How to prepare your home for summer to avoid home insurance claims

As a homeowner in the Lees Summit, MO area, it is critical to maintain your home all year round; however, it is also essential to prepare for the house specifically for the summer season. These are specific steps the agents at Epic Insurance have outlined to help prepare your home and avoid insurance claims. 

Trim trees back 

A strong summer storm can cause tree limbs to come loose and cause severe damage to your siding and windows. Before summer arrives, it is important to have the tree branches cut back and any loose limbs removed. In addition to trees, make sure your fence is secured so it does not come out of the ground and hit you or your neighbors’ house. 

Clean the gutters 

Before summer hits, be sure to have your gutters cleaned. With increased rain in the summer, if your gutters are clogged, the water will penetrate the house and cause water damage. Clean gutters will significantly reduce the likelihood you will have to file a water damage claim. 

Check your roof and make any repairs. 

The winter months can really take a toll on the condition of the roof. If the damage was caused to the roof during the winter, a rainy summer could lead to damage in your home. Be sure to have any holes patched, and shingles replaced before summer. 

Repair your driveway 

Similar to the roof, winter can cause damage to your driveway. With more guests coming over during the summer months, it is crucial to have any cracks or holes repaired. If a guest trips on one of the holes, you could end up paying a large liability claim. 

If you would like to learn more about home maintenance tips, reach out to an agent at Epic Insurance. We proudly serve the Lees Summit, MO area. 

Make Sure Your Home Policy Keeps Up with Your House’s Appreciation

Our homes are very likely to be the largest financial investment that we make in our lifetimes. It only makes sense to protect it! If you have owned your family home for a long time it has hopefully increased in value. Because of this fact, it’s important to make sure that your home policy is keeping up with the appreciation. Residents in the greater Lees Summit, MO area can rely on the team at Epic Insurance to help them review their homeowner’s policy for completeness.

Is Your Home Policy Lagging Behind Your House’s Value?

Many people research their insurance policies when they make an initial purchase and then think little about it going forward. The same is true of our homeowner’s policy, even though the value of our house may increase significantly over time. Unfortunately, this can mean that your family home is underinsured. Too many people find out after it’s too late that they do not have the proper level of insurance. Don’t let this happen to you! Reviewing your policy on an annual basis to make sure that it is keeping pace with the value of your home is a smart idea and one that you should put into practice. This is doubly true if you have conducted a major renovation, such as a kitchen update or room addition. Your home insurance policy is an important part of taking care of your home and protecting your family’s current lifestyle.

Now is a perfect time to make sure that your home policy is complete and up to date. Don’t let the increased value of your home go unprotected! If you are in the greater Lees Summit, MO area, call or stop by Epic Insurance today to learn more!

How to Upgrade Home Insurance for a Renovation

When doing a renovation project on your home, it important to upgrade your home insurance for the cost of the project. You will want to make sure you have the proper increase in replacement cost coverage for the home and its contents. Work with your agent at Epic Insurance serving Lees Summit, MO and the surrounding communities. Your agent will let you know what adjustments are needed and how to document the expenses of the renovation project to make calculating the replacement costs easier when the job is done.

Sequential Home Insurance Upgrades for Work In Progress

Change the insurance coverage before the job is finished, if it takes a long time to do the project and the renovation is done in stages. You can make multiple adjustments to the amount of home insurance coverage in sequence as the work is partially finished. This keeps the home’s insured value at the correct amount that covers the investment being made in renovating the home as the construction project is underway.

Video Tape the Project

A nice way to document the project is to make a videotape of the progress. This is good evidence that the work is actually being done and how it is done. A video recording shows the quality of the work, in case it needs to be redone later due to damage from an insured risk. It is nice to add a narration on the video recording to describe any special features that are part of the renovation project. Describe the use of valuable materials for the construction and the installation of any custom work.

Inflation Adjustment

It is a good idea for home insurance to have an automatic increase in value that is recalculated based on the general rate of inflation. This percentage is applied to the insured value of replacement cost to cover the increases in costs due to inflation.

Call 816-795-6600 to talk with your agent at Epic Insurance in Lees Summit, MO and let him or her know about your plans for a renovation project so that the proper adjustments can be made to your home insurance.

3 Little Known Benefits of Having Homeowners Insurance

Homeowners insurance is a necessary expense that can protect our homes in the event of unforeseen weather and theft. Although many are aware of the underlying benefits homeowners insurance provides, they are unaware of some of the more little-known perks homeowners insurance provides. For those looking for homeowners policy in Lees Summit, MO, here are three little-known benefits homeowners may receive from a homeowners insurance policy from Epic Insurance.

Power Outage Protection

Most homeowners don’t realize that their policy may include coverage for refrigerator restocking fees in the event of a power outage. Many remember the infamous power outages throughout St. Louis in February of 2018. Those homeowners who had insurance would have been covered up to 500 dollars per claim for food that spoiled during the outage.

The Unforeseen Pet Bite

Many homeowners know about the liability insurance coverage included with their homeowner’s insurance policy, but most don’t know that many policies include special provisions that cover homeowners in the event of a dog bite. The Insurance Information Institute recently revealed that the average dog bite claim is roughly 37,000! If Old Yeller just so happens to bite you or your unsuspecting postman, never fear, your policy could provide you with the necessary funds to remedy the situation.

Family Members Property When They’re Away From Home

Most parents don’t realize that when their children go off to college full time, the personal property and liability coverage included in the parent’s policy goes with them. Children usually must have lived in the home for a certain period of time before they move away for school. Most policies cover kids under these terms until the age of 26. Why pay for something that you never use? Take advantage of every possible provision of your homeowner’s coverage!

For those homeowners in Lees Summit, MO looking to reap all the benefits of a homeowner’s policy, contact Epic Insurance, where we treat clients like family! 

How Much Home Insurance Do You Need?

Buying home insurance in Lees Summit, MO can be tricky. It can be hard to know exactly how much you need and how to determine how much you need. The last thing that you want to do is actually purchase too much or too little home insurance and either spend too much for the coverage or find out that you don’t have enough after it is too late. To help you determine how much you need, here at Epic Insurance, we wanted to help with this big tip. 

A lot of people think that the best way to determine how much home insurance they need is to take a look at the value of their property. However, this is a number that can change at any time and you do not want to constantly try to update your coverage to meet the market value of your home. The real way you want to determine how much home insurance you need is by determining your rebuild amount. You want to to know how much money it will take to rebuild your home and then get insurance to cover that amount. In the end, if you have to rebuild, you need enough to do that, not sell your property based on the current market value at that moment in time. 

If you are in the market for home insurance, be sure to reach out to us here at Epic Insurance, serving Lees Summit, MO, to get started on your home insurance policy today. Not only can we help you find the right policy with the perfect amount of coverage but we can also work with you to make sure we find one that fits in your budget. Contact us today to get started and get your free quote. 

Spring Storm Damage? Here’s What to Do

Spring is on the way in Lees Summit, MO. While the lovely weather is enjoyable, spring also brings the possibility of intense storms as the days get warmer. If your home is damaged by a storm, consider these three tips from Epic Insurance before you begin repairs.

Call the Insurance Company.

If there is storm damage, one of the first things you should do is to call your insurance agent. They can tell you exactly how to proceed. Even if the storm occurs outside of normal business hours or on the weekend, call the emergency number to get started filing your claim. You may want to have your policy number available before you call. Have a pen and paper handy, so you can write down the information that you learn on the phone. You should also record the name of the person you spoke to and the date and time of your call.

Don’t Make Repairs too Soon.

Second, while you probably want to get started right away in making repairs to your home, you definitely want to hold off on major repairs until after the adjuster has come by to see the damage himself.  However, you can make temporary repairs to avoid further damage to the home by the elements. For example, if part of your roof is missing and there’s rain in the forecast, you can tack a tarp or piece of plywood on the roof to keep your home as dry as possible. But, you should wait for the adjuster to view the damage before you start final repairs. Keep your receipts for any items you purchase for these temporary repairs. You may be able to be reimbursed for these expenses. 

Get Bids, but Be Wary!

Third, after your adjuster has given the go-ahead, get estimates from reputable contractors. If you don’t know who to call, talk to your insurance agent or the adjuster. Be very wary of contractors who go door to door after storms seeking work. Often, these people prey on folks with storm damage, but they do shoddy work with low-quality materials. 

If you have questions about home insurance in the Less Summit, MO area, call Epic Insurance before spring storm damage hits your home. 

Things Your Home Insurance Does Not Cover

Home insurance is absolutely essential for every home, and it covers many issues that can occur in a home. But there are also some issues that home insurance does not cover, and at Epic Insurance serving Lees Summit, MO, we want you to know what they are. Here are some problems that your home insurance policy probably does not cover.

Floods

Floods can happen quickly and be absolutely devastating to a home and its contents. But many home insurance policies do not cover floods. You would have to get flood insurance. Check to see whether your local conditions mean it makes sense to get flood insurance.

Mold

Mold can result from floods or any type of water damage. There are numerous species of mold, and they can seriously destroy a home and all of your belongings. But a typical home insurance policy does not cover mold damage.

Termites

A standard home insurance policy in many cases does not cover issues like termite infestation or problems caused by various rodents and insects. Take precautions so you will not have an issue like this that could cost you large amounts of money.

Sewer Issues

If you have a sewer system in your home, you need to be well aware that your typical home insurance policy probably does not cover issues resulting from the sewer backing up. Take the necessary precautions to avoid unpleasant problems that could result from a sewer backup.

Check on your policy to see what exactly it covers. Review that information, and make any changes to your insurance coverage based on what you find out. For example, consider purchasing flood insurance if you do not already have it. If you need more information about home insurance, we’re happy to help. Contact Epic Insurance serving Lees Summit, MO today.

What Is Covered Under a Home Insurance Policy?

In the event that your home or property is damaged or destroyed, homeowners insurance will provide you with financial protection. Homeowners insurance will also come in handy in the event that you or a family member are held liable for damage to the property of another person or the injury of another person. The vast majority of mortgage lenders in Lees Summit, MO require homeowners to have a home insurance policy like that offered by Epic Insurance.

What Is Covered Under a Home Insurance Policy?

The vast majority of home insurance policies will cover damage incurred by vandalism, theft, fire, lightning, windstorms, hail, and other perils. Certain homeowners policies cover more perils that are typically excluded, such as earthquakes and floods. You have the option of purchasing supplemental insurance for perils that aren’t covered.

What Do Most Home Insurance Policies Provide?

  • Dwelling coverage – In the event that your home is damaged or destroyed, dwelling coverage will pay to rebuild or repair your home. This includes heating and air conditioning, electrical wiring, and plumbing. The damage or destruction has to be the result of a cause of loss that is covered.
  • Other structures coverage – Other structures coverage will pay for damages to fences, garages, cottages, sheds, and other detached structures.
  • Personal property coverage –  This coverage will reimburse you for any personal items in your home that have been damaged or destroyed by a cause of loss that is covered. Some examples of personal items include electronics, furniture, sporting goods, and clothes.
  • Loss of use coverage – While your home is being restored, loss of use coverage will pay for your living expenses and additional housing.

For more information about what is covered under a home insurance policy in Lees Summit, MO, feel free to reach out to us here at Epic Insurance.

Is It Time To Update Your Homeowners Policy?

Lenders require homeowners to carry an insurance policy to protect their interest in the event of a loss. The State of Missouri doesn’t force you to buy coverage, although it definitely provides a sense of financial security. But what type of policy and how much coverage can be a gray area for many homeowners. Our Epic Insurance professionals are here to help people in the Lees Summit, MO community. We’re available to answer questions and will work with you to update a policy to reflect your current coverage needs.

The True Cost of Rebuilding

It seems logical to carry replacement coverage in the amount of a home’s value. Unfortunately, there is no one-to-one cost basis. Homes depreciate over time and the real estate market rises and falls. Just consider property values before and after the last housing market crisis.

Construction is determined by a separate set of factors that include the price of materials, cost of labor and regulations, among other things. To rebuild a home after a total loss could cost upwards of $150 per square foot. That number doesn’t include demolition, debris removal and permitting. Older homes and those with high-end design, woodworking and materials require the workmanship of skilled craftsman and expensive products. If you want to restore your home to its original luster, that could far exceed $150 per square foot.

Assets Evaluation

When it comes time to renew your policy, take time to make an inventory of the assets you’ve accumulated. Many policies cover personal items on a percentage basis of the home’s value. But as you acquire high-end items, that coverage may be insufficient. Tally up what you own and go over it with your agent. Don’t get caught underinsured.

Epic Insurance proudly serves the people of Lees Summit, MO. Our insurance professionals are available to review and update your homeowners policy to ensure it provides you with secure coverage.

Fall Safety Checklist for Your Home

Fall is here ad it is the perfect time of year to get your home ready for the cooler months ahead.  This can be one of the busiest times of year for homeowners who want to take advantage of moderate weather to take care of any damage or issues with their homes before that first frost comes in. 

Let’s talk about exterior maintenance. 

Check the foundation of your home for any visible cracks and make sure to caulk all of the areas where siding meets masonry.  You should also do this where ever wires or pipes enter the building as well as around the door frames and windows in order to keep heat from leaking out.  This is one of the less expensive maintenance chores that most people can handle themselves.  If there are any sorts of openings in the building, water can actually get inside and even freeze.  This leads to more cracks and can even lead to the buildup of mold.  Carefully checking the outside of your home and completing this inexpensive maintenance can end up saving you thousands of dollars in the end.

Install storm doors and windows and remove the screens.  Before you store those screens, clean and repair them and them spray them down with a protective coating.  Then just place them in a dry part of your garage or basement.

Inspect the walls outside of your home to check for blistering or peeling paint.  If you have this showing on your home or siding, it is a signal that the paint is no longer able to protect the surface that it is on.  If not corrected, it can lead to the deterioration of the building or siding and end up costing you a lot more than repainting it now would.

For more on this and to make sure that your home insurance is up to date, call your Lees Summit, MO branch of Epic Insurance now.