Can DIY Home Upgrades Put You at Risk?

Homeowners insurance is designed to provide financial security in the event of a loss. It gives you peace of mind knowing that you have coverage when something goes wrong. In these difficult economic times, many people try to save money by bypassing professionals and tending to their own home improvements. Unfortunately, sometimes trying to save a few bucks can become a costly mistake. At Martin Insurance Team, our professionals are committed to helping members of the Evergreen Park, IL community remain properly insured. Please consider these common DIY upgrades that might put you at risk of having a claim denied.

Plumbing Upgrades

Fixing a leaky drain or replacing a dripping pipe are common homeowner chores. That’s why you have a tool box and list of tasks. But there’s a significant difference between small fixes and projects like installing a new bathroom or a major pipe replacement. If proper permits and building codes are not followed, you could risk a claim denial if something bursts. Keep in mind that water damage can also be accompanied by mold growth. Remediation costs are very expensive.

Electrical Work

Faulty electrical wiring is a major contributor to home fires. For this reason, building codes have evolved over the years to include specially designed outlets around high risk areas such as water. Even minor changes to your electrical work should be handled by a licensed professional. Trying to cut corners could cause a fire, putting you and your loved ones in harm’s way. If your untrained electrical work caused the blaze, you could be looking at a claim denial and a devastating financial and personal loss.

It’s imperative to work with licensed professionals on any significant home repair or improvement. If you have already made changes, it may be wise to have them inspected. At Martin Insurance Team, we are available to help members of the Evergreen Park, IL community with homeowners policies that provide security.

Homeowner’s Insurance – The In’s and Outs

When purchasing homeowners insurance, many homeowners do a quick overview with their insurance agent and call it done. But taking the little bit of extra time it needs to understand the policy and what’s covered may save you precious dollars down the road.  

It is standard for policies to cover damage caused by fire, smoke, storms which include hail, windstorms, and lightning, and theft.

What’s Included:

  • Personal property coverage which includes electrical devices, clothing, and furniture.
  • If damage occurs from a storm, homeowners insurance will pay to make the necessary repairs on our home.  This also includes detached garages or sheds, fences, and landscaping.
  • Liability insurance which is needed if someone gets injured on your property. 

What’s Not Included:

  • Flooding.  If you live in a floodplain, make sure to buy flood insurance as an add-on.
  • Earthquakes and Sinkholes.  Again, only buy this additional insurance this if living in an area that is prone to these natural disasters.
  • Mold.  Mold usually occurs after there has been damage to the home such as flooding or if pipes burst.  If calling in a claim to get the damage repaired, address how to prevent the growth of mold with the repairman.
  • Sewer pipes that burst.  If you have a sewer pipe that bursts in your home and causes damage to flooring, furniture and personal belongings will usually not be covered.  
  • Sump pump failure.  Just as with sewer pipes, if you have a sump pump that runs through your yard and into your home, the damage is not covered.

To find out if you have the right policy for your home, call the Martin Insurance Team at 708-330-4404 or visit our website to learn more information.  We’re conveniently located in Evergreen Park, IL.

3 Benefits to Finding the Right Homeowners Insurance

Home insurance in Evergreen Park, IL is much like your smoke alarm: you may not think about it until you need it. While you certainly don’t have to belabor the points all day every day, it helps to be reminded of the benefits you get when you have the right home insurance, and Martin Insurance Team can help jog your memory a little. 

1. Making You Independent 

Having to rely on friends and family after a disaster or otherwise awful event occurs, is not only practical but necessary. Emotionally speaking, they’re the ones who help you weather the storm. However, when you have no other options, then you’re at the mercy of someone else’s good will and finances, which puts you at a disadvantage. Home insurance gives you a sense of control when something uncontrollable has happened.

2. Keeping Your Property

You didn’t work so hard for your home just to have to it taken away. Home insurance can mean the difference between filing for bankruptcy and move out of your house, and have a small bump in the road. If you need to make repairs on your house or replace your entire living room furniture set, you’re already dealing with a lot of change. The last thing you need is more. 

3. Connects You In Times of Need 

The Martin Insurance Team serves the people of Evergreen Park, IL and we’re here to help you the right home insurance, so you aren’t left feeling confused and alone at a time of crisis. Talk to our agents about what you’re looking for regarding protection. Whether you can’t stand to lose your autographed guitar or the addition you put in a nursery for your grandchild, call us today!

 

 

How to Save Money in the Winter with Fall Home Prep

The winter months are some of the most expensive in Evergreen Park, IL due to the amount of energy you use to heat the house. At Martin Insurance Team, we want to help reduce those bills while ensuring your home is comfortable throughout the year. By performing a handful of these monthly saving fall prep tips, you’ll have your home ready for whatever mother nature has to throw at you. 

Check for Cracks

Search the home, around window and door frames plus around the foundation for any possible cracks you might have. Fill in these areas with caulk or sealant (depending on where the crack is) in order to reduce energy loss through these areas. It will have a direct impact on the overall cost of running the heat in your home. 

Programmable Thermostat

If you have not upgraded to a programmable thermostat (or better yet, a WiFi controlled thermostat), now is the time. This way, you can program the thermostat to reduce heat when you’re gone at work. Doing so helps you save a considerable amount of money. After all, there is no reason to pay an arm and a leg to heat your home when nobody is around. 

Prep the Windows

More heat energy is lost through your windows than anywhere else in the home. Adding an additional layer of protection around the windows can help with your energy bills. Specially designed plastic wrap can attach to the windows with the air of heat (through a hair dryer). It acts like another window pane, so you should see a noticeable difference in energy bills.

HVAC Inspection

Have your HVAC system inspected and cleaned out. The pros will tighten everything up and clean out the vents, which reduces energy usage. 

Signs of Mold in a Home

Having mold in your home can be dangerous to your health. Unfortunately, many homeowners do not know what the signs are that mold is present. If you do suspect you have mold, or know you have mold, you will want to contact your homeowner’s insurance company to find out if mold is covered and contact a professional to remove the mold. Here are a few signs mold may be present in your home in Evergreen, Park, IL.

Constant Allergy Symptoms

One of the signs that mold may be present in your home is you or a family member always suffering from allergy symptoms. It is rare that the same allergen is blowing around outdoors year round. If your symptoms persist year round, it is more likely to be something in your home, like mold, causing the problem.

A Musty or Mildew Odor

There is a difference between mold and mildew. However, these two grow in similar environments. They both love dark, damp areas and thrive in them. If you smell a musty or mildew-like odor, there is a strong possibility mildew and potentially mold, is growing in your home.

You See Small Amounts of Mold

You may see a small amount of mold on the baseboards of your home or in the corner of a wall. If there are small amounts visible, there are likely huge amounts not visible. Call in a professional if you notice any mold growing in your home to find out how extensive the issue may be.

If you are looking to purchase a new homeowner’s insurance policy, or want to change insurance companies in Evergreen Park, IL, give Martin Insurance Team a call today. We can help you with all of your homeowner’s insurance needs, including ensuring your home is covered if mold pops up.

Are you ready for the next phase in life?

Life is full of phases, and each new phase bring new excitements, rewards, and challenges. When you enter a new phase of life, chances are that you adapt your life to meet what is coming. When you get a new job, your priorities change to accommodate your career goals. When you get married or have children, your long-term goals change to include your family. When you retire, your focus may change to do some of the things you’ve been putting off.

When you move into a new phase of life, it’s important to make sure that whatever protection measures you have in place can be changed to meet the new needs of your life and your family. When you get married and have children, you have additional people to care for. When you retire, you don’t have the same income providing for your financial needs. By changing what protections you have in place as you prepare to enter a new phase, you can be sure that you and your family will be provided for in any situation that may occur.

Life insurance is one of the protections that has to change when your family needs change. Just because you have life insurance doesn’t mean it meets your family’s needs at every phase of life. As you enter each new phase of life, it’s important to check that your life insurance policy will protect your family in the event the unexpected happens. That way, no matter where you are in life, you will have the right protections in place.

For more information about getting life insurance to meet the needs of your current phase of life, contact a local agent at the Martin Insurance Team today.

Why Insurance is a Necessary Investment

When it comes to having a family and career, we often think about our long-term goals alongside our short-term ones. However, often some of the most essential of needs are overlooked. One of these is insurance.

So, why is insurance an important investment for you, your family, your business or all of the above? Insurance is a protection that serves as a source of income in the event that you are hurt or suffer an accidental death and can cover your home, car or business in the case of different types of damage that may occur. Depending on what type of insurance you are purchasing, each serves a different purpose.

Most Common Types of Insurance and Their Purposes

Life Insurance

Life insurance covers your family in the event of your death. It can pay for funeral expenses at the time of your death and should serve as income to cover the loss that your death would create. Often, the payout from life insurance policies is initially used to pay off outstanding debts and expenses. Thus, life insurance policies should cover at least ten times your income. I.e.. if your income is $50,000 annually, your policy should be $500,000.

Commercial Insurance

A commercial insurance policy is a protection for your business and your company. Dependent on the size and type of business that you run, a commercial insurance policy may be required by law. Your policy will cover damage to your business in case of a natural disaster like fire, flooding or even burglary. Further, it may cover disability insurance for your employees. The most type of common commercial insurance is a general liability policy.

Home Insurance

The most common general homeowner’s insurance policy will cover natural disasters. Some of these include fire, rain, vandalism, burglary, lightning and hail. Often, flooding and earthquakes is excluded from a general policy. Thus, additional protection will need to be purchased alongside the general policy to assure that you are covered for those events.

No matter what type of insurance policy you are seeking, Martin Insurance Team can help get you covered. Contact us for a free quote and evaluation of your insurance needs today!

What a Lack of Home Insurance During the Winter can Cause

Some states experience harsher winters than others. Generally, if you live in the Northeast or the Midwest, you can expect to take a greater beating as far as winter weather goes. This definitely is the case for residents of Evergreen Park, IL and neighboring cities who have grown accustomed to dealing with the unfortunate winter weather, whether these efforts are based around protecting their equipment from rust, properly insulating their home from the cold weather, or preparing their property for the potential risks of slips and falls. Unfortunately, no matter how prepared a person may think they are, we at Martin Insurance Team knows that it is never going to be 100% perfect.

In the event that an unfortunate incident occurs in spite of all of the efforts put towards avoiding such a thing from happening, the last thing in the world you want to have happen is for you to be caught with your pants down. If you experienced damage to your furniture or your home’s woodwork from the dry weather, you will have to pay out of pocket in order to get these things fixed or, even worse, replaced. This also applies to things like fencing, tool sheds, and the like. As a bonus, if your home needs to be repaired (such as if a tree were to fall on it), your plan may cover the living expenses you incur during the repair. Worse yet is to have an injury occur on your property; if you are uninsured, you may find that you are stuck with a lot of bills. Medical bills, paying for the person’s lost income, etc.

Martin Insurance Team can get you a good selection of insurance plans that suit your budgetary and general needs in minutes, so come seek our assistance before it’s too late.

5 Tips for Choosing Home Insurance in Evergreen Park

Without sitting down with a magnifying glass to read over pages and pages of the fine print on home insurance, it may seem like there aren’t a lot of resources to turn to when you want to buy a policy. It can often come down to the carrier you choose, but there are also a few things to consider before you start the process. 

1. It’s What’s Inside that Counts 

Well, that’s not exactly true. Obviously, the outside of the building matters too, but people often don’t realize that their expensive possessions may not be covered under their policy, especially if that policy wasn’t updated after you bought that new computer or TV. 

2.Start Talking About the Details 

Asking questions is absolutely pivotal in finding the right coverage, and the more detailed, the better. Even if you never experience the situation you inquire about, you’re more likely to feel prepared about what could happen. 

3. Weather or Not 

Earthquakes in Illinois is not necessarily on everyone’s mind, but stranger things have been known to happen. Many weather events like earthquakes and flooding aren’t covered under standard policy terms, making homeowners surprised when they call for help. Find out your odds of experimenting a weather-related emergency, so you at least understand the terms. 

4. Getting More Than You Need

People with tight budgets may think they’re getting away with something when they choose the cheapest plan, but few are able to cope when they have the bare minimum of support after a disaster. 

5. Finding a Trustworthy Source 

You need someone you can actually talk to in order to make any of the above happen. Evergreen has Martin Insurance Team, so give us a call if you need some help with choosing the right policy.

5 Benefits of the Right Life Insurance Policy

Finding the right life insurance policy can have a significant effect on your family, but often people don’t put the time into it before they make the decision. Consider these 5 benefits you can receive if you simply put in a little extra effort. 

1. Short-Term Goals 

Term insurance lets you pick the time period you’ll want coverage, and it comes with a lower cost than most premiums. Those who have children tend to find this to be a better deal, because it allows them to provide through their younger years but not beyond. 

2. Long-Term Goals 

Buying permanent insurance is perfect for those who want that long-term coverage for family at any time, and it allows you to lock in rates you may not be able to access in your later years. 

3. Savings 

When you hear of people borrowing from their life insurance, they’re referring to permanent insurance with a savings component. Most policies will include some type of option with this feature. While it’s not an ideal situation, it’s helped people out of unexpected jams. What’s extra helpful about this features is that you’ll often have an easier time accessing it than you would through other means (mutual funds, 401k, etc.)

4. Ensure Stability 

The benefits your family receives are invaluable when it comes to keeping everyone protected from a financial catastrophe. Their comfort both during the initial impact and beyond needs to be at the core of your decisions. 

5. Building Relationships 

Finding someone you trust to help find a life insurance policy opens you up to a new relationship and allows you to feel secure about what will happen to your family. Martin Insurance Team serving Evergreen Park, IL has the agents to guide you, so give us a call today for a quote.