Properly Insuring Your Malibu Home

by ritasimpson on June 26, 2012

in Home Owner Reference Guide

Choice Assurity Group Shares the 5 Biggest Mistakes Malibu Homeowners Make in Purchasing Insurance

As summer heats up, Malibu homeowners are reminded of the upcoming fire season and the risks of living in paradise. Avoiding these 5 common mistakes will help you protect your most valuable assets should disaster strike.

Malibu, CA, June 25, 2012 –(– Summer ushers in the long, sunny beach days we all love. It also brings higher temperatures, drought conditions and thousands of visitors to the community. Every Malibu homeowner knows the devastation that fire has historically caused and too local families have experienced the emptiness of seeing their home reduced to ashes. Accepting Mother Nature and preparing for the “what if’s” is your best option for dealing with this difficult reality. Avoiding these 5 common mistakes will help you in protecting your family’s assets should disaster strike.

1. Underinsuring one’s home – If the trauma of losing your home were not enough, imagine discovering that you didn’t carry enough insurance to rebuild. When people buy insurance, very few actually think about the devastation. Rather, they are ‘penny wise and pound foolish’ and choose a policy with inadequate coverage, limitations or exclusions they were never aware of. Many insurance agents use a ‘price per square foot’ method for valuing a home but this technique is nearly always inadequate. The properties architecture, construction type, size and finish level all contribute to the value of your home. In addition, communities like Malibu with ever evolving building and ordinance changes means the cost to rebuild today may not cover you for tomorrow.

2. Failing to protect your potential liabilities – While nearly everyone understands the need to insure their home to value, few people see the potential for loss due to an occurrence that you’re found liable for. Many studies have shown that people in upscale communities are far more likely to be sued than people with similar wealth living in less desirable areas. Malibu’s attractions bring hundreds of thousands of people to the community each year and this adds to the risk. In addition, home recreational amenities like swimming pools and tennis courts add additional potential for loss. The only way to properly protect yourself against these claims is to carry the right kind and amount of liability insurance. Most insurance agents give advice like “Carry the amount the makes you feel comfortable.” Or, “What amount do you feel you sufficient?” Neither of these are adequate ways to determine your need. Make sure you are properly protecting yourself, your assets and your future earnings by insuring your liabilities properly.

3. Neglecting to consider the risk of Earthquake and Flood – Malibu is a community that needs no reminders about the damage caused by natural disasters, yet many homeowners choose to not protect themselves against the possibility of loss because of an earthquake or flood. These additional coverage options are often overlooked because homeowners assume they’re already protected by their homeowners insurance. Nearly all homeowner’s policies exclude losses caused by earthquake or flood (and even the definitions of ‘earthquake’ and ‘flood’ surprise most people). Knowing how to protect yourself against these potential hazards can be tricky and you’re best option is to enlist the help of a knowledgeable Independent Insurance Agent.

4. Not properly insuring valuable items – The hardest story to hear is one when a homeowner thought they had taken the steps to protect their home but neglected to consider everything inside of it. Personal property is usually covered at a percentage of your home’s value and for many families this amount is inadequate. Oftentimes, it is only discovered after the fact that coverage for high value items or collections is limited or excluded from a homeowner’s policy. Even if an insured has taken the time to ‘schedule’ these items (meaning specifically list them on the policy) the coverage limitations of the homeowners policy may still apply. If you have collections of jewelry, clothing, art, antiques, wine or anything else, these items can be protected on a separate Collections Insurance policy that offers broader coverage than a homeowner’s policy and usually at a much lower premium.

5. Believing one company can do it all – Insurance is a complex and confusing subject for most people. Because of this many homeowners look for help from an Insurance Agent in determining what is needed to protect them from all the risks they face. While this is often a wise decision, remember that most of these Agents are sales people and many work directly for the insurance company they represent. It can be tough to know whether the Agent has your best interest in mind. In addition, these Insurance Company sales representatives usually only represent the company they work for. It is unlikely that any one insurance company would offer the best policy out there for each type of coverage. If such a company did exist, they would run the others out of business overnight. Your best ally in in navigating the insurance marketplace is an Independent Insurance Agent. Unlike company Agents, Independents represent you, not the insurance company, and they have dozens of companies offer coverage from. Look for a “Trusted Choice” agent, someone who has met the knowledge and ethics requirements of the Independent Agents and Brokers Association of America. Not only do these Agents receive high-quality training on an ongoing basis, they also have a proven track record of fair and ethical dealings with clients. Choice Assurity Group is an example of a local Trusted Choice Independent Agency with unique expertise in protecting what matters most to Malibu’s families. They can be reached at 310-904-6220 or

Everyone who lives here knows Malibu is an amazing place to call home. The rare combination of mountains butting up to the ocean provides not only scenic views, but some of the best places for recreation, relaxation and raising a family. There are constant reminders that this paradise is not without risk, but with a little planning, some good advice and old-fashioned common sense you can design an insurance plan that allows you to live here without worry.

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