Is Lightning Damage Covered By My Home Insurance Policy?

Lighting strikes are probably a lot more common than you think, with over 20 million strikes reported each year in the United States. Luckily, most basic home insurance policies will cover the damage caused by both lightning strikes as well as power surges and other electrical incidents. At the Saucon Insurance Agency, we are here to provide such coverage to our clients in the greater Bethlehem, PA area. 

How Your Home Insurance Policy Can Protect You from Lightning Damage

If your home is struck by lightning it may become uninhabitable, especially if the strike causes a fire. While a basic home policy will cover the damage to your property, it may not provide reimbursement for expenses relating to your temporary relocation. Additionally, there may be valuable items in your home that exceed the maximum coverage amount of your policy. It is highly advisable that you have a regular policy review of your entire insurance portfolio to make sure that your home policy provides adequate coverage to protect you and your family in the event of a lightning strike or other natural disaster. Basic policies will cover some damage to your home but may not be adequate to protect your belongings and other ancillary expenses that can arise after a natural disaster. Make sure that you have the right coverage in place now before you need it!

Want to learn more about lightning coverage and other protection that a comprehensive home insurance policy can provide? Call or stop by the Saucon Insurance Agency today to meet with one of our helpful agents who can review your home insurance options for your residence in the greater Bethlehem, PA area. 

Common Household Items that may Require Additional Umbrella Insurance

We make sure that our belongings and loved ones are well taken care of.  We provide for them the best we can with the known factors in life, and have insurance to protect our belongings and loved ones from the unknown events in life.  We have car insurance, home owners insurance, and life insurance.  Often, people think that this is enough, but what about items that may fall outside of the realm of normal coverage?  For that there is umbrella insurance.  Many people do not realize there are common household items that you may be required to have additional umbrella insurance to cover.  Let’s take a look at some items that you probably didn’t realize need umbrella insurance.

Often, car insurance and home owners insurance will come with a limit.  This limit could be $300,000 or $500,000.  But what happens when your claim exceeds this amount?  Do you collect valuable antique cars?  Do you customize exotic cars?  If you were ever to be in an accident where bodily injury is involved, your current car insurance policy could quickly run out.  This is where umbrella insurance would kick in so that you are not held liable to any additional expenses as a result of the insurance claim.  Do you have any fun recreational vehicles?  Having an ATV or a dirt bike is great fun, but what if friends get injured while riding your ATV on your property?  Of course your home owner’s insurance would help cover the medical care for your friends if they are injured, but what if the injuries exceed your policy?  Again, umbrella insurance would be there to help protect you from paying out of pocket.

Umbrella insurance is an additional insurance to help protect people and their assets.  The residents of Bethlehem, PA understand the importance of additional insurance and regularly turn to the experts at Saucon Insurance Agency.  Proudly serving Bethlehem, PA, Saucon Insurance Agency welcomes questions and new clients everyday.  If you think umbrella insurance is a good idea for yourself, call our experts today to start a new policy. 

Do’s and Don’ts of Pest Removal

Pests in the home are inevitable, especially during the warm months in the Bethlehem PA area. Ants and other insects make it through the smallest of openings to your home in search of food and water. Here are some Do’s and Don’ts not in your quest to remove pests from your home.

  • Fruit flies can show up in droves and are difficult to remove. They often sneak a ride home on the produce from the store. The best thing to do is to keep the kitchen clean, don’t leave fruits and vegetables out, and create vinegar traps to snag them. Don’t try to seal them out, because it doesn’t work.
  • Ants will go after any crumbs or spills around. Follow their trail to see where they are sneaking in and use a tube of sealant to cut off the trail of pheromones they left for their friends. Don’t spay ants with cleaners or combine borax and powder sugar to poison their food. It may kill the ant, but it can end up attracting more, and it is toxic to pets.
  • Roaches naturally hide in their search for food. Scrub the space where they are and put out commercial-grade roach traps. Don’t try to manage an infestation, call an exterminator.
  • The most destructive insects are termites and carpenter ants because they will damage the wood in your home structure. The best thing to do in either case is to call an exterminator to make certain they are gone.
  • Don’t forget about your pets. Treat them for fleas and ticks or those pests will hitch a ride in and want to stay.

Saucon Insurance Agency

We provide home insurance in the Bethlehem, PA area. Contact the Saucon Insurance Agency today to explore your home insurance options.

When to Update Your Bethlehem Home Insurance

Your home insurance policy likely sits in a drawer or on a file on your computer, and you only look at it if you absolutely need to. But what if you’ve decided to finally spring for a new couch or that 2-karat diamond you’ve had your eyes on? The problem is that these purchases can quickly cause the value of your home to sky rocket. As people settle into a property, it’s only natural to spend money on it. So how often should you really reassess your property?

Major Events 

Any time you do anything drastic to your home (remodeling your bathroom, adding an expensive garden, etc.), you’re going to want to call your home insurance agent. Saucon Insurance Agency serves the people of Bethlehem PA, and we’ve seen all the ways people go out of their way to give themselves a better home. The more people put in the effort, the better the city gets. It’s helpful to have home insurance to reflect it so everything can be repaired or replaced if a massive storm or major event destroys it. 

Once a Year 

But it’s not just major events that should cause you to think about your home insurance policy. You should be going over how your home has changed every year. You may have bought a new laptop or professional clothes. That adds up over time, so it might be time to get more coverage on your items. Saucon Insurance Agency can talk to you more about how your policy should work, and what you should be worried about when it comes to keeping your family safe. If you have questions or are looking for a few quotes to compare, give us a call today to start your search in Bethlehem, PA.

How to Save On Your Home Insurance Costs

You are not boxed into paying a set price for your home insurance. There are a few different ways you can save on your home insurance costs, either by making a few different plan switches or by making some home improvements. Whatever you are looking for, Saucon Insurance Agency can help you save money insuring your Bethlehem, PA home. 

Up Your Deductible 

If you want to drop the amount you pay for the premium, the best way is to up the deductible. This will increase the amount of money you need to pay in order for insurance to kick in, but it will often substantially lower the amount you pay on your monthly payments. 

Security System Installation

A home security system is an excellent way to cut down on insurance costs. These systems reduce the chance of a break in. Most insurance companies also like knowing you are safe and sound. So, if you are ready to take the next step in home security, look towards a home security system. 

New Plumbing

If you live in an older home, your plumbing system may be significantly outdated. An outdated plumbing system makes your house susceptible to major plumbing problems further down the line. Anything from a burst pipe to leaks behind the shower can end up costing you tens of thousands of dollars in home repairs. By updating your plumbing, you may see a drop in insurance costs. Just make sure to inform your insurance provider of the updates. 

Whether you live in Bethlehem, PA or live somewhere else, the Saucon Insurance Agency is here to assist in protecting your valuable investment. With a handful of ways to save money on your home, follow these tips and you should see a nice drop off in your principal payments. 

Be Prepared for a Power Outage

Power outages in summer months are inconvenient, but they usually involve little more than buying ice and loading the food from your refrigerator into a cooler. Power outages during winter months in Bethlehem, PA can pose a greater risk to you and your family, so it is best to be prepared. Saucon Insurance Agency can provide guidance to help you prepare for major winter weather. 

Step 1: Assemble an Emergency Kit

Be sure to include:

  • Water and food
  • Extra blankets and clothing
  • Battery or solar powered radio
  • Alternative power sources for phones and medical equipment 
  • Flashlights with extra batteries
  • Rock salt (ice melt), kitty litter, and shovel
  • Heat source– ventilate safely
  • Generator and gas– never run indoors to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning

Step 2: Take Action

Make contact with the power company to determine estimated time before power is restored. If it is going to be more than a few hours, it is time to act. Gather family members, extra clothing, and blankets in a central room, preferably a room with a stove or fireplace. Close off extra rooms to keep heat where it is needed. Keep water pipes from bursting by letting water trickle. Be sure you know how to turn off the main line. Do not open the refrigerator or freezer. Freezer food will last about 2 days if undisturbed. Food in the refrigerator only has about 4 hours before it becomes questionable. If outside weather permits, place food in a cooler and use snow to keep it cold. 

Step 3: Know When to Go

Ideally, you have what you need to stay warm and nourished for about a week. If that’s not the case, know when it’s time to seek help. Many local radio stations and news apps will announce shelter locations. If you are unable to drive out, contact emergency services.

The agents at Saucon Insurance Agency encourage you to be prepared for the possibility of a power outage, especially since Bethlehem, PA is no stranger to surprise winter weather events. 

 

 

How Much Home Insurance Should I Buy?

Home insurance should fit your home and your lifestyle. Buy too much and you’ll be throwing money away each month. Buy too little and you won’t be covered in the event something happens. For that reason it’s necessary to do a thorough inventory that takes into account the following:

The Structure of Your Home

Estimate the cost of rebuilding your home by determining local construction costs, the home’s square footage, and the style and type of materials your home is built from.  

Personal Possessions

Policies typically provide coverage for personal possessions that’s equal to between 50% and 70% of the value of the home. If you have valuable possessions such as artwork, jewelry, antiques, etc., you may need to secure additional endorsements to cover these items. Remember, when calculating possessions it’s important to insure them for their replacement cost, not their intrinsic value.

Liability to Others

Always make sure you are covered against lawsuits for bodily injury or property damage. This is especially important if you have features such as swimming pools, ponds, potentially dangerous pets such as dogs,  or other attractive nuisances. Generally speaking, it’s a good idea to carry $300,000 to $500,000 in coverage if any of these are present on the property.

Relocation Expenses

Consider the cost of relocating to a hotel or temporary home if a fire, flood, or other event makes the home uninhabitable. When calculating how much you will need, estimate your daily living expenses + the cost of area hotels or housing and any additional transportation expenses a temporary move would require. 

Homeowners in Bethlehem, PA should carry enough homeowner’s insurance to protect them from potential accidents or damage. Saucon Insurance Agency can help determine the appropriate level of coverage and any endorsements that are advisable.  

The Importance of Having Your Roof Inspected in the Fall

The majority of homeowner’s insurance claims for roof damage are filed in the winter months. This is because winters can be rough on your roof. having your roof inspected in the fall months can help minimize the likelihood that you will encounter roof problems this upcoming winter season. Here are a few ways winter can wreak havoc on your roof.

Rain

Rain can seep in your roof where there are missing or damaged roofing shingles or tiles. This can cause a roof leak that can cause a significant amount of damage. A roof inspection can catch this problem so you can repair it.

Snow

Large amounts of snow can build up on your roof and put weight on your roof. Clearing the snow routinely can help prevent this problem, as can having your roof inspected. If your trusses are weak, due to age or past roof problems, a new roof may need to be placed before the winter months hit.

Ice

Ice can be damaging to your roof. It can cause your roofing materials to contract, which can cause them to split or crack. A roof inspection can find damage from last winter and repair it, so the problem does not worsen this winter.

Winters can be rough in Bethlehem, PA. And unfortunately, this can put a large burden on your roof. A roof inspection can minimize the chances of roof problems, but cannot prevent them altogether. As such, reviewing your homeowner’s insurance in the fall is a great idea. If you would like to get quotes for a new homeowner’s insurance policy or learn about the coverages on your existing policy, contact the Saucon Insurance Agency today. We can help with your homeowner’s insurance needs.

 

Are Firearms Covered by Home Insurance?

The people of Bethlehem, PA are proud of their right to bear arms. This has been an issue during the election year with the attention from the national media, but it isn’t an issue purely for political reasons. Firearms also play a role in home insurance. When homeowners are shopping for policies, it is important for prospective customers to ask how firearms will impact their home insurance premiums. Saucon Insurance has some key details below.

First of all, guns are expensive items. It is important for homeowners to insure the valuable items in their home under extra personal belongings protection. This includes furniture, jewelry, and firearms. In this respect, owning firearms will slightly increase home insurance rates because they must be insured by a personal belongings rider under the home insurance policy. This rider will also pay to replace the firearms should anything happen to them inside the home.

In addition, the home insurance policy should add liability protection. For example, if a criminal breaks into the home, steals the firearm, then injures someone using the firearm, that person could potentially file a lawsuit against the owner for not securing the weapon. Due to this additional risk, home insurance rates could increase with the presence of firearms. On the other hand, this policy will add liability protection if anything happens as a result of this firearm. Do not try to hide the presence of firearms from insurance companies because this extra liability protection is essential to protecting the owner of the home and firearm from a lawsuit. Make sure this liability protection is included in the home insurance policy.

People in Bethlehem, PA need to understand the intricacies of the home insurance policies, particularly when it comes to the presence of firearms because they are both valuable and dangerous. Don’t be surprised by home insurance rates. Ask how the policy changes with the presence of absence of firearms. Contact Saucon Insurance for information on a home insurance policy today.

Household Items You Should Recycle

Many people can list the most commonly recycled items in the home. Glass bottles, plastic bottles, aluminum cans, cardboard, and paperboard are well known. There are other items that can also be recycled, especially when you are making renovations. Many of the items you no longer use can be recycled or repurposed in a variety of ways.

A good example of recyclable material is the old wiring that is removed when you renovate a room or home. Old wiring contains copper that is easily recycled and will also offer a small payout that will help you recoup some of the cost of the remodel. Metal of any kind can be recycled, and most scrap yards will help you arrange a pickup if you have no way to transport it to the scrap yard.

Sinks, bath tubs, doors, and other large items that are in good condition can be recycled or donated to organizations like Habitat for Humanity. Any item that is removed in one piece and that can be reused is worth recycling. This may seem like a chore, but many companies specialize in the recycling of used home materials. Windows, for example, can be refurbished and turned into picture frames or shadow boxes. The opportunities for many of these items are endless, all you need to do is begin to explore your options.

If you are performing renovations to your home, you may want to upgrade your existing insurance policy or look around for a new one. Saucon Insurance Agency serves Bethlehem, PA and many of the surrounding communities. Agents at the office can help you find the right policy to meet your needs after you have made improvements to your home. Once your home has been renovated, you want to make sure you have the protection you need!