What Should First Time Homebuyers Know about Home Insurance?

Buying a first home in Tuscaloosa, AL can be a tiring process, and after all the searching for the perfect home, one thing first time home buyers don’t want to sleep on is home insurance.

It’s important not to leave the home insurance to the last minute, since making the wrong decision can cost you a lot of money. Home insurance will be based on the building value, and some new homeowners may be shocked to find that the real estate value of the home is not the same as the building value. Don’t just choose insurance because it’s cheap and skip looking into what happens if you need to file a claim. Many people will move into their home and forget about their insurance until they need it. You don’t want to skimp on coverage, and you should have enough coverage to be able to rebuild in case you need to.

Don’t assume the insurance costs will be the same as the previous owner. Insurance policies will take into account personal information, which includes age, profession, credit rating, and other personal choices for coverage limits. The best way to know what your insurance will be is by getting a quote before you close the deal.

Use the home inspection process to your advantage and see if there are ways you can improve your home, in order to help get discounts on your insurance costs. Speak with an agent at TCU Agency to see if there are ways to get discounted insurance based on an inspection.

Use insurance history to your advantage as well. If you have had renters insurance in the past, it can help you with insurance on your new home. Also, see about bundling your car insurance and other insurance policies with your agency to get a discount.

Contact TCU Agency, serving Tuscaloosa, AL, to get a quote on home insurance.

 

Why Comprehensive Home Insurance is so Important in Tuscaloosa, AL

Home ownership remains one of the easiest ways to acquire and retain wealth. If you have your own home, then you should be congratulated. But do not rest on your proverbial laurels. Instead, begin to work now to ensure that you will not lose what you have worked hard to attain. For example, in Tuscaloosa, AL it is imperative that you consider getting comprehensive home insurance.

Do not make the mistake of some who think that just because the area has less than 100,000, residents it is a small town. In reality, the population doubles on University of Alabama football weekends and sees significant visitors during university commencements and other important events.

The Problem

Because Tuscaloosa receives so many visitors at one time, accidents and thefts can occur out of proportion to the actual resident population. You can expect vandalism, theft and physical injuries.

You never know when some inebriated party person or overzealous football fan will wander onto your property and get hurt. They might then allow some personal injury lawyer to talk them into filling a lawsuit against you. Fighting back will take significant financial resources. You will then wish you had extended home insurance coverage.  

Likewise, with theft. Standard insurance policies often cover only limited items within the home. Talk with a TCU Agency representative today to find out about getting further coverage to protect valuables. Ask about home insurance policies that cover specific items of value because you never know when a thief will be operating in Tuscaloosa. They often take advantage of the large crowds here during events, knowing the police will be busy elsewhere.

Get More Information

Do not wait. Contact a knowledgeable professional at TCU Agency today to find the best policy for your situation. You want to be ready for the next big event in Tuscaloosa, AL that brings in throngs of visitors who might somehow wind up on your property.

 

5 Steps to a Cooler Home This Summer

As much as you look forward to outdoor fun in the sun this summer, keeping your Tuscaloosa, AL home cool and comfy without paying high energy bills can be a challenge. Here are a few ways you can beat the heat of summer without straining your budget.

Sunlight

Limit the amount of sunlight entering your home to maintain a cooler environment. Closing curtains or lowering blinds will help block out sunlight during the heat of the day. For a long term solution, consider planting shade trees at strategic locations on your property to keep your home cooler in summer.

Programmable Thermostat

Invest in a programmable thermostat. This device will automatically adjust your home’s interior temperature to coincide with your comings and goings, so you benefit from a cool home at less cost. 

Ceiling Fans

Combine the use of ceiling fans with your AC system to keep your home cooler during the heat of summer. By setting your fans to revolve counterclockwise, you’ll get the cool breezes you desire.

AC

Have your AC serviced before summer hits in earnest to ensure you get maximum performance for the season. Annual AC maintenance and repair will extend the lifespan of your unit so you and your family can enjoy cool and comfy summers for years to come.

Oven

Limit the use of your oven during summer to reduce heat input into your home environment. Summer’s a good time to brush up on your outdoor grilling skills and experiment with new meal plans that minimize oven use for the season.

As summer approaches, you may also want to review your home insurance policy with TCU Agency, Tuscaloosa, AL, to ensure it’s up to date with your current needs. For changes or updates to your insurance coverage, talk to a TCU Agency representative today.

Why You Should Shop Around for a Home Insurance Policy

When you need a home insurance policy, you may be tempted to call an insurance company, get a quote and then sign up with that company if the quote sounds reasonable. However, it is recommended that you obtain quotes from at least three insurance companies before signing up. There are many benefits to shopping around before signing up for a home insurance policy. Here are two of those benefits.

Price Benefits

One of the major reasons why you should shop around for a home insurance policy is because the price of a policy can drastically vary from one company to another. However, if you do not take the time shop around, you may not realize it. This can cost you hundreds or even thousands of dollars each year. Always take the time to get quotes for various policies to help you find a fairly priced policy.

Policy Benefits

The other reason why it is important to shop around when you need a home insurance policy is because policies themselves can vary from company to company. What is covered, the deductible and how claims are handled can all vary from one company to the next. Unfortunately, you may get a policy that does not best fit your needs if you do not take the time to shop around. As such, in addition to paying attention to price, always pay close attention to what the wording in the policy itself so you know what you are getting for the price.

If you are in the process of shopping around for a home insurance policy in the Tuscaloosa, AL area, be sure to contact TCU Agency. Our company can help you with all of your insurance needs, including home insurance. Call us now to get started on the process of getting you a quote.

4 Reasons to Reconsider Home Insurance in Tuscaloosa

There are certain things in life that you know you need to have, but rarely ever really think about. Home insurance is likely to be one of those things. There are so much more immediate concerns of the day that it probably just doesn’t cross your mind. TCU Agency wants you to know why you may want to rethink that.

1. You Never Know

Days start off one way and then quickly take a turn for the worst. If you come home to a ransacked house in Tuscaloosa, AL, do you know what your insurance policy will cover and what it won’t? Will the property damage be something you have to pay for on your own or do you have the right policy?

2. Policies Are Customized to You

Did you just put in rare plants in your garden? Did you buy a new piece of art in the past few months? You may have more reasons to update your policy than you think. And the best part is that you get to dictate the terms and the amounts in most cases.

3. This Is Your Property

And you likely worked hard to buy it. It’s worth giving it your full attention when it comes to protection, and it’s why you should consider home insurance to be a benefit rather than a burden.

4. It’s the People You Work With

You may be surprised at just how much finding the right agency can help. TCU Agency is here for those in Tuscaloosa, AL to make your home insurance much easier with friendly agents and helpful advice. We’re here during the good times and the bad, so give us a call today if you’re looking for a quote or hoping to get a new policy.

3 Things All Homeowners Need to Know About Home Insurance in Tuscaloosa

Tuscaloosa, AL truly has some wonderful homes and grounds in the area, so it makes sense that the whole neighborhood would want to preserve its beauty. It’s easy to do when you understand more about how home insurance works to make a difference in communities. Learn more about what you need to know about cost, extra considerations and finding the right team to partner with.

1. Never Compare

It’s normal to compare how you’re dressed about how other people are dressed at a formal event, but that same principle does not extend to insurance. In fact, each individual’s policy is based specifically off of their lifestyle and background, so just because your neighbor paid the same amount for their property, it doesn’t mean that you’ll be paying the same amount for your premium.

2. Start Asking Questions

Maybe you moved into your house five years ago, and since then you bought a TV, diamond ring and added a few appliances along the way too. You should be calling your home insurance agency when you do these things, since you may not get as much help as you like should those new things be destroyed in a natural or man-made disaster.

3. Finding a Partner

The last thing you need is to shell out cash straight from your wallet just because your dog was frightened by his own shadow and knocked over your antique lamp. We serve the people of Tuscaloosa, AL, and we don’t want you to be caught off guard for any reason. Whether you’re looking for a new quote or you just want to find out how your coverage works in the real world, give us a call for more information.

 

Kind, Compassionate, Insurance Agents – What a Relief!

When you just experienced a major disaster you need to reach out to hear a kind voice and have an insurance agent that understands what you are going through. There is an old saying, that you only really know who your true friends are when you go through a major life challenge. The same thing can be said about your insurance coverage. You only know how good it really is, if you experience a disaster. 

The Tuscaloosa, AL Emergency Management Agency notes that Tuscaloosa, AL has a history of severe weather that includes thunderstorms with high winds, lighting, and dangerous tornados. A really bad tornado hit the area on April 27, 2011, destroying about 12% of the city, killing 44 people, and injuring hundreds. It caused $1.5 billion in damages. The last time such a bad tornado hit was in 2000. Another time was in 1997 and a huge cluster of tornados hit in 1932. This one in 2011 certainly caught many people unprepared.

At the TCU Agency, we know how important it is to be responsive to clients needs in such a disaster, process claims quickly, and give our clients a shoulder to lean on, or cry on, if need be. Who knows when such a horrible natural disaster might hit again? 

It is a good idea to check in with your agent at the TCU Agency, at least once each year, to review your home insurance for adequate coverage. It is important that the coverage is in alignment with current replacement costs. You definitely need an update if you made any renovations or did any remodeling, since the last time you had an insurance review.

We hope you never need to call upon us because of a major disaster. However, if you do, will we be there ready to help.

You Can Get Good Home Insurance From a Tuscaloosa, AL Agent

If you want good home insurance in the Tuscaloosa, AL area, one of the best ways to get what you need is to choose a good insurance agent who can help you through the process. That can give you options from start to finish, so you get the policy that is really going to be right for your home. There are many companies that offer homeowners insurance policies, but when you work with the independent agents from the TCU Agency, you have the opportunity to find out about a number of different policies from companies that can help you protect your home.

You do not need to spend your time going around to a lot of different insurance companies, giving them your information and waiting on quotes. With one call or visit to an independent agent, you can make sure you get the policy you need at a price you want. Your budget and your home will thank you, when you know you are covered by a policy that will really give you what you need. When you have a trusted agent, another benefit of the situation is that you have someone to work with as your homeowners insurance needs change.

By working with the TCU Agency on your Tuscaloosa, AL home insurance policy, your peace of mind will be assured and you will not have to worry about whether the coverage you have is enough to protect your home in case of a loss of some type. Your home is an investment, and protecting it is an important way to make sure your finances are also protected, both now and in the future. With a good relationship with your independent insurance agent, you have less to worry about and can get the coverage you need at a price you feel good about.

Fall Home Checklist Before the Rains Arrive

Fall is a time for change as the weather moves from the warm summer to cold winter and the holidays. Along with the weather change, of course, comes rain and snow, both of which take a toll on a home and it’s roof. That’s why every homeowner should make a point of using the preparation time available in the Fall to check his or her home roofing before problems occur. A basic checklist should include all of the following:

  • Checking all the gutters work properly by spraying water on the roof and letting it run into the gutter and down the drainpipes. A clean system should have a quick and smooth running drainage without any blockage.
  • Looking signs of rust or cracking in gutter bottom surfaces, signaling potential failure when the weight of water begins to accumulate.
  • Removing any bird nests or debris that may have deposited in the roof gutters during the dry months. A hose with a pressure nozzle works exceptionally well for this kind of cleaning.
  • Looking for any overhanging tree branches and leaves that are on the roof or house. These need to be cut back and removed where possible to prevent wind-caused damage from repeating impact.
  • Examining the roof tiles to spot any damage or exposed locations that can turn into leaks through the sub-roofing layers.
  • Going into the attic and looking for signs of any pest damage. Any holes or gaps should be sealed up with wire mesh at a minimum.

The biggest cost of the above tasks is time on a weekend. And prevention can save significant costs later on. For more ideas on how to prepare for winter, give the TCU Agency a call. Their Tuscaloosa, AL experience with damage claims can provide valuable ideas how to avoid rain and winter leakage problems, and they can give guidance on home coverage for those problems that can’t be avoided.

5 Packing Tips That Will Make Your Move Easier

If you’ve got a move coming up, you’re likely already dreading the idea of packing up your home. Packing isn’t something people usually look forward to because it takes so much time and energy. But it doesn’t have to! If you plan it right you can take almost all of the stress out of packing. Here are seven packing tips that will make your move easier. 

Make a Packing Kit

The key to an efficient move is being organized. Taking a few minutes to gather the supplies you’ll need to pack your family’s belongings will help things run smoothly and save you some stress. At the very least you’ll need permanent markers, scissors, packing tape and boxes. You might also want to have a notebook and a snack handy. The notebook will help you keep track of what’s going in what boxes and the snack will keep you from gettinguhangry during the move. 

Stock Up On Old Boxes

Speaking of boxes, you’re going to need a lot of them. Your best bet is to start accumulating them early in the month leading up to your move. Save any shipping boxes that come to the house and ask friends and family if they have any old boxes lying around that you could have. If you’re not able to find enough gently used boxes, you can always buy some from your local home improvement store. 

Don’t Procrastinate 

This is so important! Do not wait until the last minute to pack your stuff. We know packing isn’t a fun job, but it’s one that has to be done. To break things up, commit to just packing three or four boxes each day in the weeks leading up to the move. Pro tip: Start with non-essential items that you’re not going to need right away. 

Use a Color Code to Label Boxes

If you do nothing else, at least use this simple trick to keep track of your stuff. It can be hard for people to read your handwriting, so just because you wrote "dishes" on the box doesn’t mean that it’s going to end up in your new kitchen. Instead, use a color code to label your boxes. Grab some colored duct tape and slap a piece on each box, with each color representing a different room in the house. For example, blue boxes go in the living room and red boxes go in the kitchen. 

Take the Opportunity to Downsize 

Since you already have to go through all of your stuff, you might as well take this time to de-clutter your life. If you have old clothes you haven’t worn in years or other household items that haven’t seen much use lately, set them aside to be donated. This helps lighten your load and can help others in need. 

If you’re in need of a new homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy, or if you would just like to review your current policy, contact Bay Point Insurance, LLC. Our agents will work with you to review your options and ensure you get the right policy for you and your family’s needs.