Spring Cleaning Checklist Tempe, AZ

Spring Cleaning Checklist Tempe, AZHaving a clean home or a clean car is a great feeling. While it can be a pain to get started mentally, it’s always worth it once it’s complete. Here is a quick checklist to help you when it comes to spring cleaning your vehicle and your home. Consider committing a few hours to your car and your home over a weekend. With a solid to-do list, you may find it takes less time than you think.

Five Things to Do For Your Car –

  • Check the conditions on your tires. Any visible sidewall damage or bulging?
  • Wipe down all windows on the inside. While you’re at it, wipe down your dash with a vinyl cleaner. Not only will it be nice to wipe away any dust or grime, but it can help protect against the sun’s UV rays.
  • Check for the last maintenance visit. How long has it been since your last oil change?
  • Check your wiper blades. Are they cracked or do they leave streaks?
  • Give your car a wash, possible wax and vacuum the interior! If you have the supplies at home, great! If not, drive down to your local car wash to tidy up the interior and exterior of your vehicle. Doing so will help maintain the value of your vehicle.

Five things to do for your home –

  • Dust

Make a checklist of all the areas in your house where dust can collect. We typically look to dust televisions, window sills, baseboards, blinds, picture frames, night stands, the top of cabinets or ceiling fans or bed frames.

  • Organize

Go through your cupboards and closets. Consider donating any clothing you haven’t worn in over a year. Organize your cupboards like your food pantry, junk drawers or storage closets.

  • Change smoke detector batteries

This chore takes less than 5 minutes to complete. If you have a carbon monoxide detector, check the batteries there too.

  • Disinfect

This may take a little more time. It’s always good to wipe out your refrigerator a few times a year. You can disinfect areas like your shower, tub, toilet or wash your shower curtains. Also, disinfect your TV remote, door knobs, computer mouse or drawer handles.

  • Donate

It feels good to get rid of things! Whether it’s going through your closet to donate clothing or going through your garage, getting rid of things can make your life feel organized.

We hope this short checklist to spring cleaning your home or car is helpful. If have questions about your car insurance or other vehicle insurance, contact us! We can also do a policy review for your home or condo insurance. Take advantage of working with a local independent insurance agency to ensure you have the right insurance coverage for your needs.

Customized Vehicle Insurance Tempe, AZ

Customized Vehicle Insurance Tempe, AZA lot of people take great pride in their vehicles and for them it isn’t only an asset, it is something that expresses their individuality. But, if you’re customizing a vehicle, whether it be a car, motorcycle or ATV, you want to make sure that your insurance policy covers the custom parts and equipment as well as the modifications and labor that might be going into it.

Lifted Vehicles

For those of us who have owned or currently own a lifted truck or SUV, they’re a lot of fun! Not only are they more capable off-road, but you get a higher vantage point for visibility and driving them can add to your enjoyment of owning the vehicle altogether. However, be sure to let your insurance agent know that you have a vehicle with modified suspension. In the event of a claim, custom suspension and wheels and tires can be considered custom parts and equipment. This means that unless you have an endorsement for larger, more expensive wheels and tires as well as the lift kit, you may be out the difference in price from stock if you find yourself in a claims situation. Typically this is called a Custom Parts & Equipment endorsement.

Custom Paint

A custom paint job can set your vehicle apart from the rest and express your individuality. If you have a car with a custom paint job on your car or motorcycle, you’ll want to be sure to get the Custom Parts & Equipment endorsement for this too. Custom paint is expensive and if you find yourself without the coverage, you’re not likely to be compensated fairly without it.

Custom parts and equipment (CPE)

The simple rule of thumb with CPE is that if it wasn’t that way from the factory it is considered custom. Custom parts and equipment can include the following items:

  • Stereo system
  • Navigation System
  • Custom Wheels & Tires
  • Lift Kits
  • Paint Jobs
  • Chrome Accessories
  • Custom seat, handlebars, grips, exhaust & more on motorcycles for example.

Custom parts and equipment is not a standard type of coverage. Some insurance companies offer basic CPE coverage for certain types of vehicles like motorcycles but as a rule of thumb and a precautionary, never assume that your custom parts are covered. Be sure to tell your licensed independent agent about the custom parts on your car, truck or specialized vehicle like your motorcycle to ensure you have the right amount of protection and can replace your vehicle in the event of a loss.

Auto Insurance Tempe, AZ

Auto Insurance Tempe, AZWhen it comes to purchasing auto insurance there are many myths that exist. Let’s take a closer look at some of these myths and help you understand why they may not be true.

Auto Insurance Is More Expensive For Men

If you have two individuals of the same age who live in the same town, one male and the other female, it is not true that the male will pay more for his insurance. In fact, there are many variables that come into play when an insurance company determines premium. Some of those are:

  1. Garaging Zip Code
  2. Driving history
  3. Credit report
  4. Loss history
  5. Education level
  6. Type of vehicle
  7. And many more!

To find out what your premium might be, the only way is to get a quote. Compare companies and coverage options that you need by talking to an independent agent. We can compare many companies side by side.

Older Cars Cost Less To Insure

Not true. For instance, your personal injury protection will likely be less on a newer vehicle because it is equipped with more safety features to aid you in the event of an accident – meaning you’re more likely to be injured in an older vehicle without airbags for example. However, insurance costs for comprehensive and collision coverage do tend to go down the older a vehicle gets because it is simply worth less money.

If someone borrows your car, they are responsible for the insurance.

In most states, insurance follows the vehicle. It is called “permissive use.” If you give someone permission to drive your vehicle, you’re also essentially giving them permission to use your insurance. Now, be careful here because if someone is in your household and not listed on your insurance policy and has regular access and use to your vehicle, you may find yourself in a tricky claims situation because that person should be listed on your insurance policy.

I have an auto insurance policy so it will cover me when I’m delivering food or working for a rideshare company.

If your job requires you to deliver food using your own vehicle or you work part time as an Uber or Lyft driver, you need a special insurance policy. Typically an endorsement to your regular auto insurance, this provides coverage for you while you’re using your vehicle for work related purposes.

Your friend pays less for their insurance than you do so that means you’re paying too much.

Insurance is specific to the driver, their history, vehicle, garaging zip code, usage and so many other factors. There are hundreds of different scenarios that can be calculated to determine your auto insurance premiums. Just because your friend pays less for a similar car, does not mean you’re overpaying.

If you ever want to know if you’re paying too much or want to know all your options for auto insurance, call us! As an independent insurance agency, we have many choices for insurance. Oftentimes we can share with you the insurance premiums of up to 10 different insurance companies in the same time it takes to do a single quote. Trust us to find you the best rates and service for your specific situation. We can also help you dispel other myths that exist with insurance premiums.

Flood Insurance in Phoenix, AZ

The Myth: Homeowners Insurance Covers My Home From All Damage

Flood Insurance in Phoenix, AZFlood insurance is one of the more commonly misunderstood insurance coverages. Many homeowners assume that if they have a homeowner’s insurance policy, then they’re covered from all water damage that could occur to their home. This is not true. Flood insurance is not typically included in standard home insurance policies – it requires a separate policy altogether.

Where Can Flood Insurance Be Purchased From?

Most places you purchase home insurance from will also offer you an option for flood insurance. Flood insurance can be purchased easily from your local independent insurance agent – including us!

Is Flood Insurance Expensive?

Flood insurance prices will vary depending on many factors. Those factors can include:

  • Value of your home
  • Location of your home (is it likely to flood – near rivers, streams, swamps etc.)
  • Primary or secondary residences
  • Basements
  • & more.

If you want to get a general idea, we can quickly provide you with a quote or you can go to FEMAs website and look up your home address and assess your risk. The quickest way to understand your risk and get a quote would be to contact our agency.

Doesn’t FEMA Cover My Flood Loss?

In order for FEMA to step in and help, the President of the United States must declare a FEMA emergency. This is done in roughly 50 percent of major floods (according to FEMA.GOV). Even then, the assistance provided is a low interest loan that needs to be repaid. This is not free money given out.

A Pipe Broke In My House, Do I need Flood Insurance?

No. A broken pipe in your home is not what flood insurance is for. This would be covered by your standard home insurance policy.

My Sewer Backed Up Into My Home, Is This Flood Insurance?

No, unless the sewer backed up clearly because of a flood and rising flood waters. There is a coverage available called Water & Sewer Backup coverage. You may ask your agent about this and what it covers.

How Fire & Water Can Create Floods

Do you live in or have property located in an area that recently had wildfires? Trees suck up so much water when they are alive. If these trees die off, this creates excess runoff in areas not typically prone to flooding. This can increase your chances of being involved in a flood.

Only you can decide whether having flood insurance is right for you. While it is mostly optional (unless you live in a high flood prone area and your mortgage carrier requires it), it may help save you thousands of dollars in expenses.

Call us today to run a no obligation quote for you. We can quickly produce numbers for you so you can decide whether or not flood insurance is the right choice for you.

Home Insurance Policy Tempe, AZ

Home Insurance Policy Tempe, AZOlder homes exude character. Not only do their walls tell a history, but often the character, details and warmth inside of one of these homes is unmatched in today’s quickly built society. Instead of taking months to build a single home by hand, entire neighborhoods can now be constructed in less time.  If you’re considering purchasing an older home, there are many things to consider during the search as well as when you’re ready to buy.

Outdated Electrical

Updating a home’s electrical system to a more modern electrical panel, grounded switches and updated in-wall wiring can be very expensive. According to Angie’s List, expect to pay anywhere between $8,000-15,000 for an average sized home. Additionally, you may require an upgraded service to the home which can add additional cost. Because you need to get into the walls, this also means repairing all the walls in the home that had to be cut out so you could run the new wiring and disconnect the old.

Outdated Plumbing

Older homes typically will have some form of older plumbing still in place even if the majority of the system was replaced. The most common ones are the sewer line, water supply line and, depending on when the system was updated, could even be out of date again. For instance, if galvanized pipes were replaced by Polybutylene piping in the 70’s, this would also need to be replaced.

Foundation

Depending on the home, it is possible the home doesn’t even have a foundation. Some older homes were built on post and pier meaning they don’t have a concrete foundation they sit on. This can make insuring a home more difficult. The simplest way to check for any foundation problems is to just walk the home. Do the floors feel crooked? Are doors difficult to close? Are there cracks in the walls? These are all signs that the home may have foundation issues.

Dry Rot

Throughout the life of any home, a leak will develop. Whether around a window, the foundation or the roof leaks occur. If a length of time goes when that leak is not detected the water can get into walls and stay wet for years. This can cause dry rot. Detecting dry rot can be difficult. Your best indicator may be your nose. Does it smell musty?

Mold

Mold goes hand in hand with dry rot. If water enters the home and things remain wet, mold can form. Again, use your nose and see if you can detect any musty odors.

Asbestos

Asbestos was a commonly used product in building materials in from the 1930s-1950s. It was used on everything from siding to ceiling and wall plaster materials to duct tape. While buying a home that contains asbestos isn’t necessarily bad as long as the product is not disturbed, it can cause a huge challenge and added cost if you plan to remodel. Do your research.

Lead Paint

Older homes built prior to 1978 have a high likelihood of containing lead based paint. While most have likely been painted over by now, it is important to understand that these paints can be dangerous if you plan to remodel or disturb them.

Insurance Costs

Generally speaking, it is possible that it will cost more to insure an older home. The only way to determine pricing on an individual home would be to get a quote on the specific address. You may find that it is less than insuring a newer home, so do your homework and work with an independent agent who can find you a great rate on your home insurance.

While older homes come with their challenges, it is usually impossible to recreate the charm, character and history these homes have. While you enjoy being a caretaker of this property we can help you protect it with a great home insurance policy.