Lallis and Higgins Blog

Understand Your Homeowners Insurance – Cohasset, MA

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Lallis & Higgins Insurance, Cohasset, MAYour home is your castle, and the day after a claim is not the time to start asking questions about what home insurance provides. That’s why it’s important when insuring your home to work with a local insurance broker who has your best interest in mind.

Talk to a Lallis & Higgins Insurance representative to find the policy that will protect you, your home and your family. Lallis & Higgins represents more than one insurance company can offer options that many insurance agents can’t.

Too many times, the home owner selects a policy that has the cheapest premium only to learn after the claim that the policy did not provide what they thought that it should pay.

You need an agent that has the experience and knowledge to give good advice and describe the policy differences. This is the person that is going to be your trusted advisor, and the person that is going to stand with you the day after a claim.

Make sure you consider special circumstances. Most policies protect you against fire, lightning strikes, wind or hail damage. Losses from vandalism and theft are also typically covered to varying degrees. Is your home in a flood plain? What is the cost of flood insurance? What about damage from the back up of sewers or drains?

Does your homeowners insurance have a coverage limit for the theft of guns?  Earthquake coverage can typically be added on your policy – is this something you would like to entertain. What about damage to your home caused by a sinkhole? Do you have a business in your home? You need to think about what coverage is appropriate for your lifestyle and location. Also not covered is damage caused by poor maintenance, mold or pest infestation such as termites.

Buying home insurance is not like ‘shopping’ for a crate of oranges. All homeowners insurance policies are not the same.  There are real differences that are more important than the premium difference For more information contact Lallis & Higgins Insurance.

Citizen Tribune


Changing Homeowners Insurance – Quincy, MA

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Lallis & Higgins Insurance, Homeowners insurance, Quincy, MAHomeowners who have resolved to save money in 2017 can try many ways to economize — energy-efficient lightbulbs, cutting the cable and more. However, they could be overlooking a potential source of thriftiness hiding in plain sight.

You may have lost track of your home insurance premium, seeing as it could be rolled into escrow along with your mortgage payment and property taxes. Just because you don't see an individual bill for it doesn't mean it's not there. Any policyholder can feel motivated to shop around, whether it's about saving money, rounding out coverage, etc.

Should you find yourself in the market for a new home insurance company you'll need to come prepared. The following tips and guidelines can help.

Things to do before you start shopping for Home Owners Insurance in Quincy, MA and the surround area.

Tips to help you prepare for your search and avoid backtracking include:

  • Get your paperwork together. With a copy of your current policy in hand, you'll be better able to compare coverages, premiums and discounts among the providers you're considering.
  • Update your home inventory. If you've added or subtracted personal belongings since buying your current policy, those changes can help you calculate your new contents coverage. An up-to-date home inventory will give you a better idea of how much protection you may need, whether more or less.
  • Call an Independent Agent like Lallis & Higgins Insurance. Independent agents have access to many different insurance companies unlike a direct insurance carrier. Independent Agents are able to review pricing from many different companies and come up with the best options for you and your home. Lallis & Higgins Insurance will be able to review your policy and look at coverage and pricing for your specific situation and provide the best match.

Be ready to answer questions

When you speak with an agent about switching providers, the information you provide plays an essential role in determining premiums and coverages. You may anticipate such questions as:

  • Have you had any life changes? From a change in marital status to the addition of a four-legged family member, recent developments in your life could affect your premiums and coverage needs. Sharing this kind of information can help you get a more accurate quote.
  • Have you filed any claims? Your claims history helps determine your risk profile, which might have an influence on your premiums.
  • Are you interested in switching both your auto and homeowner insurance policies? Many providers offer discounts for bundling different types of policies, such as home and auto. Consider getting your car insurance from the same agency as your homeowners to save money.

Remember to finalize and follow up

Your new insurance agent will handle the cancelation process once you’ve decided to make a switch, but you should always notify your mortgage company to confirm this switch as they generally need your confirmation of the switch.

  • Notifying your mortgage lender. Many of today's mortgages feature escrows, which operate as savings accounts that mortgage lenders oversee to pay for expenses such as home insurance and property taxes. If your mortgage includes an escrow, keep your lender informed about any change in providers to keep record-keeping and payments current.

Changing your home insurance company is an important decision, one that no consumer should take lightly. When you undertake a big task, never underestimate the value of a little advance work. For more information having your home owners insurance policy reviewed, contact Lallis & Higgins Insurance.

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Insuring a Vacation Home – Cohasset, MA

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Lallis & Higgins Insurance, Quincy, Weymouth, MAA vacation home can be a great retreat and sometimes even a good investment, but there are some important factors to consider before making the leap into second-home ownership—such as insurance costs. Just like your primary home, you’ll need to insure your vacation home against liability and other risks. Because insurance can add to the price of buying and owning a vacation home, you may want to consider the likely insurance costs before deciding on a specific property.

Key Factors Impacting Vacation Home Insurance Costs

There are many reasons that insurance for a vacation home may be more expensive than that on your primary residence. Your second home may often be unoccupied, putting it at greater risk for theft, vandalism and undetected damage, like burst water pipes. When you shop for a vacation home, it’s important to recognize that the following factors will impact your insurance costs:

• Location—The location of any home is always a factor in pricing insurance policies, but it can be especially significant for vacation homes. The very location that makes a vacation home desirable may also make it more expensive to insure. For instance, a beach house may be more exposed to wind damage or storm surge from a hurricane. These location-based risks will impact the price of insurance coverage, and in some cases may even incur higher deductibles.

In addition, if the home is located in a flood zone, you’ll be required to purchase a separate flood insurance policy. Flood damage is not covered by standard homeowners insurance policies, but coverage is available from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and from some private insurance companies. The cost of NFIP flood insurance for second homes has been increasing and there are also special surcharges that you will be required to pay. You can check the cost of flood insurance by contacting Lallis & Higgins Insurance.

• Type of Property—As is the case with any house, a vacation home’s age and types of building materials used will impact the cost of insurance. In addition, these costs will vary depending on whether your second home is a single-occupancy house, a condominium or a townhouse. A condominium may have lower insurance costs because the homeowners association maintains and insures the exterior of the property and may provide security. Generally, the cost of insuring the structure of the unit will be included in the monthly maintenance fees. Your personal condo insurance will cover your belongings and specific areas of the unit listed in the policy.

• Amenities—If your vacation home has a pool, hot tub or other special amenity that adds risk, you may pay a higher insurance premium. You may also want to purchase more liability protection as these items are considered “attractive nuisances” that lead to a higher probability of liability claims being filed.

For more information on insuring a second home or vacation home, contact Lallis & Higgins Insurance.

Insurance Information Institute


FAQs on Flood Insurance in Massachusetts – Scituate, MA

Joseph Coupal - Friday, January 06, 2017

Lallis & Higgins Insurance, Weymouth, MAHow can I get flood insurance?

If you live in a community that participates in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), you are eligible to purchase flood insurance. Find out if your community is one that have implemented floodplain management measures and participate in the National Flood Insurance Program.  Many homes located in AE zones can take advantage of a program underwritten through Lloyds of London that provide savings up to 38% off the NFIP rate.  You can contact a Lallis & Higgins Insurance representative to review options your home may qualify for.

What will my flood insurance premium cost?

It is essential that you visit with your insurance agent to determine exact costs. However, if you'd like to receive a general idea of how much your premium will cost contact Lallis & Higgins Insurance.

How is my flood insurance premium calculated?

A number of factors are considered when determining your flood insurance premium. These factors include: the amount and type of coverage being purchased, location and flood zone, and the design and age of your structure. For homes in high-risk areas (e.g., Special Flood Hazard Areas or AE, VE Zones) built after the first Flood Insurance Rate Maps were drawn for that community, the elevation of the building in relation to the base flood elevation is also required.

Can I get a discount on my flood insurance premium?

It's possible that you qualify for a discount based on your community's participation and status in the Community Rating System program.

Does a deductible apply to my coverage?

Building and contents policies have separate deductibles for each. This means that if your building and contents are both damaged due to a flood event, both deductibles are applied.

Will damage-preventing measures I’ve taken in my home be reimbursed by my Standard Flood Insurance Policy?

Some will be. When your insured home is in eminent danger of being flooded, you may receive up to a $1,000 reimbursement for your damage-preventing expenses. Things like renting storage space to protect your belongings, buying sandbags and lumber to make a barricade, and renting pumps are all things that qualify for reimbursement. No deductible is applied to this coverage.

To buy a flood insurance policy, call your insurance agent or contact Lallis & Higgins.

floodsmart.gov



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