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An Overview of Home Insurance: An Interview with David Levine of Newbrook Insurance Agency

By David Levine

Tell Us About Newbrook Insurance Agency:

Newbrook Insurance Agency has been serving Long Islanders since 1969. Originally founded by my father, Elliot Levine, out of the garage of our home , Newbrook has grown to provide all types of insurance. We serve thousands of individual clients for their homeowners and auto insurance as well as many small and medium sized businesses. I am the second generation running this business and I am proud to say that we are still able to operate as a family owned business where we know our clients individually and can provide personalized service to each of them.

Newbrook Insurance Agency Services:

We operate as an independent insurance agency. What that means is that when we are working with a client, we are working on their behalf, not for any particular insurance company. Unlike direct insurance companies or agents that only represent one company, we are able to shop among many different companies to find the right coverage at a very competitive premium. We can do this for all forms of insurance including homeowners, auto, business, life insurance, long term care, and disability insurance.

In General, What Does Homeowners Insurance Provide?

Homeowners insurance provides many types of protections for the homeowner. The most important of which is coverage for the house itself and your personal possessions in the event of a sudden, accidental event such as a fire or hurricane.

What Insurance Policies are Available? Are They Income Based?

Income does not play a role in homeowners insurance. While all homeowner policies have different bells and whistles which vary by insurance company, there are two main types of homeowner policies. There is a basic policy that most people get that covers you for all of the specified perils in the policy such as wind, fire, etc. Higher end policies will actually insure you for all perils EXCEPT for what they specifically exclude.

What Does an Average Home Insurance Policy Cover?

Homeowners insurance provides many types of protections for the homeowner. Of course there is coverage for the house itself and your personal possessions in the event of a sudden, accidental event such as a fire or hurricane. But there are many other coverages that are included that people do not think about. It will also cover other structures that are on your property such as a deck, shed or pool house. Additionally, there is a coverage called 'loss of use' that will pay for you to either stay at a hotel or perhaps bring a mobile home onto your property should your home become uninhabitable due to a loss. Although there are other coverages too, the last major coverage is personal liability. This will cover an insured if they are personally sued for things such as a trip and fall on their property.

Do Home Insurers Require Home Inspections?

Many insurance companies do require a home inspection when initially applying for coverage. Depending on the value of the home, some companies will only do an outside inspection looking for things such as a worn roof, trees that may be hanging over the house and broken steps or handrails leading to the house. For more expensive homes, the insurance company may also require an inside inspection to make sure the home is properly valued looking at things such as mouldings, floor coverings, kitchens and bathrooms. In all cases though, you will get a call ahead from the inspector so that you know they will be coming by even if they are not entering your home.

What Influences Home Insurance Policy?

Each insurance company has their own unique factors that they use to rate homeowner policies but there are common themes that are seen from company to company. The most obvious factor is the size of your home. Keep in mind that when the insurance company comes up with a value to insure your home, it does not always correlate with the market value. Often the cost to rebuild a house will cost more than building a brand new house from scratch. Another important factor is the policy deductible. You should not consider your homeowner policy as a maintenance policy. It is designed to cover you for sudden and accidental losses. As such, a homeowner should seriously consider taking as high a deductible as possible. Many homeowners are choosing to take $1,000 or $2,500 deductibles today. Consider getting a central station alarm installed in your home. The discount for this with many companies is about 10 percent and often cover most of the monitoring cost. There is another coverage that I consider to be rather expensive that many homeowners can live without. It is a coverage called off premises theft and it covers you if any of your personal property is stolen outside of your home. The cost for this coverage is typically around 10%. Particularly for people carrying high deductibles such as $1,000, you have to ask yourself how often you are away from home with more than $1,000 worth of your property.

What if Someone Wants to Cancel Their Home Insurance?

Cancelling a policy is very easy. Most companies will just require a signed form requesting the cancellation and specifying a date.

Contact Info:

We can be contacted by phone at 631-473-7059, email at info@newbrookins.com, online at www.newbrookins.com and of course in person at 14 Roosevelt Avenue in Port Jefferson Station, NY.

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