Tips For Filling Out a Home Inventory

If your home should be subject to a fire, theft, flood, or another disaster, an up-to-date home inventory will make the situation much easier. A home inventory will be key to verifying any losses and getting your claim settled faster. It will also help you purchase the right amount of insurance.

If you would like to create a home inventory, here are some steps to get you started:

Describe each item: You will need to note the type, color, make, model, and size of each item. You should also list where you purchased the item. 

Inventory your clothing: For clothing, you don’t need to list each and every piece. Instead, you can make note of how many items you have per category — how many jeans, how many pairs of sneakers, how many dresses, etc.

Look for serial numbers: On any major items, such as large appliances, be sure to check the backs and bottoms for any serial numbers and list those numbers with the descriptions.

Your home is full of items that should be part of the inventory. This means the process is not a simple one. You’ll need to take your time moving through the process, so you don’t get overwhelmed. Consider starting with one room, one closet, or the kitchen and moving on from there. 

In addition, it’s important that you also inventory any items that might be covered by your homeowner’s insurance and that are in off-site storage. 

Finally, make sure you speak with your agent about separate coverage that is in your home and might require its own policy. This includes art and jewelry. 

Once you have a home inventory, you will be better prepared in the event of a disaster. 

Are you interested in homeowner’s insurance?
If you need coverage for your home, the expert and caring team at CG Insurance Agency in Williamston, MI can help create a plan that is best for you. Contact our office today for more information. 

How Much Home Insurance Do I Need?

Home insurance is one of the best investment decisions you will make in your life. When you buy home insurance from CG Insurance Agency of Williamston, MI, you protect your home, yourself, and family members when the unthinkable happens. While home insurance is pivotal, how do you know you have adequate home insurance coverage? Purchasing adequate home insurance ensures you avoid out-of-pocket expenses during the claim process. Here is a guide to help you determine the amount of home insurance coverage you need.

How much would it cost to rebuild your home?

When purchasing home insurance, it’s essential to plan for the worst. How much would it cost to rebuild your home in case of a total loss? To determine this figure, instead of using the cost you incurred while building your house, it’s essential to consider the cost of renovations and the cost of building your home in your area.

While you may use the cost of rebuilding your home as the home insurance value in the first year, it’s vital to keep updating your home insurance plan to factor in significant renovations and changes in local construction costs. This way, you will ensure that your house isn’t underinsured. 

What’s the value of your assets?

How much would it cost to replace your furniture, clothing, electronics, and other assets in case of damage or loss from fire, vandalism, or theft? To avoid underinsuring your personal belongings, take an inventory count of all your assets from room to room. Next, come up with a realistic cost approximation, bearing in mind how much it would cost to replace that item today.

Likelihood of being sued

Home insurance protects you against bodily injury, property damage, and legal suits for losses you cause to other people. While the default liability insurance may have a limit of, let say, $100,000, how do you know this amount is adequate? As a rule of thumb, your liability insurance should cover all your assets. Besides, you can boost your home liability insurance with umbrella insurance for optimal protection.

Are you still unsure of how much home insurance you need? Please contact CG Insurance Agency for more information. Better yet, you can visit our Williamston, MI offices to speak to one of our agents in person.

Fallen Tree Damage—Who Pays?

As a homeowner, are you responsible for the damage caused by a tree on your property that hits your neighbor’s home or other insured structure, such as a garage or shed?

In most cases, the answer is “No.”

When such damage occurs to your neighbors’ home due to forces outside your control, such as weather events, your neighbors may have to file a claim with their insurer to receive a reimbursement for the damage a downed tree or branches cause.

There is one exception, however.

If it is determined that the tree damage stems from your negligence (for example, dead limbs that you refused to cut down), then the neighbors’ insurer may come after you to recover their loss—a process called subrogation.¹

You may want to check your policy or speak to your insurance agent to ascertain if your homeowners policy covers your liability in cases of negligence.

When Neighbors Sue

Some neighbors may seek to bring legal action against you, though often that is unnecessary.

First, determine what municipal laws are in place to cover such instances. Generally speaking, you are not responsible unless you knew, or should have known, about the danger. Proving what you knew or should have known can be difficult and costly in a court of law. It typically benefits both parties to arrive at a compromise that avoids an expensive legal process.

  1. The information in this material is not intended as legal advice. Please consult legal or insurance professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation.

The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG, LLC, is not affiliated with the named broker-dealer, state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. Copyright 2020 FMG Suite.

Understanding Homeowner’s Insurance

Purchasing homeowner’s insurance is not only critical for protecting your home and personal property against any potential liability; if you have a mortgage, your lender will require it.

What’s Covered

A homeowner’s insurance policy is a package of coverages, including:

  • Dwelling: Covers damages to your house and any attached structures, including fixtures such as plumbing, electrical and HVAC systems.
  • Other Structures: Pays for damage to unattached structures, including a detached garage, tool shed, fence, etc.
  • Personal Property: Covers personal possessions such as appliances, furniture, electronics, clothes, etc.
  • Loss of Use: Reimburses for additional living expenses while you are unable to live in your home.
  • Personal Liability: Pays claims if you are found liable for injuries or damages to another party.
  • Medical Payments: Pays the medical bills incurred by people who are hurt on your property or by your pets.

Remember, these coverages pertain only to losses caused by a peril covered by your policy. For instance, if your policy doesn’t cover earthquake damage, then losses will not be reimbursed.

Types of Homeowner’s Policies

The types of covered perils will depend on the type of policy you buy.

The Special Form is the most popular policy since it insures against all perils, except those specifically named in the policy. Common exclusions include earthquakes and floods. Typically, flood insurance is obtained through the National Flood Insurance Program, while earthquake coverage may be obtained through an endorsement or a separate policy.

Limits of Coverage

Your policy will impose limits on the amount of covered losses.

If you have a valuable art collection or jewelry, you may want to secure additional insurance on those items.

Be aware of whether your policy insures for replacement cost (pays the cost to rebuild your home or repair damages using materials of similar kind and quality) or actual cash value (home value based on age and wear and tear), which may not cover all your losses.

Coordinating Umbrella Liability Coverage

Individuals with significant assets may want to consider attaching an umbrella policy to their homeowner’s policy, which provides liability coverage in excess of the liability limits of your current policy.

Should I Tell My Home Insurance Provider About My Above-Ground Swimming Pool?

As nice as an in-ground pool can be for your Michigan home, they start at around $50,000, almost enough to buy a whole new house in some areas. Meanwhile, an above-ground pool will run you maybe two hundred bucks, and it’ll cost a lot less to fill with water. With proper maintenance, they can last ten to twenty years. When you’re kicking back on a float with a drink in your hand, do you really care if it’s concrete or Intex plastic holding the water? The only question is whether to tell your insurance provider.

You may be thinking: Why bother? The pool was cheap to buy, and it’ll be cheap to replace. But it’s not just your pool you need to think about. It’s your home and the added liability of having a pool.

With proper set-up and maintenance, it’s unlikely that your pool will suddenly collapse, but it happens. And when it does, anyone swimming in it at the time is likely to suffer some injuries. Even if nobody’s in your pool when it collapses, it could create a mini-flood that tears through A/C units and even your home’s foundation. It can create water damages that you do not want to cover out of pocket.

If you don’t let them know, you won’t be covered for any damages relating to your pool. So it’s usually a good idea to let your insurer know that you have an above-ground pool.

If you have any questions or you’re looking to get covered in Williamston, MI, get in touch with CG Insurance Agency and see what we can do for you. CG Insurance Agency is here to get you a good deal on a great policy and answer any question you may have.

Home Insurance FAQs In Michigan

CG Insurance Agency LLC provides quality home insurance to homeowners in the entire state of Michigan. If you are unsure about your insurance needs or are ready to purchase a policy, you likely have a few questions. We are happy to answer any questions you may have about homeowners or any other type of insurance. We serve the community of Williamston, MI, and the surrounding areas.

Frequently Asked Questions About Home Insurance In Michigan:

  • Is homeowner’s insurance a legal requirement in Michigan? No, the state of Michigan has no legal home insurance requirements, but not having coverage can significantly risk your asset. Also, if you are still paying on your home, your lender likely has a requirement of a specific amount of coverage.
  • What is required to purchase homeowner’s insurance? Identifying documents such as social security number or driver’s license and home address. If you have any questions about purchasing home insurance or our insurance services in general, we will be happy to answer them to make the process as easy as possible.
  • What does homeowner’s insurance cover? It is hard to define the exact scenarios that insurance will cover, but your limits and payments will be balanced. It is important to know that flood insurance is typically not covered under a homeowner’s insurance policy but is a worthwhile add-on. The exact location of your home may have some bearing on your needed coverage.

Contact us at CG Insurance Agency LLC to learn more about homeowner’s insurance today. The community of Williamston, MI has many beautiful properties that should be protected with insurance in any scenario. We are happy to provide insurance services to the community and surrounding areas.

Home Insurance Tips when Renovating Your Home

Renovating your home in Williamston, MI can be exciting, but there are things you need to do to make sure your insurance is up to date. 

The first thing you should do is notify your agent at CG Insurance Agency LLC. Since your home insurance covers the cost to rebuild your home, and your home renovations can increase that cost, you need to up your coverage. It would help if you let your agent know before you start renovations to make sure you are covered during the process as well. 

If your home is going to be vacant during renovations, then you also want to make sure you have coverage since standard policies will exclude losses for a home that is vacant for more than 60 days. You may want to customize your vacant home policy to protect you from other problems, such as liability or coverage for maintenance equipment.  

Renovations may also give you a discount. You may want to safeguard your home against fires by installing a home sprinkler system, fire alarms, and smoke detectors in every room. You can upgrade your roof to minimize damage from high winds, flying debris, and hail. You can protect your home from theft by using deadbolts and installing a burglar alarm. If you live in a storm area, then install storm shutters and use impact-resistant glass on your exterior windows. Some renovations can also increase your home insurance premiums, such as adding a pool or expanding your space. With a pool, you want to add extra liability insurance, and with expanding your space, you need to know how the new space alters the value of your home. 

Don’t forget to check to make sure your contractor has his or her own liability and workers’ compensation insurance for added protection. 

Contact CG Insurance Agency LLC in Williamston, MI to get a quote on home insurance.