What is Liability Insurance on a Homeowner’s Policy?

You already know that having homeowner’s insurance is important, but what all does it cover? Besides just taking care of damage to your personal belongings and the building itself, most policies also include personal liability coverage. Our knowledgeable and friendly team at Jeff Hutchison Insurance Services has put together this brief guide to liability coverage to help get you understand what it is and why it is so useful.

What Does It Cover?

Simply put, liability insurance is designed to protect you and your family financially against bodily injury and personal property claims from other people. For example, if a visitor to your Proctorville, OH home is bitten by your dog or falls down the stairs the liability portion of your policy would pay for their medical bills. Or if your child accidentally throws a baseball through a neighbor’s window, the policy would pay to fix the damage. And these are just a few examples of situations covered under this section of your insurance contract.

Why Is It Important? And How Much Do You Need?

Liability coverage is important because it protects you from unexpected bills and lawsuits stemming from an accidental situation. Instead of being out thousands of dollars for the medical bills of someone outside your family or being involved in a messy lawsuit, your insurance company will go ahead and take care of it for you.

So, how much do you need? Most homeowner’s policies automatically include around $100,000 in liability coverage, but that figure can be raised according to your individual financial situation. To determine this, it is best to speak directly to your agent.

Need more information or a review of your Proctorville, OH homeowner’s policy? Our team at Jeff Hutchison Insurance Services is here to help. Contact us today to schedule your no-obligation appointment.

 

Preparing Your Home for Spring

Life in Proctorville, OH, comes with intense seasons. Every year you need to prep for severe winter and warm summer. Time is moving, and before you know it, spring will be upon us. Take a look at this checklist, prepared by Jeff Hutchison Insurance Services, and see how you can minimize frustration and expenses by prepping for the next seasonal change early.

Inspect the Roof

Winter is hard on roofs, and this winter has been no picnic. Every spring, when the snows are gone, take the time to check the roof for damaged or missing shingles. Tackling the easier repairs before the more intense spring and summer storms hit can save bundles in repairs and damages. While you’re up there, don’t forget to check and clean the gutters. They’ll be getting use soon enough.

Check the Stone

Any stone in your home, from brick to concrete, should get a once over after the snow is gone. Extreme winter conditions are notorious for starting cracks in stone, and if they are left unchecked, the summer heat will split and spread the cracks in no time. Take a look at driveways, foundation, fixtures and anything else that might be made vulnerable from the major changes in temperature.

Schedule a Summer Prep Day

Before you need it in the heat of summer, take a look at outdoor plumbing. You always want to find leaks or other problems before the demand arises. On that subject, as soon as the weather is warm enough, go ahead and service that AC unit. It probably needs a new filter, and it’s another item that you don’t want to discover is problematic when you need it most. Finally, check on your gardening tools, especially anything electric or motorized. If you take a full day to get these checks done early, you can save mounting frustration later in the summer.

We want your life in Proctorville, OH, to be enjoyable, so keep an eye on the Jeff Hutchison Insurance Services blog for more tips on saving money and keeping your home, family and vehicles in top shape.

 

Is Flooding Covered by a Homeowner’s Policy?

Two things make a big difference in whether water damage is covered by a homeowner’s insurance policy: the wording of the policy and the source of the water that caused the damage. In most cases, flooding in Proctorville, OH caused by external natural forces like an overrunning creek or levee break won’t be covered by a homeowner’s insurance plan. These incidents need to be covered by a separate flood insurance policy. The most common coverage is through the National Flood Insurance Plan or NFIP and provided by approved insurance sellers.

On the other hand, if the water damage source was internal, such as a broken pipe or failing drain system, coverage may be possible. The actual application depends very much on how the wording of a given policy was crafted, so it’s important to read one’s policy first before filing a claim, according to Jeff Hutchison Insurance Services.

Regarding mold, it’s a common damage problem that can be both widespread and structural. Further, it can be a major health problem aside from being a sight and smell nuisance. The first step is mitigation. The following can go a long way to preventing or reducing mold:

  • Thoroughly drying the affected area within 48 hours of contact.
  • Cleaning out all drainage paths.
  • Keeping indoor humidity low, at least below 60 percent.
  • Using vents or windows to create air flow for evaporation.
  • Removing large items that soak up water and trap it.

When mold has occurred, it needs to be removed, the affected material needs to go to the garbage, and the area treated with mold-killing chemicals. Professional services may be necessary to ensure effective treatment is effective. Again, how the mold was caused makes a big difference in whether these costs are covered. To find out more in the Proctorville, OH area, contact Jeff Hutchison Insurance Services for expert help.

Home Improvement Tips to Cut Insurance Costs

If you are considering a new home improvement project, wouldn’t you like to save money further down the road? With the right home improvement projects, you can actually cut insurance costs. Now, adding on a new bathroom or finishing the attic will ultimately increase home insurance costs due to the increased property value. However, at Jeff Hutchison Insurance Services, we can help you save money in your Proctorville, OH home. 

Home Security System

Installing a home security system improves your home security by reducing the chance of someone breaking in. It also can help reduce your home insurance costs. Just make sure to inform your home insurance provider about the upgrade (this holds true with all improvement options). 

Upgrade Appliances

Your old water heater or furnace not only cost you more to run but are more likely to break down, flood and cause internal problems within the house. Upgrading the appliances can save you a good amount of money on every single utility bill. You can also experience a drop in home insurance costs as well. Just another reason to put some extra money into your new appliances. 

New Roof

This home improvement project is a bit more pricey than the others. However, a new roof is an extremely valuable project. First, it reduces the chance of damage to your house. It cuts down on energy consumption by improving insulation in the roof (this is one of the top areas where energy is lost throughout the year). And by cutting down potential home damage, you can also experience money savings in your home insurance as well. 

At Jeff Hutchison Insurance Services, we want to do everything in our power to both help protect your home and save money at the same time. By following through with these different home improvement tips to cut insurance costs, you can experience several money saving opportunities in your Proctorville, OH home. 

The Overlooked Riders of Home Insurance

For the citizens of Proctorville, OH looking for home insurance, there are key issues that everyone considers. A home is frequently a person’s most valuable investment. It makes sense that people should purchase insurance on the structure of their home. This makes sure that they are protected should any damage befall their home. On the other hand, there are a couple of keys that many people overlook that could still wind up significantly costing an individual if catastrophe strikes. Read below to make sure a home is completely protected, inside and out. 

First, while the home is valuable and should be protected, do not neglect what it inside the home. Most people have expensive furniture, electronics, jewelry, and clothing that could represent tens of thousands of dollars in assets. It is vital that these items remain insured as well. A house fire, theft, or other natural disasters could easily wipe out everything inside the home. Talk to a home insurance agent about insurance on personal belongings. This will allow an individual to receive compensation to replace these items if they are lost. 

Next, remember the living expenses that could wind up costing a family significant amounts of money if they home suffers a total loss. If the home is destroyed or damaged to the point it is unlivable, a family might be forced into a hotel or apartment for an extended period of time. These costs can pile up quickly. There is actually a rider that people can purchase that will cover for these living expenses should the home become unlivable. Everyone should make sure they have insurance to pay for these living expenses if tragedy strikes. 

For anyone looking for home insurance in Proctorville, OH, do not neglect these important riders. Contact Jeff Hutchison insurance for quality protection today. Every family deserves the utmost protection for their home against tragedy. Call an experienced agent today for more information.

Tips To Make Moving Easier On Everyone

If there is one thing about getting a new home that people hate, it is the process of packing, unpacking, and moving. However, there are a few ways that you can make the entire process easier for both you and everyone else in your family. Use these tips to make it easier and less stressful and you will wonder why you never thought of them before. Contact us at Jeff Hutchison Insurance Services for all of your homeowners insurance needs for the new home as well. 

  • Pack a first night box. After you get done moving everything, you will not want to unpack everything as well. That is just as big of a hassle as packing and it cannot be done in one day. So, to prepare for your first night in the new home, pack a first night box with all of the essentials you will need. That will save you time from having to search for things like a toothbrush and you can get some much needed sleep. 
  • Label your boxes and keep an inventory. As you are packing all of your boxes, do yourself a favor and label them with what is inside. You can also keep an inventory of all of the items so that you can easily find them whenever you need them. 
  • Color code your boxes by room. As you are packing all of your boxes, color code with stickers depending on the room they will go in at the new home. When you are moving, they can be put directly into those rooms and that will make the entire unpacking process a lot easier. Everything you need for each room will already be in there and you can unpack them based on priority. 

It’s Spring in Proctorville, Ohio. Really.

It has been one long cold, snowy winter in Proctorville, OH. Although we will could still experience some cold temps, and maybe even some more snow, spring officially started on March 20th. People from throughout Proctorville and Huntington will be emerging from their homes enjoying the warmer temperatures. Backyard barbecues will again fill the air and the sound of lawn mowers will fill our ears.

It is the season we all start to get together a little more, our kids play in each other’s yards, and outside yard work gets into full swing. It is also when you are at risk of a personal injury claim. Injuries can happen quickly and without warning. Personal injury claims can be the result of a child falling from a swing, from a flare up on a propane grill, or an unseen mole hole in your yard. They can come from a neighbor, a delivery person or a lawn care worker. When they occur, you want to make sure you are properly covered. That coverage will be provided by the liability provisions of your homeowners insurance.

If you live in the 45669 zip code area, you are invited to contact us at Jeff Hutchison Insurance Services. We are an independent insurance agency serving the Proctorville area. We can review your homeowners policy to make sure it is as ready for the spring as you are. Because we are independent agents, we can seek out a rate you will find affordable without jeopardizing coverage.

If you like, visit our website and get an online quote on your homeowners insurance or auto insurance. Of course, our insurance reviews and quotes come with no obligation and are absolutely free. You may discover that we can save you money.

We have made it through the winter and it is time to celebrate. Just make sure you do it safely. If you have questions about your homeowners insurance, we invite you to contact us at Jeff Hutchison Insurance Services.

Sinking Foundations: Is This Something To Worry About?

Ohio offers a number of different attractions. There are major sports teams with stadiums and ballparks. There are growing metropolitan cities that offer many employment opportunities, museums, and bustling downtown areas. The cost of living throughout the state is also lower than many of the other states around the nation.

When you are a homeowner, it’s important to look at your foundation and determine if sinking is something you have to worry about.

A sinking foundation can happen to any home throughout Ohio. There’s often no advance notice to when it’s going to happen. It’s a result of the land not being prepared properly in most instances. It may also be a result of poor drainage.

Many homeowners will experience a sinking foundation or porch after heavy rains and floods where the water sits at the base of the home for extended periods of time. As the foundation sinks into the ground, it can cause an unevenness that leads to cracking of the concrete foundation as well as cracks in the wall and more.

Homeowners insurance can be purchased to ensure that you have the needed coverage on your foundation. Not all policies will include this level of coverage from the very beginning, but it can be added – and you will want to talk to an insurance agent about it.

An insurance agent will be able to tell you about the number of claims that have been made in your area as it pertains to a sinking foundation. This will allow you to see the frequency in which it happens so you know whether it is a big concern based upon where you live.

The important thing is to have the coverage so that if something does happen to your home in Ohio, you can file a claim with the insurance company.