Vargas & Vargas Insurance

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Dorchester, MA 02124

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How Much Will Your Location Impact Home Insurance Rates?

Home insurance is not equal across the board. In fact, there are many, many factors that come into play when figuring your premiums. This includes how rates are affected by the location of the property.

This boils down to how much of a risk factor is associated with your home because of its physical location. And this goes beyond the base an insurer may use for calculations.

What Location Factors Affect Rates?

There are many aspects to consider when pricing out a home insurance policy. Today, we’re just looking at the most common locality issues that will adjust your rates.

While every insurance company is different, these are some of the most used elements for consideration.

State and City Make a Difference

Perhaps one of the biggest location factors for a lot of industries is that of state and city. Your zip code could say an awful lot about everything from insurance rates to groceries.

For instance, what you pay in Boston, Massachusetts, would be significantly different than in Williamstown, Massachusetts, for an identical home. That’s before other factors are even calculated.

Rates can also be adjusted for the location of the neighborhood itself. If your home is in a particularly dangerous area, rates could easily go up. This is because occurrences like vandalism, theft and other crime-related events are more likely to result in claims.

Proximity to Houses and Buildings

How close your home is to any other structure may result in higher insurance rates. This is because there is a greater risk to the property.

For instance, let’s say your home is very close to another. If that other house catches fire, your home is at a much higher risk of joining the blaze. And it’s not just other homes, as your rates may increase if any building is extremely close to your house.

Proximity to Fire Protection Services

In many instances, simply the location of a fire department may affect rates. This includes elements such as whether there is a nearby fire hydrant.

The bottom line is that the longer it takes departments to put out a fire, the more damage that is done. This results in a higher rate of claim, which then translates to higher premiums.

Weather Risks of Locations

Weather will also play a factor in home insurance rates, especially as you’ll have to add extra coverage for specific types of weather events.

For instance, those who live in a tornado-prone area are more likely to face tornadoes, while those closer to the west coast have more concerns about earthquakes. People who live in hail-prone areas that cause damage to vehicles, homes, and other property.

If the location of your home experiences specific weather patterns, you’ll be on the hook for more expensive policies.

As Location Will Affect Your Rates, Keep Discounts in Mind

Where your home is located will directly impact your home insurance premiums. However, there are also many ways you can secure discounts to save you on your annual insurance premium.

At Vargas & Vargas Insurance, we can help you find those discounts while accessing a network of providers to save you the most money possible. Contact us today to find out how we can assist with your insurance needs.

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What Is Umbrella Insurance Policy, Do You Need It?

A personal umbrella policy provides additional liability protection beyond the liability limits that you now carry on your home, renters, or condo insurance and auto insurance. If you are sued and exhaust your existing liability coverage, the umbrella policy will take care of the remainder up to the limit you selected.

Furthermore, it covers legal costs while defending or settling a lawsuit. In certain situations it may even provide coverage not available in your original policies.

Carrying umbrella insurance makes you less stressed about the future.

Worrying about how a lawsuit down the road could destroy you financially is stressful. Purchasing umbrella insurance is the ideal way to avoid such stress.

Umbrella insurance provides a safety net and protects your finances from the uncertainties you face in the coming years.

Umbrella insurance allows you to participate in activities you love without the risk.

Umbrella insurance is particularly recommended for those who participate in certain activities. For example, umbrella insurance coverage is recommended for consumers who use recreational vehicles or coach children’s sporting activities.

Umbrella coverage is also recommended for those who serve on an organization’s board or participate in activities such as hunting.

With umbrella insurance, you can enjoy activities like these that may leave you open to financial risk without adequate coverage.

Umbrella insurance protects your hard-earned money.

It’s typically recommended that consumers carry enough umbrella insurance to cover the full value of their net worth. That’s because umbrella insurance protects all of the hard-earned money a consumer has saved up throughout their life.

Umbrella insurance protects the funds and assets you have worked hard to accumulate throughout your life.

What does it cost?

The good news is probably not as much as you think. Costs of personal liability umbrella policies range based on various factors such as how many properties you have, how many autos you have, your driver history, and your experience as a driver.

A $1 million policy may cost between $160 and $300 per year. As you increase policy limits beyond $1 million, the premium cost increases in smaller increments. For example, a $2 million policy might only cost 1.8 times the cost of the million dollars one, a $3 million dollar policy might cost 2.55 times the million dollar policy, and a $10 million dollar policy might cost 8.9 times the million dollar policy.

Your Local Independent Insurance Broker

At Vargas & Vargas Insurance we always have time for you, you can reach our team at 617-298-0655, we  can help make sure that your financial future is properly insured. Give us a call to get a quote on an umbrella insurance policy!

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How Homeowner’s Insurance Policies Can Be Incredibly Different

Homeowner’s insurance helps to alleviate financial issues in the event of an emergency. However, not all insurance policies are the same across the board. There are a lot of things that are considered when setting up the policy. In fact, it’s quite possible that your premiums will be different from someone who lives across the street.

Even if your neighbors are using the same insurance provider.

Age of the Residence

One of the primary elements that will adjust your premiums is the age and condition of the home. If you have an older structure, there is a good chance you’ll pay more in premiums.

This is partly because of the increased risk involved in outdated materials and repairs. Things like plumbing, wiring, the condition of the foundation, and more can affect how much you’ll pay for your policy.

Perhaps one of the most important aspects is that of the roof. Leaks will easily cause an incredible amount of damage, especially if you don’t catch them in time.

Home Repairs and Costs

Repairs and rebuilds make up a significant portion of many insurance policies. And things like inflation will affect the costs of these repairs.

For instance, if the price of wood goes up, so will your homeowner’s insurance. This is because it becomes more expensive to pay for repairs or rebuilds if the home requires wood, which most will.

Generally speaking, higher-priced homes often have a higher premium due to the cost of repairs. For instance, it’s more expensive to replace French doors to a patio than a regular backdoor.

Preventative Measures and Upgrades

Did you know that installing some preventative measures may actually reduce your insurance policies?

Case in point, some insurers will provide as much as a 10% discount if you have a central station burglar and/or fire alarm installed. This is because these things help reduce the risk of theft and damages, which then saves the insurer money in future claims.

The discounts will vary from one insurer to another. But generally, most offer discounts in some form if you install preventative devices or by updating parts of the home.

For example, if you update your roof or install new electrical and heating systems, your home could go from a “standard” rating to one that is “preferred.” This can save additional money on your premiums.

Working from Home

Since 2020, the prospect of working from home exploded throughout the world. Unfortunately, homeowner’s insurance policies don’t ordinarily cover business expenses or losses.

This means that if you run your business or otherwise work from home, you’ll need additional coverage for anything you use. This could include products, computer equipment, and anything else you’ll need to perform your job.

The additional equipment will easily increase your premiums.

Bundling Insurance Policies

A lot of people will bundle their policies together to reduce the overall cost every month. This is when you have your homeowner’s, automobile, and even life insurance policies from a single provider.

It’s quite a common practice, really. Some providers will offer discounts if you use them for all of your insurance needs. And in many cases, you’d be hard-pressed to find a cheaper alternative by using a separate insurer for everything.

Insurance Policies are Different for Everyone

When it comes to homeowners insurance policies, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer. Every home and situation will differ greatly, especially if you decide to include additional coverage for certain valuables, especially if you plan to work from home.

At Vargas & Vargas Insurance, we’ll do our best to find you insurance policies that fit your needs. Contact us today to find out how we can help keep your home, and your property, protected in the event of a catastrophe.

Not all insurance policies are the same, and we can help you secure one that is ideal for your situation.

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7 Ways to Protect Your Vehicle During the Winter

Auto insurance can play a critical role during the winter months. From frozen and slippery roads to white-outs during a snowstorm, you want to have coverage in the event something happens.

However, insurance can only go so far. Your policy isn’t going to cover wear and tear or issues that happen from poor maintenance. While there are several ways you can winterize your car before it snows, what about during the middle of winter?

Let’s take a look at seven ways to help protect your car in the winter aside from proper insurance coverage.

1. Maintain the Battery During Winter Months

The colder months put quite a strain on vehicle batteries. First of all, low temperatures lead to less of an electrochemical reaction within the unit. This means the battery will perform worse during the winter.

It’s vital that you test your battery regularly and replace it before you find yourself stranded somewhere.

2. Keep Timely with Oil and Fluid Changes

Low temperatures cause liquids of all kinds to move slower. This means that any fluids that are dirty, contaminated, or at low levels will hurt the performance of your vehicle more so when it’s freezing outside.

Driving around in the winter while you’re several thousand miles past an oil change increases the strain on the motor.

3. Watch the Radiator and Hoses

Antifreeze is a crucial element for many cars on the road today. And if you’re levels are low or contain more water than actual antifreeze, your radiator and hoses can freeze up.

Frozen lines can lead to splitting, which then results in the engine overheating.

4. Make Sure Belts Are Not Worn

The last thing you want to experience is a belt snapping while driving on the freeway during a snowstorm. Never underestimate how much wear and tear your belts go through on any given day.

Be aware of any kind of fraying or worn-out sections of the belts that keep the motor turning. Just make sure your car isn’t running before you check them.

5. Keep an Eye on the Tire Tread in Winter

Snow, slush, and mud are common road hazards during winter months. You want to make sure your tire tread is apt to take on what nature throws your way.

This is one of the biggest reasons why many people have a separate set of snow tires available for the winter months.

6. Check Your Bulbs and Replace if Needed

Bulbs for your car are usually not that expensive. And depending on the make and model of your vehicle, they are very easy to replace. Make sure your headlights and brake lights are visible to everyone during a storm.

Also, pay close attention to any condensation within the bulb housing. If the bulbs are getting wet, you’ll need to find the leak and seal it before your new bulbs blow out.

7. Use a Car Cover

Car covers, while a bit inconvenient to put on and off in the winter, can save you a lot of trouble. They protect the car from a plethora of weather types. Not to mention some may even alleviate frost buildup on the windshield.

You can find a lot of car covers for less than $100, and they’ll probably save you more than that throughout the year in maintenance expenses. Especially if you spend a lot of money keeping the vehicle clean.

Car covers are a great option if you don’t have a garage.

Winter Months Can Wreak Havoc on Autos

Depending on where you live, the winter months are some of the most strenuous for an automobile. And if you break down on the side of a snowy freeway, it’ll be incredibly strenuous for you.

In the event something does happen, though, you want to make sure you’re properly covered. At Vargas & Vargas Insurance, we’ll help you find the best policies for your auto regardless of the weather. Contact us today to see how we can help you save money while keeping your auto covered during the coldest months of the year.

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