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. 

Who needs a Rochester home insurance plan?

In the Rochester, MN area the strong economy and local amenities can make it a great place to buy a home. When you are going to purchase a home in this area of Minnesota you will want to know that your home is properly covered with insurance. There continue to be many situations when people will need to have a home insurance plan in place at all times. 

Those that are Required to Have It

A common situation when you will need home insurance is when you are required to have it. Most people that live in the Rochester area are going to have home insurance requirements. Anyone that has taken out a mortgage or live in a condo association are going to have specific insurance requirements. It is important to comply with these requirements so you can stay in good standing at all times. 

Those that Want to Have Protection

Even if you are in a situation where you are not obligated to carry insurance, having home coverage still is a good option. Those that have home insurance are going to receive coverage for their property, their personal assets, and personal liability protection. In an event that there is an accident that leads to a loss or liability claim, having the insurance plan in place will prove to be very valuable and helpful. 

If you would like to get a home insurance plan and you are in the Rochester, MN area, it would be wise for you to speak with the team at the Safechoice Insurance Agency. It can be hard to choose a home insurance plan and Safechoice Insurance Agency can help you make a wise decision. The team is able to do this by carefully assessing all of your needs and giving support to help you build a new policy. 

Is home insurance a good investment for Rochester property owners?

Those that live in the Rochester, MN area will have a lot of options when it comes to housing. One great housing option to consider is to buy a home as it will provide you with plenty of long-term benefits including price appreciation and a stable place to live. If you do decide to invest in a property here, you need to carefully consider your insurance needs. Home insurance can be a great investment for Rochester property owners due to several factors.

Coverage Protects Assets

The main reason your home insurance will be a good investment for you is that it will cover and protect your assets. A home insurance policy will give coverage to repair or even replace your entire home as well as your personal belongings. If you have personal items that are valuable and exceed the policy limit, you can also invest in a side rider policy that will give specific coverage based on that asset’s value. 

Liability Protection

Property owners should never underestimate their personal liability risk. If your home somehow causes damage to another property or a guest is injured while on your premises, you could be considered at fault and would have to pay damages. Fortunately, you are able to offset this risk if you get home insurance as it will include a liability insurance component. 

Those that want to get home insurance in the Rochester, MN area should call the Safechoice Insurance Agency. If you do call the Safechoice Insurance Agency, you can learn a lot more about how great of an investment the home insurance policy will be. The team here will then help you choose a policy that is ideal based on your individual needs. This will help to protect your valuable asset and investment. 

Do I need home insurance in Minnesota?

When you live in the Rochester MN area, you likely know that there are many local factors that can make it a great place to own and purchase a home. While there is a lot of great opportunities provided to property owners here, there are also some risks. One way that you can mitigate these risks is by getting a quality home insurance policy. In fact, there are several reasons why someone may need to have home insurance in Minnesota.

When Financing Purchase with a Mortgage

While it is always a good idea to carry insurance, one situation when having home insurance will be an actual requirement that comes when you finance the purchase of your home with a mortgage. Most people that buy properties today need to take out mortgages to do so. As long as you have your mortgage outstanding, the lender will continue to require you to carry an insurance policy. This is often administered with an escrow account where you pay into it monthly.

When Living in an Association

You could also be required to carry home insurance if you live in an association. Those that own condos, townhomes, and other types of properties that are located within an association are often required to carry home insurance. This is often a basic rule as it ensures the rest of the association that you have the capacity to repair or rebuild your home and that you are covered by liability protection. 

As you are searching for a new home insurance policy in the Rochester, MN area, you should also speak with the team at the Safechoice Insurance Agency. When you reach out to the Safechoice Insurance Agency, you are going to learn a lot more about how insurance can protect you and your property.