home insurance Archives - Harrington Insurance Agency

Home Insurance and Home Construction

By | General Insurance

Before You Start Construction on Your Home Think About Insurance

When it comes to improving your home, it’s very easy to get excited about the new changes you envision for your home, and get those tools out to start hacking away (or hiring someone to do it for you). But wait, stop! There are several things to consider and plan before you start replacing that boring linoleum floor with exotic panda-safe synthetic bamboo. Like what is your realistic budget? How will you qualify the contractor? Have you considered every possible external cost? What about your home’s value? Building permits? Possible changes to insurance?

Imagine a few possibilities where you might regret not talking to your insurance agent before starting your project: You move your furniture into a storage unit while you do the renovations, only to have the storage unit flood. A friend is helping you out with some roof repair and falls off, vowing to sue you in the process. A contractor tears out your wall, only to discover that you’re not really supposed to remove load-bearing walls. Are you covered for these possibilities?

Aside from covering the unexpected, you’ll need to consider how your renovations will affect your home value. With changing values, you’ll want to make sure your coverage is adequate for then new value of your house.

At Harrington Insurance Agency, we’ve been helping customers navigate the waters of home insurance, and can help you with any scenario that might arise. Give us a call and we’ll be happy to walk you through the steps of ensuring you’re protected before you start your big project!

Fire Homeowner's Insurance Harrington Insurance Agency, San Jose CA

Are You Prepared for Wildfire Season with the Proper Insurance?

By | Personal Insurance

Insurance for Wildfires, Are You Covered?

Summer is just around the corner!  As we look forward to the warmer days and plentiful sunshine, we are faced with the unfortunate reality of what can accompany this wonderful change in weather – wildfires.  Fire officials have predicted a particularly difficult wildfire season in California following the dry winter experienced throughout much of the West.  Federal budget cuts have made this even more challenging by reducing the amount of firefighters on the ground, and reducing the amount of resources those firefighters can use on strategies designed to reduce future fire potential.  Luckily, if it’s predictable, it’s preventable!  Below is a list of steps you can take right now to protect your family, home, and belongings.

Steps to protect your family, home and belongings

  • Regularly clear roof and gutters of leaves and other debris.  This prevents embers from igniting your home.
  • Mow and water your lawn regularly.
  • Clear leaves and all flammable vegetation from under your deck and within 30 feet of the house.
  • Ask the power company to clear branches from power lines.
  • Prune trees so the lowest branches are 15 feet from the ground, and remove dead branches that extend over the roof.
  • Stack firewood at least 100 feet away and uphill from your home.
  • Screen areas below patios and decks with wire mesh to prevent debris from accumulating.  Also, screen openings to floors, the roof, and the attic.
  • Teach each member of your family how to use a fire extinguisher and show them where it’s kept in your home.
  • Review your homeowner’s insurance policy and make a list of your home’s contents.

As a general rule, if it can catch fire, don’t let it touch your house, deck, or porch.  For more information and tips on fire safety and prevention, visit www.firewise.org, or contact your local fire department.

Don’t wait for damage to be done before protecting your home and belongings.  If you don’t already have homeowner’s insurance, let us help you find a policy that meets your needs.  Call us today at (408) 264-2400, visit our Facebook page, or email us at  info@harringtoninsurance.com.

Getting the Best Rates with Your Insurance Policy

By | Personal Insurance

How to know if you are getting good insurance rates

There are plenty of insurance policy discounts out there if you just know where to look. You may already be getting the best rate you possibly can, but there may be a few things you didn’t think to mention when applying for your insurance.

Few things that may help you qualify for a discount:

  • Living in a gated community. Insurance carriers like to know when people are being proactive against possible neighborhood crime. Living in a gated community shows your insurance carrier that you are taking a stand against possible break-ins and other types of criminal acts.
  • Being a non-smoker. Smoking not only hurts your health, but increases your insurance premiums in almost all your policies. Health related insurance like healthcare and life policies have lower rates for non-smokers because the probability of health related claims is greatly decreased. Homeowner’s insurance carriers offer lower rates to non-smokers because the risk of fire is greatly reduced.
  • Having an impact-resistant roof. You probably didn’t think to notify your homeowner’s carrier when you had your roof redone, huh? If you recently installed an impact-resistant roof you might get a discount. Any time you make any changes to your home, let your insurance agent know. Even just updating the wiring in your home might warrant a discount.
  • Being a good student. You may have heard that taking a driver safety course could reduce your premium. But did you know that if you are a good student in school you might be entitled to a lower rate as well? It’s definitely worth asking your insurance agent.

Of course every insurance company is different. Not every one offers the same discounts or rate reductions. Contact us to see if you qualify for any of the above policy credits.

How Smoking Can Effect Your Health Insurance Premiums and More

By | Personal Insurance

Smoking Can Effect your Health Insurance, Home Insurance and Life Insurance

A smoking habit may affect various types of insurances including health, life, and home insurance. Health and life insurance premiums tend to be higher for smokers as they often suffer more illnesses related to this unhealthy habit. Homeowners may pay more for insurance premiums due to the added risk of smoking in and around the home. Harrington Insurance Agency in San Jose, CA may be able to show you how much you might save in premiums if you quit – keep in mind though, that it’s likely you’ll have to stay off the cigarettes to achieve any benefit.

Read On How To Quit

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website has an entire section on the hazards of smoking, advice on how to quit, and how to resist the urge to pick up the cigarettes again. According to the CDC, smoking is the most preventable cause of premature death in the United States. Smokers are at a higher risk for chronic cardiopulmonary conditions that may lead to heart attack or stroke.

The Benefits are Endless

The benefits of ending your smoking habit include improvement of your senses of taste and smell. You may be surprised at what you have been missing in terms of the taste of food and the smell of flowers and plants. Living longer and healthier is worth the effort it may take to quit smoking. You will save money by not buying cigarettes and your CA insurance premiums may decrease once you have firmly become a non-smoker, leaving you extra money to spend on other things that you enjoy.

Contact Harrington Insurance Agency to discuss your health, life and home insurance premiums.