Tips to Help Your Home Renovation Project Go Smoother

The pandemic is causing people to rethink where they work, live and play. That’s leading to more relocations and home renovations. Today’s newsletter provides some tips to help your home renovation project go smoother. Note that I used the word smoother rather than smoothly because few renovation projects go smoothly.
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Guide to Protecting Your Home

Nobody should drive like a maniac because they have auto insurance. Why? Insurance doesn’t prevent dangerous accidents; it offsets their related financial losses.

Likewise, no one should live in an unsafe house because they have homeowner’s insurance. Why? Insurance doesn’t prevent things like fires and water damage, it offsets their related financial losses.

So even with good insurance, it makes sense for homeowners to take steps to protect their homes because things like fires are dangerous, and claims can be a hassle. Some steps may lead to insurance discounts and others will just be a layer of valuable protection for your family and property.

Click here for “A Guide to Building A More Resilient Home” from Pure Insurance (one of my high-value carriers). It contains real-life examples of large claims and good suggestions on how they could have been prevented. Some ideas are easier to implement with new construction, but many others are steps you can take to protect your existing home now. Or you can save it as a reference so you can do a “safety audit” when buying a different new or existing home. I hope you’ll give it a read.

Risk of Water Damage is Higher Than You Think

Guess what is the most likely cause of loss on your homeowner’s policy? Fire, wind, flood or theft? Nope. The most likely cause of loss is water damage from an interior leak while you’re away.

I’ve seen a lot of this. Yes, it’s covered by insurance, but it’s still subject to your deductible and is a big hassle and mess. The water flowing from a toilet, washing machine hose or ice maker can go on unimpeded for weeks or months destroying floors, carpets, furniture and cabinetry. Then it seeps into walls where it destroys molding, sheetrock and electrical. If it goes on long enough, mold begins to form. Ugh.

And it’s completely preventable. The old school way is to simply turn off your water while you’re away, and turn your water heaters down to vacation mode.

The high-tech way involves water leak detection systems. They involve a little work, but will protect you at all times. Some insurance carriers will provide a discount if you have them, and other carriers require you to have them before they’ll cover your property.

There are three different types:

Auto Turn Off

These systems are the gold standard because they automatically turn off your water and notify you by smart phone if there is a leak. They most commonly use remote sensors, but a few advanced models detect anomalies in your water flow. They are good if your home is remote and/or it’s not easy to send somebody out to the house quick if there is a leak. They are the most expensive ($500-$2,000) and need to be installed by a plumber.

Water Monitors

These systems are pretty good. They detect leaks from remote sensors and notify your smart phone so if you’re away you can get somebody out to the house. They range from $200-$500 and can be self-installed, or they can be conveniently installed by your alarm company.

Sound Alarm

These blast a sound if they detect a leak. I suppose they are better than nothing, but don’t help if you’re away from your house. Some leaks (like behind a washer) can go a long time undetected and create problems like mold, so even a sound alarm would help. They’re inexpensive…around $10 per unit. Still, I really can’t recommend these as a solution because most damage occurs while the homeowner is away.

So what did I do for my own home? I simply told my alarm company to install water monitors. If I’m gone for several weeks I’ll turn off the water, but for shorter trips I’ll leave it on and trust the monitors to alert me. I’ve got little sensors on the floor around the washer, kitchen sink, water heaters and baths. It was easy. And I feel better because I’ve seen what extended period water damage can do. Nobody wants that.

Make it a great day!

How to contact Desert Insurance Solutions during COVID-19

Hi everybody, I hope this message finds you safe and healthy as we manage through this challenging period. To comply with government recommendations regarding COVID-19 safe distancing, and to protect the health of my clients and employees, I have decided to temporarily close our offices for face to face visits. Be assured we have prepared for this in our contingency planning and will be able to provide service on your insurance.  We just won’t be able to do it “in person” for a few weeks. Continue reading “How to contact Desert Insurance Solutions during COVID-19”