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John Saracino from the John A. Saracino Insurance Agency Tells Why Independent Agents are a Wealth of Information

By John Saracino

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

The John A. Saracino Insurance Agency was established in 1972. Our office is located at 801 Rozel Avenue, at the corner of Second Street Pike in Upper Southampton Township. We've been doing business at this location since 1985. We specialize in personal lines, auto, homeowners, life, and health insurance, as well as business insurance. We've been providing our services in Bucks and Montgomery Counties, Philadelphia and the surrounding suburbs, and throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey for over forty years.

In general, what should a homeowner have insured?

Homeowners should be insured for the value of replacing their house, its contents, and other structures, such as a fence or shed on the property. A homeowners policy also includes liability in the event someone is harmed on the property, for instance an injury due to a fall or a dog bite.

How easy is it to combine separate policies?

Combining home and auto insurance with one company is a simple task. Most companies offer multi-policy discounts and sometimes bundling will present the lowest premium, but not always. Better coverage at a lower premium may come by purchasing policies from different companies, regardless of the discounts offered.

Because we are an independent agency, we deal with many reputable insurance companies, such as Travelers, Safeco, Chubb, Progressive, and The Hartford, just to name a few. Acquiring an independent agent to compare coverage and premiums is a wise choice. Much time and energy can be saved by doing so. More importantly, an independent agent possesses the knowledge to answer questions and advise. Shopping for insurance without professional guidance puts a person at risk of being underinsured or uninsured in certain situations without their being aware of it until it's too late. Insurance, like medicine and law, is best left to the professionals. Additionally, seeking insurance advice is free! Our agency offers free insurance quotes with no obligation to buy.

What are some factors that influence the rate on my home insurance policy?

Factors taken into consideration include a person's credit rating, location of the property, age of the structure and roof, makeup of the house (i.e. plaster walls, hardwood floors, ceramic tiles, wall-to-wall carpeting, etc.), upkeep, and claims activity.

What are some common claim concerns that may arise with my policy?

Most people are concerned about fire, as well they should be, but storm damage, theft, and water damage from burst pipes and washing machine hoses are more frequent claims. In recent years, major storms such as Hurricanes Irene and Sandy left many in the position of putting in a claim for blown rooftops and siding due to high winds, along with a wide range of destruction caused by toppling trees and fallen limbs.

Contrary to what some may assume, homeowners insurance does not cover everything. Flooding is not covered under a standard policy. Flood insurance must be purchased separately. Although, optional sump pump coverage can be included in a homeowners policy and will cover damage due to a sump pump failure from a power outage. Also, maintenance of a property is vital. Insurance will not cover weather damage that occurs because a roof or window hasn't been properly maintained or repaired.

One way to prepare for the possibility of a future claim is to take a home inventory, a list of items along with pictures or a video of the home's contents. There are free smart phone apps that will streamline the process.

When it comes to an insurance claim, the deductable should always be considered. When in doubt, many of our clients will call us first to explain their situation and ask for advice on whether to put in a claim with their insurance company.

What is the best way for people to get in contact with you or your company?

We are available to answer questions and provide free quotes. Our office hours are Monday through Friday from 9:00 to 5:00. Saturday and evening hours are available by appointment. Call 215-322-2466 or email us at john@saracinoinsurance.com.

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About The Author

John has over 40 years of insurance industry experience. He is licensed in...

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