Dwelling Fire Insurance vs Homeowners Insurance: What’s the Difference?

Dwelling fire insurance provides different coverage than traditional homeowner’s insurance. While they may sound similar, each is designed to cover different buildings under a set of varied circumstances. Our agents at Advantage Insurance Network in Cincinnati, OH, offer a short, comprehensive explanation.

Homeowner’s Insurance

Homeowner’s insurance protects your primary residence and is designed to cover damage to your home and property should a disaster or unexpected event occur. These policies include fire damage coverage for any damage to a primary residence and its possessions. No one plans to have a fire, but getting this policy can be the difference between homelessness and shelter.

Dwelling Fire Insurance

Dwelling fire insurance doesn’t cover a primary residence. However, it covers homes you own but don’t reside in for the majority of the year. These are typically vacation homes, rental properties, and getaway destinations like cabins or cottages. Dwelling coverage policies cover expenses resulting from fire damage, including repairs or rebuilding if necessary. Also covered are attached structures like garages, porches, and decks.

When to Use Dwelling Fire Insurance

Several situations could be handled by dwelling situations that result from fires. These incidents are the most expensive to repair and can result in total destruction, which this invaluable coverage can alleviate. These insurance policies can be customized to suit your housing situation. Most clients’ properties fall under the categories including:

  • Owner Occupied
  • Secondary Residences
  • Investment Properties
  • Vacant Homes

Get Protection From Property Fires Today

Fires can ignite at any time and be attributed to several sources. However, they are typically very destructive, so get the coverage you need to protect your investment through Advantage Insurance Network in Cincinnati, OH, for greater peace of mind.

Your Residential Home Insurance Assessment

A home insurance assessment is occasionally conducted before an insurance policy is prepared. If your property will be assessed by an insurance representative, familiarize yourself with the preparations and steps that may be followed.

Purpose

An assessment aims to determine a property’s risk and the amount of work that may need to be performed if it eventually needs to be rebuilt. The insurance representative may inspect the home’s exterior and interior.

Preparations

A property owner should prepare their home for the assessment. The property should be clean and accessible. If there are a lot of items crowding hallways or other areas where the assessment will take place, these items should be temporarily moved to an alternate space. 

Exterior Assessment

During the assessment, which takes place outdoors, the insurance representative will inspect the land and home. They will note damage or weak materials that could pose a threat. If the property is located in a low-lying area, the representative may note this fact. 

Interior Assessment

The interior assessment will provide the representative with the condition of the living space. The inspector may assess the walls for signs of mold, determine if any pests are present, and inspect the HVAC system, plumbing materials, and other critical materials installed within a home.

Findings

The insurance representative will provide the property owner with a report of their findings, which will outline any problems that the property owner should address. 

Contact Advantage Insurance Network

Contact one of our agents who serve Cincinnati, OH. An Advantage Insurance Network representative will advise you about the home insurance coverage you need.

Four Things You Should Know About Dwelling Fire Insurance

You should have a dwelling fire insurance policy if you have a home. These policies are designed to protect you in the event of a loss to your home, and understanding why you need one and what all they cover matters. If you’re in the Cincinnati, OH, area and have questions about this kind of insurance coverage, Advantage Insurance Network is here to help. Here are four of the most important things to know about protecting your home.

1. This Policy Covers More Than Just Fire

Even though it’s called a fire policy, it’s homeowner’s insurance and protects your home from several issues. Your agent can help you determine whether you have enough coverage or whether you need any riders added to the policy for exceptional circumstances.

2. You Want to Update Your Policy as Needed

Updating your policy is important. You should review it at least once per year and anytime you have a big life event that affects your home or family. That helps ensure that you always have the right coverage for your needs.

3. Having Insurance May be a Requirement

If you have a mortgage holder on your home, they’re likely to require you to have this kind of insurance policy to protect the investment they made in your asset. You may need to escrow your insurance for proof.

4. Working With an Agent Makes the Process Easier

When you contact us at Advantage Insurance Network, we can help you get the dwelling fire insurance policy you need. If you’re in the Cincinnati, OH, area and looking for this kind of insurance, contact us today. Our agents are here to help you find the right policy for your home.

Do You Need to Notify Your Home Insurance Company If You Complete Home Renovations?

Undertaking home renovations is an exciting venture that can enhance your living space and property value. However, it’s essential to consider how these renovations may impact your home insurance. Here at Advantage Insurance Network, serving the greater Cincinnati, OH area, we want to help you better understand this topic.

Home Renovations and Insurance

Home insurance providers typically expect homeowners to inform them about significant renovations. This is because renovations can alter your home’s value and risk profile. For instance, adding an extension or finishing a basement can increase your home’s value, while upgrading wiring or plumbing can reduce the risk of fire or water damage.

The Importance of Notification

Failing to inform your insurance company about renovations can lead to issues down the line. If you experience a claim related to the renovation and haven’t updated your policy, you may not have adequate coverage. Your insurer may even deny the claim.

Consulting Your Insurance Agent

Navigating the intricacies of home insurance and renovations can be complex. It’s advisable to consult with your insurance agent or broker before embarking on significant renovation projects. They can provide guidance on the necessary updates to your policy, ensuring that your coverage aligns with your home’s updated condition.

In most cases, it’s prudent to notify your home insurance company when completing significant renovations. This proactive step ensures that your policy accurately reflects your home’s value and the associated risks. If you’re looking for a new homeowner’s insurance policy to ensure you’re fully covered after home renovations in the greater Cincinnati, OH area, Advantage Insurance Network can help you. Please schedule an appointment with one of our insurance agents today. 

Accidental Condo Damage: Protecting Your Neighbors’ Belongings

Did you know that your Ohio condo insurance will cover a neighbor’s condos if a fire spreads from your condo to theirs? If a kitchen fire happens, for example, and burns through to other units, then personal liability coverage would cover the damages from the fire. 

Including Your Belongings

Remember that only the inside of the structure, such as the walls, floor, and ceiling, is covered by personal liability condo insurance. Both you and your neighbors are covered by personal liability insurance for the cost of personal belongings in the event of a fire and the resulting water damage. Advantage Insurance Network wants you to know more about accidental condo damage.

What The State Of Ohio Has To Say About Condo Insurance

This is a little confusing because some insurance companies say they’ll pay for neighbors’ condos and belongings in the event of a fire in your condo. The State of Ohio says on its website, "You are only responsible for the space within your walls because you cannot insure something you do not own (there must be insurable interest.)."

The only sensible thing to do is to check with your insurance company before buying condo insurance. Every insurance agency must comply with state and local laws as a matter of course.

Increase Your Personal Liability Limits

Most condo owners only take out enough condo insurance to get by or to satisfy their lenders if they’re paying for their home. When disaster strikes, they suddenly find themselves unable to cover repairs or replacements or even their neighbors’ repairs or replacements. Increasing your personal liability limits will help you afford the consequences of disaster. 

Insurance differs between houses and condos. Ask Advantage Insurance Network in Cincinnati, OH about condo coverage before you and your neighbors suffer an accident or disaster.

The Importance of Condo Insurance for First-Time Homebuyers

First-time homebuyers in Cincinnati, OH usually love the idea of buying a condo because they don’t need as much maintenance. As great as condos are, it leaves new homeowners unsure about insurance. Without insurance, the result can devastate homeowners, so it ensures you have the right policy in place is critical.

What Is Condo Insurance?

Like home insurance, condo insurance is made for homeowners. Condo insurance differs from homeowners insurance, so you don’t want to get them mixed up. Condos have a master policy, which is purchased by the condo association and pays for the exterior of the building. Condo insurance only covers your property inside the unit and the interior of the unit itself. It can also offer liability protection.

Why Is Condo Insurance So Important?

Unfortunately, new homeowners forget that condos still need to be insured to be protected. The right policy will protect you from property damage and offer liability coverage should something happen on your property. A good policy, like one from Advantage Insurance Network, will also include payments for temporary living expenses, referred to as loss of use coverage if the condo becomes unhabitable due to these circumstances.

Choosing the Right Condo Insurance Policy

You want to ensure you have the right amount of coverage for your personal property, so here are a few tips to help you make the best choice.

  1. Look at the master policy to know what’s covered and what’s not. That will help you figure out how much coverage you need.
  2. Consider your personal property value so you have the right amount of coverage for your belongings.
  3. Liability coverage can’t be overlooked. If someone is injured in your condo, you want to ensure your policy protects you from a lawsuit.
  4. Compare the deductibles and premiums of different policies to get the best value.
  5. Most insurance companies offer discounts, so ask them about what might be available to you.

The Bottom Line

If you don’t have condo insurance, you could be affected by unexpected financial obstacles. If there is a fire in the building, you need insurance to cover your obligations to the condo association. These can include covering the cost of rebuilding the interior of your unit, not to mention you’ll need to replace your belongings. Having insurance protects you from having to deal with that on your own.

If you’re in Cincinnati, OH, contact us at Advantage Insurance Network for more information or to ask any questions you may have. We’re happy to help!

Top Three Fire Risks in Your Home

A solid home insurance policy is one of the best ways to ensure you always have the resources to provide a safe place to live for you and your family. However, even more important is preventing disaster risks in the first place. At Advantage Insurance Network, serving Cincinnati, OH, and the surrounding areas, we are here to help clients make great choices concerning their homes and safety. Keep reading to learn about the top three fire risks to your home. 

Outdated Wiring 

Older homes with outdated wiring are at an increased risk for fires. Over time the protective coverings on wires can start to wear away. Pests and rodents can also compromise these protective coverings as well. When these protective coverings are compromised, it can lead to sparking and fires. If you have an older home, you should have the wiring evaluated by an electrician for safety. You should also have major electrical components, such as outlets and breaker boxes evaluated as well to ensure they are up to code and in safe working order. 

Unsafe Practices 

Another risk to your home would be unsafe practices or behaviors involving fire or heat. This can include flicking cigarette butts into the yard or trash, leaving candles unattended, poor fireplace safety, improper use of space heaters and electric blankets, and more. Everyone in your home must be well-versed in safe practices concerning these topics and anything involving fire or heat. 

Outdated Heating Systems, Including Fireplaces 

Another considerable fire risk is the heating system of your home. When systems are outdated, your home is put at risk. This includes fireplaces that are not built to modern codes or fireplaces that are not kept properly cleaned. If you have an older heating system, consider upgrades to keep your home safe. 

If you would like to learn about our home insurance services, please contact us at Advantage Insurance Network, serving Cincinnati, OH, and the surrounding areas. 

Six Strange Things Covered by Home Insurance

You probably know the basics of home insurance coverage. However, you may be surprised by some of the things your home insurance policy could cover. Advantage Insurance Network in Cincinnati, OH, offers home insurance policies. We can explain the top six unexpected things covered by home insurance coverage. 

1. Falling Objects

Standard home insurance policies cover falling objects. This includes asteroids and space debris. It also covers "blue ice," which is toilet water flushed from airplanes. 

2. Damage due to Religious Phenonemon 

Damage from religious phenomena is unlikely, but you are covered under your homeowner’s policy. For example, if you have a religious statue that suddenly begins releasing blood or water, and this damages your walls or floor, you are covered. 

3. Damage from Wild Animals 

If a wild animal damages your home, you are covered. For example, if a grizzly bear breaks your window looking for a snack, your policy will cover the damages. 

It’s important to note that wild animals apply to animals that are not considered domesticated and aren’t your pet. 

4. Drone Damage 

Drones have become popular in recent years. However, they can cause damage to other’s property or person.

For example, if you fly your drone into your neighbor’s car, the liability portion of your homeowner’s policy will cover the cost of repairs. 

5. Spoiled Food

If a power outage costs you the food in your fridge, your homeowner’s policy can cover the cost of replacing the food. Most policies offer up to $500 to replace spoiled food items due to a power outage. 

6. Dog Bites 

Dog bites make up about 30% of homeowner’s liability claims. If your puppy bites someone on your property, the policy will cover their medical expenses and civil liability judgments up to the coverage limit.

However, some policies exclude certain dog breeds because they are thought to have a higher risk of aggression. Before getting a dog, you should make sure that you are covered.

Home Insurance with Advantage Insurance Network

Advantage Insurance Network offers home insurance and other policies in Cincinnati, OH. If you need a home policy or would like to know exactly what is covered in your policy, contact us today. 

Four things you shouldn’t assume about condo insurance

You need to purchase condo insurance if you live in a condo in Cincinnati, OH. We can help you meet your condo insurance needs at Advantage Insurance Network.

Unfortunately, Ohio condo owners sometimes make assumptions about condo insurance that are not accurate. The following are four things that you shouldn’t assume about condo insurance. 

You don’t need condo insurance if you have HOA insurance coverage.

HOA insurance coverage will cover the overall structure of the building in which your condo is located.

It’s essential for you to realize that your HOA insurance coverage won’t cover you for what goes on within your individual unit. That’s why you need condo insurance even if you carry HOA insurance coverage. 

A condo insurance policy will cover you for any natural disaster damage.

Condo insurance will only cover you for certain types of natural disaster damage. A standard condo insurance policy won’t usually cover you for flood damage. In many cases, a standard condo insurance policy also won’t cover you for earthquake damage. 

Condo insurance only protects you financially regarding damage to your property.

In addition to protecting your property, condo insurance protects you regarding liability expenses. It’s essential that you don’t underestimate how expensive liability costs can be if you get sued after an injury that occurs within your condo unit. 

It’scostlye to purchase condo insurance.

You shouldn’t worry that condo insurance will be unaffordably expensive. If you shop around, you should find that it’s possible to acquire condo insurance at an affordable cost. 

Contact us at Advantage Insurance Network if you’re in need of a quote on a condo insurance policy. We’re happy to help you adequately insure your condo in Cincinnati, OH. 

Riders You Can Add to Dwelling Fire Insurance

You might think that you’ll only need the minimum dwelling fire insurance since you rent each apartment or flat in the building you own. Still, Advantage Insurance Network would like to suggest a few riders to add to your policy that will help you when the inevitable happens. We can help you customize your policy to protect your real estate investment.

What Typical Dwelling Policies Include

Your renters each carry renter’s insurance as long as you require it in your lease. Their policy only protects their belongings and liability.

Your dwelling policy protects the structure of the building from various perils, including fire, tornado, hail, snowstorm and ice damage, etc. It also offers you liability coverage. The riders you can add increase your coverage to include changes in the home and unexpected municipal issues.

Building code coverage

If your building starts in an up-to-code state, your dwelling coverage pays to repair your damaged house, so it returns to its original state if you file a covered claim. If your home is in a state that’s not up to code, you’ll need to pay the difference out of your pocket – unless you add this rider to your policy. With building code coverage, your insurance pays the extra for you to meet local building codes.

Water backup coverage

Water backup coverage doesn’t cover floods; it covers when the sewer backs up, a drain backs up, or a sump pump fails to function. It covers the damage from the water back up and the clean-up costs.

Identity theft restoration coverage

Although you don’t reside at a home you rent to others, you may occasionally get mail there. That leaves you open to identity theft. Adding ID theft coverage means your policy covers the cost of restoring your identity. With this rider in place, the insurance company reimburses you for legal fees, document mailing costs, and lost wages when you file a valid claim.

Construction/Renovation coverage

A temporary rider for construction or renovation covers your home when you make changes to it to increase curb appeal or remodel the interior. The coverage only lasts while the home undergoes the project.

Contact Advantage Insurance Network

Contact Advantage Insurance Network serving Cincinnati, OH for a dwelling fire insurance review. Let us help you determine which riders best serve your situation and update your policy so you stay fully covered.