Flood Insurance and Sewer Backup Insurance – Not the same thing.

A Flood is one of the most destructive natural disasters that causes billions in losses and disrupting thousands of people’s lives every year. While it is a common concern for those who live near streams and rivers, all homes can be victim on floods. When it comes to flood insurance, it is important to know and understand what it is and what is covered. Many think that flood insurance is necessary when they live near water and there is a possibility that the body of water could overflow causing water damage to their home. This is far from the truth. Floods are defined as water that enters your home from the outside. This is not to be confused with plumbing related issues or a leaky roof. Another issue altogether is sewer backup which may not be covered depending on what caused the problem.

Let’s take a closer look at these policies:

Flood Insurance:

A flood insurance policy covers your property and contents from damages that occur when outside water enters the home. For instance, a heavy rainstorm, a clogged street drain or a hurricane that backs up streams and rivers.

The federal government offers coverage through the National Flood Insurance Program at an average cost of about $700 per year. But premiums vary depending on your property’s flood risk. The following is covered according to the National Flood Insurance Program:

Building Property

  • The insured building and its foundation.
  • Electrical and plumbing systems.
  • Central air-conditioning equipment, furnaces, and water heaters.
  • Refrigerators, cooking stoves, and built-in appliances such as dishwashers.
  • Permanently installed carpeting over unfinished flooring.
  • Permanently installed paneling, wallboard, bookcases, and cabinets.
  • Window blinds.
  • Detached garages (up to 10 percent of building property coverage; other than garages, detached buildings require a separate building property policy).
  • Debris removal.

Personal Contents Property

  • Personal belongings, such as clothing, furniture, and electronic equipment.
  • Curtains.
  • Portable and window air-conditioners.
  • Portable microwave ovens and portable dishwashers.
  • Carpets that are not included in building coverage.
  • Clothing washers and dryers.
  • Food freezers and the food in them.
  • Certain valuable items such as original artwork and furs (up to $2,500).

Be sure to discuss contents coverage with your agent to ensure you have enough coverage. The price of the policy will be largely determined by how valuable your items are and how much coverage you need.

Water & Sewer Backup Coverage:

Sewage backup insurance is not included with a standard home insurance policy as I unfortunately found out the hard way. Shortly after we bought our home our sewage line backed up all over our finished basement. I called to report what happened so we could start the clean up process only to find that we were not covered. It is a separate insurance that you need in addition to your home insurance. I added it in case it happened again but it didn’t help me that first time. Believe it or not this is a somewhat common ocurrence.

The cost always varies, but typically it will run you under $100 for a sewer backup endorsement. Be sure to talk to your agent about the different policy options.

You should discuss with your agent how much coverage you should purchase, such as $10,000 or $15,000. Think about how much the cost of cleanup and damage would be if you did have a backup. Replacing carpets, drywall, items that need replaced for example.

We understand insurance is confusing, so if you still have questions, feel free to call one of our licensed agents and ask to speak about flood or sewage backup coverage options.

If you have questions about your home, auto or commercial insurance, call the insurance agents at Walbeck Insurance Agency in Homer City Pa. We’re right in the middle of the neighborhoods of Indiana Pa, and Blairsville PA. We have years of insurance experience and can help you insure everything from your home to your auto or business Insurance.

Blairsville PA Home Insurance Tips

Make sure your Blairsville PA Home Insurance Policy is Right For You

Blairsville PA Home Insurance

Your home is more than sticks and stones and most likely the biggest investment you’ll make. While each Blairsville PA home insurance policy is different, most are designed to cover damage to your home and personal property. As an independent insurance agency with access to many different carriers, you can count on Walbeck Insurance to shop the market for a home insurance policy that provides the coverage you need and want for your Blairsville PA home – at the most affordable rates.

A home insurance policy in Blairsville PA provides protection against disasters and other issues that can hurt you financially. In most cases, home insurance is in the form of a package policy that covers the following:

  • The structure of your home
  • Your personal belongings
  • Liability protection
  • Additional living expenses should you be displaced from your home due to disaster

Blairsville PA home insurance

Blairsville PA Renters Insurance

Whether you rent a house or an apartment, protecting your personal items from theft, fire or vandalism with renters insurance is a very important and affordable necessity. While each renters insurance policy is different, you want to be sure to cover the replacement of stolen or damaged property at your residence or on the road. Starting at little more than $100 a year, it’s something no renter should be without.

A Renters policy in Blairsville PA can provide coverage for items and situations which include:

  • Personal Property – such as furniture, electronics, and clothing.
  • Personal Liability – in the event of an injury.
  • Damage to Your Apartment – if the cause of the damage is covered.

Your landlord’s home insurance policy does not cover your personal belongings or valuables. Whether you are at home or away, your own personal renters insurance can protect you from mishaps. Because it provides coverage for your own items, damages, and other people’s injuries, you can feel confident that you will be protected.

Walbeck Insurance Agency is ready to provide the personalized guidance you need to protect your home or personal property. Give us a call today!

Car Safety Can Get You Discounts on Car Insurance

If you are thinking about purchasing or leasing a new or used car, it’s always a good rule of thumb to check to see how much it will cost to insure a particular vehicle. Typically, the more expensive cars are more costly to insure. By the same token, every vehicle has a safety rating that can affect the cost of your policy.

Certain Factory installed safety featured can many times qualify you for a premium discount. For example, anti-lock brakes, anti-theft systems, and air bags are the most common features that can qualify you for discounts on your car insurance policy. Daytime running lights are another feature that can sometimes qualify you for a discount, likewise automatic seat belts.

After-market installations of car alarms, anti-theft devices or automatic seat belts, may also qualify you for car safety discounts but always check with one of our insurance agents if you are uncertain.

A Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) window etching qualifies for a discount in some states. After-market window etching, in particular, tends to be fairly inexpensive and is occasionally offered through local police departments as part of local vehicle theft prevention initiatives. Check with your local police department to see if it is something they offer.

Do You Have Enough Home Insurance For Your Indiana PA Home?

Most standard home insurance policies include four main types of coverage:

  • Insurance coverage on the structure of your house
  • Insurance coverage for your personal belongings
  • Liability protection
  • Additional living expenses if you are temporarily unable to live in your house because of an insured disaster

The Structure of Your House

Your home insurance policy pays to either rebuild or repair your house if it is damaged or destroyed by fire, hail, hurricane, lightning or other disasters you are covered for which will be listed in your policy. It will not pay for damage caused by a flood, earthquake or routine wear and tear. Flood and earthquake insurance normally require an additional type of policy. When purchasing coverage for the structure of your home, follow this rule of thumb – purchase enough coverage to rebuild your home.

Most policies also cover detached structures such as a garage, tool shed or gazebo—generally for about 10 percent of the amount of insurance you have on the structure of your home.

Your Personal Belongings

The coverage on your personal items is generally 50 to 70 percent of the insurance on the structure of your house.
Your furniture, electronics, clothes and other personal items are covered if they are stolen or destroyed by fire or other insured disasters. Do a home inventory of your personal items to make sure you have enough coverage.

Expensive items like jewelry, furs, art, collectibles and silverware are covered, but there are usually dollar limits on each of these items if they are stolen. To ensure that you are insured for the full official appraised value for these items, purchase a special personal property endorsement or floater.

Trees, plants and shrubs are also covered under standard home insurance policy, generally for about $500 per item. Trees and plants are not covered for damage by wind or disease.

Liability protection

Liability covers you against lawsuits for property damage or bodily injury that you or family members cause to other people. It will also pay for damage caused by your pets. So, if a family member or your dog accidentally ruins a neighbor’s expensive rug, you are covered. (However, if they destroy your rug, your insurance will not cover it.)

The liability portion of your policy pays for both the cost of defending you in court and any court awards—up to the limit stated in your policy documents.

Liability limits generally start at about $100,000, however, it’s a good idea to discuss whether you should purchase a higher level of protection with one of our insurance professionals. If you have significant assets and want more coverage than is available under your homeowners policy, consider purchasing an umbrella or excess liability policy, which provides broader coverage, including claims against you for libel and slander, as well as higher liability limits.

Your policy also provides no-fault medical coverage, so if a friend or neighbor is injured on your property, he or she can simply submit medical bills to your insurance company. This way, expenses are paid without a liability claim being filed against you. It does not, however, pay the medical bills for your own family or your pet.

Additional living expenses (ALE)

ALE pays the additional costs of living away from home in the event that you cannot live there due to damage from an insured disaster. It covers hotel bills, restaurant meals and other costs, over and above your usual living expenses, incurred while your home is being rebuilt.

Keep in mind that the ALE coverage in your home insurance policy has limits—and some policies include a time limitation. However, for an additional premium, you can generally increase the amount of ALE coverage.

Your ALE coverage limit is separate from the amount available to rebuild or repair your house. Your insurance company will still pay the full cost of rebuilding your home up to the policy limit even if you use up your ALE.

If you rent out part of your house, ALE also covers you for the rent that you would have collected from your tenant if your home had not been destroyed.

Have questions concerning your current home insurance policy? Give us a call today!

Learn What Gap Car Insurance Is

Do You Need Gap Car Insurance for your Car?

The first question I’m sure that comes to your mind is what is Gap Car Insurance? And whether you really need it for your new car? This insurance like many other types of insurance is not necessary to purchase when you buy a car. But by not buying this insurance you might be open to some losses. Read this article to get a better understanding of gap car insurance.

Basically, it provides the coverage against the difference between market value of your car and the loan amount. But aren’t the two the same, that’s what you might be asking yourself. For example if you buy a car at $25,000.As soon as you drive the car off the lot, it’s cost depreciated by almost 20%. So now your car worth is about $20,000. Now in the event that you have an accident and you do have the full coverage including comprehensive and collusive coverage you will still get coverage on the present market value of the car and that is $20,000. So what gap car insurance is doing is that it’s covering the $5,000 difference.

There are different kinds of gap car insurance policies available in the market. Some provide coverage in case of theft or losses, and some don’t, so try to find what is exactly covered in the policy. Getting gap insurance is a good idea if you are buying a new car and if you think that you can’t cover the difference between the market value of the car and the loan amount. Also remember that older cars are not covered under it, in most cases.

Although getting a gap car insurance policy is not necessary, you might want to think about. It could help you in case your car gets damaged in an accident or even in case of theft shortly after the purchase.

It is important to know that if you are buying your car from a dealership and decide not to take gap car insurance at the time of purchase, along with regular car insurance then you might have to pay a higher price for it later on.

Before buying a gap car insurance check whether this insurance is contained in the existing policy. If unsure give us a call, we can answer all of your questions concerning your car insurance and gap car insurance.

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.