RateGenius Insurance

9300 United Drive, Suite 180
Austin, TX 78758

Features of Home Insurance

Home insurance is not something that you find yourself shopping for very often. Therefore, you need to make sure that you get it right every time you have the chance to do it. Perhaps you are looking to purchase coverage for your newly acquired home or you are looking to improve on the coverage you already have on your home. You need to make sure that the policy you are about to purchase has all the important features of home insurance.

What to Look for In A Policy

If you are not sure about what features to look for in a homeowners’ insurance policy, seek assistance from experts in your area. If you are in Austin TX, Rate Genius Insurance can provide all the assistance you need to get the right type of insurance for your home. There are two major features of home insurance based the coverage provided. These are:

  • Cover for Damages.
  • Cover for Liabilities.

These two features determine the level of coverage your policy provides. Cover for damages is one of the most important components of a homeowners’ insurance policy. It determines the amount of coverage the policy extends against a variety of damages. A standard homeowners’ insurance policy provides coverage for the structures in the compound, personal possessions in the property, and additional living expenses — also known as the loss of use cover.

The cover for liabilities feature is designed to protect the homeowner from any liabilities arising from damage to property or bodily injuries caused to a third party in the property. For instance, if a tree in your property falls on your neighbor’s fence and damages it, the liability section of your coverage pays for the damages caused by this event. Get a homeowners’ insurance policy from Rate Genius Insurance in Austin, TX, for coverage that contains all the important features of home insurance. Give us a call for more information about our homeowners’ insurance policies.

Does Home Insurance Cover the Cost of Medical Bills for Pets Injured in Home Accidents?

Home insurance covers a wide range of things and many that you may not know about. For those that have pets, they are often like a member of the family, and it is essential to make sure that they are safe and taken care of even in the event of an issue or a disaster in your home. For those in the Austin, TX area, the agents with Rate Genius Insurance can help you to find the perfect policy for your needs.

When it comes to taking care of pets that have been injured in an accident in your home, most home policies will help pay the cost of vet bills for your pets. This means if there is a fire and your pets need to go to the vet following the incident, your home policy will help pay for the cost of getting your pet well. It is important to remember that you must be able to prove that the pet was injured during the event.

You also want to make sure that you take the time to look over your individual policy and see what it covers. You can also take out extra coverage for your pets to specifically cover them and make sure that they are covered in any event that may transpire. Your pets cannot protect themselves, and it is essential that you take the time to cover your pets and make sure they are protected.

For those in the Austin, TX area, the agents with Rate Genius Insurance can help you to find the policy that is going to work best for your particular needs. Reach out to our agents to learn more about a home insurance policy and how it can protect your pets.

How to Make a Home Insurance Claim

Since your home is probably the most expensive investment you have made, you want to make sure that if anything happens to it, it can be restored to its original state as fast as possible. Having home insurance with Rate Genius Insurance gives you peace of mind knowing that in case of any disaster, your home’s repair/replacement costs are covered. Homeowners in Austin, TX face several risks, including burglary, damages from natural causes, and man-made damages that could damage or destroy their homes thus forcing them to make a claim with their insurance providers.

Making a claim is not just a matter of calling your insurance provider; there’s much involved. Knowing what to do can make the process less stressful, and here’s how:

Inform your insurance company immediately

It’s advisable to file a claim as soon as possible to ensure repairs are done so you can get back to your daily routine in the shortest time possible. Furthermore, it prevents further damages. You will receive an adjuster who will assess the damage and estimate the cost of damages. Don’t shy away from asking questions.

Document all damages

Take photos or footage of the aftermath. This can be useful in moving the claims process faster or provide evidence in case of a dispute. Take an inventory of all damaged or lost property. Also, don’t throw away damaged property before the adjuster sees them.

Prevent further damage

After documentation, make the necessary repairs to protect your property and your health. Keep receipts for such repairs. However, avoid permanent repairs unless your insurance company instructs you to do so.

At Rate Genius Insurance, we provide affordable and reliable home insurance policies. Our knowledgeable agents will help you determine what coverage options are suitable for your Austin, TX home. For more information, contact us today.

Can I Make Repairs Myself If I File a Home Insurance Claim?

If you have filed a homeowners insurance claim, the company may send an adjuster out to examine the damage, determine how much it will cost to repair, and then cut you a check for the difference between that and your deductible. One of the questions that we at Rate Genius Insurance, serving the greater Austin, TX area, are often asked is whether you can make the repairs yourself with the check or whether you have to hire a contractor. Here is some information you will want to know. 

What Happens Next?

Once an insurance company cuts you a check, you are free to use it how you wish. You can decide to do the work yourself, hire a contractor, or hire a family friend to complete the work for you. However, it is important to understand that if you complete the work yourself or use an unlicensed contractor. Home insurance may not cover any damage done to your home by improper repairs or repairs that are not up to code. As such, it is strongly advised that you hire a licensed contractor who has their own insurance and is familiar with local codes when you are looking to have any repairs made to your home. 

Having the right homeowner’s insurance policy in place is always important before the unexpected occurs. This helps to ensure you are properly covered and that the process will go as smoothly as possible. If you are looking to obtain a new home insurance policy, contact Rate Genius Insurance, serving the greater Austin, TX area today. We can help you find the right policy for your needs. Call us now to get started. 

Home Incident Statistics with Fires and Floods

If you’re deciding between purchasing home owner’s insurance and not having insurance, you should take into account the high rate that incidents in the home occur. If you think you’re saving money by not purchasing insurance, you’re not. A policy from Rate Genius Insurance, serving Austin, TX and the surrounding area, will protect your home in the event something happens. Whether you realize it or not, the chances of something happening is quite high. 

Fire

According to the U.S. Fire Administration, a division of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), fires affected 1,298,000 people in 2014 alone. The financial loss associated with these fires totaled $11.6 billion for the year. A majority of fires–50.8 percent to be exact–in 2015 were caused by cooking incidents such as a grease fire. In the same year, 19.8 percent were caused by heating including furnaces and space heaters. Of the fires in this year, electrical malfunction accounted for 6.4 percent, which includes incidents caused by old wiring. Although it’s the least common cause of fires, unintentional/careless reasons attributed to 6.4 percent of fires. An example of an unintentional fire is one caused by a cigarette not being put out all the way.

Flooding

First, home insurance does not typically cover floods. It is still vital to know the statistics of floods and how they affect your home. Floods can cause a substantial amount of damage to a home that could be caused by a significant storm or just an elevated amount of rainfall. Improper drainage could cause your home to flood, even in conditions when it’s not raining torrentially. Each year floods affect various regions of the U.S. In 2014, the National Weather Service reported $2,861,426,089 worth of flood damage across the U.S. In 2011, the same association stated the U.S. suffered from $9,102,294,087 worth of flood damage. 

Consider the value of your home. If one of these occurred or another type of issue arose that caused damage, could you afford the expense to repair or replace everything in your home including its structure? Contact Rate Genius Insurance, serving Austin, TX and the surrounding area, today for a homeowner’s insurance quote by calling 866-413-6768, so you’re never in the predicament where your home is damaged, and you can’t afford to fix it.

Three Surprising Things Your Homeowner’s Insurance Covers

You most likely couldn’t have purchased your current home in Austin, TX, without homeowner’s insurance. The policy protects your most important investment by compensating you for damage or loss to the structure of your house and its contents. It also takes care of other issues in your life, which may come as a surprise. Rate Genius Insurance points out just some of the other things it covers.

Belongings Stolen Outside Your Home

You may have gone on a shopping spree and all the packages were stolen from your car, only to discover auto insurance doesn’t cover you. In another example, you may have had your pockets picked while out of your home. In both cases, homeowner’s insurance compensates you. Your policy may take care of possessions stolen outside the home even while you’re traveling abroad. Coverage is usually limited to 10 percent of the maximum amount that your policy would pay for all the contents of your home. A police report is generally needed if you want to file a claim.

Lawsuits For Incidents Outside Your Property

If your dog bites someone while you’re walking it in a park or you accidentally hurt someone during a sports competition, you may be sued for medical expenses as well as pain and suffering. Your homeowner’s insurance may include liability coverage for at least $100,000 for such contingencies. If that amount seems too low to you, given today’s more litigious society, you can easily raise it for higher premiums by talking to your agent.

Landscaping

Trees, flowers, and other foliage on your property are covered by your homeowner’s insurance typically up to 5 percent of your policy limit. However, they must be plants that you bought for the property. Those that were growing on your lot previously are not covered. In addition, certain types of damage may not be covered, such as wind. Taking photos of your landscaping before and after the loss is helpful.

If you need more information about what homeowner’s insurance covers in Austin, TX, please contact Rate Genius Insurance.

Spring Home Maintenance Tips

If you have a home insurance policy, you are required to properly maintain your home. If you fail to do so and a problem arises, the insurance company may have legal ground to deny your case. However, many homeowner’s are unsure of how to properly maintain their home. Following the cold, wet, and icy winter, there are a few things around the exterior of your Austin, TX home you will want to inspect and possibly have worked on or repaired.

They include:

The Foundation of Your Home

If you notice any cracks around the base of your home, you will want to have them inspected and potentially repaired to prevent further problems with the foundation of your home in the future. If you do not do so, the cracks can spread allowing water to enter your home.

The Roof

If you do not feel comfortable doing so yourself, a roofer can inspect the roof on your behalf. Catching any damaged or missing shingles and tiles, or any other roofing problems, allow you the opportunity to fix the problem before the next rainfall. Water can enter your home and cause a leak if your roof is not maintained.

Your Windows

Always inspect the caulking around your windows and look for signs of water damage. If you notice any signs of water damage around the windows, they may need to be re-caulked or you may need to have new windows installed. You can lose a great deal of energy through old windows and moisture damage can occur to your structural wall supports if water seeps in.

If you are in the market for a new home insurance policy in Austin, TX, Rate Genius Insurance would love to help. Contact us today to get started on a quote or use our online rating tool for quotes on your home and auto insurance policies.

Keep Your Home Safe from Household Hazardous Materials

Nearly every household in the United States has household hazardous material (HHMs) as part of the household cleaning and maintenance.  These are often stored under the sinks, in closets, garages, and basements.  They are useful to help make household chores easier, but they can pose a threat to those in your home, especially children, or to the environment if they are not disposed of properly when they are not needed or expired. 

How to Tell if a Product is an HHMs

Household products that are considered hazardous will have one of these keywords: Warning, Danger, Caution, or Poison.  If products in your home have any of these keywords, then they could be toxic, flammable, corrosive, or reactive.

  • Toxic products can cause immediate or long-term illness because they are poisonous.  Often these are paint thinner, pesticides, some automotive products, and some cleaners.
  • If the product is flammable, it will ignite easily.  Products like paint, paint thinner, solvents, and some automotive products are flammable and combustible.
  • Corrosive products can eat through materials.  Items like oven cleaner, drain cleaner, toilet bowl cleaners, and automobile batteries are corrosive products that can be harmful.
  • Reactive materials are household products that should never be mixed because they can create poisonous vapors or spontaneously ignite when mixed.  You’ll need to review product labels for warnings about other products not to mix with or to keep away from heat, air, water, or shaking because they can explode.

Rate Genius Insurance

Our agents at Rate Genius Insurance want everyone to keep their household safe from hazardous materials.  Make sure your home insurance provides adequate coverage for any incidents caused by HHMs by contacting a Rate Genius agent today.  We provide homeowner insurance coverage for those with homes in the United States.