Special Considerations for Valuable Items in a Home

Standard home insurance policies typically have limits for the coverage of expensive items in a home. Homeowners that have valuable items such as family heirlooms, jewelry, artwork, expensive electronics, home theater systems and more, benefit from getting extended coverage to protect them. Talk with your agent at Hanneken Insurance Agency Inc. serving Little Falls, MN and the surrounding area to better understand any limits under your existing home insurance or new insurance that you are considering.

Here are some tips about what to do to make sure valuable items have adequate protection and insurance coverage under a home insurance policy and/or extended coverage:

  • Make a Home Inventory: A home inventory is a list of all the valuable items in the home with any information that is available about the purchase price or replacement costs. Take photos of the items and record a video walkthrough of the home showing the placement of the valuable items in the home.
  • Appraisals: Have valuable items appraised by a qualified appraiser. Keep this information about the appraisal in a fireproof safe or off-site to avoid losing the information when it is most needed.
  • Install a Home Security System: Home security systems with video monitoring of the premises are a good deterrent to help prevent home burglaries.
  • Safeguard Valuables: Along with a home security system, having a home safe makes it more difficult for burglars to steal smaller personal items such as jewelry.
  • Update Coverage When Necessary: When things change and valuable personal items are acquired or sold, update insurance coverage appropriately. Often overlooked, are valuable items that are received from an estate as part of an inheritance.

The easiest way to make sure insurance coverage is adequate is to work with your agent at Hanneken Insurance Agency Inc. in Little Falls, MN. Make an appointment to go over the coverage offered by an existing home insurance policy and to add or update extra coverage for valuable personal items as needed.

It is Time for Spring Cleaning. Do You Know How You Can Prolong the Life of Your Home?

Most people consider their home their greatest financial asset. For some it can be a financial strain, the balance is often in the shape of the home.  There are certain spring cleaning chores that will make sure that your home stays safe and attractive for many years to come because an ounce of prevention is worth gold. Hanneken Insurance Agency, Inc. serving Little Falls, MN and the surrounding areas know the true value of a home and can cover your greatest asset in home insurance year round. 

Ways to Prolong Life of Your Home Each Spring

  • Check for winter water damage. If a little water got in then froze it may have cause warped roofing or attic materials which can allow in more water and ice next season. Checking for winter water damage is a vital way to prolong the life of your roof and to prevent further damage and costs. 
  • Sweep roof and clean out gutters. This chore ensures that the debris is not rotting against roofing material, a rotting roof can spread damage throughout the attic quickly and mold or water damage can be hard to get rid of. 
  • Clean any debris away from the footing of home, trim any extra brush. These materials will naturally rot and this rot can spread the home depending on the building materials. The debris also encourages bugs to hang out near the home so clearing out any organic matter is vital. 

Contact us at Strack Insurance Services if you want to protect your home in case of unforeseen damage. We serve Little Falls, MN and the surrounding areas. 

Why Bother With Home Insurance

Your home might be the most valuable investment in your life, and it’s important to protect it from unforeseen circumstances. Home insurance helps to renovate, replace or rebuild your home and your personal belongings in times like this. Even though home insurance isn’t a mandatory requirement in Little Falls, MN, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t bother with it.
 
Here are the reasons why:
 
It protects your home against calamities
 
The policy covers your home from man-made calamities such as theft, fires, vandalism, and any malicious damages. It also covers your home against natural calamities such as storms, fire, lightning, etc. If a covered loss causes damage or destroys your home, this policy will repair or replace it.
 
It protects you against liabilities
 
Home insurance protects you against financial liability claims against you or any other members of your family. These include property liability and bodily injury liability to a third party visiting your home. The policy will help you cover any lawsuits.
 
It can help you get a loan
 
Just like auto insurance financing, most lenders require home insurance before financing your home, and some give preference to those customers who have this policy when inquiring a home loan.
 
It protects your valuables
 
Apart from protecting the structure, it also protects your valuable assets such as jewelry, furniture, appliances and much more against theft, loss, or damage. Having to re-purchase these assets may prove difficult after a loss, so, having enough coverage is necessary.
 
It provides you with financial stability 
 
If a covered loss renders your home inhabitable, you might have to get temporary residence while it’s being rebuilt or renovated. Home insurance will cover any additional living expenses you may incur during that period.
 
Finding the help of a knowledgeable local agent at Hanneken Insurance Agency Inc in Little Falls, MN will give you a chance to determine which coverage option is essential for your home. At Hanneken Insurance Agency Inc., we provide affordable insurance policies. So, talk to us today and secure your financial future.

Do Older Homes Need Larger Home Insurance Policies?

Homes are not all created equally and as such each home requires a unique policy that caters to every nuance. As our homes age they become more and more likely to experience damage and other issues, does this mean we need larger policies for older homes? If you live in the Little Falls, MN area the agents with Hanneken Insurance Agency Inc. can help answer this question in great detail.

For starters, older homes are built with materials that might not be considered fire safe or fire resistant, this makes them more susceptible to fire. Another issue is that older homes are more likely to withstand in natural events like ice storms, wind storms, and even normal thunderstorms or seasonal storms. Older homes are also going to cost far more to rebuild in this day and age than they did when they were first built.

In summation, older homes are likely going to need a larger policy than you might imagine but that does not mean that they are going to need a larger policy than a new state of the art home that was just built. Rather, it means that your home is going to need very specific coverage based entirely on the home that you have. You should take the time to have an adjuster come to your home and tell you just what your home needs in terms of coverage.

Adjusters are able to tell you your home’s weak points as well as tell you how much it would cost to build the same home back in this day and age. For those that live in the Little Falls, MN area, the agents with Hanneken Insurance Agency Inc. can help you find the perfect coverage each and every time.

How to Keep Your Home Safe while away on Summer Vacation

Whether you decide to visit family nearby this summer or take a trip to the Caribbean, there are some steps you can take to keep your Little Falls, MN home safe and sound while you are away.  The key is to not make your home an easy target for thieves.  If they know you’re away on vacation and your home isn’t properly secured, thieves can easily slip through a window unnoticed. 

To avoid this and similar scenarios, follow these tips to keep your home safe while you’re away on summer vacation.  

1.  Hire a House Sitter

Having someone at the home is one way to keep burglars away.  Professional house sitters typically charge a flat fee per day and will sleep at your house.  If you have pets, they can take care of them, too.  If you don’t know of any professional house sitters in your area, ask a family member or friend to do the job.  

2.  Have a Neighbor Keep an Eye on Your Home

You can also ask a neighbor to keep an eye on your home while you are away. They can collect your mail, take out your trash, and generally watch out for anything suspicious.  In the future, you can return the favor.

3. Install a Security System

A sign in your front yard that says you have a security system is a deterrent for thieves. They will typically not risk breaking into a home where they will set off an alarm and have the police on the way.  By installing a security system and either having a house sitter or neighbor watch your house, you can feel confident that you home is safe while you’re away.

Unfortunately, things can happen that are out of your control. That’s why it’s important to have quality homeowner’s insurance in Little Falls, MN.  At the Hanneken Insurance Agency Inc. we help find you the right policy for your home so you can have peace of mind when you’re away on vacation.  You can contact the Hanneken Insurance Agency Inc. at 320-632-6592 to speak with a friendly member of our team.  

 

 

Why Little Falls Homeowners Need Home Insurance

It’s important for you to have home insurance in Little Falls, MN. Whether you have a mortgage or not, you need to do what you can to protect your home. At Hanneken Insurance Agency Inc., there are various options for you to explore.

Anything Can Happen

Living in Little Falls, MN is often a lot of fun. Perhaps one of the reasons of choosing to live in this area is because of the change of seasons. You will experience rain, snow, hail, and all sorts of other weather throughout the year. This also means anything can happen to your home.

If something happens, you want to be covered with a home insurance policy.

Claims Allow for Repairs and Replacements

Filing a claim with your home insurance company will allow for various repairs and replacements. If there’s a major snow storm and your roof gets damaged, you want to file a claim to get the repairs done. If there’s a break-in and some of your belongings are stolen, you want to file a claim to have those items replaced.

The claims are generally handled quickly. This allows you to move on with your life without having to wait forever to get the repairs and replacements paid for.

You Don’t Want to Go Bankrupt

Without a home insurance policy, everything that goes wrong becomes your financial responsibility. Some repairs and replacements could be worth tens of thousands of dollars. This is not something you want to deal with as it could bankrupt you. It’s much easier to file a claim and let an insurance adjuster come out to your home. Knowing you have a policy to provide you with financial protection is everything.

Learn more about home insurance and what’s available to fit within your budget by calling an independent insurance agent at Hanneken Insurance Agency Inc. today.

 

 

Gun Safety in Your Home

If you live in or around Little Falls, MN, you may hunt or shoot recreationally. Firearms can be deadly if they are not handled and stored correctly, so use these tips from Hanneken Insurance Agency Inc. to avoid a tragedy when you have firearms in your home. 

  • If you’ve never owned or handled a gun before, take a basic safety class before buying one. You can contact your county law enforcement to find out what is available in your area. These classes may cover the laws surrounding weapons, how to handle them safely, and your responsibilities as a gun-owner.
  • All weapons should always be stored unloaded and locked up. Even if you don’t have children in your home, you never know who could enter your house when you’re not around. A suicidal relative or an intruder could use your weapon with a tragic result. Simple tools like trigger locks and gun safes can keep people safe.
  • Alcohol and firearms do not mix. Never use a weapon when you have been drinking, nor should you allow anyone else access to your weapons while under the influence of alcohol or other types of mind-altering substances.
  • Talk to your kids about your firearms. Rather than simply forbidding them to touch the guns, let them ask questions. This shouldn’t be a one-time conversation, but rather an ongoing dialog. If your child wants to learn about firearms, take them to a safe place to shoot, and be sure that they understand that the only time they should use a firearm is if you are around and have given your permission. Do not allow them to know the combination to your gun safe, and do not depend on their obedience to keep them safe. Kids can be impulsive, and you should still keep weapons locked up even if you think your child understands the risks.
  • Learn to shoot safely, using eye and ear protection. Also, be aware of what is behind your target.

If you live in Little Falls, MN or the surrounding area and have questions about homeowner’s insurance, you can contact Hanneken Insurance Agency Inc.

 

3 Reasons Not to Put Off Purchasing Home Insurance

When it comes to cutting corners insurance is often downgraded or even put off during tight times. However, putting off purchasing home insurance or downgrading coverage can end up costing your family a great deal more in the long run. Hanneken Insurance Agency Inc. can help you decide the level of coverage best for your family in order to keep them covered, no matter what. If things are already tight and they get worse, you will be relieved that you invested in insurance to keep your family afloat during the worst of times.

  1. Sometimes things change in an area that make insuring certain homes for certain coverage more difficult or more expensive. If you already have coverage in the area at a set rate you may be grandfathered in.
  2. If you are putting off getting or renewing insurance due to finances, then this is exactly the reason you need to make sure you have insurance. If you have plenty of money to spare, then protecting what you do have may just hold less importance. However if things are tight, imagine how much tighter they will be after a fire or other calamity with no insurance.
  3. There is no “off season” for disaster. Sure tornadoes are more likely in a few months and winter storms are more likely in January, but disastrous events can happen any day of the year. This is why emergency personnel and law enforcement agencies do not shut down. Do not prolong getting insurance until closer to the riskier times of the year.

Contact us at Hanneken Insurance Agency Inc. for all your insurance needs in Little Falls, Pine River, Pierz, Brainerd, MN and the surrounding areas. The sooner your family is covered, the better you can rest with  peace of mind knowing we are here for you.

Preparing your home for your winter vacation

You’re probably more than ready for winter vacation after the flurry of activity of the December holidays. Your home might not be ready for your absence, though. Although it can’t talk, it will "miss" you and your ability to look after it on a daily basis. There are a few things you can do to prepare it for your trip, suggests USA Today. You’ll save money, energy, and lower your chances of coming home to problems. Save yourself potential home insurance claims with these easy tips from Little Falls, MN, Hanneken Insurance Agency Inc.

1. Unplug unneeded electrical devices. Those lamps, TVs, stereos, and space heaters still use energy when plugged in even if they’re turned off. They also create a fire risk if left plugged into an outlet.

2. Turn down the thermostat to 50 degrees. This setting still protects the pipes from bursting but saves energy. If you’re leaving behind your pets, adjust it accordingly, bumping it up to 55 or 60 degrees.

3. Turn off your home’s water supply and open and drain all the faucets. Leave one faucet open on the lowest floor of the house to let excess water and air drain.

4. Lower the water heater to the lowest setting or turn it off altogether to save energy and money.

5. Let service professionals like the cleaning service know when you’ll be gone. Alert your credit card company and alarm service to and let them know how you’d like things handled in your absence.

6. Ask a friend to check on your home daily while you’re gone. Have them bring in the mail and newspapers, feed the pets, etc. To make it look like you’re the home, you may also need to request sidewalk shoveling, if necessary. You might leave some funds for them to hire a neighborhood teen to do the work.

7. If you have a pool and have not already closed it for winter, now is the time. Scrub the decks, too.

8. Close all entry points to your home, such as the fireplace flue. This way, you won’t come home to unwanted pests like birds nesting in your living room, says <a href="http://www.homeadvisor.com/article.show.How-Do-I-Winterize-a-Vacant-House.10834.html">Home Advisor</a>.

9. Clean out the refrigerator and freezer before leaving. Throw out anything that could rot or spoil while you’re gone. If the power goes out, you have one less thing to worry about.

10. In wind-exposed areas, install storm shutters. Secure them before leaving.

A few quick items can keep your home safer during winter. Complete these ten items and give yourself peace of mind while enjoying your time away from home.

5 Surprising Fire Hazards

You know all about greasy rags, cluttered kitchens and loose wires, but fires can start from the least likely of sources, for instance:

Refrigerators

It’s designed to keep things cold, but it can still be a major fire hazard. Fridges actually lead to around 1,500 fires a year. Issues include light bulbs that don’t turn off when the door is closed, and electrical components short-circuiting and overheating. Press the switch where the door shuts to test the bulb, and monitor your fridge for any issues.

Microwaves

Stovetops seem like the most likely cooking appliance to start a fire, but microwaves lead to 1,700 fires a year. Microwaves can malfunction and turn on by themselves, and glass doors can shatter. Look for unusual messages on your display panel, and unplug it if you’re having problems.

Dishwashers

These things are usually full of water, so how do they catch on fire? For starters, the circuit boards inside of many appliances are basically kindling. Rinse-aids often leak into circuitry, causing malfunctions and around 1,000 fires a year. Regular maintenance and careful use of cleaning products should help keep your dishwasher safe.

Clothes Dryers

Lint blockages are a major issue with dryers. If you replace your lint filter after every load, you should be fine, but a blocked filter can be a major problem.

Toasters, Toaster Ovens and Hot Plates

The problem with plug-in cooking appliances is we tend to think that, being electric, they’re somehow safer than the stovetop. Nothing could be further from the truth. Like microwaves, these appliances can turn themselves automatically. Your best bet is to keep them unplugged when not in use.

Hanneken Insurance Agency Inc. can connect you with a policy that will cover you in the event of a fire, but it’s better not to have a fire in the first place.