Loose lending standards – the mortgage giants Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae have been putting new lending guidelines in place that allows buyers to qualify for a mortgage with only a 3 percent down payment. With a strengthening job market, many millennials are jumping into the housing market, looking to buy their first house.
  • More homes – to help accommodate the entry-level buyers, homebuilders are increasing their production of smaller, more affordable homes. Many homebuilders are starting to build “no-frills” homes that will be listed around half the price of what their typical builds cost.
  • More affordable prices – with an increase in the homes that are available, some of the pressure of home prices will be released, which will make even the most sought after areas affordable. Institutional investors are also expected to relax on their home buying, making more properties available, leading to more affordable price tags.
  • Eventual increased mortgage rates – almost all experts agree that mortgage rates will rise in 2015, but not by much. Buyers who are able to get into a home during the beginning of the year will benefit from lower mortgage rates, saving them thousands of dollars over the life of the loan.

When you have found the perfect house to move into, contact The Insurance Shop in White Bear Lake, Minnesota for all your homeowner’s insurance needs. We will work with you to ensure that you have the right amount of home insurance coverage to provide protection for your new home.

Tips To Avoid Ice Dams At Your Home

Glass toy house

Glass toy houseIce Dam Basics

As the cold winter weather continues to stick around, you may be dealing with water damage and leakage around your ceiling and exterior walls. While you may be thinking that it is time to replace your roof, there may be a very simple solution, look out for ice dams. Knowing how to spot and deal with ice dams will help to ensure that your home stays safe this season.

Ice dams are caused by heat that builds up in your attic, due to improper ventilation, which then warms your roof and melts the bottom layer of ice and snow that is sitting on top. The melted ice and snow then runs down your roof until it reaches a cold area (typically your rain gutters). The water then refreezes, causing an ice dam to form. As the process continues, more water builds up behind the ice dam, which can cause the water to leak into your home.

Luckily, there are steps that you can take to help prevent ice dams from forming on your roof, including:

  • Making sure there is adequate insulation installed on the floor of your attic to keep the attic and roof around the same temperature.
  • Checking the ventilation in your attic and installing soffit vents that are meant to vent air toward the ridge of your roof to prevent heat buildup.
  • Insulating or wrapping all heating ducts that are in your attic.
  • Sealing all openings from your home into your attic, such as light fixtures and chimneys.
  • Keeping all of your downspouts and rain gutters clear of all fallen leaves and other debris so that water can properly drain off your roof.
  • Do no use any sharp tools on your roof to remove ice since they can cause much more serious damage.

Having the right homeowners insurance policy will help to ensure that you have the right amount of coverage for any winter perils. Contact The Insurance Shop in White Bear Lake, Minnesota for all of your home insurance needs.

It is Time to Break Out Those Snow Shovels!

Snow on Driveway leading to home

Snow on Driveway leading to homeThe cold winter weather is here, and if it has not already started snowing at your home, it will soon. Although shoveling snow out of your sidewalks and driveway may seem like a bothersome task, it is essential to making sure that nobody is injured when they come to visit. Keep these tips in mind to help keep your driveway and sidewalk clear of snow and ice.

  • Remove snow in a timely manner – it is especially important to make sure that you shovel your sidewalk and driveway during a snowstorm since the compressed snow can easily turn to ice, making it much more difficult to remove. The job is much easier with less amount of snow on the ground.
  • Stay safe while shoveling – snow is very heavy, especially when there is a lot of it. Push the snow to the side when you are shoveling instead of lifting it out of the way so that you do not injure yourself.
  • Take advantage of sunshine – sunshine will melt ice, which will make it easier to clean up. Spread gravel or sand on icy patches before they fully form to help create more traction. It will also help future cleanup of the icy patches.

Keeping your sidewalks and driveways clear of snow and ice is the best way to prevent someone from getting injured when walking by your house. If someone is injured on your property, you can be held responsible for any medical bills associated with the accident. The injured party also has the option to sue you for more money because of the injury.

Having the right homeowners insurance policy is the best way to make sure that you are protected in case of an accident at your home this winter. Contact The Insurance Shop in White Bear Lake, Minnesota for all of your home insurance needs.

Credit Scores and Homeowners Insurance – How are They Connected?

Good Bad Credit Signpost Showing Customer Financial Rating

Good Bad Credit Signpost Showing Customer Financial RatingHaving a high credit score can help to benefit you in many ways. From buying a car to getting approved for a credit card, your credit score is used in a variety of situations. Many people are not aware that your credit score can also impact the cost of your homeowners’ insurance premiums.

When you are looking for a homeowners’ insurance policy to provide the right amount of protection for your home, your insurance agent will run a credit check. It is important to keep in mind that insurers will only run a “soft” credit check, which will not show as an inquiry on your credit report. Since there are no consequences of running a “soft” credit check, you can shop around for the right insurance policy without having to worry about ruining your credit.

Once insurers know your credit score, they use it in combination with many other factors to come up with an insurance score. This insurance score is then used to decide how much of a risk you are, which will then be reflected in your insurance premiums. The more of a risk you are, the higher your insurance premiums will be. If you have a high insurance score, you will be able to save on your insurance premiums since it means that you are not at high-risk.

Many studies have shown that people with higher credit scores are less likely to file an insurance claim, which is why they are considered less risky, and are rewarded with lower insurance premiums.

For all of your homeowners’ insurance needs, contact The Insurance Shop in White Bear Lake, Minnesota. We will work with you, no matter your credit score to ensure that you have the most comprehensive homeowners insurance policy possible.

Speed Up The Claims Process With a Home Inventory

Checklist

A home inventory list can make the processing of your claims at least 70% faster than it would have been without one. Processing a home insurance claim does not need to be as tedious as it sounds. Taking inventory by making a list of belongings and keeping track of receipts can make your claim a whole lot more efficient.

A home inventory is an easy way to speed up an insurance claim turn around and the best part is, once you start your home inventory list it is simple to keep it updated. Here are some tips to help you get started with your own home inventory checklist:

  • List off your possessions by category, age, and price. Include information about the condition of your item, the purchase price, cost of replacement, and where and when you purchased an item.
  • You can use photographs or video to simplify the inventory process.
  • Pay special attention to your more costly possessions and make sure to record the serial numbers of these items in your inventory.
  • Hold on to any receipts you may have especially for items that are more expensive.
  • Keep two separate copies of your inventory at home and in a safe place away from home.
  • Estimating the cost and replacement cost of an item is something you need to do when you file a homeowners insurance claim. Know that prices may fluctuate depending on the value and age of an item.
  • Inventory can be very time-consuming but there is no need to fret, you do not need to finish it all in one day. Tackle your home inventory list with one room at a time to make it more manageable.

The Insurance Shop wants you to be prepared with all the tips and tricks to simplify the insurance process. We are here to answer any of your life insurance questions and offer you the best insurance solutions for your needs. The insurance shop is a group of experienced insurance agents in White Bear Lake, Minnesota offering coverage options ranging from homeowners insurance, cyber liability, life insurance, and auto insurance at a competitive price. Contact us today to get started with your coverage.

Does an Old Roof Affect Your Insurance Rates?

Seasonal Gutter cleaning red roof

Seasonal Gutter cleaning red roofThe older the roof on your home, the greater chances it has of sustaining major damage in a storm. Older roofs also lose their ability to repel water, increasing the risk of water damage to your home. To compensate for these risks, insurers will generally charge higher homeowner insurance rates for a home that has an old roof.

If you’re considering home improvements to your abode, have your roof inspected to see if it needs replacing or repair. Roof replacement can help lower your homeowner’s insurance premium. By discussing your options with a qualified insurance agent, you can get a better idea of how to update your insurance policy to get the most from your investment.

Even if roof replacement is not needed, you may find it necessary to repair weak areas to avoid water damage in the event of a storm. Roof repair will ensure your home and belongings receive ample protection from adverse weather that comes your way.

For more information on homeowners insurance coverage and how to protect your Minnesota home, contact The Insurance Shop located in White Bear Lake, MN.