What Is and Isn’t Covered by Home Insurance

Home insurance isn’t “one size fits all.” Policies vary to suit your individual needs. Most policies offer dwelling, property, and liability protection to protect your home structure, possessions, and personal assets against accidents on your property. By reviewing your home coverage with your E.S.T.I.R. Inc. agent, you’ll have a better idea of what is and isn’t included in your policy.

What Standard Home Insurance Covers in Bloomfield, NJ

Standard home policies offer the following coverage:

  • Dwelling – to protect your Bloomfield NJ home and attached structures  such as a garage
  • Additional Structures Coverage – to protect structures not attached to your home such as a fence or utility shed
  • Property – to protect your belongings  
  • Liability – to protect you against accidents that occur on your property

You decide the scope and amount of coverage you want to protect your investments. By assessing the value of your home and goods, you’ll have a better idea of how much coverage to choose to fully protect your assets.

Keep in mind that standard policies have limits on property coverage. If you own high-end goods, such as posh jewelry or original artwork, you may need to purchase additional coverage to fully protect these costly items.

Standard home insurance generally covers theft and damage caused by fire, vandalism, and certain natural disasters like severe storms, hail, lightning strikes, hurricanes, and tornadoes.

What’s NOT Covered by Home Policies

If you run a business from your home, your business equipment and inventory (if stored in your home or garage) is generally not covered by your home policy.

Home insurance also doesn’t cover earthquake or flood damage to your home or belongings. You can, however, purchase separate insurance for these disasters.

To learn more about home insurance, contact E.S.T.I.R. Inc., serving residents in Bloomfield, NJ, and surrounding communities.

Do I need home insurance when my mortgage is paid off

Owning a home is what most Amerian strive for. You get approved for a mortgage and then chose your home insurance. Your lender will require that you protect their investment. Unlike car insurance, home insurance is not legally required by the state. Twenty-five or thirty years later you are through with the monthly mortgage payments and you may be wondering if getting rid of the home insurance payment would be a good idea. At E.S.T.I.R. Inc. in Bloomfield, NJ, we are a local Independent agency that has been providing service in the area for 23 years. 

Before you decide to let your home insurance laps it is important to consider the protection that it provides. 

Building protection

If your home is hit by a covered peril, your home insurance will provide the money you need to repair or replace your home. It covers the main building, all the attached structures, and some detached as well. It also covers the systems in your house electric, pumping, and HVAC.  

Contents

All of your personal possession are in your home. Your furniture, your appliances, your Christmas decorations, electronics, your clothes, your jewelry, the contents of your kitchen, your linen closet, and even more. 

Liability

One of the most valuable protections that home insurance offers is liability protection. No one wants to believe they will ever get sued but it is a real possibility. Your home insurance offers a layer of protection against a judgment against you. 

Loss of use

If your home is uninhabitable because of a covered peril you will need somewhere to stay. Your home insurance will help to pay for a place you can call home until your home gets back to normal. 

Home insurance offers a lot of valuable protection and even when your mortgage is paid off it is worth keeping. If you have any questions  E.S.T.I.R. Inc. in Bloomfield, NJ has the answers that you need. Give us a call or stop by our office and let us give you a quote. 

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.