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What All New Homeowners Should Know About Home Insurance: An Interview with Jim Shanahan Jr. of Shanahan Insurance Agency

By Jim Shanahan Jr.

Tell us a little bit about your company and the services you offer.

We are contracted with 15 excellent insurance companies to sell & service auto, home, small business, life, and health insurance. We are a family business that has been in Frankfort IL since 1980, and also have a second office in Lansing IL. We love to support our local community both financially, and thru the donation of our time to good causes.

Is there something about getting insured that most new homeowners don't know that they should know?

Market Value of a home is different than the replacement cost.

How would you suggest that a new homeowner approaches "shopping" for home insurance? At what point should they start the process?

Contact a local independent agent through Trusted Choice dot com. You should start the process at the same time you apply for a mortgage.

What do you consider "adequate" coverage for a new home and how do you determine the amount?

Each home is unique, but replacement cost is necessary on 95% of the homes we insure. The amount is determined by a replacement cost formula. It takes into account the year built, style, total living space, and type of materials and upgrades.

Why do home insurance rates/premiums increase? Is there any way to prevent this?

Inflation, Weather, Fraud, and Bad Luck. There is no way to prevent increase without changing insurance carriers every year if you are claim free, raising deductibles, or removing important optional coverage.

What are some of the most important decisions that new homeowners need to make about their coverage?

Replacement Coverage is a must for both the home and its contents. Do you have a finished basement? If so, add sump-pump/sewer back-up coverage. Do you have expensive jewelry? If so, schedule it on you policy for all risk coverage. Make sure you do not have a 1% wind and hail deductible. That could cost you thousands of dollars in a claim settlement.

What's the best way for people to contact you and your company?

Call 815-469-4545, visit, or stop by our office at 21237 S LaGrange Rd, Frankfort IL for a free consultation.

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