I Already Have Homeowners Insurance! Why Do I need Umbrella Insurance?

If you are a family with established assets you want to protect you could stand to lose a significant amount of money in the event of a lawsuit due to injury or liability. If you are sued, you could forfeit any assets you have built, including savings and investments. While the wealthy are at risk for liability, and libel claims, so are people who have no significant assets. While you might just be starting out in your career and have no tangible assets now, you have future assets that can be targeted, and a court can award benefits to a third party if you are held liable for injuries or damages. Having basic Peoria, AZ homeowners insurance is no guarantee that you and your future assets are safe in the event of an injury or claim. 

What Does Umbrella Insurance Do? 

Umbrella insurance provides added coverage above and beyond your homeowners insurance and protects your assets or future financial gains. It kicks in when a claim is more than what your homeowners, car insurance, or personal insurance policy limits are exhausted.  

What Does Umbrella Insurance Cover? 

Umbrella liability insurance provides a variety of protection from issues that arrive from personal and professional claims. For example, umbrella insurance from Schaller & Thomas Family Insurance protects you against claims of liability and slander whether related to home or business, in addition to: 

  • Excessive medical bills 
  • Lost wages due to negligence 
  • Rehabilitative therapy 
  • Litigation costs from injury or property damage 
  • Legal defense costs

I Have No Assets! Why Do I Need Umbrella Insurance?

You may have no assets now, but a court can obligate you to pay off damages awarded against your future earnings. For example, if you are a student studying for a higher degree, or are expected to be eventually promoted to a higher-paying position, when facing a lawsuit, your future projected earnings can be targeted. 

Why Extending Home Insurance From Standard Coverage is a Good Idea

Having standard home insurance coverage is a good thing because it covers many of the basic risks to a home; however, it usually does not cover everything that most homeowners need to protect.

It is a good idea to discuss the specifics of home insurance coverage with your agent at Schaller & Thomas Family Insurance serving Peoria, AZ and the surrounding area. Your agent can help you understand what things may need extra coverage.

Some of the items to consider include:

  • Pests: Damage from vermin and insects may not be covered by a home insurance policy. If termites destroy a home, coverage for the damage is not something usually found in a standard policy. The size of the pest may affect the coverage. For example, if a bull stampedes through a living room, the damage may be covered; however, a rat chewing through electrical wiring may not be covered.
  • Mold: The problem with mold is that it can grow in places that are not easily seen. A home insurance policy may not cover old problems such as a roof leak that allows water to enter the home, which causes mold contamination within the walls over time.
  • Floods: Because of the new weather patterns from climate change, floods and flash floods are showing up in places that are not expected to have them. About 25% of flood damage now occurs outside of the traditional floodplains on maps maintained by the U.S. government that are desperately in need of an update.
  • Earthquakes and Sinkholes: Earthquakes and sinkholes are unusual risks that need to have special coverage. If the ground shifts beneath a home, this can cause cracks in the foundation, floors, and walls, which need expensive repairs.
  • Municipal Sewer Systems: In severe rainstorms, a municipal sewer system may get overloaded and cause sewage to back up and then to enter homes causing severe damage.

Get a home insurance review by talking with your agent at Schaller & Thomas Family Insurance in Peoria, AZ to add extra coverage to your home insurance as needed.

What if My Home Insurance Policy Doesn’t Fully Cover Home Replacement?

Once you have purchased a home in Peoria, AZ, you want to do everything you can to protect the investment. The best way to do that is by getting a home insurance policy through Schaller & Thomas Family Insurance. However, when you are getting this policy, you want to make sure you get the right amount of coverage. One of the areas to pay attention to is home replacement value. 

How Much Coverage Do You Need?

When it comes to home replacement value, you want to make sure that you have enough to cover the full replacement of your home if ever needed. You will want to know what your home is worth and make sure your policy covers the entire amount.

What if You Don’t Have Enough?

Not having enough coverage to fully replace your home in case you need it could be detrimental. If something happens to your home and you have to completely rebuild, you do not want to end up paying thousands out of pocket to do so. That is exactly what can happen though if you do not have full coverage. You could end up paying for the rebuild or deciding that you need to think of another option simply because it would be too expensive to pay for it out of pocket. This is likely the biggest investment of your life and you want to make sure you protect it, even if that means making sure you have full replacement coverage for the valued amount of the property. 

You will want to take a look at your current policy, if applicable, to make sure you have enough coverage. if you do not or you need to get a quote for a new policy, be sure to contact Schaller & Thomas Family Insurance, serving Peoria, AZ, today for your free quote. 

3 Tips for Shopping for Homeowner’s Insurance in Peoria

Peoria, AZ is a great place to live. The weather is sunny all year round, the cost of living is low compared to cities like Seattle and New York, and there is always something to do. If you live in the Peoria, AZ area or are planning to move here and buy property, you will need to have home owner’s insurance.  We’ve put together a few tips to help you get started when buying home insurance in Phoenix.

1.  Compare Policies

Different insurance companies offer different policies with different rates. A reputable insurance agent can help you narrow down your choices and then choose the best one for your Phoenix property.

2.  Bundle Insurance Coverage

If you have auto insurance, boat insurance, or RV insurance with an insurance company, bundling your home owner’s insurance policy with existing policies is a great way to save money.

3. Choose a Friendly Insurance Agent

When it comes time to buy a home insurance policy for your home in Phoenix, you will want to work with and insurance agent who is friendly and responsive to your questions. When looking for an insurance agent you can always ask for references to help you make the best choice.

At Schaller & Thomas Family insurance our trusted, friendly and reputable insurance agents can help you find the best home owner’s insurance policy for your Peoria, AZ home. We will help you compare policies and look any discounts you may be eligible for, such as bundling insurance policies under the same insurance company. To reach an experienced insurance agent at Schaller & Thomas Family Insurance call us at 623-580-8688.

 

Spring Home Maintenance

Spring brings great weather and beautiful scenery, but it also presents some unique home maintenance issues that should not be overlooked. These tips from Phoenix, AZ, Schaller & Thomas Family Insurance can help you keep your home up to date, safe, and secure.

Spring Home Care Tips

  • Rake up the yard debris. Fall is not the only time of year for raking, clear out any debris to allow the new spring grass to grow.
  • Spread weed and feed on the yard. It only takes a season for the weeds to overpower the grass but applying weed and feed can keep the lawn green and home values stable.  
  • Check the gutters for debris before the April showers arrive. A clogged gutter can mean rain water getting into the roof if every things is not perfect, don’t take the risk.
  • Inspect the concrete for cracks and damage. Spring is a good time to clean and seal any exposed concrete around the home, to ensure stability and longevity.
  • Check the roofing materials. If shingles come up or metal is rusted you need to know immediately so you can repair the damage long before it becomes structural.
  • Change HVAC filters. Do this in the spring to maximize allergen protection.

Keeping your home in tip-top shape is not just about looking good it is about a healthy environment and saving money on your investment. It is important to stay on top of any issues before they become permanent damages. Schaller & Thomas Family Insurance can help you with anything that does go wrong in Phoenix, AZ and the surrounding areas. Some emergencies cannot be prevented but the peace of mind knowing you are fully insured is as much of a protection as keeping your home maintained each season.

 

Questions Every Homeowner Should Ask When Getting Insurance

Home insurance provides peace of mind that their investment is secure now and in the future. However, at Schaller & Thomas Family Insurance, we know that not all home insurance is created equally. To make sure you’re getting the best rates and best service, here are a few things you should ask when getting a new policy:

What are things not covered? This can vary from company to company, but in Arizona most standard home insurance policies don’t cover things like flood and water damage, earthquake damage, or termites, just to name a few examples. To make sure you are getting the best coverage for your needs, you may need to work with an agent to add supplemental protections to your plan.

When should I file a claim? It can be tempting to want to file a claim whenever the opportunity arises, but it’s important to remember that home insurance is meant to cover the situations that you can’t. In other words, while you can technically file a claim for anything covered by your policy, filing an excessive number of low-cost claims can lead to higher premiums.

If I need to make a claim, will I have a dedicated local agent to handle my case? If you live in Phoenix, Arizona, you don’t want an agent located in New York. When you need to file a claim, you’ll want to have someone knowledgeable that you can rely on, who can guide you through the process, and answer any questions you may have.

Contact Schaller & Thomas Family Insurance with any other questions you have, and let us help find the policy that’s right for you. Our offices serve Phoenix, AZ and the surrounding areas, call us to set up an appointment.

How Often Should You Tend to Your Landscaping?

When it comes to keeping your home looking its best, you need to take care of both the interior and exterior. And while sweeping the sidewalk and pressure washing the vinyl are great ways to keep the outside of your home looking great, you also need to make sure you tend to the landscaping on a regular basis. Regardless of whether or not you are wanting to sell your home, keeping the landscaping looking its best is an excellent way to improve its curb appeal. Here’s a quick look at three tips for tending to your landscape.

1) Tend to it at least once a week

Ideally, you will want to tend to your landscaping a bit each and every day; this helps to ensure you don’t have to put in a whole day’s work tending to it each week. But if you can’t tend to it a few minutes each day, you can set aside each week to devote toward trimming the bushes, mowing the grass, and pulling weeds. 

2) Use a tarp

One of the easiest ways to remove loose grass, mulch, and leaves is by piling it onto a tarp and then carrying it to wherever you want. You can even put it on a tarp and load it into the back of a truck to haul it off. 

3) Invest in high-quality landscaping equipment

It doesn’t matter how often you tend to your landscaping; you will want to use high-quality equipment and tools. Not only will these tools save you money in the long run because you won’t have to replace them as often, but they will also help you better achieve the landscaping appeal you are going for. 

To learn about properly insuring your home, contact Schaller & Thomas Family Insurance serving the Phoenix, AZ area. 

Ways to Have a More Successful Yard Sale

Yard sales can be very common in Phoenix, AZ but they are not always successful. If having a yard sale is something that you want to do, you will want to take the time to ensure that it is a successful one and you make the money you are looking for. Use these tips from Schaller & Thomas Family Insurance before you host your yard sale:

  • Invite neighbors to take part. A yard sale can be even more successful if you have multiple families selling items. The bigger the yard sale the more people that will come.
  • Plan your yard sale for the weekend. You will have a lot more traffic if you schedule it for Friday, Saturday, or Sunday so aim for a combination of those days. 
  • Advertise. You want to be sure to plan ahead and make some signs so people know that the yard sale is happening. If you have the signs out a few days before, more people will be exposed to the signs and can come when it is happening.
  • Clean the items you are selling. If you are selling items that are used, you want to make sure they are not dirty and gross. When they are clean, more people will be willing to purchase them from you. 

No matter what steps you take before your yard sale, you should also look into getting a great home insurance policy so you can protect your home and your finances. If you do not already have one, be sure to contact Schaller & Thomas Family Insurance serving Phoenix, AZ for a free quote and to explore your options. If you do have one, they can make sure you are not paying too much or have any gaps in coverage.

Fix Up Your Fencing to Protect Your Home and Investment

Perhaps that crooked and crumbling fence at the back of your property has been like that for years. You consider the cost and effort of fixing it but decide you will save it for another year. Doing so could put your Phoenix AZ home and property at risk.  It’s time to do some fencing repairs!

A Sturdy Fence Discourages Thieves

A rickety fence that can be seen from the street will encourage a thief or vandal to investigate the rest of your property to look for easy pilfering.  By keeping your fence straight and painted, it tells criminals that there are easier pickings elsewhere. Even fixing the fence along the back of your property helps to prevent them from gaining entry in an unseen location.

Your Pretty Fence Encourages Neighbors to Do the Same

Property values increase when the entire neighborhood works to maintain their yards. When you add an attractive and secure fence to your front yard, it won’t be long before you’ll notice others doing the same. Or perhaps you only need to freshen up the paint on your existing fence. It’s also an opportunity to add additional security cameras and alarms to the perimeter.

Reduce Your Liabilities

If you own pets, a sturdy privacy fence also prevents any unfortunate incidents resulting from your dog running loose through the neighborhood.  Whether it’s an unwanted litter of puppies or a bite, your neighbors will think better of you for taking steps to prevent them from happening in the first place. It also adds a certain amount of freedom when you can let your furry friends out for a run off their leash.

For more home improvement tips that can help protect your home, investment and wealth, give your Phoenix AZ independent home insurance agents at Schaller & Thomas Family Insurance a call today.

Why States Require Auto Insurance

The vast majority of states in America require car insurance. Arizona is one of these states, so residents of Phoenix, AZ have to purchase car insurance before hitting the road. If they are caught driving without insurance, the penalties are significant. They may include the car being towed, a fine, and a suspended license. Thankfully, it is easy to purchase insurance from a firm such as Schaller and Thomas Family Insurance. This will insure you are covered in the event of an accident and won’t get in trouble if you’re pulled over. But why do states require car insurance in the first place? Read on to find out.

Reason #1 That States Require Auto Insurance: It Saves Money

Car accidents are incredibly expensive. Not just the damage to the car, but also property damage and injuries. Many people cannot pay for these damages, and the state ends up footing the bill one way or another. Also, the state government is trying to act in the best interests of its citizens by attempting to save them from financial ruin.

Reason #2 That States Require Auto Insurance: It Saves Time

Auto insurers help their customers through the aftermath of an accident. They have done this many times, and have the whole process streamlined. This means that people involved in a car accident put less strain on various government services, such as policing and the Department of Motor Vehicles. The insurance company already has established relationships with state and local governments, so they can get everything done more quickly.

Reason #3 That States Require Auto Insurance: Peace of Mind for Their Residents

Another reason that states require auto insurance is that residents of cities like Phoenix, AZ put pressure on them to do so. These residents were concerned about their finances, of course, but they also wanted to have peace of mind. If you are driving with car insurance purchased from an agency like Schaller and Thomas Family Insurance, you know that you’re covered in the event of an accident.