How Could Renovations Affect Your Home Insurance?

You’re finally going to do it. You’re renovating your home. You and your spouse have all of the plans ready. You’ll start in the kitchen, create a backsplash, install new cabinets, and you’ll finish with a fire pit in the backyard. You’re ready to start, but there’s one thing you didn’t consider: how will this affect your home insurance? 

Home renovations may have the following impacts on your home insurance: 

  • You may need to increase your homeowner policy limits. If your house went up in value it may now exceed the limits of your homeowner policy. This could leave you without the insurance coverage you need if your property is damaged or destroyed. Before you start your renovations, consult with the trusted, knowledgeable insurance specialists at Stevens Insurance in Las Vegas, NV. 
  • You may be able to negotiate a lower rate if you replaced the roof. After you complete repairs and especially if you install a new roof, you need to contact your home insurance company. New roofs will provide better protection from mother nature and likely will extend the life of your home. Your insurance company will recognize this and may be willing to lower your rates after your project is complete. 
  • You may need to increase the personal property limits. When you renovate, you likely will buy more than siding and roofing materials. If you purchase an expensive TV, pool table, or other valuables, make sure you increase your personal property limits, so they’re protected in the case of a disaster. 

If you live in or around Las Vegas, NV, you need an insurance company you can trust. You need to contact Stevens Insurance. Give them a call today at (702) 648-9689 and see what they can do for you. 

 

Should You Use Your Home Insurance Deductible for a Repair?

Have you ever had a tree fall on your property? Or a fire get out of hand? If you live in Las Vegas, NV and are a customer at Stevens Insurance, you might have called your agent to find out what you should do. To file a claim or repair it yourself, that is the question.

Evaluating the Level of Damage

Your first instinct—after photographing the damage in case you do end up filing a claim—should be to examine how much damage has occurred. Is your house severely damaged? Is your car incapacitated? If the answer is “no” to these questions, your next step is to look at how much it might cost to repair. Can you do the repair yourself? If yes, the level of damage is probably not catastrophic, and you can avoid cashing in on your homeowner’s insurance policy. 

When to Repair It on Your Own

The important thing to consider when making this decision is the cost of the deductible and how much your monthly premiums will go up. For example, if a tree falls across a fence from the neighbor’s yard but does no further damage to your property, paying even a low deductible is not worth it because your premiums will simultaneously increase. The cost of a new fence is low compared to the cost of replacing an entire house. The premium increase is worth it, for example, when you’re avoiding $100,000 out of pocket to rebuild an entire home. A premium increase is not worth it when you’re only paying $3,000 to install a new fence. 

If you live in Las Vegas, NV and have experienced damage to your property, call Stevens Insurance for an estimate on the repairs and premium increases. You will probably find that in the event of minor damage, making the repair yourself is more cost effective.

Customizing Your Home Insurance Policy

When it comes time to buy home insurance, most people tend to view it as a "One size fits all" proposition. The initial value is often set by the mortgage company, or perhaps recommended by the insurance agent, the homeowner told what the premium will be and they move on, never giving a lot of thought to the details of the policy. This is often not the best way to buy insurance, even if you’re buying from a reputable agent like Stevens Insurance in Las Vegas, NV. A home insurance policy is most effective when customized to the details of the home and the needs of the homeowner.

No two houses are alike, so no two home insurance policies should be alike. Obviously, a more valuable house, one that would cost more to replace, should be insured for more money. If the house is located in a flood plain or area prone to earthquakes, specific insurance may need to be purchased for those, as they’re often not covered in a standard policy.

A homeowner may possess a number of belongings that either aren’t covered or are not covered enough under a standard home insurance policy. Expensive jewelry, artwork or electronics are often worth far more than a basic insurance policy will allot for them. This means that unless a homeowner has the foresight to adjust the coverage amounts or add riders to the policy to cover these items, they will likely have to pay a lot out of pocket to replace them after an incident. Speaking of out of pocket costs, a homeowner can always adjust how much they will end up paying out of pocket on a claim by raising or lowering their deductible. If you need home insurance in Las Vegas, NV, Stevens Insurance can get you the right policy customized to fit your needs.

Top Hidden Home Insurance Credits

If you are on the market for a home insurance policy, make sure you take the time to review your policy with your insurance agent to ensure you are not missing out on hidden savings. Here are the top hidden credits for home insurance.

Gated Community

In the Las Vegas, NV area there are an abundance of gated communities and if you live in one, you may be able to reduce your premium. Insurers view gated communities as an extra level of security reducing the chances of a burglary. You can see a 5%-20% savings.

Recent Renovations

If you have recently renovated your home, you may be eligible for a credit. If your renovation included new wiring or a new electrical panel, the insurance company will view your home as safer. Renovations can save you up to 25%. Ask your agent at Stevens Insurance for tips if you are planning on renovating.

Retirement

Cutting costs during retirement is important, and the mature insurance credit might help. Insurance companies understand that when one is retired you are spending more time at home and if there is a burst pipe the loss will be mitigated immediately instead of when you get home from work. The retirement credit can save you between 10% to 25%.

Upgrade your Sensors

Of course, you should always have the standard fire alarm and security system. However, there are new products on the market that an insurer will give you additional credit for. You can purchase water sensors that attach to appliances that will shut off the water source if there is a leak. These sensors will get you an additional 5%-10% in savings.

If you are in the Las Vegas, NV area and would like to learn more about credits, reach out to Stevens Insurance.

Preventing Premature Roof Failure

In Las Vegas, NV, your roof is safe from some of the most damaging things that can destroy roofs in colder climates. You won’t be seeing any ice dams or problems caused by snow weight. However, a Vegas roof is still exposed to nature, and with this exposure, there is always a chance for unexpected damage as well as normal wear.

Get Regular Roof Inspections

The key to preventing full roof failure is catching problems before they get too big. Having professionals go up and look at the roof on a regular basis is the easiest and safest way to ensure that these emerging issues are found in time for them to be affordably repaired. Professional eyes can also spot problems that a layman would overlook. Because of these things, Stevens Insurance recommends that you make sure to have the pros examine your roof, especially after storms and other potentially-damaging events.

Have Broken or Missing Concrete Tiles Replaced Right Away

High winds, storms that knock tree branches into the roof, and other stresses can take a tile or two off of a roof that is otherwise fine. Don’t let the small area of damage fool you into ignoring this problem! The tiles are there to protect the waterproof under layer of the roof, and when even one is missing, it will expose that layer to challenges it wasn’t designed to meet.

If you don’t have a tile roof, you should pay even more attention to damaged areas. Asphalt shingles, for example, can start failing after just 10-15 years. Missing or damaged shingles will make the roof require replacement even sooner, so hurry to get damaged areas patched.

Getting unexpected damage repaired can be easier with the right home insurance. Contact us at Stevens Insurance to discuss which policies are best for protecting your Las Vegas, NV home.

Home Insurance for Your Rental Property

As a property owner, you may feel the need to rent your property for a little extra cash. If you’ve decided to rent out a few of your homes or apartments, you’re going to need more than your standard homeowner’s insurance policy to cover your investments. You will need what’s known as landlord insurance.

What is Landlord Insurance?

Landlord insurance provides coverage for your rentals that includes property damage, liability, loss of income, and personal injury.

  • Property damage – If there is a storm, fire, vandalism, theft, or damages left by a tenant, property damage insurance is helpful coverage. This usually covers the building itself and not the property inside.
  • Liability insurance – Liability covers injuries that occur on your property. Accidents can happen, and whether it is your tenant or a visitor, liability can protect you from legal and medical costs associated with the individual’s injuries.
  • Loss of income – If you maintain a loss of income coverage, you may be covered for monthly rent you’ve lost. This usually becomes relevant when the property is uninhabitable due to storms or fires. Other covered reason will be included in your policy.
  • Personal injury protection – PIP protects you against libel, slander, wrongful eviction, and invasion of privacy claims made against you.

Other Things to Think About

The property inside of the apartment or house that belong to you, such as the microwave, stove, refrigerator, and washer and dryer may not be covered under your normal policy. Contact your insurance agent to make sure those items are covered, so you can get an adequate replacement value if they are damaged or destroyed.

You may also want to encourage your tenants to get renters insurance. In Las Vegas, NV, landlords insurance does not cover their personal property. Contact Stevens Insurance for more information. 

How To Prep Your Home For The Fall Months

Your Nevada home is going to experience some cooler weather in the fall. If you don’t prepare your home sufficiently, you could run into an array of problems. The good news is, a few simple preparatory things can ensure you don’t have to worry about anything going wrong in the fall or at any other time during the year.

Schedule Maintenance

Some basic maintenance should be scheduled. You will want to have your HVAC system checked on by a professional technician, and also gas lines if you have a furnace. This way, as the cold weather starts to arrive, you can be confident that your heat is going to work.

Handle Some Cleaning

Cleaning is important inside and out. Your gutters should be cleaned because you are going to deal with more leaves falling. If there are lots, you could end up with corrosion or rust, costing you a significant amount of money in repairs. If you have a fireplace, it should be cleaned as well, eliminating a chimney fire.

Create a Checklist

A simple checklist to go through in your home can make a world of a difference. You will want to make sure you check all of the smoke detectors to see if there are working and replace the batteries. You should also clean out your oven to avoid any kind of fire, and also check for fire extinguishers in various rooms of the home.

By taking a little bit of time to prep your home, you can avoid various issues. Remember, you don’t have to do everything alone. You can always call professionals and help you with home maintenance, cleaning, and various other components.

Learn how to enjoy peace of mind in Las Vegas with the right homeowner’s policy. Contact Stevens Insurance today to speak with an experienced insurance agent.

 

Is Your Home Underinsured?

Maintaining a homeowners’ policy isn’t a law in Las Vegas, NV. Mortgage lenders require that you have a policy that covers things such as damage or loss to the structure and property. In other words, that policy is a type of security for your loan. But you have a lot more invested into your home than just plaster and plywood, which is why at Stevens Insurance we work closely with people to create a policy that meets their individual needs.

One of the key areas where homeowners find themselves underinsured is personal property. When you first buy the house, you have a certain number of accumulated items. But over time, you amass more and more valuable items and it may be wise to update your coverage and push that coverage cap up. Beyond the coverage limits you set, being able to prove what was lost in a fire or burglary will be important for reimbursement. Consider these steps to ensure proper coverage.

  • Keep a record of expensive items that include jewelry, electronics, artwork, antiques and family heirlooms.
  • Create an inventory that reflects these items room by room
  • Keep copies of receipts and any appraisals
  • Write the model numbers and specific items on these receipts
  • Make a 360 video of your home and possessions
  • Take photographs of items in your home
  • Update the video once per year
  • Keep these records away from your home or in a fireproof safe

In terms of personal property, being fully insured means two basic things for homeowners — documentation and having a sufficient insurance ceiling. An insurance company may take a standard estimate for things like clothing that are damaged in a fire. But big ticket items generally require clear documentation for you to get reimbursed. These items are also the driving force behind burglaries and theft.

At Stevens Insurance, we serve the Las Vegas, NV, community and our professionals are available to discuss new policies or updating your existing coverage. It’s important that you don’t get caught underinsured in the event of a loss.

Getting the right Las Vegas, NV home insurance is very important

Las Vegas, NV is an amazing and unique city, and a lot of people only think of it for the casinos and nightlife. But there are many people who live in the city and call it home. If you’re one of them, you want to make sure you have good home insurance, so you’re protected financially from fire, break-ins, and other types of problems. One of the best ways to do that is to work with Stevens Insurance so you can talk to an independent agent. When you choose just one company to get a quote from, you could end up paying too much or simply not have a good quality insurance policy. Independent agents can help you avoid all that.

You don’t want to end up with bad home insurance, since your home is a significant investment. It needs to be protected in the right way, so you can have peace of mind when you live there. Otherwise, you’re going to be worried about what could happen instead of just enjoying the home you have. Because Las Vegas, NV is a place that is far different from a lot of other locations, you may want to focus on working closely with an agent so you can have the chance to keep your home insurance exactly what you want it to be as your needs change.

By working with an independent insurance agent at Stevens Insurance, you can get that personalized service that helps you stay ready for anything that could happen to your home. You may not be able to avoid something happening, but you can know that you’re financially covered and that there’s someone you can call who will help you get through a problem. That’s what independent agents do, and how they can really benefit you when you need home insurance.

4 Reasons to Start Your Home Insurance Policy Today

An area of the world that has long since become known for its dedication to the party scene, people who live in Vegas often work just as hard as they play. Indeed, although Las Vegas in unique in many respects, it is not immune to most of the rules and regulations placed on the rest of the country. With that said, the following is a closer look at 4 reasons to start your home insurance policy today. 

Many Banks Require it

First and foremost, many banks require that you acquire and maintain home insurance as a part of the terms given to secure the loan. By skipping the homeowner’s insurance, you may be putting your entire estate in jeopardy. 

When Disaster Strikes 
Moreover, every area of the globe has the potential to be hit with a major natural disaster without warning. By acquiring homeowner’s insurance beforehand, you are ensuring that your home is protected from even the most unfavorable circumstances. 

Home Away from Home 

In addition to that, having home insurance can even protect your home when you are away. No need to be anxious when you travel away from home. By purchasing the right homeowner’s insurance policy, you are ensuring that your home and belongings are safe, even when you are unable to protect them yourself. 

Equity Matters

Lastly, having homeowner’s insurance can help protect the equity of your home. Given that most mortgages are paid off over the course of many years, having a home insurance policy can help protect the value of your home despite some unfavorable market-related issues. 

Overall, if you are in Las Vegas, NV and are looking for high-quality home insurance, Stevens Insurance is the way to go. No matter what type of coverage you are seeking, one of our independent representatives will assist you and hopefully, help you save some cash in the process!