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Home, Auto and Health Insurance

Resource Center

Insuring a Less Than Normal Home

Thursday, May 26, 2016

What was your dream home growing up? An “American Dream” style home with a white picket fence and a nicely groomed yard in a safe subdivision? Maybe a Victorian style home that’s older than any of your family members, or maybe you’ve always wanted a house that’s so high tech you’re not sure how to open your front door. There are many styles of homes on the market, some more practical than others. But if you want a unique house, you should go for it! Keep in mind that the best time to shop for homeowners insurance is before you purchase your dream house. Your home insurance rate is determined by a few common elements. These include the rebuilding cost of your home, the materials that make up your home, the age of your home, fire protection in your area, the claims history in your area, your personal claims history, your pets, your coverage and your history with your insurance company. Does the style of your home impact your insurance rate? It can! Some homes are more difficult to insure.


Waterfront Homes

These homes pose a greater risk due to flooding and potential flood damage. If your home is on the ocean it will be more likely to be hit by storms rolling in, and the risk of wind damage is increased. If your home is built on sandy beachfront soil this could spell trouble for you if you are also in an earthquake zone.


Older Homes

Do your grandparents tell you all about how things used to be “built to last”? This may be generally true, but the way homes are built has changed over time. Your home, depending on the age, may no longer comply with modern building codes. It may also contain building materials that, once considered safe, are now considered dangerous, such as lead paint or asbestos insulation. Replacement costs may be higher if you wish to use original materials to be used after a damage.


Vacation Homes

While your home may be an insurer’s dream in all other aspects, the fact that this is a vacation home might make it more difficult to insure. Because it won’t be occupied constantly, a small issue may go undetected for too long and develop into a very large issue. Vacation homes can also attract burglars, due to not being consistently lived in. Installing alarms will decrease this risk.


Log Homes

Not all insurance companies will cover log homes, or the insurance may be slightly more than a conventional stick frame home. Depending on what kind of roofing materials are used, whether your building materials are handcrafted or produced by a professional, and who constructed your home your insurance rate will vary.


Geodesic Home


Dome Homes” are definitely unique, quite possibly the most “out there” house on this list. Because they are so unique, it can be difficult to determine the value of these properties. Due to their shape, code requirements are harder to follow and can be slightly more expensive. Insuring these homes is not impossible, so if you value owning a house with more than four sides go for it! Just be prepared to count the number of walls when asking for a home owners rate quote.


This post is not to deter you from living in your dream home, but just to raise awareness for potential problems you may encounter! No matter what kind of house you are looking to insure, Miller-Schuring Agency is willing to work with you to find the right kind of coverage for you (and for the best price, too!)

Frozen Pipes Infographic from Nationwide

Monday, February 15, 2016
Find out how to keep water pipes from freezing with this frozen pipes infographic.
Provided by Nationwide Insurance

Four Ways to Prevent Winter Home Damage

Wednesday, January 27, 2016


Protect your home from winter weather with these four tips from Safeco Insurance™. Michigan’s cold weather, heavy snow and ice can do some damage from your home, but there are ways to protect yourself from property damage during this winter season.

1. Prevent ice dams

An ice dam is a buildup of ice that forms at the edge of your roof and prevents melting snow from running off your roof. The melted snow can leak into your home and cause damage to your walls, ceilings, and insulation .The best way to prevent ice dams is to keep your gutters and drainage spouts clear. Snow should also be removed before it has a chance to melt and refreeze and form an ice dam. The best way to remove the snow is to use a roof rake.

2. Remove snow and ice accumulation

Snow and ice can be heavy if enough has fallen in a short period of time. If the weight is significant enough it can cause a roof to collapse. Once again, the best way to keep a roof clear of snow and ice is to use a roof rake. Too much snow and ice can also affect tree branches, which can also fall onto your property. A way to avoid fallen tree damage in the winter is to keep your trees trimmed throughout the year.  

3. Keep melting snow and ice out of your home

All that snow and ice will melt once the temperatures start to warm up. Keep your gutters and downspouts clear to avoid the melting snow and ice from entering your home. It is recommended to encourage the water away from your home. Water can be dissuaded from entering your home by removing snow accumulation from around your home. As a backup plan, in case the water does enter your home, it is suggested to have a sump pump in your basement.

4. Prevent frozen or burst pipes

If you keep your home cooler in the winter your pipes may feel the effect of it. Too low of temperatures can cause the water inside of your pipes to freeze, and, as freezing causes water to expand, potentially burst. Take measures to avoid this problem by insulating your pipes as fully as possible, keeping your home at a reasonable temperature and allowing warm air to reach your pipes.


Miller-Schuring hopes that you follow these tips to protect your home this winter, which keeps your family safe and warm! Read the original article here.

Please keep in mind that Information provided at iSCHURING’s Resource Center is meant to provide an overview of the topic, rather than an in-depth review. When deciding how this information applies to your specific situation, we recommend discussing with an iSCHURING licensed insurance agent. Any information provided at iSCHURING should also be reviewed by an attorney or tax consultant to determine the best course of action for your unique situation. No information may be copied, reprinted or otherwise reproduced without the expressed written consent of iSCHURING.com.

Prep Your Home This Winter!

Thursday, November 19, 2015


When prepping food for the holiday gatherings, don’t forget to prep your home! Here are some tips, courtesy of SERVPRO®, on how to prepare your home for the upcoming wintery months to keep you and your family safe this season.



·        Make sure you have enough but not too much insulation in the attic; the ideal temperature of the attic space should be close to the outside temperature.

·        Inadequate insulation in the attic causes ice dams; precipitation that melts down the slope and is refrozen. Know what type of insulation depending on how your home is built.

·        If the state if your insulation material looks questionable, call in a professional to have it removed and hauled away safely.



Exterior Leaks

·        Inspect the exterior of your home for any cracks and entry points around pipes to seal them.

·        Use weather stripping around doors and caulk on windows.

·        Replace screens with clean storm windows. Make sure they are sealed and latched on properly.



Roof and Gutters

·        Inspect roof shingles and flashing. If necessary, repair and replace.

·        Clean gutters and downspouts; add leaf guards on gutters.

·        Add extensions on downspouts to draw water away from the house.




·        Drain and store garden houses in a dry, warm place.

·        Make sure the spigot is off and drain the pipe of all water.

·        Insulate all exposed plumbing pipes.

·        Locate our water main in case you need to turn off the water.

·        If you go on vacation, keep your heat at a minimum of 55 degrees to avoid the pipes from freezing.



Heating and Cooling

·        Have your home ducts cleaned and checked.

·        During each winter month, make sure to change your furnace filters.

·        Have your furnace inspected by an HVAC specialist.


·        Make sure the fireplace is inspected and cleaned before use. 

      This includes inspecting the damper for proper opening and closing.

·        Check the tuck pointing and mortar between the bricks.   

·        Cap or screen the top of your chimney to keep the birds and rodents out.



Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

·        Properly install and maintain smoke and carbon monoxide detectors

·         Each sleeping area should have its own smoke detector and carbon monoxide detectors should be close to the furnace and water heater.

·        Check and change batteries when daylight savings time ends.

·        Have a working and updated fire extinguisher at home; replace them when they reach 10 years of age.



Credit: SERVPRO Cleanup & Restoration Franchise Company


Please keep in mind that Information provided at iSCHURING’s Resource Center is meant to provide an overview of the topic, rather than an in-depth review. When deciding how this information applies to your specific situation, we recommend discussing with an iSCHURING licensed insurance agent. Any information provided at iSCHURING should also be reviewed by an attorney or tax consultant to determine the best course of action for your unique situation. No information may be copied, reprinted or otherwise reproduced without the expressed written consent of iSCHURING.com.

Christmas Tree Fires - More than just the Chestnuts on an open fire

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

The warm glow of the fireplace and a finely decorated Christmas tree make for a great family memory. And who could forget the scene in Christmas Vacation when Clark Griswald decorates his house with 250 strands of lights. At iSCHURING.com we want to make sure that your family has many years of enjoyable Christmas moments to recall.


Often times a Christmas tree is placed in a room with an open flame from a fireplace or candle. Sometimes the lights we put away the year before become a tangled mess when its time to put them on again this year. Or in some cases, we simply string too many lights on one line to create the ultimate light show ( Clark, the little lights aren't twinkling). These situations can create hazards that we need to be aware of.


While most adults and children are cautious in these situations, but did you know that a Christmas tree in as little as a few seconds can engulf an entire room in flames? Watch this video on youtube.com to see what could happen if just one of these dangers exist.


This second video is a little dry (sorry about the pun) but provides a few safety tips as well.


 iSCHURING.com wishes you and your family the happiest of Holiday Seasons!

Earthquake Info

Tuesday, July 12, 2011
The question everyone has been asking: did you feel it? With the recent earthquake in Illinois we have had several clients asking about earthquake coverage. Many homeowners are not aware that earthquake is not covered in the standard homeowners policy rather it is an endorsement that can be purchased. The additional premium to add this coverage is quite reasonable in most cases between $25 and $75 a year.

Click Here to find out how much earthquake coverage will cost you.

The exclusion for earthquake in the standard homeowners policy reads:

We do not cover loss to covered property caused directly or indirectly by any of the following, whether or not any other cause or event contributes concurrently or in any sequence to the loss:

Earth movement, meaning earthquake, including land shock waves or tremors before during or after volcanic eruption; landslide; mine subsidence; mudflow; erosion; earth sinking; rising or shifting. This exclusion does on apply to ensuring direct loss caused by fire, explosion, breakage of building glass or safety glazing material or theft.

Below is form 17083 (2-96) Earthquake Coverage

17083 (2-96)


Homeowners Policy – Form 3

It is agreed:


We cover accidental direct physical loss to covered property described under SECTION I -PROPERTY PROTECTION:

a. Coverage A – Dwelling;
b. Coverage B – Other Structures; and
c. Coverage C – Personal Property; which is caused by earth movement meaning earthquake, including land shock waves or tremors before, during or after volcanic eruption. One or more earthquake shocks that occur within a 168-hour period shall be considered to be one earthquake.

Under SECTION I – PROPERTY PROTECTION, EXCLUSIONS, exclusion a. (2) is deleted and replaced by the following:

(2) Loss caused to any extent by flood or tidal wave; landslide, mud flow, erosion, earth sinking, rising or shifting; mine subsidence or sink holes; or the filling of land.

The insurance provided by this endorsement does not increase any limit of insurance stated in the Declarations or provided by the policy.

We shall pay no loss to covered property described under:

a. Coverage A – Dwelling;
b. Coverage B – Other Structures; or
c. Coverage C – Personal Property;

until the amount of loss exceeds 5% of the total of insurance that applies to the damaged covered property. This deductible applies separately to each of these coverages. If the basic limit of insurance applying to any covered property is increased by the provisions of any other endorsement applying to the policy, we shall use the increased limit of insurance when calculating and applying the deductible. This deductible provision replaces any other deductible provision contained in the policy with respect to the coverage provided by this endorsement.

All other policy terms and conditions apply.

Rising Water - Are you covered for a flood?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011
With the recent floods in the midwest you might be wondering “What kind of coverage you would I need in order to be protected in the event of catastrophic weather and would flooding be covered by my homeowner policy?”

Unhappily the answer is an unequivocal NO!

Flood is specifically excluded under all types of homeowner policies for sale in the United States, and you therefore you would need to purchase it in addition to your regular policy.

The actual wording of the exclusion is:

1) Flood, surface water, waves, tidal water, overflow of a body of water, or spray from any of these, whether or not driven by the wind;

2) Water which backs up through sewers or drains or which overflows from a sump except as provided in Additional Coverage’s Limited Water Damage;

3) Water below the surface of the ground, including water which exerts pressure on or seeps or leaks through a building, sidewalk, driveway, foundation, swimming pool or other structure.

There are appliances in most homes that require the presence of water in order to do their job, such as washing machines, water heaters, dishwashers etc. even the plumbing pipes behind the walls. If such appliances were to malfunction, or pipes spring a leak, this “friendly water” as it is called can sometimes cause damage within your home.

In this event there usually is coverage under your homeowner policy for the water damage but not to repair the malfunctioning appliance or the leak in the pipes. However the damage done by the water that escaped its normal confines is covered.

If you believe you are in danger from the peril of flood, you can certainly call us. Flood coverage is available through a governmental agency, The National Flood Insurance Program, which we can access to provide this coverage.

Feel free to call or e-mail our agency if you would like more information on this subject or click on the links below.

(269) 381-9442


For more information from FEMA (Federal Emergecny Management Agency) click here

The NFIP (National Flood Insurance Program) can help determine your flood risk. For more information click here

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