When Should You Review Your Homeowner Policy?

E.S.T.I.R. Inc. serves homeowners in the Bloomfield, NJ area with all of their insurance needs. Agents understand that as time passes, your needs change when it comes to your homeowner’s insurance. A home remodel or significant changes to your property outside your home may require you to review your policy so that you are sure you have the coverage you need to protect your financial investment.

Renovations, Remodels, and Upgrades

Instead of looking for a new home, many homeowners are choosing to keep their current home and make renovations or upgrades. Adding an additional room or two is also a possibility. These types of changes can significantly increase the value of your home making your old insurance policy sorely inadequate. Even small upgrades such as the installation of smart appliances and a well-planned security system may have a dramatic impact. It is extremely important that you notify your insurance agent so you can upgrade your policy to match your home’s value.

Exterior Changes, Such as Landscaping, Swimming Pools, Fences, and Sheds

The addition of a swimming pool, privacy fences, sheds, and expensive landscaping/lighting systems can also increase the value of your home. Notifying your insurance agent is essential if you want your new items to be fully covered. The opposite is also true. If you remove any buildings or get rid of a swimming pool or landscaping, this may reduce the value of your property.

If you are thinking about or have already completed any substantial home improvements call the agents of E.S.T.I.R. Inc. today and have them go over your policy with you. The agents offer policy reviews to all of their clients who live in the Bloomfield, NJ and surrounding areas. Visit today and make sure you have the coverage you need.

Will Remodeling Your Home Affect Your Home Insurance?

Remodeling your Bloomfield, NJ home will impact your home insurance. Some projects can lower your rates while others may increase your premium due to your home requiring more coverage. By discussing your renovation plans with an agent from  E.S.T.I.R. Inc., you’ll have a better idea of how to adjust your policy to include remodeling projects. Here are a few ways renovation projects can affect your home insurance.

Raise Home Value

Major home renovations involving your kitchen or bathrooms can raise the value of your Bloomfield, NJ home, especially if you use costly materials in your project. Depending on your current home coverage, you may need to increase the limit of your dwelling insurance to safeguard your property against damage or loss. You’ll also need to add renovations to your coverage so they’ll be protected by your policy.  

Increase Property Coverage

If you bought new furniture or high-end electronics as part of your remodeling, you may need to expand your property insurance to cover these items. Sometimes the value of costly items exceeds the limits of a standard home policy, requiring that you purchase extra insurance to protect these goods from theft or harm.  

If you’re storing expensive carpentry tools and supplies in your garage while working on DIY projects, make sure they’re protected by your property insurance coverage. You should also review your liability coverage to ensure any handyman friends who are helping you on your project are protected against accidents. 

Rate Changes

Remodeling projects can increase or decrease your home insurance costs. Projects that enhance safety like a new roof or plumbing system could help reduce home insurance costs. In contrast, adding a pool to your home can increase your premium due to the risk of pool accidents.

For help in purchasing or updating your home insurance in Bloomfield, NJ, contact us at E.S.T.I.R. Inc.

Why do I need to create a home inventory

When people think about the American dream, owning a home is high on the lists of things that make up that dream. With homeownership comes responsibility and one of those responsibilities is to protect your investment. For most people, buying a home is the largest investment they will ever make. Nobody likes to think about the bad things that can happen to their home but the reality is that many homeowners will file a claim for damages with their insurance provider. At E.S.T.I.R. Inc. in Bloomfield, NJ they believe that creating a relationship with their customers is a top priority as well as providing the latest information available. 

When you need to file a claim with your home insurance carrier they will need to know exactly what you have lost. You probably think that you know what you own but most people own a lot more than they realize. A home inventory is a written, video, or digital record of your home, room by room. You will be surprised by what you have in your drawers and closets that you would have never remembered. You need to also put any supporting documentation with your home inventory. The more information you have to give to your insurance company the easier the whole process of getting reimbursed will be. 

Once you have completed your home inventory and gathered whatever documents you have, you need to keep these is a safe place. A safety deposit box or online are two potential places where it will be safe and easy to access. 

Suffering a loss to your home is not something that anyone ever wants to happen. But having a home inventory can help remove some of the stress. At E.S.T.I.R. Inc. in Bloomfield, NJ our staff has years of experience and love to share that experience with their customers. Stop by the office or give us a call for a no-obligation quote. 

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.