How Much Home Insurance Do I Need?

When it comes to the subject of how much home insurance you need, many people question the amount that is needed to cover their home and possessions in the event of a fire, flood or other disaster.

The amount of home insurance you will need to purchase will cover the cost of the following:

  • Structure of your home
  • personal possessions
  • cost of additional living expenses in the case that your home is damaged and you must live somewhere else while repairs are performed
  • liability to others for accidents that may happen at your home

While considering the value of your homes structure for insurance purposes, please keep the following in mind:

Your homes structure does not include the land that your home resides upon. In the event of a flood, fire or other disaster, your homes structure should be insured enough to cover the cost of rebuilding your home at current construction rates. This value is not contingent upon the price you paid for your home, or what you might be able to sell your home for today.

Some banks will require you to purchase enough homeowners insurance to cover the amount of your mortgage. Although in some cases your loan amount might be less than the value of your home, you should still purchase enough homeowners insurance to cover the cost of rebuilding. Homeowners insurance is designed to protect your investment and should not be purchased only to meet bank requirements on your loan.

To estimate the amount of insurance you will need to cover the structure of your home, multiply the square footage of your home by local building costs per square foot.

Call us today for help figuring out how much home insurance you need for your Indiana Pa home.

Choosing Your Car Insurance in Indiana Pa

Car Insurance can be a complicated subject at times, let us help you.

Before you start the process of shopping for the best car insurance policy, you need to know what the insurance requirements in Pennsylvania are. There are certain coverage’s that are required and some that are optional.

According to Pennsylvania Insurance Department the required coverage’s are:

Medical Benefits – The minimum limit is $5,000 of coverage but you can choose a higher limit if you choose. This covers medical bills for you and others who are covered by your policy regardless of who is at fault.

Bodily Injury Liability – The minimum limit is $15,000/$30,000. The $15,000 pays for injuries to one person; the $30,000 represents the total available for one accident. This covers medical and rehabilitation expenses if you injure someone and any damages if you are found at fault of the accident.

Property Damage Liability – The minimum limit is $5,000 of coverage. This coverage pays for damage to someone else’s property if you are at fault of the accident.

Some companies offer a single limit of $35,000, which meets the bodily injury liability and property damage liability minimum requirements.

Limited or Full Tort – It is your choice to have full or limited tort coverage. Having limited tort coverage can save on your premiums. You are still able to recover all out of pocket medical and other expenses; but you are not able to recover certain damages, such as pain and suffering payments – unless the injuries meet one of the exceptions to limited tort as defined in Act 6 of 1990, title 75, section 1705 (d). With full tort care insurance coverage selection, you retain unrestricted rights to bring suit against the negligent party.

The coverage’s that are optional are as follows:

Uninsured Motorist (UM) – If you are hit by an at-fault uninsured motorist, this covers any bodily injury to you, your family and your passengers.

Underinsured Motorist (UIM) – if an at-fault motorist who does not have enough car insurance to cover your claim hits you, this will cover bodily injury to you, your family and your passengers. This does not cover damage to property.

Stacking of UM or UIM – This coverage allows you to either multiply the amount of uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage by the number of vehicles on your policy or to receive uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage from more than one policy under which you are insured. It costs extra to stack uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage.

Funeral Benefit – This pays up to a certain amount for funeral expenses if you or a family member dies as a result of a car accident.

Income Loss – This pays a portion of your lost wages when not working due to injuries sustained in an auto accident.

Collision – This pays to have the damage to your car repaired as a result of an accident. To receive a car loan, many lenders or banks require you to purchase this coverage. Under Pennsylvania law, the insurance company applies a $50 deductible unless you request a lower amount. Normally the higher your deductible is, the lower your premium will be.

Extraordinary Medical Benefits – This is a benefit paid to the personal representative of an insured if the bodily injury from a motor vehicle accident results in death within 24 months of the date of the accident.

Rental Reimbursement coverage – Depending on the limit on the car insurance policy, this pays for an individual’s expense of renting a vehicle if they have a covered comprehensive or collision loss.

Towing Coverage – This reimburses an individual, up to the limit on their policy, for towing and labor costs for a covered disabled vehicle. This coverage is usually only available if comprehensive and collision is carried on the vehicle.

Gap Coverage – This coverage pays the difference between an insurance company’s payment for a totaled vehicle and the vehicle’s loan balance. Traditionally this is only available when an individual is purchasing a new vehicle.

When you get a free car insurance quote from Walbeck Insurance, you can quickly compare Pennsylvania car insurance rates to find a policy that fits your needs. We are conveniently located in Homer City, near Indiana, Pa and Blairsville, Pa; give us a call today!

Helpful Tips When Shopping For Car Insurance

There are many reasons why you need to update your car insurance policy. You buy a new car, you move, you add a new driver to your policy, or your marital status changes to name a few. Updating your car insurance or shopping for a new car insurance policy is probably one of the last things you want to spend your time doing.

It can get confusing figuring out how much coverage you should have. Don’t worry, our agents are experts and we are here to help you. Here are some helpful tips to help you be prepared when you call or come to see us for your new car insurance policy that can help you save time and money.

Be Prepared When Shopping For Car Insurance

It can be easier than you think to get a car insurance quote. You can fill out our online insurance quote or give us a call. Make sure you have the following information before you get started:

  • Year, make, model and VIN for each car
  • Annual Mileage for each car
  • Name, Driver’s License number, number of years licensed, occupation, and gender
  • List of any safety features on the vehicle
  • Information about any violations or accidents in the past three years

Get Credit Where Credit is Due

You want to make sure you are getting discounts that could be available to you. If you have certain safety features on your car or you have a security system installed on your car, you could be eligible for a discount on your car insurance policy.

Review Your Deductible

Get your quote in writing and check to make sure all of your information is listed correctly. Find out what is covered and what is not covered.
Figure out how much of a deductible you can afford in the event of a claim. Find out if you choose a higher deductible if your premium will be less. A simple increase from $200 to $500 could reduce your policy premium cost. But remember if the event of a claim you will have to pay more.

By following these simple tips you can be prepared, know how you could save money and make sure you’re getting the protection you need.

Give us a call at 724.479.9378 today for your free car insurance quote!

Helpful Business Insurance Tips For Contractors

Prevent Losses on the Job Site

  • Always check references of potential employees and use employment applications. Applications can be found at most office supply stores.
  • Provide a copy of safety rules and enforce them. Safety rules should be base on OSHA, or other government agency safety requirements and accepted industry practices. Some areas of concern are:
    • Personal protective equipment
    • Full Protection for working at heights
    • Hazard communication program
    • Lock-out/Tag-out of energy sources
    • Confined space entry program
  • If employees do not have similar job experience, then training should be provided in any job they may be assigned.
  • Assign responsibility for safety to a supervisor or foreman.
  • Hold safety meetings regularly.
  • Periodically conduct safety inspections.
  • Review the safety practices of all subcontractors that you have hired and be sure they meet the same standards that have already been established by you.
  • Always have a first aid kit available.
  • Have a phone available with all emergency phone numbers with it in the event of an emergency.
  • Have a portable fully charged fire extinguisher that is easily accessible.
  • Provide protective equipment such as safety glasses, protection for hearing and hard hats and enforce their proper use!
  • Barricade work areas and provide warning signs near excavations and other hazards.
  • Secure the job site. Fence the site to prevent vandalism and public access to hazardous areas. Control access to customers and their vendors. Provide lighting in necessary areas when possible.
  • When leaving materials and equipment on job sites, make sure you secure them. Lock all tools in boxes and use chains to secure large equipment.
  • Always store and handle hazardous materials properly. Protects containers from damage and secure tanks in an upright position. Make sure you are using safety cans for gasoline and other flammable liquids.
  • Remove debris and scrap daily.
  • For welding and other hot work follow safety precautions. Wet or shield combustible surfaces and end these operations at least 30 minutes before leaving the site unoccupied.
  • Temporary heating units should be UL/AGA approved and follow manufacturer’s suggested precautions and provide adequate clearance form combustible material.
  • Have procedures for reporting and investigating incidents and accidents.
  • Require proper use of scaffolds and ladders.

Vehicle Safety

  • Only the designated employees should operate any company vehicles.
  • If your employees drive their own vehicles in the course of work, verify their insurance coverage and make sure their limits are equal to your insurance.
  • Provide written driving safety rules to any employee who operates a vehicle.
  • If you don’t have them already, develop written preventative maintenance procedures for all equipment and vehicles.

Vehicle Safety

  • Driver’s license numbers must be provided and are subject to periodic records checks.
  • A revoked or suspended driver’s license should be reported to a supervisor immediately.
  • Drivers must follow all laws and regulation pertaining to the use of the specific type of vehicle they are operating.
  • Any accidents must be reported immediately to a supervisor.
  • Any tickets must be reported to a supervisor. The driver is personally responsible for any fines or penalties resulting from the manner in which they operate the vehicle.
  • At the beginning and end of each workday, drivers are responsible for inspecting and verifying the safe operating condition of their vehicles. Unsafe vehicle conditions must be reported to a supervisor immediately.

Call us today to get a free quote for all your business insurance needs in indiana, Blairsville, Homer City Pa or anywhere else in Pennsylvania.

Tips for Driving in Heavy Rain

Along with warm weather and sunny skies in the summer, can come strong thunderstorms and heavy rains in Indiana Pa. Driving in wet conditions can be hazardous and you need to exercise greater caution than usual.

Here are a few safety tips to help you next time your driving in bad weather.

Turn on your Headlights
Many states require headlights to be on when it is raining, even in broad daylight. This makes it easier for you to see in front of you and also helps other drivers see your car.

Keep Enough Space
Keep at least five car lengths in front of you and the next car in front of you. This can help you have enough reaction time since you never know what other drivers are going to do or what could happen up ahead.

If visibility conditions are poor due to heavy rain, you will want to drive below the speed limit to the extent that you are able to see far enough in front of you to appropriately make driving decisions. If visibility is too poor to see it is best to pull over until the rain slows up.

Hydroplaning is when your vehicle travels atop the water and has very little or no contact with the ground. The loss of traction this creates will decrease your steering control. If you find yourself hydroplaning, let off the gas and steer straight or slightly in the direction you are heading. Remain calm and DO NOT make sudden motions.

Avoid Flooded Roads
You should never drive through standing or moving water, especially if you can’t see the ground beneath. Try to find an alternative route in Indiana Pa. If you have no choice, pull over and wait or follow someone else to judge the depth of the water on the road. Driving through deep water can flood your engine and cause it to stall, and deep water can cause your car to float right off the roadway or pose a serious threat to your well-being.

Walbeck Insurance Agency is an independent insurance agency that can help you with all of your car insurance, home insurance, and business insurance needs in Indiana PA, Blairsville PA, Homer City PA and surrounding PA areas. Call us for a free quote today.

Home Insurance Basics for your Indiana Pa Home

Home insurance is something every Indiana Pa homeowner should have. It is a requirement by a lender if you have a mortgage on your home.

Not all-home insurance coverage’s are alike. Before you start shopping for Pa home insurance, it’s a good idea to have some knowledge of what type of coverage you will need for your Indiana Pa home.

First you will want to decide on your coverage amount. You want to be able to rebuild your house and replace everything in it in the event of a disaster. A home’s insurance value is based on the cost to rebuild your house, not the market value.

Conduct an inventory, this could streamline the claims process if you have to file a claim in the future. Take a video or photos of every room and keep receipts for your valuable items. Make sure you keep your records in a safe place where they can’t be damaged in the event of a disaster.

Home insurance does not cover problems that result from general wear and tear or poor maintenance. A basic home insurance policy should also cover other structures on your property and should provide for living expenses if you are not able to live at home as a result of a disaster.

You will need to choose the deductible amount. One way to have a lower premium is to choose a deductible of at least $1,000. But remember that in the event of a disaster, you will be responsible for paying your deductible out of pocket.

Consider flood insurance. Granted this is not for everyone, but if you live in an area that is prone to floods this is something you will want to think about. Water damage obtained from a flood is not covered under your home insurance policy. Flood insurance can be purchased through most home insurance agents. If you have a mortgage, your lender may require flood coverage if you live in a high-risk area, but it can be worth it to get flood coverage even if it is not required.

Shop online for multiple quotes, home insurance shopping is now very convenient online. Walbeck Insurance offers a free online quote that’s quick and easy.

We can help you properly value your Indiana Pa home and answer any questions you may have about your home insurance policy. Call Walbeck Insurance today!

Spring Cleanup Tips for your Indiana PA Home

5 Spring Cleanup Tips:

Spring is finally here along with the realization that the harsh winter has been harsh on the outside of your Indiana PA house for the last 5 months. Before you start putting out your deck furniture and planting flowers consider these following tips.

Check your downspouts and gutters
If you are able to get the ladder out and check for any clogs you should do so. The fall leaves or the build up of snow and ice can do a number on your gutters and downspouts. You want to make sure that all of the water is making it’s way out of the downspouts and away from your foundation. While your up there, you could do a visual check of the shingles on your roof and your chimney. If you are not comfortable with climbing a ladder, find a local contractor that provides this service that can do it for you.

Fix cracks
Cracks have a way of suddenly appearing in your walkways, foundation and patios, especially during the winter months. These cracks can be a welcome sign for water to get in your home and create damage.

Caulk and repair windows
Gaps between your windows can allow water inside, just like cracks. You will need to scrape the old caulking away and replace with new. If you have wood trim or window sills, check for signs of decay. If you see any you will need to repair or replace the items as needed. This can also help with energy efficiency in your home.

Move junk or wood away from your home
The pile of firewood you had close by your house to keep you warm during the winter months can be a perfect breeding ground for a variety of insects. For example if left, this damp area can attract such things as carpenter ants. These little guys can cause a lot of damage to your house and will most likely require a call to your local exterminator.

Inspect your outdoor faucets, lights and air conditioning unit
Before turning on your air conditioning unit for the hot summer months, you might want to consider having a certified professional inspect it. This can help prolong the life of the unit.

Also check your outdoor receptacles, lighting and faucets to make sure they are not damaged.

Please call Walbeck Insurance for all of your home insurance needs 724.479.9378.

Need Home Insurance For Your Indiana PA Home?

What Kind of Home Insurance Do You Need For Your Indiana PA Home?

There are various forms of home insurance associated with owning a home, including these major types:

Home Insurance:
Home Insurance is required by lenders and provides liability, fire and left coverage. They also can cover a surprising a number of things such as furniture, home office equipment and even wedding rings.

Title Insurance:
Title insurance protects the purchaser’s of real estate and mortgages against loss from defective titles, liens, and encumbrances. This is usually a one time fee that is purchased at closing time.

Flood Insurance:
This is generally required in high-risk, flood prone areas and is issued by the federal government. Your realtor can explain which locations require such insurance.

Home warranties:
Home warranties for existing homes are typically one-year service agreements purchased by sellers. In the event of a covered defect or breakdown, the home warranty company will step in and make the repair or cover its cost. Insurance policies and warranties have limitations and individual programs have different levels of coverage, deductibles and costs. Ask your realtor if this is available for you.

Please give Walbeck Insurance a call about your home insurance needs for your new Indiana Pa home. We will take the time to make sure you get the best policy.

Home Insurance for your new Indiana PA Home

Are You Buying a New Home in Indiana PA Soon?

Are you shopping for your dream house? Whether you’re looking in Indiana Pa, Homer City Pa, Blairsville Pa, or anywhere else in Pennsylvania there are many considerations when shopping for your dream house, such as home insurance, property taxes, school district, available recreational opportunities in the neighborhood, to name a few.

home-insurance-indiana-paBut an often overlooked but important consideration is the insurance implications of your purchase. You will be paying home insurance on your home for as long as you own it, so you should factor the cost of insurance into the home-buying process. You don’t want to find out after your purchase house that your dream home is more expensive to insure than you thought!

Before you start looking for a home, think through all the costs associated with buying a home that will make the process run more smoothly, and it may also save you money. It is important to:

  • Check Your Credit Rating
    A good credit history helps you in many ways. Good credit makes it easier to get a mortgage at a competitive rate, and it may also qualify you for a good credit discount on your insurance. Make sure you know your credit rating before you apply for a mortgage. Get a copy of one or all of your credit reports. Make sure they are accurate and report any mistakes immediately. If your credit is not as good as it could be take steps now to improve it. The I.I.I. has information on credit and insurance to help you with this process
  • Protect Yourself with a Renters Insurance Policy
    If you are currently renting a house or apartment, protect yourself financially with a renters insurance policy. This provides insurance protection in the event a fire, hurricane or other insured disaster damages or destroys your personal possessions. It also covers the cost of additional living expenses if something happens to make your rental home or apartment unlivable. Additionally, renters insurance gives you liability protection if someone is injured in your home and decides to sue you. Disasters happen, and it would be unfortunate to have to use the down payment you saved to buy your new home to pay for losses that could have been covered by renters insurance. Furthermore, having a renters insurance policy provides a useful insurance history to your prospective homeowners insurer when you go to buy your first home.

While House Hunting
As you search for your new home, remember that the physical characteristics of the house—its size, location, construction and overall condition—can affect the cost, choice and availability of home insurance. Following are some factors to consider when shopping for a home:

    Quality and Location of the Fire Department

  • Houses that are located near highly-rated, permanently staffed fire departments usually cost less to insure. This also holds true for homes that have a hydrant nearby. An important underwriting criterion for insurance companies is a community’s investment in fire protection, which includes trained firefighters, proper equipment and adequate supplies of water.
  • Proximity to the Coastline
    Houses located on or near the coast will generally cost more to insure than those further inland. There will also likely be a hurricane or windstorm deductible. This is a percentage deductible based on the cost to rebuilding a home, rather than a flat dollar amount. With a homeowners policy that has a $500 standard deductible, for example, the policyholder pays the first $500 of the claim before insurance kicks in. However, as percentage deductibles are based on the home’s insured value, if a house is insured for $100,000 and has a 2 percent deductible, the first $2,000 of a claim is paid out of the policyholder’s pocket.

    There are two kinds of wind damage deductibles: hurricane deductibles, which apply to damage solely from hurricanes; and windstorm or wind/hail deductibles, which apply to any kind of wind damage. Percentage deductibles typically vary by state and range from 1 percent to 5 percent of a home’s insured value. These come into effect if certain triggers occur—a deductible triggering event can be, for instance, an official National Weather Service declaration that a storm is generating hurricane-strength winds (i.e., 74 miles per hour, or more) in your community.

    In coastal areas with high wind risk, some homeowners may select higher hurricane deductibles to lower their insurance premiums, but that means they pay more if their home is damaged. In some coastal communities, private homeowners insurance coverage may not be readily available. Instead, you may need to purchase insurance through a state-run insurance program, which can provide less coverage, and in some cases be more costly, than private insurance.

  • Age of the Home
    A stately, older home can be quite beautiful, but ornate features such as plaster walls, ceiling molding and wooden floors may be costly to replace and raise the cost of insurance. Plumbing and electrical systems can become unsafe with age and lack of maintenance. So, older homes may cost more to insure. If you are considering buying an older home find out how much it will cost to update these features and factor it into the cost of ownership.
  • Condition of the Roof
    Ask about the condition of the roof. A new roof matters to insurers and keeps you and your family safer. Depending on the type of roof and whether or not you use fire and/or hail resistant materials, you may even qualify for a discount. Talk to your insurer about qualifying discounts.
  • Is the Home Well-Built and Up to Code?
    Find out whether the house has been updated to comply with current building codes. Homes built by careful craftsmen and those built to meet modern engineering-based building codes are likely to better withstand natural disasters. Consider hiring a licensed home inspector who is knowledgeable about the latest building codes to inspect the property before you sign a mortgage.
  • Risk of Flooding
    Damage from flooding is NOT covered by standard home insurance policies. If you are buying a home in an area at risk from flooding, you will need to purchase separate insurance. Insurance for flooding is available from the federal government’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which is serviced by private carriers, and from a few specialty insurers. People often underestimate the risk of flooding. Ninety percent of all natural disasters in the U.S. involve flooding, according to the NFIP. More important is that 25 to 30 percent of all paid losses for flooding are for damage in areas not officially designated as special flood hazard areas. If you are not in a high-risk flood zone, NFIP coverage is available at a lower premium.
  • History of Earthquakes
    While earthquakes are most frequently associated with California, they have occurred in 39 states and, like flooding, are not covered under standard home insurance policies. Earthquake insurance is available from private insurers as an endorsement to a homeowners policy, and in California from the California Earthquake Authority, a privately funded, publicly managed organization. The cost of earthquake insurance differs widely by location, insurer and the type of structure being covered. Generally, older buildings cost more to insure than new ones. Wood frame structures may benefit from lower rates than brick buildings because they tend to withstand quake stresses better. Regions are graded on a scale of 1 to 5 for likelihood of quakes, and this difference is reflected in insurance rates.
  • Swimming Pool or Other Special Feature
    If the house has a swimming pool, hot tub or other special feature, you will likely need more liability insurance. You may also want to consider purchasing an excess or umbrella liability policy to provide added protection in the event someone gets injured on your property and decides to sue you.
  • Before You Place a Bid on the Home
    Check the Loss History Report
    Ask the current owner of the house for a copy of the insurance loss history report, such as a Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange (C.L.U.E.) report from ChoicePoint or an A-PLUS report from ISO, a leading source of information about property/casualty insurance. This is a record of insurance claims on the house that can provide answers to two questions that any savvy homebuyer should ask:
  • Have there been any past problems in the home?
    If damage has occurred, was it properly repaired?

Note that prior claims are not a barrier to getting insurance. In fact, sometimes a recent claim can have positive ramifications. If, for example, a roof was damaged by a wind storm and replaced by a new one, this would make the house more desirable to an insurance company. If there have been no claims within five years, there will be no loss history report on the home.

Get the House Inspected
A thorough inspection of the Indiana PA home is very important. The inspector should:

  • check the general condition of the home;
  • look for water damage, termites and other types of infestation;
  • pay special attention to the electrical system, septic tank and water heater;
  • show you where potential problems might develop;
  • double-check that past problems have been repaired;
  • suggest upgrades or replacements that may be needed.

If the inspector raises questions, your insurance company will as well. And, be sure to find out if there is an underground oil storage tank, as many insurers will not provide policies for homes that have one.

Determine How Much It Will Cost to Maintain Your Indiana PA House

Routine maintenance is your responsibility as a homeowner. Losses caused by failing to properly care for your home are not covered by standard home insurance policies. The yearly cost of taking care of your house is another factor to be included in the overall price of owning the home.

Call Your Home Insurance Representative

Don’t wait until the last minute to think about insurance. Ask your insurance professional if the house will qualify for insurance, and get an estimate of the premium. The sooner you act, the smoother the process will be. Don’t be shy about asking for estimates on more than one house. Insurance is an important consideration when purchasing a home. If you are uncomfortable with the cost of insuring a particular house, keep looking for one that better fits your financial situation. If you do not already have an insurance agent or company representative, get recommendations from family, friends or co-workers, or consult your state insurance department.

Purchasing Insurance for your New Indiana PA Home

When purchasing a home insurance policy, work with your insurance agent or company representative to get enough insurance to rebuild the house in the event of a total loss. No new home buyers want to think that their house could go up in flames, but disasters do happen. It’s important to have enough insurance to completely rebuild your home and replace all of your personal possessions. You also need to make sure you have enough liability insurance to protect your financial assets. Ask about additional coverage such as:

  • Replacement cost for personal possessions
  • Extended or guaranteed replacement cost for the structure
  • Building code upgrades
  • Sewer and drain back-up coverage
  • Inflation-guard
  • Umbrella coverage for a pool or other high-risk items
  • Special riders for jewelry, collectibles and expensive items

To save money on your home insurance, shop around and take the highest deductible you can afford. Since most people only file a claim every eight to 10 years, having a higher deductible saves money over time and preserves your home insurance for when it’s really needed. You can also ask about available discounts for:

  • Multi-policy (home, car or other policies with the same company)
  • Smoke detectors
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Sprinkler systems
  • Burglar and fire alarms that alert an outside service
  • Deadbolt locks and fire-safe window grates
  • Being 55 years old and/or retired
  • Long-time policyholder
  • Upgrades to plumbing, heating and electrical systems
  • Earthquake retrofitting to make the home safer
  • Wind-resistant shutters

Additional Resources

  • ChoicePoint
  • CLUE reports
  • Fair Isaac
  • To order a credit report,
  • For help in determining your credit score, call 800-777-2066
  • Institute for Business & Home Safety
  • ISO
  • -To order a copy of your A-PLUS report, call 800-709-8842
  • -For up-to-date information on fire protection services throughout the country, see the Public Protection Classification program
  • National Flood Insurance Program

For more information on Home Insurance in Indiana Pa, contact Walbeck Insurance.