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  • Writer's picturePinewood News

Expert Advice to Protect Your Home & Insurability

Brought to you by Lucky Penny Insurance

With the increasing threat of wildfires and shifting insurance dynamics in the Park, it’s imperative that homeowners be well-informed. To help safeguard both your property and insurance coverage, consider the following advice for savvy insurance decisions.


Maintain Firewise Status: Maintaining a Firewise status is not only essential for safety but also for ensuring Munds Park remains insurable. The following steps can significantly reduce fire risks:

  • Remove pine needles and leaf litter from roofs, gutters, and surrounding areas to reduce fire risks.

  • Store firewood piles away from structures to create defensible space.

  • Keep trees and landscaping trimmed and consider cutting trees that hang over your home.

  • Always log hours and dollars spent on fire mitigation efforts at pinewoodfire.org/firewise to maintain our Firewise status.

Avoid Unnecessary Claims: Taking preventive measures and filing claims cautiously can positively impact your insurance eligibility and premium rates for years to come:

  • Understand that any claim you file can impact your insurability for up to five years. This applies to the specific location (e.g., if a previous homeowner filed a claim on the property) and to the individual insured (e.g. if you filed a claim while living at a different residence).

  • Properly winterize your home to avoid broken pipes and costly water damage.

  • Consult with your insurance agent before filing small claims.

Communication is Key: To ensure you’re adequately covered and receive the best rates, effective communication is essential:

  • Be honest with your insurance agent about your specific needs.

  • Different types of homes, (primary, secondary, rentals, etc.) have varying coverage needs.

  • Inform your insurance carrier when you make changes to your property like replacing the roof or adding a security system.

  • If your carrier is non-renewing your policy or exiting the market, share this information with your neighbors.

  • Seek an insurance representative familiar with Northern Arizona’s unique market.

Be Flexible: Recognize that insurance needs and costs differ between regions. Flexibility and a proactive approach can save you money.

  • Consider increasing deductibles to lower premiums.

  • Sometimes, it’s better to accept a premium increase from your carrier.

  • Other times, it’s better to seek a different carrier.

  • Carriers’ risk appetites can change. Working with an independent insurance broker provides flexibility to switch carriers when needed.

  • Shop for insurance early; many carriers offer “early shopper discounts”.

Prevent Coverage Gaps: Do not let your insurance lapse as it can be costly and limit your options:

  • Many carriers won’t offer coverage on homes with a lapse in coverage.

  • Carriers that do offer coverage will charge higher premiums.

  • Check both physical mail and email a month before your renewal date.

Understand Your Policy: Carefully read your Declarations page and inquire about key policy details:

  • Is the deductible for wind and hail different from all the other perils deductible?

  • Are the limits of insurance sufficient to rebuild your home? The Dwelling limit of insurance should reflect the cost to rebuild your home, stick by stick, in the event of a total loss. It does not reflect the market value nor the value of the land underneath it.

  • Is the valuation set at replacement cost value, functional replacement cost, or full repair cost?

  • A policy written at actual cash value will include consideration of depreciation based on age at settlement. This is particularly common amongst mobile home insurance carriers. As an example, last month, a fellow Mundsie asked me to review his policy. At first glance, it appeared that the Dwelling was covered for $150,000. However, after further review, we determined that the Insured would receive only $40,000 in the event of a total loss!

By adhering to these recommendations, Munds Park homeowners can significantly reduce risks, protect their investment, and make sound choices. Staying vigilant and informed is the first line of defense against both natural disasters and market volatility. As the insurance landscape evolves, educated decision-making can make a substantial difference in safeguarding your home and peace of mind.



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