Imagine getting out of bed one morning and stepping directly into a deluge of ankle deep water. Sounds like a bad dream right? Unfortunately for Judy Somers the water was no dream, it was a disaster. The previous night Judy had put a load of laundry in the washer then turned it on and went to bed. Upon waking, she was horrified to find nearly her entire house flooded with water. The culprit? A twelve-dollar hose on the back of her washer had burst causing untold damage throughout the house. Not only were the wood floors ruined, but the furniture, walls and carpet were severely damaged as well. After calming down, she immediately phoned her insurance company.
Judy, like many people, was unfamiliar with the details listed in her homeowners insurance policy regarding water damage coverage. Homeowners insurance provides protection for risks associated with owning property such as fire and theft but doesn’t always cover certain types of water damage. By promptly calling her insurance company, Tri-Star Insurance Professionals Inc, Judy was able to discern what would be covered and what she would have to pay for out of pocket.
The first thing to remember when filing a water damage claim is to report the loss the correct way. That means instead of claiming flood damage, which is not covered by homeowners insurance, take the time to investigate the true cause of the water damage because what you initially say can affect the outcome of your claim.
The reason the water damage occurred in the first place determines what your homeowners insurance policy will cover. Insurance agents usually consider accidental leakage or overflow of water from refrigerating systems, plumbing, air conditioning, windows and skylights that results in the destruction of property an unforeseen happening and will usually cover the damage.
In Judy’s case, a burst pipe was a legitimate claim so she received the necessary amount to repair the damages to her home. However, she did not anticipate the growth of mold in underlying areas and was distressed to find out that it was not covered by her insurance.
Generally damage caused by rot, rust and mold is considered negligent and therefore is not covered. In instances of covered peril, or in this case hidden moisture deposits that produce mold, there may be a limited amount of coverage available depending on your individual policy. Insurance companies tend to worry about water-damage claims that without proper cleanup could end up growing into very expensive mold outbreaks.
Remember to talk with your insurance agency about what your homeowners policy does and does not cover in the event of water damage so you won’t be caught unaware. Water damage insurance is usually just added on as an endorsement of an existing homeowners policy. Tri-Star Insurance Professionals will work with you to determine the right amount of water damage coverage that fits your needs. Call Tri-Star Insurance Professionals Inc. in North Dallas, Plano and Frisco today at 214-387-0600 or toll-free at 1-800-990-4600 to make sure you have the proper amount of homeowner’s insurance to protect your home from water damage.
Property Casualty Insurers Association
Environmental Protection Agency
Insurance policies are a necessary evil, but why do they have to be so confusing? If you’ve ever tried reading page after page of your auto policy and suddenly find yourself lost in a sea of mystifying insurance jargon then stop right now. There is no use giving yourself a headache when professional agents such as the professionals at Tri-Star Insurance in Plano, Frisco and North Dallas can walk you through it step-by-step. In the meantime, why not brush up on the basics of a standard insurance policy?
Every auto insurance policy is made up of several sections that define the many coverage options available and how they can be used.
Liability – Up to a specified limit, this clause covers property damage or bodily injury incurred from an automobile accident for which you are deemed legally responsible.
Personal Injury Protection – Also called “no-fault insurance”, personal injury protection covers medical bills and sometimes lost wages due to an accident that leaves you unable to work . There is a limit to the amount you receive as specified in your policy.
Medical Payments – No matter the person at fault, medical payment coverage pays for reasonable medical bills as the result of a car accident. There are certain limitations to this form of coverage including a specified amount available to use and a time limit of around three years following the accident to continue receiving payments.
Uninsured/ Underinsured Motorist – With the countless number of drivers on the road cruising around with no auto insurance driving can be pretty risky. Not available in all states, uninsured motorist coverage provides reimbursement for damages caused by a person devoid of insurance. Essentially, you would receive the amount payable if the person did have insurance.
Collision – If your vehicle has a run in with a pole or another car then you can use collision coverage to pay for repairs. There is usually a somewhat hefty deductible in the range of $250 - $500, but with the massive cost of parts and labor then it may be worth the slight blow to your pocketbook. You can always specify the amount of your deductible when working with your agent such as the experts at Tri-Star Insurance.
Comprehensive – Not all accidents involve other vehicles so in the event of fire, theft, vandalism, hail, or flood damage comprehensive coverage really does come in handy. Furthermore, if your car is stolen, comprehensive covers the cost of a rental.
Roadside Assistance – Dead batteries, flat tires, mechanical failure and lockout are just some of the nightmares that can occur in the world of driving. If you’ve ever been stuck in the middle of nowhere with a car that refuses to work then this type of coverage can be a lifesaver.
When you need insurance for your vehicle in the North Dallas, Plano and Frisco area don’t forget that Tri-Star Insurance is ready to help you find what you need. Call 214-387-0600 or toll-free at 1-800-880-4600 today to find out more about the language of auto insurance policies.
Texas Department of Insurance
Car Maintenance Tips
Unless you are a qualified insurance agent, the intricacies of a homeowners insurance policy can be tough to wrap your head around. Last time we discussed the basic coverages available on a typical policy, so now we will move on to the section detailing additional coverage options. For extra protection, supplementary coverages, or endorsements as they are sometimes called, can be added on to your existing policy for an additional fee. However, many add-ons are not relevant to your needs and can raise your premium by a hefty amount. To ensure that you are not being duped into purchasing unnecessary coverage, the expert agents at Tri-Star Insurance Professionals Inc. in the North Dallas, Plano and Frisco areas can be your guide to the complex world of homeowners insurance policies in order to find one that fits your specific needs.
In addition to standard coverages such as liability and personal property, there are a variety of extra options available such as:
Guaranteed replacement coverage cost: Should you lose your home in the event of a disaster such as a fire, the actual construction costs for complete replacement could outweigh the current market value of your home. Guaranteed replacement coverage cost will pay to rebuild your own with no percentage limits as long as you have met the requirements of your home insurance policy. This kind of supplementary coverage is great for people with older or historic homes. Failure to completely cover your home at the full replacement value can be a painful shock if you are forced to pay out-of-pocket expenses.
Extended replacement cost coverage: Similar to guaranteed replacement coverage cost, extended replacement coverage cost insures your home for a certain value and then adds 20 – 25% in case replacement construction costs run over the coverage limit.
Scheduled personal property: Valuables such as coins, jewelry, antiques, electronics and furs are items that often exceed policy limits in a basic homeowners insurance policy. Scheduled personal property provides broader coverage for things of great value with no added deductible. Just knowing that your treasures are safe may be well worth it.
Secondary Residence: If you have vacation home in the mountains, or even a cabin by the lake you would probably feel better knowing that it is safe while not in use. Secondary residence coverage provides protection for a second home under a reduced rate when coupled with your primary policy.
Theft coverage protection: Basic theft coverage is included in a standard policy, but what about special items such as a motor vehicle, trailer or watercraft? Theft coverage protection covers such specialties without needing proof of forcible entry.
Earthquake endorsement: This sounds silly, but in states with a high frequency of earthquakes or landslides, earthquake endorsements are no laughing matter. The percentage deductible is generally anywhere from 5% - 25% depending on the state you live in. Residents of California would naturally have a higher deductible.
To learn more about how you can fully cover your home and personal effects contact Tri-Star Insurance Professionals, Inc. today at 214-387-0600 or toll-free at 1-800-990-4600.
Texas Department of Insurance
Homeowners Insurance Blog
You may not consider a broken bone, nervous condition or bout with influenza completely disabling, but such afflictions may cause you to miss work for an extended period of time, which could put undo stress on your finances and quality of life. Should an accident or illness ever render you unable to work and generate income, disability insurance could truly be a lifesaver. Many people believe that their workplace will provide necessary reimbursement in the event of a misfortune, but that is not always the case. Even if available, company-issued disability insurance is not always sufficient and may only provide a very small portion of your earnings each month. Tri-Star Insurance Professionals, Inc. of Plano, Frisco and North Dallas can give you the full rundown regarding supplemental policies to find one that best fits your needs.
According to the Health Insurance Association of America, about 30 percent of middle-aged Americans will suffer a disability of at least three months at any point in their careers. That being said, a quick lesson on disability insurance may come in handy someday.
What exactly is disability insurance?
Individual disability insurance is in place to provide you with a high, tax-free percent of your income if you cannot work due to a legitimate reason. As the details of every disability insurance policy differentiates between providers, aiming for the cheapest rate is not always the best idea. A quality contract will increase the likelihood of higher monthly benefits.
How Long Can I Receive Disability Benefits Through My Policy?
Monthly benefits are payable for a fixed period depending on the severity of the claim. Following a short waiting period after filing your benefits may last as long as a lifetime or as little as a two years. Generally, longer waiting periods are a result of a cheap policy. The most commonly available benefit periods are two years, five years, and to age 65.
How Much Disability Income Coverage Do I Really Need?
Experts recommend that a policy should replace 60 to 70 percent of taxable earnings. If purchased with after-tax dollars, your monthly reimbursement will usually be income tax free unless you have a group policy through your employer, which is always taxed.
What are some tips to obtaining coverage?
As insurance usually gets more expensive as you get older due to diminishing health, buying young is a smart move because you will be able to lock in a lower premium. Also, consider purchasing a noncancelable policy, which is protected from cancelation or adjusting premiums as long as you pay your premiums on time. Finally, comparing policies from at least three different insurers is ideal, and an independent insurance agency such as Tri-Star Insurance can do all the work for you.
If you want to learn more about individual disibility insurance contact Roger Harkins of Tri-Star Insurance today at 214-387-0600 or visit them on the web at www.tristarins.com. Give yourself peace of mind by knowing you will be financially covered in the event of an accident or illness.
National Organization on Disability
Texas Department of Insurance