Considerations When Adding a Room Addition to a Home

There are plenty of wonderful reasons to add another room to a home, such as having more space, adding another bathroom, adding another bedroom so the kids can each have their own bedroom, adding a guest room, or creating a home office.

Getting Ready for a Room Addition

Let your agent at Castillo & Associates Insurance, serving Tucson, AZ and the nearby area, know about your plans. You want to make sure to have home insurance coverage adjusted and in place before the construction starts and for the increased value of the home after the project is finished.

Guide for a Home Addition Project

Here are the steps to take when planning a new room addition:

  1. Property Line: Make sure you know exactly where the property lines are located. It is a very good idea to let your neighbors know you are considering adding a new room to give them some advance notice. The helps to avoid any disputes to keep the relationship with them in good standing.
  2. Design: Create a design for the addition that works with the existing floor plan of the home. Be sure to consider any building code restrictions.
  3. Plans: Create plans with the help of a qualified building contractor, architect, and an interior designer. Seek approval of the plans from the local building department and get a building permit before beginning any construction.
  4. Budget: Make a budget by working with the contractor. Add 10% to the budget for unexpected expenses.
  5. Insurance: Be sure that your contractor carries the proper insurance for the job including worker’s compensation and general liability. Ask for a copy of the insurance policies. Adjust your home insurance as required, before the project starts, with the help of your agent.

Call 520-323-0220 to speak with your agent at Castillo & Associates Insurance in Tucson, AZ to get a quote for home insurance or use the convenient online request form.

How Does A Home Insurance Claim Work?

When you buy a home in Tucson, AZ, you also need to have a home insurance policy. If something happens to your home, it’s important to know how an insurance claim works.

At Castillo & Associates Insurance, we first want to explain the basic coverage that you have. You have liability protection against anyone injured in your home as well as if someone in your household damages your neighbor’s property. You also have protection over your dwelling and your belongings.

Since you have coverage in so many areas, you can file a home insurance claim for a variety of scenarios. You could call to file a claim if there’s a fire in your home, it got broken into, or even if you accidentally damaged the neighbor’s fence. 

When you call to place the claim, the insurance company will ask for details. They may send an adjuster to the home, too. That person will take photos, ask questions, and conduct an investigation. If your story matches up with what they see happened and you have the right coverage in place, the insurance company will pay for the repairs and/or replacements.

The only thing you will be financially responsible for is the deductible. This is a pre-set amount of money that you will pay to the insurance company. Then, they will cover everything else up to the limits that you have in place.

Since you never know what could happen, it’s better to have plenty of coverage in all areas to avoid your insurance claim getting denied. If a claim is denied, you would be financially responsible for everything.

At Castillo & Associates Insurance, we’re here to help you with all things related to your home insurance, including making sure that you have the right coverage. If you have to file a claim in Tucson, AZ, we want to make sure you have sufficient coverage.



What You Should Know about Home Insurance and the Holidays

The holiday season in Tuscon, AZ can bring a lot of mishaps that may or not be covered by insurance, so it’s important that you and your family are prepared for these things. This way, you can be jollier instead of being a Grinch.

Expensive Presents and Engagement Rings: The holidays are the prime time for engagement season, and other expensive presents may be given during this time. While your home insurance covers some personal property, there are limits for jewelry, furs, art, and antiques. If you are giving or receiving some expensive presents, add them to your policy as soon as possible.

Other Presents: If a thief snatches up your gifts, then your policy will cover these up to a certain amount. Burglaries can increase during the holidays, so avoid leaving gifts in plain sight.

Alcohol: Alcohol and some good old-fashioned eggnog can increase your liability risk when you are hosting people in your home. If a guest hurts himself or herself, or someone else, you could be liable if they sue. Check with your agent at Castillo & Associates Insurance to learn more about your liability coverage.

Fire: The holidays are a busy time for fires. Candles may be a small part of house fires, but there are a lot of candle-related fires on Christmas and New Year’s Eve. The holiday triggers are trees, Christmas lights, and cooking. Your homeowner’s insurance will cover fires, but take precautions when it comes to your decorating and holiday cooking.

Sewage Backup: There is a lot more cooking that occurs during the holidays, and if you back up your sewage system, it typically won’t be covered under your policy. When cooking, don’t pour grease or other waste in your sink to avoid clogging the drain and causing sewage problems.  

Contact Castillo & Associates Insurance, serving Tuscon, AZ, to get a quote on homeowners insurance.

Can Upgrading Home Security Reduce Home Insurance Costs?

Home security systems increase the safety and protection of your home, family and valuables. By installing a security system in your home, you may qualify for a home insurance discount. Many insurers consider home security systems a valuable asset in protecting residential properties. As such, they’re willing to offer home insurance discounts to homeowners who add security systems to their property.

If you’re looking for ways to cut home insurance costs, talk to a Castillo & Associates Insurance agent in Tucson, AZ to see how increasing home security can help reduce your premium. Here are some of the benefits home security systems have to offer:

Home security systems comprised of security cameras, motion sensors, timed lighting and alarms are a great deterrent to theft, home intrusion and vandalism. A thief will think twice before approaching a house with motion sensors and security cameras. A quality security system can substantially reduce the risk of theft and home intrusion to effectively safeguard your home, family and valuables.

A home security alarm system can detect such dangers as home flooding, fire and carbon monoxide poisoning to protect you and your family from harm. A monitored alarm system goes one step further by alerting authorities of these dangers and dispatching help in response. Early warning of emergency situations such as a fire or the presence of carbon monoxide can save your life.

Home security systems make it possible for you to monitor your home remotely so you can keep tabs on what’s happening at home during business or vacation travels. This extra precaution can eliminate fears of home invasion during your absence.

To learn more about home upgrades and security measures that can help lower your home insurance costs, contact Castillo & Associates, Tucson, AZ.

Routine Home Maintenance Lowers Your risk for Filing Insurance Claim

Your homeowner’s insurance is there to help you when disaster strikes, but you shouldn’t use it is a safety net because you’ve failed to do routine maintenance around the house. If you file too many frivolous or avoidable claims, you may end up having to pay more for your insurance coverage. If you’re a repeat offender, you may even find it difficult to find coverage at all.

For this reason, you should always perform routine maintenance to lower your risk for filing an insurance claim. Following are a few scenarios where support would help you avoid a claim.

Snakebite Claim

When the weather’s warm, snakebites are a very real possibility in Tucson, AZ. It’s estimated that there are about 8,000 incidents of venomous snakebites each year in the U.S. To prevent a bite on your property, make sure it’s maintained well. Seal up all holes and repair any broken siding to keep snakes from nesting around your house. Also, clear away any brush or other structures that snakes can use for shelter.

Tree Damage Claim

Falling trees cause quite a bit of damage, but you can also get just as much damage from a falling limb. To avoid filing a claim for tree damage, have your trees professionally trimmed and ask that all dead limbs be removed. If there is a problem with the structural integrity of the tree or if it is damaged or diseased, have the tree removed completely.

Water Damage Claim

Misplaced or damaged roof tiles do not keep rain and inclement weather out. If you don’t inspect and maintain your roof regularly, you will soon find yourself in your house trying to catch water with buckets. Water can do an insane amount of damage when it gets inside your home. The best course of action is to keep it out with routine maintenance.

If you have any questions about your homeowners’ insurance coverage or about how maintenance can prevent a claim, call Castillo & Associates Insurance today.

How to Calculate the Replacement Value of Your Home

The agents at Castillo & Associates Insurance in Tucson, AZ highly recommend that you use a replacement valuation for the coverage level of your home insurance. The reasons are obvious. If your home had a certain value in the past years, the value of the home may be about the same, but it may be more now. However, if you need to rebuild a home in the case of a major disaster that destroys everything, you will need to pay the current market prices for the reconstruction of the home.  

Every year it is a good idea to re-calculate the replacement value of your home to make sure you have adequate insurance coverage.

Here are the steps to take to get a new replacement valuation for your home:

  1. First of all, the most important step is to find out the square footage of the home and know how big each room is and what type of use the room has. You can start with any architectural or construction blueprints to give you a rough idea. Then you adjust for new spaces that have been created since the first plans were made. If these are not available then you need to measure each room, add some extra dimensions to allow for the outside walls and then you have a rough calculation for each room to work with.
  2.  After you have a rough plan design for your home that includes the actual measurements of the square footage you need to apply;y the current construction cost per square foot for new construction in your area.
  3. One way to find out how the averages are currently is to look at homes that are "comps," which are homes for sale in nearby areas and use the calculations they use for square footage. Then add a bit more because new construction is always higher than older construction.
  4. Be sure to add the cost of any special elements in the home to the reconstruction price. For example, if you have a handmade bookcase or a hand-carved marble fireplace mantle be sure to add the additional of these special items.
  5. Check with your agent at Castillo & Associates Insurance in Tucson, AZ for any questions about your home insurance, to get help with any replacement cost valuations and to make sure you have adequate coverage.

Why does Location Influence Home Insurance Costs?

While most people understand that they need home insurance to protect their most valuable investment, many people are surprised when they move locations to see that home insurance premiums can vary widely by location. Some people chalk this up to a change in the size and price of their home; however, there are many reasons why location can greatly impact the rate on a home insurance policy in Tucson, AZ. In fact, just read below to discover some of the reasons why.

First of all, some locations are simply safer than others. When people move to a safe neighborhood, they quickly realize that the chances of their home being broken into will diminish greatly. Because there is a lower chance that the home will be damaged or robbed during break-in, the insurance company will reward this safer location with a lower rate on home insurance. Before moving locations, check to make sure that the location is safe to receive a break on home insurance prices.

Furthermore, some locations have a greater chance of being damaged in a natural disaster. People moving from the coast to Tucson, AZ will quickly realize that hurricanes almost never wind up hitting the area. This means that homes are unlikely to be damaged by a natural disaster. Because insurance companies will not have to pay out claims for hurricane damage as often, they will reward that home with a lower rate on home insurance. Consider the weather of a location before moving to that area.

People looking for home insurance in the area should contact Castillo & Associates Insurance. Castillo & Associates Insurance has been providing high-quality insurance for the Tucson, AZ area since day one. Anyone with questions should call their offices today to schedule an appointment.

Getting Your Home Ready For The Fall Heating Season

When the cool weather approaches, it is important to get your home ready for the fall heating season. The more prepared you are, the lower your energy costs will be. When summer is over, you should follow a fall home checklist.

Caulk Up the Cracks

It is a good idea to go around the home and find any cracks between the trim and siding, around the door frames and windows, and in the areas where pipes enter your home. If you find any cracks, you should fill it in with caulk. This will ensure that the heat is not escaping during the winter, costing you more money.

Have Your Furnace Checked

You should have a professional come and give your furnace a checkup once a year. They will make sure that it is running as efficiently as possible and they will change your furnace filters. If your furnace is running efficiently, you will save money on your monthly heating bill.

Pack Up Window Air Conditioners

When the warm weather has passed, you should take out all of your window unit air conditioners. If you leave them in all winter, a great deal of heat will escape outside, and the wind will blow the cold air inside. This can greatly increase your heating bill. If the unit is built into the wall, you should cover it up with a tarp or an air conditioner cover. It is the best way to keep the heat in and to keep the cold out.

Have Your Fireplace or Wood Stove Cleaned and Inspected

It is recommended that you have your fireplace and wood stove cleaned and inspected before their first use. Also, you should have your chimney swept. This will prevent a chimney fire, which can be extremely damaging to the home. Also, you should buy your firewood in the early fall so that you can get it stacked before it gets too cold outside.

To be sure that you are ready for the fall heating season, you should follow the tips listed above. To be sure that your home is always protected in case of a disaster, you should contact Castillo & Associates Insurance in Tucson, Arizona. Your home is your most expensive asset, therefore, you should have the insurance to protect it.




How to Prevent Termites in Your Home

Your home is an investment in your future.  For many people, it is their largest investment. Therefore, it is important to protect it from harm.  You can protect your investment with a solid insurance plan, regular home maintenance, and preventative care.  At Castillo & Associates Insurance, we strive to provide homeowners with the knowledge to help prevent harm to their property.  In Tucson, AZ termites are a big concern.  Use these tips to help prevent a termite infestation in your home.

Facts About Termites

In Arizona, there are approximately 12 to 18 termite colonies per acre of land.  The most common type here is the subterranean termite. They rely on moisture to survive, which is why they live primarily beneath the soil. They build large colonies underground and literally hundreds of thousands of termites live in these colonies.  They can enter your home through even the tiniest of cracks. These termites mainly feed on wood and wood products, however, they can also eat through drywall and insulation.  They are an ongoing issue in Tucson, AZ.

Preventing Termites

Fortunately, there are preventative measures you can take to help stop a termite infestation from happening in your home.  A professional termite control company can provide you with advice and options such as a chemical barrier around your home to help deter termites.  There are also things you can do as a homeowner to discourage termites such as:

  • Avoid using wood mulch in planting beds.
  • Plant trees, bushes, and other plants at least three feet away from your home.
  • Repair leaky water pipes and faucets to prevent a water source for termites.
  • Place all wood structures at least six inches above the ground.

At Castillo & Associates Insurance, we want all our clients homes to be well protected from termites and other potential damage.  While some things are unavoidable, with maintenace and care, issues such as termites can be prevented.