Colorado Homeowner’s Insurance: 9 Key Questions to Ask Your Agent

by Cindy Chase

The past month has been especially horrific for Coloradans living in the path of wild fires that destroyed many homes in our state! Because a blazing hot summer is still in full force and because there has not been much rain, the risk of wild fires will continue to be on our minds for the next few months. It’s times like these that cause people to wonder about their Colorado homeowner’s insurance policies.

Protect Your Colorado home

Our office is inundated with phone calls when unexpected events like the wild fires happen. Current clients, prospective clients, and even individuals who may not have homeowners’ insurance policies call and are often panicked. They’re not sure what coverage they have…Do I have fire coverage…Do I have flood coverage? Or they may want to find out about the process to file a claim.

Colorado Homeowner’s Insurance: Understand the Details of Your Policy Coverage

At Aspen Insurance Agency, we’ve been serving Coloradans for over 20 years, and I fully relate to these calls. Our mission is to provide you with the proper coverage before you need it.  That’s why we always encourage our clients and others to call us to review both your insurance coverage and policy language.

When you call be sure to ask these questions. Learning the answers helps you understand your coverage and give you peace of mind.

  1. If a disaster strikes and I’m faced with a total loss, what is my coverage both for property and for personal possessions?
  2. If there is a total loss, can I rebuild anywhere I want, or do I have to rebuild on my existing property site?
  3. What is my coverage for debris removal?
  4. What are the exclusions in my policy?
  5. Are vehicles such as RVs, motorcycles, ATVs, boats, and cars insured if they were inside a garage that was destroyed?
  6. Is jewelry and valuable art covered in my homeowners’ policy?
  7. What are my deductibles?
  8. Are deductibles treated differently for different types of situations? For example, is wind and hail damage treated differently from fire damage and are these treated differently from burglary?
  9. If my family is displaced after a major loss, will our policy cover our living expenses while our home is being repaired or rebuilt?

The bottom line is this: ALL HOMEOWNERS POLICIES ARE NOT EQUAL! Even if you think you know what your homeowners insurance covers, your risk tolerance may have changed since the policy was written. It’s important to understand what you have chosen for coverage and what coverage you have NOT chosen.

Please make sure to review your policy and call our office at (303) 777-2991 or send and e-mail with any of your questions or concerns. We want to make sure you have the coverage that you need and also the coverage that you think you have!

Home Insurance: Get Your Home Ready for Your Vacation

It’s summer! Summer is an exciting time of year because school is out, the weather is warm, and it’s the most popular time of year to get away! To ensure your vacation is great from beginning to end, I want to share some tips to make sure you don’t need to file a claim with your home insurance policy when you return.

When you leave for a vacation do you normally close the door behind you on the way out and not think about it again until the day you return? In most cases, it’s fine to leave your home for a few days without concern.

CO Home Insurance Protect Your Home on Vacation

But if you’re going to be away from home for more than a day or two, it’s important to get your house ready to sit vacant. Your home is a valuable asset, which is why you have home insurance.  So it’s essential that you safeguard it while you’re out of town. There is nothing worse than coming home to problems that could have been prevented in the first place.

Home Insurance: 10 Tips to Protect Your Home When You’re on Vacation

1. Turn off the water supply – There is nothing worse than coming home from a vacation to the remnants of water damage. Prior to leaving, shut the water supply off and turn down the temperature on your water heater.

2. Unplug major appliances and electronics – This protects your expensive televisions, computers, and other electronic equipment from power surges.

3. Put your lights on timers – Purchase several timers, which are relatively inexpensive. Set the timers so it looks as though someone is home.

4. AC/Swamp Coolers – Set your air conditioner thermostat at 85 degrees, but do NOT turn it off! Turning the ventilation system off completely can cause damage to the woodwork in your house.  However, you should turn off swamp coolers while you are away.

5. Check your sump pump – If you have a sump pump, throw a bucket of water in your sump pump pit to make sure the system is still functional while you are out of town.

6. Mow your lawn – Mow your lawn the day before or the day of your departure.  An unkempt yard is a clear sign that a home is unoccupied.

7. Hold your mail – Notify the post office to put your mail on hold and tell the newspaper not to deliver anything for the dates you will be gone.

8. Empty the fridge – Get rid of all the food that will expire while you’re gone.

9. Take out the garbage – Make sure to take out the garbage before you leave town – but do not leave your garbage cans on the curb while you are away!

10. Have a friend or family member house sit or at least check on your house – If you have someone available that you trust, have him/her stay at your house or stop by to check things out.

It takes a little time to get your house ready for vacation. But think of it like “insurance for your vacation”.  You’ll have peace of mind while you’re away and know that your vacation ends on a positive note.

If you have any questions about your home insurance policy, please call Aspen Insurance at 303-777-2991 or  e-mail us today.

Colorado Homeowner’s Insurance: Do I Need Flood Insurance?

by Cindy Chase

We are in the midst of a very wet spring.  The last few weeks may have caused you to wonder what type of water damage is covered by your Colorado homeowner’s insurance policy.  And, do you need a flood policy?  You may also be wondering if you live in a flood plain…how do you find out?

Colorado Homeowners Insurance

What is the Difference between Flood Damage and Water Damage?

The first place to start is to understand the difference between flood damage and water damage.

Flood damage is defined as water that has been on the ground at some point before it does damage to your home.

Water damage is the opposite.  It is defined as damage done to your home by water before the water comes into contact with the ground.

Examples of flood damage may include:

  • A nearby river overflows its banks and washes into your home.
  • Surface water caused by a heavy rain seeps into your basement because the soil can’t absorb the water quickly enough.
  • A heavy rain or flash flood causes the hill behind your house to collapse into a mud slide that oozes into your home.

Examples of water damage may include:

  • A hailstorm smashes your window, permitting hail and rain-free access to your home.
  • A heavy rain soaks through the roof, allowing water to drip through your attic or ceiling.
  • A broken water pipe spews water in your home.

Many homeowners mistakenly believe their homeowner’s insurance policy covers flood damage. It doesn’t. Up to 75 percent of the buildings in the U.S. located in areas with a high risk of flooding are not covered by flood insurance.

From Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association

What Does Your Colorado Homeowner’s
Insurance Policy Cover?

Take note: Your homeowner’s policy does not provide coverage for flood damage.  The only way to insure your home against a flood is with a flood insurance policy — no other insurance will cover flood damage.

A homeowner’s insurance policy does provide coverage for many types of water damage to your home.

But not all policies are created equal. Insurance carriers offer different coverage options, so it’s important to take the time to understand what types of water damage your homeowner’s policy covers.

If you’re not sure, please call us. We welcome an opportunity to explain your current policy and assist you in making any changes that fit your needs.