Why You Should Have Umbrella Insurance

If you own a home with substantial equity, have a sizable investment portfolio, or possess other accumulated wealth, then your basic homeowner’s policy may not be enough. Consider extending your coverage with umbrella insurance from Shults Insurance Agency in Fort Plain, NY.

The Benefits of an Umbrella Policy

When your assets are worth more than your combined insurance coverage, umbrella coverage is your next step in protecting the things and people you’ve worked so hard to acquire and protect. Without umbrella coverage, you could be putting at risk your children’s college money, your retirement savings, and prized possessions like a sports car.

Umbrella insurance is one of the insurance options that pay claims in excess of the specified limits of other policies. Your basic homeowner policy will pay up to their limits, but if that limit is a million dollars and a claim is in excess of a million dollars, without some extended coverage, your options are to pay out of pocket or fight the claim in court.

Umbrella insurance isn’t the only option for extended coverage, but it is probably the smartest. Similar to umbrella insurance is what is called excess insurance. However, excess insurance operates differently than umbrella insurance. Excess insurance will extend the financial claims of a homeowner policy, but only according to the coverage of the primary homeowner’s policy.

Umbrella insurance not only covers financial liability beyond the coverage of your basic homeowner’s policy, but it will also cover things that your basic insurance does not cover. Umbrella insurance will often cover the exclusions of your basic policy and provide broader coverage than a homeowner’s policy. For those at risk of having to use their own money to pay claims, umbrella insurance is the option that provides the most peace of mind.

Consider contacting your agent at Shults Insurance Agency, serving Fort Plain, NY, for a friendly and knowledgeable analysis of how umbrella insurance can benefit you and your family.

Summer Energy Savings

Beat the Heat — and Your Air Conditioning Bill — This Summer

Did you know that, according to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Americans spend about $11 billion each year on air conditioning? That might not be such a surprise if you’re the one who writes the check for your household energy bill every month.

Believe it or not, you can spend less on cooling costs while still keeping cool. Here are five things to do before you reach to adjust the thermostat:

  1. Make sure your house isn’t part of the problem.  If your home isn’t insulated and sealed well, warm air could be leaking in, sabotaging your efforts to cool things down.  Make sure all cracks and openings are sealed, along with your ducts.  The DOE says air loss through ducts can account for 30 percent of the energy a cooling system uses.
  2. Keep that breeze flowing.  Natural ventilation is a great way to decrease the temperature in your home without using any energy.  Open windows in the mornings or evenings when the air is cool and get a cross-breeze going throughout the house.
  3. Check that the heat isn’t on.  You might be heating your house in the summer without realizing it.  How?  By using the oven, stove or other appliances that generate heat.  Cook outside whenever you can, and use the dishwasher and clothes dryer at cooler times of the day if possible.
  4. Create your own personal cool zone.  Cooling the whole house might not be necessary if you’re only using a few rooms.  Set up fans (ceiling fans will allow you to set your thermostat a few degrees higher), drink plenty of cool liquids and eat cold foods, which can help lower your body temperature.  You might even consider wearing a damp shirt to stay comfortable or putting an ice pack on your forehead, the back of your neck or your wrists.
  5. Don’t forget the basics.  When it’s sunny outside, keep your curtains closed.  Minimize your use of lights, as they generate heat.  And, when the outside air is warmer than the air in your house, close the windows to keep the cool air in.

We can’t promise these tips will keep you just as cool as when you kick back and turn on the AC full-blast.  But saving money every month?  That’s pretty cool, too.