Frequently Asked Questions

How Can I Save Money?

Saving money on Home Insurance 

Hello, this is Claude again, and we’re talking about your homeowners policy. Right now I’d like to talk about how you might save money on your premium, you’d have a deductible that might be able to be increased. The deductible is the amount of money that you pay out for a claim for a covered claim, that would be your part of it, really, before the company wouldn’t be paying anything. Chances are, you’ve got $1,000 deductible on your policy, let’s just say that you’re able to have a $2,000 deductible or even higher 5000. Your premium will be lower, we can analyze and see would that be?

Would that be low enough for you?

Would that be worthwhile to take conserve 1000? We’ll make it a $2,000 deductible or a $5,000 deductible? So let us know we’ll be glad to analyze that for you. Before you make that change, though. Also, we’ll need to check with your mortgage company if you have a loan in your home and the mortgage company will be interested in that knowing and would they would they be accepting a $2,000? Back on set 1000? Or would they accept a $5,000? Deductible so 1000 bucks?

That’s an important thing to be aware of. As we’re talking about deductibles, you might look and see on your homeowners policy? Does it say anything about a percentage deductible, because often on policies we will see, perhaps wind and hail 1% deductible. Or it might say, wind and hail 2% deductible. What does that mean? Well, that means for the deductibles for that type of claim a wind and hail type of claim would be 1%, or 2%. Not the $1,000 deductible that you perhaps have in your policy 1% of one or 2% of what? Well, it’s 1% of your dwelling amount. So you’ve got 1% of your $200,000 house, let’s just say 1%, that’s $2,000. So you thought you had a deductible of 1000. But in this case, because it’s a wind and hail claim, you got a $2,000 deductible. And that’s a surprise for you.

Or if it’s a 2% deductible, you got a $4,000 deductible on that $200,000 house. And that may be a surprise to you. We review that when we’re looking at declarations pages for people to make sure they understand we actually prepare for a claim assuming that that you will have a claim, I think it’s a very good business plan to do, we’re gonna personal plan for you to do as well to consider what will happen if and when I have that to occur. Let’s talk about other ways of saving, saving money on your homeowners policy. You’ve heard this term a lot over the last several years bundling. And you know that is that’s getting your homeowners insurance and your autos and your auto insurance with the same company. Many times that can be an advantage not every time, but many times it can be an advantage. And we liked doing that wherever possible. It gives a lower premium for both policies with those discounts.

Something else which often is a benefit, a side benefit, I hope this doesn’t happen to you, but it has with a bundled policy with an auto policy and a home policy with the same company. If there’s a claim that involves both the auto and home, let’s just say that one of you backed into your garage door, messed it up terribly. We’ve got one deductible, in many cases with with companies who have their home and their auto together. So that’s just something else to look at. And we’ll be glad to discuss that with you as well. So we’ve talked about two things. One is raising the deductible. And the other thing is having your auto and home together in the same in the same company which been like you might look at security system that uses not a large amount of discount. But there’s something there make sure your company is considering the security system that you have. Or it may just be the deadbolt locks, and the fire extinguisher and the smoke detector. It just basic things like that that you should have in your home. That may provide a discount. Make sure that your current company is aware that you have those items. That’s that’s a big deal. Some companies talk about discounts for seniors and military.

Also life insurance. If you have your life insurance with that same company, often they will provide an additional discount for you for another policy like an umbrella liability policy. All of those things just have that much more potential for giving discounts for you depending on which company it is. Allow us to take a look at your policy. Give us a Call.

We have several companies to work with and we fit that your concerns to the company that helps you best, not just one company. We’ve got several companies to choose from. So let us know. We’ll try to save you some money and have better coverage too. Thanks We’re reviewing through your homeowners policy. And I’m actually looking at my own personal declarations page right here that the home insurance, there are some things that are not covered by many insurance policies. And if these things occur, it can be a serious event for you, which could be tragic from a financial standpoint. And that would be things like a flood, or an earthquake, or a sinkhole. And those are coverages that are typically not covered by a homeowner’s policy.

They’re an exclusion on a homeowner’s policy. And they are not covered, unless there’s special action taking cake taken by you and by the agent to arrange that on your policy. Now, I’m speaking in general statements, of course, that’s what I have to do with this type of video. And there may be specific things related to you and your particular circumstance that we should visit further about. But in general, these statements are quite accurate. That earthquake and flood, and sinkhole are not covered by your policy unless they’re specifically covered, unless they’re specifically shown in your declarations page. So if you’re looking through, then you go, I’ve got a concern, I don’t see those coverages, then they would be worthwhile to talk about this.

Let’s talk about those risks. Flood would be in general, groundwater that has occurred that’s coming across your property, from perhaps up a major storm that’s happened above you, or to the north of you, or whatever, whatever direction would be. But it’s suddenly coming your way or could be a bursted dam, it could be something like that. It was not from a storm, but something else happened. Is that covered? No, it’s not covered, unless you’ve got specific flood coverage on your policy. And that has to be done. Flood insurance is is provided by FEMA. It’s a federal part of the federal government. And this has to be arranged in advance of something happening. But if you are concerned about flood insurance, let us know we’ll be glad to look into that and make sure what can be done in your area.

Let’s talk about Earthquake. Earthquake is probably something that you’re considering unless you live in California, that there’s no need to have that type of coverage. Well, that’s actually not the case. There are faults in Kentucky, and there’s false in West Virginia that that can happen that can cause serious damage to your home. And so we can talk with you about earthquake insurance, if you’d like. It’s a very good thing to have. I visit with her about earthquake insurance on every every conversation I have about homeowners insurance. And in our area, I live in central Kentucky.

In our area, there are quakes that happen and in Western Kentucky many years ago, there was something called the new Mandroid of pronounced mattered, not Madrid, New Madrid fault that occurred that shook up things terribly. And it was a major earthquake, larger than the San Francisco earthquake, which which we’ve heard of in history as being just a terrible thing, terrible event. Well, thankfully, in Kentucky, there were less people in the area. And it happened in kind of a rural zone that rerouted the Mississippi River, it had all sorts of things, there’s something called the real foot the lake out there. Oh, that’s because of an earthquake, it’s a real thing that really didn’t happen. Well, the the that fault is still there, and can still happen. Yes, it can still happen. If I don’t mention that to you. Shame on me. And I recommend that you visit with us about we’ll be glad to talk to you about that and to show you pricing. Is that something you want to consider?

After I’ve talked with people about earthquake insurance? About half of them take the earthquake insurance and half of them say no, don’t want and that’s okay. Whatever person chooses, that’s okay, as long as I’ve shared that with them, and that they can make their choice. And I’ll say that since present, take it to the present. Don’t take it. I’ll say the half my customers are pretty smart. I just can’t tell you which half Okay, that’s insurance humor there. Okay, next thing, we’re going to talk about a sinkhole. If you live in an area that’s got a lot of limestone. And here in Central Connecticut, there’s a lot of limestone. There can be sudden sinkholes that we’ve not seen before, to where the water has leached away the foundation over a period of time. And that could be a serious problem when suddenly your house has been encroached upon by this big ol hole in your backyard that appeared out of nowhere. And is there coverage for that? In general? No, there’s no coverage for that unless you pre arranged sinkhole coverage and sinkhole is available in central Kentucky and other places as well. And we can talk with you about that. And that really depends on your specific your specific specific concerns. Another thing that we should mention Or, perhaps in passing, there’s something called mine subsidence. That is, in some counties and sudden some in West Virginia and Kentucky, there’s a real need, you’re required to have mine subsidence coverage. That’s when there’s been underground mining many types of many, many feet below the surface that you’re not even aware of. But certain counties are required to have that coverage. And certain counties, there’s, there’s no need and you cannot get that coverage. But all those things you need to look at you need to be aware of, and let us know, we’ll be glad to help you review your policy. Brian Oakley insurance has several insurance companies to choose from, and we work hard to do things right for you. So give us a call we’re talking about your homeowners policy. And I’ve got my deck page right here. Hopefully, you’ve got yours available that you can check on some things. I’d like to visit about some other coverages that may be on your policy, or they may not be on your policy that you might check with your agent about. And I’ll just tell you, we’re glad to review your policies. And we’re glad to talk talk through potential coverages for you. These are some things that if if your claim was to occur, you would be very glad that you had this this coverage, these are additional things. And sometimes you’ll find this type of coverage under a packages packages of coverages or options that you have. I’m speaking of Equipment Breakdown. That’d be where there would be a mysterious type of loss to your equipment, like HVAC equipment, any type of electronic system in your home, and it suddenly stopped working under normal circumstances, you would have to be showing, it would have to have shown an event that occurred that to be an insurance claim, if it just stopped working. In many cases, if it just stops working because it’s old, or deteriorate or whatever, then sorry, that’s not covered up. There’s a manufacturer’s warranty manufacturer’s warranty.

But it’s possible if you’ve got Equipment Breakdown coverage on your homeowners policy, it’s possible for that to be considered. Now I’m not right now making a blanket statement. Oh, every time it will be whatever. I’m not saying that. Because I have to use general statements in this type of video. But your specific thing might be different. But look carefully. There’s an Equipment Breakdown coverage on your policy. If so, you might also find that your HVAC unit that stopped working suddenly, May will be covered by that. But there’s there’s things that you need to do steps that you need to take the first thing if you do have that concern, call your current agent and find out about that, if you’d had that occur. If you’ve not had that to occur, and you just want to visit about it. Let us know we can talk through things with you. And see if you that’d be something you’d be interested in having.

Also, there’s something called underground service line coverage, you will probably receive mailings from your utility companies a couple of times a year to tell you just add this to your billing each month and we will protect you for underground service line. Damage to your to your property between your house and and the main drain are the main whatever system out in the road, there’s a possibility that your homeowner’s policy could have that coverage on it as well.

Underground service line coverage covers different types of utilities or water, sewage, electricity, cable, things like that. It’s between your house and the street. And the specifics. We can give you more specifics on if you’d like. But in general look for that, to be on your policy most often is is not there. But let us know we’ll be glad to be fun to show you this. Identity theft is another one that is a form of loss. It’s something that might be electronic in nature as how they got to your identity. But what has occurred has been a real loss to you financially. And it’s possible that your homeowner’s policy might have that type of coverage on there as well and look for look for your deck page, or give us a call. We’ll talk through it with you.

There’s also something called Cyber coverage, which is a type of edge and depth as well. It’s just another step up that some of the companies are recognizing and providing additional funds to help you recover from your loss of an asset which is your identity and perhaps some expenses involved with that. Some other coverage would be water, backup sewer, sewer and drain backup. And this would be not groundwater, groundwater that affects your home. That’s a type of flood and that’s a different item that we need to discuss at another time. But this will be one inside your home. The drain from the sewer or, or insert from the commode just came up and and overflowed with, with stuff from the city that is missing. That may be on your policy and may not be on your policy look for it. If it’s not on your policy, chances are have been excluded item they would not be covered item. But sewer and drain backup can be very messy. And I’ll just give you a tip that I talk with my insurance my clients about that is this.

How nice is your lowest floor if you’ve got a very nice finished basement, or your first level is your lowest floor, your your main ground force your lowest floor and as your furnishings in there. If that’s got, you know the Blackwater element, what how much of a problem is for you, that’s a significant problem. So consider that coverage. And again, when you’re looking at these these in your, in your documents, look for sewer and drain backup. If you have questions about this, we’re glad to get more specific with you. We’re glad to do so. And we have radio cleanup several companies to work with we’re independent agents, and that helps a lot and we’re here to help you. So give us a call. Good okay,

About an Independent Agent

We’ve been looking through homeowners policy pages and your dec pages and things. And I’d like to speak now just in general about the work we do at Bray and Oakley. Bray and Oakley is an independent agency. Which means we represent several companies, we work with several different insurance companies that have different mindsets on what they want for insurance and what they’ll charge for insurance. And we work hard to fit whoever it is we’re visiting with – our client to fit them and the company properly.

But we understand that some companies are just not a good fit. And so from the start, we won’t go that direction. Or perhaps as we’re going through, and we’re pricing and comparing coverages and things, we’re seeing that it’s just not working. Well, the wonderful thing is we’ve got so many companies that that are good companies, and that they are willing to work with us, which is great. We’ve got a very, very good reputation with them, that we can find the pricing and the coverages to help our client that best.

Now, there’s other types of insurance agents who are not independent agents, they have a company. And if for whatever reason that pricing is not the best pricing, they will not have an alternative to share with you. And I would consider advising you to talk with us, to give us the opportunity to serve you to allow us to price with different companies, and also to prepare the coverages with different companies. Because we’re not just going for price.

We want a very fair price. We want you to pay at the lowest price possible, but want it to be on the proper coverage. So we will find the company to match coverages and premium to do the best for you. It’s a wonderful thing and that’s what we do. So give us a call. We’re glad to help.

Personal Property Coverage

We’re reviewing through your homeowners policy right now and looking at coverages. Let’s talk about personal property. Let’s just say that you have got some special personal property that you’re really concerned about the valuation. It could be jewelry, or it could be fine arts or it could be firearms. You’ve got you’ve got guns that you’re concerned about, how’s this handled on my insurance policy?

I’ll give you the short answer, it might be quite limited. And give us a call, we’ll be glad to help you walk through this and consider limits that you may have. Most companies have limits on jewelry, firearms and defend Fine Arts with they will not pay more than a set amount the insurance company will not pay more than a set amount, and maybe not very much for one individual item. So chances are if you got something nice, you might consider having that listed specially on your policy is called a scheduled articles coverage. And the scheduled means we have to list it and have an evaluation from the professional, perhaps a photograph or more. And we’ll put that all in the file. And that specific item then is is listed on your policy. And as a special coverage for you.

The coverages for that often are better coverages. And the deductible for that is also a different deductible, potentially, than what is on your normal policy. So all these things we can discuss with you but give us a call. We’re Bray and Oakley. We’re glad to help.

Home Owner Policies

We’re talking about the homeowners policy. And if you get your deck pages handy here, we’re not going to be talking about personal liability. And you may have it listed as Section E, personal liability on your declarations page. What is that? Things can happen on your home? A slips trips and falls is a common phrasing for that people visiting with you in and or cutting across your property and, and fouling can create a liability problem for you. I’m not an attorney, don’t pretend to be one. I’m just an insurance agent. I’m only speaking in terms of insurance things. And that is a good disclaimer out there.

But in general, in insurance, we’re speaking up, sometimes there will be a liability circumstance that you’re surprised that are you not at all expecting and of course, did not intend, but someone fell, and now they’re holding you responsible for that. And if the judgment goes against you, are you prepared to pay for that judgment out of your pocket? Well, most of the time, we would say no, not prepared to handle a large amount of money. And that’s really where your homeowner’s policy can help you. And if it is this type of personal liability, and if it’s the kind of thing that that the company is, is providing protection for? Well, then look at your policy and see what that limit is, is that a good limit for you to protect yourself? Consider your your assets that you have, are you protecting yourself? Are you protecting your assets, because whatever the limit is on your policy, and that’s the maximum amount that the that the insurance company is going to pay?

Is it likely that you will have to pay out more than that out of your pocket, either as a dead or right to liquidate something or draw out of your savings, or your retirement to be an inconvenience. So consider the amount of liability that can be very important. I’m gonna throw another term in here and we’re going to cover this on another video another time I called umbrella liability.

An umbrella liability as a concept of it goes above like an umbrella goes above your other coverage. In fact, can also be added to your homeowner’s policy, who would also go over your auto policy and we’ll speak about that another time as well. But whatever limit you have here, if that’s all the liability protection you have, the net can be a problem if there’s a major injury that you’re responsible for.

Give us a call. We can discuss this with you more thoroughly. These videos are general in nature, but we can get very specific with you if you’d like to let us know we’re glad to help

Events Not Covered

We’re reviewing through your homeowners policy. And I’m actually looking at my own personal declarations page right here, the home insurance, there are some things that are not covered by many insurance policies. And if these things occur, it can be a serious event for you, which could be tragic from a financial standpoint. And that would be things like a flood, or an earthquake, or a sinkhole. And those are coverages that are typically not covered by homeowners policy, they’re an exclusion on the homeowners policy. And they are not covered, unless they’re special action taking Kate taken by you and by the agent to arrange that on your policy.

Now, I’m speaking in general statements, of course, that’s what I have to do on this type of video. And there may be specific things related to you and your particular circumstance that we should visit further about. But in general, these statements are quite accurate. That earthquake and flood, and sinkhole are not covered by your policy unless they’re specifically covered, unless they’re specifically shown in your declarations page. So if you’re looking through, then you go, I’ve got a concern, I don’t see those coverages, then they would be worthwhile to talk about this. Let’s talk about those risks. Flood would be in general, groundwater that has occurred that’s coming across your property, from perhaps a major storm that’s happened above you, or to the north of B or whatever, whatever direction would be. But it’s suddenly coming your way or could be bursted.

Damn, it could be something like that. I was not from a storm, but something else happened. Is that covered? No, it’s not covered, unless you’ve got specific flood coverage on your policy. And that has to be done. Flood insurance is is provided by FEMA. It’s a federal part of the federal government. And this has to be arranged in advance of something happening. But if you are concerned about flood insurance, let us know we’ll be glad to look into that and make sure what can be done in your area. So that earthquake, earthquake is probably something that you’re considering, unless you live in California, that there’s no need to have that type of coverage.

Well, that’s actually not the case. There are faults in Kentucky, and there’s false in West Virginia that that can happen that can cause serious damage to your home. And so we can talk with you about earthquake insurance, if you’d like. It’s a very good thing to have. I visit with her about earthquake insurance, every every conversation I have about homeowners insurance.

And in our area, I live in central Kentucky. In our area, there are quakes that happen in Western Kentucky many years ago, there was something called the new Mandroid of pronounced mattered, not Madrid, New Madrid fault that occurred that shook up things terribly. And it was a major earthquake, larger than the San Francisco earthquake, which which we’ve heard of in history has been just a terrible thing, terrible event. Well, thankfully, in Kentucky, there were less people in the area. And it happened in kind of a rural zone that rerouted the Mississippi River, it had all sorts of things, there’s something called Real foot lake out there. All that’s because of an earthquake, it’s a real thing that really didn’t happen. Well, the the that fault is still there, and can still happen. Yes, it can still happen. If I don’t mention that to you. Shame on me. And I recommend that you visit with us. We’ll be glad to help you about that and just show you pricing. Is that something you want to consider?

After I’ve talked with people about earthquake insurance? About half of them take the earthquake insurance and half of them say no, don’t want it and that’s okay. Whatever person chooses, that’s okay, as long as I’ve shared that with them, and that they can make their choice. And I’ll say that’s 50% Take it 50% Don’t take it. I’ll say that half my customers are pretty smart. I just can’t tell you which half Okay, that’s insurance humor there. Okay, next thing, we’re gonna talk about a sinkhole.

If you live in an area that’s got a lot of limestone. And here in central ticket, there’s a lot of limestone. There can be sudden sinkholes that you’ve not seen before, to where the water is leached away the foundation over a period of time. And that can be a serious problem when suddenly your house has been encroached upon by this big ol hole in your backyard that appeared out of nowhere. And is there coverage for that.

In general No, there’s no coverage for that unless you pre arranged sinkhole coverage and sinkhole is available and center protected And then other places as well. And we could talk with you about that. And that really depends on your specific, your personal specific concerns. Another thing that we should mention, perhaps in passing, there’s something called Mind subsidence. That is in some counties in southern some in West Virginia and Kentucky. There’s a real need, you’re required to have mine subsidence coverage. That’s when there’s been underground mining. Many types of many, many feet below the surface that you’re not even aware of. But certain counties are required to have that coverage. And certain counties there’s, there’s no need that you cannot get that coverage. But all those things you need to look at you need to be aware of and let us know we’ll be glad to help you review your policy.

Bray & Oakley insurance has several insurance companies to choose from and we work hard to do things right for you. So give us a call

Additional Coverage

We’re talking about your homeowners policy. And I’ve got my doc page right here. Hopefully you’ve got yours available that you can check on some things. I’d like to visit about some other coverages that may be on your policy, or they may not be on your policy that you might check with your agent about. And I’ll just tell you, we’re glad to review your policies. And we’re glad to talk talk through potential coverages for you. These are some things that if if your claim was to occur, you would be very glad that you had this this coverage, these are additional things. And sometimes you’ll find this type of coverage under a packages, packages of coverages or options that you have.

I’m speaking of Equipment Breakdown, that’d be where there would be a mysterious type of loss to your equipment, like HVAC equipment, any type of electronic system in your home, and it suddenly stopped working under normal circumstances, you would have to be showing, it would have to have shown an event that occurred that to be an insurance claim, if it just stopped working. In many cases, if it just stops working, because it’s old, or deteriorate or whatever, then sorry, that’s not covered up. There’s a manufacturer’s warranty. But it’s possible if you’ve got Equipment Breakdown coverage on your homeowners policy, it’s possible for that to be considered. Now I’m not right now making a blankstatement, or every time it will be whatever. I’m not saying that, because I have to use general statements in this type of video. But your specific thing might be different, but Look carefully.

There’s an Equipment Breakdown coverage on your policy. If so, you might also find that your HVAC unit that stopped working suddenly, May will be covered by that. But there’s there’s things that you need to do steps that you need to take the first thing if you do have that concern, call your current agent and find out about that, if you’d had that occur. If you’ve not had that to occur, and you just want to visit about it.

Let us know we can talk through things with you. And see if you that’d be something you’d be interested in having. Also, there’s something called underground service line coverage, you will probably receive mailings from your utility companies a couple of times a year to tell you just add this to your billing each month. And we will protect you for underground service line damage to your to your property between your house and and the main drain or the main whatever system out in the road. There’s a possibility that your homeowners policy could have that coverage on it as well. Underground service line coverage covers different types of utilities or water, sewage, electricity, cable, things like that.

It’s between your house and the street. And the specifics, we can give you more specifics on if you’d like. But in general look for that, to be on your policy most often is is not there. But let us know we’ll be going to be glad to show you this. Identity theft is another one that is a form of loss. It’s something that might be electronic in nature as how they got to your identity. But what has occurred has been a real loss to you financially. And it’s possible that your homeowner’s policy might have that type of coverage on there as well. And look for look for your deck page, or give us a call.

We’ll talk through it with you. There’s also something called Cyber coverage, which is a type of bet in depth as well. It’s just another step up that some of the companies are recognizing and providing additional funds to help you recover from your loss of an asset which is your identity and perhaps some expenses involved with that. Some other coverage would be water, backup sewer, sewer and drain backup. And this would be not groundwater, groundwater that affects your home.

That’s a type of flood and that’s a different item that we need to discuss at another time. But this will be one inside your home. The drain from the sewer or inset from the commode just came up and and overflowed with with stuff from the city that is missing. That may be on your policy and may not be on your policy look for it. If it’s not on your policy, chances are being excluded item they will not be covered item but sewer and drain backup can be very messy. And I’ll just give you a tip that I talked with my insurance my clients about that is this. How nice is your lowest floor? If you’ve got a very nice, finished basement, or your first level is your last floor you’re your main reinforce your lowest floor, and how’s your furnishings in there?

If that’s got, you know, the black water element, what how much of a problem is for you? That’s a significant problem. So consider that coverage. And again, when you’re looking at these these in your, in your documents, look for sewer and drain backup. If you have questions about this, we’re glad to get more specific with you. We’re glad to do so.

And we at Bray & Oakley, have several companies to work with. We’re independent agents. And that helps a lot and we’re here to help you. So give us a call.