n the past year, many of us have deepened our appreciation of the security and sanctity of our homes. While we are quite eager to reengage in social events, in-person professional networking, and larger gatherings outside of its walls, we realize how fortunate we are to have a place we call home.
A home purchase is one of the biggest investments you will ever make. That is why it is vitally important to have adequate homeowners’ insurance, which provides financial defense against unexpected damage or loss. At RPM, we are dedicated to helping our clients “protect what matters most.” As with all our insurance services, we customize homeowners’ insurance coverage to address the unique needs of our clients.
Being client-centered also means educating our current and potential clients about protecting and maintaining their homes. This month, we are highlighting the often- overlooked connection between home mortgage refinancing and insurance, and the importance of safeguarding homes through regular maintenance.
Keep Your Insurance Current When You Refinance
Have you recently refinanced your home mortgage to take advantage of lower interest rates? Are you considering a refi in 2021? If so, your lender will ask you for proof of current homeowners’ insurance. Seems pretty straightforward, right? Well, not necessarily.
If you are working with a new lending agent, it is important not only to provide the lender with your insurance information, but also to provide your insurance carrier with the name of your new lender. Otherwise, there could be unintended consequences when your insurance comes up for renewal. If your insurance carrier is unaware that you have secured a new lender, your notice for coverage renewal may automatically be sent to your previous lender. You could then be in jeopardy of having your policy cancelled for lack of payment – totally unbeknownst to you!
Avoid an Unwelcome Surprise
At RPM, we have had a few clients contact us to intervene when they were shocked to find out they were in danger of losing their home insurance because of a missed step in their refinancing process. While our team is always prepared and eager to problem solve for our clients, we also are committed to promoting awareness of how to avoid stressful situations in the first place. So, if you are among the millions of homeowners refinancing their loans, we recommend you take that one extra step to make sure that your insurance carrier is part of the process. The same scenario applies if your mortgage is sold to another company: it is best not to rely on a third-party to close the loop with your insurance carrier. Being proactive can save you an unwelcome surprise!
Address Home Maintenance to Prevent Potential Hazards
It may not seem like Spring is around the corner, but next month we will be shifting to Daylight Saving Time and the first day of Spring. There is no better time than now to begin a list of home maintenance projects so you can get a jump on your “to dos” and reserve a spot on your professional contractors’ calendars. A little attention to your home will both enhance your surroundings and help safeguard you from potential damage or loss. RPM is happy to send you a complimentary, complete Spring Maintenance Checklist to help you get ahead of the game. Contact us at .
Here are just a few of the key issues to look for when you do your maintenance assessment.
Exterior Home Maintenance Items:
- Are there cracks in the concrete around your home?
- Is your driveway in good condition?
- Check the roof for signs of loose or broken shingles
- Look up at your chimney for signs of wear on the facade and foundation
- Do you need to remove debris from your gutters to prevent roof leaks or water infiltration?
- Can you observe any peeling or chipped paint that can lead to water damage and rot?
Interior Home Maintenance Items:
- If your home has central heat and air, it may be time to call your HVAC technician to schedule your system’s bi-annual checkup and servicing. This includes checking the ductwork for signs of damage, cleaning and servicing your furnace and A/C compressor and cleaning bathroom vents. If you have steam heat, it is important to drain your boiler and remove any accumulated sediment.
- Is your sump pump working properly? Make sure it is draining as it should and the motor is in good condition before the next major snow thaw or rainstorm.
- Plumbing – Check the pipes under sinks for any signs of leaks. Look at your ceilings for water stains – a sign of a leak in the wall. Check faucets for drips and check the flappers in toilet tanks to make sure they are not worn out and causing your toilets to run more frequently.
- Fire Safety – On March 14 when we switch to Daylight Saving Time, it is a good day to check the batteries in your smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detectors. It also is important to make sure you have scheduled a routine inspection and periodic cleaning of your chimney to remove any soot build-up that could present a fire hazard.