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Recent Disasters Have Homeowners Wondering if They are Protected

Posted by David Ross on Sun, Aug 18, 2019

best-homeowners-insurance-300Recent disasters both near, like the flooding in Berks County, and far, like the destructive fire at the Notre Dame Cathedral, has many homeowners wondering whether they have enough Homeowners’ Insurance to protect their assets.  

The time to answer that question is now, not after a disaster when it’s too late.


Here are Three Questions Every Homeowner Should Ask:

How Will I Replace My Home if it is Completely Destroyed?

Homeowners insurance is meant to protect your personal property (furniture, electronics, clothing, etc.) and your home. You must make sure you have enough coverage to rebuild your life if everything is destroyed.

When determining the amount of coverage needed, some homeowners purchase the minimum amount of insurance required by their lenders. This is rarely (if ever) enough to rebuild your home if it is destroyed, let alone replace everything inside it.

Some homeowners base their coverage on the real estate value of their home rather than what it would cost to rebuild. Again, this amount of coverage is rarely if ever enough to rebuild your home and replace the contents within.

These misconceptions and mistakes in property descriptions along with rising construction costs and home improvements after the purchase of policies have resulted in about 60% of all U.S. homes being underinsured by an average of 20 %, according to Consumer Reports.

It’s essential that you talk to an experienced insurance agent to help you determine the amount of coverage that is right for you.

Here are three additional coverages you may want to consider for your home:

An Extended Replacement Cost policy provides additional insurance coverage of 20% or more over the limits of your policy, which can be crucial if there is a widespread disaster in your area and the cost of construction increases.

Ordinance or Law Coverage – If you need to rebuild your home, you may be subject to new and sometimes stricter building codes, which could increase the cost to rebuild.

Flood Insurance – Flood damage is usually not covered under a standard homeowner’s policy, and there was a time when only people living in high-risk flood zones purchased additional coverage for flooding. In recent years, people who never experienced flooding in their homes before are experiencing it now, and they have little or no insurance coverage to help with the cleanup and repairs.

How Will I Replace My Possessions if They are Destroyed?

Most homeowners’ insurance policies cover your home’s contents, but it’s essential to understand the difference between replacement cost and actual cash value. Replacement cost policies pay what you need to replace a damaged or destroyed item; whereas actual cash value pays what the item is worth at the time it is damaged or destroyed.

For example, if there’s a fire in your home and your 10-year-old kitchen appliances are destroyed and need to be replaced, an actual cash value policy will pay you what those 10-year-old appliances were worth when they were damaged, which is probably not enough to go out and buy new appliances to replace the damaged appliances.

How Will I Pay for Living Expenses If I Can’t Live in My Home?

Where will you live if your home is temporarily inaccessible or needs to be completely rebuilt? You might have a friend or relative who would take you in for a little while, but for many families, that is not a viable option.

Coverage for additional living expenses will cover part or all of the cost of hotels, meals, and other living expenses you would incur if you were displaced due to an insured disaster. It would not cover regular expenses like your mortgage or groceries.

Taking the time to answer these three questions now will help ensure that should a disaster strike, you will be financially prepared.

How Can You Protect Your Home and Family From Disaster?

The experienced agents at American Insuring Group can provide a free insurance review to discuss your potential risks and how to protect you from those risks. Plus, as independent agents, we will check with lots of insurance companies to make sure you get the best price on that coverage. Give us a call at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848 or connect with us online.

Tags: Homeowners Insurance Philadelphia Pa, Homeowners Insurance, PA Flood Insurance

Flood Insurance Tips for Your Home or Business

Posted by David Ross on Thu, Jun 01, 2017

Flood insurance tips for your home or business regarding adding flood insurance to your homeowners insurance or business insurance policy.No one wants to pay more for business or homeowners insurance than they need to, but everyone wants to ensure that that have the right coverage to protect their family and their possessions. It can be tricky to determine whether you need flood insurance. As you may know, standard homeowners and renters insurance policies do NOT cover flood damage.

If you’re in a designated flood zone, the purchase of flood insurance should be a no-brainer, and your lender will probably require flood insurance in that case. But what if you don’t live along a river or by the sea, and you’re far from a designated flood zone? That’s where it gets a little trickier.

Flooding: The Most Common and Costly Natural Disaster

Something to keep in mind: in the US, flooding is the most common and the most costly natural disaster, costing billions of dollars every year. The five most significant flood events in Pennsylvania (based on National Flood Insurance Program Payouts) include Superstorm Sandy in October 2012, Hurricane Ike in September 2008, Hurricane Ivan in September 2004, Hurricane Irene in August 2011, and Tropical Storm Allison in June 2001. 

Additionally, flooding isn’t always caused by overflowing rivers or out-of-control oceans. It can also be caused by melting snow, an overflowing creek, or water running down a steep hill. As FEMA states, “Just a few inches of water can cost thousands of dollars in damage to a home.”

If you do decide to purchase flood insurance, there are two types of coverage you need to understand:

Building Coverage covers the repair or replacement of the building. This includes the foundation, electric, plumbing, central air, furnaces, water heaters, refrigerators, stoves, and built-in appliances. Basic building coverage is available for up to $250,000 for residential and up to $500,000 for commercial.

Contents Coverage covers the contents of your home like furniture, clothing, electronic equipment, smaller appliances, etc. Basic contents coverage is available up to $100,000 for residential and up to $500,000 for commercial.

Please keep in mind that you can  purchase an Excess Flood Policy if you need more coverage than what’s available in the basic plans. You should also understand replacement costs – the amount you the insured will receive in the event of a loss.

Replacement Cost Value (RCV) is the cost to repair or replace the insured item at the time of the loss. There is no deduction for physical depreciation. The insurer is paid the amount required to replace the insured item (up to the limit). RCV is available when the insured property is the primary residence, and the amount of coverage is equal to 80% or more of the replacement cost of the building.

Actual Cash Value (ACV) is the cost to repair or replace the insured item, less the physical depreciation at the time of the loss. The depreciation is based on the age and the condition of the item. The contents of your property are always paid at ACV.

One more thing to keep in mind: With flood insurance, there is a 30-day waiting period before the coverage goes into effect, so don’t wait until you hear about a flood warning on the morning news to add flood insurance to your business or homeowners insurance policy.

Contact Us for Flood Insurance or Any Type of Insurance You May Need

Contact us for Flood Insurance for your home or business in Reading, Philadelphia, Allentown, Lehigh Valley, Pittsburgh, Erie, Harrisburg, Lancaster, State College, PA and beyond.American Insuring Group can help you determine if you flood insurance is right for your home or business.

And, regardless of what type of personal or business insurance you may need, we'll help you save because our independtent agents are free to shop among many competing carriers to find the right insurance protection at a great price.  

So contact us online or give us a call at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848 to learn more.

Tags: Flood Insurance, Flood Insurance Reading PA, Flood Insurance Philadelphia PA, Homeowners Insurance, PA Flood Insurance

Should You Get Flood Insurance for Your Home or Business?

Posted by David Ross on Mon, Jan 06, 2014

Tips for deciding if flood insurance is right for you. American Insuring Group: providing flood insurance protection for homes and businesses for over 25 years. We serve Reading, PA, Lancaster, Philadelphia, Allentown, Harrisburg, York, Hershey, Pittsburgh, Erie, and beyond.While most Pennsylvania homes and businesses are not considered to be in a flood plain, that doesn't mean that buildings in Pennsylvania don't flood. Even low risk areas suffer flooding due to poor drainage systems, blockages, broken mains, or rapid precipitation. The average homeowner's and business insurance does not cover flood damage, so it merits a discussion whether to purchase a flood insurance policy to protect yourself.

A Flood? What are the Odds? (Answer: More Than You Think!)

If your home or business is located in a flood-prone area, you were probably required to purchase flood insurance by your lender, so you have probably skipped this whole topic! The fact is, though, that about 25% of flood claims come from buildings in low or moderate risk areas, so no area is completely risk-free when it comes to flooding.

Flood Insurance? I’m Just Renting!

Even if you are just renting, you should still consider flood insurance if you have valuable equipment you couldn’t afford to replace. So if you run a scuba shop you might be okay, but everyone else should take a look at their computers, copy machines, and everything else it takes to run a business and picture them in a foot of water. Renter’s insurance can keep you covered in case that happens.

How Much Will Flood Insurance Set me Back?

To get an accurate quote on your potential flood insurance premiums, you’ll need a property value assessment and an estimate on the value of the contents of your property. If you do live in a lower risk area, the premiums can be surprisingly reasonable since it is less of a gamble for insurance companies.

What’s Covered?

Homeowners can buy coverage for up to $250,000 for the building and $100,000 for the contents. Business owners can get coverage for up to $1,000,000, half for the building and half for the contents. Renters can purchase coverage up to $100,000. If your property or equipment is worth more than that, you may want to consider getting excess coverage. When considering various plans, confirm whether the coverage is based on the current value of an item or the replacement cost.

Contact us for flood insurance for your home or businessSo don’t wait until you see the ark float by; find out what kind of flood insurance works for you to protect your home and business!  Give us a call at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848 or Contact Us by email.

Tags: Flood Insurance, Flood Insurance Reading PA, Flood Insurance Philadelphia PA, House Insurance, Homeowners Insurance, PA Flood Insurance, Commercial Insurance, Business Insurance

Restaurant Insurance & Hurricane Sandy: Lessons Learned the Hard Way

Posted by David Ross on Fri, Aug 09, 2013

Among the Most Destructive Storms In US History

Restaurant insurance protection lessons from Hurricane Sandy: we provide smart restaurant insurance protection for businesses in Reading, PA, Philadelphia, Lancaster, Harrisburg, York, Allentown, Bethlehem, Pittsburgh, Erie, and beyond.Hurricane Sandy was one of the most destructive and deadliest hurricanes in United States history. Twenty-four American states and seven other countries were affected. Coastal towns once pulsing with beachcombers by day and clubbers by night were submerged within hours. Businesses were out of operation for much longer than ever anticipated and the damages sustained were astronomical.

Catastrophes of this magnitude are rarely expected, even in the world of insurance. Sewers backed up. Equipment broke. Food spoiled. Power was lost. In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy we discovered insurance protection that proved critical for restaurant owners, including: sewer backup, equipment breakdown, food contamination, and loss of sales/ loss of income due to extended power outages.

Insuring Against Sewer Backup

We all know the quote from Jumanji: “A little rain never hurt anybody…but a lot can kill.” Well, a lot of rain can kill your sewer system. When more rain pours down than your sewer and pump can handle, raw sewage backs up and escapes in some less-desirable places, such as the bathroom faucet - need we say more? Unfortunately, most people do not realize that sewer backup is generally not covered under their personal or business insurance policies. This additional coverage is not only recommended, but can be invaluable to your business.

Equipment Breakdown

Equipment breakdown coverage is usually considered “optional” on an insurance policy. If just one of the primary machines in your restaurant breaks down, such as the air conditioner or water heater, you are probably not covered for fixing the equipment or for the loss of income sustained due to the failure. Be sure you are covered if 100 degree temperatures inside your restaurant due to an air conditioner failure turn away potential customers. 

Food Contamination

No matter how diligent you and your employees are, food contamination and food spoilage can strike anyone in the restaurant industry. If a machine breaks or your power goes out temporarily and food spoils, you will be held personally liable for the expenses incurred unless you are insured for this type of event.

Insuring Against Loss of Sales/ Loss of Income from a Power Outage

Hurricane Sandy not only flooded businesses, but also caused large-scale power outages. Is your restaurant covered for business income losses due to loss of power? There is a good chance the answer is no. Unless you have a best friend who sells generators and you specialize in candle-light dinners, power loss is never good. When power loss equates with income loss, you want to be sure you are covered.

Learn from Hurricane Sandy:
Get the Right Restaurant Insurance Protection

We all hope and pray that a disaster of this magnitude never again strikes our land and our loved ones. Yet, as we in the insurance industry know all too well, you can never be too prepared. As restaurant owners, it should be easy to grasp the importance of insuring against these four risks that Hurricane Sandy uncovered.

Peace of Mind and Protection from Uncertainty

By being properly insured, you will be protected if the big rainfall that surpasses the five-inch prediction causes your sewer to back up. If storm winds topple the power lines down the street and you aren’t prepared to play Pioneer Days with your customers, you will be covered. If your employee mistakenly undercooks the chicken for your famous chicken piccata dish, you will be covered. If your air conditioner works overtime and decides to take a siesta for a day, you will be covered.

Play it smart: contact us today to be certain that your restaurant business is fully insured! 

(610) 947-1270

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Flood Insurance for PA Homeowners – Are You At Risk?

Posted by David Ross on Sun, May 06, 2012

Many PA Homeowners Caught Without Flood Insurance Protection

Homeowners insurance for proper Reading PA flood insurance protection. Also for Philadelphia, Allentown, Bethlehem, Harrisburg, Lancaster, Lebanon, York, Pittsburgh, Erie, Berks County, Lancaster County, PennsylvaniaMany homeowners throughout Berks County, Lancaster County, and elsewhere in Pennsylvania experienced surprising homeowners insurance claims in 2011 due to flooding. Sadly, many lacked proper flood insurance resulting in denied claims and financial hardships that could have easily been avoided.  From Reading PA to Allentown, from Lancaster to Erie, and Philadelphia to Pittsburgh, homeowners were caught uninsured, underinsured, and unprotected against flooding.

Over-the-ground flooding can cause severe property damage and often presents unique challenges to homeowners as they attempt to restore their homes and property, with or without the benefit of flood insurance coverage on their homeowner’s policy.

Flood Plains and Homeowners Flood Insurance – Don’t Be Fooled

As many Pennsylvania homeowners came to realize in 2011, flooding can occur outside of so-called flood plains, so acquiring flood insurance even if you are outside a flood plain can be the difference between financial protection and financial disaster when a surprise flood occurs. Hurricanes, tropical storms, and even thunderstorms can cause extensive flooding even hundreds of miles from the coast.

Property damage specialists at PuroClean offer the following tips for coping with a flood, minimizing property damage, and insuring a speeding recovery:

  1. Get professional flood cleanup help quickly
  2. Remove all water, mud, and sludge
  3. Remove and properly dispose of contaminated porous materials (including carpet, padding, drywall, paper, cardboard, insulation, and particle board furniture)
  4. Sanitize semi-porous materials (structural wood, solid wood furniture)
  5. Use professional-strength EPA-approved products to sanitize the remaining salvageable structure, fixtures, and contents
  6. Professionally and thoroughly dry the structure as quickly as possible using dehumidifiers and high-capacity air movers
  7. Install one or more air scrubbers to remove harmful airborne particulates
  8. Perform any needed repairs

To download PuroClean’s factsheet on recovering from over-the-ground flooding, click here

Avoid a Financial Upheaval by Adding Flood Insurance Protection to Your Homeowners Insurance Policy

Remember, a flood can cause a major upheaval in the lives of any homeowner. Be sure to carry the proper flood insurance on your Pennsylvania homeowners insurance policy. Then, whether you hail from Reading or Lancaster, Philadelphia or Allentown, Pittsburgh or Erie, you will be grateful that you had the foresight to plan ahead.  Your family will thank you as well.

Need flood insurance for your home in Pennsylvania or elsewhere? Contact the commercial and homeowners flood insurance experts at American Insuring Group near Reading PA.  We’ll make sure you’re covered with the right homeowners flood insurance to get your home and property restored quickly and thoroughly. Click the Contact link above, or call us at (800) 947.1270 or (610) 775-3848.

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