Is Your Home Underinsured?

Mortgage lenders generally insist that you have a homeowners policy to protect their investment in the event of a loss. While Idaho doesn’t require people to purchase insurance, it’s wise for every homeowner to have protection. Knowing how much and what type of policy to take out can be complicated. That’s why at The Insurance Shop USA, our professionals are ready to help members of the Sandypoint ID community select a policy that meets your needs. We’ll work to answer your questions and help you avoid being underinsured.

Home Replacement Costs

One of the more common errors homeowners make is confusing property value and replacement costs. Although it appears there should be some connection, they are separate issues. Property values may rise and fall with the Real Estate market’s supply and demand. Think about the home prices before and after the housing crash. That difference was not a reflection of home construction costs.

How much it costs to build or rebuild a structure is determined by factors that include the price of labor, materials, permitting, building and fire codes, among others. If you have an older home, it may have deprecated in some ways. Other properties include custom era design and high-end materials that are not easy find. They can be expensive to replace. The point is that you should evaluate your home based upon what it would take to rebuild in the event of a total loss.

Today’s replacement costs run about $150 per square foot. If you have detailed woodworking and custom design features, restoration could be higher. Additional expenses could include razing, debris removal, meeting new building codes and permitting.

It’s important that you have sufficient homeowners coverage in the event of a total loss. The Insurance Shop USA is committed to serving the good people of Sandypoint ID. Our insurance professionals are here to listen and help create a policy or update an existing one that provides you with the secure coverage you deserve.

Tricks to Avoiding Water Damage

As a homeowner in Sandypoint, ID, you already know that you do not want to deal with any water damage in your home. However, even though you may not want water damage to happen in your home, that doesn’t mean it will not. Instead of hoping for it not to happen, you should use these tricks to avoiding water damage from The Insurance Shop USA.

  • Never pour grease down your sink. You may have thought this was an old wives tale but it is true. Never pour it down even with hot or cold water. It can lead to buildup and eventually blockages that can cause your pipes to burst. 
  • Watch where you plant trees. Even if you want them in a specific spot, you need to be aware of any underground pipes that may be around. The roots from the trees will not be an issue immediately but they will eventually so you need to be careful where you plant and ensure the trees are far enough away from the pipes. 
  • Keep a close eye on your water bill. You should know how much you normally pay for water so if your bill ever increases when your usage hasn’t, you need to inspect for any small leaks. 

One of the best tricks to being prepared for water damage since you cannot prevent it completely is to get a home insurance policy that includes a water damage clause. If you do not already have one, be sure to reach out to The Insurance Shop USA serving Sandypoint, ID for a free quote and to explore options. If you do have one, let them look at your current policy to ensure you are not paying too much and that you do not have any gaps in coverage. 

How Does Home Insurance Really Help Me: 4 Tips to Know

Insurance, in general, tends to have a bad reputation. It seems that people just think they give part of their paycheck to a company while getting very little in return. However, there are a number of ways that home insurance can help you, and The Insurance Shop USA knows it’s all a matter of seeing the benefits. If you live in Sandypoint, ID, then there are a few things you should keep in mind when you’re feeling a little selfish. 

1. Keeps you from calling upon friends and family 

Having support after a major storm or break-in is priceless, but that doesn’t mean that you want to ask people you know for financial help. Insurance takes care of many of the logistics — including the financial ones. 

2. Helps your property value 

When you have help to fix your house (including your yard), you can keep it in good shape throughout the years. It’s one of the best indicators that your house will do well once it’s put up on the market, without having to do any extra renovations or repairs. 

3. Puts you in control 

You won’t have to worry when you check the weather and there’s a major storm coming in Sandypoint, ID because you know you have the right protection. You can rest easy about what the future will bring because you’ve done the proper preparations when it comes to home insurance. 

4. Gives you a hand to hold 

Your insurance company can’t right every wrong, but they can certainly be a major comfort when you’re feeling lost. The Insurance Shop USA is here for you when you need it the most, so give us a call today if you need a new policy. 

3 Ways to Avoid Electrical Problems in Your House

Electrical problems can cause house fires in your home. To protect your family and avoid a home insurance claim, it’s must take measures to prevent electrical problems in Sandypoint, ID. Fortunately, the following tips can help you uncover potential problems and avoid a house fire.

Get an Electrical Inspection

The first place you should start when it comes to assessing your electrical system is hiring a professional. Experienced professionals can easily assess the state of your electrical system, and they can highlight problems you may not have noticed. Additionally, their knowledge of the current codes, rules, and regulations makes them the best resource for fireproofing your home.

Redo Dated Electrical Wiring

If your electrical professional suggested upgrading old wiring systems, then start there. Dated wiring systems were fine a century ago, but they’ve proven to be fire-prone now especially aluminum wiring. Additionally, with so many devices relying on your electrical system, you don’t want dated wiring powering your expensive devices. Make your home safer by removing those old wires and installing new wires.

Fix Faulty Electrical Outlets

Most homeowners are keenly aware of outlets that don’t work in their home. Even though they know, they avoid making the repairs because they don’t want to spend the extra money. Unfortunately, not making the repairs can be a costly mistake because an outlet that doesn’t work is a symptom of a bigger problem. You can avoid the risk of house fires by checking and fixing faulty electrical outlets as soon as they stop working.

House fires are one of the most common claims when it comes to home insurance in Sandypoint, ID. You don’t have to be a victim of a house fire. Take steps today to ensure your home is safe from electrical fires. If you don’t know where to start, contact The Insurance Shop USA to get information about local electrical professionals we recommend in the area.



Top Tips for Home Window Safety

Accidents can happen no matter where you are, but preventing them in your home is vital in order to keep your family safe from danger. You may have or need insurance in case an accident occurs. The agents at The Insurance Shop USA of Sandypoint, ID can help with your needs and offer some simple advice to improve the safety of your windows to prevent a disaster.

Easy Window Access

When you painted your home last year, did you make sure not to paint the windows shut? If a fire breaks out in your home, window access may be the only means for you and your family to escape. Check the windowpanes to make sure that they are not nailed down or painted shut. You don’t want to be stuck inside of a burning building with no way to exit.

Don’t Risk a Fall

When you have young children, you should keep your windows closed. It is dangerous for a child to play next to an open window. Falling from an open window can cause serious injury or even death. If you want to keep the windows open for cool air to circulate, open windows that children are unable to reach. You can also install window screens or safety latches that only allow the window to partially open.

Air Conditioner Safety

Air conditioners that are placed inside of windows are convenient for each room. When installing this type of air conditioner, be mindful of the living space. Make sure that there is more than one window in the room. If you need to escape, a large air conditioner will not be easy to remove. You should not have anything in your path if you need to leave your home quickly.

Giving you top tips to keep your home safe is part of our business. Visit us at The Insurance Shop USA. Get insurance information for Sandypoint, ID as well the surrounding communities.

5 Ways to Lower Homeowners Insurance Costs in 2017

As your property increases in value, you may experience an increase in the cost of home insurance to compensate for the higher cost of home replacement or repairs. There are measures you can take, however, to keep home insurance costs at affordable prices for the new year. Here are just a few.

Shop Around

Comparison shop online to get an idea of home insurance costs in your area and companies that offer good deals. Some companies offer discounts for customer loyalty, bundling, claim-free history, etc.

When selecting an insurer, however, be leery of compromising service for low home insurance price. Working with a reputable company like The Insurance Shop USA in Sandypoint, ID, ensures you receive quality service at affordable costs.  

Raise Your Deductible

Raising your deductible will lower the cost of your insurance premium. The higher your deductible, however, the more you pay out of pocket when filing a claim. Before increasing your deductible, make sure you are financially able to cover your end of repair costs.

Upgrade Home Structure

In some cases, you may qualify for lower insurance rates by making structural changes that improve the safety and function of your home such as replacing old windows, installing storm shutters or fortifying the roof. By discussing home improvements with your insurer in advance, you can see if they qualify you for a reduced premium.

Enhance Home Security

Putting in smoke detectors and a burglar alarm system could also help to reduce your insurance premium as these measures enhance protection against theft and fire.

Bundle Insurance Policies

By bundling home, auto and life insurance policies, you could save money on home insurance costs; many insurers offer incentives for taking out multiple policies with their company.

A good home insurance policy will adequately cover the replacement of your home and its contents. For quality home insurance options at affordable prices, visit The Insurance Shop USA in Sandypoint, ID. 


Idaho in the Fall: What a Lack of Preparedness Could Mean for Your Home

People living in Sandypoint, Idaho have a lot to look forward to when they enter the fall season. The changing of the leaves, the cooling of the air, and lots and lots of pumpkins. For all of the great elements that you can look forward to each and every year, fall – like any other season – has its fair share of faults as well. If you allow yourself to focus too much on the positives of the seasonal change, this may prevent you from seeing all of the dangers.

If you are not prepared for the cooling off of the weather or to deal with the leaves falling off of the trees, this could hurt your home in more ways than one.  For one, if you do not make sure that your windows and doors are all properly sealed to keep the outside weather out, not only could this require you to spend more money on heating your home in the winter, dry air could turn out to be murder on your woodwork and your furniture. If you do not have the appropriate insurance to deal with these potential follies, you may find that your wallet is being emptied by more than heating bills if you have to spend any money out of pocket in order to fix your woodwork and replace your furniture. It is especially a shame if the furniture you have to replace has any sentimental value, as while you can replace your late Grandfather’s chair, you cannot replace the memories and feelings that are associated with it.

If you are a Sandypoint, Idaho resident and want to be more prepared for the fall season, you can contact The Insurance Shop USA and we will figure out the best insurance plan for you.

A Room-Specific Emergency Guide for your Home

The rights and responsibilities of Sandypoint, ID residents might vary depending upon the type of home insurance coverage purchased. In any case, it is important that you know what emergency equipment you need in each room of your home.

How to Keep Your Whole Home Safe

You can improve your home safety by having at least one fire extinguisher on every floor. It also is advisable to have a smoke alarm and carbon dioxide detector on each level. Extra batteries, dry food, water and extra batteries can also be stored in multiple locations in case of a natural disaster or fire. First aid supplies should also be stored in one or more location on each floor.

Emergency Equipment Needed in Each Room

The information you see below about what you need in each room is in addition to the supplies recommended for use on each floor. You also might want to have extras of these in more than one place in your house.

Kitchen/Dining Room – In addition to the smoke alarm, fire extinguisher and first aid supplies; this room should also include about three to five days’ worth of non-perishable food in your cabinets.

Bathroom – In addition to the standard emergency equipment and first aid, you might want to keep extra hygiene supplies here. Medications and supplements also might be well-stored here as long as you keep them dry.

Bedrooms – Keep an extra supply of clothing, blanket and shoes in a fire-resistant location such as chest at the end of your bed.

Living Room — Here is where you can store an emergency radio that runs on batteries. A landline phone when available is also help in urgent situations when you don’t have cell phone service. 

Basement/Pantry – This is another place where you can store extra food and first aid supplies. You also might want to put water here because it would stay cool in these locations in case of a power outage. As long as this area stays dry, keep some extra power supplies and alternate safe fuel down here too.

You might have questions about what kinds of disasters Sandpoint, ID homeowners insurance might cover. If so, please contact The Insurance Shop USA for more information. 


Home Liability Insurance: What Is Covered

Home liability coverage is commonly provided on homeowners Insurance policies. It is important that you know what it covers so that you can determine whether the limits are sufficient or if they need to be added to based upon how much protection you desire.

Anyone visiting your home has the potential to hurt themselves. Some of it may be as a result of negligence, while others may be due to a freak accident, such as slipping on ice near your sidewalk or tripping in a hole in your yard.

Regardless, you want to make sure that the home liability coverage is in place so that you can file a claim for the insurance company to cover the majority of expenses. Otherwise, you could find yourself spending a lot of money to make things right.

The coverage may be able to take care of such things as:

  • Legal expenses
  • Pain and suffering
  • Medical bills
  • Time lost from work
  • Death benefits

While you hope that an accident isn’t too severe, or would potentially lead to death, it is important for you to have the protection because the bills could otherwise bankrupt you.

Think about it. Should someone decide to get a lawyer, it could result in tens of thousands of dollars in a pain and suffering settlement, and this doesn’t even include the medical bills that they still have to pay. You as the homeowner are the one held financially responsible if you’re found liable, and therefore the coverage needs to be there – or you could be in serious financial despair.

Contact one of our independent insurance agents at The Insurance Shop USA today to learn more about home liability coverage and how you can control the limits within your homeowner’s insurance policy in Rathdrum.



Ways To Prepare For The Cold As A First Time Homeowner

It is almost winter and there is never a guarantee of how warm or how cold it may be. As a homeowner, it is always best to prepare for the worst. As a first time homeowner, it can be difficult to know exactly where to start with this task. There are many ways you can prepare for a cold winter that will keep you and your family warm and safe all winter long. Follow these steps and you should not have any surprises you cannot handle. 

Prepare for the Unexpected
In the winter, a power outage can occur at any time. This can occur because of a snow storm or various other reasons. No matter the cause, it is best to be prepared so you can stay warm. If the power goes out, you will need to have a heat source that does not rely on electricity. Make sure you have an option for this and that you have everything in your home to use it. Also, you never know how long your power outage will last so it is best to be stocked with all of the essentials. You should have a winter emergency kit with all of the medicine needed, food, water, and candles. 

Prep For Possible Issues
Before it gets really cold, make sure your furnace is working properly. Have a professional come out and inspect it for any issues so you can tackle them before you and your family suffer through the cold waiting on a repair. This is also the perfect time to take a look at your homeowners policy for any gaps. If you do not have one, you may want to consider getting one. You can call an agent at The Insurance Shop USA serving the Sandypoint, ID, area to help you with these insurance tasks.