Lallis and Higgins Blog

The Right Home Insurance Policy for Your First Home - Quincy, Weymouth, MA

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Nothing can seem as exciting — and overwhelming — as buying your first home.

There’s so much to consider that many first-time buyers don’t think about home insurance — a factor that will be important when it comes to closing on the house.

You should factor the ongoing cost of home insurance into your home-buying budget, because it will probably show up in your monthly mortgage payment along with payments on your loan principal and interest and your property taxes. That means you should go into your search knowing the basics about insuring your house and what can drive up the cost of coverage.

Once you choose the house and negotiate an offer, it will be time to find an insurance agency. There are a few issues to take into consideration before settling on a provider — all policies are not created equal. Using these tips can help you save money and ensure that you have quality coverage to protect your largest investment.

Give yourself credit

You know credit matters when it comes to getting a favorable interest rate on your mortgage. But did you know it also matters for home insurance? That’s because home insurance providers use your credit score as as part of the formula for assessing the risk you pose as a policyholder - this is not a hard hit on your credit, so it does not affect your credit score. The pricing models show that consumers with good credit are much less likely to file claims.

Before you get too far into the buying process, assess your credit and take steps to improve your score. At the very least, make sure to correct any errors. Improving your credit score can result in big savings on your mortgage and your home insurance premiums.

Shop around

The price of home insurance varies widely from carrier to carrier. That’s because each provider has a different algorithm for determining customer premiums. This is one reason why it’s a good idea to comparison shop by using an insurance agent who has access to many insurance companies. You could end up saving yourself hundreds of dollars simply by getting a few different quotes.

Don’t skimp on coverage

While you want to save money on home insurance, it’s important not to skimp on coverage. Standard home insurance policies typically offer protection from a variety of potential risks, ranging from liability to damage from weather-related perils. However, you may want to adjust or add coverage depending on your needs.

One matter you should pay close attention to is your amount of dwelling coverage — the part of your policy that protects the structure of your home. You should have enough dwelling coverage to rebuild completely in case the house is destroyed by a covered peril. That amount is often different from the purchase price.

Bundle your policies

Buying home and auto insurance from the same provider can save you as much as 20% on your annual premium. Do you have multiple vehicles? Or even a boat? You can often bundle all of these items with one carrier. Insurance companies are even now offering a bundle discount if you use the same agent for the home and auto insurance even if the policies are with two different companies.

Evaluate risks as you look

When you’re evaluating potential homes, consider the risk each proposes. Is the house in a high-risk flood plain? Standard home insurance doesn’t cover flooding. For this protection, homeowners must purchase a separate policy. Just a few inches of flood water can cause tens of thousands of dollars in damage.

Does one of the homes you’re considering have a swimming pool or trampoline on the property? Either factor can increase the amount you’ll pay for home insurance, or limit the options your insurance agent can get proposals from.

Remember, even veteran home buyers can get tripped up by the process. But take your time, ask plenty of questions and keep your eyes open for potential problems, and you’ll be well on the way to finding the perfect first home.

For more information on homeowners insurance, contact Lallis & Higgins Insurance.

zillow.com


Renter’s Insurance So You Don’t Lose Everything – Quincy, Weymouth, MA

Joseph Coupal - Monday, September 19, 2016

If you were at risk of losing $5,000, $10,000 or even $15,000 and could do something to stop it, would you? The answer is a no-brainer: you’d would.

Yet, more than half of adults ages 23 to 29 years old who rent apartments don’t have renters insurance, putting all their stuff at risk.

Homeowners buy homeowner’s insurance to cover their home and belongings. Those who live in apartments or rental homes should get renters insurance to do the same thing. A renter’s policy will cover your personal possessions (clothes, electronics, furniture, etc.) if they’re stolen and will pay to repair or replace them if there’s a fire, burst pipe or other unfortunate event. Renter’s policies can also pay for you to rent a new home or stay in a hotel in if you are displaced by a fire or other natural disaster — coverage that most policies refer to as “loss of use.”

Like homeowner’s insurance, renter’s insurance includes liability coverage – if someone is injured in your home, the cost of their care and potential legal proceedings is covered up to your policy’s liability limits.

But unlike a homeowner’s policy that covers the home structure and its contents, renter’s insurance covers just the contents of your home. That makes it a lot cheaper. Your landlord has an insurance policy that covers the building, but that does nothing to protect your valuables.

Most people don’t have the cash sitting around to replace all their stuff. So why do so few buy renters’ insurance? One reason: while homeowner’s insurance is almost always required if you are paying for your home with a mortgage, there are no blanket laws requiring that you purchase a renter’s policy.

Another  reason: A lot of people are under the misconception that if they live in an apartment that their landlord is responsible for their belongings.

In fact, of the 59% of adults ages 23 to 29 who do not have renter’s insurance, 46% didn’t think they needed it. Another third said they thought it was too expensive and a quarter said they just hadn’t gotten around to purchasing it.

The average millennial carries $45,000 in debt, and it is thought that for that reason as well as other societal trends, they’re delaying a lot of life moments like marriage and home-buying. That means they’re going to rent longer.

Another reason younger renters don’t immediately think to insure their stuff is that they underestimate the value of their possessions. Once they do the math they’re shocked by the full value of what they own.

Think you can’t afford renter’s insurance? You can. The average cost of renter’s insurance is under $20 per month — equal to the cost of ordering takeout one night. What you pay for a renter’s insurance is largely based on the value of your belongings.

All renters policies should cover your belongings in your apartment and up to 100 feet from your apartment — to include damage or theft while you’re moving. Policies will cover your items whether or not you’re home at the time of the vandalism, fire, burst pipe or other disaster that ruined your belongings.

For more information, contact Lallis & Higgins Insurance.

Forbes


Four Actives You and Your Family Have to Do this Fall

Joseph Coupal - Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Four actives you and your family have to do this fall:

1. Go apple or pumpkin picking.

  • C.N. Smith Farm Inc. in East Bridgewater offer pick your own apples and pumpkin, and also have a hay ride to enjoy. There is a Creepy Hollow Daytime Hayride on October 24th and 25th. www.cnsmithfarminc.com
  • Lookout Farm in South Natick offers both pumpkin and apple picking during the fall. The farm also has children's play area along with a train and hay ride. www.lookoutfarm.com
  • Connors Farm in Danvers on top of the apple and pumpkin picking – this farm offers a 7-acre corn maze, barn yard animals hay-jump and slide, and more… www.connorsfarm.com

2. Go for a walk or hike! Some of the most beautiful walking and hiking trails are at our footsteps - here are a few of our favorites.

  • World's End Hingham GPS address 150 Martins Lane Hingham, MA 02043. Overlooking the Boston sky line, this location brings the best of both land and sea.
  • Blue Hills trails in Canton are a great location to hike. They have different levels of hiking from beginner to intermediate. You can also visit the Trailside Museum at the base of trails after you're done with your hike.
  • If you enjoy the foliage and like going for car rides, then you may want to take a trip up to New Hampshire this fall for a hike. A Moderate Hike Moose Mountain is just a little more than an hour and a half from Boston. For those more adventures keep driving north to the Franconia Notch State Park.

3. Haunted houses! If you like a good thrill, then these places may give you want you've been looking for.

  • Factory of Terror – located in Fall River, Worcester and West Warwick RI. www.factoryofterror.com. If you like a good old fashion scare, then this is right up your alley.
  • Boston Zombie Apocalypse located in Abington. www.bostonzombies.com. This experience is truly unique and each visit is different. We dare you to try to escape from the zombies!
  • Ghost Ship Harbor is a unique experience that brings the terror of a haunted house onto the historic USS Salem battle ship. www.ghostshipharbor.com

4. Visit a zoo. The Fall is a great time to visit a zoo, and many of the zoos decorate for the seasons. Here are our top three zoos to visit in New England:

  • Southwick Zoo in Mendon, MA. Just an hour south of Boston this zoo is a must see. They even have carnival rides for the little ones to enjoy. Zoo Boo Days are from October 22 – 30th. www.southwickszoo.com
  • Franklin Park Zoo in Boston, MA. Conveniently located in Boston. The Midnight Zoo experience starts Sept 30th and runs to October 30th from 6:00 – 10:00 p.m. www.zoonewengland.org
  • Rogers Williams Park Zoo in Providence Rhode Island. This zoo has a fun Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular from October 6th to November 6th. www.rwpzoo.org

Fun Ideas to Enjoy With your Family – Quincy, Weymouth, Braintree, MA

Joseph Coupal - Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Four actives you and your family have to do this fall:

Go apple or pumpkin picking.

  • C.N. Smith Farm Inc. in East Bridgewater offer pick your own apples and pumpkin, and also have a hay ride to enjoy. There is a Creepy Hollow Daytime Hayride on October 24th and 25th. www.cnsmithfarminc.com
  • Lookout Farm in South Natick offers both pumpkin and apple picking during the fall. The farm also has children’s play area along with a train and hay ride. www.lookoutfarm.com
  • Connors Farm in Danvers on top of the apple and pumpkin picking – this farm offers a 7-acre corn maze, barn yard animals hay-jump and slide, and more… www.connorsfarm.com

Go for a walk or hike! Some of the most beautiful walking and hiking trails are at our footsteps - here are a few of our favorites.

  • World’s End Hingham GPS address 150 Martins Lane Hingham, MA 02043.  Overlooking the Boston sky line, this location brings the best of both land and sea.
  • Blue Hills trails in Canton are a great location to hike. They have different levels of hiking from beginner to intermediate.  You can also visit the Trailside Museum at the base of trails after you’re done with your hike.  
  • If you enjoy the foliage and like going for car rides, then you may want to take a trip up to New Hampshire this fall for a hike.  A Moderate Hike Moose Mountain is just a little more than an hour and a half from Boston.  For those more adventures keep driving north to the Franconia Notch State Park.

Haunted houses! If you like a good thrill, then these places may give you want you’ve been looking for.

  • Factory of Terror – located in Fall River, Worcester and West Warwick RI. www.factoryofterror.com. If you like a good old fashion scare, then this is right up your alley.
  • Boston Zombie Apocalypse located in Abington. www.bostonzombies.com. This experience is truly unique and each visit is different. We dare you to try to escape from the zombies!
  • Ghost Ship Harbor is a unique experience that brings the terror of a haunted house onto the historic USS Salem battle ship. www.ghostshipharbor.com

Visit a zoo.  The Fall is a great time to visit a zoo, and many of the zoos decorate for the seasons.  Here are our top three zoos to visit in New England:

  • Southwick Zoo in Mendon, MA.  Just an hour south of Boston this zoo is a must see. They even have carnival rides for the little ones to enjoy. Zoo Boo Days are from October 22 – 30th. www.southwickszoo.com
  • Franklin Park Zoo in Boston, MA.  Conveniently located in Boston. The Midnight Zoo experience starts Sept 30th and runs to October 30th from 6:00 – 10:00 p.m. www.zoonewengland.org
  • Rogers Williams Park Zoo in Providence Rhode Island.  This zoo has a fun Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular from October 6th to November 6th.  www.rwpzoo.org

Life Insurance Awareness Month, Do You Have the Insurance to Protect Your Family? Quincy, Weymouth, MA

Joseph Coupal - Monday, September 12, 2016

Life changes in the blink of an eye. Seasons change. Days turn to months and months to years. But what if you weren't there for all of these moments? How would your loved ones continue to live the life you always wanted them to live?

That's where life insurance can come in, giving you peace of mind that your family will never miss a moment. Life insurance: more than just protection, it can help protect your family’s financial security. Some types of life insurance can also offer access to cash in order to help meet needs during your lifetime which makes it a smart addition to most any financial plan.

How much life insurance is enough? Everyone’s life insurance need is different, but the average American family has only 3.5 years’ worth of coverage. A great first step is contacting Lallis & Higgins Insurance in order to get help calculating your unique need. All the types of life insurance offer different features designed for specific needs. We can help you choose.

For more information on Life Insurance to protect your family, contact Lallis & Higgins Insurance.



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