3 Tips for Securing Your Home Before You Travel

Do you plan on traveling soon? Are you worried about leaving your home unattended in Surprise, AZ? We understand. It can be stressful to go on vacation or out of town for business with your home left behind unoccupied. However, there are few things you can do to reduce the stress of leaving behind a vacant home. Read on to learn about three tips brought to you by Giles & Iten Insurance.

1. Install Outdoor Security Lighting

Did you know that burglars will pass on your home if the outside is flooded with light? That’s right. They’d rather break into a dark home so people won’t notice them. To deter would-be-burglars, shop around for some security lighting for the back, front, and side yards. You can opt to have the lights on a touch timer or opt to keep them on at all times when it’s dark. Either way, outdoor lights will scare thieves away.

2. Get a House Sitter

Before you leave on vacation, get a professional house sitter. The cost is affordable and well worth it. You search online for house sitters near you or ask around with friends and family. There’s bound to be someone who would love to watch your home while you’re away.

3. Alert Your Neighbors

It’s a good idea to alert your neighbors that you’ll be out of town. This way, they’ll be more apt to notice if something seems wrong. A neighbor or house sitter will be able to keep an eye on your property, collect your mail, and make sure you have a stress free vacation.

Even when applying the tips listed above, a break-in or other crisis could occur. For this reason, it’s important to have a home insurance policy in Surprise, AZ. To learn more about obtaining this and other policies, contact the friendly team at Giles & Iten Insurance. 

Why do I need liability insurance for my home?

Whether you own or rent your home in California or Arizona, you probably noticed that part of your policy talks about liability insurance. While it is obvious why you need to insure the value of your home and possessions,  it seems less obvious why you would need to have liability insurance for your own home. 

What is liability insurance? 

If something that you do or fail to do causes physical injury or property damage to someone else, you may be liable for paying for damages. It doesn’t matter whether you intended to cause them harm.

Under civil tort law, the victim only has to prove that you failed to meet some duty of care. For instance, you need to keep your walk cleared so that people can safely walk past and so delivery workers can access your mailbox. Without liability insurance, any injuries caused by your negligence might have to come straight from you. Most people would have a hard time paying for a hospital stay out of pocket. 

What does liability insurance cover? 

When you get your policy at Giles & Iten Insurance in Surprise, AZ, you will see that it is a contract. You pay a certain amount for your insurance premium in return for a specific level of protection. There will be a top amount of coverage, and your policy will cover everything from medical bills to property repairs to attorney fees.

If you live in Arizona or California, the last thing you need is a surprise bill. There is no way to predict when an accident might happen. If you want to make sure you have enough liability protection, or if you have any other questions about insurance, please feel free to contact Giles & Iten Insurance in Surprise, AZ to see how we can help. 

Tips for Preparing Your Arizona Home for Winter

Owning a home in Arizona is ideal, whether you live here year-round or are a seasonal resident. Either way, it’s important to get your house ready for the colder weather. The Giles & Iten Insurance team is here to help all of our neighbors in the greater Surprise, AZ area protect their homes. If you are interested in learning more about how to protect your Arizona home, call or stop by today!

Follow these Tips to Get Your Arizona Home Ready 

  • Sprinklers — If there’s going to be a frost or sustained cold weather, be sure to drain out the water that’s in the pipes to prevent them from bursting or sustaining other damage.
  • Plants and patio furniture — when the temperatures start to drop, especially overnight, you might want to cover your plants or bring them indoors. Make sure that your patio furniture is secure and won’t be affected by any high winds that may occur.
  • Winterizing your home when away — if you are going to be leaving your home for an extended period of time you’ll want to make sure that your pipes are clear so that you can prevent them from bursting if there is a cold spell while you are away.
  • Keep pipes clear overnight — if you have an older plumbing system or have had issues with freezing pipes, one solution is to have a small drip in your faucet overnight. This will keep the water flowing and help to prevent damage.

Giles & Iten Insurance is proud to serve the greater Surprise, AZ community, and we look forward to serving you! If you want to learn more about protecting your home this winter, call or stop by our office and meet with one of our friendly agents.

3 Types Of Home Insurance To Supplement Your Basic Coverage With

If you’ve just purchased your home insurance, you’re probably resting easy with the knowledge that you’re fully covered.

Bad news, though. You’re not entirely covered. A basic home policy covers the bare-bone necessities in terms of your possessions. If you don’t want to risk losing everything on your Arizona property, ask your Giles & Iten Insurance agent if any of the following supplemental policies are available.

Flood Insurance

Did you know that your home insurance doesn’t protect you against flood damage?

In most states, flood insurance is a separate policy which can be purchased alongside your basic home insurance. While some standard policies may cover some aspects of flood damage, a flood insurance policy can help you rebuild or repair in the aftermath of significant structural damage.

The National Flood Insurance program is available to provide coverage to homes in designated flood zones, but a private policy can cover a more significant expense budget. The National Flood Insurance program caps out at $250,000 per property.

Sewage Backup

Are you familiar with the kind of disaster that a sewage backup can cause in your home?

Aside from making your home into a cesspool of bacteria, issues with your sewage drain can cause major structural damage to your home. It can make your home unlivable or out of order in terms of the kitchen and bathrooms, causing you to shell out money for a hotel.

Your basic home policy doesn’t cover extensive sewage backup disasters. Even if you live in a dry climate, a sewage issue may be imminent. This is especially true if your home has a private sump pump. Buy sewer backup coverage so that you can replace your plumbing and repair structural issues in an emergency without budgetary constraints.

Earthquake

Even though an earthquake can take place anywhere, did you know that natural disasters are mostly absent from standard home insurance policies?

Should your home be destroyed or destabilized in the event of an earthquake, you have no real safety net. If you buy coverage against earthquakes, though, that budget is allocated to this one type of emergency.

In addition to paying for the repair or replacement of your home and property, earthquake coverage can accommodate your family as you pick up the pieces after the disaster. Your meals and board can be paid for outright or reimbursed, depending on the terms of your earthquake policy.

Are you ready to buy supplemental insurance in Arizona? Call a friendly Giles & Iten Insurance agent to explore your options today.