Dos and Dont’s when Filing a Home Insurance Claim

Dos and Don’ts when Filing a Home Insurance Claim

One of the policies on your expense sheet that you pay but hope you never have to use is a home insurance policy. That’s why many St. Augustine, FL homeowners do not know how to file a home insurance claim. Unfortunately, terrible things happen, and you may need to call your insurance company to file a claim. If you have recently bought home insurance or had damages to your property, here are a few dos and don’ts’ we thought you should know.

Do: Contact Your Insurance Company

Your first step towards filing a successful insurance claim is contacting your insurance provider. If there was criminal activity involved, call the police first and get a police report. Your insurance company will request it when compensating you for damages.

Don’t: Touch Anything If a Crime Was Committed

If there was a criminal activity like murder, consider your home a crime scene and don’t touch anything until the police allow you. Remember, you will also be questioned regarding the crime, so leave everything as it is until the investigations are done.

Do: Document Everything

Tim Huber Insurance recommends taking as many videos as possible. There is nothing like over documenting when it comes to your home insurance claim. Your smartphone can be a reliable tool for taking pictures and videos to be used during the compensation. It’s even better if you can capture the origin of the loss and the resulting damage.

Don’t: Throw Away Receipts

Receipts will always be helpful in any insurance claim. You will need them to prove that you owned specific items that were stolen, and you will also need receipts as evidence of your incurred costs when your home becomes unlivable.

Don’t forget to study your St. Augustine, FL home insurance policy before filing your claim to avoid attracting extra premium charges.  For more information about filing home insurance claims, contact Tim Huber Insurance today!

Who needs home insurance in Florida?

The St. Augustine, FL area continues to be a great place to work and live. If you would like to move here, it would be a good idea to own your property. Those that are property owners in this area of Florida will benefit in many ways but also have responsibilities. One need that most property owners have here is the need to get proper insurance. There are several situations when this coverage is needed.

When Financing Home with Mortgage

A lot of people choose to take advantage of low-interest rates and to buy their homes with a mortgage. If you want to buy a home and take out a mortgage, you will need to get proper coverage. Any mortgage lender will have specific insurance requirements that need to be met and they may require escrow payments to ensure there is not a coverage lapse. 

Home Association Rules

You may also need to get a home insurance plan if you live in a home association. There are a lot of individuals that will live in a home association community. If this is the case for you, it is important to follow all of the rules. Most associations will have insurance requirements that need to be met. 

Buying a home is a great housing option for those all over the St. Augustine, FL area. If you are going to buy a home in this area, getting the right insurance for it is extremely important. One company that will be able to help you assess your insurance needs and pick a plan is Tim Huber Insurance. When you do call Tim Huber Insurance for your insurance needs you understand more about how the coverage can mitigate risk for you. The team can also assist you and create a plan that properly protects your asset. 

What Kind Of Home Insurance Do I Need?

At Tim Huber Insurance in St. Augustine, FL, we don’t just offer insurance policies to our clients, we also make them understand every detail. Home insurance is one of the most confusing types of insurance and that is because there are so many factors to consider when choosing your home insurance coverage.

One of the most frequently asked insurance questions is what kind of home insurance do I need? The best and the most honest answer to the question is “it depends on a lot of factors”. In fact, you and your next-door neighbor living in the same kind of apartment do not have to purchase the same home insurance policy.

So, we can only guide you. The best person to decide the most suitable kind of home insurance policy for you and your family is you. However, we will point you in the right direction by telling you the important things to consider.

Understand what is covered in every policy and what is not covered. For instance, when you are living in a condo, you don’t have to choose a policy that covers a garden and patio when you don’t have one. The additional coverage will raise the cost of your insurance. So, why should you pay for what you are not enjoying?

It is also necessary to ask for the special limits in every policy and know the items that are limited. You should also ask for the list of perils covered by every home insurance policy. It is a common practice for insurance companies to list out what a certain policy covers and they will also list out what the policy doesn’t cover. There’ll always be certain perils that are not mentioned on both sides. Take the time to find out where these perils belong (are they covered or not?).

For more information about home insurance, you can schedule an appointment with us at Tim Huber Insurance in St. Augustine, FL. We will be glad to inform you and help you make a great home insurance choice. 

Preparing Your Home for a Hurricane

When a hurricane is approaching in St. Augustine, FL, there are some things you want to do to prepare your home.

Stormguard the Home: Take steps to fortify the home against downpours and nasty winds. Clean out cutters and make a plan to move outdoor furniture. Depending on how much time you have to prepare, you may also want to strap down the roof, make window covers or storm shutters, caulk around windows and doors, and test drains and sump pumps.

Safety-Proof Landscaping: Plants and landscaping can be vulnerable during a hurricane. Trim trees and shrubs to reduce the chances of windblown limbs. Tie down small trees and shrubs to prevent them from uprooting. When it’s time to replace gravel drives or paths, consider replacing them with bark since windblown gravel can damage the structure.

Review Insurance Coverage: If a hurricane is already coming your way, it can be too late to change insurance coverage so just review the coverage you have. Home insurance policies can vary so if you have questions, speak with an agent at Tim Huber Insurance. Once a storm has passed, be sure to start preparing for the next one and have the right coverage. Remember that home insurance won’t cover any flooding and you may need to purchase a separate wind policy.

Inventory Your Home: Document the contents of the home both inside and out. The best way to do this is with photos and videos. If you do have to make an insurance claim after a storm then you want evidence to support the claim. Another option would be to create an inventory of possessions that also includes the appraised value for expensive items. Store this along with other important documents somewhere safe from the storm.

Contact Tim Huber Insurance serving St. Augustine, FL to get a quote on home insurance. 

5 Reasons To Double Check Your Home Insurance Annually

When you have home insurance in St. Augustine, FL, it’s critical that you check the policy annually. It will ensure that you have sufficient protection to avoid problems when you file an insurance claim.

At Tim Huber Insurance, we’re here to make sure that you have the right protection in place.

Home additions and renovations need to be updated on your home insurance. If you have made some purchases throughout the year, these need to be included so that your policy coverage levels are updated.

Your desire to have more riders on the account may have changed. For example, you may now need a rider to increase liability, especially if you have done a lot of entertaining inside your home. You may also need a home office rider if you have started working from home.

Discounts may be available to your policy. What you may not have qualified for last year could be different this year. It’s important to review any discounts that you may be eligible for.

Prices change between the different insurance companies, too. It’s a good idea to get quotes from several home insurance companies so that you can make sure that you are getting the most affordable premiums possible.

Policy fine print can change, too. You may think that you are covered in an area but you’re actually not. Home insurance companies will often renew your policy without identifying any changes made to your policy. It is up to you to manually pull a copy of the policy to read it for yourself.

When your home insurance policy is getting ready to renew, be sure that you take the time to double check everything. Contact us at Tim Huber Insurance so that we can be sure that your policy looks good. We may be able to help you get a better policy in St. Augustine, FL.


3 Home Improvements that Could Reduce Home Insurance Costs

Major home improvements can affect the coverage and cost of your homeowner’s insurance. Some improvements will raise your premium while others can help reduce home insurance costs. Before undertaking a remodeling project, talk to a Tim Huber Insurance agent to see how your renovations will affect your home insurance policy. Here are a few projects that could help reduce insurance costs.

New Roof

Putting a new roof on your St. Augustine, FL home will not only give you extra protection against the elements but could qualify you for a discount on your homeowner’s insurance. If you have an older home, upgrading your roof will reduce the risk of damage to your structure and the interior of your home. For optimum protection, make sure your contractor uses top grade materials that will withstand the area’s hot, humid climate and the threat of hurricane winds and rains.

Plumbing and Electrical System Upgrades

Upgrading your plumbing or electrical system could make you eligible for discounts on your insurance premium. Upgrading your plumbing system reduces the risk of water damage due to old, corroded pipes. In like manner, a new electrical system could protect your home from fire due to faulty wiring. If your home is experiencing plumbing or electrical problems, an upgrade may be in order. In addition to fixing plumbing or electrical issues, upgrading these systems could qualify you for reduced rates on your home insurance costs.

New Security System

As a homeowner, the security of your home and family should be one of your greatest priorities. A new security system will offer greater protection against break-ins, vandalism, and theft. Improved security will make your home a safer place to live and help you save money on your insurance coverage.  

For more information on how to obtain quality homeowner’s insurance at affordable costs, contact Tim Huber Insurance in St. Augustine, FL.

Spotting mold in your Florida home

It’s Summer all year round in St. Augustine, FL. It’s lush green trees, blue skies, and sandy white beaches, but, if you’re not careful, mold can rot your floorboards faster than you can flip a burger on the grill out back. There’s not a lot of downsides to living in St. Augustine, FL, but that’s one of them. In some instances, Tim Huber Insurance may cover certain aspects of repair in these cases, but it’s better if it just doesn’t happen in the first place.

So, how do you spot the mold so that it can be handled appropriately?

The good news is that if you can’t see it, you can usually smell it. The distinctive smell that mold produces is thanks to MVOC or microbial volatile organic compounds. This is a gas that mold produces, which creates that musty smell, like a coat left in storage for a little too long.

You can usually find the source of the smell by following your nose. Once you’ve got the area more or less narrowed down, you can pick up a mold detection kit from most hardware stores and even many big box chains.

If you catch the mold early, it’s usually possible to take care of it with a little bit of bleach. For extensive damage, it may be necessary to replace floorboards, drywall, and so on. In more cases than not, a little bit of bleach and elbow grease is all it takes to scrub the mold away.

If you’re looking at any mold damages, check with Tim Huber Insurance to see if you’re covered. Mold can be produced by many causes, and it varies from case to case. Our agents are here to answer and address any questions or concerns you may have. Also, if you are in the area, stop by our office to set up a meeting to talk about how home insurance can benefit your house.

Is your St. Augustine, FL home Secure?

Whether you’re purchasing your first home to start your family or you’re retiring to beautiful St. Augustine, FL, protecting the home that you love is and should be a priority. Our agents at Tim Huber Insurance understand how important your home is which is why it is our mission to deliver top quality home insurance. If you are moving into your home and haven’t considered how you will protect it from unforeseen incidents like burglary, weather disasters, or fires, allow our agents to provide you with the information you need to make the best choice for you and your family. Whether you’re worried about Florida hurricane season or break-ins, we will help pick the right insurance for you.

Tim Huber Insurance understands how difficult or complicated it can be to choose the ideal home insurance for your home. After all, this is the net that will ultimately catch you and your family in some of the most vulnerable times of your life. Our agents will walk you through the process and answer your questions while addressing your concerns. We make it our priority to ensure that the process of choosing home insurance is seamless and as simple as possible. Your home is more than just a place to provide shelter. Ensuring its safety means ensuring the safety of your peace of mind.

It’s never too soon to choose home insurance to protect your family, your precious possessions, and the home that you love. Jot down your questions, concerns, and what you want from your home insurance and bring it into our office in St. Augustine, FL. Our agents will carefully guide you through the selection process. Give us a call to set up an appointment or just walk in!

St. Augustine FL: How sea air affects your home

Living right on the coast in St. Augustine, FL is simply amazing. You wake up every morning to the sound of ocean waves crashing against the beach, you enjoy warm weather all year round, even if you’re a little more inland, you’re never more than a short walk away from the sea. All that salty sea air is great for people, but not always so great for homes.

The problem is that salt is corrosive. So corrosive in fact that when Hurricane Sandy hit New York City, they didn’t just drain the salt water from the flooded streets and subways, they had to flush the affected areas with fresh water in order to get rid of all that salt.

Salty air can create structural damage in wooden structures as the salt clings to the wood and creates a fuzzy, salty layer that attaches to, and destroys, the top layer of wood, slowly chewing its way down through the rest of the wood, digging in deep.

Salty air can also chew away at a paint job, which is why you see so many bare homes in beach towns. A lot of people in St. Augustine, FL simply don’t care to deal with salt damage.

Cleaning the surface of your home can help. Giving your home a thorough scrub once a year, not allowing mold or salt to set in. You can also use protective primers and paints. Some of the providers you find through Tim Huber Insurance may even offer discounts if you take protective measures against salty air. 

Top 5 Florida Homeowners Insurance Questions

Perils that a typical homeowner can face include damage or loss to their home or property from fire, theft, lightning, hail and wind. While no one plans to lose their St. Augustine, FL home due to these risks, it happens every day. If your home was ever damaged or destroyed, how would you pay to repair or rebuild it? That’s where homeowners insurance has got you covered. Here are the top five questions property owners have about homeowners insurance:

What is Homeowners Insurance?

Homeowners insurance is an insurance policy that protects the investment you have made in your home and property. It provides you with coverage for specific hazards or covered lawsuits.

What Determines My Home Insurance Premium?

While every insurance company is different, and your premium will be calculated on the coverages and limits of your specific policy, there are several basic universal underwriting factors included in most policies, which include:

  • The cost to rebuild (not the market value of) your home, including materials and labor
  • Location
  • Wind resistance upgrades to doors and windows that meet Florida Building Codes

What is Actual Cash Value vs. Replacement Cost Coverage?

Insurance coverage for your personal belongings will reimburse you in the event of a covered loss. Actual cash value reimbursement is typically the amount to replace the item with new property of similar quality – minus depreciation for age. With replacement cost coverage, you will be reimbursed for the value of a new item of similar quality in today’s market.

What Factors Should I Consider When Selecting Homeowners Insurance?

While price is obviously a factor, it’s not the most important things. It is a good idea to compare several home insurance companies by using a comparative checklist before making a decision. Some of the criteria to consider include:

  • The company’s financial stability rating
  • How much reinsurance they purchase for hurricanes and other disasters
  • Service accommodations, availability and convenient hours
  • Location of the company office

Why Does My Homeowners Policy Have Two Deductibles?

Your deductible is the portion of costs you must pay for a covered loss. Florida is one of many states that have a separate deductible for hurricanes and “all other perils (AOP).” AOP deductibles cover damage from calamities such as fire, lightning or interior plumbing disasters. After Hurricane Andrew in 1992, due to the devastation, the Florida Legislature introduced separate hurricane deductibles during hurricane season, to make insurance more affordable.

How Can I Lower the Cost of My Homeowners Insurance?

Tim Huber Insurance offers a variety of discounts which can include discounts for the age of your home’s construction, opening protection, policyholder age, burglar/fire/sprinkler systems, roof age/shape, and gated community. Besides discounts, you may be able to make adjustments to your selected policy. Contact our office today to discuss how to arrive at the perfect amount of homeowners insurance coverage for your specific needs.