Resource Library - Homeowners Insurance

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Don’t let home cooking get too hot to handle

According to the National Fire Protection Association, the number of structure fires, which includes homes, has not declined in the last 15 years. Do you know the number one cause of home fires and injuries?


Smart Money Move #4: Protect your investments...big and small

It takes time and money to accumulate the things you have. You've worked hard for them—be sure you have adequate insurance coverage.


Does your home policy offer this kind of protection?

Our enhanced home insurance policy offers you and your family more protection than ever before. If you haven't checked it out yet, you might have missed a few policy highlights you may be interested in.


A bad thing gone good

Although it was ten below zero in New Franken on February 9, 2014, it was pretty hot at the Campbell home. Read Katie and Mark Campbell's winter fire story and how they were able to rebuild with help from Member Benefits.


What is your renter's insurance IQ?

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) has created the Insure U–Get Smart About Insurance program to help consumers make educated decisions. Test your insurance knowledge by taking this quiz. 


Should I increase my home insurance deductibles?

Mark Blog PhotoOne way to save money on your homeowner's insurance premiums is by selecting a higher deductible. A deductible is the amount you pay out of your own pocket before the insurance policy begins to pay. The higher the deductible, the lower your premium. You can also think of it this way -  the more risk you take on, the less your insurance will cost.

Deciding on what deductible is right for you is a decision only you can make. However, there are several important things to consider when you are making that decision. 


Dam ice

Ice. It’s great for skating, fishing, and cooling a beverage, but it’s not so good for homeowners. It can cause damage to your home inside and out.


Flood Insurance Coverage FAQ

Whenever there is flooding in the state, we receive a large volume of calls from members wondering about how to get insurance coverage to protect themselves from losses due to flooding. Here are answers to commonly asked questions. Does my


Spring remodel

Do you have plans for home improvements this spring, like a new deck or a kitchen update? It’s an investment that can provide years of enjoyment or added comfort for the family. However, don’t forget to protect your additional investment.


College Coverage Q&A

Here is a list of questions we’re commonly asked from parents about how their insurance coverage extends to kids in college. The answers assume you have insurance coverage through WEA Property & Casualty Insurance Company.


The skinny on public insurance adjusters

Steve SchofieldFiling a claim for a large insurance loss can cost you a lot of time and energy, so some people decide to hire a public insurance adjuster to help negotiate with their insurance company on their behalf. On its face, working with a public insurance adjuster sounds like it might be a good idea, but buyer beware. If you find yourself in a situation that you feel may be better handled by a third party, there are a few things you should know before hiring a public insurance adjuster.

What is an insurance adjuster?

An insurance adjuster is the person who evaluates losses and settles policyholder claims. Typically, they are either employed solely by the insurance company or they are independent professionals under contract with one or more insurance companies. Public insurance adjusters are hired by and work only for the consumer or homeowner.


Risky business: Two-thirds of homeowners are underinsured

Fifty percent of American homeowners do not have a clear understanding of their homeowners insurance coverage. Two-thirds are underinsured. Coincidence? The value of insurance is not as much about the price as it is about protecting assets.


Confused by what's covered under a Sewer Service Line Warranty?

City of Madison homeowners may recall receiving a letter recently from the city offering an optional sewer service line warranty available through a third party. In the letter, it explained that the city is no longer legally able to make repairs to private sewer service lines. Keep in mind the new laws apply to cities and municipalities state-wide, as residents in the city of Milwaukee and other municipalities have been offered similar warranty options.

Here are some common questions you may have before you decide to purchase a sewer service line warranty:

What does this mean?...

 


What is your home insurance IQ?

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) has created the Insure U–Get Smart About Insurance program to help consumers make educated decisions.  Test your homeowner's insurance knowledge by taking this insurance quiz. 


Coverages

Because your home represents a significant investment for you and your family, making sure that you have the right coverage for your situation is important.


Insurance literacy survey says...

Believe it or not, insurance is an important part of your financial security. Gaps in insurance coverage may leave you financially exposed.

If you’re like most people, once you’ve purchased insurance, you don’t think about it much. You assume that if something happens, your insurance will pay for it and you’re covered. But are you?

 


Protecting Your Home

What you need to know about homeowners insurance.


Stay vigilant to prevent vehicle theft

As vehicle thefts continue to trend downward, fewer people are worrying about their car being stolen (2014 Gallop poll). Despite this trend, industry observers caution that thieves constantly devise new and sophisticated means of stealing autos. The National Insurance Crime Bureau recommends using a "layered approach" toward protecting your vehicle.


Auto and Home Insurance Loyalty Program

About Member Benefits’ Loyalty Program


Storm damage: Stay alert and stay safe

Looking forward to the promises of spring and summer? Remember that warmer weather also means the potential for severe weather. The Weilers share their story of just how quickly the weather can turn bad and cause substantial damage and the importance of having insurance with a company you can count on when the storm hits.


Are you wisely protected?

Insurance consumers fall into one of three categories—the Wisely Protected, the Exposed and Unaware, and the Unintentional Over-Spender. While nearly everyone THINKS they are Wisely Protected, few actually are. If you’re like most people who treat auto and homeowners insurance like a commodity—or one-size-fits-all—you risk leaving yourself (and your family) exposed to financial loss or purchasing coverages you don’t need. Here's how to get wise with insurance.


Keep insurance coverage up to date

Why should I keep my insurance coverage up to date? Regular adjustments can help protect you and your family against financial loss and save you money.


Things to consider prior to picking a pooch.

Americans love their dogs. Currently some 78 million dogs reside in 41 million U.S. homes, according to the Pet Food Institute. Certainly the benefits of dog ownership are many. They provide companionship, loyalty, and oftentimes security and protection. There is also evidence that dogs can have a positive effect on our psychological and physiological health. Is it any wonder they’ve been crowned “man’s best friend?” Dog ownership, however, does not come without risk. If your dog damages someone else’s property, or worse, injures another person (or even another pet), you could be liable.   


Replacement cost…guaranteed?

You’ve worked hard to acquire your personal possessions—your home, collectibles, and other personal property. These items represent a significant financial investment that could be lost if not properly insured. Do you know if you have enough insurance to replace what you own?  The time to consider whether you have adeq


What not to trim

There are many ways to save money on auto and home insurance, but cutting back on insurance coverage is not one of them. There are better ways to save.


Lower your auto insurance costs

Are you doing all you can to save money on your auto insurance? Here are some tips on how to keep your premiums low.


Protect your real property investments

You’ve worked hard to acquire your personal possessions - your home, collectibles, and other personal property. These items represent a significant financial investment that could be lost, if not properly insured. Do you know if you have enough insurance to replace what you have? The time to consider whether you have adequate protection is now.


College student insurance checklist

Here are some FAQs we receive from parents about how their insurance extends to their kids in college. Our answers assume you carry your insurance with us.


How much house will your policy build?

Do you really have enough coverage to rebuild your house in the case of loss?


Trampolines: Worth the risk?

Summer’s coming, temperatures are rising, the sun is out…time to look forward to more outdoor activities. Chances are you have some outdoor toys you’re looking forward to using. But if your plans for summer fun include using a backyard trampoline, make sure you know the risks and realities that come with it.


Protect your home against the threat of severe weather

Wisconsin is no stranger to severe weather. In fact, each year Wisconsin averages 23 tornadoes, according to statistics from Wisconsin Emergency Management. This week, (April 15-19, 2013) marks Severe Weather Awareness Week in Wisconsin - it's also area good reminder to think about protecting yourself and your property. Would your current homeowners policy be enough to cover the damages to your home and your personal property if a tornado damaged your home?


If a tree falls...

Knowing whose responsibility it is to clean up after tree damage, how to maintain healthy trees to minimize your risk, and what protection your insurance offers is helpful before an incident occurs.


Five critical times to review your insurance

Make sure your insurance is keeping up with your life! We share a few critical events that should trigger a review of your policies.


Stormy weather ahead: tips to help minimize your risk.

Spring and summer in Wisconsin can brew up severe weather resulting in property losses. Hail storms, high winds, flooding, and lightning. These are the most prevalent weather-related causes of property damage in Wisconsin. With deductibles averaging around $1,000, getting hammered by severe weather may cost you some money. Reduce the chances of taking a financial hit by doing what you can to prevent a loss due to severe weather.


Spring = a great time to take inventory

If you're planning on doing some spring cleaning this year, take some time to compile an inventory of your personal belongings. Creating a personal property inventory list provides you with a record of insurance coverage and valuable personal items so that if anything is lost, stolen, or destroyed, you will have easily accessible information for the police and for filing an insurance claim. We have some resources to help you get started.


Protecting what's important: Gadget mishaps happen

Did you or your kids get a new gadget recently? While you can’t cover every possible risk, you do have choices in how you can protect those significant investments. Here are some to consider.


Are you making these home insurance mistakes?

Have you made any of these common mistakes when making decisions about your home insurance? If you have, don’t worry. Member Benefits can help you sort it out.


Uncovering Insurance Myths

My premium will increase just for filing a claim, won’t it? And my deductible doesn’t apply if I hit a deer, right? Not exactly. We asked the insurance professionals here at WEA Trust Member Benefits to help dispel some of


Are you wisely protected? An example

In our article, “Are you wisely protected?”, you learned that insurance consumers fall into one of three categories—the Wisely Protected, the Exposed and Unaware, and the Unintentional Over Spender. While nearly everyone THINKS they are Wisely Protected, few actually are. Here’s one example to help illustrate our point.


Play it safe at home

We don't often think about people getting seriously injured in our home but it happens. Take a look at your home with fresh eyes to prevent personal injuries and avoid a potential claim. Some common sense precautions and proper insurance will help keep you covered.


Reduce your risk of vehicle theft

Believe it or not, an automobile is stolen every 43 seconds in the U.S. According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), vehicle theft is one of our nation’s most costly property crimes. In any given year, only a little more than half of the vehicles stolen are recovered. Some are shipped overseas and sold on the black market; others are stripped for parts or sold to unsuspecting consumers.


A bad thing gone good

Mark and Katie Campbell of New Franken, WI share what they went through when they had a fire in their home and their experience working with Member Benefits' claims department.


Wood-Burning Stoves

Specifications for wood-burning and pellet-type stoves and safety tips for using your wood-burning stove.


Learn how to make an inventory of your personal property

No one likes to think about experiencing a household disaster, but taking stock of the items you own is wise protection. Compiling an inventory of your home now can save precious time and frustration later.


What you need to know about identity theft

Identity theft—How can I prevent it from happening to me? More than half a million people find themselves victims of identity theft each year. Your best protection is prevention. Here are some useful tips: Be watchful of "shoulder surfers." At ATMs and phone booths, thieves will stand close enough to see PIN numb


Spring rains bring flood risk: Are you covered?

Don't you love seeing rain instead of snow after a long winter? It’s great to be moving into spring. Spring rains are also a good reminder to be sure your home is adequately covered in case of a flood.  

Did you know that homeowners insurance doesn’t cover flood damage? If you’re unsure about your need for flood insurance, our insurance consultants can help you make an informed decision and give you a quote.


Steps to take when a tree falls

Mark DannehlHomeowners insurance policies generally hold you (the insured) responsible for mitigating loss. So, if a tree falls and puts a hole in your roof, you must take action. Cover the hole or make a temporary fix to prevent further loss until it can be professionally repaired. Contact your insurance company to report a claim as soon as possible and confirm their expectations for mitigating loss and reimbursement. Be sure to keep your receipts for any expenses related to the repair, because your insurance company may reimburse you.

Other steps to take include:

  • Carefully survey the area for downed power lines or other hazards.


Plan ahead for flood insurance and sewer back-up coverage

Mark DannehlSpring is slowly but surely making its way into Wisconsin. While we welcome the moderating temperatures, we should also keep in mind that with thawing snow and ice comes increased risk of flooding.

You may not realize that homeowners insurance never covers flood damage. So if you want to purchase flood insurance, let us help explain what a flood insurance policy can do for you and know there is a 30-day waiting period* so you can prepare for more thawing plus spring rains. 

While you're thinking about insurance, you may also want to check as to whether you have sewer back-up coverage on your homeowners policy.


Mitigating loss falls to the insured

Mark Blog PhotoHomeowners policies generally hold you (the insured) responsible for mitigating loss. For example, a tree limb falls and puts a hole in your roof. You must take action, such as covering the hole or doing a temporary fix, to prevent further loss until it can be professionally repaired. Keep your receipts for any expenses related to the fix, because your insurance company may reimburse you. Make sure to contact your insurance company to report a claim as soon as possible and confirm their expectations for mitigating loss and reimbursement.


Do you have enough coverage on your engagement ring?

Janet AndersonDo you have high-value possessions such as jewelry, family heirlooms, or fine art that are scheduled on your homeowners policy? When was the last time you evaluated the value of these items?

If it’s been a while, you may want to revisit your policy and the endorsement (sometimes called a rider or schedule) for each to make sure the coverage is keeping up with the item’s value and replacement costs. It’s not uncommon for someone to schedule their engagement and wedding rings when they get married and never change the coverage amount even after 20 or 30 years. Yet, the value of gold and diamonds may have changed dramatically over that period.