Do you kill your houseplants? There’s insurance for that!

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The pandemic has spurred a plant-demic, with 71% of greenhouses across the country  reporting an increase in plant sales in 2020. Plants can be expensive to purchase. Having one die can be discouraging and replacing it can be costly.

Horti, a plant-subscription service, is offering short-term “plant insurance” to assist plant parents. The company’s base plan, Plant Reassurance, provides in-house expert advice on saving a sick plant, regardless of where you purchased the plant, for $4.99 a month. Horti’s premium package is $9.99 and is only offered to existing customers. It offers the same guidance as the base plan and, if the advice doesn’t help, replaces your Horti-bought plants if it dies. 

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“We do whatever we can do to empower our customers to feel a little bit more confident, and not scared of losing a plant. Whether that’s getting help or [replacing it] if it’s too late,” says Puneet Sabharwal, CEO and co-founder of Horti. 

If you have Horti’s plant insurance and your plant falls and the pot breaks, Sabharwal says Horti will walk you through repotting the plant, but won’t reimburse you for the damage at this time. 

“If a plant broke or fell down, it’s still survivable. If you send us a photo and you’re like, ‘Hey, what do I do with this?’ We can guide you in terms of repotting and watering it correctly,” Sabharwal says. 

Does homeowners insurance cover plants?

If you have homeowners insurance policy there are some instances when you would be able to make a claim on a dead houseplant — but plant-parent negligence isn’t one of them. Plants that are damaged or die in your home because you forgot to water them won’t be covered, says Deante’ Peake, home insurance expert for Policygenius. 

Your indoor plants could be covered however, if they were destroyed or stolen in a covered loss or peril named in your policy. Peake says in this case, plants would fall under the personal property portion of your coverage, which can be up to 50% of your policy’s dwelling limit.  

Some outdoor plants could also be covered if they are damaged or lost because of an event listed in your policy, Peake says. For example, trees, shrubs, and other plants that are damaged from high winds could be covered by your policy. 

How to prepare for being a plant parent 

If you want to keep your plant-replacement expenditure to a minimum, research the type of care a plant needs before buying it.   

Will Creed, author of “Don’t Repot That Plant!”, has 40 years of experience taking care of indoor plants and offers free plant advice through his site Horticultural Help. His top tips for being a good plant parent are:

  • Keep your new plant in its plastic nursery pot: Repotting a plant can end up removing soil, damage roots, and stress out a plant, Creed says. Transferring a plant to a pot that’s too big for it or adding too much soil can also hurt it. “It’s okay to double pot it into something more attractive.”

  • Make sure it gets the appropriate amount of sunlight: Know how much light your plant needs and place it accordingly. Consider the direction your window faces and how far away your plant is from the window.  

If your plant is ailing, there are a few ways you can save it, depending on what is going on with it and when you catch it, Creed says. The best chance you have at saving a plant is spotting signs of sickness early.  

“An unhealthy plant will start getting yellow or brown leaves and soft stems,” Creed says. Seeing small bugs or a few leaves turning a different color could be enough to sound the alarm. If you wait and a majority of leaves are decaying, it could be too late, Creed says. After that? If you’re a Horti customer, file a plant insurance claim. If not, it’s time for a trip to the greenhouse. 

This article originally appeared on Policygenius and was syndicated by MediaFeed.org.


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6 ways to lower your homeowners insurance rates

6 ways to lower your homeowners insurance rates

In order to keep your home insured, you have to pay monthly or annual premiums. The amount is largely dependent on your address, the age of your home and your insurance score.

Rates are also affected by factors that are completely out of your control — things like the financial health of your insurer and the reinsurance companies (your insurance company’s insurer who helps them pay for claims). When carriers suffer a record-setting number of losses in a given year, that affects future premiums. 

If your rates went up in the last month or year and you’re wondering how that happened, the horrible wildfire season may be part of the reason, but there are plenty of ways to mitigate the increasing prices. Here are six ways to lower your homeowners insurance rates. 

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If you noticed something has changed on your homeowners insurance bill, like an increase in coverage amounts and higher rates, the first thing you should do is call your insurer and discuss your bill with them. They’ll most likely give you a reason and may suggest tangible ways to get your rates lowered as well as any potential discounts you’re missing out on.

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Potential discounts you can find on your insurer’s policy declarations page are:

  • Multi-policy discount: If you have two or more policies under the same carrier, like a home and auto insurance bundle, that can potentially save you anywhere from 20% to 30% on premiums, depending on the insurer.
  • Claim-free discount: Some carriers will offer you discounts for not filing claims.
  • Protective devices discounts: If your home is fitted with deadbolts, smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, and fire and burglar alarms that contact law enforcement directly, most insurers will offer you a nice discount.
  • First-time homebuyer discount: Most insurance companies will offer discounts for new homebuyers.
  • Senior citizens discount: If you’re 55 or 60 and older, your insurer may offer up to 10% off your premiums.
  • Long-term policyholder discount: If you’ve been a policyholder with the same insurer for five years or more, it’s common for insurers to offer 10% loyalty discounts. 

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The lower your policy’s deductible is, the higher your premiums will be, and vice versa. If you’re currently paying a $500 or $1,000 deductible and your rates went up, a good way to get those down is to ask your insurance company about raising your deductible. You only pay your deductible when you file a claim, and if you’re a responsible homeowner who’s never had to file a claim before, then increasing your deductible may be a good option.

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If you remodel sections of your home, modernize or winterize your home’s electrical and plumbing, or added storm shutters, storm-resistant shingles, or a disaster-resistant garage door to your home, let your insurance company know — they will likely reward you with lower rates.

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If a company won’t budge on their rates, don’t be afraid to comparison shop for a better price. This may lead you to … 

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This is especially true if you live in a high-risk coastal area and buy your policies through government programs, like the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA) in Texas. You may be paying more for government plans than you would if you went through a private insurer, so be sure to check with agents in your area to see if they offer comparable – but more inexpensive – policies.

Still curious about how homeowners insurance works? Here are the answers to 20 questions you may be too embarrassed to ask.

This article originally appeared on Policygenius and was syndicated by MediaFeed.org.

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Featured Image Credit: Halfpoint / iStock.

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