Long Insurance Services of Kernersville, NC


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All Posts in Category: Home Insurance

Umbrella Policy

What Is An Umbrella Policy and Why Do You Need One?

I’m a safe driver. I don’t do risky things. Someone I know would never sue me.

When it comes to truly terrible events, many people have the “it can’t happen to me” mentality.

However, by simply driving a car, owning a home or entertaining friends, the possibility exists that a tragic accident could occur… and potentially, a costly lawsuit.

Many people mistakenly believe that only millionaires need umbrella policies. In reality, a tragic accident has the potential to financially derail people of modest means as well as multimillionaires.

At ERIE, our job is to look ahead and prepare you for life’s unexpected twists and turns. Here’s how an umbrella policy can help give you peace of mind, knowing that your financial interests are protected.

HOW MUCH LIABILITY INSURANCE DO I NEED?

Your home or auto policy includes liability insurance up to a certain dollar amount. In insurance terms, that’s known as your limit. If you file a claim for a covered loss, your policy can pay up to the dollar amount stated in that limit.

And if the bills are higher than the limit… the rest of the cash typically comes from your wallet.

Here’s the thing about accidents: No one plans for them. (That’s why they’re called accidents!) And if it’s an especially bad accident – something that causes serious injury to someone else – the related costs could exceed an average person’s auto or home liability insurance limits.

The good news: An umbrella policy offers higher levels of coverage to protect you against expensive accidents, such as a tragic car accident or injury on your property.

WHAT CAN AN UMBRELLA POLICY COVER?

Simply put: An umbrella policy can pick up where your home and auto liability limits leave off.

In today’s litigious society, anyone can be sued. If you accidentally injure someone or damage their property, a court could very well hold you liable for the costs of medical bills, repair bills and/or legal fees.

Let’s put that into context:

  • How much auto liability coverage is enough? A lawsuit resulting from a tragic car accident could exceed your auto liability limits, leaving you on the hook for costly damages. Basic liability insurance limits are typically $100,000 or $300,000. While this is enough to cover many situations, accidents that are more severe or result in multiple people injured could add up to more than you’d expect.
  • Can my homeowners insurance kick in if someone gets hurt on my property? If someone were to get seriously injured – or worse – in your pool or riding your ATV (for example), a lawsuit could wipe out your finances. Medical costs alone can soar into the millions quickly, especially if a person needs extensive medical treatment or long-term physical therapy.

Talk to a local insurance professional, like your local ERIE agent, about what amount of coverage is right for you. An umbrella policy offers affordable, worldwide protection for you and covered family members.

IS AN UMBRELLA POLICY WORTH IT?

Unfortunately, bad things sometimes happen – and no one is immune.

If a court decides you owe more than the limits of your auto, boat or homeowners policy, your personal assets could be at risk. This includes cash, such as your savings or future wages. In some states, even your retirement savings and your home could be up for grabs.

An umbrella policy from ERIE offers higher levels of coverage and affordable, worldwide protection for you and covered family members. That means you can relax and enjoy more of the good times that life has to offer.

HOW TO GET UMBRELLA INSURANCE

Insurance certainly can’t stop bad things from happening. But it can help ensure that an accident doesn’t leave you, your family and possibly even a victim high and dry.

With an umbrella policy from ERIE, you get the peace of mind knowing your financial interests are safeguarded – even if something unexpected happens.

Read More
Neighbors Tree Falls

What Happens If My Neighbor’s Tree Falls in My Yard?

Trees can be tricky, but for the most part homeowners are responsible for what falls into their own yard. So if a storm causes your neighbor’s tree to fall in your yard, your homeowners insurance could help cover the cost of removing the tree and remedying the damage it caused on your property, after your deductible.

The same is true in reverse: If a tree on your property falls in your neighbor’s yard, your neighbor should contact his or her insurance company to determine what type of coverage is available for damage or cleanup in their yard.

In most cases, neighbors are able to work things out without too much trouble. Depending on the extent of the damage, you may need to file a homeowners insurance claim. Your homeowners insurance may or may not cover the cost of tree cleanup, depending on your policy and the company you work with.

Good news: Homeowners insurance from ERIE typically pays for the cost (subject to sublimits) of removal of fallen trees if it’s due to a covered peril, such as a storm.

If there’s ever an issue between neighbors, you can rely on your claims adjuster to help straighten everything out.

THE CLAIMS PROCESS

If a tree falls on your house, the first thing to do, if it’s safe, is to try to prevent further damage to your home and property. Make sure to take some photos to document what happened. Then call your insurance agent, who can explain your options and help you understand if and how to file a claim. When you file a claim, a claims adjuster will come by to evaluate the damage and explain how your homeowners coverage comes into play. It’s recommended that you call your claims adjuster before you contract to have the tree removed.

Sometimes trees fall on cars. If it’s not safe or possible to remove the tree from the car yourself, you should call a professional to remove it. (Again, talk to your insurance agent and a claims adjuster first and take a few photos of the fallen tree on your car.) Depending on the damage and terms of your insurance coverage, the optional comprehensive coverage you may have under your auto policy could provide coverage for the loss.

PREVENTING TREE DAMAGE

Preventive measures matter when it comes to trees. Start by looking for signs of distress such as dead limbs, cracks in the trunk or major limbs, leaning to one side and branches that are close to a house or power line. Mushroom growth on the roots or bark can also signal trouble.

Homeowners should be concerned about the health of their trees. It’s possible for you to be held responsible for resulting damage to your neighbor’s house or property, if your tree falls due (in whole or part) to your own neglect. One of the best things to do is to regularly have large trees trimmed. (The Tree Care Industry Association lists accredited tree care professionals.)

Read More
Umbrella Policy

What Is An Umbrella Policy?

I’m a safe driver. I don’t do risky things. Someone I know would never sue me.

When it comes to truly terrible events, many people have the “it can’t happen to me” mentality.

However, by simply driving a car, owning a home or entertaining friends, the possibility exists that a tragic accident could occur… and potentially, a costly lawsuit.

Many people mistakenly believe that only millionaires need umbrella policies. In reality, a tragic accident has the potential to financially derail people of modest means as well as multimillionaires.

At ERIE, our job is to look ahead and prepare you for life’s unexpected twists and turns. Here’s how an umbrella policy can help give you peace of mind, knowing that your financial interests are protected.

HOW MUCH LIABILITY INSURANCE DO I NEED?

Your home or auto policy includes liability insurance up to a certain dollar amount. In insurance terms, that’s known as your limit. If you file a claim for a covered loss, your policy can pay up to the dollar amount stated in that limit.

And if the bills are higher than the limit… the rest of the cash typically comes from your wallet.

Here’s the thing about accidents: No one plans for them. (That’s why they’re called accidents!) And if it’s an especially bad accident – something that causes serious injury to someone else – the related costs could exceed an average person’s auto or home liability insurance limits.

The good news: An umbrella policy offers higher levels of coverage to protect you against expensive accidents, such as a tragic car accident or injury on your property.

WHAT CAN AN UMBRELLA POLICY COVER?

Simply put: An umbrella policy can pick up where your home and auto liability limits leave off.

In today’s litigious society, anyone can be sued. If you accidentally injure someone or damage their property, a court could very well hold you liable for the costs of medical bills, repair bills and/or legal fees.

Let’s put that into context:

  • How much auto liability coverage is enough? A lawsuit resulting from a tragic car accident could exceed your auto liability limits, leaving you on the hook for costly damages. Basic liability insurance limits are typically $100,000 or $300,000. While this is enough to cover many situations, accidents that are more severe or result in multiple people injured could add up to more than you’d expect.
  • Can my homeowners insurance kick in if someone gets hurt on my property? If someone were to get seriously injured – or worse – in your pool or riding your ATV (for example), a lawsuit could wipe out your finances. Medical costs alone can soar into the millions quickly, especially if a person needs extensive medical treatment or long-term physical therapy.

Talk to a local insurance professional, like your local ERIE agent, about what amount of coverage is right for you. An umbrella policy offers affordable, worldwide protection for you and covered family members.

IS AN UMBRELLA POLICY WORTH IT?

Unfortunately, bad things sometimes happen – and no one is immune.

If a court decides you owe more than the limits of your auto, boat or homeowners policy, your personal assets could be at risk. This includes cash, such as your savings or future wages. In some states, even your retirement savings and your home could be up for grabs.

An umbrella policy from ERIE offers higher levels of coverage and affordable, worldwide protection for you and covered family members. That means you can relax and enjoy more of the good times that life has to offer.

HOW TO GET UMBRELLA INSURANCE

Insurance certainly can’t stop bad things from happening. But it can help ensure that an accident doesn’t leave you, your family and possibly even a victim high and dry.

Read More
Boost Your Home Resale Value

7 DYI Projects to Boost Your Home’s Resale Value

Whether you need more space for your growing family or are relocating for a new job, moving to a new home is something most of us will encounter eventually.

But while looking for the perfect house can be an exciting process, you’ll also be faced with the reality of selling your current one.

Putting your home on the market is a daunting task. Not only do you want it to sell quickly, but you also want to get the most out of your investment. After all, the more money you make at the sale, the more you’ll have available to put down on your next house.

See also: Home Buyers Reveal What Features They Would (And Wouldn’t) Choose Again

Wondering if there are any simple improvements you can make before the “for sale” sign goes in the lawn?

Here are seven easy do-it-yourself projects you can tackle to get the best bang for your buck – and impress a potential buyer:

  1. Clear your clutter. Believe it or not, experts say this simple project can add nearly $2,000 to your home’s value! A full house can distract buyers and make rooms look smaller. So go room by room to clean out anything that isn’t absolutely necessary. Use large trash bags or empty boxes to throw away what you don’t need and donate items in good condition.
  2. Update your kitchen. Kitchen remodels can be expensive. But you don’t have to completely gut your kitchen to wow a potential buyer. Simple updates like new appliances, countertops, backsplash or flooring can give your room a more modern look. Installing stainless steel appliances or quartz countertops can cost as little as $5,000 while boosting your home’s resale value between 3-7%.Want more inspiration at a lower price? See what made our list of easy and affordable kitchen upgrades.
  3. Landscape your yard. Good curb appeal has been shown to increase a home’s value between 5-20%. Cut back any overgrown plants and trim your trees and bushes. Pull those weeds and put down some fresh mulch. A little landscaping will go a long way to ensure the exterior views of your home aren’t blocked. And it will make your house look like a place buyers want to live.
  4. Paint your walls a neutral color. Studies have shown a fresh coat of paint can bump up your home’s value between 1-2%. Consider using a neutral color like light grey or a shade of white. This will help cover any stains, scuffs or chipped paint. In turn, you’ll liven up the space and help a potential buyer imagine how they can make your home their own.
  5. Improve your energy efficiency. Lower utility bills can help attract potential buyers. Projects like adding insulation, high-efficiency windows, energy-efficient appliances or LED light bulbs can all reduce the energy your home uses. Overall, making sure your house isn’t an energy hog can improve its worth between 1-3%.
  6. Make changes to help people of all ages. Consider adding features to your home that make it more accessible. That may include installing a walk-in shower or creating a master bedroom on the main floor. These “universal design” elements could increase your home’s value between 1-2%. Learn more about how universal design can help you age in place.
  7. Be smart with technology. Technology evolves fast. But products like a smart thermostat or keypad locks can be useful for years to come. Features like these can help boost your home’s value between 3-5%.

You’ve worked hard to get where you are today. The people and things in your life are a big deal. That’s why we think the insurance that protects them should be a big deal, too.

At ERIE, every homeowners insurance policy comes with a local agent who’s there to help you understand and feel confident about what you’re buying and how it works. And, yes – we offer 100% guaranteed replacement cost* for worry-free coverage that protects you without surprises.

Read More
Neighbors Tree Falls

What Happens If My Neighbor’s Tree Falls in My Yard?

Trees can be tricky, but for the most part homeowners are responsible for what falls into their own yard. So if a storm causes your neighbor’s tree to fall in your yard, your homeowners insurance could help cover the cost of removing the tree and remedying the damage it caused on your property, after your deductible.

The same is true in reverse: If a tree on your property falls in your neighbor’s yard, your neighbor should contact his or her insurance company to determine what type of coverage is available for damage or cleanup in their yard.

In most cases, neighbors are able to work things out without too much trouble. Depending on the extent of the damage, you may need to file a homeowners insurance claim. Your homeowners insurance may or may not cover the cost of tree cleanup, depending on your policy and the company you work with.

Good news: Homeowners insurance from ERIE typically pays for the cost (subject to sublimits) of removal of fallen trees if it’s due to a covered peril, such as a storm.

If there’s ever an issue between neighbors, you can rely on your claims adjuster to help straighten everything out.

THE CLAIMS PROCESS

If a tree falls on your house, the first thing to do, if it’s safe, is to try to prevent further damage to your home and property. Make sure to take some photos to document what happened. Then call your insurance agent, who can explain your options and help you understand if and how to file a claim. When you file a claim, a claims adjuster will come by to evaluate the damage and explain how your homeowners coverage comes into play. It’s recommended that you call your claims adjuster before you contract to have the tree removed.

Sometimes trees fall on cars. If it’s not safe or possible to remove the tree from the car yourself, you should call a professional to remove it. (Again, talk to your insurance agent and a claims adjuster first and take a few photos of the fallen tree on your car.) Depending on the damage and terms of your insurance coverage, the optional comprehensive coverage you may have under your auto policy could provide coverage for the loss.

PREVENTING TREE DAMAGE

Preventive measures matter when it comes to trees. Start by looking for signs of distress such as dead limbs, cracks in the trunk or major limbs, leaning to one side and branches that are close to a house or power line. Mushroom growth on the roots or bark can also signal trouble.

Homeowners should be concerned about the health of their trees. It’s possible for you to be held responsible for resulting damage to your neighbor’s house or property, if your tree falls due (in whole or part) to your own neglect. One of the best things to do is to regularly have large trees trimmed. (The Tree Care Industry Association lists accredited tree care professionals.)

Read More
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