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DePaulo Agency

2 Windsor Drive
Scotia, NY 12302

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3 Questions You Should Ask Your Agent About Home Insurance

When you’re shopping for home insurance in Scotia, NY, you want the best possible policy. There are several questions you should ask your independent insurance agent. At DePaulo Agency, we are here to answer all of the questions that you might have.

What coverage is included?

You will want to make sure that your standard policy covers everything that you need. This includes having enough financial protection that you would be able to repair or replace your home in the event of catastrophic damage. You also want to make sure that all of these structures on your property are included, ranging from a barn to a detached garage.

What damages aren’t included?

Insurance companies look at what caused the damages, such as a fire, storm, or a lightning strike. If the damages are as a result of something that isn’t covered, you need to know about it. Many policies will not include floods or earthquakes. Damages that occur as a result of normal wear and tear would also not be covered by a standard home insurance policy.

What is the cost?

The cost of home insurance is going to vary considerably depending on the company, the amount of coverage that you have, and the value of your home. You don’t want to spend any more than necessary. An independent insurance agent should be willing to get quotes from multiple insurance companies so that you have a cost comparison. From there, you can be sure that you are getting the best possible premium on your policy.

Essentially, the questions you ask should ensure that you know what kind of protection you have for your home.

DePaulo Agency offers independent insurance agents who can help you build the right home insurance policy for your home. Our goal is to make sure you find an affordable policy that provides plenty of protection for you in Scotia, NY.

 

 

 

Neighbor Overwatering the Lawn

As the real estate saying goes, you can choose your home location, but you can’t choose your neighbors. And one of the things that can get frustrating very quickly is when a neighbor doesn’t understand the need to control his or her watering next door and the drainage starts to move into your lawn. Overwatering can be a fast path to a dead lawn and a mud pit for landscaping, but many times the water source is deep in a neighbor’s property and cannot be controlled by the affected. According to the DePaulo Agency, there’s a couple of ways to handle this situation in Scotia, NY.

The easiest and simplest way is to basically ask the neighbor to cut down on the water, showing him or her what’s going on with the draining. If they don’t cooperate, the second approach is to put in the drainage that takes the water away from your lawn and out to the street. No matter how much they water, it never piles up in your lawn as a result. However, if you’re not inclined to spend any money on the matter, you could report the matter to a homeowner’s association as a complaint, if one applies in your neighborhood. Absent an HOA, the city might be an option with regards to a code violation that the city handles and follows up on, but these are rare.

Finally, a legal approach in the Scotia, NY courtroom may be the ultimate solution, filing a nuisance claim against your neighbor when just about every other avenue has been tried and the damage continues. In these situations, the case needs to be a strong situation where the average person would agree the neighbor is out of control and inconsiderate to just about anyone in the same situation. Fortunately, these neighbor problems rarely get to this level. The staff and the DePaulo Agency can easily help guide a homeowner client before things ever get to this level and would be happy to point out alternatives for a better solution where possible.

Is Your Home Ready for Summer?

With summer just around the corner, now is a good time to start preparing your Scotia, NY home for summer holidays. Here are a few ways you can make your home the welcoming and pleasing environment family and friends will love. 

Renovate Interior Decor

Say hello to summer with simple renovations to your interior decor. Pack up heavy rugs, drapes, and blankets and replace with lighter and brighter accessories that create a more spacious living environment. Colorful pillows, lightweight area rugs, and fresh-cut flowers will help create a warm and cozy atmosphere to make your guests feel at home.

Cool It Down   

Have your AC maintained in advance to enjoy a cool interior environment all summer long. Combine your AC with ceiling fans to stay cool and comfortable at reduced energy costs.

Let Light In  

Summer is a good time to open your home to the great outdoors by letting in more natural light. You can start by washing your windows inside and out. Clean windows are sure to contribute to a brighter home environment. Next, replace heavy drapes with sheer curtains that don’t obstruct sunlight. Clean windows and sheer curtains also allow you to enjoy beautiful vistas of natural landscaping outdoors.

Ready Your Patio

Ready your patio to make it an entertainment hotspot this summer. Depending on your setup, you may want to upgrade patio furniture, change your lighting, paint your deck or invest in trendy accessories that will make your patio the talk of the town. A classy and comfortable patio will make summer parties and BBQ’s that much more enjoyable for everyone.    

Update Insurance Coverage

Don’t forget to update your home insurance coverage with DePaulo Agency, Scotia, NY, in preparation for the summer holidays. To learn more about coverage options and costs, contact your local agent at DePaulo Agency, Scotia, NY. 

The Homeowners Insurance Guide for Your Scotia, NY Residence

If you own a home in Scotia, NY, you have some amount of homeowners insurance in place. When is the last time you reviewed your coverage to determine if your policy meets the risks or potential for financial loss associated with your home? If has been awhile since you have performed an evaluation of the insurance protection for your Scotia NY home, an independent agent for the DePaulo Agency can help you get up-to-date.

Understanding what your homeowner’s insurance covers and what amount is appropriate are an important aspect of owning a home. Disaster can strike at anytime. Without an adequate amount of insurance in place to cover you from financial loss to your home can leave you having to come out of pocket to make necessary repairs or pay bills associated with any resulting injury or illness.

What is Homeowners Insurance?

Homeowners insurance is designed to provide you with the means to be made whole if you face a financial loss. A financial loss is a reduction in value that occurs when some insurable event happens to your homes, such as a fire, theft, vandalism, or any other occurrence that is not intentional but accidental in nature.

Determining How Much Homeowners Insurance is Appropriate

The State of New York’s Department of Financial Services suggests that the best way to determine how much insurance you need is to have a valuation of your home. It is important to know how much your home is worth since it is this amount that represents the amount of risk you are subject to when a loss occurs.

The replacement value for your homeowner’s insurance is determined by its value, less the deductible paid. The deductible represents the amount of risk you are willing to take on about the insurable amount you are covered for. To determine if you have enough insurance, as well as the correct type, work with an independent insurance agent of the DePaulo Agency.

Creating an Emergency Kit for Your Home

You never know when something will go terribly wrong and it always better to be prepared than caught off guard. There are many ways you prepare your home for something unexpected. One of those ways is by having an emergency kit for your home in Scotia, NY. When you are developing your home emergency kit, make sure you include these necessities:

  • Food. Make sure you have at least three days of non-perishable food for each person in the home. You may also want to consider getting food that you do not have to cook in case the power goes out.
  • Water. You want to ensure you have enough water for each person for three days. As a rule of thumb, you should have at least a gallon of water per person per day. 
  • First aid kit. You can get a good first aid kit from the store. Make sure this is always fully packed in case you need it in an emergency.
  • A flashlight, extra batteries, and candles. If the power does go out, you want to make sure you have a way to see around you. Make sure you have a way to light the candles. 
  • Portable phone chargers. If the power goes out, you need a way to use your phone in case you need to call for help. Make sure you always have this backup. 

Having a home emergency kit is imperative to remaining safe and secure in your home. DePaulo Agency wants to ensure you are protected in other ways too. One of these ways is by having a great home insurance policy so you can be prepared for almost anything. Contact DePaulo Agency, serving Scotia, NY, today for a free quote on a home insurance policy and more. 

Is Your Home Underinsured?

Homeowners faced with the economic downturn, rising taxes and stagnant wages look for ways to save money. Many have discovered that by lowering the replacement value on your homeowner’s insurance, the monthly bill goes down. But before you check the win column on that savings, you may want to determine whether or not you just became underinsured. At the DePaulo Agency serving Scotia, NY, we believe it’s important that you are properly insured.

Market Value vs Replacement Cost

Unless your home is fairly new, the difference between what it’s worth and what it would cost to rebuild may be worlds apart. The national average for home-building costs hovers around $125 per square foot. The average home built in 2015 was about 2,600 square feet.

That means average replacement costs for an average new home run $325,000.

Now the average home built during the early 1980s is about 1,700 square feet. But if you incur a total loss due to fire or natural disaster, you will not be rebuilding at 1980s prices. New construction would run you about $212,000. That number also doesn’t account for razing and clearing your lot. While this highlights the danger of being underinsured on average, older homes may cost more to rebuild.

The Older Home Conundrum

As homes age, there can be a cost-beneficial market depreciation for buyers and ultimately homeowners. That real brick fireplace, ornate woodworking, and thick hardwood floors bring an old-world luster that’s difficult to find in new homes. Ironically, that allure often comes at a lower cost than new construction.

But if you suffer a loss, rebuilding will most certainly be based on today’s construction costs. Those hardwood floors, brick fireplace, and ornate woodwork, are often considered high-end items. Recapturing the beauty of your older home will come at a premium. Before saving a few bucks by insuring your home at today’s average replacement costs, get an estimate that details what it would take to restore your home to the way you want it. The two numbers are likely to be significantly different.

The drive to save money on your homeowner’s insurance can end up costing you dearly if you suffer loss. At the DePaulo Agency serving Scotia, NY, we urge people to have policies that realistically cover replacement costs. After all, security is the very basis of any homeowner’s insurance.

January is Predicted to be Cold in Soctia Ny, Here are Four Winter Home Tips

Extreme cold is no stranger to New York. However, there are certain things new homeowners should do when it hits. If you make sure to prepare your home for extreme cold fronts, and if you know in advance what to do if something goes wrong, you can save a lot of money in home repairs this winter.

  1. Protect water pipes in advance of freeze warnings. There are insulated pipe covers for sale in a variety of shades so exposed pipes can be protected from freezing and not clash with the home.
  2. Cover low basement windows and vents leading to the underside of home. Insulated foam panels made to look like shutters make great window covers for ground level basement windows that allow freezing air to seep in during the coldest of nights. Any vents that lead to the crawl space should also be covered on the coldest of nights.
  3. If you have outdoor pets consider bringing them in, at least as far as the garage or a barn. Dogs and cats may have fur coats, but they are not made to withstand freezing temperatures.
  4. Leave strategic pipes on a slow drip to avoided having them freeze in place. Many people leave a bathtub and kitchen sink dripping through the night when there is a risk of a pipe freezing.

Keep in mind that sometimes things do go wrong, when they do it is best to have prepared by having a plan. Where are your main valves to turn of the water to the house? Are you prepared to be snowed in when it comes to medicine, water , and food? Plan for any event and take a moment to prepare for the cold to prevent discomfort and costly repairs.

Contact us at the DePaulo Agency for all of your home insurance needs in and around Scotia, NY.

 

 

How to Prevent Water Damage in a Home

Having home insurance from DePaulo Agency in Scotia, NY, will ensure your home and goods are covered in the event of water damage. At the same time, there’s much you can do to minimize this risk. By keeping your home safe from water, fire and other hazardous risks, you can retain your property value. Here are a few ways to prevent water damage from ruining your home and personal belongings.   

Plant Trees with Care 

Trees and flora should be planted with care to avoid having invasive roots grow into water lines and cause damage to pipes, sprinkler system or septic tank. Damaged pipes could cause water damage to the structure of your home. 

Monitor Changes in Water Bill

An unexpected increase in your water bill is a warning sign that there could be water leaks in your home. By keeping an eye on your water costs, you can be alerted to an unusual jump in price that signals possible leakage. Even small water leaks inside bathroom or kitchen walls or cabinets can cause a lot of damage over time.

Clear Gutters

Twice a year in spring and fall homeowners should clear their home’s gutters to avoid water backing up unto the roof of their home. As leaves, dirt and debris clog up gutters, they block the flow of rainwater. This water can accumulate on the roof and eventually leak into a home, damaging the roof, walls and flooring.

Avoid Chemicals to Unclog Drains

Kitchen and bathroom sink clogs are fairly common in most homes. Most drain cleaners contain strong chemicals that can corrode water pipes over time, causing water to leak into your home. By using a drain snake to unclog sinks, you reduce the risk of damaging water pipes, which will protect your home from water leakage.  

To learn more about safeguarding your home from water damage, contact DePaulo Agency, Scotia, NY, today. We can provide you with full home insurance coverage that will protect you from any eventuality.

The Importance of Cleaning Your Gutters in the Fall

There are many important things you should do in the fall to prepare your home for the upcoming winter months. Knowing these things can help prevent damage to your home and help prevent you from having to file a homeowner’s insurance claim for damage. Here at DePaulo Agency, we would like to tell you about the importance of cleaning your gutters in the fall in Scotia, NY.

Prior to the rain and snow season, it is important to take the time to clean our your gutters. This includes removing all debris from the gutter, such as leaves, sticks and excess amounts of dirt. If these items are in the gutter channel, rain and water may not be able to flow through the gutter as it should. The biggest problem with this is that in freezing temperatures, this water can freeze. And as it freezes, and more water falls, the block of ice gets larger and larger. Eventually, it can form an ice dam on your roof or become so heavy or large that it cracks the gutter or causes the gutter to collapse. Unfortunately, many homeowner’s insurance policies will exclude claims if they feel the damage was caused due to no maintenance. As such, cleaning your gutters is extremely important.

If you are wondering if your homeowner’s insurance policy will preclude a claim based on poor maintenance, or you simply want to look into starting a new homeowner’s insurance policy, give DePaulo Agency a call today. We serve the greater Scotia, NY area and would love to help you with all of your homeowner’s insurance needs.

 

5 Tips To Save Money While Packing

So it is time for that big move. Maybe you moving a few block or a few states away. Either way the cost of a move can take a bite out of your bank account. Below are a few ideas on how you save money while packing for your next move.

1. Collect boxes yourself

At a lot of stores will give you boxes for free. If you make it a habit of asking every time you go to the grocery store you can get all the boxes you need free of charge. If you wait till it’s too late those boxes can cost up to $3 a piece and that will add up quickly.

2. Ask your friends and family to help

What are friends for? Hiring help is expensive and most people are glad to lend a hand because they know there is a good chance they will want to call that favor back in.

3. Get rid of stuff you are not going to use

This will save you space and therefor money. It will also give you less to hassle with while packing and unpacking. If you are going to get a new place you might as well have a new start.

4. Save your newspapers to use like bubble wrap

Bubble wrap can be very expensive and since it is made from plastic it’s also not great for the environment. Newspapers are a free and a more environmentally friendly way to protect your fragile belongings.

5. Update your homeowners or renters insurance

Make sure you have the protection you need for your new place. Because fire, damage, and theft are always a real possibility not mention any personal liability you might incur. The best way to do that is to have a talk with a great insurance agent at DePaulo Agency or visit them at