Boston Area Homeowners Insurance: Inventory Vital

A Boston area homeowners insurance policy is a must. Natural disasters, fires and other perils can cause us to lose everything. Claims adjustors and restoration contractors often hear people say, “I never thought this would happen to me.” And while we can only do so much to protect our homes and possessions against loss, there are steps we can take to make sure they are replaced. Few people know exactly what they own. Therefore, they can’t remember or don’t always list everything in the event of a loss. Without a home inventory, it’s almost impossible to prove your losses to the insurance company.

Your Boston Area Homeowners Insurance Checklist

When a fire or a natural disaster occurs, often the event is so stressful people are preoccupied with so many other things they forget about some possessions or incidental items. Boston area homeowners insurance experts encourage you to create a complete home inventory. You can do this in a few different ways. There are free software programs available for download that will help. You can also take videos of your possessions and dictate the price and date of purchase. Take photos and store them in the “cloud” on the Web, in a safe deposit box, at the office, or at a friend’s or relative’s house.

List your possessions individually and keep the list organized and categorized with headings such as “Furnishings,” “Accessories,” “Clothing,” etc. Having an inventory and listing your possessions in checklist format will help you if you have a partial loss, theft or other claim.

Remember, having a home inventory may mean the difference in being fully reimbursed or not. Don’t suffer loss a second time. Heed this Boston area homeowners insurance suggestion today… you may be glad you did tomorrow.
See more news pertaining to Boston area homeowners insurance under our Boston Insurance section of articles to your right just below our Boston Real Estate Categories. We also post tips on Facebook and Twitter. Follow us there for many other real estate related news articles and tips, as well.

Your Boston Area Homeowners Insurance: Are You Covered?

Your Boston area homeowners insurance policy provides coverage against most perils and damages. There are some, however, that are not covered. Unfortunately, those are usually the ones that catch you off guard — and they can be expensive. While every policy is different, you should peruse your Boston area homeowners insurance coverage to see if you’re protected against termite infestation and mold damage.

Your Boston area homeowners insurance probably does not cover termite and mold damage

Boston Area Homeowners Insurance: Two Conditions That May Exist in Your Home

Contrary to popular belief, mold can rear its ugly head in almost any household. It’s not uncommon for even the best maintained home to have a little mold somewhere. The most dangerous thing about mold is that it doesn’t go away on its own, and unchecked it can spread undetected. Because hazardous mold problems can affect the health of the home’s occupants, mold infestation should be treated immediately.

Combatting mold damage can be an expensive undertaking. As such, homeowners often turn to their Boston area homeowners insurance policy for coverage — only to find out they may or may not be covered. Here’s why:

Mold is caused by excess moisture. Mold spores can thrive by coming into your home through windows and doors. A common cause of mold is a leak somewhere in your home. If the mold is a result of a leak that occurred due to a covered peril like a damaged roof or a water pipe that burst, it could be covered by your Boston area homeowners insurance policy. However, most homeowner’s insurance policies contain specific mold exclusions. If the mold is a result of poor room ventilation, excessive crawlspace moisture, unrepaired water leaks or lack of home maintenance your policy probably doesn’t cover it.

One of the biggest causes of mold damage is flooding. Since most standard Boston area homeowners insurance policies don’t offer flood insurance, you’ll find that unless you have a specific flood policy you won’t be covered for mold damage caused as a result of flooding. To be absolutely sure about mold coverage, talk to your insurance company.

Another common problem that can plague a homeowner is termite infestation. Untreated or ignored, termites can cause serious structural damage to your home. In addition, as a general rule termite damage isn’t covered by most Boston area homeowners insurance policies.

It’s estimated that termites are responsible for over $5 billion in home damages each year. There are several steps you can take to prevent termite infestation and damage. Soil treatment, termite barriers and other preventative measures can give you peace of mind and guard against damage. Because termite damage isn’t covered by insurance, it may be a good idea to consider hiring a pest control company to make sure your home is termite-free and that it stays that way.

Again, consult your Boston area homeowners insurance professional to find out what your coverage includes. And, since mold and termites typically aren’t covered, they are probably good reminders that good home maintenance can prevent potential damage from those sources.

The old adage, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” certainly applies when it comes to the value and condition of your home.

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Lender-Placed Boston Area Insurance Facts

Having a Boston area insurance policy is vitally important to both mortgage lenders and property owners. And no subject is quite as controversial as “force-placed” or “lender-placed” insurance coverage. As the name implies, lender-placed insurance is a policy implemented by the mortgage holder in the event the homeowner has insufficient coverage or allows the coverage to lapse.

Lender-Placed Boston Area Insurance Isn’t New

Having proper coverage in the Boston area insurance market is required by lenders.

Forced coverage by mortgage lenders has been around for a long time. At first glance, most people would logically agree that a lender has the right — even the obligation to its shareholders — to insure the asset it financed in the event the borrower isn’t sufficiently covered by flood insurance, fire, or other perils. Where most consumers, especially those homeowners who have had lender-placed insurance imposed upon them, have a major concern is when the cost of the insurance is considered exorbitant, non-competitive, or excessive. To many, the commission received by the lender from the insurance company is considered a “kickback.”

There is continuing controversy surrounding forced insurance and the whole notion of the kickbacks lenders receive. With the implementation of the Dodd-Frank legislation and the origin of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB,) many industry insiders question why this practice still remains.

An industry landmark legal case led the CFPB to establish a checklist designed for loan servicers regarding forced-placed insurance. It was decided that steering homeowners into higher-cost insurance policies was not a good business practice. Two participating companies — a bank and an insurance firm — agreed to pay $1.8 million to end a class action lawsuit and return a substantial amount of the insurance commissions to the consumers involved.

The lesson to be learned here for homeowners with Boston area insurance policies is to make sure they meet minimum requirements to cover your mortgage and, if required, maintain flood insurance coverage at all times. Failure to do so will result in the mortgage lender taking out a policy on your behalf — and charging you for it.

See more news pertaining to Boston area insurance under our Boston Insurance section of articles to your right just below our Boston Real Estate Categories. We also post tips on Facebook and Twitter. Follow us there for many other real estate related news articles and tips, as well.

Boston Area Homeowner’s Insurance Tips

Since having a good Boston area homeowner’s insurance policy on your home is one of the most important things you can do, it’s important to note these tips. They will assist you in understanding your policy and procedures.

1.) Avoid Making Small Claims – Insurance companies can and will drop coverage if you have several small claims. To avoid this, increase your deductible and pay for small incidents out of pocket. Not only can you save up to 25% on your Boston area homeowner’s insurance premiums, you’ll probably save money in the long run.
2.) Get a CLUE – Insurance companies use a service called a Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange (CLUE.) Check the report for errors that may hamper coverage in the future. Visit to review your report.
3.) Make Sure You Have Enough Coverage – If you’ve made significant improvements or additions to your home, you’ll want to make sure you have sufficient coverage. Your Boston area homeowner’s insurance premium will likely increase only a small amount, but you’ll have peace of mind knowing that your home is covered for its entire value.
4.) Use an Independent Agent – An independent agent can assist in shopping for the best coverage and most economical premium on your Boston area homeowner’s insurance policy.
5.) Find Out What’s NOT Covered – Be sure to know what perils may not be covered. Occurrences such as floods or sewage back-up are probably not covered in your Boston area homeowner’s insurance policy. There are separate coverages available for these perils.
Get more news on Boston area homeowner’s insurance by reading the other articles we have in the section on Boston Insurance under Boston Real Estate Categories to the right, and by following us on Twitter and finding us on Facebook.

Improving Boston Area Home Security

If you’re not concerned with Boston area home security, perhaps you should be. The United States is the world’s most burglarized nation, with a burglary occurring every fifteen seconds! And, while we like to think of our Boston area neighborhoods as safe, the sad fact is that even in the best of neighborhoods throughout America there are unscrupulous people ready to steal your valuables right from the very home in which you live. The majority of home burglaries occur when you are away from your home — especially when you and your family are on vacation or out of town.

Improve Boston area home security by joining a neighborhood crime watch

Make Boston Area Home Security a Top Priority

You can take some proactive measures to make sure your home is a little safer when you’re not there. Improving your home security can also help to lower your homeowners insurance rates as well. Follow these guidelines to improve your Boston area home security.

Install a good alarm system.

Most industry experts agree that the most important feature of any alarm system is its ability to act as a deterrent. If a potential burglar sees that your home is protected by an alarm system, he is less likely to run the risk of choosing your house. There are too many other homes that probably have no security or alarm systems from which the robber can choose.

Get to know your neighbors.

While it may sound like a suggestion from the 1950s when the vast majority of Americans thought nothing of leaving their houses unlocked, the simple truth is an observant and caring neighbor can be important in warding off burglars. If you have close friendships with your neighbors who agree Boston area home security is important, let them know you are going to be away from your home for a few days. Perhaps one of them may be willing to collect your mail, newspapers or packages that may be delivered in your absence. These are often telltale signs would-be robbers look for when scouting a home that may be unoccupied for a short period of time –– long enough for a robbery.

If your neighborhood has a crime watch group committed to improving Boston area home security, make sure you alert them about your plans to be out of town or on vacation. It always helps to have additional eyes watching your property, just in case it was being targeted for illicit activity.

Break out the spy equipment.

With the technology of today it’s much easier and more affordable than ever to connect your Boston area home security cameras to your smartphone, tablet or laptop. This allows you to keep an eye on your home and your belongings remotely, giving you an added sense of security, peace of mind and the ability to contact the police if you see something suspicious. Even less expensively, you can install one or more “dummy” cameras that may act to deter potential burglars. Some people use a combination of both real and dummy cameras to ensure they can optimize their Boston area home security.

Install motion sensor lights.

Burglars are like vampires. They love the darkness, but hate the light. By installing motion sensor lights the chances of deterring a potential robber are greatly increased. No burglar wants to have bright lights shone on him that may enable neighbors to get a good look at him or be able to provide the police with a good description.

Don’t make your house alluring to crooks.

Most burglars have an idea of what they are looking for when they choose a home to rob. Simply put, they look for the easiest and most accessible targets that offer the highest potential.

So don’t make it easier for them than it needs to be by having your valuable belongings in plain view if a burglar looks through a window. Position your curtains, drapes or blinds so your electronics such as computers and flat screen TVs aren’t easily seen from outside your home. Keep guns and rifles locked in gun safes or gun racks. Don’t leave jewelry on top of your dresser. Make sure your valuable silverware is out of sight in a cabinet — preferably a locked one. Crooks are opportunists, so if they don’t immediately see something worth stealing they may move on to another house.

By following these and other smart ideas, you can improve your Boston area home security. Find more tips for lowering your homeowner insurance rates under our Boston Insurance section of articles under Boston Real Estate Categories to your right.

We also offer tips on a daily basis on Twitter and our Facebook Page. Some of which may deal with Boston area home security. Check us out there as well.