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Russell F. Porter Insurance Services

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Residential Home:

  • Stick-Site Built
  • Modular
  • Mobile home
  • Landlord structure only
  • Condominium
  • Renter content only
  • Earthquake & Flood
  • Personal Umbrella & Comprehensive personal liability for vacant land or structure
  • Course of Construction
  • Home Warranty
  • Travel trailers, Motor homes & Campers used as primary residence

Although prices are substantial, I am usually able to help you even if:

  1. You have filed more than one claim in recent years.
  2. You have property in rural areas.
  3. You have been turned down or declined by a preferred Insurance Company.
  4. A structure is very old, built before 1950.

This sometimes requires me to go to the Lloyds of London.


  1. Keep your driveway clearance wide open and the surface smooth so that emergency vehicles have safe, quick and convenient access to your home and property.
  2. If you have a central reporting alarm system, every year when your policy renews, give me a copy of your current certificate contract and I will present that to your Insurer so you qualify for your discount. The same applies if you have a roof and/or ceiling sprinkler system.
  3. Watch the condition of your roof. If you are going to put a new roof on, wood shakes will increase your risk and cause your premium to increase substantially. Some Insurers will not cover a home with a wood shake roof. Always keep the wood shake roof in outstanding condition. If you provide proof that you have replaced a wood shake roof with any other type of roof, you are likely entitled to a discount.
  4. Never leave your roof untarped while you are repairing or reroofing. Insurance Companies are likely under no obligation to pay on a claim if rainfall, snow, sleet, hail, or any other form of moisture damages your home while it is exposed and unprotected.
  5. Be sure to maintain your trees well. Neglect can result in policy termination and complications with a claim. Let no limb grow within six feet of your roof.
  6. It is crucial that you keep at least a one hundred foot fire break around your home. A green zone is also helpful. BE FIRE SAFE.
  7. If your neighbor has a tree leaning toward your property or any other hazard, you can serve a NOTARIZED letter to the neighbor advising of the hazard to your family and property. Otherwise, when a claim occurs, your own Insurance will likely have to pay. If your Insurer pays out, that claim will most likely count against you:
    1. With the number of claims.
    2. Your premium can increase.
    3. Your Insurer may decide to cancel your coverage.
    4. If your policy gets terminated, you may have to shop from an Insurer who is not reinsured and your premium will be much greater.
  8. If you purchase a Course of Construction policy, be sure to notify me when the home construction is completed, so we can convert the policy into a preferred homeowner plan and give you better content & liability limits.
  9. Your liability limits are designed to cover you up to the value of your estate. Review your assets and compare those to your policy liability limit. In case you are involved in a lawsuit, you want to be adequately covered so that you personally do not experience loss. If you have an estate worth more than one million, a Personal Umbrella Policy will increase your liability protection to whatever amount of coverage you need. If you purchase an Umbrella your must:
    1. Have at least 250,000/500,000 of underlying coverage on your auto policy and all other types of vehicles you operate on public property.
    2. Have at least $300,000 of underlying coverage on your residence policy.
  10. You usually need to have Extended Replacement Cost coverage on your home and belongings. That means that if you experience a claim loss, you would need to replace those things by purchasing them new, rather than experience loss from depreciation.
  11. Packaging your Home, Auto, Recreational Vehicles, Umbrella & Life Insurance together with the same Insurance Company is usually price effective. You get discounts for the more policies you place under the same roof.
  12. If you or a resident member of your family cause deliberate damage to your property, your Insurer will not likely pay on a claim.The same may be true if one of your pets or livestock damage your property. (If your pet or livestock cause bodily injury or property damage to the other person, the liability feature of your policy comes into play.)
  13. If you own an older home, it may be possible to purchase a Building Code rider. That would pay a chosen additional percentage of cost above the face value of your policy to pay for improvements that are required by building code regulations. These upgrades include such things as foundations, building location related to public sidewalks and streets, electrical and plumbing.
  14. Earthquake & Flood coverage is worthy of consideration. Nonetheless, there are substantial deductibles and limits to be aware of. (Pricing varies between Insurers even though the State of California has standardized the plans.) The flood zone code has a major bearing on price. As far as I know, the Flood plans offer no financing, so you will likely need the entire annual premium up front when the policy is applied for. There are no refunds unless:
    1. You sell the home.
    2. Your community has been rezoned by a government Flood organization, making the imposition by lienholders no longer mandatory.
  15. If you need to store your belongings in a storage unit, purchase their insurance because your home policy usually covers only up to ten percent of the value.
  16. If you lose or experience damage to your belongings in a motel or in public transportation, Home Insurance usually only pays ten percent of the value; and only if you file a police report. Purchase public transportation insurance.
  17. Make sure that your Insurer is automatically adjusting the insurance value to allow for appreciation on your property every year or so.
  18. If your home has been remodeled, you may be eligible for a discount. Insurers usually require a copy of your building inspection report.
  19. If you have added on to your home or otherwise increased the value, we need to increase your coverage on your home. Insurers usually require a copy of your building inspection report.
  20. Insurers are vigilantly inspecting property to:
    1. Verify that your property is maintained well and no high risk conditions exist.
    2. Be sure that your home is Insured to an accurate value.
    3. Verify features of your home.
    4. Verify distance from fire departments and fire hydrants.
    5. Observe pets & livestock for aggressive behavior and verify their confinement to your property.
    6. Verify that your Central Alarm system and / or ceiling-roof sprinkler is functional ( If you are receiving that discount)
    7. Observe the fire break and or green zone surrounding your home.
    • DO EVERYTHING IN YOUR POWER TO ASSIST AND REASSURE THEM. If they announce their visit, be sure that gates are open or unlocked to allow them access to your property.
  21. You may eligible for a discount if:
    1. There is now a closer fire department or fire hydrant in your neighborhood.
    2. Your fire department has received a better I.S.O. grade due to improved response time and / or better equipment.
    3. Your fire department is not volunteer, but is now manned 24/7.
    4. Your community has a "fire watch" program.
  22. If you operate a business out of your home, it is imperative that you:
    1. See if your Insurer will sell you a business rider.
    2. Purchase a SEPARATE business policy and separate the property and structures distinct from residential versus commercial.
    3. Change your Insurance to a Company who will allow two separate policies on the same property. MOST HOME INSURERS WILL FLATLY DECLINE TO ISSUE A POLICY AND WILL NOT PAY ON A CLAIM RELATED TO BUSINESS ACTIVITY.
  23. If you have retired, check your policy to see if you are being credited for that.
  24. Have a Professional service your fire extinguishers and smoke detectors regularly. If you want literature, CD's or videos about being FIRE SAFE, come see me. This literature is complimentary after we pay our taxes! I have a nice assortment to give to you.
  25. You save considerable money if you pay your premium in one annual lump sum. You also save some money on premium if you choose higher deductibles. (If your money is earning interest, it may be a wash as to what you can gain in interest versus financing your premium.)
  26. I need you to inform me if:
    1. Your marital status has changed.
    2. You have someone, such as dependents or a common law partner, regularly living in your home. (This is needed in case that person accidentally causes a claim loss). This does not include temporary visitors.
    3. Some person or a Trust is on the Title.
  27. You need to insure anything that is HIGHLY VALUABLE on policy riders. This is especially true if your valuables are inside your wallet or purse. Maintain an inventory list and take pictures of everything that you own. OBTAIN APPRAISALS AND RECEIPTS of valuable things to prove their value and keep these in a fire safe. IF YOU STORE YOUR BELONGINGS IN A SAFE AWAY FROM YOUR PROPERTY, YOU NEED TO PURCHASE INSURANCE FROM THE INSTITUTION WHO STORES IT BECAUSE HOMEOWNER POLICIES USUALLY ONLY INSURE TO TEN PERCENT OF VALUE WHILE ITEMS ARE AWAY FROM HOME.
  28. Damage caused by a gradual leak in your roof or plumbing system is USUALLY A MAINTENANCE ISSUE, and is not likely to be paid for in a claim.
  29. If you call the claim department of an Insurer to ask about a claim or an event, you run a risk:
    1. They may count it against you as an actual claim, even though nothing was paid out.
    2. It can become a regularity issue.
    3. They can increase your premium.
    4. They can cancel or terminate your Insurance policy.
    5. You may have to shop from another Insurer who is not reinsured and pay more for your policy.
  30. If your cost from a loss is close to the amount of your deductible, you are likely better off handling the expense yourself and not involve your Insurer.
  31. If you have a fireplace or woodstove, check the condition of your cap mesh spark arrester, chimney and flue regularly. BE FIRE SAFE!