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Home Insurance

Why You Should Get a Smart Home Security System

The benefits of installing a smart security system in your home.

While you already know that security systems are a great way to protect against break-ins and vandals, did you know that smart home security systems are capable of so much more?  Here’s what installing a smart security system in your home can do for you.

  • Control Your Home Remotely

Now, smart home security systems offer the ability to sync up with your home’s smart thermostats, automated door locks, lighting systems, and smart sensors and detectors.  This capability allows you to remotely control various home functions through your security system.  For instance, you could adjust your home’s temperature, lock your doors, switch on your lights, and monitor who is in and around your home even when you are off your property.

  • Save You Money

Investing in a smart home security system can actually end up saving you money in the long run.  For instance, your home insurer will likely offer you discounts for making your property safer.  Having a good security system installed will also increase the value of your home, making a solid return on investment when you decide to sell.  Finally, if your home does get broken into, then the footage from your security system can help law enforcement identify the burglars.  This will increase the chances of recovering stolen items and reducing your losses.

These are some of the reasons why you should invest in a smart security system for your home.  Want another way to keep your home safe?  Then make sure you have the right homeowners insurance protections in place.  For assistance with your home coverage needs, contact the experts at The Schwab Agency in Colleyville, Texas today.

Can Home Insurance Cover Mold Damage?

Here’s what your homeowners insurance will cover when it comes to mold damage.

Unfortunately, mold growth is a common problem that many homeowners have to deal with.  Not only does mold cause damage to your home but it also creates an unsafe breathing environment for you and your loved ones.  Fortunately, your home insurance may offer some coverage for mold remediation and damages.  Here’s what your homeowners insurance will cover when it comes to mold.

  • Insurance Coverage for Mold

First things first, it’s important to remember that every home insurance policy is different.  To find out exactly what your policy covers, you need to review your policy and speak to your insurer.  That being said, most standard homeowners insurance policies will offer coverage for mold remediation and repair.

  • Coverage Exclusions

There are some caveats to this coverage.  To start, some policies will only offer coverage for mold damage if the mold is a result of a covered peril.  For instance, if your policy protects against broken pipes, then you would have coverage for the mold growth that results from a broken and leaky pipe.

It’s also important to note that your insurance will likely not offer coverage for the mold that develops as a result of your negligence.  Finally, your policy will not offer coverage for the mold that that was already in your home before you purchased your home insurance policy.

This is what your home insurance will cover when it comes to mold on your property.  Do you have more questions regarding your homeowners insurance?  If so, then contact the experts at The Schwab Agency in Colleyville, Texas.  We are ready to assist you with all your coverage needs today.

Why Having the Right Renters Insurance is Important

Here is why renters insurance is an essential coverage.

As a renter, you know that your landlord is responsible for any physical damages to your rental space.  However, this does not mean that you are free to forgo insurance coverage completely.  You still need to secure coverage for your personal belongings and personal liability issues.  Additionally, if your rental is damaged and temporarily uninhabitable, you will also need coverage for your alternative living expenses.  This is where renters insurance comes into play.  Here’s what you need to know about this essential coverage.

What does renters insurance cover?

As previously mentioned, renters are not responsible for the physical structure of their rental property.  This is why renters insurance does not offer coverage for the physical damages that your property might sustain.  However, your renters insurance will offer coverage for your personal belongings and your personal liability.  For instance, if your couch was damaged due to a leaky pipe, then your renters insurance would offer coverage to repair or replace it.

Do I really need this type of insurance?

In some cases, your landlord may require you to carry renters insurance before allowing you to sign the lease agreement.  Even if your landlord does not require you to carry this coverage, you should still secure it.  Renters insurance is the best way to protect your belongings and ensures that you do not get into a costly legal battle.  Additionally, as one of the most affordable forms of insurance out there, you could get the protection you need for mere dollars a day.

This is why you need to secure the right renters insurance to meet your specific coverage needs.  Looking to secure renters insurance in Colleyville, Texas?  If so, then contact the experts at The Schwab Agency.  We are ready to assist you with all your coverage needs today.

Learning About Scheduled Personal Property Insurance

Here’s how this special type of insurance can fill your personal property coverage gaps.

Your homeowners insurance policy offers you four main coverages: property coverage, personal liability coverage, loss of use coverage, and personal property coverage. When it comes to your personal property coverage, your policy is subject to certain limits. These limits can make it difficult for homeowners to secure adequate coverage for high-value items such as jewelry, antiques, fine art, and so on. Fortunately, you can secure the additional coverage you need with scheduled personal property insurance. Here’s what you need to know about this special type of coverage.

The Limits of Your Homeowners Insurance

As previously mentioned, the personal property insurance offered by your home policy is subject to certain limits. While you may have $10,000 in personal property coverage overall, your policy may place dollar limits on certain categories of items. For instance, you may have a $2,000 limit on electronics. If you were to file a claim for $3,000, your policy would only cover you up to $2,000, leaving you to cover the rest.

Scheduled Personal Property Insurance

Fortunately, adding scheduled personal property insurance to your homeowners insurance policy can help you address this coverage gap. This optional type of insurance allows you to list high-value items on your policy to receive extra coverage. Scheduled personal property insurance has three main benefits:

  • It increases your personal property coverage limits for the scheduled items.
  • It offers coverage for more perils than standard homeowners insurance.
  • It removes insurance deductibles if you file a claim for the scheduled items.

This is what scheduled personal property insurance can do for you. Are you interested in learning more about your personal property or homeowners insurance? If so, contact the experts at The Schwab Agency in Colleyville, Texas. Our dedicated team is eager to assist you with all your coverage needs today.

Preserving Your Home’s Exterior

Try out these suggestions to reduce wear and tear on your home’s exterior this winter.

During the winter, exposure to wet weather, freezing temperatures, and other harsh conditions can wreak havoc on your home’s exterior. While minor wear and tear might seem like a minor issue, it actually paves the way for more serious damages. This is why it’s so important to take these steps to protect your home’s exterior this winter.

Clean Out Your Gutters

When leaves, twigs, dust, and other debris accumulate in your home’s gutters, they can become clogged and prevent water from draining off your roof. This increases the chances of water seeping into tiny fissures in your roof and causing serious damage. Fortunately, preventing this damage is easy. All you need to do is clean out your gutters to ensure that water can easily drain away.

Trim Bushes and Trees

If you have bushes or trees surrounding your home, make sure to trim them this winter. This will prevent branches from scraping across your home’s exterior and causing damages. Make sure you leave enough space between your home and any vegetation for a person to walk through, and you can prevent this form of wear and tear.

Apply Fresh Paint

Applying a fresh coat of paint to your home’s exterior is a great way to boost its curb appeal while also adding a layer of protection. Because outdoor paint is specifically formulated to seal against water, wind, and cold temperatures, adding a fresh coat to your home will protect its siding. For the best results, experts recommend re-painting your home every ten years.

These are some of the steps you should take to protect your home’s exterior this winter. Want another way to keep your home safe? Make sure you have the right homeowners insurance protections in place. For assistance with all your home coverage needs, contact the experts at The Schwab Agency in Colleyville, Texas to get started today.

Take These Steps to Prevent Holiday Home Fires

Reduce your home’s chance of fire this holiday season.

As a homeowner, you can imagine just how devastating a serious fire in your home would be. Unfortunately, during the holidays, your home’s fire risk increases significantly. Luckily, there are some steps you can take around your home to reduce the chances of a fire breaking out on your property. Here are some home fire risk precautions you should employ this holiday season.

Cooking Safety

As you prepare for your upcoming holiday parties and meals, make sure you are practicing fire safety. The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) reports cooking as the top cause of holiday fires. These fires often occur when homeowners forget about food they have left in the oven or on the stove. Another common cause of cooking fires is leaving flammable items near the heat of the stove. So, to reduce your risk for a holiday cooking fire, stay vigilant and do not leave your kitchen unattended during the cooking process.

Candle Safety

According to the National Fire Protection Association, the incidence of fire caused by candles is four times higher in December than it is during any other time of the year. The best way to avoid a house fire is by not lighting candles inside your home. However, if you must use candles, make sure to remove anything flammable within a foot radius of the candle. Additionally, ensure that your candles are placed on sturdy surfaces. Finally, never leave your home or go to bed without extinguishing all the candles inside your home.

Decorating Safety

Finally, using decorative light strings can also increase your home’s risk for fire. Before you hang up any lights, make sure they do not have any frayed cords, exposed wires, or damaged bulbs. Additionally, avoid plugging more than three strings into the same extension cord or power strip, as this could also increase your chances of starting a fire. Finally, check all your lights and cords to ensure you are using the right ones for outdoor and indoor use respectively. Using the proper equipment will ensure your decorations do not spark a fire this holiday season.

These are some of the precautions you should take to reduce your home’s chances of fire this holiday season.  Want another way to keep your home safe?  Make sure you have the right homeowners insurance protections in place.  For assistance with all your personal coverage needs, contact the experts at The Schwab Agency in Colleyville, Texas to get started today.

What You Need to Know About Personal Liability Coverage and Your Homeowners Policy

Do you need to increase the personal liability coverage limits on your homeowners insurance policy?

As a homeowner, you know you are open to certain risks. While you should be concerned about physical damages to your home, you also need to worry about the chances of a liability event taking place on your property. Fortunately, the personal liability coverage offered by your homeowners policy should protect you in the event of a claim. But is this coverage enough? Here’s what you should consider when it comes to your personal liability coverage.

What is personal liability coverage?

Most homeowners have personal liability insurance as part of their homeowners insurance policy. Personal liability insurance offers financial protection for the policyholder in the event of a third-party claim of bodily injury, property damage, or other losses. This type of insurance offers compensation to pay for the affected party’s medical treatment or repair costs. Additionally, your insurance will also provide coverage for your legal and settlement costs should the other party decide to sue.

Do I have enough liability protection?

Unlike auto insurance, there is no minimum liability coverage amount that homeowners need to carry. That being said, there are several factors that affect the amount of coverage that you absolutely need to carry. For instance, your liability coverage limits should increase along with your income, investments, and property value. If you have a pet, a swimming pool, trampoline, or other special home features, you will also need higher liability coverage amounts. To determine how much coverage is right for you, speak to a trusted insurance agent.

How to secure additional liability coverage?

If you only need to increase your coverage limits slightly, you can simply speak to your agent to have your policy’s coverage limits updated. Be aware that increasing your coverage limits will also increase your premiums. Another way to secure additional liability coverage is by investing in a personal umbrella policy. These types of policies offer excess liability coverage if a claim exceeds the coverage limits offered by your existing policies. Securing an umbrella policy is a great way to supplement your homeowners insurance and get the comprehensive liability protection you need.

This is what you need to know about your personal liability coverage limits.  Do you have additional questions regarding your homeowners insurance?  If so, contact the experts at The Schwab Agency in Colleyville, Texas.  We are ready to get you the coverage that you need today.

Try out these suggestions to protect your home and belongings during a power outage.

While most homeowners consider power outages mere annoyances, they actually have the potential to be quite dangerous. In fact, losing power could actually place your home and personal belongings at considerable risk. Here are some of the precautions you should take to reduce the risk of damage or other losses during a power outage.

Prepare Portable Phone Chargers

While you should definitely stock up on flashlights and batteries for a power outage, you should also make sure to have portable phone chargers prepared as well. When the power cuts out, you will lose access to your landline and to the Internet. However, calls made from a cell phone will still be able to go through, which is why it’s so important to keep your phone charged throughout the duration of a power outage in case you need to call for help. Having a portable phone charger will ensure you and your family can maintain contact with the outside world.

Secure Your Home

If you rely on a home security system, it will go out when your home loses power. This is why it’s so important to be extra cautious when locking up your home for the night or during your absence. Make sure you close and lock all windows and external doors. Additionally, it’s important to secure other points of entry such as doggy doors and garage doors. Taking these extra precautions ensures that your home will not be vulnerable to burglars.

Unplug Appliances and Electronics

When the power goes out, the power grid can become unstable, meaning your home might be hit with sudden power surges. These influxes of electricity are so powerful that they can actually damage any appliances and electronics that are plugged into your home’s main electrical supply. To protect your appliances and electronics from damage, make sure you unplug them as soon as your home loses power. You should only plug things back in when the power has been restored and seems to be stable.

These are some steps you should take to protect your home and personal belongings during a power outage. Remember, another great way to keep your home safe is by securing the right homeowners insurance protection. For assistance with your home’s coverage needs, contact the experts at The Schwab Agency in Colleyville, Texas today.

Household appliance

Watch out; these appliances can set your home ablaze.

Fires are some of the most serious and devastating risks that a homeowner can face. This is why it’s so important for homeowners to stay vigilant and take steps to reduce their home’s fire risk. Keeping an eye on these common household appliances can help you mitigate your risk for a house fire.

Dryers

When you use your dryer, lint from your clothing collects in the lint trap, tubing, and vents. This lint is highly flammable, and the extreme heat that your dryer generates is enough to set it ablaze. This is why it’s so important to clean out your dryer on a regular basis. You should clean off your lint trap after every load, and you should do a deep clean of your dryer’s tubing and vents every month or so. Keeping up with this maintenance will reduce your risk for a fire starting in your dryer.

Dishwashers

Because dishwashers make use of water, most homeowners do not consider this appliance a fire risk. However, what they do not account for are the electrical components that heat the water. If these components malfunction, this could easily spark a fire, which is why it’s so important to get your dishwasher serviced by a professional, especially as your dishwasher gets older. In some cases, it’s safest to replace old dishwashers completely.

Microwaves

Failing to maintain or use your microwave properly can increase your fire risk. For instance, if you do not clean out your microwave after each use, the food remnants left behind can actually ignite the next time the microwave is used. Additionally, attempting to heat non-microwave safe materials such as metal and plastic can also start a fire. Simply keeping up with routine maintenance and using your microwave properly will reduce your fire risk significantly.

These are some of the common household appliances that can pose fire risks for your home and how you can reduce this risk. Want another way to keep your home safe? Make sure you have the right homeowners insurance protections in place. For assistance with your home coverage needs, contact the experts at The Schwab Agency in Colleyville, Texas today.

Keep Your Home and Guests Safe This Halloween

Take these steps to protect your home and Halloween visitors.

As Halloween approaches, it’s time to get your home ready for party guests and trick-or-treaters. Taking the right precautions will ensure that everyone has a safe and happy Halloween night. Here are some of the steps you should take to keep your home and visitors safe this Halloween.

Prep Your Yard

  • Remove anything that could constitute a tripping hazard for your Halloween guests. For instance, rake up fallen leaves, fill up holes in your lawn, and remove any ornaments on your lawn or walkways.
  • Make sure you light up the pathways leading to your front door. This will reduce the chances of party guests and trick-or-treaters tripping or bumping into something and injuring themselves.

Decorate Safely

  • Do not decorate using real candles or anything that features a live flame. Candles, even ones meant for decorative purposes, place both your home and your Halloween guests at risk for fire.
  • Do not hang heavy decorations overhead; these could cause injuries and property damage if they were to come crashing down.
  • Avoid decorations that may surprise people. Using these types of pop-up decorations could startle visitors to the point that they actually injure themselves.

Secure Your Pets

  • Secure your pets in a safe location away from your front door. The continuous arrival of party guests and trick-or-treaters can cause your pet to become overexcited, making them more likely to act aggressively or attempt to run away.
  • Do not feed your pet any Halloween treats. Many Halloween staples, such as candy, are toxic to animals.

These are some of the steps that you should take to have a happy and safe Halloween. Want another way to protect your home and loved ones this Halloween? Make sure you have the proper homeowners insurance protections in place. For assistance with all your home coverage needs, contact the experts at The Schwab Agency in Colleyville, Texas today.