Four Benefits to Waterproofing Your Basement

As a homeowner in the Rochester, MN, area, protecting your basement is vital to the health of your home. There are financial and health benefits to waterproofing your basement and keeping it that way. 

1. Protect Your Home’s Foundation

Water damage can cause cracks and damage to your home’s foundation. This can be some of the most expensive repairs you make, so you want to make sure that you’re keeping the area protected from water. The plumbing in this area will also be secure, and if there happens to be a leak, it will be easier to identify before the problem gets too bad. 

2. Reduce Pest Infestations

Because the basement has been waterproofed and keeps out certain elements, pests aren’t going to be attracted to the area. Basements that hold too much water and have exposure will often be a breeding ground for unwanted pests to nest and start destroying your home from the bottom up. 

3. Improve Your Monthly Utility Bills

When you waterproof your basement, you don’t have as much humidity to fight throughout the year. This means your home will use less energy in this area, reducing your overall monthly cost. The HVAC system will not overwork; you can expect it to last longer and have lower payments for years. 

4. Keep Your Air Quality Healthy

One of the best things about waterproofing your basement is preventing the possibility of mildew and mold building up in that area. So many homes have fallen victim to poor air quality and lots of sickness due to mold growing in the home. With a waterproof basement, your family will be healthier because of having clean air and no exposure to harmful mold. 

If you’re a homeowner around the Rochester, MN area and you’re looking for a personal quote, contact Safechoice Insurance Agency today. 

What needs to be considered when looking for home insurance in Minnesota?

Rochester, MN can be a great place to own a home. It is a great place to live due to the variety of professional opportunities and local amenities. When looking to buy a home, you must also evaluate your insurance needs carefully. There are various factors to consider when looking for home coverage. 

Protection for Assets

A primary type of coverage you need is protection for your assets. A home is a major asset to purchase, and having coverage for it needs to be considered a necessity. As you are looking to protect your home, you will want to ensure your plan has enough insurance to repair or rebuild your property if you are a victim of a fire or other challenging situation that results in damage. You should also ensure your personal assets are protected against similar risks, as well as theft or vandalism. 

Ancillary Coverage Options

It is also a good idea to consider different ancillary insurance options. These include water backup coverage, service line coverage, equipment backup coverage, and flood insurance. A local insurance professional can help you properly assess all of your options to determine which additional coverage options are ideal for your situation. 

Getting home insurance in the Rochester, MN area will always need to be a necessity and priority if you are a property owner. As you are looking for a new home policy in the area, you can contact our team with the Safechoice Insurance Agency. Our team of professionals with Safechoice Insurance Agency can help you assess all risks and needs regarding coverage. This can be a significant first step in building an ideal plan for your situation. 

What Home Maintenance Tasks Should You Complete in Fall?

As the leaves change color and the temperatures drop, it’s a clear sign that fall is upon us. While you may be busy planning pumpkin-picking outings and sipping on hot apple cider, it’s also essential to remember that your home needs some attention during this season. Fall is the perfect time to tackle specific home maintenance tasks to prepare for the colder months ahead. Read along as Safechoice Insurance Agency, serving the greater Rochester, MN area, provides you with some of the home maintenance tasks you should complete in the fall.

Gutter Cleaning

One of the most crucial tasks in the fall is cleaning your gutters. Falling leaves can quickly clog them, leading to water damage and even roof issues. Regularly clean out leaves and debris to ensure proper drainage and prevent costly repairs down the road.

Heating System Inspection

Before the chilly winter nights arrive, have your heating system inspected by a professional. This will ensure it’s in good working order and keep your home warm and cozy all season. Don’t forget to replace the air filter to improve indoor air quality.

Sealing Gaps and Cracks

Inspect your home’s exterior for gaps and cracks where cold air can enter, and warm air can escape. Seal these openings with caulk or weatherstripping to improve energy efficiency and reduce heating bills.

By tackling these essential fall home maintenance tasks, you can ensure your home remains in excellent condition and comfortable during the colder season. Another task you should complete in the fall is reviewing your home insurance policy, ensuring it meets your needs. Safechoice Insurance Agency, serving the greater Rochester, MN area, would love to help. Reach out for all your home insurance needs.

Spring Tips for Homeowners

When spring arrives, it is time to toss the winter blues aside and enjoy what you have been missing since last autumn. To help you avoid expensive repair bills for a home in the greater Rochester, MN area, consider these spring tips for homeowners from Safechoice Insurance Agency.

Clean the Gutters

Your home’s gutters direct water and rain away from your home’s roof and the rest of the house. When clogged, water collects slowly, so there’s a good chance it remains undetected before it becomes an expensive home repair.

Inspect the Roof

Your roof is your home’s first line of defense Against water damage and other environmental factors.

Check/Clean/Replace HVAC Filters

Dirty or neglected filters forces heating and air conditioning systems to work harder, which increases the cost of running the systems and likely decreases the system’s useful life.

Check the Hose That Fills the Washing Machine

An old hose, under constant pressure, can start to crack and leak. Replace it before it damages your home.

Drain the Hot Water Heater

To help reduce your electricity bill and prolong the water heater’s life, drain it annually to remove any sediment that builds up over time.

Check the Seals Around Doors/Windows

Cold winter weather can harden caulk which then cracks. These cracks, when repaired, will help reduce your electricity bill and prevent water from seeping through the crack and into your home, causing preventable damage.

Repair Cracked/Peeling Paint

While most people consider paint cosmetic, it protects your home from the outside elements.

To learn how to further protect your home and family in the greater Rochester, MN area, call the insurance professionals at Safechoice Insurance Agency at 507-280-9282 or contact us online.

Top Three Home Maintenance Chores You Can’t Skip

No one likes chores, but when you are a homeowner, there are specific maintenance chores you should never skip. At Safechoice Insurance Agency, serving Rochester, MN, and the surrounding areas, we want to help you make great homeownership choices. Keep reading to learn more. 

Changing Air Filters 

If you have an HVAC system in your home, changing out air filters is critically essential. HVAC systems cannot work correctly if the airflow is restricted. When the airflow gets restricted, it will cause the system to work harder than necessary. Over time, this will start to wear down the system. You will be faced with increased instances of repairs, a poorly performing system, and increased energy expenses. 

Pest Control

Staying on top of pest control may not seem like a necessary chore, but pests can cause quite a bit of damage to your home when left unchecked. If you notice a pest infestation, deal with it immediately. It is vital that you deal quickly with pests such as termites, which can cause vast amounts of damage when left untreated. 

Water Leaks 

Dealing with leaky faucets, pipes, or other leaks is also an essential type of home maintenance you should never skip. Any leak in your home will eventually lead to water damage. This can include a leak under the sink, a leaky roof, leaks behind or around toilets, or pipes leaking in walls or the basement. Anywhere water is accumulating is at increased risk for water damage. 

As soon as you are aware of a leak, have it fixed quickly. 

If you would like to learn more about our insurance services, please get in touch with us at Safechoice Insurance Agency, serving Rochester, MN, and the surrounding areas.

My dog bit my neighbor while he was in my backyard. Will my homeowners insurance cover it?

Homeowners insurance has many benefits that create peace of mind. Homeowners insurance provides coverage for repairing and replacing your home and other situations and circumstances. As a homeowner, it’s a good idea to understand how your homeowner’s insurance policy works and what’s covered. At Safechoice Insurance Agency, we take pride in educating Rochester, MN residents on how insurance works and what’s covered.

What Does Homeowners Insurance Cover?

Homeowners insurance provides three main areas of coverage. There’s coverage for the repair or replacement of your home. You also have liability protection under your homeowner’s policy. Plus, you’re also covered for theft. Your policy will compensate you financially to repair or replace your home and more.

My dog bit my neighbor while he was in my backyard. Will my homeowner’s insurance cover it?

Dog bites are covered by a homeowners policy and would likely fall into the category of liability coverage. However, there may be limitations or specific details regarding animals. You’ll need to speak with an agent to ensure that dog bites fall under your liability coverage policy. Your coverage would include legal and financial protection for the injured/bitten person. Anything not covered by your policy would be the policyholder’s responsibility. 

It’s best to keep in mind that every insurance company is different. The terms of your liability coverage would determine what types of situations and coverage levels are set. Call us if you have questions about what’s covered by your homeowner’s policy. We know that a homeowners policy combines many different forms of coverage to meet the needs of homeowners. However, we can help you explore all the options and benefits.

Are my backyard structures covered by home insurance?

Homeowners insurance is the primary insurance policy that protects your home and possessions against financial losses due to covered risks. It typically includes coverage for physical damage and loss of use of your home due to a covered occurrence. SafeChoice Insurance Agency wants to inform you of another aspect of homeowners insurance that Rochester, MN residents often overlook: coverage for other structures.

Protecting Structures Outside Your Home

Your home insurance policy not only protects your home but also protects other structures on your property. This can include fences and driveways. Detached structures may also be covered, including garages, sheds, and guest houses.

The types of structures that are protected by your policy depend on what your insurer considers a "structure" instead of "personal property." For example, if you have a detached garage, the "other structures" portion of your policy will protect the building itself, but not the contents inside. That means your vehicle and other belongings will depend on a different type of coverage.

Luckily, home insurance policies often contain an assortment of coverage options as a standard. Most of the time, other structures coverage is included. However, it’s important to examine your policy and discuss your options with your agent. Particularly if you have highly valuable or unique structures on your property whose cost might otherwise outweigh the limits of your policy.

Are you a resident of Rochester, MN interested in learning more about what a home insurance policy can cover? Are you getting a new outdoor structure for your property and want to ensure your existing policy covers it? Contact SafeChoice Insurance Agency by phone, email, or through our website to learn more!

What to do when your home’s value changes

Rochester, MN area residents can count on Safechoice Insurance Agency for their insurance needs. We care about our community and want to ensure that you have the protection you need. If your house’s value has changed significantly, it may be time to update your homeowner’s policy. Give us a call today, and we can perform a comprehensive review of your current policy. 

Home values often fluctuate. Make sure that your insurance is keeping pace!

We all know how much our home values can fluctuate over the years. We recommend that all of our area customers take a close look at their home policy at least once a year. If it’s been a long time since you have even thought about your homeowner’s policy, now is the perfect time for such a review.  

Sitting down with a local agent is a great idea. Their expertise, knowledge, and experience can help you recognize and fix any gaps that there may be in coverage. Like many other things in our lives, our insurance needs can change over time. If your home value has changed significantly, it’s important to take the time to make sure that your home insurance policy is still adequate for your needs.

A home is a significant financial commitment, and it’s essential to protect that investment. Based on its current value, let’s find out if your current policy meets your current insurance needs.

We can help with all of your home insurance needs.

Safechoice Insurance Agency is ready to provide you with the insurance help you need. If you are a homeowner in the greater Rochester, MN area, we are here to help you with all of your home insurance needs. Give us a call today!

Do You Need Home Insurance in Minnesota?

If you own a home, you will want to protect it in any way you can. One way is to have home insurance in place but are you required to have home insurance in Minnesota? The staff at the Safechoice Insurance Agency in Rochester, MN can help you with all of your home insurance needs and understand the requirements of home insurance.

In Minnesota, you are not required under the law to carry a home insurance policy as a homeowner but it sure is a good idea. You are required to have a home insurance policy if it is part of your agreement with your mortgage lender and you still owe money on your home. They want to protect their investment in your property the same as you should want to cover it, even if your home is paid off.

One of the largest Investments that most of us will make in our lifetimes is the purchase of our homes which means you will want to protect it from any horrible disaster that may occur but what are your options when it comes to home insurance?

Home Insurance Coverage Options

Most home insurance policies will cover the structure of your home, along with any outbuildings and other structures, such as a deck or garage if your home is demolished or damaged by a fire, vandalism, or a natural disaster.  Your home insurance policy will help you to rebuild your home or repair it.

Your home insurance coverage will also cover your household items, such as furniture and appliances, as well as your personal belongings, if an incident occurs or if your home is burglarized.

You will want to check with your home insurance agent to determine if you need extra home insurance coverages, such as flood insurance or earthquake insurance.

To determine the correct amount of home insurance coverage for your situation, you will need to enlist the assistance of an experienced and trusted home insurance agent like the agents at the Safechoice Insurance Agency in Rochester, MN. They are ready to assist you today!

How Often Should You Update Your Home Insurance Policy?

Most homeowners in Rochester, MN, and other parts of America take home insurance when buying their home with a mortgage. However, once they get their policy in place, they never give it a second thought until disaster strikes. 

Home insurance isn’t a “buy and forget” investment. You should update it to cover your current situation. Otherwise, you might find yourself incurring significant out-of-pocket expenses when disaster strikes. Are you unsure when you should be updating your home insurance policy? Hang on as Safechoice Insurance Agency shares tips. 

When you make significant improvements

Insurance experts advise that you should adjust your home insurance plan every time you make significant additions to your house. An added kitchen? An enhanced bathroom? Your home insurance should reflect these changes since they add to the value of your home. In case of a disaster, your house would be expensive to rebuild due to these additions. Without adequate home insurance, you may have to fork out the repairs of your additions from your pocket.

When your home value increases

If you insured your home when it cost, let say, $550,000, and now it’s valued at $1M, it’s a smart choice to adjust your home insurance plan since the cost of rebuilding your house today will have increased. While you won’t use the $1M figure, you should adjust your home’s value to what it would cost if it were rebuilt from scratch today. 

When you make alterations that increase your liability

Have you added an in-ground swimming pool? Have you added a second floor to your home? These home improvements increase the chances of a guest in your home suffering injuries. And because you might be liable for injuries they suffer when they are in your house, you need to boost your liability coverage to cover medical expenses and possible legal suits.

Need more information on home insurance? Would you like to know whether your home insurance covers you sufficiently? Please contact Safechoice Insurance Agency of Rochester, MN, for more home insurance tips.