The importance of maintaining a sound roof

The roof is one of the most important parts of your home. It keeps out the wind, rain, sleet, snow, hail, and the sun. A properly maintained roof will last for many decades. But, as the Zapp Insurance Agency serving Ballston Spa, NY explains, an improperly maintained roof can lead to serious and expensive damage.

Roofs, just like anything else, suffer wear and tear over the years. Hail, especially, can wear breaches in the roof tiles. If you have a tree whose branches touch the roof, they too can wear on the roof. If a breach occurs in the roof, then your air conditioning and heating system must work harder to keep your home at a comfortable temperature. Rain can enter your attic, causing mold and other damage, potentially causing your ceiling to give way, creating untold damage to your home.

Periodically, either you or a professional should check the condition of your roof. Look for loose tiles and shingles or worn sealant. Clear the roof of debris such as leaves, branches, and other items. Check the attic for mold and mildew that would indicate that rain is seeping through. Check to see if vents, chimneys, and skylights are secure and have not developed leaks.

If you have bought the house, make sure you know how old the roof is. If it has been in place for 15 to 30 years, it might need replacing. In any case, as with anything else, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of very expensive repairs or replacement.

For any more questions about home maintenance and home insurance, feel free to contact the Zapp Insurance Agency serving Ballston Spa, NY.

Homeowner’s Insurance Policy — What is Not Covered?

The insurance industry can sometimes be a bit tricky to navigate. Fortunately, there are licensed insurance professionals that serve Ballston Spa, NY neighborhoods and surrounding towns/cities–ready to assist homeowners with their insurance needs and questions.

One such company, Zapp Insurance Agency, offers professional insurance guidance for homeowners who reside in and around the Ballston Spa, NY area. One of the more important things to understand about any insurance policy is what will NOT be covered by the policy.

Each policy can vary by state (and the relevant policy/endorsements included); however, homeowner’s insurance policies typically exclude the following losses-

Flood Damage — flood losses are insured by FEMA, through the government’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). However, Zapp Insurance can help you with these flood insurance policies.

Repeated Water Leakageslow leaks are typically covered only by an added endorsement.

Sewer/Drain Back-up some policies will cover the loss if the drain was on the property, but not from down the road.

A Frozen Plumbing/Heating Systemwhile most quality insurance policies generally cover this, the coverage does obligate the homeowner to proactively avoid the freezing of any system. For example, if you leave your home for a 10-day vacation in the winter and turn off the heat while you are gone — if the pipes freeze, it would not be a covered loss. 

Mold & Microbes mold is generally covered, if it happens on the property and can be sourced to a sudden/accidental water discharge. Many policies have time limits that require the reporting of the loss — if it is hidden behind a wall, or within a rarely used closet.

Do you have any homeowner’s insurance questions that can be answered by the insurance professionals at Zapp Insurance Agency? Reach out to us today.

3 Benefits of Having a Home Security System

Keeping your home secure and your family safe are priorities. If you live in Ballston Spa, NY and have questions about what type of home security system would work best in your home, call the agents of Zapp Insurance Agency. They understand your concerns and can offer sound advice in terms of what type of security system will be most beneficial for your home. There are several options to choose from.

Video Recording and Surveillance

Most home security companies offer video cameras that record or stream live video. Many surveillance cameras can also capture still images. Having the option for cloud storage will allow you to store your video and images for several days. Cameras can connect to the app you download to your phone.

Professional Monitoring Is Optional

Do-it-yourself home security systems are popular with homeowners who prefer to monitor their own systems. Most do offer the option of professional 24/7 monitoring by a third-party monitoring center. A third-party monitoring center is set up o monitor your system at all times and notify the authorities in the event of an emergency.

Convenient App for Remote Access

The more popular home security systems offer an app that you can download to your phone. By using the app, you can connect to your system from almost anywhere and view what is going on around your home.

At Zapp Insurance Agency, agents understand your need to feel secure in your own home. They can assist homeowners who live in the Ballston Spa, NY area and help them find the right home security system so they feel safe and secure at all times. Call and speak to one of their reputable agents today!

Summer Cleaning Tips for Your Home

One of the smartest moves you can make as a homeowner is to invest in home insurance. Here at Zapp Insurance Agency serving the Ballston Spa, NY area, we’d like to share with you a few more tips for protecting your home and keeping it in great shape. Here is a summer cleaning checklist you can follow to keep your home looking better than ever.

Clean the HVAC Unit

The HVAC unit plays a vital role in the value of your home. It also impacts your comfort. During the summer, this is a great time to have a professional HVAC contractor come in and clean your heating and cooling unit. You can change the air filter yourself, but cleaning the actual HVAC unit should be left in the hands of a professional. Once cleaned, you are likely to notice better heating and cooling efficiency as well as improved indoor comfort and air quality. As far as changing the air filter, this is something you can do once every one to three months.

Pressure Wash Outside of the House

The summer is also a great time to hire a professional pressure washer to clean the outside of your home. Depending on the shape of your home’s roof, you may want to have it pressure washed as well. Something as simple as pressure washing can completely change the looks of your home and have it looking almost brand new.

Contact Zapp Insurance Agency serving the Ballston Spa, NY area today to learn more about protecting your home with insurance. We can also share some other neat tips with you about keeping your home in great shape this summer.

How to Shop for a Home Insurance Quote in a Smart Way

The market for home insurance has never been more competitive. If you are looking for an insurance policy and agency serving the Ballston Spa, NY area, you want to shop for that policy in a smart way.

Use the Competitive Market to Your Advantage

You want to use the competitive market to your advantage. There are a lot of players in the home insurance space. You have a slew of providers to choose from. Many of the providers will offer you insurance policies for your home at various premium rates, with all sorts of coverage variations. Use that competitive market to find the most value in the coverage you buy.

One quick click through on a search engine will reveal a lot of the options available. You can explore everything with a few clicks of a call to the Zapp Insurance Agency.

Use a Trustworthy Agency

A home insurance agent can help you compare and contrast the various providers available. The idea behind the agency is you will have an agent you work with who will talk you through your insurance needs.  

Once you have a grasp of what you need for home insurance, they can go to market with what you seek. As they enter the market, they allow for providers to give you premium offers in exchange for coverages. The goal is to find your value, meet your needs, and make the shopping experience easy.

When the time comes to shop for home insurance, you want to go to a reliable source. There are a lot of options in the state of New York for insurance needs. If you live in the Ballston Spa, NY area, it is the Zapp Insurance Agency who deserves a call to earn your business.

What are the First Things I Should Do for Insurance Purposes if My House Catches Fire?

In the event of a house fire, you will want to immediately secure the property. This means that you will take whichever steps you reasonably can to ensure that you can mitigate damages. This would include actions, such as calling the fire department and turning off the water if your pipes should burst. Afterward, you will likely need to board up your residence to prevent vandalism, possibly install a fence, and monitor activities on site, checking for evidence of tampering or trespassing. 

Report Your Claim as Soon as Possible

The experience of watching your home burn down is no doubt devastating. You will likely be overwhelmed with many tasks, and even in this difficult time, it’s important to call or send an email to your insurance agent the minute you are able. Ballston Spa, NY residents are not required by law to purchase a homeowners insurance policy, though most mortgage lenders will require that you do so. Your indemnification broker will require a ‘proof of loss’ claim, and this gives you the opportunity to list your damaged items and their approximate value. Delaying this vital step will cause you to wait longer to see an adjuster. 

Purchase a three-ring binder to store your receipts, and document your interactions with the insurance company. Save all records of living expenses, such as for a hotel room or apartment, and make sure to keep all original documentation from contractors, permits, and work agreements. 

Zapp Insurance Agency Can Help

Zapp Insurance Agency has experiencing serving the Ballston Spa, NY area and is eager to find the insurance package to meet all your needs. Reach out to us with questions you may have, and we will be happy to answer them. 

Cleaning Up After the Winter Storms: Can Your Home Insurance Help?

Almost every homeowner in the Clifton Park or Ballston Spa, NY area struggled through the brutal winter storms, with many people suffering from severe tree and home damage. Your home insurance policy from Zapp Insurance Agency might be able to help you defray the cost of cleaning up after mother nature.  What should you do to file a claim?

Take Pictures before the Clean Up

First off, take plenty of pictures of your yard and house before you start picking up the twigs. You need to show the extent of the damage, from broken limbs to smashed windows and destroyed shrubs. Make sure the pictures have date stamps and even include a person in the shot for scale.

Call Your Agent and Talk to Your Neighbors

When the damage spans the property line, you can save money and time by knocking on your neighbor’s door to talk about the damage. Collect their insurance information and provide your own. Don’t talk about who will be footing the bill, leave that uncomfortable discussion to your insurance company.

Next, call your agent at Zapp Insurance Agency to open a claim. They may want to send out an adjuster and will likely ask you to start collecting quotes for tree removal services and home repairs.

Unsafe Branches Threatening Your Home? Don’t Wait for the Adjuster

If your home was damaged, including broken windows, a hole in the roof, damaged siding, etc. it is vitally important that you call to have the home protected from further damage right away. Keep track of your bills and submit them when filing the claim on your home insurance. If you need to seek shelter at a hotel, please keep those receipts. Never wait for a response from your agent before securing the safety of your family, neighbors, and property. 

While your home insurance will defray the costs of cleaning up after the rough winter in Ballston Spa, NY, remember that immediate action will help you recover faster. Reach out to the agents of Zapp Insurance Agency to get a quote on home insurance and get started.

Is Your Homeowner’s Insurance Covering Your Home Adequately?

Your home is a considerable investment, and without the right coverage, you can end up losing everything to one single catastrophe. With the right homeowner’s policy, you can find the coverage that makes you feel safe and secure, and that helps to protect your home at all costs. For those in the Ballston Spa, NY area, the agents with Zapp Insurance Agency can help you find a home policy that is going to protect your home from attic to crawl space.

For many people, it might seem like the same old policy that you acquired when you first bought your home is plenty and you are going to be fine. However, changes to your home may leave your policy lacking. There are a few different factors that you have to keep in mind to make sure that your policy is covering your home adequately.

A good rule of thumb is to consider any changes you may have made to your home. Improvements change the value of a home and change the overall cost of a home as well, which means you may need more coverage. If you have added rooms, replaced the roof, replaced windows, performed upgrades, and more, your home is likely worth more than your original home owner’s policy states. Another factor to keep in mind is the items within your home. As you add items to your home, you need to remember that your possessions make a difference in the overall amount that you should cover your home.

For those that live in the Ballston Spa, NY area, the agents with Zapp Insurance Agency can help you find the policy that works best for you. Reach out to our offices to learn more about a homeowners policy and get quotes online by using our online rating tool.

Safety Tips For Your BBQ

Summer is here, and that means it is time for getting together with family and friends to cook out. However, there is a fine line between spending time together and an unfortunate incident happening. Our dedicated and knowledgeable Zapp Insurance Agency team in Ballston Spa, NY has put together this list of safety tips for your next backyard barbecue.

Tip #1: Keep Grills Away from Buildings, Landscaping, and Outdoor Furniture

Each year, thousands of house fires happen because a charcoal or gas grill was kept too close to a home or patio. Remember, ten feet away from structures is a rule of thumb when grilling. Furthermore, extend this guideline to include landscaping, such as trees, shrubs, and vines, plus any patio or outdoor furniture.

Tip #2: Keep a Fire Extinguisher Handy

Sometimes coals can get a little out of control, so it is always important to keep a fire extinguisher on hand during your backyard gathering. Also, if the extinguisher is a few years old, make sure it is charged and ready to go just in case you need it. Remember, being prepared is the easiest way to keep an unfortunate event from happening!

Tip #3: Never Leave a Grill Unattended

It may go without saying, but never leave a lit grill unattended. This event usually doesn’t happen intentionally but takes place when a homeowner gets to chatting with visitors or simply runs inside to grab something they need. Instead, always ensure there is a watchful eye to help prevent an incident from occurring.

Of course, having appropriate homeowner’s insurance coverage in case of a fire or injury to a guest is incredibly important. Contact our Zapp Insurance Agency team now for a no-obligation review of your Saratoga Springs, Clifton Park, or Ballston Spa, NY policy needs. We have a staff that is ready to answer your questions and address your concerns about home insurance.

Does My Home Insurance Cover Off-Site Collections?

If you store belongings off-site, such as in a storage unit, your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance will usually cover those items even though they are stored away from your main residence. However, if the belongings are a part of a collection, such as wine, jewelry, or another high-value category that could be expensive to replace, your insurance might not cover those items unless you arrange for special riders to be added to your policy. It’s essential that you contact an insurance company such as the Zapp Insurance Agency, in areas like Ballston Spa, NY, to discuss additional coverage.

Selective Coverage

Home insurance tends to cover regular items stored off-site because they still belong to you; they’re merely housed somewhere else temporarily. Basic home insurance often won’t cover expensive collections, even if they’re stored in your home, because the cost of replacing them could simply be too much for the basic policy to handle. Your insurance might cover a nominal amount — but it wouldn’t reimburse you for the full value of the rare items in the collection.

In certain cases, the insurance wouldn’t cover particular problems associated with the type of collection. For example, if you have a wine collection stored in a wine locker, and the wine was stolen, you might have coverage for at least part of the replacement cost. Now, If the wine turned bad because of poor bottling or storage conditions, basic home insurance likely wouldn’t cover that. In order to fully cover collections, especially those stored off-site, you need to add a rider to your policy.

Call  Zapp Insurance Agency in Ballston Spa, NY to see how much these riders would cost. We also welcome visits to our office and have an online rating tool that can help provide you with quotes for your home insurance policies. Give our agents a call today!