Traveling for the Holidays? Prevent Break Ins With These Homeowner’s Tips

While homeowners insurance will pay to repair your home and replace your belongings if there is a break-in while you’re traveling, there’s never a good time to have to deal with a burglary. These tips from Dern & Company will help keep your Milwaukee, WI home safe while you’re out of town over the winter holidays.

1. Hire a house sitter.

The surest way to avoid a burglary while you’re traveling is to hire someone to come stay at your home during your absence.  Be sure to hire someone trustworthy and reputable by asking friends, relatives, and neighbors for recommendations.

2. Don’t post on social media.

While it’s fun to share photos on social media right away, these pictures are a tip-off that you are not at home. You never know who will come across your social media posts, so wait until you are back at home to share photos to your Facebook or Instagram profiles.

3. Stop the mail or have someone pick it up.

Mail piling up in the mailbox is a dead giveaway that you’re traveling. Stopping your mail is easy using the postal service’s online tools. Alternately, you can arrange with a neighbor to pick up your mail for you while you are traveling this winter.

4. Have your lights on a timer.

To create the illusion of occupancy in your home, you can set up your television, radio, and lights with timers. Timers are fairly inexpensive ways to fool would-be burglars into thinking that you are at home. Use several timers, set to turn on your lights at various times of the day. For instance, have the living room lights come on from dusk to 8 p.m. and have the bedroom lights set to come on from 8 to 10 p.m.

5. Let a trusted neighbor know you’re going out of town, so they can look out for your home.

If you have a neighbor that is trustworthy, ask them to keep an eye on your place. They can call the police if they notice anything suspicious happening while you are out of town. 

If you need information about homeowner’s insurance in the Milwaukee, WI area, contact Dern & Company. 

What makes a good home insurance plan?

Your home insurance policy is for more than you looking good on paper. There are stipulations in your policy that either confirm or hinder your financial stability. You do not want to wait until tragedy strikes in Milwaukee, WI to take a look at the tenets of your home insurance plan. Such is how many homeowners are left out in the cold with a bill that their bank accounts cannot handle. 

You should speak with an agent at Dern & Company immediately if you do not understand the basics of your home insurance policy. One of our associates may even be able to find a policy that better suits your lifestyle. Read on to learn about what makes a good home insurance plan. 

A good plan goes beyond the minimum

You, for the most part, cannot obtain a mortgage agreement without showing proof of home insurance. Most financial institutions will attach their home assurance policies to your mortgage if you fail to show proof of home insurance. You should not be tricked into thinking that this is a good thing! Home assurance plans attached by your mortgage company are meant to serve their needs. You may be surprised to learn that your personal possessions are not covered under such a policy despite you paying through the nose for a high premium every month. 

The best insurance policies, then, go above and beyond the minimum. Your assurance plan should cover the structure as well as your valuables in Milwaukee, WI. You should also consider indemnity policies that guard against financial losses due to lawsuits. The best home insurance plans pay for legal representation as well as provide funds in the unfortunate instance of you losing your case. 

Call Dern & Company

Our agents can thoroughly explain your home insurance options and create a plan that works best for you. Call today to get started with a quote!

How to create a home inventory

If you came home to your house near Milwaukee, WI and found that your home had tragically burned down or been robbed, would you be able to accurately account for your possessions? Unfortunately, you never know when your home could be the victim of a disaster, so it’s important to have all your belongings accounted for ahead of time to make your life much simpler in the aftermath, and at Dern & Company, we want to help.

What is a Home Inventory?

A home inventory is a list of all the items in your house; you can use this list to help file an insurance claim if your home is ever damaged, destroyed or robbed. This list can also help you make sure you have the right insurance coverage for your belongings.

How to Create Your Inventory

Although it may be time-consuming, the easiest way to create your inventory is to go through your house room by room and list all of your belongings. You should even go as far as to include small items in drawers, closets, and desks. It’s extremely helpful if you can include pictures of the items as well, and this actually might make creating your inventory easier. If you know the purchase date and price of the items, include those as well.

Don’t forget to periodically update your home inventory, especially when you make big purchases. To make the process easier should you ever need to use your inventory, keep a copy of it in a location away from your home, as well as online.

We Can Help

Nobody wants to find themselves facing a disaster, but a home inventory can make this awful situation a little bit easier. If you need help with any home insurance needs, such as creating a home inventory, talk to an agent at Dern & Company near Milwaukee, WI today.

What Do You Need To Bring To Your Home Insurance Consultation

An Open Mind Is The Most Important Thing You Need to Bring to Your Home Insurance Consultation

There are standard home insurance policies to be sure. Like most insurance policies a new homeowner can rattle off a few key points about their new home and acquire a standard policy. At Dern & Company, we would like your experience to be more involved so that you as the homeowner gains a workable knowledge about protecting what is probably your biggest investment. 

You must bring proof of your pending purchase of the home. 

Working knowledge of any foreseeable incidents that may occur as a result of common practices in the home. For example, if you are aware that your home is located in a known flood area, you should make your agent aware of this information. Don’t assume that the insurance agent knows your home is in danger of flooding.

The agent needs to know information about the home such as the built on date. If there have been major renovations to the home. If there is a pool on site. How many dwellings are located on the property of the home? If there are multiple dwellings on the property what are their uses and what are their conditions. For that matter, the agent would need to know what the general condition is of the main dwelling.

Stop by our offices in Milwaukee, WI 53227 to learn more about how to arrange a home insurance consultation. In addition to home insurance, we specialize in other products such as home, health, life, motorcycle, renters, recreational vehicle, boat watercraft as well as commercial insurance. Dern & Company works hard to make your insurance experience as beneficial as possible. 

Tips on Getting the Best Home Insurance

In any way you look at it, the majority of people will spend most of their lives at their home. Homes serve as the number one investment. Therefore, to ensure you provide adequate assurance for the future, it is advisable you insure your home. Many people are not well informed about how the insurance works. The only time they will look for insurance services is when a lender lists it as a requirement. For the residents of Milwaukee, feel free to visit us at Dern & Company to guide you on buying the best home insurance. The following are tips on getting the best home insurance in case you feel the need to.

Get a reputable company

There are many companies that offer this services. It is advisable to consult friends who have insured their homes. They will provide the best testimonies. The insurance provider should be readily accessible and be stable financially. The company should also provide a wide coverage of insurances. In some cases, some companies do not live up to the expectations. A reputable company will offer you the peace of mind as you will not be worried as to whether they will honor the agreement.

Choose between actual cash and replacement cost

It is very important to decide whether you will want your property to be replaced or alternatively get the cash. In some cases, the replacement cost will be the best option if the property to be replaced is over a long distance. Actual cash can also be good because you may end up saving some money. If you are living in Milwaukee, WI, you can visit us at Dern & Company to help you get the best home insurance.


3 Factors that Will Affect Your Homeowners Insurance

If you are looking for the right homeowner’s insurance for your Milwaukee, WI home, you need to get the opinion of a professional insurance agency such as Dern & Company to ensure that you get sufficient coverage. Homeowners insurance offers you financial compensation in case of a covered peril.

What Affects Your Homeowners Insurance?

The Type of Dog You Own

Your dog may keep you from getting the home insurance policy that you need. Some insurance companies do not offer homeowners insurance to homeowners with breeds of dogs that are considered aggressive or dangerous. Others may deny you insurance even if your dog does not belong to breeds that are considered dangerous. They may analyze the behavior of the dog to determine whether or not it is vicious. You may be able to get insurance from such companies if you choose to cage or chain your dog or take it to behavior modification classes.

Your Insurance Score

Your insurance score does not only affect your ability to secure homeowners insurance. It may also determine the number of premiums you pay. If you have a bad insurance score, you may not be able to secure homeowners insurance. Even if you do, your premium rates could be higher than they need to. If you want to improve your insurance score, try to pay your credit card bills on time, and do your best to avoid bankruptcy and a tax lien.

Marital Status

Being married may be a good thing when it comes to homeowners insurance. Most providers view married people as low-risk and less likely to file claims than single people. The premium rates for singles may be higher than for married couples.

Contact Dern & Company in Milwaukee, WI to discuss your new homeowner’s insurance quote.


Things to Consider When Purchasing Home Insurance

One of the major tests for home insurance agents is how they handle claims, according to Consumer Reports. At Dern & Company’s in Milwaukee, WI, our home insurance agents provide a highly satisfied level of service to their clients. Consider the satisfaction reports of the company before you purchase your policy, as low-rated insurers tend to have low-satisfaction reports, and claimants often feel like their claims’ damage estimates and final settlements are too small or not handled in a timely manner.

Often, an insurer and a claimant don’t see eye to eye on damage amounts or how a claim should be handled after a qualifying event. Do your homework before you buy, and make sure you’re buying the right insurance for your situation. Jeanne Salvatore, vice president for consumer affairs at the Insurance Information Institute, recommends making sure you’re covered for the structure of your house, your most valuable belongings, your liability to others, and your living expenses if you’re forced to make your own home livable and/or living somewhere else while your house is being renovated or repaired (or, worst-case scenario, rebuilt.)

Most common levels of coverage:

  • HO-2: Broadly protects against 16 major perils

  • HO-3: A slightly broader policy that protects against all perils, except those specifically excluded

  • HO-5: This is the most common level for newer, better-maintained homes, and covers most perils*

  • HO-6: Co-Ops and Condominiums have different insurance needs, and usually need to include personal property coverage, liability coverage, and improvements to the owner’s unit

  • HO-7: Mobile Homes need specific insurance, and insurance for them usually protects against most perils*

  • HO-8: Older homes usually need to be insured differently than newer, differently-built homes. Read over what your policy covers – some only cover the cash value to replace the structure itself, while others also cover personal property

*(except those specifically excluded)

In Milwaukee, WI, Dern & Company has a variety of coverage options that will help you ensure that your property is protected to your satisfaction. When you’re ready to buy and want the best level of service possible, Contact Us. We can get you a quote or you can try our online rating tool to get a quote from home.

Three Questions Answered About Your Homeowner’s Insurance

Owning your home is a wonderful feeling. It means you are independent, you have your own space, and you have moved up in life. Whether you own a large or small home, it’s yours and that’s what counts.

However, what if something were to happen to your home in Waukesha or Milwaukee, WI? That’s where Dern & Company insurance comes into play. Of course, you have coverage, but do you really understand it? Do you know what it does or does not cover? If not, you probably need to sit down with your Dern & Company insurance agent and ask these 3 questions.

What all is actually covered on my homeowner’s policy?

Your policy will cover your home’s structure, outdoor buildings such as garages, sheds, and so on, as well as your personal property within all of these structures. You need to have documentation of what personal property you own.

What if I have to leave my home while it gets fixed?

No one likes to think that their home will suffer serious damage, but sometimes that does occur. Your home may become unlivable due to an accident, act of nature, fire, or vandalism. If this should happen, you probably won’t be able to stay in your home. Do you know if your insurance covers your living expenses while your home is repaired? Dern & Company is happy to let you know that this can be covered under homeowner’s insurance.

What if someone gets hurt on my property?

Everyone has heard the horror story of the kid that comes over to visit, slips on the grass in the backyard, and breaks his leg. His parents end up suing you for all you’re worth. This story is probably why we tell kids not to run when they’re at our house. But the truth of the matter is, if someone were to get injured on your property, Dern & Company says reasonable medical expenses under liability limits are covered for the injured party. So, let the kids run!

Any more questions? Contact Dern & Company in Milwaukee, WI today!

Tips for Filing a Homeowners Insurance Claim

No one wants to have to file an insurance claim, but if you need to do so, there are steps you can take to make this process go more smoothly. In this article, we will talk about some of the things you can do to make filing a claim easier.

Take Inventory

Before disaster strikes, make sure to have a list of the things you have in your home. Grab a video camera, and use it to take stock of your possessions, and make sure to take photographs of your property from different angles. It also helps to mark your high-value items in ways that will make them identifiable to you later. If you have antiques or fine art, you should have these appraised, and you should keep your insurance policy, appraisal, and your inventory records in a secure place away from your home.

Filing Your Claim

It is important to make your claim as soon as you can. You will need to submit your proof of loss, and after that, your insurance company has 30 days to approve or deny your claim, unless there is a mitigating circumstance preventing them from doing so. You can hire your own appraiser if you’re at odds with your insurance company over the value of your claim, and you can hire an attorney to represent your best interests. The insurance company will need to notify you in writing every 30 days if the claim is still ongoing.

Dern & Company Provides Homeowners Insurance

Residents of Milwaukee, WI are not required by law to have homeowners insurance, but their lenders will usually require them to do so. Homeowners insurance protects your assets by providing compensation when your home is damaged by vandalism or natural disasters, and it will provide liability coverage in certain situations. Dern & Company has experience serving the Milwaukee, WI area and even Denver, CO, and we invite you to call or stop by the office to get a quote on a homeowners insurance policy today!


Is Your Home Ready for Spring?

It may have been a cold winter in Milwaukee, WI but the warmer weather of spring is just around the corner. Even if you are already prepared for spring and are patiently waiting for it to arrive, your home may not be in the same condition. As a homeowner, there are a few things you need to do to ensure that your home is ready for spring. Use these tips from Dern & Company to get you started. 

  • De-winterize your home. if you took the time to winterize your home before the colder weather hit, then you also need to de-winterize it now that spring is coming. 
  • Do some spring cleaning. Take the crisp, fresh air and channel it into cleaning inside your home. You will be amazed by home much better you feel once it is done. Not to mention, it will look great as well. 
  • Get your HVAC checked. Now is the perfect time to ensure that all of your air conditioning hardware is working correctly. The last thing you want is to need it on a hot day only to find out that it is broken. 
  • Plant some flowers. Spring is not complete without flowers so if you have some yard space you can plant some, then take advantage of it and plan an afternoon of planting. You will love the way it looks when everything starts blooming right outside of your windows.

Even if you do all of these things, your home is not fully protected without a home insurance policy. You need to go ahead and get a great home insurance policy if you do not already have one. Contact Dern & Company, serving Milwaukee, WI, to get a free quote that fits within your budget and meets your needs.