Does Your Homeowner’s Insurance Policy Cover Equipment Breakdown?

Homeownership can be tough. Sometimes our most important – and most expensive! – household items can breakdown with no warning. Safeco Insurance offers a unique endorsement you can add to your Ohio homeowner’s insurance policy that can help. “Equipment Breakdown” coverage through Safeco Insurance covers your essential home systems and personal property in the event of an unexpected mechanical or electrical breakdown NOT caused by normal wear and tear or corrosion.

Example: Jane Smith’s home has an air conditioning unit that is five years old. She turns it on and it works fine for the first few weeks of summer. All of a sudden, it stops working. Jane calls a technician who says the unit has a bad compressor and it is going to cost $3000 to replace. Under Safeco’s Equipment Breakdown endorsement, since this is a sudden event and not the result of normal wear and tear, Jane will get the cost of the new unit covered (minus her $500 deductible that comes with this endorsement.) This is not the same deductible as your all peril on your homeowner’s policy and a claim on this endorsement does not count towards your policy.

At about $2 a month, it is a convenient way to make sure your belongings and your budget are covered. Typical household items covered under Safeco’s Equipment Breakdown Coverage are:

Washers and dryers

Computer equipment

Dishwashers

Refrigerators and freezers

Ovens and microwaves

Garbage disposals

Heat pumps

Heating and A/C systems

Electrical service panels

Home security systems

Water heaters

Well water pumps

Sump pumps

Surround sound systems

Swimming pool equipment

Televisions/Plasma/LCD

If you think this is a coverage you need to add to your homeowner’s insurance, call Advantage Insurance Network LLC and get a homeowner’s insurance quote with Safeco today!

Check Your Ohio Homeowners Insurance Deductible

As spring storms make way for the sunshine of summer, some Cincinnati homeowners are finding damage that these storms have left behind. High winds and hailstorm damage is being found on homes across the area. Some homeowners are surprised to find out they have a homeowner’s insurance deductible that is higher than it was when they signed up for their insurance policy. How could that be?

Over the past several years, some home insurers in the state of Ohio rolled something called a wind/hail percentage deductible on their policy renewals. This means that a policy’s deductible on a wind/hail claim is no longer the $1,000 deductible you signed up with two years ago, but now it is 1% of your Coverage A (Dwelling) amount. Some insurers will allow you to buy back your lower deductible, but oftentimes homeowners do not realize it has been changed until it is too late.

For example: Joe signed a policy with Nationwide five years ago. His house is insured at $275,000 and his deductible at the time he signed up was a flat $1,000. Two years ago, at renewal, his deductible was raised to 1% for wind/hail. His roof sustained damage from a storm that came through this Spring. His wind/hail deductible is now $2,750.

Even worse – the largest writer of homeowners insurance in the state – State Farm has implemented a percentage deductible for all perils to many of their policyholders. Customers that have had $500 or $1,000 deductibles for many years are now finding they have a 1% or even 2% deductible of their Coverage A dwelling amount for any loss sustained.

It is always a good practice to review your insurance documents carefully at each renewal. If you have any questions or would like help finding a policy with a flat deductible, give us a call at Advantage Insurance Network.

Important Considerations for your Next Homeowners Policy

Whether you live in Cincinnati, Florence, or Lawrenceburg, there are many to factors to consider when purchasing a homeowners policy.   You need to understand what is covered, what is excluded, what endorsements are available, and how claims will be settled. An independent insurance agent can help navigate all the choices. Here are some important factors:

Replacement Cost versus Actual Cash Value Loss Settlement – Replacement cost and Actual Cash Value are the two main loss settlement options for your home and personal property. It is important to identify which option is included in your policy. Replacement cost coverage is the best option for most homeowners. This option will pay the cost to replace your damaged home or personal property up to your policy limits. The other option is actual cash value. Actual cash value is defined as replacement cost less depreciation.   For example, if your roof was damaged in a hail storm and you had an ACV policy, if the roof cost $5,000 to replace but your roof was 15 years old, then you may only get $2,500 less your deductible.   However, on a replacement cost policy in the same example, you would be paid $5,000 less your deductible.

Common Exclusions that can be Covered by Endorsement – Most homeowners insurance policies have three common exclusions that can be covered by endorsement for an additional premium. These exclusions are: water backup, flood and earthquake. Even though these coverages are typically excluded from your base policy, coverage can be added. You should discuss these options with your insurance agent.

Important Optional Coverages – In addition to your base policy, many companies offer additional coverages that can be purchased. Here are some of the options:

  • Identity Theft Coverage – With all of the data breaches occurring today with major companies like Target and Home Depot, it is important to consider having coverage in place to offer additional protection. Many homeowners insurance companies offer some form of identity theft protection.
  • Schedule Jewelry Coverage or other valuables –Many homeowners insurance policies limit the amount of coverage for valuable items. The best way to cover your valuables, such as wedding rings, is by specifically scheduling them on your homeowners insurance policy. Scheduling the items provided the broadest form of coverage available.
  • Equipment Breakdown Coverage – Some insurance companies offer equipment breakdown coverage for mechanical breakdown of major household items such as furnaces, air conditioners, refrigerators, stoves, ranges, dish washers, and more. This is an affordable way to protect big ticket items in your home.

These factors should be discussed with your local insurance agent to be sure you have everything covered properly. The professional insurance agents at Advantage Insurance Network will ask you all of the relevant questions to help identify your needs and customize an insurance package to meet them.   Call us today to discuss your homeowners insurance or visit our website 24/7 at www.myadvantageinsurance.com.

Bundling Your Auto, Home, and Toys with Progressive Insurance Can Save You Money

Advantage Insurance Network in Cincinnati, OH is a Snapshot Certified agent representing Progressive and their partner, Progressive Home Advantage (underwritten by ASI). By now, I’m sure you have seen a Progressive commercial with everyone’s favorite spokeswoman, Flo, talking about the perks of bundling your auto and home insurance. By having all of your policies with Progressive, it helps reduce the potential for gaps in coverage. But, most importantly, it saves you money. In fact, Progressive gives a discount based on the number of policies you have with them. Do you know all the different types of policies that Progressive can write?

  • Auto
  • Homeowners/Renters/Condo
  • Mobile Home
  • Motorcycle
  • Boat
  • Personal Watercraft
  • Recreational Vehicle
  • Snowmobile
  • Travel Trailer
  • ATV
  • Golf Cart
  • Segway
  • Classic Car
  • Umbrella
  • Commercial Auto

Bundling your Progressive policies with an independent agent like Advantage Insurance Network gives you the extra benefit of having someone local to help with questions and concerns. Call us today or visit our website 24×7 at www.myadvantageinsurance.com to get started on your Progressive auto and home insurance bundle with Advantage Insurance Network.

5 Ways to Save Money on Your Home Insurance

Advantage Insurance Network in Cincinnati, OH is an independent insurance agency that works with homeowners to make sure they get the home insurance coverage they need at the best price possible. Below are the top five ways you can look at right now to save money on your home insurance.

  1. Multi-policy – Bundling your homeowners insurance with your auto insurance is a no brainer. With discounts averaging 20% on both policies, packaging your insurance needs is the easiest way to save money. It also allows your insurance agent to make sure you are avoiding any potential gaps in coverage.
  2. Call your agent when you update – So you got a new roof last year? Did you call your insurance agent? Discounts for updating things around your home like your roof, electric, plumbing and heating can top 15%. A two minute phone call to let your agent know about an update could save you hundreds.
  3. Consider taking a higher deductible – Most people know not to use their homeowners insurance as a maintenance policy. Filing a large number of claims can have a negative impact regardless of the size of the claim. It is important to have a deductible that is realistic should anything happen, but also to make sure you are not overpaying for a low deductible you do not need.
  4. Ask if your carrier offers a paperless discount – Most people today have an email address they check regularly. Heck, you probably checked it before you read this blog. Having policy documents delivered via email instead of through USPS can save on average 5%.
  5. Buy your policy from an Independent Agent who can shop around for you – Independent Agencies like Advantage Insurance Network can take the hassle out of shopping around for your homeowners insurance. With one phone call – or one visit to our website www.myadvantageinsurance.com – you can get dozens of quotes from nationally recognized, top rated carriers.

Questions on any of the above? Call us today at Advantage Insurance Network in Cincinnati OH to make sure your homeowner’s insurance policy is up to date and that you are getting the most out of your insurance. We can review your homeowners insurance with you and make sure you are taking advantage of all of your potential discounts.

5 Ways to Save Money on Your Auto Insurance in Cincinnati, Ohio

Advantage Insurance Network in Cincinnati, OH is an independent agency that prides itself on helping its customers get the auto insurance coverage they need at the price they deserve. Below are the top five ways you can look at today to help save money on your car insurance.

  1. Multi-policy – Bundling your auto insurance with a homeowners or renters insurance policy can save up to 20% on your premium on both policies. Having both policies with the same insurance company can also help prevent dangerous gaps in coverage.
  2. Shop in advance – Many companies offer “Advance Purchase” or “Advance Quote” discounts for new customers. Thinking about and shopping your insurance around in advance of your renewal date shows a responsibility level companies like to reward. Companies can offer discounts anywhere from 3 days to 21 days in advance of your policy start date. This discount can be up to 10%.
  3.  Consider Installing a Monitoring Device – Many companies are now offering a discount for installing a monitoring device in your car. Most track mileage, time of driving and hard braking. Think you’re a good driver? This is the easiest way to get the discount you think you deserve.   This discount can be up to 30%.
  4. Ask if your company offers an e-policy or paperless discount – If you are reading this blog, chances are you have an email address you check regularly. Many companies now offer discounts for customers choosing to receive policy documents via email instead of through the USPS. Typically this discount is 5%.
  5. Buy your policy from an Independent Agent who can shop your insurance for you – Nobody wants to spend hours on the phone, repeating the same information over and over to get quotes from different companies. Advantage Insurance Network represents over a dozen companies. Just call us or visit our website (www.myadvantageinsurance.com) and give your information one time. That’s all it takes to get multiple quotes from top rated companies.

If you think you could benefit from any of these discounts, give Advantage Insurance Network a call. We can help you review your auto insurance policy to make sure you are not leaving any potential discounts on the table.

5 Reasons You Should Buy from an Independent Insurance Agent in Cincinnati, Ohio

Today, there are many choices when buying insurance. You can buy direct from companies like Progressive or GEICO. You can buy from captive agents like State Farm, Allstate, or Nationwide. But buying from an independent insurance agent, like Advantage Insurance Network, offers many distinct advantages. Here are some of them:

  1. Choice – Unlike direct or captive companies, independent insurance agencies sell for multiple insurance companies. When you call State Farm, you will only get one insurance quote. When you call an independent agent, they will shop your insurance with multiple companies and find you the best combination of price and coverage. Independent agents work for you and are not obligated to present policies from one insurance company. Discounts vary from company to company, so having an independent agent will ensure that you get all the discounts you deserve.
  2. Channel – Many companies have offer products through more than one channel. For instance with Progressive, you can either buy direct or through an independent agent. While buying direct may seem appealing, why not let an independent agent shop your insurance through Progressive and many other companies at the same time? Agencies like Advantage Insurance Network in Cincinnati, Ohio offer instant quotes directly on their website much like many of the direct writers. Another example is Allstate. Allstate now offers their products through captive agents and independent agents. Is there any benefit to calling an Allstate captive agent versus an independent agent representing Allstate?
  3. One Stop Shopping – Many independent agencies offer a full line of insurance products. While Progressive can write your auto, home and toys, they do not offer life and health products. So while Progressive may have the best rates on your auto insurance, they may not on your home and they don’t even write life. An independent agent could be your agent on all of your insurance needs even if they are with multiple companies. This can help reduce the risk of gaps in your coverage among different companies.
  4.  Personalized Customer Service – Independent agents can help you with your policies and offer you advice. Independent agents can help you with anything from billing questions to help filing a claim. A good independent agency will review your policy on a regular basis. And as your situation and life changes, they will be sure that your current company still represents your interests best. This eliminates the need for you to do this yourself.
  5. Local Knowledge – Independent insurance agencies are local businesses in your community.   They live and work near you and understand the community. When you call a large company like Progressive or GEICO, you will be just another number. When you call a local agent like Advantage Insurance Network, they want to get to know you and understand where you live.

Insurance is complicated but it doesn’t have to be. Working with an independent insurance agency, offers many advantages that can’t be achieved direct or through captive agents. Let the professionals at Advantage Insurance Network, handle all your insurance needs. To experience the difference, visit www.myadvantageinsurance.com.

Can I Save Money with Progressive Snapshot? How does a Tracking Device Save Money on my Car Insurance?

All drivers are not the same. So why should you be lumped in with everyone in your age group? Or zip code? At Advantage Insurance Network in Cincinnati, OH we strive towards an individual experience. Insurance companies have realized that driving habits can vary greatly from person to person, household to household, and have come up with ways to reward good driving behavior. Here are a few examples from the companies we represent:

 

Progressive – Snapshot

Progressive’s Snapshot device measures mileage, the time of day you drive and hard braking. It is NOT a GPS device.   When you are enrolled in the Snapshot program, you can follow your driving behavior online and track your discount.

The average customer savings with Progressive’s Snapshot device program is $150 per year.

Your rate will not increase with Snapshot. A discount of up to 30% is applied at a vehicle level and will stay on your policy as long as your vehicle stays on the policy. An initial discount is applied after your first 30 days with Snapshot and after one policy term, your final discount is applied.

 

Travelers – Intellidrive

Travelers Intellidrive program gives you a discount based solely on the number of miles you drive. If you drive less than 13,000 miles a year you can get up to a 30% discount.

A 10% discount is added to your first policy term just for adding Intellidrive to your Travelers auto policy.

Teen driving with Travelers Intellidrive – Travelers Intellidrive allows parents to set up guidelines for how and where a car is driven. Parents can then set text or email alerts to know when the car is being driven outside these limits. Want a text message when your teen drives over 55mph? Sign up for Travelers Intellidrive. Want an email when your teen drives outside of the 30 mile perimeter you have set up? Sign up for Travelers Intellidrive. Parents can be reassured of good driving behavior even when they are not in the car.

When you log onto your online account you can track how and where the car is driven to better understand and improve your driving habits.

 

Allstate – Drivewise

Allstate’s Drivewise device measures mileage, your driving time of day, hard braking, and speeds over 80 miles per hour.

Allstate savings start as soon as you install the Drivewise device in your car. You can earn additional savings every six months with each Allstate policy renewal. Allstate Drivewise discounts are applied per vehicle.

Allstate Drivewise data can be accessed through your smartphone.

In order to maximize your discount with Allstate’s Drivewise program, you should average driving 25-30 miles or less per day, avoid driving over 80mph, avoid late night driving and maintain a safe driving distance between your car and the car in front of you to avoid hard braking.

 

Metlife – My Journey

Metlife’s My Journey device measures mileage, the time of day your car is driven, braking, speed, acceleration and cornering.

Metlife’s My Journey device is kept in your vehicle for 24 months. You can earn a discount of up to 30%. This discount is kept on your policy for as long as the car stays on the policy.

You can create an account on Metlife’s website to monitor your My Journey device that will allow you to track driving behavior and modify any potential bad driving habits that would go against your final discount with them.

 

If you think you could benefit from any of these discounts or are interested in learning about other potential discounts you could benefit from, contact us at Advantage Insurance Network in Cincinnati, OH. Or you can visit our website at any time at www.myadvantageinsurance.com.