Homeowners Policy

Should Everybody Buy Flood Insurance?

buy flood insurance

This is a timeless article written by Elizabeth for another publication over a decade ago. Should everyone buy flood insurance? Well, with the crazy weather patterns we are having across the country, flood insurance seems a great idea, so, ENJOY.

— JaCi Wallace

“Actually, just about everybody should buy flood insurance because it can flood almost anywhere. For example, floods can happen when rivers overflow, it rains for days on end or when a dam breaks. And flood insurance is so inexpensive to buy, compared to what fixing flood damage can cost. read more

Should You Offer Airbnb lodging?

Airbnb lodging

Should you offer Airbnb lodging? Homeowners across the country have begun offering Airbnb lodging to travelers.  They’re bringing in a few extra dollars each week by renting out a guest house or even a room or two inside their homes. If you’ve considered getting a little help with monthly expenses by offering Airbnb accommodations, the first thing you should do is your homework.

Before offering Airbnb lodging, check the regulations: Check with the City or County to see if you’re going to be breaking any zoning regulations. Some Cities or Counties – and even some subdivisions – don’t allow rentals. Some don’t allow two unrelated parties to dwell on the same property. read more

A Wake-Up Call to Review Replacement Coverage in Your Homeowner’s Policy

homeowners policy

Burned oak trees from the fire in Anderson, California.

People often don’t give much thought to their homeowners policy until a disaster strikes. Personally, I’ve been through 3 home disasters in my life. A 40-foot tree fell on the roof of our home in Land Park during a torrent rainstorm in 2008. In 1996, our Victorian in south Minneapolis flooded and hail the size of golf balls tore holes in our siding and roof during another storm. The granddaddy of all was when my house slipped into the ocean in Ventura during a 1981 winter storm.

We didn’t have the protection in our homeowners policy for the house in Ventura that covered water damage from the ocean sucking the walls into its waves because we didn’t apply in enough time to obtain a 30-day time period between the disaster and the date of our policy. Many people do not know the stipulations of their policies, nor whether their policy contains replacement coverage to allow for increased construction costs or appreciation in the event the home needs to be rebuilt.

anderson fire homeowners policy

Hiking through the Happy Valley area under restoration.

My friend in Anderson lost her entire home in a fire several years ago. An arsonist started a fire in the Happy Valley community of Anderson, CA. From where I sit at the moment, burned trees are still standing and there are remnants of lawn art, i.e. burned out cars, mattresses, what-have-you. Members of a church came to help after the fire and they sifted through the debris to find personal items of sentimental value for my friend.

We hiked down the road behind her home to walk the dogs yesterday and get a little exercise ourselves after a lovely excursion into town to first hit the Flea Market followed by lunch. My friend was lucky at the Flea Market to find a two-person log hauler, which looked like a dangerous rusty tool, capable of causing serious damage to, say, one’s inner thigh, but it was a big hit with the Old Timers chewing the hay. One of the guys laughed that my friend had plans for me, but that wasn’t gonna happen.

fire in Anderson without a homeowners policy

Abandoned car and remains of a garage in Anderson, CA

The most work I afforded myself was to walk a few miles to the neighboring property, which also overlooks Mt. Shasta to the left all the way to Mt. Lassen to the right. This home, like the others around it, lost its integrity and disintegrated during the fire. It seemed spectacular because the foundation was much larger than my friend’s home, it featured 3 sets of stairs, and there were signs of a foundation for a detached barn, a water fountain and a garage. Those homeowners chose not to rebuild or maybe their policy didn’t give them enough coverage to adequately replace what was once there.

It is just an abandoned lot now. A rusted vehicle or two remain. You might not believe a disaster will ever hit but this is concrete evidence that reviewing your homeowners insurance policy and discussing your home’s replacement coverage with your agent is probably a good idea. I’m heading back to Sacramento this morning, and you can bet this will weigh on my mind during the drive home.

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