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Category Archives: Homeowners Insurance

Helpful Tips for Buying a Home

There comes a point in one’s life where you get tired of renting, moving from one place to another, and dream of having your own home and your own space. Owning a home means having the ability to decorate your walls the way you want to, make holes on them to hang frames or change the layout of your entire bedroom, without having to ask for anyone’s permission. You can do anything you want such as restructure or renovate, as long as you have the means to pursue with your plans. It may seem like buying a home is a walk in the park. In reality, it is a nerve-racking process. The pressure of needing to make the right choice can cause frustration, stress, and not to mention unnecessary expenses. First-time home buyers are prone to experience this. The excitement of buying a home slowly dissipates as first-time home buyers realize it takes more than just having cash or credit, to get one that fits their needs. To prevent this from happening, it is crucial to know and learn what to look for in buying a house, and more importantly, what are the factors that you need to consider before even buying one. Here are a few home-buying tips. Assess your financial capability. How much does your dream home cost? How much do you currently have? Once you have a ballpark figure, it should be easy to find houses that fit your budget range. If planning to get a loan, avoid unnecessary movement of your funds. Lenders prefer to see a complete and consistent paper trail before approving requests and offering best deals. Get to know the neighborhood. It’s never too early to feel the vibe of the place you’d be staying in for the long haul. Drive by at varying times to know what goes on regularly in the area. Scan the area and gauge how accessible essential trips are-such as to the hospital, mall, church, school or market. Know ahead of the time if you’d be comfortable with the daily commute. Do you need a garage? Do you need a huge open space? Does your family prefer a sizable living room area or bigger bedrooms? This aspect will largely be based on your specific preferences and needs. This could also dictate the kind of lifestyle you want to pursue….
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Have These Items in Your Home? You May Need Valuable Items Insurance

You may have many assets in your home that are high-value items either in terms of monetary or sentimental value, and you want to make sure that those items are protected. It is important to take into account that a homeowners insurance policy does not cover everything you own, and the items it does cover are only partially insured if they’re high-priced items. Instead, you’ll want to supplement your existing coverage with Valuable Items Insurance. Some homeowners don’t think about it until it is too late. Take the steps now so all of your most valuable and irreplaceable items are protected. These are a few commonly-owned items you should consider insuring beyond your normal policy. Jewelry Normally homeowners and renters insurance policies have a limit well below the value of more expensive pieces even if jewelry is an included coverage.  It is smart to have the jewelry appraised first and then add it to your policy or purchase a separate policy. Computer Equipment What is the purpose of your computer equipment? If it’s for personal use ,it is possible that it is already covered. If you use a computer for work, your employer likely has a policy covering the equipment. If you’re self-employed, you need a policy that covers your business assets. Be sure to properly insure any business-related computer equipment. Artwork There is certain artwork that may require special coverage. If you own expensive artwork that stays on your wall, insure it with a supplemental policy if your homeowners or renters insurance doesn’t cover it completely. If the art is ever on public display, it is beneficial to obtain a public liability policy to protect the piece from damage. Specialty Tools Certain lines of work require tools that should be insured. If you’re a mechanic or work in any trade that requires specialty tools, be sure to check your insurance policy for guidance. You may want to include the tools in your business insurance coverage if they’re stored at your home but primarily used for your business. Pets No animal lover would ever want to consider his or her beloved friend as property, but most laws recognize animals as something you own. Insurances related to pets include health and liability insurance.  It is important to note that sadly, depending on the breed, your pet may be excluded from your homeowner’s policy….
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What to Do Immediately After Closing on a House

When you’ve finally received the keys to your new home, you’ll likely exhale a sigh of relief. All of the planning and house hunting has paid off, now it’s time to enjoy your new dwelling, right? Not quite. Consider your comfort in your new residence by heeding the following tips for what to do immediately after the house is all yours. More importantly, protect your investment with a NY Home Insurance policy. Deep clean. Take advantage of the open space and give your new home a deep clean. This includes carpet, tile, walls, bathtubs, sinks, fixtures and more. It will be a much easier task without having to move around furniture, so do this before moving in to save yourself some time and effort. Inspect your things. Once everything’s off the truck, check your inventory list against what’s actually been delivered. Has everything made it to the new place? This is where it helps to have both the inventory list and a floor plan filled out with what goes where. You can then walk through the house, room by room, and make sure that everything has arrived safe and sound. And speaking of boxes, be sure to open a few cartons of your most breakable items to make certain they survived the move, says How Stuff Works. Prioritize unpacking. If you’re moving from house to house, you probably have a lot of boxes to unpack. Hopefully you spared yourself the headache and labeled each box accordingly. If you’re not paying the movers to unload for you, start by unpacking the essentials first – think kitchen and bathroom staples before worrying about fine china or decorations. Make it homey. Unpack bedding for each person who will be sleeping in the house on the first night. This goes hand in hand with prioritizing unpacking, and it will also make the space come to life and bring comfort to your family in a new space. About AJ Benet At AJ Benet, we make sure that your homeowners insurance includes more than the basics. Our policies are custom-tailored to fit your unique needs at a price you can afford. For more information, call us today at (914) 381-2040.

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Budget-Friendly Ways to Boost Value

Home is where so many memories are made and where you spend the majority of your free time. With that in mind, it’s no wonder you want to take care of your property and keep it looking great and modern. However, upgrades can be costly, and without a huge budget, you might feel as though it’s impossible to keep your home fresh. With these simple suggestions, you can get a lot of bang for your buck, without making a huge dent in your wallet. Read on to discover how to boost value and protect your home with a NY Home Insurance policy. Power wash. Dirt and grime can build up on the exterior of your home quickly. Not only is this build up unsightly, it’s an instant value killer. For a few hundred dollars, you can brighten up your home with the help of a professional contractor. Curb appeal. A yard full of weeds is more than an eyesore — neglected landscaping can lower your home’s worth, states HGTV. “Updating the exterior of your home can be a quick and easy way to build instant value,” says Jenna Fulk, broker associate with PorchLight Real Estate Group in Denver. Start by clearing overgrown landscaping and adding potted and hanging plants to your entryway. “Also try updating the front door light fixture, replacing dated house numbers and painting the front door a bright, contrasting color to boost value and curb appeal without breaking the bank.” Add a fresh coat of paint. A subtle paint color can make an impactful change in your home. A fresh coat of paint can liven up the space and modernize it at the same time. The best part? You can turn into room into a beautiful one for less than $100. Uncover the wood floors. If your old carpet contains wood floors underneath, expose them. If you’re lucky, you won’t have to sand or refinish them. However, if you do, these materials can cost about $200 and some elbow grease. Not only will this give your home more of an updated look, it will boost your home’s value tenfold. About AJ Benet At AJ Benet, we make sure that your homeowners insurance includes more than the basics. Our policies are custom-tailored to fit your unique needs at a price you can afford. For more information, call us…
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Money Saving Tips for Homeowners

As a homeowner, you know how quickly expenses add up. From utility bills to landscaping and groceries, there’s always something that needs to be paid for. Therefore, we have devised this list for you to be more aware of where your money goes and to pad your wallet over time. In addition to securing the right NY Home Insurance policy, heed the following advice. Automate your thermostat. There’s no reason to leave your air or heat on when you’re at work all day. Invest in a programmable thermostat so you don’t have to think about it. They can be expensive at $249, but many energy companies offer rebates for purchasing them and some even send them for free upon purchasing certain programs. Or, if you don’t want to spend the money, leave a note for yourself each morning before you go to work to turn it off. Block out the sun. Rather than keeping your blinds open all day, prevent your home from heating up by blocking the sun out. Turn down your shades and leave them closed during the hot summer months. This will lessen the workload for your AC, which can save you money in the long run. Be sure to use fans, as well, so that you can better circulate cooler air throughout your home quicker. Replace your air filters. Replace your HVAC filters at least every six months, preferably every three. Clogged, dirty filters block airflow and reduce your system’s efficiency. In the worst-case scenario, a wrongly-sized filter or dirty filter can cause your system to burn out and require a replacement, explains financial counselor Scott Alan Turner. Fix leaking windows. Letting air out and in can lead to excessive heating and cooling bills. Invest the time and money into repairing these faulty windows to improve your home’s efficiency and safety. About AJ Benet At AJ Benet, we make sure that your homeowners insurance includes more than the basics. Our policies are custom-tailored to fit your unique needs at a price you can afford. For more information, call us today at (888) 639-4560.

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Westchester County Homeowners Insurance: High-End Home Insurance

Westchester County Homeowners Insurance: High-End Home Insurance You own a home; you need any standard home insurance policy right? Not quite that simple. For one thing, it is essential to know the value of your coverage. Homeowners’ policies may cover fire damage and theft, but their loss limits typically fall way short of the necessary range. Insuring luxury and high end homes requires a more carefully constructed home insurance plan than a standard house. High end homes often boast fine luxury features, extraordinary craftsmanship, technology, and expensive furnishings that could be extremely costly to repair or replace if damaged. When insuring your high end home, you want to take the time to thoroughly evaluate the property with your insurance agent. The cost of materials, fine art, jewelry, furniture, technology; everything should be analyzed and assessed. Often times, the program in place can have either duplicate or too much coverage, or not enough coverage. You want a comprehensive policy that represents the true value of your home and its content. A strong high end home insurance policy requires a thorough fact-finding and replacement cost analysis of your home. The policy should also reflect any exposures that could increase your liability, such as swimming pools, and tennis or basketball courts, so that if someone is injured on your property you are covered. Other factors that might be considered are excess flood insurance, incidental business coverage, identity theft, and if a structure needs to be rebuilt to “green standards,” to make sure you have the exact coverage your home requires. If you employ a staff, there may be a need for employment practices liability insurance or workers comp insurance. At A.J. Benet, we understand the intricacies of insuring high-end luxury homes. We will work with you to make sure you have a comprehensive homeowners insurance policy that ensures you and your family have the best protection. And in the event of a loss, you can be assured that a team of adjusters is available to you 24/7. Contact us today for more information about our Westchester County Homeowners Insurance.

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Fine Jewelry Insurance: Make Sure You’re Covered

Fine Jewelry Insurance: Make Sure You’re Covered Your jewelry collection is extremely precious to you. Whether you’ve amassed a family collection of heirlooms or some personal, highly valued gifts, you want to make sure you are protected. But misunderstandings of what exactly is covered in a homeowner’s policy could leave you high and dry if your jewelry is lost or stolen. At the essence of an issue is often a communication divide. There is a common disparity between perceived value and the actual value. An owner might have sentimental value, or overinflate the value of their jewelry, and have an estimate that conflicts with an expert opinion. Or, they might assume it is covered under their homeowner’s insurance when it really is much more valuable than that. Most homeowner’s policies do cover jewelry items. However, when the actual loss of an entire jewelry collection does occur, it is extremely rare that the owner receives a settlement that comes close to the true value of the missing items. To avoid that position, homeowners must have a firm understanding of the exact value of their possessions and base their insurance coverage accordingly. If you have a high end jewelry collection, you want to take the time to make sure every item is covered and properly insured for its current value. The key is documenting in detail, comprehensive information on each piece you own. Many jewelry appraisals conducted at local stoops- and their certificate of authority relies on simple sales techniques that may not adequately assess the value of a piece. It is essential that the value may have changed over time. The price of gold has increased significantly in the past 20 years; if you have an antique piece of gold jewelry; it is most likely worth significantly more today. High-value items need better protection than a standard homeowner’s policy. A.J. Benet offers sound, well-priced coverage for these valuable items either with a floater added onto your Westchester homeowners insurance policy or a stand-along policy . Contact us today for more information (888) 639-4560

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Westchester County Home Insurance: Keeping Critters Out

Westchester County Home Insurance: Keeping Critters Out Housing developments in former woodlands often have to contend with the areas previous residents. Squirrels, insects, raccoons, deer, and rodents all coexist with homeowners, often to the owner’s discontent. Westchester County Homeowners are looking for new ways to evict their unwelcome guests. According to the Wall Street Journal, about 30 percent of Americans used pest-control services last year, up from 20 percent in 2004. For animals, the suburbs is a win-win. The landscaping in suburbs, buffet line of garbage cans, and supply of food in the pantry are all enticing prospects for animals looking for a bunk. But the damage from critters can be significant. Deer forage your foliage and landscaping, raccoons ravage the garbage, and rodents including squirrels, rats, and mice chew their way into the house, damage soffits and electrical wires in the process. The threat of rabies and excrement from wild animals also raises health concerns. A rodent or animal infestation issue isn’t typically a reflection of the house’s years or cleanliness. In fact, sometimes newer houses are often the problem, being built with gaps allowing rodents to get in even when there isn’t a crumb in sight. Dangerous chemicals pose risks to homeowners, especially if they have pets or children. But there are other steps homeowners can take to rid themselves of unwanted house guests (at least the furry kind). Reinforcing houses, examining every nook and cranny to ensure there aren’t any construction gaps is one of the best ways to insure your house is fortified. Homeowners should check their dark garages and basements on a sunny day, looking for any hidden animals. Worn weather stripping around doors and spots where the cables runs through the wall are common entries for animals. And of course, if the problem persists and interferes with your daily life, it is best to hire an exterminator.

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