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Assessing Your Home Insurance Coverage: with Ann harris of the Ann Harris Agency

By Ann Harris

Tell us a little bit about your company and its foundation.

Ann Harris Agency opened its Saco location 01/01/2006. We were an exclusive agency for Nationwide at that time. Then in 09/2012 we became an independent agency under the name Ann Harris Insurance Agency. We continue to write insurance both personal and commercial in Maine and New Hampshire. We have multiple carriers which benefits the customer. We are able to provide them an appropriate package made for them because everyone is in a different location and there are always different situations. Our agency loves to talk about insurance!

Please briefly explain the idea of home insurance to our readers, what it is, why it was created, etc.

Homes are a large part of your investment portfolio. It usually is one of the largest investment whether it is a primary or a secondary home. Obtaining a homeowner insurance policy is a way to protect your investment from fire, vandalism, burglary, liability, loss of use and other possible perils depending on the endorsements that you may add for example: water back-up and earthquake coverage. Mortgage companies always will require insurance because they have an interest in your home and if there is a fire, they want to make sure your home is repaired or rebuilt. You can also purchase a separate policy for floods. ALL homes/buildings are in a flood zone, it just depends which zone it is in that will determine your cost.

What are some of the advantages of working with a local agent, rather than a popular online insurance source?

When you work with a local agent vs a telephone number, you should receive service that is built around you and your home - not a script talk that is generic. We get to know you and your family so that we are able to provide you an appropriate policy with an appropriate carrier. Each carrier has different requirements. We find the one that fits you the best and is the most cost effective also. During a claim situation we are there! Literally there! You have a fire, your agent will be on site with you to assist in your behalf and answer any questions. We don't stop at the sale of a policy.

What is the deductible and how does the insurer decide on the amount?

A deductible is in a way how much money you can afford to self-insure yourself. If you have a fire are you okay with paying 1000.00 or maybe you are okay with paying 2500.00 for the claim. We talk about what you would be comfortable with. Your rate changes depending on the deductible that you choose. Different parts of your policy may have lower deductibles built in.

This should be reviewed when you purchase the policy.

Do most property protection policies include dwelling, other structures, and personal property?

Your homeowner policy includes coverage for other structures not attached to your home; a detached garage or shed for example. There has to be personal items in them, not business items or farm items, unless you have an added endorsement in some cases. You also will have a percentage of your home (dwelling) amount that covers your personal property. You can think of your personal property as if you lived in a dollhouse, turned it upside down and whatever fell out, clothes, appliances, furniture, linens etc. is considered personal property. Any antiques, jewelry, collections need to be scheduled so it would not be classified with the personal property.

What does the personal liability part of my policy cover? Will the insurer pay for medical expenses as well?

Personal liability covers different types of damages to other people that you may have injured or your property causes injury. Each situation varies. The liability part of your policy also pays for the attorneys to represent you in different situations as long as you are not negligent. An example would be if you have a dog and he bites a mailman. The dog has never bitten anyone vs you know your dog bites. Maybe your child is playing ball out back and puts the ball through another person's window! These are just a couple of examples.

Did someone slip on your steps or a throw rug? There is a medical part of your policy that may pay for the needed stitches or broken bone. However, if there is a hole in your yard and you do not fill it and someone falls and breaks their ankle there may not be any coverage. Your agent would connect you with a licensed adjuster to determine the coverage.

What's the best way for people to get in contact with you and your company?

We would love to talk to you about insurance and offer a quote! The good thing it is free! There a multiple ways to contact us.

890 Portland Road

Suite 4

Saco, Maine 04072

207-282-1997 office

207-294-2226 cell

207-282-3575 fax

Email: annharrisagent@gmail.com

www.annharrisinsurance.com

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