What is the Difference Between Insuring a Home and a Duplex?

A duplex or any other multifamily dwelling needs a different kind of insurance coverage than the insurance needed for a single-family home. The reason for this is that even if you live in a part of the duplex, usually the other part rents out. Renting a residential space is a commercial activity. Normally, this has no coverage under standard home insurance. If you use part of your home for an office, then, you need commercial insurance. The coverage is different. Many make the mistake of thinking that they have adequate protection when they may not.

There is no need to worry about this because the solution is simple. Work with your agent at E.S.T.I.R. Inc. serving Bloomfield, NJ and the surrounding area to get the correct type of insurance coverage you need for a duplex. Make sure there are no gaps in insurance coverage that create extraordinary risk for you.

Add Professional Skills to Help

Do not hesitate to use the professional skills of your insurance agent to get recommendations. Their main job is to protect you, not force you to buy something you do want or need. They can be very helpful and are the perfect resource to ask for information even if your coverage is already adequate.

Call on them without hesitation when considering buying a home, duplex, townhouse, or other multifamily property. They can help you estimate the cost of insurance that needs factoring into the calculations to determine if the investment is a good idea. At the same time, they can review any of your existing policies to recommend any needed upgrades.

Summary

Many families are finding it more cost-effective to invest in a multifamily property, live in a part of it, and rent out the other part. Millennials call this “hacking” a residential property. In some cases, all or most of the expenses of the entire building may be covered by the rent collected for just part of it. This is a very clever way to build up a valuable real estate portfolio by starting with the purchase of a duplex. To get an insurance review and a quote, contact your agent at E.S.T.I.R. Inc. in Bloomfield, NJ.

Is Home Insurance Required?

With auto insurance and health insurance being a requirement, it makes sense to wonder whether home insurance is also required. Bloomfield, NJ residents, E.S.T.I.R. Inc. has the answer you are looking for: home insurance is actually not required by law. Before writing off home insurance completely, though, there are other questions that you need to ask yourself.

1. Are you currently paying on a mortgage loan for your home or have some other lien on the home? If so, you may need it. Most mortgage companies require that you keep homeowners insurance while paying on the mortgage, at least until a certain amount of the mortgage has been repaid. If you do not keep your insurance, you are breaking the contract, and the lender can take legal action. If you owe anything on your home, double check your contracts first.

2. If something were to happen to your home right now, could you afford to fix it or replace it on your own? Insurance is not something that we use every day, but it is something that can help us get back on our feet when certain events occur. Consider a house fire. If your home were to burn down, could you afford to buy a new home? Do you have enough money saved to repair any damages the home sustains? If not, having homeowner’s insurance should still be a priority, even though it is not required by law.

Homeowner’s insurance may seem like an unnecessary bill, but it is actually a great way to help protect your investment. For more information on how homeowner’s insurance can help protect your Bloomfield, NJ home, stop by or give E.S.T.I.R. Inc. a call today!

 

Home Insurance for a Second Home In New Jersey

If you are planning to buy a second home in New Jersey, work with your agent at E.S.T.I.R. Inc. serving Bloomfield, NJ and the surrounding communities. Make sure you get adequate insurance coverage. Your agent will conduct an insurance review of your existing home insurance policy and then make a professional recommendation about how to insure the second home.

There may be an option to use the same insurance company, which you already have, to extend the coverage to the second home or you may want to consider getting a new policy. Your agent will explain the details.

Things to Consider About Insuring a Second Home

A second home has different insurance needs than your primary residence.

Here is a list of important questions to consider and discuss with your agent:

  • Will the home be vacant part of the time?
  • Will you rent the home out to others?
  • Should you get replacement cost coverage?
  • Do you need extra coverage for personal property?
  • What is the risk of damage by water from flooding or storm surge?

Leaving the Home Vacant

A vacant home is more attractive to burglars who can break in when nobody is there. Security systems can be installed to help mitigate this risk. This may help with insurance coverage.

Renting the Home

Renting the home to others can provide income to help offset expenses. This is a commercial enterprise. You will want to have commercial insurance to cover the paying guests and the use of the home as a rental property.

Replacement Cost Coverage

Replacement cost coverage is very helpful because if the home is damaged, repairs can be made that will bring the home back to a similar condition before it was damaged.

Personal Property

Be sure there is adequate coverage for any valuable contents of the home as well.

Water Damage

Home insurance does not usually cover flooding, so be sure to talk about adding flood insurance.

Conclusion

Ask your agent about any other concerns that you have about insuring a second home. To get an insurance review and a quote, call us to speak with your agent at E.S.T.I.R. Inc. in Bloomfield, NJ.

Frequently Asked Questions About New Jersey Home Insurance

Do you live in Bloomfield, NJ? Don’t put off getting home insurance on your family’s home, call us at E.S.T.I.R. Inc. for a specific quote on your house. If you have any questions about home insurance in your area read on to see if we address them here. 

Home Insurance in New Jersey Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can I get an individualized insurance policy written for my home due to my unique situation? Yes, you can get an individualized policy written that fits your own needs depending on your situation. Ask our agent for more details after explaining your situation. 
  • Is homeowner’s insurance a legal requirement in the state of New Jersey? No, it is not a legal requirement in NJ. However, many mortgage companies do require you to keep a homeowners’ insurance policy to protect their asset while you pay it off. Even if you do not have a mortgage on your home it is a good idea to protect your own asset yourself. Homeowner’s insurance can protect you from things you have not even considered when it comes to homeownership. 
  • Can I bundle my home insurance with other policies I have? It is often possible to bundle your home and auto insurance together. Each situation is unique and different options may save you money. Bundling is just one way we can simplify your life with quality insurance. 

E.S.T.I.R. Inc. can fulfill your home insurance needs in and around Bloomfield, NJ. If you have any other questions, call us today. If you are ready for insurance quotes for your home, car, life, or business, contact us, and we will be happy to provide them for you. 

Is there an easy way to make a home inventory?

No one likes to think of having a fire or burglary in their own home, which should be a safe place. That is one reason people put off making a home inventory, even knowing they will need the inventory later if something happens.

The job can also seem overwhelming, but there are some tricks you can use to make it easier. At E.S.T.I.R. Inc. we assist our Bloomfield, NJ customers so they will have the records they need if they ever have to make a claim.

Traditional Inventories

In the past, people would simply try to list their possessions. Dividing the task into rooms makes it easier, as you can do one room a week until you’re done. Make sure to get serial numbers off electronics.

Video

A really great trick is using your phone to video your home and belongings. You will not only find it easy to work at your own pace, but you will also have a record of the condition of all your items. You can prove that your various items and gadgets were in working condition at the time of the inventory. You can also still choose to do a room at a time, to keep the job manageable, and make sure you get identifiers like serial numbers. When you record your inventory, you won’t have to worry about leaving the list in a safe place.

If you do need help making your home inventory, don’t hesitate to ask. We have helped our Bloomfield, NJ customers find a way that will make it easy to access those important records later. If you want to talk about home inventories, or if you just want to discuss our homeowners and renters policies, don’t hesitate to call E.S.T.I.R. Inc. today.

How Changes to Home Insurance Rates Reflect to Increasing Severe Weather Conditions

Home insurance rates are significantly changing due to severe weather conditions that have long been associated with the earth’s climate change. The industry’s pending financial losses are a direct result from the amount of damage sustained in these storms, and their occurrence seems to be on the rise with each passing year. 

The state of New Jersey has seen the after-effects from severe weather conditions as Superstorm Sandy hit the tri-state area in October 2012 and caused $65 billion in damage. Thus, making it the second-costliest weather disaster in the history of the United States. Insurance agencies like E.S.T.I.R. Inc. of Newark, NJ have seen this region become more susceptible to hurricanes, wind and hail damage, but the severity of these storms have become more frequent than ever before. 

Factoring Severe Weather Conditions Before Buying a Home

The key to any real estate deal is location…location…location. In the past, prospective homeowners’ only concern was the condition of the property, type of neighborhood and gauge the quality of the local school system before committing to a purchase. Now, they must be more conscious about the severity of the weather conditions by seeking reports on which communities are at risk from rising water and other weather-related damages. Many will consult with various building contractors on disaster prevention options for their new home. Many of these businesses specialize in reducing the damage caused by severe weather conditions, and their knowledge will help to lower your premium as well. 

Having An Eco-Friendly Home May Offset High Premium Coverage

Landowners are making a concerted effort to have a more eco-friendly home, especially if their property is in the crosshairs of severe weather conditions. Their attempting to reduce the threat of property damage, which lowers the amount of home insurance claims. Thus, offsetting high premium coverage. It begins by taking the necessary steps to make the home more weather-resistant to this rapidly changing climate and limiting the amount of damage sustained in a severe storm. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ways to Get the Best Home Insurance Possible

Insuring your Newark, NJ home doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg or provide you with minimal benefits. The following tips are what we at E.S.T.I.R. Inc. suggest to all of our clients when it comes to finding great home insurance.

Focus on the Home Itself When Deciding Rebuilding Cost

One mistake that many homeowners make when buying home insurance is creating a rebuilding cost based not on the home itself but on the purchasing price. This is a huge mistake because the purchase price includes the property and any other items on it, including garages and storage sheds. Pricing your rebuilding cost too high will increase your rates and may even complicate the rebuilding process when an accessor claims that your home was worthless. Accuracy is important in this process.

Make Your Home Safer

Homes that lack safety protection – such as security devices and various types of physical home protection – may be insured at higher rates than other homes. Therefore, adding these items is a smart choice because it helps to decrease home insurance rates while also increasing your buying options.

Increase Home Efficiency

Insurance rates are often dictated by a variety of factors, including the efficiency of a home’s various heating and cooling systems. Try to boost your efficiency by adding better windows, improved insulation, and much more to your home. In this way, you can likely get a better rate or even get a more detailed and efficient policy that covers more problems than other coverage options.

Contact Us Today

If you need further help getting high-quality home insurance that meets your needs, please don’t hesitate to contact us at E.S.T.I.R. Inc. We help Newark, NJ residents get the best insurance policies available for their unique needs.

Protect Your Home in Newark, NJ

Owning a home in Newark, NJ is something that many people dream of. If you have achieved this dream and you are loving the home you are in, then you also need to ensure it is protected. The best way to protect your home is by purchasing home insurance.

The key, though, is to get the right type and amount of home insurance for your needs. One of the best ways to do this is by working with a reputable agency, such as E.S.T.I.R. Inc. Some other tips to help you get the proper protection for your home can be found here.

Determine the Type of Insurance Needed

Most people think they can buy a traditional homeowners insurance policy and be fine. However, this isn’t always the case. For example, these policies typically don’t cover flooding – especially if you are in a flood zone. If this is the case, then it is essential that you purchase an additional flood insurance policy. This will ensure you have the coverage needed if a flood ever occurs.

Also, not all basic homeowner’s insurance policies will cover the outlying structures on the property, such as your pool, a shop or any other outdoor feature. If this is the case, you will need to purchase additional protection for these items as well.

Protect Yourself and Your Home

When it comes down to it, you need to purchase home insurance to not only protect your home, but also yourself. For example, if someone were injured while on your property, the right policy will cover this.

If you aren’t sure what type of insurance you need to protect yourself and your home in Newark NJ, then the best thing you can do is work with a quality insurance company serving the area, such as E.S.T.I.R. Inc.

Get an Insurance Review as Part of Home Renovations

New room additions, finishing a basement or an attic, adding a bathroom, and other renovation projects improve a home and increase its value. When considering a renovation project it is also important to talk with your agent at E.S.T.I.R. Inc. serving Newark, NJ and the surrounding areas. You will want to upgrade home insurance coverage to include the construction costs of the renovations to make sure you have adequate coverage.

Covering the Cost of Renovations

Consulting with your agent while making plans for the renovations is a good idea because it is better to have coverage in place before the work is underway, just to make sure there is adequate protection during the entire process. Your agent can give you sound advice on the coverage needed and you can work with the construction estimates until the project is completed and all the final costs are in.

If you do not already have replacement cost coverage for your home, an insurance review along with a renovation project is a good time to consider it and to upgrade home insurance. Older homes may be under-insured simply due to the rising costs of construction and home repairs.

Many Homes Are Uninsured

Not having adequate home insurance is a common problem in the United States. A recent study by the research firm CoreLogic found that 60% of American homes have insurance that is an average of 20% less than replacement value. Many homeowners are not even aware of this problem and only learn about this fact after a catastrophe occurs. This is why it is very beneficial to be proactive about getting adequate home insurance and a renovation project is an especially good time to take care of this.

It is very wise to make sure your insurance needs are not neglected and your coverage is adequate. Contact your agent at E.S.T.I.R. Inc. in Newark, NJ to have a comprehensive home insurance review and get a quote for any needed upgrade to cover the costs of a renovation project.

2 Things to Reassess as a Homeowner

Owning a home is a major accomplishment. Even if you don’t own it outright because you are still making a monthly mortgage payment, you can at least rest easy at night knowing you are investing money toward a piece of property and a home that you are going to one day own in full. As a homeowner, it is your responsibility to make sure you are doing all you can to protect your asset and to increase its value as much as possible. Here at E.S.T.I.R. Inc. serving Newark, NJ, we would like to share two things you should always reassess as a homeowner. 

Your Insurance Coverage

On a yearly basis, you should reassess your homeowner’s insurance to make sure you are being provided with enough coverage. Thankfully, it’s quite easy to do this when you have a qualified insurance agent in your corner. For many people, insurance needs will not vary from one year to the next, but for some, especially for those who do home improvements, insurance needs can vary greatly and it is of the utmost importance that insurance policies be adjusted accordingly.

Potential Home Improvement Projects

It’s also a good idea as a homeowner to think about the many home improvement projects you can carry out, like having a new roof installed. Not only will having a new roof installed help to better protect your home and your belongings, but it can also increase the value of your home. Other projects you will want to consider include updating the kitchen, adding a bathroom, and having an outdoor patio area incorporated into the home’s existing exterior. All of these projects add comfort and value to the home. 

To learn more about being a smart homeowner and the various things you should reassess on a regular basis, please contact E.S.T.I.R. Inc. serving Newark, NJ today.