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What Type of Insurance Do I Need to Protect My Home?

Joseph Coupal - Thursday, February 22, 2018

Lallis and Higgins Insurance, Weymouth, MAAlthough your insurer or agent can provide some assistance, it is ultimately your responsibility to choose the right level of coverage. You may need to periodically have your policy reviewed your coverage limits to see if they are adequate.

You should consider a “dwelling” limit that is high enough to help you rebuild your home at today’s labor and material costs in the event of a total loss. This cost may be very different from the market value of your home. When considering your home or real property, you should consider not only your house, but also unattached garages, sheds or other structures that may be on your property.

You should also consider (1) the level of coverage needed to replace your “personal property” or the “contents” of your home, such as furniture, clothing, electronics, jewelry or other personal items that may be damaged in the event of loss to your home and (2) sufficient liability coverage to protect you and your assets from lawsuits if others claim damages due to your negligence either on or off your property.

In addition to choosing the type and overall limits to your coverage, you will also choose the deductible level up to which you will be responsible for paying the costs of each claim. The higher the deductible chosen – and greater proportion of low-dollar claims that are your and not the insurer’s responsibility – the lower the premium that you will have to pay. Almost all policies are issued with fixed dollar deductibles, but some have percentage deductibles that are based on overall policy limits.

Basic Coverages Available

There are differing packages of insurance that may be offered to protect your home and belongings. Most single-family homes are covered under what is called homeowners insurance; other policies are more appropriate for renters or those owning condominiums. You should consult your insurance producer for the type of policy that is right for your home.

It is important to know which risks a policy covers and which risks are excluded. Each policy protects against a specific number of perils (events that cause damage to property), including, for example, fire, windstorm, and theft. Policies may specifically exclude coverage for certain events, including for example floods, earthquakes, or damages related to poorly maintained properties.

In addition to knowing the risks or perils covered, it is important to consider the expenses that are covered in the event of a covered peril. Each policy usually contains coverage for the following:

  1. damage to your real property, including your home and other structures on your property,
  2. damage to your personal property,
  3. the additional cost of alternate living arrangements,
  4. personal liability lawsuits, and
  5. medical payments, limited for non-residents, for certain accidents occurring on your property.

For more information on home insurance coverage, or for a review of your policy, contact Lallis & Higgins Insurance.

Getting Homeowners Insurance When Buying a Home

Joseph Coupal - Friday, February 16, 2018

Lallis and Higgins Insurance, Weymouth, MABefore your lender will agree to let you borrow money to buy your home, you must agree to insure the home. And you must have this insurance lined up before you can close the deal.

Having homeowners insurance (also known as hazard insurance) is a requirement before a bank or mortgage company will allow you to obtain a mortgage or complete a home sale. This insurance is also designed to protect the homeowner from being forced to go into debt when an emergency occurs. The coverage puts a homeowner in the financial position to repair or rebuild the house.

Types of Homeowners Insurance

There are two types of homeowners insurance: cash-value coverage and replacement-cost coverage.

Cash-Value Coverage

Cash-value coverage will pay you back for the depreciated value of your home and your personal property should they be destroyed. While is it usually cheaper than replacement-cost coverage, it will likely not allow you to rebuild your home if disaster strikes. Mortgage companies also tend to require a replacement cost policy.

Replacement-Cost Coverage

Experts recommend a replacement-cost policy that insures your home for the total cost to rebuild it, regardless of its market value — which includes other factors such as your neighborhood, local school district, the land, the type of construction, current condition and home features.

By using your appraisal and comparing it to your insurance agent’s worksheet, you can estimate the replacement cost of your home and buy a policy that will guarantee that amount.

Policies differ in coverage and costs. It is imperative that you work with an independent agent like Lallis and Higgins Insurance to find the policy that fits your needs. In addition, you need to understand any exclusions or limitations within the policy you choose.

You may need to purchase extra coverage depending upon several factors:

  • What perils are more likely in your area that you want to be protected against (flood and earthquake insurance, for instance, may need to be bought separately).
  • The replacement value of your possessions (fine art or expensive jewelry might require higher premiums).
  • Special insurance needs.

All homeowners insurance policies come with a deductible. This is the amount you will pay every time you file a claim with the insurance company. A higher deductible comes with a lower premium, and vice versa.

Other tips about insuring your house:

  • Check out a prospective insurance company’s financial strength.
  • Compare rates and coverage.
  • Choose a higher deductible in order to lower your premiums.
  • Decrease your risk to insurers by installing things like a security system, deadbolt locks and smoke detectors in your home. Keeping your credit score high also makes you a better risk with many insurance carriers.

For more information on homeowners insurance when buying or selling a home, contact Lallis & Higgins Insurance.

Have Some New Jewelry in the House? Protect it!

Joseph Coupal - Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Lallis and Higgins Insurance, Weymouth, MAAh, Valentine’s Day is near, and love is in the air. Well, love and a few other things, such as chocolates, romantic dinners, candy hearts that say “Be Mine” - and, of course, jewelry.

It’s exciting to receive jewelry from a loved one — or to give it as a gift. Not to mention romantic. But if you’re lucky enough to have some new jewelry in your Quincy or Weymouth, MA home this Valentine’s Day, you should take a few minutes to think about something you probably don’t find exciting or romantic: insurance.

Don’t know where to turn? Don’t worry. At Lallis & Higgins Insurance, we think it is exciting to help our customers protect what’s most important to them — so we’re ready to help and can answer all of your questions.

Things to consider when insuring jewelry:

You may need to purchase additional coverage. Your homeowners policy covers valuable items such as jewelry only up to set amounts. If the cost of replacing your jewelry exceeds that limit, you will want to purchase scheduled personal property coverage. You can check your policy or contact us.

You might want to reconsider your deductible amounts. As always, this impacts your policy premium. It’s a good idea to take a look at your deductibles whenever you make a change to your policy.

Do you need an appraisal? You may need to have an independent appraisal if the insurance company requires it or if you don’t know the value of your jewelry. Each item should be listed with a description and value on paper.

What kind of coverage is offered? You’ll want to determine if items are covered no matter where they are, whether they’re in Quincy, MA, or on an international trip, and if the policy offers full replacement cost. You also should ask if you will be required to replace your jewelry if lost or stolen, or if you can simply keep the cash settlement.

Pictures can be helpful. Lost or stolen pieces of jewelry sometimes can be recreated if the jeweler has a good photograph to work from.

Should I go with a company that specializes in jewelry insurance? There are companies that specialize in jewelry insurance. Whether you choose one of these, or a company that we represent, you’ll want to make sure they are reputable and stable.

Is the value of your jewelry mainly sentimental? Is an item irreplaceable? If the answer to either of these questions is “yes,” you might consider foregoing insurance. But please, contact us before making that decision. That’s what we’re here for.

Of course, it’s important to store your jewelry securely when it’s not in use; a safe in your home or a safe-deposit box is best. We want your jewelry to be replaced if it’s lost or stolen, but we’d rather your sentimental and valuable pieces stay with you and your family for years to come.

Are you looking for a something romantic to do on the South Shore this Valentine's Day? Here are a few ideas. 

Beatles concert - As part of South Shore Conservatory’s Concert Series, faculty at the conservatory will perform a concert titled “All You Need is Love” featuring popular songs by the Beatles. There will be one show at 4 p.m. Saturday at the conservatory’s Hingham campus, and a second at 4 p.m. Feb. 18 at the Duxbury campus. Both concerts are free. For more information or to reserve tickets, visit

Valentine Jazz - If jazz music is more your style, Marshfield’s Ventress Memorial Library will host a free concert by the Paul Speidel Jazz Duo at 2 p.m. Saturday. The concert will include popular romantic songs such as “Loverman” and “My Funny Valentine” on jazz guitar and acoustic bass. For more information, visit

Family events – If you don’t want to leave the kids at home, there are plenty of child-friendly Valentine’s Day events at local libraries. Kids at the Norwell Public Library will make Valentine garlands at 2:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 8. The Abington Public Library has a story time and craft event set for 3:30 p.m. on Valentine’s Day. Visit your town’s library website to see what your library may have to offer.

Here’s hoping your Valentine’s Day is full of fun and romance. And if there’s no jewelry involved, well, there’s always next year!

For further questions and assistance, please contact Lallis & Higgins Insurance.

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