I recently received my homeowners insurance bill, and decided to compare it to last year’s bill. There was a 3% increase. Not bad. But since I have my own opinions about insurance companies, I decided to call my <a href=”http://www.allstate.com/about.aspx?lid=ABOUTALLSTATE|AllstateOverview” title=”allstate about us”>Allstate</a> agent and ask why, especially with zero claims since the beginning of time (nearly 20 years).<br />n<br />nVanessa, one of the helpers in my local agent’s office, responded that the company does annual reviews to see how much it would cost to replace the home in the event of a total loss, then they adjust the level of coverage to match it. In my case, I now have $16,350 more coverage than last year. Hooray!<br />n<br />nWhile on the phone, Vanessa also revealed that insurance companies also do annual exterior inspections of the front of the dwelling, mainly for “brush concerns”. I guess since fire is the main, if not only, cause of loss that is covered under homeowners insurance, they want to be sure we don’t have overgrown weeds and overhanging trees that could easily catch or spread fire.<br />n<br />nBut these annual inspections were news to me; I was not aware of them! I promptly asked for a copy of the latest inspection report done for my insured property. Alas, Vanessa could not supply one since they are done by ‘corporate’ and she is only part of a local agency (read: sales office) and does not receive them. Of course, I asked her to follow up and see about getting a hold of it from corporate. Well, she’s never had this request before, so she will have to look into it. I confirmed the phone number where she could reach me, and after discovering she had on file an old number that was at the place I used to live (disconnected in 1996, <strong>seventeen</strong> years ago!), I gave her an updated number.<br />n<br />nWe had a good conversation, where I also confirmed we have no earthquake insurance, nor are we covered in the event of a flood. The coverage also will not compensate for the three stands of redwoods that are located in the front and back yards; trees are considered ‘land’ and outside the scope of the policy. That’s not entirely fair as those mature <a href=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sequoia_sempervirens” title=”sequoia sempervirens on wikipedia”>sempervirens</a>, in my opinion, account for some not unsubstantial value of my property.<br />n<br />nI will await to hear back from Vanessa, when I hope to hear the good news that my home is free from brush concerns and a report has been delivered to my door in a speedy manner! Updates when I have them, stay tuned!<br />n<br />