Category Homeowner’s Insurance

home insurance

5 Top Reasons Why Homeowner’s Insurance is So Important

When buying a home, acquiring insurance coverage may not be at the top of your to-do list in the midst of packing, moving, and decorating your new space. However, once you understand the many practical benefits that a homeowner’s insurance policy provides, you will see why it is so important to take care of it as soon as possible.

Here are five primary reasons getting a homeowner’s insurance policy should be a priority for you and your property.

5 Main Benefits of Homeowner’s Insurance

In simple terms, homeowner’s insurance provides compensation for damages to your property and belongings.  A standard policy often covers extra living expenses, injury to others, theft of property, and damage or destruction to the interior or exterior of your home.

A typical homeowner’s policy can help safeguard your assets, but it typically includes coverage for the interior and exterior of the building as well. The following elements, including your personal belongings, exteriors structures such as a shed, and even hospital costs in the event that a guest is injured on your property, may all be covered by a normal homeowners insurance policy.


#1 Protection of Your Main Dwelling

The most important component and main objective of home insurance policies is to safeguard your principal dwelling, or the part of your home where you actually reside.

#2 Protect Your Detached Structures

The second most important component of home insurance is coverage for your detached structures, which may include garages, storage sheds, fences, dog houses, and more.

#3 Coverage for Your Home’s Contents

Make a list of all the furniture, electronics, appliances, and other personal objects that your policy would cover before you buy house insurance.

You might be eligible for a partial or full reimbursement if a covered event (like a hurricane) damages or destroys some of this property, depending on the specifics of your policy.

#4 Liability Coverage

If someone is injured on your property, you could be held liable for the medical costs, which could be incredibly costly. Homeowners Insurance protects you in the event someone is hurt in your home or on your property.

Note that your insurance does not provide coverage for personal injuries or property damage to you or other household members. It is designed to specifically protect you against costly lawsuits that could arise from others being harmed.

#5 Loss of Use Insurance

You will incur hotel, food, and travel costs if a covered event forces you to vacate your home while it is being repaired or rebuilt. Your homeowner’s insurance policy’s loss of use provision will provide coverage for temporary dwelling and basic living expenses up to a specific amount.

These are all important advantages of having homeowner’s insurance. As you can see, a policy will take care of much more than just fixing broken shingles!

home insurance florida

Contact us to Gain Peace of Mind

Although having homeowner’s insurance won’t keep damages from occurring, it can help by acting as a financial safety net in the event of an unforeseen disaster. Coverage can allow you to have peace of mind as a homeowner.

At GWK Insurance, we take pride in providing our clients with the best options for insurance cover in order to remove the concern if disaster should strike. Contact our office to find out more about how we can get the best homeowner’s coverage for you.

family at home

How to Choose the Best Home Insurance Deductible

There are multiple decisions for homeowners when selecting and purchasing home insurance. Homeowners must choose their policy’s deductible in addition to the coverages, limitations, and endorsements they want.

The majority of insurance companies give policyholders a variety of deductible options. It’s crucial to choose wisely because the decisions you make and the deductible you select will directly affect your premium. Understanding how deductibles work will help you make the most of your money.

What is a Home Insurance Deductible?

Your deductible is the sum that you and your insurance company agree that you will pay when you file a claim. Your home insurer pays the remaining claim amount up to the limit of your policy after your deductible has been reached.

Your home insurance company will take the deductible amount from the total claim settlement it offers you. The amount of your home insurance deductible might be either a fixed financial sum or a percentage of the cost of your policy. The deductible is fixed for the duration of your home insurance coverage once it is chosen.

home insurance florida

Types of Home Insurance Deductibles

There are two types of home insurance deductibles, a dollar-amount deductible, and a percentage deductible.

A flat deductible is another name for a dollar-amount deductible. Every time you make a claim under your house insurance, you must pay a set fee. Average house insurance deductibles range between $500 and $1,500.

A percentage deductible is calculated using a portion of the insured value of your home. If you have a 1% deductible and a $500,000 house insurance policy, the reimbursement for any home claims will be $5,000 less. Compared to what you would have to pay with a dollar-amount deductible, this is more expensive.

How Do I Pick the Right Home Insurance Deductible?

Many homeowners consider the monthly premium amount added to their mortgage payment when deciding which insurance deductible to choose for a policy.

Homeowners may want to reduce their monthly premium payments, and choosing a higher deductible can help do this. Consider a large deductible as a one-time investment in your future finances.

Normally, it’s a good idea to choose a deductible that you will be able to afford should you need to submit a claim, but there can be benefits to picking the highest deductible you can manage. Higher deductible choices typically result in reduced monthly prices for house insurance policies. A greater deductible will lessen your likelihood of making a little claim, which could prevent you from receiving a discount or raise your premiums.

When selecting a deductible for your home insurance policy, there are a few questions to consider:

  • If you had a claim, how much could you afford to pay out-of-pocket?
  • How affordable do you want your homeowner’s insurance premium to be?
  • If you don’t submit a claim, are you eligible for a discount?
  • Will making a claim result in higher premiums?

home insurance policy

Choose the Best Homeowner’s Insurance and Deductible for Your Needs

Having the right insurance policy with a deductible you can live with is important for homeowners when navigating the many curves life can throw at you at a moment’s notice.

At GWK Insurance, we understand that shopping for the best policy that meets your unique needs and budget can be challenging. We’ll help you find the best homeowner’s insurance policy that checks all the right boxes for you. Contact us today to learn how we can help you.

fixing AC

Does My Homeowner’s Insurance Cover My Air Conditioner?

During the summertime, most individuals find themselves occupied with vacations, events, pool and beach days, baseball games, and other outdoor activities.

After your days of fun in the sun, returning to your air-conditioned home to relax is one of the best ways to cool down from the heat. However, what do you do when your air conditioner unit suddenly stops working?

Whether from unit failure due to age and use, physical damage caused by weather, or simply failing from a broken coil, air conditioner units are not always reliable. In the middle of the heat and humidity, it can be difficult to know how to proceed with repairs. You don’t want to be left wondering if you are required to perform them yourself or if your insurance company will cover repair costs.

Is My Air Conditioner Covered?

Here is a general breakdown of which air conditioner-related issues your homeowner’s insurance will likely cover and what is typically not covered by the average policy.

Policy Definitions

Your homeowner’s insurance policy will lay out specific perils that are covered. Generally, a peril is considered to be any event that causes damage to your personal belongings inside the home, or the structural integrity of the home itself.

Most policies typically cover fire, theft, and weather damage. The following are example scenarios:

  • Hail damage: if the central air conditioning unit is damaged in a hailstorm, the homeowner’s policy will most likely cover these repairs. A central air conditioning unit is considered part of the structure of the home, and will often be covered under dwelling coverage, depending on how the unit is damaged.
  • Fallen trees: most homeowner’s policies cover damages caused by falling objects, specifically when caused by inclement weather.

It is important to note that while most central air conditioning units will be covered in peril-related incidents, window units typically fall under personal property, and are not always covered. Contact your insurer for further explanation of what your specific policy covers.

air conditioner unit

Age and Usage

If the air conditioning unit breaks down because it is older and well-used, be aware that most policies do not cover general wear. Therefore, repair costs will be your responsibility as the owner.

If you live in an older home, an easy way to ensure that your unit is running properly is to schedule annual maintenance checks. These checks will either reveal that everything is running smoothly or will ideally identify a problem long before your unit breaks down.

General Part Damage

Homeowner’s policies do not cover part failure or damages if they are not caused by a peril-related event. For example, if the air conditioning unit’s fan stops functioning on a hot day, and no peril-related event is identified, then the homeowner would be responsible for the cost of repairs.

The same is true of frozen coils, leaking refrigerant, thermostat/sensor failure, and drainage issues. These issues are fairly common in a central unit and can be avoided through annual maintenance checks.

We are Here to Help!

Put simply, your central air conditioning unit is typically protected from any weather damages, vandalism, or other peril-related incidents. Unfortunately, breakdown from a lack of maintenance or common age-related issues is unlikely to be covered under your insurance policy, and repairs will be your responsibility.

At GWK Insurance, we can help you find the best insurance policy that meets your budget, lifestyle, and needs. If you find yourself unsure of your options or are looking for a homeowner’s policy for your specific needs, our experienced agents are ready to assist you. Contact us today to get started.

florida hurricane

4 Tips to Prep Your Home for Hurricane Season

The summer months are here, which calls for vacation, relaxing, tourists, and fun in the sun for those living in the Sunshine State. Unfortunately, summer also means that hurricane season has already begun. In the United States, nearly 300 hurricanes have reached land since the 1800’s, with 120 of those hitting the state of Florida.

During this stormy season, it is vital for homeowners to be prepared for when inclement weather strikes. However, it can be difficult to know where to begin. Having the proper insurance policy that provides adequate coverage is the first step to preparing for this uncertain time of year.

Are You Prepared for Hurricane Season?

Here are four simple ways to ensure that your home is prepared for a hurricane.

#1: Ensure Your Impact Windows are Locked and Sealed

This tip may be obvious, but unsecured windows are in fact the main avenue through which wind and storm damage affect a home. Keeping windows locked at all times ensures that they will not be flung open by storm winds.

Additionally, ensuring your impact windows are properly sealed will help protect your home against damage by flying debris and water intrusion. In preparation for hurricane season, it is also important to check windows for cracks or other damage since houses in humid climates will lose their sealing quickly. This issue can be fixed with a simple caulking touch-up.

Shuttering windows, if you do not have impact windows, is another option that will also protect your home against higher-powered winds. When installing, remember to mount the shutters directly to the wall, and not to the window frame. The window frame can be damaged during a storm, and the shutter will not be secure if it is attached to the frame.

hurricane season

#2: Store all Furniture Indoors

While having a garden table on the back porch is convenient for a warm evening, outdoor furniture will be the first thing to go during a hurricane. Furniture and decor sitting outside may be picked up by high winds and thrown towards your home or others, causing potentially severe damage. If a hurricane is headed in your direction, make sure to bring all outdoor furniture and decorations inside in preparation for a storm.

#3: Store Items in Water-Resistant Containers

One of the most detrimental effects of hurricanes is the mass water damage that is often left behind. Although your home may survive the potential for 120 MPH winds, your belongings may not be prepared for the flooding that can result. You can avoid the damage or loss of treasured items or important papers by storing vital objects in waterproof containers.

florida palm trees blowing

#4: Have Emergency Supplies Ready

During a hurricane, it is possible that your home will lose power for a period of time. It is important to have a survival kit ready for this scenario. This kit should be easily accessible, and its location should be known by all family members.

Some important items to include are:

  • Flashlights and extra batteries
  • Non-perishable foods
  • Water bottles
  • First-aid kit
  • Prescriptions required for family members
  • Toolkit for emergency home repairs (hammer, plywood, nails, etc.)

We are Here to Help

Before a hurricane makes landfall near your home this year, take some time to evaluate your homeowner’s insurance policy. You may discover that you have insufficient or inadequate coverage for your home and possessions.

At GWK Insurance, we understand that preparing for a hurricane can be daunting.  Our agents are happy to answer any questions you might have about your coverage. Please contact us as soon as possible so that we can assist you in getting the most appropriate homeowner’s insurance coverage for your specific needs.