January Home and Finance Tips

Posted by Jeremy Russell on Monday, January 22nd, 2018 at 11:14am.

4 things your homeowners insurance won't cover

Homeowners Insurance

Homeowners insurance is designed to cover damage caused by disasters, such as wind, hail, fire, lighting, and cold weather that freezes plumbing or other major household systems. It also protects you from theft and vandalism, civil commotions or riots, and falling objects, as well as from liability for others who are injured on your property.

Here are 4 big things that a standard homeowners insurance policy won't cover:

Floods
A Bankrate survey found that 81% of homeowners did not know their home was not protected from a flood by a regular homeowner insurance policy. 

Sewer backups
If your sewer backs up, it can do some serious damage to your floors and furniture, and even walls and electrical systems. Only extra insurance will typically cover this incident.

Jewelry/Fine art
The value of your diamond engagement ring or your family's fine art heirloom may exceed a maximum limit found in most standard policies. You can add an insurance rider that specifically covers these items. 

Trampoline accidents 
The risk is great: More than 80,000 trampoline accidents are reported annually, and neck and head injuries account for 10-17% of all injuries. You'll most likely need a separate rider, but beware that some insurance firms will refuse to insure a home if there's a trampoline on the premises. It's best to talk to your insurance provider first.

Be sure to contact your insurance company or agent to make sure you understand what is covered and what is not, as well as your options for additional protection.
 

 

Air ducts: A need-to-know tip for homeowners

We all love to save money, especially when it's earth-friendly. Air ducts are a great place to start for homes with forced-air heating or cooling systems. The U.S. Department of Energy reports that duct leaks account for as much as 30% of a home's heating and cooling consumption. 
 
How can you tell if your home's air ducts are leaking? Signs include:
 
- Your summer and winter utility bills are higher compared to neighbors with similar home and family sizes.
- You have rooms that are more difficult to heat and cool than others.
- You have stuffy rooms that never seem to feel comfortable.
- You have to change your air filters more frequently, as extra debris clogs filters.
 
Best bet: Have your ducts cleaned and serviced to start saving energy (and money).
 

 

Winter wondering: Why now could be a great time to buy or sell

Buying & Selling in Winter

 
Conventional wisdom says you shouldn't buy or sell a home during the winter. But real estate pros will tell you that the winter can often be a great time to buy or sell. Why? Consider the following:

  • Historically, interest rates tend to drop the most at the end of the year.
  • The number of homes listed for sale drops in the winter, which means less competition for sellers.
  • While there are fewer buyers looking, those buyers who are shopping are more serious about closing.
Remember that large employers often transfer employees in January to start the New Year, and that means even more motivated buyers are looking in the winter months.

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