Tips for Making Your Home More Secure

Everyone wants to be sure that they and their family stays safe and secure in their home at all times. And there are definitely ways to better ensure that, so here are some tips, courtesy of Integra Insurance Services serving the Huntington, TX area.

Security cameras

You cannot have your eyes on every inch of your property at all times, but that is where the security camera helps you. It monitors your home and surrounding area and helps you stay on top of any potential problems.

Security lights

Lights that are specifically for security purposes are great at making your home more secure. There are lights available for both indoor and outdoor use. Before installing them, consider the best places and uses for them.

Burglar alarms

The age-old devices known as burglar alarms have never gone out of style and for good reason. They work hard to effectively repel potential intruders and thieves.

Outdoor lights

Make sure you have plenty of outdoor lights, especially in strategic locations such as near doors, along walkways and by the driveway. A well-lit property is a deterrent for would-be intruders.

Motion sensors

Another piece of equipment that can help with security is the motion sensor that for example causes lights to come on when they detect any motion outside around the house.

Windows and doors

Of course, windows and doors provide an excellent barrier between a resident and the outside world, so they are built-in security features. But it is important to keep windows and doors locked at all times, whether you are at home or not.

If you are looking for home insurance locally, consider Integra Insurance Services serving the Huntington, TX area. We can help you figure out ways to make your property secure while providing added peace of mind.

Homeowner’s Insurance Helps Protect Your Home

Accidents happen at home and they can be expensive. If you injure someone or damage their property by accident, it can have serious financial repercussions. This is especially true if the person gets a lawyer and decides to sue you. Protect the equity that you’ve built in your home with a homeowners insurance policy, which can pay for slips and falls and other covered events on your property and away from home.

What’s Covered?

Your home insurance policy won’t cover auto accidents, but it does cover events away from home. Maybe you wipe out on the slopes and take another skier down in the process, or perhaps you take a hot casserole over to the new neighbors and they get burnt while grabbing the dish. These events may be covered under your Huntington, TX insurance policy.

What If It’s My Fault?

The expectation under the law is that you act reasonably. If you react and behave unreasonably, and someone gets hurt, you can be held negligent. For example, if you accidentally knock someone down because you’re looking at your cell phone, you might be accused of negligence because a reasonable person looks ahead while walking.

Your homeowner’s policy typically covers the negligent behavior of you and your family. For example, if your kids hit a baseball through your neighbor’s window while practicing for the big game, your home liability insurance will probably cover the damage. Ask you Integra Insurance Services agent what coverage is available to protect your family.

Lawsuits

Your homeowner’s insurance may pay for a lawyer in case of a lawsuit. Depending on your coverage options, it may cover court fees as well. This is a huge relief when you are undergoing the stress and expense of a lawsuit for an unintentional event.

Come by Integra Insurance Services or make an appointment to receive a quote to protect your Huntington, TX home.

 

 

 

Does Home Insurance Cover Pest Control?

When it comes to owning a home you may come up against repairs that you are simply not ready for. Pest control and repairs of damages from your pest control are likely something you are going to have to deal with at some point during the time you own your home. For those that live in the Huntington, TX area, the agents with Integra Insurance Services can help you find the home policy that covers what you need it to cover.

In terms of pest control and pest repairs, most insurance policies are not going to pay out. The reason being that most home policies view pest control as a matter of home maintenance which means you should be keeping up with it on your own through the course of owning your home. You are not allowed to claim matters of maintenance on your home policy and making sure you are taking care of your home is the best way to prevent damage from pests.

Since home insurance does not generally cover the cost of pest control or repairs due to pests, you should take the time to make sure you are controlling pests as they appear rather than waiting until they cause major damage that is going to have to be repaired. Pests are just that, they are pests and they do cause damage. If you notice that you have an infestation of any sort you should take steps to rid your home of the infestation before it causes major damage to the home.

For those that live in the Huntington, TX area, the agents with Integra Insurance Services can help you to find the home policy that covers what you need it to cover so that you can be sure your home is fully protected.  

Should Home Insurance Policies Be Reviewed Annually?

You work hard to provide a house for your family.  Through care and attention that house has become a home where your family can grow.  Your home insurance policy also works hard to protect the house and your assets.  When you originally purchased the policy, you were excited about your new home and anticipating what your life would be like there.  The policy was most likely also a requirement of your mortgage lender.  It’s entirely possible that you may not fully understand the extent of the coverage written into your policy.  This is understandable.  The team at Integra Insurance Services works with homeowners throughout the Huntington, TX area to get the coverage they need.  They are also ready to explain the policy in everyday language and answer any questions that you have.

As your family grows and changes, there will also be changes to your lifestyle.  You may make some improvements to your home.  This means that your home insurance needs also change.  An annual review of your home insurance policy, much like an annual medical checkup, can highlight areas where coverage needs have changed.  It may show areas where you can lower your premiums. 

The agents at Integra Insurance Services understand the needs of homeowners in the Huntington, TX area.  They know weather conditions and flooding risks.  With an expert eye and friendly advice, they can go through your existing policies to ensure that they are addressing any changes to your lifestyle, improvements to the house or property structures.  Also, they will be able to discuss with you any changes or developments in the insurance field that might affect your coverage.  So, pull out those policies and contact them for a review today.  Its an investment in your family and your property.   

When to Buy Special Property Coverage for Your Home

Special insurance coverage for Huntington, TX provides many benefits that can’t be earned in any other way. We at Integra Insurance Services can provide you with many options for this coverage and help you better understand when it is a good choice for your policy.

What is Special Insurance Coverage?

Special insurance coverage comes in a few different varieties, including commercial and residential coverage. Commercial coverage provides protection for public entities and non-profit companies. This type of coverage helps protect their property and business from damage and liability lawsuits.

Special insurance coverage for a home typically focuses on higher-end items in a home, such as jewelry, watches, furs, expensive gems, dinnerware, trophies, and guns. This type of coverage helps to keep homeowners from suffering total loss if somebody breaks into their home.

When is Special Insurance Wise?

Special insurance coverage is a good choice for anybody who runs a business from their home or who owns a large number of expensive items that they want to protect. For example, people who own gold coins or who have a lot of jewelry should probably consider special insurance coverage.

These types of policies can be tweaked and adjusted to meet the needs of just about any homeowner. For example, an individual can limit certain types of coverage that they don’t need and focus on just the ones that they do. So make sure to talk to your provider to learn more.

Who Provides Coverage of This Type?

If you live in Huntington, TX and want special insurance coverage, we at Integra Insurance Services can help you out. Our experts will work hard to find a great insurance policy that suits your needs and which gives you and your home the protection that it deserves.

Most Forgotten Home Insurance Basics

Home insurance can be difficult to understand, often however, taking the time to learn a few basics can help make figuring out the specifics a bit easier. For those living in the Huntington, TX area, the agents with Integra Insurance Services can help you learn all you need to know about home insurance.  

One of the first things that people tend to forget when working out the basics of their home policy is that your home policy also covers the cost of the contents of your home and should be adjusted accordingly. If you make a large purchase or have a valuable collection in your home, you should make sure they are protected so that you can replace them if something happens. You should also adjust this coverage as needed and keep an inventory of any expensive or hard to replace items so that they can be accounted for should you need to make a claim.

Another oft-forgotten aspect of home insurance is that most policies are not going to be one size fits all so buying a policy online is not going to be sufficient. You need to buy a policy that fits your particular home, and your particular circumstance. Though a basic policy is a great place to start, it is not going to cover the nuances of your particular home and it might not cover your entire home.

The last commonly forgotten aspect of home insurance is that you do need different coverage based on where you live. In an area where the flood is not common, you may not need flood insurance. In areas where winter storms are common, you may need more coverage during certain times of the year. If you have a home it is important to make sure you are taking the time to really tailor your home policy to make sure your home is fully protected at all times.

For those in the Huntington, TX area, the agents with Integra Insurance Services can help you find the right policy every time.

When Should You File a Home Insurance Claim?

Deciding on when to file a home insurance claim in Huntington, TX can be tricky business. Sometimes claims on your insurance can cause premiums to go up and filing a claim isn’t always in your best interest.

Don’t file a claim if the repair you want to be covered won’t exceed your deductible. For example, if you have a $1,000 deductible and someone breaks into your house and takes your iPad, it will cost less to replace your iPad then it would for you to pay the deductible. If you go through insurance you will have a theft claim on your report and you didn’t even save any money. Pay for the repairs on your own if the cost of the repairs is relativity minor compared to your deductible. For example, if your repair or claim is going to only cost a few hundred dollars more than your deductible, you are better off not filing a claim and paying out of pocket. If you have filed claims in recent years, be careful about filing new ones. The number of claims you file can negatively impact rates. Think about the costs of the claim in this instance as well. If the claim is related to a maintenance issue you should have fixed earlier, such as replacing a rotting fence or repairing a damaged roof, you should think twice. If the claim is related to an event your insurance company doesn’t cover, then not only will you not get money, but you will also have a claim on your record for no reason.

If you aren’t sure if you should file a claim or if something is covered, ask your agent at Integra Insurance Services and contact a contractor to see what the costs of repairs will be.

Of course, you should file a claim if the event in Huntington, TX is covered by your insurance and the amount of repairs exceeds the deductible. If you haven’t filed a claim in years, you shouldn’t be penalized for using insurance the way it’s supposed to be used.

Contact Integra Insurance Services to receive a quote on homeowners insurance.

Can You Be Denied Homeowners’ Insurance Because of a Dog

Does it make noise? Does it shed? Does it smell?  These are some of the things that will be troubling your mind when you decide to adopt a dog as a pet. However, you may not be thinking about the potential problems that your dog pet may cause to your homeowners’ insurance policy in Huntington, TX.

Keep in mind that your dog is part of your family and the insurance company such as Integra Insurance Services must view it objectively no matter how cute it looks. Even the best-trained dogs can be unpredictable and can cause harm to people at any time. Therefore it’s crucial to understand the fact that you can be denied a homeowners’ insurance because of dog but the decision will depend on the type of dog in your home.

Why Do Insurance Providers Refuse Coverage for Dog Owners?

Statistics indicate that dog bites usually account for more than one-third of all homeowners’ insurance liability claims in the United States. Typically, dog bites are expensive, and insurance providers try to avoid scenarios where they are forced to pay numerous liability claims filed as a result of dog bites.  Although owning a doesn’t lead to automatic denial of homeowners’ insurance policy, it could lead to higher premiums since you are considered as a high-risk client.

Does the Breed Matter?

Yes, the breed of your dog is a crucial factor when it comes to restricting home insurance because of dogs.  A high number of home insurance providers in Huntington, TX won’t cover muscular canines that can cause severe harm to people from a single bite. Some of the common dog breeds that have been blacklisted by several insurance providers include:

  • Akitas
  • Chows-chows
  • Pit bull-type breeds
  • Rottweilers
  • German shepherds
  • Mastiffs
  • Dobermans

However, it is good to mention that a liability claim can come from any breed regardless of what you think about your dog. Contact Integra Insurance Services today for your homeowners’ insurance policy.

Home Insurance and Your HOA: Who Covers What?

Have you just purchased a new home in Huntington, TX and are wondering what kind of adjustments you need to make to your home insurance with Integra Insurance Services? If you are paying a homeowners association fee every month, you will need to know where the HOA ends and your property begins.

 Read Your Deed

Review your deed with your agent.  If the plot plan only includes the interior of your property, then your liability ends with your front door as long as you take care of your condo. But in neighborhoods with single-family structures and shared outdoor space, the lines of property and responsibility can get blurred. If you are unsure who owns what, make sure to speak with your HOA to clarify the situation as soon as possible.

Sidewalks, Lawns, Porches and Streets

Your property may only include your house and driveway. Even porches and decks that are part of townhouses may belong to the HOA. If the sidewalks are on your plot plan, you will have to maintain them. Who mows the lawn, prunes the trees, and waters the flowers by the gate?  If you see your neighbors taking care of shared areas, ask them if the HOA has approved their assistance. If not, there can be legal repercussions if a repair goes wrong.

If You Maintain It, the Liability is Yours

Any part of your home where the HOA does not provide routine maintenance, you will want to include on your home insurance policy.  You may wish to put up a fence or hedge to define the areas for which you are responsible. If your guest is injured on a shared area, such as the pool or playground, they will be filing a claim against the HOA liability insurance.

Give your agent at Integra Insurance Services for more information on home or commercial insurance options for the Huntington, TX area.

What Should I Expect When Filing a Home Insurance Claim for Missing Jewelry?

If you have noticed that jewelry is missing from your home, you may look to file an insurance claim with your home insurance company. Here at Integra Insurance Services, we understand that this is something that most people in the greater Huntington, TX area rarely have to do. As such, you may not know what to expect when filing a claim. Here are a few of the things you can expect when filing a home insurance claim for missing jewelry. 

Obtaining a Police Report

Before you can report jewelry missing or stolen from your home, you must first file a police report. When you file a police report, you declare under penalty of perjury that what you are saying is true. This helps assure the insurance company that your jewelry really is missing or has been taken from your home. 

Providing Information About When the Jewelry Went Missing

After obtaining a police report, you will need to contact your home insurance company. During this call, you will list everything missing and provide information about when the jewelry went missing. If your home was burglarized, this is easy to provide. However, if you do not know when your jewelry was taken or stolen, this can be harder. Always do your best to provide truthful information. 

Sit Back and Wait

After providing information to the police and home insurance company, there is nothing else you can do but sit back and wait. The insurance company will investigate your claims and pay you for the value of the jewelry, or the policy jewelry limit, if warranted

If you have valuable jewelry in your home, you may want to list each piece of jewelry separate from your home insurance claim and receive an appraisal. This helps to ensure you receive the full value of the item if it is ever damaged or missing. At Integra Insurance Services, serving the greater Huntington, TX area, we can help you with this process. Call us today to learn how to add jewelry to your existing policy or get an entirely new home insurance policy.