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Missouri Earthquake Insurance  |  Are You At Risk?

Missouri Department of Insurance Recommends

Homeowners To Consider Buying Earthquake Coverage

 

Missouri Earthquake Insurance | Alternatives Insurance of Chesterfield | (636) 449-1213

According to an article published by the Missouri Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions & Professional Registration, many Missourians are having trouble getting Missouri Earthquake Insurance Coverage. Recent insurance data demonstrates that southeast Missouri is experiencing an insurance coverage crisis.

Click here to read the full article on Department of Insurance Website.

Contact Alternatives Insurance of Chesterfield today for a free insurance review and we’ll help you determine if you qualify for Missouri Earthquake Insurance.

Check Out the earthquake preparedness videos created by Missouri school children!

 

Helpful Resources:

http://www.nehrp.gov/library/plan_prepare.htm

http://www.fema.gov

http://earthquake.usgs.gov

http://www.ready.gov/kit

http://dnr.mo.gov/geology/geosrv/earthquakes.htm

http://www.redcross.org

http://www.nhc.noaa.gov

http://www.eas.slu.edu/Earthquake_Center


Alternatives Insurance of Chesterfield is a full service Independent Insurance Agency representing many of Missouri’s premier personal and commercial insurance carriers. We assess risks and shop for companies to find the best coverage for the lowest price. With a combined experience of over 60 years in the Chesterfield Missouri insurance industry, our agents are knowledgeable and competent specializing in auto, home, renters, boat, motorcycle, business automobile, workers compensation, and general liability.

We serve all of Saint Louis and Jefferson counties including Chesterfield, High Ridge, Arnold, Imperial, Valley Park, Ballwin, Eureka, Pacific, House Springs, Hillsboro, Sunset Hills and St. Clair. Our professional insurance agents at Alternatives Insurance of Chesterfield can help you get the best value for your Missouri insurance needs.

The Missouri Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions and Professional Registration (DIFP) is responsible for consumer protection through the regulation of financial industries and professionals. The department’s seven divisions work to enforce state regulations both efficiently and effectively while encouraging a competitive environment for industries and professions to ensure consumers have access to quality products.

 

Where to Learn more about Home insurance in Chesterfield MO

Understanding Your Options For The Best Protection

Where to Learn more about Home insurance in Chesterfield MO | Alternatives Insurance® of Chesterfield | (636) 449-1213Alternatives Insurance® of Chesterfield knows it is important to help home owners understand their options and how to best protect their family and belongings in case of a loss.  Our agents are here to help home owners know where to learn more about home insurance in Chesterfield MO.

There are many coverage options you can have in your policy.  On your declaration page you will see several terms; including dwelling coverage and personal property coverage.  The word dwelling in your home insurance policy actually refers to your home itself and attached structures, such as an attached garage.  One of our experienced agents can run a cost analysis that calculates the cost to rebuild your home. If you don’t adjust the amount of insurance for your dwelling appropriately, you may not have enough insurance to replace your home if disaster strikes.

Your personal property includes all your personal items, such as furniture, clothing, electronics, appliances, etc.  Your personal property limit is usually 70% – 75% of your dwelling limit.  However, you can adjust this upward if you need more protection, discuss your options with us. We’re here to help!

Detailed information about home owner insurance and how to contact us can be found on our website.

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Chesterfield MO Home Insurance

Six Primary Coverages That Are Included in Your Home Policy

Chesterfield MO Home Insurance | Alternatives Insurance® of Chesterfield | (636) 449-1213Have you been searching for ”Chesterfield MO Home Insurance,“ and you’re not quite sure what home insurance coverages are necessary to protect you, and one of your most valuable assets? Many of us have been in a situation where we need insurance and depend on our mortgage company or shop online, to find the least expensive home insurance coverage. Have you considered if something happens to your home whether your insurance policy will actually cover the damage?  Will it pay for ALL of it?  As a homeowner, there are many risks our agents can help you avoid.

For most people, insurance is confusing. Homeowners may not understand the liabilities that come with being a homeowner and the protection of having the right coverages in the insurance policy. Homeowners in Chesterfield Missouri should be aware that the majority of mortgage lenders require homeowners insurance.  This article, Chesterfield MO Home Insurance, will explain the primary insurance coverages that are included in your homeowners policy what they mean, what is not covered and additional coverages available to you.

CHESTERFIELD MO HOME INSURANCE:  DEFINITION OF DWELLING

The word Dwelling in your home policy actually refers to your home itself.  It includes attached structures, such as an attached garage. The Amount of Insurance (Dwelling Limit) listing on your Declarations page indicates the maximum amount your insurance company will pay to replace your home if it’s destroyed by a covered claim. But,is it enough?

Don’t make the mistake of thinking your homeowners insurance covers everything just because you have an insurance policy!  Among other issues, you must make sure your Dwelling Limit is enough to rebuild your home.

Contact Alternatives Insurance® of Chesterfield and one of our experienced agents can run a cost analysis that calculates the cost to rebuild your  home.  Be sure to adjust the amount of insurance for your dwelling appropriately.  If you don’t you may not have enough insurance to replace your home if disaster strikes.

Some policies include built-in protection above the stated Dwelling Limit – usually a percentage of the Dwelling – just in case the estimate is too low. We will make sure to discuss this with you as an additional protection feature.  It’s probably worth having.

CHESTERFIELD MO HOME INSURANCE:  OTHER STRUCTURES

The most common Other Structures are sheds, stand-alone garages (known as “detached” garages in insurance terms), barns, pool houses, etc.  These structures are not directly attached to your home, that are referred to as the “dwelling”.  Other Structures have their own protection limit – the most your company will pay to rebuild them will be stated on your Declarations page.  This limit will be significantly less than the dwelling limit … typically 10% – 20% of the dwelling amount.  For most people that’s plenty of insurance for other structures.  But not for everyone.  You need to know what it would cost to rebuild or replace those structures if they’re destroyed.  Discuss it with the licensed professionals in our office. You can buy more protection for your other structures if you need it.

CHESTERFIELD MO HOME INSURANCE:  PERSONAL PROPERTY

Your personal property includes all your personal items, such as furniture, clothing, electronics, appliances, etc. Similar to other structures, personal property has its own protection limit stated on your Declarations page.  And, again, this amount is the most the insurance company will pay to replace your personal property. You can also add a Ryder to your insurance policy that will cover jewelry; so long as you have the proper documentation like an appraisal from a qualified jeweler.  Your personal property limit is usually 70% – 75% of your dwelling limit.  However, you can adjust this upward if you need more protection,  Discuss your options with us. We’re here to help!Chesterfield MO Home Insurance | Alternatives Insurance® of Chesterfield | (636) 449-1213

Regardless of the protection limit for your personal property, there’s a very important question you must get answered.  How is your property protected?  It is determined by the “actual cash value” or “replacement cost”?  The difference is huge!  In very basic terms, if your property is protected on a replacement cost basis the insurance company will replace your old stuff with new stuff.  For example, if your 5-year old TV is destroyed in a covered claim, the company will pay for a brand new TV.  That’s a good deal for you.

But if your property is protected on actual cash value basis, an “allowance for depreciation” is applied to the cost of a new TV based on the age of your destroyed TV.  The result is you get a settlement amount less than the cost of a new TV.  To buy a new TV you’ll have to come up with the difference out of pocket.  Not as good of a deal for you.

Clearly, insuring your personal property on a replacement cost basis is a better advantage than actual cash value.  Sometimes it costs a bit more, but not always.  We can help you understand how how your policy works and can check the price both ways, to help you make the right decision.

 

CHESTERFIELD MO HOME INSURANCE:  LIABILITY

Your liability coverage pays if someone sues you for their injuries due to a covered claim.  When we think of such accidents we most commonly think of injuries that occur on your property – someone slips and falls, a dog bite, etc.  However, the liability protection under your home policy extends beyond your property to your everyday life.  Liability Insurance helps protect you against the financial burden arising from injury (or property damage) that you or your family may cause to other people. It typically even covers injuries whether they happen on or away from your property.

Liability insurance is all about protecting your assets from someone who sues you.  So, you should have at least as much liability insurance as your financial worth.  However, more than that may be prudent, and you should discuss your needs and risks thoroughly with a licensed agent at Alternatives Insurance® of Chesterfield.  Your current liability limit will be stated on your Declarations page.

CHESTERFIELD MO HOME INSURANCE:  MEDICAL PAYMENTS TO OTHERS

This coverage pays medical bills for a guest who is injured on your property or in another covered claim.  The idea is to do the right thing for someone – pay their medical bills – and then hope they don’t sue you.  This protection is inexpensive, but could save you major hassles by preventing a lawsuit.

CHESTERFIELD MO HOME INSURANCE:  LOSS OF USE

Loss of use coverage provides monies for alternative living if your home is badly damaged and are you not able to live in it while it’s being fixed or replaced.  That means you may have to pay rent somewhere or staying in a hotel while you’re also paying your mortgage.  The Loss of Use coverage on your home policy pays those additional expenses for you.

Your Declarations page may state a dollar limit for this coverage, or it may state a time limit.  If there is a dollar limit, this is the most the insurance company will pay for these expenses.  If there’s a time limit, your insurance will pay all covered expenses regardless of the amount but only for the specified period.

Coverage Exceptions

Imagine your home is damaged by a tree crashing through your roofChesterfield MO Home Insurance | Alternatives Insurance® of Chesterfield | (636) 449-1213.  You call your insurance agent to report the claim, and then you hear the worst news possible, “I’m sorry that’s not covered by your policy.”  Now, you have a real problem.

The unfortunate truth is no insurance policy covers you for everything that could possibly happen to you or your property.  However, with a little bit of understanding, you can make sure you have the protection you need, and you can rest easy knowing your claims get paid by the insurance company.

Just because you have an insurance policy, it does not mean everything and everyone in your home is covered.  Your home insurance policy does not cover you against every “cause of loss”. Examples of “cause of loss” include fire, high wind, and other “perils”.

A standard home policy excludes many causes of loss.  That is, it does NOT protect you from certain perils – like earthquake, flood, termite damage and many more.  That means if your home is damaged by one of these excluded perils your policy will not pay and you have no insurance against them.

You can purchase additional coverage to protect you from perils like earthquakes and floods.  However, some excluded perils are not insurable, such as insect damage.  Be sure to discuss your policy exclusions with an agent in our office and we’ll help you determine the best protection you need.  Don’t be caught by surprise after the damage is done.

CHESTERFIELD MO HOME INSURANCE:  SPECIAL LIMITS ON PERSONAL PROPERTY

As if your home policy wasn’t complicated enough already!  There are also “special limits” of protection for some of your personal property.  A “special limit” reduces the protection specifically available for certain types of property. Property subject to a special limit typically includes property used for business, cash & coin collections, jewelry & furs, guns, silverware, valuable art and more.

Additionally, some of these special limits apply only if the property is lost or stolen – making things just a little more confusing.  For example, the standard home policy typically includes $1,000 of protection for stolen jewelry. If your $2,500 diamond engagement ring is stolen, you will receive $1,000 from the insurance company.  Ouch!  And, if the stone falls out of the ring and is lost, there may be NO coverage at all!

It is very important you fully discuss these conditions and special limits with our agents and buy the protection you need.  Otherwise, you could find yourself with a very nasty surprise … an unpaid claim!

CHESTERFIELD MO HOME INSURANCE:  OTHER EXCLUSIONS AND OPTIONS

The standard home policy have exclusions for many reasons.  But then the insurance company gives you an opportunity to buy some of them back. So, you have the option of increasing protection where you personally need it.

There are literally dozens of optional coverages available in your home policy.  Here are some of the more common options available to you:

  • Identity Theft – many home insurers now offer protection for Identity Theft in their home policies.  This will help pay the expenses you incur to restore your identity if it’s stolen.
  • Water & Sewage Backup – the standard home policy excludes damage caused by a water or sewage system backup.  You can buy this protection if you want it.
  • Ordinance & Law – pays the increased costs of repairing or rebuilding your home that are required to be build in accordance to current building codes.
  • Packaged Endorsements – often times an insurance company will package the optional coverages people most commonly buy into a single endorsement for a lower price.

There are many more optional coverage and exclusion buy-backs our agents can explain to you. Its worth the time to spend with your Alternatives Insurance® of Chesterfield agent to understand the coverages available and make good decisions about your protection.


Alternatives Insurance® of Chesterfield has access to many insurance carriers and thousands of different products to choose from.  These insurance carriers allow us to tailor an insurance policy specifically to your needs and help cover your risks.

The Missouri Home Insurance Guide is a great resource to help you understand Chesterfield MO Home Insurance requirements.  Read through this guide and contact an agent with Alternatives Insurance® of Chesterfield to schedule a free consultation. (636) 449-1213

Fidelity National Insurance by Alternatives Insurance® of Chesterfield | (636) 449-1213 
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Hagerty by Alternatives Insurance® of Chesterfield | (636) 449-1213

Tornado Preparation & Safety TIPs | Chesterfield Missouri

Tornadoes are Extremely DangerousTornado Preparation & Safety TIPS | Alternatives Insurance of Chesterfield (636) 449-1213

Tornadoes are one of nature’s most violent storms that occur in Fenton Missouri. Alternatives Insurance® of Chesterfield would like to make certain you have the right coverages on your home insurance in case your home is damaged by a tornado. The following tornado preparation and safety TIPs will help to save lives and lessen injuries and property damage.

Spawned from powerful thunderstorms, tornadoes can cause fatalities and devastate a neighborhood in seconds. A tornado appears as a rotating, funnel-shaped cloud that extends from a thunderstorm to the ground with whirling winds that can reach 300 miles per hour. Damage paths can be in excess of one mile wide and 50 miles long.

Every state is at some risk from this hazard. Some tornadoes are clearly visible, while rain or nearby low-hanging clouds obscure others. Occasionally, tornadoes develop so rapidly that little, if any, advance warning is possible. Before a tornado hits, the wind may die down and the air may become very still. A cloud of debris can mark the location of a tornado even if a funnel is not visible. Tornadoes generally occur near the trailing edge of a thunderstorm. It is not uncommon to see clear, sunlit skies behind a tornado.

Tornado Preparation & Safety TIPs: How to Prepare for a Tornado

This article has been prepared to provide information about Tornado Preparation & Safety TIPs in Chesterfield Missouri.  Below are important links from the www.ready.gov site.

  • Before  How to prepare for Tornado Safety in Chesterfield Missouri
  • During  What to do during  a Tornado in Chesterfield Missouri
  • After   What to do after  a Tornado in Chesterfield Missouri
  • More Information  about Tornado Safety in Chesterfield Missouri
  • Preparing a Safe Room

 Tornado Preparation & Safety TIPs: Before a Tornado Strikes

  • To begin preparing, you should build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan.
  • Listen to NOAA Weather Radio or to commercial radio or television newscasts for the latest information. In any emergency, always listen to the instructions given by local emergency management officials.
  • Be alert to changing weather conditions. Look for approaching storms.
  • Look for the following danger signs:
    • Dark, often greenish sky
    • Large hail
    • A large, dark, low-lying cloud (particularly if rotating)
    • Loud roar, similar to a freight train.
    • If you see approaching storms or any of the danger signs, be prepared to take shelter immediately.

Tornado Preparation & Safety TIPs: Tornado Facts

Quick facts you should know about tornadoes:

  • They may strike quickly, with little or no warning.
  • They may appear nearly transparent until dust and debris are picked up or a cloud forms in the funnel.
  • The average tornado moves Southwest to Northeast, but tornadoes have been known to move in any direction.
  • The average forward speed of a tornado is 30 mph, but may vary from stationary to 70 mph.
  • Tornadoes can accompany tropical storms and hurricanes as they move onto land.
  • Waterspouts are tornadoes that form over water.
  • Tornadoes are most frequently reported east of the Rocky Mountains during spring and summer months.
  • Peak tornado season in the southern states is March through May; in the northern states, it is late spring through early summer.
  • Tornadoes are most likely to occur between 3 pm and 9 pm, but can occur at any time.

Tornado Preparation & Safety TIPs: Know the Terms

Familiarize yourself with these terms to help identify a tornado hazard:

Tornado Watch – Tornadoes are possible. Remain alert for approaching storms. Watch the sky and stay tuned to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio or television for information.

Tornado Warning – A tornado has been sighted or indicated by weather radar. Take shelter immediately.

Tornado Preparation & Safety TIPs:  During a Tornado

If you are under a tornado warning, seek shelter immediately!  Most injuries associated with high winds are from flying debris, so remember to protect your head.

IF YOU ARE IN: THEN:
A structure (e.g. residence, small building, school, nursing home, hospital, factory, shopping center, high-rise building)
  • Go to a pre-designated area such as a safe room, basement, storm cellar, or the lowest building level. If there is no basement, go to the center of a small interior room on the lowest level (closet, interior hallway) away from corners, windows, doors, and outside walls. Put as many walls as possible between you and the outside. Get under a sturdy table and use your arms to protect your head and neck.
  • In a high-rise building, go to a small interior room or hallway on the lowest floor possible.
  • Put on sturdy shoes.
  • Do not open windows.
A manufactured home or office
  • Get out immediately and go to a pre-identified location such as the lowest floor of a sturdy, nearby building or a storm shelter. Mobile homes, even if tied down, offer little protection from tornadoes.
The outside with no shelter If you are not in a sturdy building, there is no single research-based recommendation for what last-resort action to take because many factors can affect your decision. Possible actions include:

  • Immediately get into a vehicle, buckle your seat belt and try to drive to the closest sturdy shelter. If your vehicle is hit by flying debris while you are driving, pull over and park.
  • Take cover in a stationary vehicle. Put the seat belt on and cover your head with your arms and a blanket, coat or other cushion if possible.
  • Lie in an area noticeably lower than the level of the roadway and cover your head with your arms and a blanket, coat or other cushion if possible.

In all situations:

  • Do not get under an overpass or bridge. You are safer in a low, flat location.
  • Never try to outrun a tornado in urban or congested areas in a car or truck. Instead, leave the vehicle immediately for safe shelter.
  • Watch out for flying debris. Flying debris from tornadoes causes most fatalities and injuries.

Tornado Preparation & Safety TIPs: After a Tornado

Injury may result from the direct impact of a tornado or it may occur afterward when people walk among debris and enter damaged buildings. A study of injuries after a tornado in Marion, Illinois, showed that 50 percent of the tornado-related injuries were suffered during rescue attempts, cleanup and other post-tornado activities. Nearly a third of the injuries resulted from stepping on nails. Because tornadoes often damage power lines, gas lines or electrical systems, there is a risk of fire, electrocution or an explosion. Protecting yourself and your family requires promptly treating any injuries suffered during the storm and using extreme care to avoid further hazards.

Injuries

Check for injuries. Do not attempt to move seriously injured people unless they are in immediate danger of further injury. Get medical assistance immediately. If someone has stopped breathing, begin CPR if you are trained to do so. Stop a bleeding injury by applying direct pressure to the wound. Have any puncture wound evaluated by a physician. If you are trapped, try to attract attention to your location.

General Safety Precautions

Here are some safety precautions that could help you avoid injury after a tornado:

  • Continue to monitor your battery-powered radio or television for emergency information.
  • Be careful when entering any structure that has been damaged.
  • Wear sturdy shoes or boots, long sleeves and gloves when handling or walking on or near debris.
  • Be aware of hazards from exposed nails and broken glass.
  • Do not touch downed power lines or objects in contact with downed lines. Report electrical hazards to the police and the utility company.
  • Use battery-powered lanterns, if possible, rather than candles to light homes without electrical power. If you use candles, make sure they are in safe holders away from curtains, paper, wood or other flammable items. Never leave a candle burning when you are out of the room.
  • Never use generators, pressure washers, grills, camp stoves or other gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal-burning devices inside your home, basement, garage or camper – or even outside near an open window, door or vent. Carbon monoxide (CO) – an odorless, colorless gas that can cause sudden illness and death if you breathe it – from these sources can build up in your home, garage or camper and poison the people and animals inside. Seek prompt medical attention if you suspect CO poisoning and are feeling dizzy, light-headed or nauseated.
  • Hang up displaced telephone receivers that may have been knocked off by the tornado, but stay off the telephone, except to report an emergency.
  • Cooperate fully with public safety officials.
  • Respond to requests for volunteer assistance by police, fire fighters, emergency management and relief organizations, but do not go into damaged areas unless assistance has been requested. Your presence could hamper relief efforts and you could endanger yourself.

Inspecting the Damage

  • After a tornado, be aware of possible structural, electrical or gas-leak hazards in your home. Contact your local city or county building inspectors for information on structural safety codes and standards. They may also offer suggestions on finding a qualified contractor to do work for you.
  • In general, if you suspect any damage to your home, shut off electrical power, natural gas and propane tanks to avoid fire, electrocution or explosions.
  • If it is dark when you are inspecting your home, use a flashlight rather than a candle or torch to avoid the risk of fire or explosion in a damaged home.
  • If you see frayed wiring or sparks, or if there is an odor of something burning, you should immediately shut off the electrical system at the main circuit breaker if you have not done so already.
  • If you smell gas or suspect a leak, turn off the main gas valve, open all windows and leave the house immediately. Notify the gas company, the police or fire departments, or State Fire Marshal’s office and do not turn on the lights, light matches, smoke or do anything that could cause a spark. Do not return to your house until you are told it is safe to do so.

Safety during Clean-up

  • Wear sturdy shoes or boots, long sleeves and gloves.
  • Learn proper safety procedures and operating instructions before operating any gas-powered or electric-powered saws or tools.
  • Clean up spilled medicines, drugs, flammable liquids and other potentially hazardous materials.

FEMA Publications

If you require more information about any of these topics, the following resources may be helpful.

Related Websites

Find additional information on how to plan and prepare for a tornado and learn about available resources by visiting the following websites:

Listen to Local Officials

Learn about the emergency plans that have been established in your area by your state and local government. In any emergency, always listen to the instructions given by local emergency management officials.

What You Should Know about how Home Insurance Works with Tornado Damage

You don’t have to be a resident of the south or the midwest, where recent tornadoes wreaked havoc on thousands of lives, to get the message being sent by Mother Nature. It seems that she, too, is a strong advocate of homeowner’s insurance. And occasionally, she flexes her abilities to remind everyone within her reach about its importance.

But even those who have home insurance have been having trouble getting compensated for their losses, through no fault of the insurance companies. The fact is, tornado insurance is great to have, but if you don’t understand how it works, it can be pretty useless to you.

One of the things most often forgotten, and something that insurance agents are currently seeing a lot of in the wake of the recent tornadoes, is a lack on the part of insurance holders to catalog their possessions. You don’t have to go through your home jotting down every single refrigerator magnet – but if you intend to have that priceless grandfather clock insured, you’d better have record of its existence, as well as its value.

Alternatives Insurance® of Chesterfield insurance agents strongly urge our customers to use a camera to catalog all expensive belongings, and to gather as much proof of ownership and proof of value as possible so that there are no problems filing a claim in the event of disaster.


Why Choose Alternatives Insurance® of Chesterfield?

We’re committed to outstanding customer service

We start by offering the best insurance products at a reasonable price. But it’s the Alternatives Insurance® of Chesterfield team that really set us apart from the competition. With combined experience of 60 years, our sales and support staff members can handle your transactions quickly and efficiently. We service each and every account using out team of insurance professionals and we’re always available to answer your questions.

We’re committed to professionalism

Our dedication to client service comes from a culture of professionalism and respect. All of our associates at Alternatives Insurance® of Chesterfield have strong credentials and all of our policies are presented to you in a consistent and professional manner.

We’re committed to solving problems quickly

Alternatives Insurance® of Chesterfield has unique industry relationships, allowing us to provide exclusive insurance solutions to our customers. Additionally, every staff member is trained to actively listen and provide helpful answers presented in a way in which our policy holders clearly understand.

We’re committed to earning and maintaining your trust

We believe trust is something earned by listening to our customers while providing helpful advice and support. Trust and consistent underwriting practices is what we expect from our carrier partners, and in return we owe the same level of service to you.