Disclaimer – This is a sponsored post by Liberty Mutual. All opinions are 100% my own.
I know that today’s topic isn’t the most glamorous or gossip worthy….but I am hoping that maybe sharing this can help JUST ONE person out there that might be on the fence. Today I wanna talk about homeowners insurance. ***the crowd goes wild!!!***
So let me just say that first and foremost, I worked in the insurance industry for many years and it was something that I knew was very important. Catastrophic events happen ALL the time and insurance is the only way to protect yourself. I know that it’s coming out of your budget and getting new shoes or going to Target might be a little more fun….but literally it saved our Monroe House project and I can’t imagine the stress of that situation if we were actually LIVING there.
Allow me to tell you the story of why I think it’s so important and why I am talking to you today about it. First – it should be known by now that when we bought the Monroe House, we didn’t really know why we felt led to purchase another home. We just were very drawn to this property and felt like over time, we could make some wise financial decisions with it and it end up being a blessing to someone, somehow. As I explained before, our budget with the property is all-cash. We have had it three years now and so far, we have paid for new brickwork, a new roof, an architect to draw up plans and to have trees removed at the property as well as paying it off and buying the land behind it. At times, it feels like a slow crawl….paying cash….it’s definitely testing our patience and will power. But the one thing that we always felt was ABSOLUTELY necessary was to have homeowners insurance on the property.
Well, within the first year, we put a new roof on it. It was a VERY pricey roof as we had many layers of shingles and even the original shake to remove. It was a whole year’s budget done in one big job. Now fast forward to last year when we were experiencing an enormous amount of rain. It was unusual for our area but we were doing small changes at our house to account for the number of storms on their way (like when we installed a french drain, rerouted downspouts and trimmed the branches off the trees). We had paid for an arborist to clean up our trees around our house but then also to remove a couple large branches and a tree from the Monroe House property as well. In general, we felt like the new roof was worth protecting and we didn’t want a branch to bust a hole in it.
Then in September of last year Irma hit. We felt as prepared as we could have been. We watched the news and texted with family who was in Tampa….worried that they should be in a shelter. The overwhelming concern was how we could help others since we had done so much to prepare ourselves for storms. Then we received news that Irma was going to be affecting us as a Tropical Storm – the very first Tropical Storm that would ever hit our area. It was surreal to be googling what could happen and what to expect. We cleared off everything from our deck, charged all our batteries and did our best to prepare in little ways.
It came through our area and we were impressed with the wind and the rain but overall, we tried to just turn it into a fun adventure for the kids. We had a generator so that when the power went out, we could still run our fridge and we had dinner by candle light and movie on a cell phone.
It was super helpful to have so many battery operated lights! #diywin
Our house was spared and we only had a few downed branches. We were so grateful!
The second day is when we got the call. A buddy who lives nearby told us that a tree fell over at the Monroe House. We were kind of in shock. On the one hand, we were just overwhelmed with gratitude. Nobody lived there. It was empty. Nobody was hurt. And especially in contrast to the devastation that happened in the hurricane – it felt almost like we didn’t have the right to be concerned. On the other hand – I was slightly freaking out. I had felt like we prepared for this – we had trees removed and branches trimmed…..what the heck fell and did it damage the house, pushing back our progress?! Also – did I mention I was nine months pregnant and super hormonal? Yeah…I had ALL the crazy thoughts!
Jeremy and a friend drove out to see what happened. It wasn’t just one tree….it was TWO really old and really big trees that fell on the house. They were in the neighbors yard and the really strong wind blew them directly into the Monroe house….breaking not one but TWO ridge beams and creating a massive hole in the roof.
We quickly learned that if they had blown in the opposite direction (onto the neighbors house), it would have been the very space where the neighbors were bunkered down waiting out the storm. Can you even imagine?! I actually thanked God in that moment that it didn’t do that. They told us that they could hear the cracking of the wood and felt the impact of the trunk as it collided with the roof. I still tear up a little at the relief that nobody was hurt.
We immediately called our roofer and the insurance company to get things sorted out. The very fact that we had homeowners insurance was HUGE. The insurance paid for the repairs but more importantly, it was peace of mind. I literally could not have more added stress to my plate at the time – especially with a baby on the way!
Long story short, our roof was fixed by our amazing roofing company (I’ll tell you all about them soon!) and we now have a very sunny left side of the Monroe House, and got our new notification of coverage from Liberty Mutual. Having the trees fall was not the most fun situation but honestly it wasn’t such a nightmare since we had homeowners insurance. Otherwise, we would have had to pay for the trees to be removed off our house, hauled off, all the repairs and it would have really ruined our budget for the upcoming year. PLUS, the added stress of sitting there with a broken roof and broken chimneys after years of saving and making that progress – it would have probably been the final straw for us. But now it is just the motivation that we needed to keep on trucking.
So if you are one of the people out there that hasn’t revisited your homeowners insurance (and yes, SO many people are underinsured!!! Like literally, what if something happened? Do you know if you are covered?) now is a really good time to talk to someone about it.
As someone who worked in insurance, unfortunately these crazy losses happen A LOT. We all have different needs and customizing your coverage is a great way to save money while making sure you are ready for damaging event!
I knew that our policy was enough to cover our situation but not everyone out there has job experience in insurance, so it’s a good idea to talk to someone that does! I always say that our home is our safe space….but it’s also our biggest investment. So if it’s not protected and a catastrophic event happens, you stand to lose much more than drywall and hardwoods….you can lose that sense of safety.
I don’t want that to happen to anyone out there so I encourage you to call an agent or quote online today to make sure you are fully covered. With Liberty Mutual, you can even personalize your coverage so you aren’t paying for something you don’t need. We have our home and car insurance with the same company and it gets a big ole discount for bundling. (Most people save an average of $782 when they switched to home and car with Liberty Mutual!) And just so that I’m being completely upfront and honest, Liberty Mutual is our carrier and had a much lower quote than competitors – and those quotes happened WAY before we ever partnered with them on this post. All that to say – call today or check online for peace of mind. It’s free and you’ll probably sleep better at night.
That’s being said – it’s a very crazy part of this journey but one I wanted to share with you and I can’t wait to share more nitty gritty details with you soon!
p.s. Here is the LINK for how to get a free quote.….go see how much you can save with Liberty Mutual!
I recently changed to Liberty Mutual – saved me about $500 on my homeowners insurance. The agent recommended that a homeowner go out and get comparables on all their insurances about every 5 years. You may save money, or find out about a new coverage. Thanks for the post
My day job is as a Property Adjuster & my husband is always joking about how over insured we are on all our property & assets. I see so many policies though that come across my desk that are so bare bones. So many people are underinsured and the worst part of the job is having to tell them they don’t have insurance or don’t have enough! It’s seems to be the thing people try to skimp on & it kills me. So glad you had the coverage you did to get your repairs complete!
The pic of the tree thru your new roof breaks my heart, TG for Insurance! Totally on the cover your own butt bandwagon with you! Personally I think if you cant afford the insurance you cant afford the thing you are insuring; cant afford travel insurance, don’t travel! cant afford car insurance, wait till you can or buy a cheaper car!
I know too many instances were people now have a very large bill because they didn’t insure.
After working in insurance for seven years I as well encourage alllll my people to make sure they are adequately covered. It’s such a massive problem when catastrophes happen and you ‘just trusted your agent or broker’ and you don’t have enough to cover stuff. So glad this worked out for you guys!!
I’m also really glad no-one was hurt, but I’m a bit confused. If it were the neighbours trees, didn’t their insurance need to be used?
Not sure how insurance works on your place, but should’nt be the neighbour’s insurance paying your roof repair? After all the tree that fell belonged to them…
I know you won’t publish this because you are promoting Liberty mutual insurance, but we had them for many years especially when we lived in South Florida during Hurricane Andrew. They were terrible to deal with as they forced you to take 10cent on thee dollar regarding your claim and if you didn’t you had to start legal proceedings against them. Numerous newspaper and TV stories were done about the games they played. It took us 4 years to finally get paid for our roof damage. And the other thing you left out of your post is that the owner of the trees’ insurance company actually paid for the damage to your roof so you wouldn’t have taken a monetary hit except for the deductible of your insurance. Now I know your insurance company can put out the money for repairs and then collect it from the other owner but you made it sound as if you would be out of pocket if you didn’t have homeowner insurance – and that isn’t true except if the owner of the trees had no insurance. I read your blog regularly but was very disappointed in how you slanted this post just to benefit from free insurance or whatever else you got from Liberty Mutual. Your readers deserve better from you. PS: You know what made this post go from bad to worse – You can’t use the excuse you didn’t know the neighboring home owner’s insurance would pay for the repairs since you admitted you worked in the insurance field for many years Very disappointed and the next tme I read one of your sponsored posts, I take everything you say with a grain of salt
It’s considered an act of God….(or the language may vary) but it doesn’t fall on their insurance because the trees were alive and in good health before the storm.
xo – kb
Nope…not in this case. When it is a situation like this where the tree is alive and in good standing, the storm is considered an act of God or Nature and then the Reasonable Care Standard is usually used – as long as the tree was in good health and trimmed before, then it falls on us.
xo – kb
I’m sorry you had an issue with your insurance. As far as our situation, the neighbors insurance wasn’t responsible. It didn’t pay for our damage as these trees were alive and in good repair…per most insurance coverages, this falls under the reasonable care standard. Ask your insurance agent what the laws would be for this situation and you will see that it fell on our insurance. We didn’t receive free insurance…and we just told our story as it happened…if we didn’t have the right coverage or ENOUGH coverage, we would have had major delays in the renovation and we did save tons with Liberty Mutual!
xo – kb
Angela N says
I too was previously employed in the insurance industry. More in the life insurance and financial planning side, but still extremely important. Especially if you have kids! I just switched my auto policy over to Liberty Mutual the same day you posted this. The universe was telling me obviously that this was the way to go I guess. 😉
Kelly Davis says
You are so gracious! Reading some of the things people say and your extremely generous responses truly inspires me.
Oh that makes sense, thanks for clarifying
Hi! Wow, we had the same thing happen this year with a 50 year old Locust tree (our neighbor’s tree) that fell on our house. Actually, their house took the brunt of it. Did you look closely at the trunk of that tree? It looks like it may be rotted. I ask because in our instance, our neighbor’s tree was a danger to our property because it was clearly dying. With photo evidence of the trunk alone along with some pictures of the tree that we dug up, we were able to hold our neighbor’s insurance accountable for the damage. Now, we had also asked them in previous years to remove the tree due to liability. Anyway- for all readers out there…if your neighbor has a dying tree, or even a healthy tree that is dangerously close to your house and they are being negligent to trim it or remove, it is a good idea to take pictures and to document everything. We should have, in writing, asked them to sign that they were going to be liable if it fell because they were not taking action to trim or remove as quickly as we’d like (5+ years of nothing) and we had trimmed as much as we could without shouldering a heavy cost for a tree that was not ours. If your neighbor was negligent in any way about considering your property and in the instance of the tree falling, you should fight it. I assume you had to pay some kind of deductible, and that stinks. Liberty Mutual has not been that great of a savings compared to other insurance in our area (midwest) unfortunately.
Kathy V says
Katie is correct. My mother’s car was severely damaged by a neighbor’s tree that fell on it during a monsoon storm. Had the tree been healthy, their own insurance would have had to pay for the repairs as it was an act of God. Since the tree was quite obviously dead and my mother and her husband had repeatedly requested that the neighbor take down the tree, the neighbor was responsible for the damage.