Home Security is easier – and Better- Than Ever

Think home security is still about bulky camera equipment and wires running all throughout your home? Think again.

Today, things have changed quite a bit, and the playing field has been leveled. Advanced tools and security systems are more accessible and affordable than ever. (And installing them might get you a discount on your homeowners insurance, too.)

Full-service systems are still a popular option with many people. Companies offer central monitoring, video surveillance, smoke/carbon monoxide detection and more. Some even include home automation tools so you can control appliances from anywhere, and many will send text-message alerts in response to specific occurrences, such as when the kids enter the house after school.

Do-it-yourselfers who don’t want an all-in-one system have many choices as well. Here are three of the newest and most popular security tools:

1. Smart (and small) cameras

Cameras today can be tucked anywhere and don’t require wires. With a good battery and wi-fi connection, you can see what’s happening outside — or inside — with a glance at your phone or computer.

2. Key-free doors

Say you have a friend stopping by to check on your dog while you’re gone for the day. You don’t have to risk leaving a key outside. With a code-based entry system, you can simply provide your friend with temporary access that turns on and off when you want.

3. Home automation products

It’s easier than you think to give yourself remote access to the lights and appliances in your home. At least one available product can be used with your existing power outlets; simply plug it in and control the power to that outlet from an app on your smartphone. Don’t ever worry about forgetting to leave a light on again.

Of course, even “old-school” tools, such as motion-activated outdoor lights, can still have a big impact on security. So whether you choose high-tech tools or stick to the basics, you’ll be making your home here a less attractive target for burglars.

Trampolines

Trampolines…. An Insurance Company’s Worst Nightmare

 

So you have a trampoline.  That’s great.  But you wonder why your insurance company cares and why they charge you extra for having it, even with a net.  As both an insurance agent and a fan of trampolines, I am here to explain.

Your homeowner’s insurance covers you for liability, including damage that you cause that you are legally obligated to pay for.  If it is your trampoline doing the damage, it is on you.

First, and perhaps most obvious, is the chance of harm to the people using the trampoline.  Even with a net (which really is incredibly important), it’s easy to get hurt on a trampoline.  I have a friend who was 24 years old and broke his leg on a trampoline from landing wrong, so it really can happen to both kids and adults.  If the damage is severe and the kid is not yours, you may be on the hook for some pretty hefty medical bills.

Second, and less obvious, is the property damage trampolines can do.  Let’s face it, New Mexico winds are not something to be taken lightly.  And they definitely can get strong enough to pick up a trampoline and throw it into the next house over (trust me, I’ve seen it happen).  The fence it knocks over, the window it breaks, the car it dents?  All on you.  Or rather, all on your insurance.

So when you see the surcharge on your policy, these are just some of the reasons.  Hopefully nothing ever happens and no one ever gets hurt.  But that’s what you have the insurance for, right?

Your Insurance and Renting Out Your Home

Your Insurance and Renting Out Your Home

 

Home sharing has become more and more popular over the past few years with companies like Airbnb and Homeway.  But before renting out a room or the whole house, it’s always best to consult with your insurance agent to make sure you have the right coverage.  Below is a blog that gives a some information to consider before you begin home sharing.

 

Educating homeowners about home-sharing insurance coverage

Home-sharing continues to grow in popularity as owners use their homes for income generation, and travelers look for unique experiences. If fact, experts are predicting vacation home rentals will increase 25% this year – up from a 19% jump last year – and it’s expected this growth trend will continue for some time.

 

Employee Spotlight

Karen Fournier

This month’s employee spotlight is on the wonderful Karen Fournier in our Taos office.  She  has been with Brown & Brown for nearly 5 years, about as long as she has been in Taos.  Karen and her husband Gary have been married for 32 years and have two sons and three grandkids.  Karen also says that she loves to travel with her husband—they especially like cruising.  For fun closer to home, Karen says that she and Gary love to downhill ski and golf (and Taos is perfect for both of those!).  She is such a help to everyone in the Taos office and we all are so happy to have her as part of our team.

 

Jewelry Protection

Have some new jewelry in the house? Protect it!

 

 

Ah, Valentine’s Day is near, and love is in the air. Well, love and a few other things, such as chocolates, romantic dinners, candy hearts that say “Be Mine” – and, of course, jewelry.

It’s exciting to receive jewelry from a loved one — or to give it as a gift. Not to mention romantic. But if you’re lucky enough to have some new jewelry in your New Mexico home this Valentine’s Day, you should take a few minutes to think about something you probably don’t find exciting or romantic: insurance.

Don’t know where to turn? Don’t worry. At Brown & Brown Insurance, we think it is exciting to help our customers protect what’s most important to them — so we’re ready to help and can answer all of your questions.

Things to consider when insuring jewelry:

You may need to purchase additional coverage. Your homeowners policy covers valuable items such as jewelry only up to set amounts. If the cost of replacing your jewelry exceeds that limit, you will want to purchase scheduled personal property coverage. You can check your policy or give us a call at 505-821-5888.

You might want to reconsider your deductible amounts. As always, this impacts your policy premium. It’s a good idea to take a look at your deductibles whenever you make a change to your policy.

Do you need an appraisal? You may need to have an independent appraisal if the insurance company requires it or if you don’t know the value of your jewelry. Each item should be listed with a description and value on paper.

What kind of coverage is offered? You’ll want to determine if items are covered no matter where they are, whether they’re in New Mexico, or on an international trip, and if the policy offers full replacement cost. You also should ask if you will be required to replace your jewelry if lost or stolen, or if you can simply keep the cash settlement.

Pictures can be helpful. Lost or stolen pieces of jewelry sometimes can be recreated if the jeweler has a good photograph to work from.

Of course, it’s important to store your jewelry securely when it’s not in use; a safe in your home or a safe-deposit box is best. We want your jewelry to be replaced if it’s lost or stolen, but we’d rather your sentimental and valuable pieces stay with you and your family for years to come.

 

Contact Us!

For further questions and assistance, please contact Brown & Brown Insurance of New Mexico at 505 821 5888 or info@bbnm.com

 

Content provided by Safeco Insurance

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