Issues With Home Insurance You Might Not See Coming

At Lebherz Insurance, we see unprepared Frederick, MD area homeowners get hit by problems that they simply didn’t see coming. Many of these insurance issues can complicate their coverage and make it difficult for them to pay for serious problems.

Ignoring Critical Natural Disaster Coverage

Even if you don’t live in an earthquake or flood zone, you should probably still have some type of coverage for these problems. Most Pacific states can experience some type of earthquake and even Midwest states can experience tremors from large ones. And floods can happen to just about any state or any area near a river.

Mold Lapses In Your Coverage

Many homes are affected by severe mold growing in the basement and spreading to other rooms. If you don’t have mold coverage on your home, you are going to experience some major issues. Unfortunately, this lapse could mean that you end up having to pay everything for mold remediation and end up losing thousands of dollars or more.

Buying Only Based On Price

Trying to save yourself money on insurance coverage is understandable but you can’t base your policy entirely on the price. That’s because lower-priced policies provide less coverage and could leave you suffering in the long-term. Weigh your options carefully and base it on what types of coverage you need not what it costs.

Bundling Mistakes

When you are trying to bundle your insurance policies, you need to make sure that you do it properly. For example, you might try to bundle multiple insurance coverage types from multiple providers into one unified package. Sorry but bundling just doesn’t work that way. You have to do it all from the same company, meaning you might end up stuck with high-cost policies that can’t be bundled.

So if you are worried about these issues and want to make sure they don’t affect you, please don’t hesitate to contact us at Lebherz Insurance. Our policy writers will work with you to ensure that you get the best policy Frederick, MD area insurers to have to offer.

Home Insurance Changes After Renovations

Are you considering a home renovation, or are you enjoying the perks of a new addition or improvement this summer? It may be a good idea to contact your insurance agent at Lebherz Insurance in Frederick, MD to make sure your home is still fully covered. Certain changes to your house can also change your home insurance policy terms. 

Renovations that may that trigger policy changes:

  • Change in use of the property like adding an office or a workshop can trigger changes in your insurance. Make sure you also add your business to your policy so you are protected. 
  • Change in an overall structure such as adding or even removing square footage can affect your insurance policy for various reasons, and it may even effect your county taxes depending on where you live. 
  • A new roof may actually save you money on your insurance. Be sure to report it, so the roof that covers you is also covered by insurance. 
  • A pool is a great way to chill out in the summer months, but it will affect your homeowner’s insurance policy and certain regulations such as a fence may be required. 
  • Home improvements that don’t make any drastic structural changes but improve the home, such as upgrading to granite countertops, should still be reported so those new expensive countertops will be covered by your policy. 

If you have made some renovations contact us at Lebherz Insurance today to make sure you are protected completely by your home insurance policy. Chances are, not much will change but it is always better to be safe than sorry. Also, keep in mind that some changes can actually benefit you in terms of insurance, call to find out more. We proudly serve Frederick, MD and the surrounding areas. 

 

Why Home Insurance is a Good Idea

Your home is generally the biggest asset that you have. When you purchase your home, your mortgage lender most likely will require that you carry an adequate amount of homeowners’ insurance. This protects their financial investment in the home. A good policy works to protect the homeowner, as well.  The agents at Lebherz Insurance work with homeowners in the Frederick, MD area to ensure that they have adequate coverage for their needs.  

A homeowners’ policy will protect the home should it be damaged or destroyed. This is what most people think of when they consider insurance. A homeowners’ policy goes beyond that, though. It will also cover the outbuildings on the property. The contents of the home and all of your personal possessions will be protected by the policy. The policy will also cover your possessions if they are damaged or stolen when they are not on your property. For instance, if your laptop is stolen while you are at the local coffee shop, it will still be covered. If you have expensive collections, artwork or jewelry, you may want to discuss the possibility of additional coverage with your agent. Homeowners’ policies also provide liability coverage. This gives you protection in the event someone is injured on your property due to your negligence. It can cover medical and legal expenses.  

There are many reasons to carry quality homeowners’ insurance. The team at Lebherz Insurance can review your current policy and make suggestions about any gaps in coverage that may exist. Every homeowner is different and has different needs. Their experience in the Frederick, MD area helps them to provide the knowledgeable guidance to homeowners. Call them today and explore your coverage options today!

The Home buyer’s Guide to Insurance

Owning a home means protecting it, but many first-time home buyers are confused about buying insurance. Here are a few tips to getting the most out of your home insurance!

Calculate Risk

Wherever you live in Frederick, MD, you need to be honest about the risk factors of your home. This includes whether it is likely to be flooded if it is in an area previously affected by tornados, and so on. In some cases, you can get a great deal on acquiring additional insurance for something like floods even if you think the chance of a flood is remote. Lebherz Insurance can offer you peace of mind about your future.

Wear, tear, and your bill

Before buying the house, have a professional home inspection done. This may result in recommendations for things to fix. After fixing them, notify your insurer you have done so. In some cases, this can lead to a lower monthly insurance premium. Your insurance agent may have further recommendations based on any of the renovations or additions you made.

Credit worthiness

Credit may be a source of worry when you are buying a house. Most people focus on getting their credit high enough to get a competitive home interest rate but don’t forget that your insurance score can also affect how much you pay for your insurance. As with the home inspection, it would be appropriate to monitor your credit score and do your best to make it as high as possible to get the best insurance price.

If you own a home in Frederick, MD or are considering purchasing a home, then you need someone who treats you like family. Contact Lebherz Insurance today to start building a safer tomorrow! 

 

Is Your Pet A Liability To Consider For Your Homeowners Insurance Policy?

The reality is that whenever you claim ownership of something: a home, a car, a business – there is an inherent liability, responsibility or overall vulnerability that falls on you in that relationship. To "own" – even a dog – is to take on, to bear a separate entity upon yourself by choice. Many people think it is a privilege while others feel it is a burden. Either way, you may feel about it – it is part and parcel of taking on the responsibility of being an adult who has "things."  Having a great communication with your insurance agent at Lebherz Insurance in Frederick MD will help you to understand better how to take on ownership of your home with grace. 

It is a great idea to discuss with your agent how certain aspects of your pet ownership may affect your policy. We typically consider purchasing a pet insurance policy to ensure our pet’s health is covered. Insurance is like life – it is all in the details. Some individuals decide to add their pet into their life insurance policy and will, actually stipulating what i could happen to Fido in the event of their demise. 

The answer to the article title question is not cut and dried. The pet is not covered. Another factor of coverage is what the liability issue is. Owners of particular breeds add an arm to the homeowner’s policy to include a situation where their dog may injure an individual who comes into contact with the property. Speaking with your agent at Lebherz Insurance which serves Frederick MD and the surrounding areas is a good first step in determining and obtaining adequate coverage. 

 

How to Winterize Your Residential Property

Winterizing your residential home will enable you to enjoy a more comfortable interior environment despite frigid temperatures outside. There are various ways that you can winterize your Frederick, MD, home. Here are just a few:

Install Storm Windows and Doors

Install storm windows and doors to protect your home from cold drafts as winter winds begin to blow. Storm windows and doors will keep cold winds out while maintaining heat inside for a warmer environment.

Tune Up HVAC System

Have your HVAC system professionally inspected and tuned to handle the rigors of winter. A clean, lubricated and professionally tuned heating system will provide you with maximum efficiency all winter long.

Increase Home Insulation

A well-insulated home is a comfortable home. Adding more insulation to your home’s walls, basement and attic will keep your home warmer while conserving energy to reduce heating costs.

Weather-strip or Plasticize Windows

Weather-strip drafty windows or cover with plastic sheeting to keep cold air out and heat in. Many hardware stores sell window insulation kits that come with all you need to seal window gaps that allow cold air to seep through. Old, worn windows should be replaced with new, energy efficient models that offer year round protection.  

Insulate Water Heater and Pipes

Insulate your water heater and pipes to reduce heat loss and lower heating costs. Insulating water pipes reduces the risk of their freezing during frigid temperatures. Pipes can be wrapped with pre-slit insulating foam and duct tape, both of which can be purchased at most any hardware store.  

Major home improvements to winterize a home, such as buying new windows or upgrading your furnace, could qualify you for a discount on your Lebherz Insurance premium. By talking to your Lebherz Insurance representative in Frederick, MD, you can get a better idea of winterizing projects that can help reduce home insurance costs. 

 

Understanding the Additional Living Expense Component of Home Insurance

Although Hurricane Matthew didn’t affect our area in Frederick, Maryland, our team at Lebherz Insurance Agency thought that it would be important for you to know your options with home insurance. Of course, your home insurance helps you if you experience a covered loss, but did you know about the additional living expense component that may help you cover some displacement costs? Keep reading to learn how this coverage helps you and your family during a disaster.

What Is Additional Living Expenses Coverage?

Additional living expense coverage is a component of your insurance that helps cover the costs associated with living in a comparable home when you can’t live in your home due to damage. The additional living expense component will generally cover the expenses that exceed your normal expenses following a loss. In general, you may qualify for additional living expenses if you had to find a hotel and couldn’t stay in your home.

Know Your Coverage for Home Insurance

Of course, additional living expenses are limited. In most instances, your coverage is limited to a certain percentage of your home insurance coverage. Additionally, once your home is repaired or replaced, you are no longer covered by the coverage.

Additionally, as a homeowner in Frederick, Maryland, the additional living expense coverage is a reimbursement; you get a check after you’ve covered the costs. With that in mind, it’s important that your family takes the necessary steps to remain prepared for natural disasters and other emergencies. In addition to having a first aid kit handy and important documents, you should have the financial means to protect your family from imminent danger.

If you are in the market for home insurance or you simply want to compare rates, don’t hesitate to give our team at Lebherz Insurance Agency a call. We pride ourselves on offering a suite of competitive insurance products that can help you protect your family and your assets.

4 ways to reuse household items

People generate a lot of garbage. Though you may not be able to eliminate all your garbage, recycling, upcycling, and reusing common household items can save space at a landfill and give your home a unique, much-needed flair.

Don’t through away your scrap paper. If you can’t recycle paper where you live, you can cut standard sheets of paper into fourths. Use the blank side beside your phone for messages, in the kitchen for grocery lists, or to remind you to get your reusable water bottle out of the fridge before you go to work.

Hang on to your old towels when you get a new set. P When you get a new set of towels for your kitchen or bathroom, you don’t have to throw away your old ones. Instead, cut them into strips and make a unique rag rug for your bathroom floor. The towels will make an absorbable material perfect for getting out of the tub.

Transform a small bookcase into a custom-made doll house. If you have a small bookcase with a single shelf, paint the exterior, then use contact paper or wallpaper to decorate the interior of the shelf. Add some doll furniture, and you have a hand-made, unique doll house for someone.

Keep your wine bottles after your next dinner party. Empty wine bottles have a number of uses. Not only can they be used as decor on a shelf, but smaller bottles can be beautiful bud vases, and nearly any bottle can be made into a unique candle holder.

Recycling, upcycling, and reusing is a way to bring your uniqueness to your family. Once you have your home decorated just the way you want, be sure to insure your home with a new homeowners’ insurance policy. For more information, contact Lebherz Insurance in Maryland today.

 

Broken Pipes? Yep, they happen to the best of us.

Ahhh. An easy winter morning. As I wipe the sleep from my eyes and hit the snooze button one more time, I am thoroughly awakened by the unmistakeable sound of one of my 3 young boys vomiting. While I can’t distinguish which one it is, I am both unnerved and relieved that it is only one of them but can’t help to imagine that the pie eating contest scene in “Stand By Me” could quickly become my reality. I throw on my trousers, holler to my kid that I’ll soon be there, and leave my room.

As I head to the laundry room to get a bucket, I hear the sound of running and dripping water. Is it the washing machine? No. The laundry tub? No. A toilet running? No. Distracted, I head to the basement to investigate and discover the pipe leading to my outside hose bib has ruptured. This is not a big deal, I think to myself. I’ll just close the valve leading to the bib. I take a leap into the pooled water in my unfinished basement (hoping it is not somehow electrified) to get to the valve to turn the water off. The good news is that the water was not charged. But, the valve to turn the water off was stuck open. The water continues to pour into the house. I think quickly to turn off the main valve where it comes into the house. I wish that I could respond as quickly too. As I head over to that corner of the basement, I undoubtedly crack my head on the air handler in a very ungraceful manner and am thankful that no one was watching, or listening, for that matter, as I spew out expletives faster than my kid did his previous night’s dinner.

This valve should turn the water off, I think to myself. But, of course, this one is stuck open as well. Out to the garage I go for a garbage can and my shop vac. As I am headed out the door, I pass my wife who explains that she has taken care of our sick kid and asks why I am playing around in the basement when there is vomit to contend with. We quickly glare at each other as if neither of us can imagine the others’ peril. “A pipe is broken,” I exclaim as I head out the door.

Upon re-entry, I head to the basement and set up my mitigation plan. I allow the water from the pipe to flow into my garbage can and from there I vacuum it into the shop vac, which is then carried outside and dumped. Good plan, I must say; one that allows me time to contact a plumber to fix my pipes.

The plumber arrives in short order. He heads to the basement where I am tending to my contraption. I quickly & proudly explain what I have done – turned this valve and that valve, hit my head on the air handler, so watch out for that, etc. He pushes me aside, more than likely wishing that this idiot, me, get out of his way so he can get to his task and get on to his next job. He completes his task quickly and asks that I call him should I have any more problems. I thank him for his quick response, remind him to send me a bill, as if he would forget, and he leaves.

For the next hour or so, I vacuum up the rest of the water and get my dehumidifiers set up. My job is done.

As I wipe the sweat from my brow with pride, my wife comes bounding down the stairs. “Would you like a cup of coffee?” she asks in her soft and sympathetic voice. Before I can respond, she says “Your fly is down.” and heads back up the stairs, unaffected.

Defeated, I come to realize that I have proved what that plumber was probably thinking when I was telling him how to go about my repairs, which is simply: “This guy can’t zip up his fly and he was trying to tell me how to fix the leaking pipe? What an idiot!”

So, I guess the moral of the story is to call on the pros when you have a plumbing issue and do what you can to mitigate the damage, no matter what it does to your ego.

Now, let me tie this story into insurance and how it applies: With the typical homeowner HO3 policy, the cost incurred to repair my pipe would not be covered. However, the damage the leaking pipe caused to my house and belongings would be, subject to the deductible.

Oh, and my kid is fine. Thanks for wondering!