All Posts tagged homeowners insurance

What is Best for You: Replacement Cost or Actual Cash Value?

What is Best for You: Replacement Cost or Actual Cash Value?

Your homeowner’s insurance is designed to protect your belongings. But does it?

Most homeowners could not replace their belongings and repair their home without the aid of home insurance. Should your home face a listed peril, such as damage from a thunderstorm, fire, hail, or natural disaster, you may be faced footing the bill to get your home back to your home-sweet-home status. This is a worst case situation for most homeowners!

Fortunately, if your home and belongings are lost in such an event, home insurance steps in to cover costs of replacement and repair! With this reliable safety net, your finances don’t have to be siphoned due to a hurricane or theft.

Within a homeowners insurance policy, homeowners can opt for Actual Cash Value or Replacement Cost. But when it comes down to it, what is the difference?

More Bang for Your Buck
Payment based on the replacement cost of damaged or stolen property is usually the most favorable figure from a homeowner’s point of view. This is because it will compensate you for the actual cost of replacing property.

For example, should your high-end electric guitar be stolen, a replacement cost policy will reimburse you the full cost of replacing it with a new guitar of the same kind. The insurer will not take into consideration the fact that you played this guitar every day for the last two years, causing a considerable amount of wear and tear!

Cashing in the Value
Contrastingly, actual cash value (ACV), otherwise terms as market value, is the standard that insurance companies arguably prefer when reimbursing policyholders for their losses. Actual cash value is equal to the replacement cost minus depreciation.

In short, it represents the dollar amount you could expect to receive for the item if you sold it in the marketplace. In the case of the stolen guitar above, the insurance company would deduct depreciation and return you the difference.

Now that you know the difference, make sure that your home insurance covers your home and belongings in the best method to suit you. For a quality policy to match your needs and budget, contact the Insurance Agency of Dean Davis, serving Austin and neighboring cities in Texas today!

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Homemade Veggie Burgers for 4th of July!

Homemade Veggie Burgers for 4th of July!

Whip up these delicious vegetarian burgers for your celebrations!

Celebrations for the 4th of July are right around the corner, and we all know that that means barbeques are coming out and beer is chilling in the fridge. If you’re hosting a neighborhood party, colleague gathering, or even just enjoying the day with your family, be sure to add these healthy burgers to the menu.

Serve this meatless black bean burger on a run with hot sauce, lettuce, and tomato!

Ingredients

  • 1½ cups cooked quinoa
  • 1-15 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained (or about 1½ cups)
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoons salt
  • ¼ cup + 1 tablespoon chunky salsa
  • ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons breadcrumbs, divided gluten free if necessary
  • Olive oil, for browning burgers
  • Buns

Instructions

  1. Add all ingredients plus ¼ cup of the bread crumbs to a food processor. Process for 45-60 seconds, until all ingredients are blended together, but still a little bit chunky. Transfer mixture to a medium sized bowl and refrigerate for about ten minutes. Remove from the refrigerator and stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons of bread crumbs. Form mixture into patties. You will get about 6 patties, depending on the size you make them. Line a large sheet pan with parchment paper and place black bean burgers on. Refrigerator for about 20 minutes.
  2. Heat a large pan over medium heat and coat the bottom with olive oil. Cook the burgers for about 3-5 minutes on each side, until crisp and heated through. Top with your favorite burger toppings and enjoy!

From the insurance professionals, we hope that you enjoy these delicious veggie burgers on your 4th of July celebrations! So that you can thoroughly enjoy the day, contact the Insurance Agency of Dean Davis in Austin, Texas to get started on your tailored policies.

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Baby Proof Your Home Before the Baby Arrives!

Baby Proof Your Home Before the Baby Arrives!

Prep your home for the upcoming arrival of your little bundle of joy.

If you’re a parent-to-be, you’re in a for an exciting time of life. Expecting the stork at any minute means that your life will change drastically. From 3 a.m. feedings to triple-tasking to making sure your child’s college fund grows along with them, your child will rapidly become your first priority.

So that your child doesn’t face daily household dangers (and you have less to do), put these tips into practice before bringing the little one home:

  • Keep long strings and cords tied up and out of reach.
  • Search your house for small items that can cause choking: dropped coins, buttons, flower petals, and trash.
  • Use anti-scald devices for faucets and showerheads. Lower your water settings and always test the water before dipping your baby in.
  • Install corner and edge bumpers for tables and other furniture to help prevent injuries from falls.
  • Add baby gates to rooms which may be dangerous for children (think basements, utility rooms) as well as at the top and the bottom of stairs.
  • Household plants can be toxic if ingested. Lift plants up from the floor and place them on a high shelf or ledge.
  • Replace all sockets with childproof sockets.
  • Remove all mouse traps in your home.
  • Anchor heavy furniture and appliances that could fall on young children.
  • Ensure that the baby monitor is working!

Before your bundle of joy arrives, take a moment to review your insurance coverages. Your homeowners insurance policy should be up to date with all of your new baby purchases, and your life insurance should ensure that your growing family has protection should you pass.

To ensure that your home and life policies are up to date with your life and family, contact the Insurance Agency of Dean Davis in Austin, Texas today!

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Myths and Misconceptions About Bicycle Insurance

Myths and Misconceptions About Bicycle Insurance

Ride easy by learning what the bicycle insurance myths are and how it can cover you!

With gas prices steadily rising every month, it’s no surprise that people across the nation are turning to bicycles as their main form of transportation.

Bicycles have increased in popularity, and is now the third most popular outdoor activity among adults, with 12 percent categorized as “frequent cyclists”. For children, the percent is steady 22%.

While the basics of bicycle safety are well known (wear a helmet, utilize reflectors, and be visible and alert at all times), many cyclists are unaware or misinformed concerning the steps that they can take to further protect themselves and their bicycle!

Bicycle insurance is a specialized, stand-alone policy that can cover liability, loss, damage, and even some medical payments. With many myths pedaling around, cyclists should know the facts when it comes to insurance!

Myth No. 1: My homeowners insurance policy will cover a stolen bike.
Fact: Some (and we stress, some) homeowners insurance policies will cover the theft of a bicycle if it is listed under the policy. Even if your bike is covered, policies often have low coverage limits for things like sporting equipment. Owners who fall victim to theft may be faced with the replacement cost due to low coverage limits and high deductibles.

Myth No. 2: If I buy a secure bike lock, my bicycle won’t get stolen.
Fact: While bike locks do deter thieves, it doesn’t mean that the bike won’t get stolen. Expert thieves can easily spot high-value bikes, and even with the best bike lock on the market, they know how to make a bike disappear.

Myth No. 3: Only professional cyclists need insurance.
Fact: Whether you ride around the block with your children or pedal to and from work every day, protecting against liability, damage, and losses can protect your bike, family, and finances! After all, most people aren’t professional racecar drivers but we’re required to carry auto insurance on our vehicles.

Are you ready to receive optimum now that you know bicycle insurance myths and misconceptions! Contact the insurance professionals at the Insurance Agency of Dean Davis, serving Austin, Texas for your bicycle insurance coverage.

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Maintain Your Homeowners Insurance During Your Move!

Maintain Your Homeowners Insurance During Your Move!

It’s home-buying season! Be sure to keep your homeowners insurance during the switch.

Spring has well and truly sprung in Austin, Texas, leading many homeowners to put their home on the market and plenty of deals are closing. During the midst of planning, packing, and organizing the move, it’s easy to forget about your homeowners insurance coverage.

Now, more than ever, is the time ensure that you have your homeowners insurance coverage maintained – and for the right property! Should you move house and your new home suffers from a fire or theft and your homeowners insurance policy has not yet been switched, you’ll be left with a hefty expense of repairing and replacing your belongings – and wishing you’d sprung for coverage.

Time It Right
Ideally, call your home insurer before you put an offer in on a house. The insurer will be able to discuss the cost of insurance and some risks that you may face in buying that new home. The aim is to cancel the old policy on the data that you no longer have ownership of the property and start the new policy on the date that you have ownership of the new home.

Nine times out of ten, your closing date will get pushed back. Therefore, most insurance companies contact the homeowners after the closing to make sure that the house has actually closed.

Mortgage Approval
In most cases, mortgage companies may request certain conditions in connection with the policy. Contacting your insurer early can also make sure that you don’t experience any setbacks with the lender.

Are you ready to receive all-encompassing homeowners insurance protection? Start your experience in your new home on the right foot by protecting your home and belongings! Visit the insurance professionals at the Insurance Agency of Dean Davis in Austin, Texas to get started on your home policy!

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The Fastest Way to Do Your Spring Cleaning!

The Fastest Way to Do Your Spring Cleaning!

Focus on the big three: carpets, appliances, and furniture and your home will gleam by the time you’re done.

Spring has sprung, and it’s time to renew your home by giving it a deep clean.  Having a clean space can renew us mentally and help us to think clearly and begin anew as the seasons change.

Shampooing Carpets

Test out the carpet shampooer in an inconspicuous part of the house.  When you’ve got the right ratio of shampoo to water, and you’re sure the machine won’t damage the rug, tackle a large room filled with furniture by putting wax paper under the feet of the furniture and only moving it out of the way to clean.  You don’t have to move it fully out of the room. This will save time and the wax paper will make the furniture easier to slide and avoid the feet from getting wet.

Ceiling Fixtures

Be sure to hit lighting fixtures, vents, ceiling fans, and other fixtures with a cloth or vacuum with a soft nozzle attachment. You might be surprised how much more light you get after cleaning off lighting fixtures.

Wash the Walls

You may not even notice that the walls are dirty until you take a sponge with dishwashing liquid and water, and actually wipe the walls.  Then, watch how bright those dingy walls become. A sponge mop will help you reach those high places.

Don’t Forget Your Doormats

This is the first thing everyone sees as they enter your home. Shake them out, shampoo them, vacuum them, and beat them with a tennis racket (like in old country).  A clean welcoming doormat will set the tone that your space is fresh.

Raid the Fridge

Empty all the food and then do a deep clean of the fridge, including removing dust from the coils in the back.

For all of your home insurance needs in Austin, Texas, contact Insurance Agency of Dean Davis.

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Major Homeowner’s Insurance Mistakes: Watch Out!

Major Homeowner’s Insurance Mistakes: Watch Out!

With winter in full swing, and record-breaking storms on the horizon, it’s important to know how well your home is covered. 

The tragedy happens when you think that you’re covered, but loopholes in your policy leave you vulnerable.  Make sure you know your policy and have the exact coverage that you want, and, more importantly, need.

With a little bit of research and being proactive, you can make sure you have a great policy in place. Here are some common mistakes to avoid.

  1. Don’t Underinsure

Many homeowners only purchase enough insurance to cover their mortgage, which can be only up to 80-90% the value of their home.  Furthermore, even if the full value of your home is covered, it may cost more to rebuild your house.

Here’s what to do.  Hire a professional to estimate the value of what it would cost to rebuild your house. Many insurers provide this service for free or a fee of about $300.  If you truly value your home, this fee may feel very small compared to the knowledge you’ll be getting in return.

  1. Don’t Assume You Have Flood Insurance

Make sure to always ask your agent if you are covered for a flood. If you live near a body of water, it may be part of your mortgage agreement to have flood insurance, but if not, then double check. Look at floodsmart.gov to see how big the risk is in your area and make sure you are adequately covered.

  1. Don’t Think You Have One Deductible Across the Board

You might think that your maximum out of pocket payment will be $500 or $1000, but make sure that there aren’t special circumstances that make you have to cover 10-15% of the cost.

With these helpful tips, you’ll be better aware of how strong your policy actually is.

For all of your home insurance needs in Austin, Texas, contact Insurance Agency of Dean Davis.

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