Homeowners Insurance – The Balance Between Coverage and Price

Not all homeowners insurance policies are created equal. Many clients frequently compare homeowners quotes based on price alone, without having a thorough understanding of what coverage is provided. I must stress that it is very important to know if you are giving anything up for the lower price. Too many insurance agents are willing to provide bare-bones homeowners insurance coverage just to get your business on the books. The problem with this is that many of the claims we see are not covered in a bare-bones homeowners insurance policy.

My goal here is to identify several coverages that you should be on the lookout for as they are commonly used and cost very little to add to your homeowners insurance policy in PA.

Buried Utility Lines

How many times have you heard of someone that needed to have their front yard dug up to replace a pipe? We see it all the time. Traditionally, homeowners insurance did not cover this and many people were left paying the bill out of pocket. Many others bought separate coverage through the water company which provides limited coverage at a high price point. Today, most homeowners insurance companies in Pennsylvania offer this endorsement at a fraction of that cost. In addition, this endorsement typically provides broader coverage and higher limits than the policies through the water company.

Water/Sewer Backup

It’s a homeowner’s worst nightmare… you walk downstairs to find that a sewer or drain has backed up into your house through a toilet or sink. The floors are a mess with the grossest slime you can imagine. Your Bounty paper towels weren’t meant for this cleanup. You’ll need to have a professional come in for this. Unfortunately, this can cost in excess of $10,000 and most basic insurance policies don’t provide coverage. Just about all insurance companies in PA offer this endorsement though, and it typically costs very little. Make sure this one is on your homeowners insurance policy.

Roofing/Siding Matching

Many people think that when they have some damage to their roof or siding, the insurance company will automatically replace the entire roof or rewrap the house. That is not always the case. If the wording in the policy allows them to patch the damaged area, they will. However, you can purchase Roofing/Siding Matching with many PA insurance companies which provides extended coverage of $10k or $20k to match the roof or siding all the way around the house.

There are many more homeowners insurance endorsements that could be included on the list. The main takeaway is that you should not just assume every company is providing you equal homeowners coverage. Dive into the coverage package offered on the quote and ask questions of the broker to make sure the coverage meets your needs. Your home is likely your biggest asset. Spend a couple extra dollars for the right protection so you aren’t forced to spend thousands out of pocket when a claim isn’t covered.

Risk Averse Insurance is an insurance agency in Media, PA – Delaware County – that specializes in providing high-quality insurance products at an affordable price.

COVID-19 Workers Compensation Changes

The past few months have been an extremely tough time for everyone. Businesses have been shut down and had to furlough or layoff entire teams.  Keeping up with all of the constantly changing information has been nearly impossible. And making sure that employees and customers are safe as businesses begin to open has become a job in itself. Hopefully, we are starting to see some light at the end of the tunnel.

As with everything else, the insurance industry has been making adjustments based on the situation that we’ve found ourselves in.


The Pennsylvania Compensation Rating Bureau (PCRB) has released the following guidelines with regards to your 2020 workers’ compensation policy in response to COVID-19:

  1. All employees working from home will be reclassified as clerical for the duration of the home work period as long as separate, accurate, verifiable records are maintained.
  2. Payroll to furloughed workers will be excluded from the premium calculation at audit.
  3. Any virus-related workers’ compensation claims will be classified as a catastrophe loss (catastrophe code 12) and will be excluded from the employer’s experience rating calculation.


The most important thing here is to make sure you are keeping detailed records. This will really benefit you at audit this year. Should you have any questions as your audits come up, please feel free to reach out to us and we’ll be happy to help you through the process.

As business owners and entrepreneurs, you have always stepped up to the challenge and created your own path. When looking back, this will hopefully just be a detour that makes you stronger and more prepared for success in the future.

I wish you all continued success in navigating through this challenge.


Call Risk Averse Insurance in Media, PA for any questions you may have about how COVID-19 has impacted your workers’ compensation coverage.

Risk Averse Insurance is an independent insurance agency in Delaware County that specializes in providing high-quality insurance products at an affordable price.

Navigating the SBA Paycheck Protection Program

There has been a lot of information going around regarding how and when to apply for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), who can apply, and how much will be forgiven. Things have finally settled in and here are all the details you’ll need to know:

When can I apply?

  • Starting April 3, 2020, small businesses and sole proprietorships can apply for and receive loans to cover their payroll and other certain expenses through existing SBA lenders.
  • Starting April 10, 2020, independent contractors and self-employed individuals can apply for and receive loans to cover their payroll and other certain expenses through existing SBA lenders.
  • Other regulated lenders will be available to make these loans as soon as they are approved and enrolled in the program.

Where can I apply?

You can apply through any existing SBA lender or through any federally insured depository institution, federally insured credit union. Other regulated lenders will be available to make these loans once they are approved and enrolled in the program. Reach out to your current bank to see if they are accepting applications. Visit www.sba.gov for a list of SBA lenders.

Who can apply?

All businesses – including nonprofits, veterans organizations, Tribal business concerns, sole proprietorships, self-employed individuals, and independent contractors – with 500 or fewer employees can apply.


Here’s what to have prepared before you start the application:

  • Payroll reports for each of the last 4 quarters April 1st, 2019 through March 31st, 2020.
  • A copy of your photo ID (front and back)
  • State Unemployment Tax info April 1st, 2019 through March 31st, 2020. (You can get this from your payroll company or through payroll reports on your accounting software)
  • Local Tax Payment Information
  • All reports showing employer contributions to retirement accounts April 1st, 2019 through March 31st, 2020.
  • Reports showing your health insurance contributions April 1st, 2019 through March 31st, 2020.

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What can I use these loans for?

You should use the proceeds from these loans on your:

  • Payroll costs, including benefits
  • Interest on mortgage obligations incurred before February 15, 2020
  • Rent, under lease agreements in force before February 15, 2020, and
    • Utilities, for which service began before February 15, 2020
  • Payroll costs include:
    • Salary, wages, commissions, or tips (capped at $100,000 on an annualized basis for each employee)
  • Employee benefits including costs for vacation, parental, family, medical, or sick leave, allowance for separation or dismissal, payments required for the provisions of group health care benefits including insurance premiums, and payment of any retirement benefit
  • State and local taxes assessed on compensation
  • For a sole proprietor or independent contractor: wages, commissions, income, or net earnings from self-employment capped at $100,000 on an annualized basis for each employee.

Will the loan be forgiven?

The loan amount will be forgiven in its entirety as long as:

  • The loan proceeds are used to cover payroll costs, most mortgage interest, rent, and utility costs over the eight-week period after the loan is made
  • Employee headcount is maintained
  • Compensation levels for employees earning less than $100,000 per year are maintained; and
  • Not more than 25% of the loan amount is used for non-payroll costs. To the extent that any of these factors are not satisfied fully (or a business does not use the full amount of the PPP loan in the eight-week period after the loan is made), a portion of the loan will not be forgiven and must be repaid.

To receive loan forgiveness, a borrower must apply to their lender with documents verifying payments (on mortgage interest, rent, and utilities) and payroll (number of employees, pay rates, including IRS payroll tax filings and state income, payroll, and unemployment insurance filings). These documents must be certified from a representative of the business that the information is true.

If you have any additional questions regarding this program, please feel free to reach out. We are here for you during these trying times.


Disclaimer: This alert is for informational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice. Information contained in this communication is not intended or written to be used as tax advice & cannot be used by the recipient to avoid penalties that may be imposed under the Internal Revenue Code. We strongly advise you to seek professional assistance with respect to your specific issue(s).

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