How often should you have a home insurance audit performed?

In Arvada, CO, the agents of Alliance Insurance Services perform several services to help their clients maintain the right amount of insurance coverage for their home, auto, and business. One of their most popular services is known as a home insurance audit. Audits can also be performed on automobile and commercial policies as well.

What Is An Insurance Audit?

An insurance audit is a review of your current policy compared to what your coverage needs are. The insurance agent will check to see if you have made any significant purchases over the last one or two years that would require you to upgrade your policy. You may also have sold or gotten rid of possessions that you no longer needed. Although it’s important to audit your policy every one or two years, you should also request an audit if you have done any remodeling or home improvements.

Why Is It so Beneficial?

A home audit is essential if you have made substantial upgrades to your home or possessions. If you do not re-evaluate and upgrade your policy to include home improvements or the purchase of high-end furniture or electronics, you may not have the coverage you need to protect yourself from financial loss. Whether you are upgrading or downsizing, auditing your policy will make sure you are paying for only what you need.

If you live in or around the Arvada, CO area and have questions about your home insurance, call the agents of Alliance Insurance Services and schedule a home insurance audit. They will be able to answer any questions you may have and help you find the right policy that will serve your needs without going over your budget. 

Home Insurance In Colorado: Is Your Policy Up To Date?

Residents of Arvada, CO may want to periodically review all insurance policies. This is something that frequently gets overlooked. You set up your insurance when you purchase your home and you don’t give it another thought until something happens. Maybe it was a situation you didn’t think would apply to you. Maybe you didn’t have kids yet. Maybe you were new to the area and weren’t sure what the weather was like or didn’t factor in all variables. Needless to say, you now realize maybe you needed more coverage for certain areas.

Every few years, it’s a good idea to sit down with your Alliance insurance services agent to review your policy and make any necessary changes. 

When is the last time you read your homeowner’s insurance policy? Have you ever read it? What is covered, and more importantly, what isn’t covered? If you buy a new trampoline for your children and someone gets hurt, are you covered? If your dog bites the mailman, are you covered? If you need to rebuild your home, are you covered? What about mold?

Do you have too much insurance coverage? This is always a possibility. Could your rates be lower? All these are questions you can get answered. Rather than give yourself a headache trying to understand the legalese jargon, why not make an appointment with your agent and have them go through the policy with you. This will give you clear answers to any questions you may have. You’ll come away with an understanding of your coverage, and possibly make adjustments to your policy that will help you avoid problems in the future. 

 

How to File an Insurance Claim After a Burglary

The realization might hit as you enter the front door of your Arvada, CO home and find your house has been trashed. Or it might occur when you explore your bedroom and notice that all of your jewelry, cash, and valuables were taken. Whenever it occurs, figuring out that you have been a victim of a burglary is a startling, vulnerable sensation. All feelings aside, you probably want to get your house back to normal and replace your valuables. Here are the steps recommended from Alliance Insurance Services to get the ball rolling on filing your insurance claim.

Call the Police

Even if you’re sure the thieves are gone, you still should call the police. Your insurance company will require a police report to get started on your claim.

Call Your Insurance Company

Right after you’ve called the police, call the main number of your insurance company to get the claims process started. Have your policy number handy, and write down the instructions that you will receive.

Take Photos of the Damage and Mess

Many families want to immediately begin cleaning up the mess and setting things right. However, hold off on that until you’ve made detailed photos of the rifled desk drawers, damaged items, and other mess. If your agent wants to send an inspector, you may be instructed to wait until he has come by to take a look at everything.

Make a List of What Is Missing

If you have a home inventory, this step should be easy. If you don’t have one, do the best that you can to determine what is gone. If you have receipts for the items missing, getting your claim filed will go much more quickly. Use specifics when describing items, and if you can figure out serial numbers for electronics, weapons, and other items, it will help things move faster. Don’t forget to include broken windows, doors, or damaged locks when you file your claim. Your insurance company should pay for their repair.

Stay In Touch with the Insurance Company and Follow Their Instructions

Every time you talk to someone on the phone, write down the name of the person you’ve spoken to and ask how long you should wait before calling back. Keep a file or envelope with all of your correspondence, receipts, photos, and records handy. If something turns up that you thought was missing, call the insurance company and let them know. Being paid for an item that you have in your possession is considered insurance fraud.

If you need advice about your insurance needs, contact Alliance Insurance Services, serving the Arvada, CO area.

Getting Your Home Ready for Spring

Spring is a beautiful season in Fort Collins, CO. Before you get out and start exploring the city in the new season, however, there are a few things you need to do to get your home ready for the spring. Use these tips from Alliance Insurance Services to help get you started. 

  • De-winterize your home. Like most people in the area, you probably took the time to winterize your home before the cold weather hit. If you did take this step, then you also need to have your home de-winterized so that it is ready for the warm weather. You should have a professional take care of this for you. 
  • Clean up around your home. While you do not need to do a ton of spring cleaning, it is always a good idea to do a little bit of cleaning around your home in preparation of the new season. Even a good dusting can make a big difference. 
  • Plant some spring flowers. There are so many beautiful colors that are awoken during the spring and if you have the space outside, you should consider planting some spring flowers around your home. You may even want to get some that will continue to bloom year after year. 

Besides doing these things to get ready for spring, there is one other thing you need to make sure you have set up. You need to have a great home insurance policy in place. If you do not already have one, be sure to reach out to Alliance Insurance Services, serving Fort Collins, CO, to get a free quote. If you do already have one, you can also have them take a look at your current policy to make sure you do not have any gaps in coverage. 

How to Complete a Home Inventory Checklist

Did you know that over half of all Americans don’t have an inventory of the contents in their homes? Chances are, you’re probably among them. Creating an inventory is easier than it seems, and it will greatly help you if you have to file a claim on your home insurance in Fort Collins CO. Our team at Alliance Insurance Services will show you how. 

1. Start in stages.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed by your stuff if you’ve lived in your home a long time. But even if you don’t get all of it, a record of some items is better than none at all. Begin documenting your electronics, art, jewelry, and other valuables, working from higher to lower in price until you are satisfied.

2. Use technology to your advantage.

A computer spreadsheet is very helpful when documenting your inventory. Taking a video tour of the contents in your home is very effective, as well as pictures of each item. And don’t forget to save receipts! Scanning them into your computer is a simple way to have them all in one place.

3. Don’t store your records in your home!

You’ll want to store your inventory records outside your home if it ever gets damaged. Otherwise, what’s the point? A safe deposit box or the home of a friend you trust is ideal. Continue to update the inventory as you make additional purchases while it’s fresh on your mind.

For more ideas on creating an inventory for your home insurance in Fort Collins CO, contact us at Alliance Insurance Services anytime. Our team of experienced professionals is more than happy to answer all of your questions about home insurance and more. Stay tuned for the latest insurance news and updates from us!

Remove the Sources of Potential Slip and Fall Accidents

The good folks at Alliance Insurance Services in Fort Collins, CO want to encourage everyone to take the precautions necessary to help prevent slip and fall accidents in the home.

The statistics from the National Floor Safety Institute are somewhat alarming:

  • Every year about one-third of the those who are 65-years old or older suffer from a fall accident. Half of those who fall will do this more than once.
  • Of the accidental deaths that occur in the home, half of them are caused by falls.
  • Those who fall in the home are more likely to do so from ground level, instead of from an elevation.
  • In the United States, there are over 8 million annual hospital visits to the emergency room by those who experience an accidental fall. This represents 21.3% of the causes for emergency room visits. Those who slip and fall are about 1 million people or 12% of all the falls.
  • The Center for Disease Control notes that over 15,000 people who were 65-years old or older died from the results of a fall.

Falls can happen to anyone at any age; however, older adults are more likely to experience a fall. Elderly adults have a serious risk of fracturing their hip from a fall.

With all these statistics in mind, it is important to remove things that pose a risk of creating a slip and fall.

Here are the simple things recommended by the National Safety Council that one can do to make their home safer and reduce the risk of slip and fall accidents:

  • Remove throw rugs. They are named properly because they can throw you to the floor.
  • Reduce clutter.
  • Get rid of small furniture and leave plenty of space to move between other furniture.
  • Organize power cords so that they do not cross any walking paths.
  • Use adhesive strips to make sure any exposed edges of carpet or rugs are held down firmly in place.
  • Make sure there is sufficient lighting.
  • Put non-slip security strips on any stair steps.
  • Use non-slip mats in tubs and shower stalls.
  • Install support rails in bathrooms, bathtubs, on stairs, and down each side of the hallways.
  • If anything spills, clean it up right away.
  • Make use of night lights in the bedrooms, halls, and bathrooms, which are triggered to automatically turn on during low light conditions.
  • Avoid the use of ladders by storing things in lower cabinets.
  • Use a cane or a walker if needed.

Slip and fall accidents are more common than most people think. By following these tips you can reduce the risk of these accidents. Also, be sure to check with your agent at Alliance Insurance Services in Fort Collins, CO for any questions about your home insurance and to make sure you have adequate coverage.

What Home Insurance Do I Need In Colorado

It’s important to have home insurance in Fort Collins, CO that you can rely on. This way, you can file a claim and know that the insurance company will take care of you. Knowing what you need will make it easier for you to get a policy.

What’s Included in a Policy

The first thing you need to know is what’s included in a policy. You will generally be covered for fire, theft, storms, and several other incidents. Further, you will have coverage for your home, your belongings, and liability. The liability will cover what happens to others in your home as well as damage your family may do to someone else’s home.

It’s up to you as to what coverage you add above and beyond what is included in a standard policy. This is when it’s a good idea to review the fine print and see what the exclusions are.

What You Should Add

Purchasing home insurance is an individual process. What you need may be very different from what one of your neighbors need. For example, if you have a pool, you may want added liability. If you have a lot of jewelry or artwork, it may make sense to have high-value property coverage on your policy.

When you work with an independent agent from Alliance Insurance Services, you can receive recommendations as to what you should get. Ask questions and find out what other homeowners have. Learn about ways you can add coverage to your policy so you are protected against other things that could happen, such as a flood or smoke damage.

It will make it easier to enjoy your home if you know you have reliable coverage.

Contact our agents at Alliance Insurance Services today to learn more about the home insurance you should have in Fort Collins, CO.

 

 

Are You Making These Costly Home Insurance Mistakes?

We at Alliance Insurance Services has seen a lot of our customers in Fort Collins, CO make home insurance mistakes that end up costing them a lot of money. The following mistakes are among the most common, and are frustratingly easy to avoid.

Underinsuring Your Home

Homeowners often underinsure their home under the belief that they can save money by paying for less insurance. This mistake operates under the assumption that nothing bad will ever happen to their home. Unfortunately, when something unexpected does occur, you’re likely to end up with a high deductible or with coverage holes that will cost you a lot more than simply fully insuring your home would have cost.

Assuming You Have Specialized Coverage

In Fort Collins, CO you might assume you have tornado or flood insurance built into your policy. That’s simply not the case. Specialized coverage options typically cost a little more, even in areas where these events are more likely to occur. Read through your policy coverage to understand exactly what you have, what you don’t, and how much it would cost to get those options.

Ignoring Earthquake Coverage

While it’s true that Colorado isn’t exactly prone to earthquakes, they may still happen here occasionally. This is especially true of aftershocks from California-based earthquakes. Though the impact is typically fairly low, it might still cause damage to your home. Without earthquake insurance, you will have to pay for those repairs out of your pocket.

Don’t Make These Mistakes

If you have home insurance and you’re worried that you’ve made any of these mistakes, please contact us at Alliance Insurance Services as soon as possible. We can help you save money by creating a great home insurance policy.

Fix Up Your Shed: Protect Your Home from Theft

It’s the one part of your home that sits in the back corner of the property, perhaps with the door cracked open and a broken pane in the window. A dilapidated shed can pose an open invitation to vandals and thieves.  If the shed sits unsecured, does that mean the house is equally open for the picking?

It’s time to take some simple steps to discourage unsavory characters from even considering your shed as a stepping stone to further destruction and mayhem.

Install a Padlock

If your shed is visibly locked, somebody casing the neighborhood will assume that the house is equally well secured.  It doesn’t need to be the kind of lock that would secure a bank. Something simple that can be found at the hardware store for a couple bucks will do the trick. However, don’t forget to snap it shut each time you close up the shed.

Fix the Window

No insulated pane with an R-factor of 80 is needed here.  Maintaining the property outside means you do it inside as well. Your local hardware store can have a pane of glass cut to size and installed for you. The $50 fix could stop a thief from running off with thousands in stolen property.

Straighten the Siding

A neat and tidy yard means neat, tidy and secure home. An hour of work and a couple nails will resecure the piece of siding. Keeping the shed updated also helps to maintain property value in the area.  Your neighbors will thank you.

Need more tips to protect your home and help keep your rates low? Alliance Insurance Services would be glad to share more ideas on making your home safe and secure.

3 Ways to Recycle an Old Shower Curtain

When most people think about recycling, the first thing that comes to mind is sorting through their household trash to separate the paper from the plastic. But, there is actually more you can do to recycle than sorting your trash. Used, worn-out household items can also be recycled and used for different uses. To help you get started recycling your household items, here are three ways to recycle a worn-out shower curtain.

From Shower Curtain to Tablecloth

It is quick and easy to turn a fabric shower curtain into a one-of-a-kind tablecloth. Shower curtains typically have bright, colorful patterns and they are more durable than a plastic tablecloth. Simple remove the shower curtain from the shower rod and wash it before placing it on your table. A fabric shower curtain can also be cut into smaller pieces to use as covers for end tables or patio tables. Cut the fabric to size and hem any raw edges.

A Colorful Tarp

If you are changing out your current plastic shower curtain for a new one, don’t throw the old one away. Instead, you can use it as a plastic tarp. The colorful plastic can be used to protect your motorcycle, bicycle, car or even the woodpile from the elements.

Staying Dry in the Rain
Instead of throwing out your old plastic shower curtain, wipe it off with soap and water, allow to dry and fold it up to keep in your car in case of unexpected downpours. The plastic is typically thicker than a basic raincoat and it is large enough for two people. Once folded, a shower curtain can be easily tucked into a bag to carry with you to ball games or other outdoor events where you may get caught in a rain storm.

Remember recycling doesn’t always mean sorting through paper and plastic. It simply means you are reusing items that you would normally throw away, so before you throw something in the trash, let your creativity take over and try to find a way to recycle the item into something new and usable.

Residents of Fort Collins, CO don’t forget to contact Alliance Insurance Services to review your current homeowners policy or to start a new policy.