Why You Need Condo Insurance

Are you contemplating buying a condominium but aren’t sure if you need condo insurance? While it’s not required by law in many states, most lenders or banks won’t give you a mortgage unless you provide proof you have insurance first. 

Besides, having condo insurance can help protect your personal belongings inside your home and provide personal liability protection should any accidents occur to people or property caused by you, a member of your family or your pets.

Doesn’t my condo association have insurance?


Your condo association most likely has their own coverage but their insurance probably covers the building(s) and commonly owned property. The association’s insurance would not cover incidents that happen inside your condo like water damage or a guest falling and getting hurt.

What does condo insurance cover?

With MAPFRE, the Unit-Owners policy generally covers fixtures, alterations, additions, structures owned by the insured; personal property; additional living and loss of rent. Every circumstance is unique, but these are generally what would be covered by your condo insurance policy.

What wouldn’t typically be covered by your condo insurance policy?

  • General wear and tear
  • Damage from lack of maintenance
  • Damage caused by remodeling your home
  • Flood damage and earthquake damage typically aren’t covered

How much condo insurance do I need and how much does it cost? 

We can help you decide what is specifically covered and what is not, therefore determining how much insurance you need. Those factors would help determine how much you pay for your policy in addition to things like geographic location, how old your property is and what the structure is made of and how much your deductible is. You may also need additional coverage for your more valuable personal possessions like jewelry as there are limits to what is covered under your standard condo insurance policy. You can always ask your Independent Agent about an endorsement for high value property.

If you live in Massachusetts, make sure you have the right coverage for your condo by getting a fast, free quote from us today.  Call us or contact us today. (910) 521-9090

Source:  https://www.mapfreinsurance.com/blog/why-you-need-condo-insurance/

Homeowners, Homeowners Insurance, Homeowners Insurance in Pembroke NC, Dial Insurance, Auto Insurance, Pembroke, North Carolina, Insurance Near Me, Insurance Pembroke NC

Your air conditioning (AC) system is a vital component of your home, especially during hot summer months. To ensure it operates efficiently and lasts longer, proper maintenance and safeguarding are essential. Here are some valuable tips to protect your AC:

Regular Cleaning:

  • Dust and debris can accumulate on your AC unit’s condenser coils, reducing its efficiency. Periodically clean the coils using a hose or a soft brush to remove dirt and debris.

Trim Vegetation:

  • Ensure that plants, bushes, or trees near your AC unit are trimmed and kept at a safe distance. Overgrown vegetation can obstruct airflow and reduce the unit’s efficiency.

Change Filters:

  • Replace or clean air filters regularly, ideally every 1-3 months. Dirty filters can restrict airflow, making your AC work harder and potentially leading to damage.

Check Insulation:

  • Ensure that your home is properly insulated. Well-insulated homes retain cool air better, reducing the workload on your AC.

Professional Maintenance:

  • Schedule annual professional maintenance for your AC system. Technicians can identify and address issues early, improving efficiency and preventing breakdowns.

Shade the Unit:

  • Providing shade for your outdoor AC unit can help it operate more efficiently. However, make sure not to obstruct airflow.

Programmable Thermostat:

  • Invest in a programmable thermostat to control your AC’s temperature settings efficiently. It can reduce the workload when you’re not at home.

Seal Leaks:

  • Seal any gaps or leaks in your home’s windows and doors to prevent cool air from escaping and warm air from entering.

Proper Ventilation:

  • Ensure that your home has proper ventilation to allow cool air to circulate efficiently. Ceiling fans and attic vents can help.

Use Ceiling Fans:

  • Ceiling fans can help distribute cool air more evenly, reducing the need for your AC to run constantly.

Protect from Weather:

  • In extreme weather conditions, cover your outdoor AC unit to protect it from heavy rain, snow, or ice. Just remember to remove the cover when the weather improves.

Mind the Thermostat:

  • Avoid setting your thermostat too low during hot weather. Each degree lower increases your energy consumption significantly.

Keep Registers Open:

  • Ensure that all HVAC registers in your home are open and unobstructed to allow for proper airflow.

Check Ductwork:

  • Periodically inspect your ductwork for leaks or damage. Seal any gaps to prevent cooled air from escaping.

By following these tips, you can maintain the efficiency and longevity of your air conditioning system while also improving your home’s overall comfort and energy efficiency. Properly caring for your AC not only saves you money on energy bills but also reduces the risk of costly repairs and premature replacement.

Smartphone apps drive gig workers, parents to distraction

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Gig-economy workers are 4 times as likely as other drivers to use smartphone apps regularly while driving, a new survey from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety shows.

“The explosion of smartphone features and services has not only created new forms of driver distraction, but also a new group of rideshare and delivery drivers whose jobs require them to interact with their phones while they’re on the road,” IIHS President David Harkey said.

Parents are also nearly 50 percent more prone to routinely making video calls, checking weather reports and other types of smartphone-enabled distractions than drivers without children 18 or younger, the survey found.

Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicate that more than 3,000 people died in distraction-related crashes in 2020, accounting for 8 percent of all traffic-related fatalities. Because it’s difficult to determine if distraction contributed to a crash, that number is almost certainly an underestimate.

Anything that diverts the driver’s attention — eating, adjusting the radio, putting on makeup — can increase the risk of a crash. But tasks involving mobile phones and other electronic devices can be both more demanding and more tempting than other common distractions. The variety of smartphone applications has also exploded in recent years.

To begin exploring the impact of these newer applications, IIHS surveyed more than 2,000 drivers nationwide about what secondary tasks they perform while driving. Tasks were separated into ordinary activities and those that involved a mobile phone or another electronic device, and the device-based activities were further categorized into basic talking and texting and smartphone-based activities like programming a navigation app or checking a social media feed. For some device-based activities, drivers were also asked whether they performed the task using a hands-free feature.

Overall, nearly two-thirds of the participating drivers reported performing one or more distracting activities of any type most or every time they drove over the past 30 days. Half said they performed at least one device-based task during most drives. Common device-based activities included making phone calls, streaming music and reading texts, but the most common was programming a navigation app. Far fewer people reported playing games on a mobile device while driving, but 8 percent said they play games regularly while they’re behind the wheel.

For the most part, the drivers said they usually used the hands-free feature for device-based activities when the capability was available. About 8 out of 10 drivers who said they regularly programmed their navigation app and 7 out of 10 who said they regularly read and sent texts while driving reported that they used voice commands to do so.

“Hands-free operation is generally believed to be less dangerous, since drivers can more easily keep their eyes on the road,” said IIHS Research Associate Aimee Cox, the lead author of the study. “However, it doesn’t eliminate the distraction altogether.”

Previous research has shown, for instance, that hands-free systems that require drivers to perform some operations manually, such as scrolling through a contact list, are less safe than those that can be managed completely with voice commands. Hands-free capabilities are irrelevant or impractical for some smartphone-based activities, such as scrolling social media or playing games.

Not surprisingly, the survey showed that drivers between the ages of 18 and 34 were more likely to use smartphone apps while behind the wheel than drivers ages 35-49. Less predictably, however, it also showed that parents of children 18 and younger were 65 percent more likely than other drivers to perform non-device-based tasks, 31 percent more prone to any device-based distraction and 47 percent more likely to engage in smartphone-enabled secondary activities.

Gig-economy workers were more than twice as likely as other drivers to engage in any distracting activity and nearly 4 times as likely to regularly use smartphone apps while driving. The smartphone-based activities they performed also went well beyond communicating with customers and navigating to pickup and delivery locations using the app provided by their employer.

One possible reason could be that they’re more tempted to conduct other business or find ways to entertain themselves while driving because their jobs force them to spend so much time behind the wheel. In response, ridesharing and delivery companies should put in place or strengthen policies that mandate safe practices for necessary operations and restrict device-based behaviors that are not an essential part of the job.

“These results show that nobody is immune to distraction and suggest that hands-free capabilities may be making us a little too comfortable using our phones and other devices behind the wheel,” said Harkey.Source: https://www.iihs.org/news/detail/smartphone-apps-drive-gig-workers-parents-to-distraction

Flood Preparedness: Before, During, & After

Flooding is a temporary overflow of water onto land that is normally dry. Floods are the most common natural disaster in the United States. Failing to evacuate flooded areas or entering flood waters can lead to injury or death. Floods may:

  • The result from rain, snow, coastal storms, storm surges, and overflows of dams and other water systems.
  • Develop slowly or quickly. Flash floods can come with no warning.
  • Cause outages, disrupt transportation, damage buildings, and create landslides.

Preparing for a Flood

Know Your Risk for Floods – Visit FEMA’s Flood Map Service Center to know the types of flood risk in your area.  Sign up for your community’s warning system. The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio also provide emergency alerts.

Purchase Flood Insurance – Purchase or renew a flood insurance policy. Homeowners insurance policies do not cover flooding. It typically takes up to 30 days for a policy to go into effect so the time to buy is well before a disaster. 

Plan Ahead – Plan for your household, including your pets, so that you and your family know what to do, where to go, and what you will need to protect yourselves from flooding. Learn and practice evacuation routes, shelter plans, and flash flood response. Gather supplies, including non-perishable foods, cleaning supplies, and water for several days, in case you must leave immediately or if services are cut off in your area.

In Case of Emergency – Keep important documents in a waterproof container. Create password-protected digital copies. Protect your property. Move valuables to higher levels. Declutter drains and gutters. Install check valves. Consider a sump pump with a battery.

If you are under a flood warning:

  • Find safe shelter right away.
  • Do not walk, swim or drive through flood waters. Turn Around, Don’t Drown!
  • Remember, just six inches of moving water can knock you down, and one foot of moving water can sweep your vehicle away.
  • Stay off bridges over fast-moving water.
  • Depending on the type of flooding:
  • Evacuate if told to do so.
  • Move to higher ground or a higher floor.
  • Stay where you are.

Staying Safe During a Flood

  • Evacuate immediately, if told to evacuate. Never drive around barricades. Local responders use them to safely direct traffic out of flooded areas.
  • Contact your healthcare provider If you are sick and need medical attention. Wait for further care instructions and shelter in place, if possible. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 9-1-1.
  • Listen to EAS, NOAA Weather Radio, or local alerting systems for current emergency information and instructions regarding flooding.
  • Do not walk, swim or drive through flood waters. Turn Around. Don’t Drown!
  • Stay off bridges over fast-moving water. Fast-moving water can wash bridges away without warning.
  • Stay inside your car if it is trapped in rapidly moving water. Get on the roof if water is rising inside the car.
  • Get to the highest level if trapped in a building. Only get on the roof if necessary and once there, signal for help. Do not climb into a closed attic to avoid getting trapped by rising floodwater.
  • Staying Safe After a Flood
  • Pay attention to authorities for information and instructions. Return home only when authorities say it is safe.
  • Avoid driving except in emergencies.
  • Wear heavy work gloves, protective clothing, and boots during clean up and use appropriate face coverings or masks if cleaning mold or other debris. 
  • People with asthma and other lung conditions and/or immune suppression should not enter buildings with indoor water leaks or mold growth that can be seen or smelled. Children should not take part in disaster cleanup work.
  • Be aware that snakes and other animals may be in your house.
  • Be aware of the risk of electrocution. Do not touch electrical equipment if it is wet or if you are standing in water. Turn off the electricity to prevent electric shock if it is safe to do so.
  • Avoid wading in floodwater, which can be contaminated and contain dangerous debris. Underground or downed power lines can also electrically charge the water.
  • Use a generator or other gasoline-powered machinery ONLY outdoors and away from windows.

Source: https://www.ready.gov/floods#:~:text=Find%20safe%20shelter%20right%20away,bridges%20over%20fast%2Dmoving%20water

Homeowners Insurance Facts

When you decide you want to buy your first home, homeowners insurance may not be the first thing you think about. However, most mortgage lenders require you to have homeowners insurance before they will approve your loan. There are a few things you should know about homeowners insurance.

Certain losses are excluded from most homeowners insurance policies. Standard homeowners insurance policies don’t cover floods or earthquakes. If you want coverage for flood or earthquake damage, you will need separate policies for those. If you are in a flood zone, your mortgage lender may require you to purchase flood insurance.

We all know that our credit score is important for many things. Did you know it can also affect your homeowners insurance premium? Some states have banned this practice; however, in most cases, your credit score can affect your insurance premium. The better your credit rating, the lower your premium. So while you’re spiffing up your credit rating to get a good deal on your mortgage loan, you should maintain a good rating to save money on your homeowners insurance.

Poor home maintenance may cause a claim to be denied. Not all damages are covered by homeowners insurance. If the damage that occurred to your home is due to your failure to properly maintain your home, your claim may be denied. When it comes to home maintenance, don’t be a procrastinator!

While you are living in your new home, you will acquire new valuables, and personal possessions, and may do some home improvements. You should always report these to us right away so we can ensure your coverage is sufficient for your investment. Enjoy your new home, you deserve it!

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Source: https://www.hsh.com/first-time-homebuyer/facts-about-home-insurance.html

All About Home Inventory

You never know when disaster may strike and all your personal possessions are lost or damaged. Do you know how much your coin collection is worth? Do you know how many pairs of Nikes you have? That’s where a home inventory can help. Having a home inventory can help you purchase the amount of insurance you need, get your insurance claim settled faster, verify losses for your income tax return, and keep track of all the things you’ve accumulated over the years.

It may seem like a daunting task to create a list of every item you own, but don’t let that scare you off! There are many ways to create your list, you just have to decide what works best for you. You can go room by room, category by category (furniture, electronics, etc.), newest to oldest, or the most expensive to least expensive. You can write everything down on a notepad, take pictures and write the information on the back of the photos, or put everything into your computer.

It’s also very important to keep a record of legal documents – birth certificates, passports, and financial documents. You can use your home inventory to record information about these papers. You can not have insurance policy numbers, bank account numbers, and insurance policy contact information.

You should keep your home inventory and your important records in a safe place, such as a fireproof lockbox. Keeping copies of the items outside of the home is a great idea too. You can keep them at a friend’s house or in a safe deposit box. Always remember, after you make a significant purchase to add the information to your home inventory and keep it up to date.

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Source: https://www.iii.org/article/brochure-home-inventory