How To Prep Your Home For Emergencies: 3 Essential Tips

How well prepared is your home for emergencies?

In order to keep your home in good standing in terms of your coverage from Guy Hurley McNeil, it’s essential to prepare for any emergency that could strike from a natural disaster or otherwise. Here are some tips to use when keeping your Rochester Hills, MI home safe.

1. Keep Your Electricity Up To Code

Is your electrical system up to code? Make sure that all of your outlets and wires are properly secured. For instance, none of your wall outlets should be loose, and you shouldn’t overload any of your outlets with too many appliances plugged into one.

Also, remember that extension cords are meant for temporary use only. Furthermore, you should refrain from running your wires under rugs or across the floor in any room.

If you are concerned about an electrical issue in your home, hire a licensed electrician who is authorized to work in Rochester Hills MI to fix it for you. Don’t attempt to fix or change your home’s electricity yourself.

2. Make Sure Your Foundation Is Secure

Is your home’s foundation secure? If you aren’t sure whether your home’s foundation can stand up to an earthquake or a tornado, you should hire a construction specialist to inspect it for you. Aside from that, do your best to keep your basement from flooding. If your home incurs structural damage over time due to a lack of maintenance and professional attention, it can be more vulnerable in the event of a natural disaster.

3. Maintain Your Home Regularly

When a house is maintained regularly, it is less prone to being damaged in a home emergency. For instance, make sure not to stockpile trash (such as unnecessary cardboard boxes) anywhere in your yard or storage space. ensure that your furnace and HVAC systems are clean and in good shape.

Keep all of your alarms (fire alarm and carbon monoxide alarm) in ship shape by testing them regularly and changing batteries as needed.

Do You Need Better Home Insurance Coverage?

If your home is well-maintained and kept in good structural form, it is less vulnerable to damage. However, emergencies can happen anytime. If you want to ensure that you’re fully reimbursed in case of a natural disaster or any other home emergency, talk to our friendly agents at Guy Hurley McNeil about your coverage. Let us help you find the kind of policy you feel safe at home with.

Ways to save money on homeowner’s insurance in Michigan

Many states provide incentives to homeowners through discounts in their insurance for improvements. In most situations, this includes upgrades to windows, roofing, or other structures around the home to make them more safe and durable by using new technology. After these changes are made, the homeowner in Rochester Hills, MI can contact an agent such as Guy Hurley McNeil and receive a credit on their insurance payments and the costs will go down. 

Alarm or security systems are one option that may lower insurance costs. Most policy providers look at the reduced risk of robbery or vandalism from surveillance and security systems as an important upgrade. This is because having to pay out for stolen valuables and property damage can be a huge expense for the insurance company. This can lower insurance costs by up to ten percent annually.  

Upgraded windows are another common source of savings. Many states have some risk of damage caused by wind, hail, or excessive amounts of rain and snow. When a window shatters and water damage occurs inside the house, the associated costs for repairs and replacements can be significant. Many modern stormproof windows are practically bulletproof, making them extremely unlikely to crack, which will create savings over the years. 

The roof is also another constant source of concern for homeowners. Shingles and tiles are subject to exposure to sunlight, rain, snow, and all kinds of weather throughout the year. A roof also needs to be repaired regularly to prevent leaking and other forms of damage inside the house. Roofing can be expensive, but a homeowner can definitely recoup some of the prices through discounts.

For more information about homeowner’s insurance, contact Guy Hurley McNeil. This agent serves Rochester Hills, MI and surrounding areas. 

How to Save Money on Home Insurance

If you’re looking for home insurance in Michigan, there are a few ways you can easily save money on your premium. At Guy Hurley McNeil, we serve the Rochester, MI area and are available to help you find the right home insurance while saving you money. Read on to learn more.

Bundle Your Policies

Chances are you already have an insurance policy. Whether you have auto insurance, motorcycle insurance, or even life insurance, the trick is to bundle your policies together under one insurance company to save money on your premiums. Insurance companies love to reward loyal customers and this is just one way they go about it.

Compare Quotes

When it comes time to protect your home, a very important asset, you’ll want to choose the best policy by comparing at least two or three quotes from different insurance agencies. Not all quotes will carry the exact same coverage, deductibles, and premiums. That’s why it’s important to compare quotes to find the right coverage at the right price for your exact home insurance needs.

Work with a Reputable Agent

While the above tips seem straight forward, it is best to work with a reputable agent that will help you bundle and compare quotes to get the most out of your home insurance policy. A trusted, reputable agent will be able to help you with this step-by-step and answer any questions and concerns you may have along the way.

Are you ready to purchase home insurance in Rochester Hills, MI? If so, contact the team at Guy Hurley McNeil. They serve this area and are available now to help you purchase home insurance. Call today.

 

Ways to Protect Your Home This Winter

Winterizing your Home

Protecting your home from the winter weather can also help protect yourself from home insurance claims in Rochester Hills, MI.

  • Protect Pipes: Frozen pipes can lead to thousands of dollars in flood damage. An easy way to protect your home from water damages it to prevent pipes from freezing in the first place. Wrap any crawl space and basement pipes with insulation and be sure to cover any exposed pipes. Open cabinet doors to let warm air flow around them and let the faucet drip to keep water moving.
  • Install a Carbon Monoxide Detector: Furnaces and other heat sources can leak carbon monoxide and, if not properly ventilated, can be deadly. Protect your family by having a carbon monoxide detector on each floor of the home.
  • Clean Storm Drains and Gutters: Regular cleaning of any storm drains or gutters can help prevent ice buildup, cracking gutters, and any melting snow that leaks into the basement. If you are paying to get your gutters cleaned, contractors will also do a check up on the roof, which is also good.
  • Seal Air Leaks: Sealing air leaks will help keep the warm air in the home and save on energy costs.
  • Use Fiber Cement Siding: Fiber cement siding isn’t only good for winter months, but in the winter it can help combat the extremely cold temperatures and is five times thicker than vinyl siding. In the other seasons, it helps resist mold and moisture and is resistant to pets and fire damage.
  • Trim Branches: Trim branches away from the roof or hire a tree removal service to get rid of any branches that could be a threat to the home, driveway, and yard.

Ask an agent at Guy Hurley McNeil if you get any discounts from winterizing your home. Contact Guy Hurley McNeil, serving Rochester Hills, MI, to get a quote on home insurance. 

Does Homeowner Insurance Cover Theft?

There’s no question that theft can be a devastating event for homeowners. After all, your home is full of items that are both monetarily valuable, but that also hold emotional value for you and your entire family. This is why it is so important for you to purchase the right homeowner’s insurance policy from a reputable insurance company to protect your home in Rochester Hills, MI. The team at Guy Hurley McNeil can help you achieve this.  

If you have ever experienced a break-in or theft, it’s important you contact the police immediately. Once you have done this, contact your insurance company.

Coverage for Theft

A typical homeowners policy includes coverage for all of your personal property. Any loss resulting from theft is usually included as a part of the protection you receive for personal property. What this means is if an intruder breaks into your home and steals valuable items, then your insurance will cover it once your deductible has been met.

The majority of policies will also provide coverage for your items even if they are away from home and stolen; however, there are some limitations to this. It’s essential to fully understand the scope of your policy to determine what is and is not covered.

Purchasing Insurance that Protects Your Valuables

It is imperative that you purchase the right insurance policy for your needs. Take some time to speak to a reputable insurance agent to find out the type of coverage you need to ensure your home and belongings are fully protected from theft of any kind. By doing this, you will have greater peace of mind.

To purchase insurance to protect your home or belongings or to have your questions answered, contact Guy Hurley McNeil, who serves the Rochester Hills, MI area today.

 

Home Insurance Coverage of Personal Property

If you own your home, you probably understand that your home insurance policy covers the damage or loss of your home. What about all of the items inside the house, your personal property? Well, in Michigan, that is covered by your home insurance policy too.

Guy Hurley McNeil Insurance & Surety Services in Rochester Hills, MI provides home owner’s insurance to the entire state of Michigan.

Types of Home Owner’s Insurance

There are two main types of home owner’s insurance in Michigan. They are:

  • Broad coverage (HO-2)
  • All Risk coverage (HO-3)

A broad policy covers damage from specifically listed perils while an all-risk policy, the most common type, covers the home from all risks other than those that are specifically excluded. All risk policies generally include the contents of the house and your personal property against perils that are covered like those in broad coverage. Broad policies are also referred to as “named peril” policies as the risks protected against are designated within the policy.

A typical policy has seven significant parts that are denoted by consecutive letters, A through G. The section dealing with your personal property is part C. Each section has its own exclusions and limitations and needs to be carefully understood to ensure that the protection you have is the protection you need.

On-Premises or Off-Premises

The protection extended to your property does not end when it leaves your home. This coverage may have further limitations than those for your items while on-premise.

Furthermore, certain items are considered “special items.” These items have specific limits and may need additional coverage. Special items may include:

  • Furs
  • Computers and electronics
  • Jewelry
  • Cash

Having an inventory of your property can help you to ensure you get the right coverage.

For more information, give Guy Hurley McNeil Insurance & Surety Services a call at 586-731-1180 or stop by our offices in Rochester Hills, MI today.

Is Your Home Prepared for a Fire?

You may have found your dream home in Rochester Hills, MI, but you never know what will happen in the future. That’s why you have to prepare in advance. Guy Hurley McNeil offers you assistance in doing so, especially when it comes to fire preparedness. 

Smoke Detectors

Make sure you have smoke detectors on every floor of your home. It helps to place them outside of the bedrooms to alert people of a fire while they sleep. You should check your detectors once per month. If you test it and it doesn’t work, replace the batteries immediately. 

Your Important Documents

Always make sure you place your important documents, like your birth certificate and marriage license, in a fireproof and waterproof box. This gives you at least a chance of keeping all your documents in the event of a tragedy. 

Have a Plan

Know at least two ways to get out of your home from every location in the house. Make sure you educate everyone in your home of the escape plans and have a meeting place. 

Have Routine Fire Drills 

To make sure everyone in your home is ready in the event of a fire drill, hold routine fire drills to practice. Make sure kids know to "stop, drop, and roll" if they should happen to catch on fire. 

Homeowner’s Insurance

Make sure your homeowner’s insurance policy covers you in the event of a fire. Always keep your policy up-to-date, even if your home is paid off. If you don’t currently have a policy, talk to an agent and discuss your options to guarantee you have coverage in the event of a fire. 

To get a quote for a homeowner’s insurance policy, contact Guy Hurley McNeil, serving Rochester Hills, MI and the surrounding region, by calling 586-731-1180 today. Also, try our online rating tool for a quote on home or auto insurance.

 

What are the Benefits of a Home Security System?

Home security systems use the latest technology to protect your home on many different levels. In Rochester Hills, MI, Guy Hurley McNeil can answer any insurance questions you may have when it comes to how a home security system can protect your home and family from different types of disaster.

Minimizes Your Risk of Financial Loss 

A home security system is designed to perform several tasks. Not only will it record video of your property and what is happening there, it will notify the proper authorities in real time and also send you text messages or alerts via email or through a convenient mobile app. Many of today’s home security systems also offer home automation so you can take care of things around your home, even when you aren’t there. 

Protects Your Family From Environmental Hazards

Most home security systems today also have environmental hazard detectors. These include sensors that set off an alarm if the carbon monoxide or radon levels get too high. Temperature sensors can notify you if there is a significant rise or drop in temperature and moisture sensors will notify you if there is a water leak.

Installing a home security system can dramatically reduce your risk of financial loss in case of an emergency. Insurance companies recognize the benefits of a home security system and may choose to offer discounted rates to homeowners who subscribe to a 24/7 monitoring service. Guy Hurley McNeil is available to answer questions for residents who live in the Rochester Hills, MI area. Call today for a free consultation or insurance evaluation to find out if installing a home security system could offer you significant financial benefits. 

 

How Do Pets Affect Your Home Insurance?

Pets can be like family. However, depending on the kind of home insurance policy you choose, pets can affect your insurance in various ways. Let Guy Hurley McNeil in Rochester Hills, MI help you learn more about how a pet and your home insurance work together.

Pets and Home Insurance

Home insurance is known for protecting your property from damage and all the belonging that you may have in it. It can also protect you from liabilities in case someone is injured in your home. You may be wondering, what happens if your dog bites a guest or your pet damages your neighbors’ property?

Having a liability policy is essential in this situation, as it caters for the cost of replacement of the damaged property. It also helps to pay the medical bills if your pet were to cause injuries to a person. Moreover, it may help you pay the legal fee if the victim decides to sue you for the damages.

However, owning a pet affects your premiums. When purchasing home insurance, you should evaluate the policy and check if your pet is listed. If you want a pet, you should know that your premiums may increase. This is because if you have not added your pet to your home insurance coverage, the insurance policy could be declared void and this may cost you thousands of dollars to pay for the legal and medical expenses where a liability policy is not applicable. This is the major reason why you should consider adding your pet to your policy.

Dangerous and Exotic Pets

If you own a dangerous or exotic pet like a snake, you will need to add an extra rider for additional protection. A dog or cat may not increase your policy, although, in some circumstance, it may. The increase depends on the breed, size and history of pet you are keeping. Some kinds of dogs such as the German Shepherds and wolf-dog hybrids are associated with higher premiums. This is because, although they can be trained to be excellent pets, they are associated with aggression thus requiring extra care and protection.

Adding your family pet to your homeowner’s insurance policy in is crucial. Reach out to the agents of Guy Hurley McNeil in Rochester Hills, MI to learn more about how a pet can affect your home insurance policy.