How to determine if you live in flood zone

Even if you live in the mountains, you are at risk of dealing with flood damage, but some areas are riskier than others. Knowing how your Scottsdale, AZ home is marked helps you prepare yourself and your family better in case of a flooding event. While our flood insurance agents at Homeowners Insurance Group can help you determine whether your home is in a high-risk flood area or not, it is essential that you know how to check this yourself.

How to read the flood map

If you can read a flood map, it becomes easier to determine where your home stands and the risk level to help you prepare early. If your home is in a low-risk area, the flood map will typically mark it as an ‘area of minimal flood hazard’ in the geographic area. If it is in a high-risk area, it will be marked as a ‘special flood hazard area.’

The FEMA flood map

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has a tool that you can use to check the level of risk. This map service shows you the information you need to make smart choices such as floodways, flood zones, and your risk level. There is also other helpful infrastructural information about features like coastal barriers, levees, and base flood line.

Flood zones

Flood zones are labeled from A, B, C, D, etc.  Insurance providers across Arizona use these labels to identify the flood risk level and appropriately set flood insurance terms and rates.

Keep track of changes.

If you check your flood risk level today, come back after a few years and check again. With so much construction work going on, changes in floodplains, topography, and zone designations may be inevitable.

Knowing your level of flood risk helps you prepare yourself for a possible flooding event. For more information, feel free to contact the Homeowners Insurance Group in Scottsdale, AZ today!

Auto Insurance for Young Drivers

If you’re young and you’re driving your first car that you’ve ever owned or are upgrading, there may be some aspects of auto insurance with which you are not familiar. Luckily, Homeowners Insurance Group has you covered. Learn how you can stay protected on the Scottsdale, AZ roads, and know the in’s and out’s of auto insurance with Homeowners Insurance Group. 

What Does Auto Insurance Cover?

Auto insurance provides you with financial coverage in case you get into an accident. You are provided with financial protection in the form of cash in case you are responsible for damage or repair fees. Here are some common areas in which auto insurance provides coverage: 

  • Liability
  • Injury
  • Property damage
  • Medical costs
  • Repair 

These are just some of the areas in which auto insurance provides coverage. To know exactly what you are eligible for and what coverage is best for you, visit Homeowners Insurance Group for a consultation. 

What Coverage Type is Best for Young Drivers?

For younger, newer drivers, the best type of coverage is full coverage. It does cost a little more but includes everything you would need in the case of an accident. The roads can be unpredictable, so it’s better to be prepared. It’s always more beneficial to have coverage and not need it than it is not to have coverage and desperately need it. Let the professionals at Homeowners Insurance Group get you the coverage you need. 

Get Protected with Homeowners Insurance Group

To help you stay protected on the Scottsdale, AZ roads, Homeowners Insurance Group is here to help you find the coverage you need. While full coverage is recommended for younger drivers, Homeowners Insurance Group is here to work with you so you can get the coverage that works best for you. You can contact them online or over the phone for a consultation. 

What Does Commercial Insurance Cover?

Commercial insurance is one of the best options you have at protecting your business. It doesn’t matter the size of your company or how long it has been in operation. Commercial insurance will help provide financial assistance when it is most needed. But what does commercial insurance cover? We at Homeowners Insurance Agency have the answers for you. So, if you live in greater Scottsdale, AZ, or the surrounding Phoenix area, all you need to do is give us a call, and we’ll take care of the rest. 

Protects Your Stock and Equipment

With commercial insurance, you can protect your stock. This way, if any of it is damaged, you can recover the loss of these items. You can also protect the equipment used to make your merchandise, food, or whatever else you sell. Should the equipment run into problems, you’re able to cover it with insurance. 

Vehicles

Drive a vehicle for your business? Regular auto insurance will not cover it. However, commercial insurance will. It would be best if you had commercial vehicle insurance for the cars you drive for work. 

Worker’s Compensation

If your employees are injured on the job performing work-related tasks, you’ll want to take advantage of worker’s compensation insurance. This will cover medical expenses incurred from the injury. 

Protect Your Business with Commercial Insurance

There is no shortage of commercial insurance options out there. What is important is you find a policy that protects your business. It is possible to tailor form commercial insurance to your company so that it fits like a glove. Our staff here at Homeowners Insurance Agency can help get that perfect fit. So when you live in greater Scottsdale, AZ, we are here to help. All you need to do is pick up your phone and call us at your earliest convenience.

Home Insurance Add-Ons to Consider

Your home insurance in Scottsdale, AZ covers plenty of different things, but there are some things not covered that you can add on extra coverage to include. An agent at Homeowners Insurance Agency can help you determine which add-ons make the most sense for your needs. 

  • Underground Sewer Lines: Underground utility lines will bring services to your home, but you are responsible for the damage that happens to the lines on your property. While the damage can be caused by the age of service lines or tree roots, it’s not covered under a typical policy. Adding this can be helpful if you live in an older home that may have dated systems.  
  • Drain and Sewer Back-Up: If a municipal drainage system overflows, then the water can back up into your home and cause flooding damage at your home and property, along with creating a significant inconvenience. The damage caused by this can be expensive to repair, and adding this protection can give you some peace of mind. 
  • Sinkholes: Depending on your property and the composition of the ground, your home could be susceptible to this. If you add this type of endorsement to your policy, then you won’t have to face this expense on your own. 
  • Home Based Business: With more people working from home in Scottsdale, AZ, it’s important to note home insurance doesn’t cover your business dealings. You may even get your home insurance canceled if you don’t have a home-based business endorsement. This type of endorsement covers personal property in a home office and medical bills that result from injuries or accidents to business visitors. 
  • Add-Ons for Personal Property: If you have valuable items, such as electronics, jewelry, or artwork, then you need add-on endorsements to protect these items.  

Flood and earthquakes aren’t covered under standard home insurance, and you can get coverage for these under separate policies.  

Contact Homeowners Insurance Agency to get a quote on home insurance. 

Home Claims, Submit or Not to Submit

My New Years’ Resolution for 2016 is to educate my clients on a variety of insurance topics.   Understanding the insurance rating process will help you keep your  insurance premiums as low as possible.

My topic today is going to be homeowners claims, should you submit or not submit?

I think it is important for you to know that you can be cancelled for claims.    It is not unusual for a company to cancel you if you’ve had 2 claims in 3 – 5 years.

So what happens if you’re cancelled for claims?   If this happens then I can’t get you insured with another preferred company until that falls off your record.    I just had this happen to a good client of mine and it is a big deal for them.   Their premium increased from $1700 to over $3000 once 2 claims were presented.   On the third they were cancelled.   The only company I can place them with is a high risk company.   The premium is now over $4400 a year and their coverage is not nearly as good as the old policy.  They have no choice but to take the policy because nobody else will insure them.   Even one claim can preclude you from moving to some insurance companies.   I have several  companies that won’t write a home if the client has had 1 loss in 3 years.

I know…why have insurance?!?!?   I agree it isn’t fair, but this is how it is unless they pass legislation precluding companies for cancelling due to claims.

The amount of the claim doesn’t matter, it is a frequency issue.   I had a client that came to me from another company.   She was cancelled for having a $150 claim and a $500 claim.   I was able to write the policy, but the premium was $3000.   Her original premium was only $500.

Back to my original question, should you submit that claim?   Well, that is up to each individual situation and your “pain threshold” as I like to put it.    Claims stay on your record for five long years.  Of course there are those situations where you can’t avoid a claim and really that is why you have insurance.   Don’t be afraid to submit a claim if you need to.   My primary goal is to protect you and educate you on the process.   I write for 15 different companies and have the ability to move you if needed.   I want to keep you in the best possible rating category to keep those rates down.

Some claims are unavoidable, but keeping your home well maintained will stave off many unfortunate situations.   Is your roof in good repair?   If you have an older home, have you had that inspected by a plumber or electrician to insure that all is in good working order?   What about that old water heater?   Those have to be replaced as they get older because they’ve been known to explode, causing major water damage.   It is recommended that they be replaced ever 10 years.   There are many ways to ensure that you and your family have a safe and claim free home.

I found another article in the Wall Street Journal on home claims that was interesting…if you’d like more information.    https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB106380332733463200.

Again, you have your insurance in case something happens.   I want to help assist you in your process.   I usually advise my clients to call me before calling the insurance company.   I’m happy to discuss your individual situation and possible options in the event something happens.   I represent you first and foremost!

Have a wonderful 2016!

Aliesha Brard, Principal

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