How to Play With Outdoor Lighting

outdoorlightAs homeowners, we are always looking to find better ways to improve the curb appeal of our homes. We go out of our way to do our best to enhance the look of our outdoor space! We go out and buy brand new lawn and porch furniture. We plant trees and flowers. We hire landscapers to get our grass and shrubberies to look just right! We have pools and hot tubs put in. We build gazebos and fire pits for outdoor barbecues! I mean the list goes on and on! We are constantly trying to come up with more and more ways to add that special something to make our neighbor’s jealous!

Well, rest assured there is a way to both add beauty and enhance the existing features of our outdoor space! Add the wow factor of outdoor lighting! That’s right, outdoor lighting! There are a million and one ways to use outdoor lighting to enhance the appearance of our space.

Not sure just how to achieve the desired effect of outdoor lighting?

Well, you’re in luck! At www.outdoorlights.com you can get an idea of just how beautiful your outdoor space can look with the addition of outdoor lighting. Explore the website. Whatever you’re desired effect, www.outdoorlights.com can help you achieve it with just the right finishing touches!

You would be surprised just how much fun you can have with outdoor lighting! Don’t be afraid to play with it a little! Installed correctly, outdoor lighting can do amazing things for you’re outdoor space! It can add character to your front entrance! It could shed some light on your drive or walkway! Outdoor lighting around the BBQ pit can certainly make it a whole lot easier to BBQ, that’s for sure! Get creative and place outdoor lighting above the porch swing or around the deck! Highlight a beautiful flower garden! Add lighting to shrubs and trees or create a romantic ambiance around your pool or hot tub by adding outdoor lighting. Enjoy the way the light reflects off the water at night! The possibilities are endless!

While we are on the subject of adding light, let’s not forget the importance of sight around important target areas of our homes. Motion sensitive lighting is one way to add light when we need it above the front, back and side entrance’s to our home. It can also give us a little piece of mind by adding a level of protection with the potential to ward off any criminal activity.

Flood Insurance: What Is Covered?

flood20% homes in America have taken flood insurance because they are under risk of floods. In US, there are only few insurance providers who provide flood insurance because the scope of profit, especially in certain flood prone areas, is extremely low. However, there are a few conscientious insurance providers like Fix of Utah where flood insurance is provided. The policies offered by flood insurance providers protect your property and physical possessions from damage due to flood.

Basically, coverage is offered for personal property (limit of $500,000) and building property (limit $500,000). When it comes to business organizations, stocks fall under personal property and usually, it is recommended that both personal and business coverage should be purchased by people and organizations that live in flood prone areas. In order to understand the things that are covered in flood insurance, you should read on –

• Items Covered Under Coverage of Building Property – The following things are covered under Building coverage –
> The building that is insured and its foundation
> Plumbing and electrical systems installed in the building
> Water heaters in the building
> Ventilating equipment, furnaces installed and central AC (air conditioning) units;
> Permanent carpet installed over unfinished flooring
> Permanent cabinets, bookcases, wallboard and paneling installed;
> Pumps in the building and the machinery installed for operating such pumps
> Canopies and awnings
> Walk-in type freezers
> Any aerials and antennas that have been attached to the insured building
> Fire sprinkler and fire extinguishing systems and apparatus

• Items Covered Under Coverage of Personal Property – Following things are covered under Personal coverage –
> Personal property, equipment, machinery, fixtures and furniture that you own and use in conducting your business
> Stocks, i.e. finished or WIP goods, raw materials and goods in storage meant for sale or otherwise
> Window and portable ACs (air conditioners)
> Dishwashers and microwave ovens that are portable
> All rugs and carpets apart from ones under the coverage of building property
> Dryers and washers for clothes;
> Freezers meant for food and the food stored therein, except the walk-in type
> Valuable items up to $2500 like fur and original works of art
> Self-propelled and non-licensed vehicles that are present for assisting disabled persons or for serving the said location, stored in the building that is insured
> Curtains
> Contents coverage (maximum 10%) for building improvements that the insured has made and has been occupying as tenant

There are certain items that are excluded from coverage. These are basically those losses which do not occur directly as a result of the flood but due to the negligence of the insured or through forces beyond the purview of flood insurance like business risk.

Getting Roofing Done Right

Getting Roofing Done RightWith owners looking to maintain the quality of their roofing, they will no doubt face a few different challenges along the way. This is part of the reason why they will need to get a basic overview of the services that they can secure. This will help prepare them to identify some major issues and fix them before they even become a problem. Most owners will understandably want to find out more information from a committed service team operating in the area. They should make sure that they are working with service teams that will simply lend their support to complete major projects like these soon. They will be uniquely qualified to handle any issue that may arise along the way.

First, every owner will need to think about getting an initial inspection of the roofing system that they have in place already. They will be able to secure support for a few different types of projects with this inspection having been completed. If owners haven’t had an inspection done in a while, they will be able to trust the results that they can get from this. The inspection itself may try to focus on the state of the shingles or the underlying support beams. This will help owners understand whether there are any structural weak points that will need to be replaced. If owners identify these ahead of time, the repairs will be much less intensive and costly.

Owners should take the time to think about how they can actually anticipate some of the materials that may go in to this process. This will help people understand whether they are working with the right team as well. The team can provide advice on whether owners may want to stick with rubber shingles or install materials like metal shingles in to place soon. This will help them choose the best all around materials package that will help them cope with the local climate. Some people may be faced with a wide variety of inclement weather conditions. They will likely be interested in adding in shingles and support beams that can defend the home against these structures.

It will be important for owners to realize that they are actually making a substantial investment in the structure of their home. These shingles and roofing systems will offer people the chance that they need to actually enhance the value of the home. Given the important role that the roof plays, owners should make sure that they are hiring the right contractors soon. Owners may want to start with the professionals that they find through www.PyramidRoofingNE.com. This team has built up a reputation in the area and will offer their support for different types of projects.

Finding Insurance for Your Home

Finding Insurance for Your HomeHaving homeowner’s insurance is almost as important as having a home itself because you don’t want to have to pay out of pocket for damages that are not your fault. Imagine having to buy a new house because your current one burned to the ground during a freak accident while you were away. That would be a worst case scenario, but having homeowner’s insurance can help you prevent that from ever happening. The problem is that every insurance plan is different, so choosing the right one for your needs is very important. Here’s what you can do to find a suitable insurance plan for your home.

Determine Your Needs and Budget

Before you choose a home insurance plan, you should figure out how much coverage you actually need and want. Most standard plans are adequate for most homeowners as they cover expenses resulting from all kinds of accidents and disasters from flooding to tornado damage. Standard plans usually offer up to $100,000 in liability coverage, so damages costing more than that amount would have to be paid out of pocket. You have the option to get more premium plans that pay for $300,000, $500,000, or even a million dollars in damages if you’re willing to pay more. Speaking of cost, you should also set a cap on how much you can afford to pay every month. Plans that exceed this maximum amount should not be considered.

Do Your Research

The next step is to do some homework on insurance companies and the plans that they offer. There are hundreds if not thousands of insurance companies out there, and many of them aren’t very reputable or trustworthy. Make sure that you go with a company that has good BBB ratings and positive customer reviews. To play it safe, stick with a big name company or a well-respected local business. Rogers & Gray Insurance is a very reputable company located in Hyannis, MA. The business provides homeowner’s insurance in addition to car insurance, boat insurance, business insurance, and more.

Contact an Insurance Provider to Learn More

While most insurance providers have a website displaying important information including insurance plans, some may not have websites or details listed. Talk to a customer service representative to get more information so that you can make a smart decision. You may be able to speak with someone over the phone, or you could choose to set up an in-person appointment with an insurance agent to learn more about costs, requirements, and the fine print.

Ask for Discounts

When speaking with an agent, always ask for any available discounts on plans. Many providers will lower monthly costs if you have the proper safety precautions in place such as installing a smoke detector on very floor, having sprinklers in the home, or getting a security system, for example. These price reductions can make plans that were once unaffordable fall within your budget.

Top Six Factors That Affect Your Homeowners Insurance Rates

home-insurance-companiesBuying homeowners insurance is not easy. The process of buying homeowners insurance can be frustrating, complicated and confusing. Sometimes, it’s difficult to accurately compare rates, since coverage isn’t usually identical from insurance company to insurance company.

However, to help you understand the factors that insurance companies use to determine your homeowners insurance rate, I’ve listed the top six factors that affect your homeowners insurance rates.

1. Value. When you calculate the value of your home, leave out the value of your land. Only consider the replacement cost of the dwelling at today’s prices.

2. Geography. The further your house is from a fire station, the higher your premium will be. So, homes in cities, where fire stations are close by, will have lower rates than homes in rural areas.

3. Contents. The value of your personal property is usually calculated by the insurance company as 50% of the dwelling value. So, if your personal property has value in excess of that amount, you need to increase the policy limits on Contents.

4. Liability Limits. Homeowners Insurance is a package policy with a minimum liability limit built in. I recommend that you increase your liability limits significantly above the minimum. Jury awards on liability claims can run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. A minimum liability limit will leave you dangerously under-protected.

5. Deductibles. The deductibles you choose will have a significant affect on your insurance rates. Generally, the higher your deductible, the lower your rate. Always choose the highest deductible your budget will allow. Then, set aside one deductible in your savings account to take the financial pressure off your deductible choice.

6. Claims History. If your home is free of previous insurance claims, you’ll get the best insurance rates. If you have had previous insurance claims, the insurance company will consider those claims when they calculate your premium rate.

A change in any of these factors can cause a change in your homeowners insurance premium. Make sure that you fully disclose the correct information about each of these factors to your agent. That way, you’ll be most certain to get the lowest homeowners insurance rates you can.

If you have experienced an insured loss, whether auto, business, fire, wind, flood or other, you need to know winning insurance claim strategies. The insurance company will not tell you the claims process, but I will. I will show you how to take control of your insurance claim, and add hundreds or even thousands more dollars to your claim settlement.

5 Ways to Save on Your Home Insurance

save-moneyThe end of 2013 is rapidly approaching – have you started on your New Years resolutions yet? Is saving money one of your resolutions? For many, the resolutions are already being forgotten and saving money has been replaced by a warm cup of Starbucks coffee. But fear not, there is something you can do now to save money and you don’t even have to give up your daily Starbucks (though I would recommend doing that as well). Below are 5 ways to save on your home insurance right now.

1. Increase your deductible. Increasing your deductible could save you over $100. This is the simplest and least painful way to save a couple extra bucks on your home insurance.

2. Increase the security on your home. There are things that you can do that will pay for themselves due to the decrease in home insurance premium (i.e. installing dead bolts and smoke detectors). Other security measures (like installing a burglar alarm) are smart and will actually decrease your home insurance costs, but may cost you a little more in the long run. Of coarse, a burglar alarm could deter theft and that is priceless.

3. Improve the safety of your home. If your home is more safe, you may not need to make any claims. Claims are not only expensive for you and the insurance company right now, but will also affect the cost of your home insurance for the next 3 years.

4. Remove coverages that are unnecessary. If you live on a fault line, you probably need earthquake insurance. If you are no where near a fault line you might be OK to skip adding earthquake to your policy. Also, sometimes scheduling jewelry on your policy is not as cost effective as insuring your jewelry with a 3rd party.

5. Shop around. Some insurers will tell you that you need to bundle because you will automatically save money. You always receive a discount when you bundle a primary home and auto, but that doesn’t mean that would be the best deal. Sometimes separating the policies is more affordable and sometimes having them with one company is the way to go. Shop around and you’ll be surprised by the price difference between companies.

Get started now on that New Years resolution by getting a quote for your home insurance and your car insurance from an independent agent. They may be able to save you hundreds of dollars this year without the pain of giving up anything you enjoy!

How To Get The Most Out of Your Home Insurance Policies

insurance policyMost people simply accept home insurance as a necessary part of owning a home. In fact, many home owners simply renew their policies each year without putting any thought into their policies.

The reality is that you should take the time each year to read through your policy. This is important to make sure that you have the right amount of coverage and that you are getting your money’s worth.

Review, Then Renew

Depending upon the year, you may have had drastic changes in your household. For example, did you just finish renovating a certain part of your home? Did you get a dog? Did you purchase an expensive piece of art or start a home business? Are you storing a boat on your property? These are all things that may necessitate a change in your policy coverage.

In addition, it could be possible that your insurance agent made a mistake on your policy. These mistakes could be costly if something should happen. For example, if you have upgraded your linoleum kitchen floor to top quality hardwood flooring and the hardwood is damaged after your pipes burst, your insurance company may only reimburse enough to fix a linoleum floor, not the newer hardwood floor.

Consider how much coverage you have. Then, ask yourself what would happen if you would need to replace all of your possessions due to a major catastrophe. Would your insurance cover that amount? If not, you may need to increase your coverage.

Coverage For More Than Catastrophes

Your home insurance policy also provides liability coverage as well. Suppose your dog nips a guest in your home and the guest needs medical attention? Your homeowner’s policy would cover expenses. This is also true if you have a home business and you meet with clients in your home. Should you ever be sued due to injuries a client sustained while on your property, having a homeowner’s insurance policy can be a big asset.

Getting a Good Insurance Rate

Often at renewal time, homeowners wonder if they can save some money on their policies. Because the cost of insurance can vary significantly from company to company, it is a wise idea to compare rates every so often. When comparing rates, make sure that the quotes are for the same amount of coverage!

There are some ways to save money on your policy without switching companies. You can combine your auto insurance and home insurance policy in order to receive a discount on the cost of your policies. You can also increase the deductibles on your policies. However, caution is in order. Although you may save money on your policy, you should also make sure you can pay the deductible.

If You Decide To Switch Companies

Research companies several months in advance of your renewal date. Then, simply start your policy with your new company and do not renew your old policy. Of course, you will need to call the new company several weeks in advance in order to make sure that your new policy begins when your old policy expires. Any lapses in coverage could be very costly financially.

Although you make not have the time to check your coverage on a regular basis, taking the time once a year can actually help you save money and get better coverage in the long run.

The Best Way To Compare Home Insurance Rates

compare-insuranceMany people believe that you must phone several insurance agencies, or even drive to a number of agencies to compare home insurance quotes to obtain the cheapest rate.

In today’s Internet world you can now get price quotes in the privacy and comfort of your own home on your personal computer. You’ll find great rates on homeowners insurance by just going online to an insurance comparison website. Whether you need a basic policy or maybe additional coverage for example flood, earthquake, or extra liability coverage, an insurance comparison site will help you get the best plan available at the best price.

How Do Comparison Websites Work?

Insurance comparison sites provide you with several advantages. You can easily search for price quotes within the privacy of your home, on your own schedule. And you get more price quotes coming from insurers vying for your business than you normally would with your hometown agencies. All you have to do is spend a couple of minutes filling out a basic questionnaire with all your insurance information to obtain price quotes coming from a number of A-rated companies.

You can then analyze those quotes at your leisure and pick one that is right for you. You aren’t limited to the handful of companies available from neighborhood agencies, and every one of the services made available from a comparison website are totally free.

More Suggestions For Obtaining The Best Quotes

Here are some tips to help you get the most affordable quotes:

- Raise your deductible as high as you can afford. For instance, if you increase your deductible from the customary $500 to $1,000, you’ll save as much as 25% on your insurance plan.

- Get every discount you’re qualified to receive. Most insurance companies offer special discounts for non-smokers and for senior citizens. You could also obtain discounts if your house has safety features including deadbolts, a burglar alarm, and smoke alarms.

- Get a multi-policy discount. You will get up to a 15% discount for placing your car and your home insurance with the same company.

- Buy the right amount of insurance protection. You’ll need only enough insurance coverage to rebuild your home if it’s destroyed. Don’t use the appraised value of your home because it includes the value of the land it is situated on.

Talk to a local building contractor or perhaps a Realtor to obtain an estimate of how much it would cost to rebuild your home. After that, take an inventory of all your possessions and add in that figure to your home rebuilding cost.

Conclusion

The quickest and simplest way to get quotes from A-rated companies is by using an insurance comparison site. You can compare those price quotes and get the least expensive coverage that fits your needs, in the privacy and comfort of your home, and never have to listen to a sales pitch.

A few months ago I used the comparison site to obtain price quotes, and managed to save more than $645 a year on my own insurance policy. And the entire process took less than half an hour. Not a bad return for half an hour’s work.

What Is Home Insurance?

home-insuranceYour home, seeing that it is one of the most important and one of the biggest (if not the largest) investment that you will ever have, needs to be insured with the right policy. Having your home insured will provide you with considerably greater peace of mind knowing that you, your loved ones, your home, and all of the other valuables that you have inside are always protected. Home insurance, also known as homeowner’s insurance and hazard insurance, is the type of insurance policy that you should get for your home in order for you to obtain this peace of mind we are talking about.

So what is this particular form of insurance we are referring to? Whether you know this insurance product as home, hazard, or homeowner’s insurance, all of these three terms refer to the specific type of insurance product for properties. This insurance policy is designed to provide coverage to private homes. This particular type of insurance product is a combination of different personal insurance coverage, which may include losses that will occur to a policy holder’s home, the loss of contents of the property, the loss of the use of the home, or the loss of other valuable possessions within the property.

Since home insurance can prove to be very valuable to home owners, it is to be expected that many companies offer this particular form of insurance. You should also expect this type of insurance policy to differ depending on many different factors, including the provider itself, the included coverage types, the interest rates, and the overall monthly premiums. There are also several factors that insurance companies take into consideration in order to determine how much your annual percentage rate will be such as your credit history, if the home to be insured is your primary residence, and the other possessions you will also have insured.

Home insurance is generally comprised of four major components. The first is the ‘Coverage for the Structure’. This is the part that will cover damages done by fire, by storms, or by any other type of disaster that will be included in the policy contract. The next component is the ‘Coverage for Contents’. This part will cover the expenses associated with the replacement of your possessions if they are lost in a disaster or burglary. ‘Liability Protection’ will cover damages to third party property, personal liability, and medical expenses. ‘Reimbursement for Additional Living Expenses’ is the fourth component that will cover living expenses if your house is temporarily inhabitable.

Do you have your own house but yet you don’t have it insured? Having a home insurance will surely keep your family protected. Feel free to relax knowing that your own house is safe and secure by having the best home insurance.