How Fire Insurance for Homes Works

What is Fire Insurance?

Fire insurance covers the cost of fire-related damage to your home, residential property, and personal property inside. The most common types of fire insurance in Mesa, AZ are HO-2 policies, which cover a specific set of damages, and HO-3 policies, which cover everything. HO-1 policies, which are more restrictive than HO-2 policies, are also offered to homeowners, but they are not as popular as HO-2 or HO-3 policies.

How Does Fire Insurance Protect Your Assets?

There are several different types of coverage that companies such as Lifetime Investments offer. Actual cash value policies are fairly self-explanatory. They pay for the original purchase price of the property damaged in the fire. Replacement value policies are more expensive, but it is important to keep in mind that it is often more expensive to actually replace items than the purchase price of the original items. Guaranteed replacement value policies cover replacement costs, even if they are more than the total coverage of the policy.

What Exactly Does Fire Insurance Cover?

As previously mentioned, fire insurance policies old by companies like Lifetime Investments cover both your building and the possessions inside. However, there are certain limits and restrictions. Most policies provide coverage for possessions in the amount of roughly 60% of the value of the structure. If the structure is worth $100,000, then the possessions are covered up to about $60,000 (depending on the policy). This means that very valuable items such as paintings or jewelry need their own individual policies.

What Are the Limitations of Fire Insurance?

Fire insurance does cover intentional fires, as long as the person responsible is a member of the household that purchased the policy. Most residential fires in Mesa, AZ are covered by fire insurance. However, an intentional fire set by a member of the family will not be covered.

Another limitation of fire insurance is the coverage being exceeded by the value of the home. This can happen when the value goes up more rapidly than expected. Homeowners may need to buy more coverage in this situation.

Arizona Holiday Events 2106-2

In case YOU want to have the luxury of coming to ONE place to discover all the things you can do in the last 90 days of 2016, you will love the links gathered together here! Best upcoming events


10 Best Holiday Attractions in Phoenix:  Celebrate the Season in the Desert~

Attribution to:  Patricia Escarcega:Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Tucson Local Expert

Patricia says, Don’t leave Phoenix without taking a scenic drive through South Mountain Park, a desert mountain preserve with incredible panoramic views of the city.



Arizona 2016 Winter Holiday Events

   Arizona communities are close to my heart… not only the people with whom I connect but the myriad businesses and organizations that support them.  I don’t know when you begin celebrating the winter holidays; some people start with Christmas in July while others start pulling down the decoration boxes as they put away their Halloween supplies. Still others spend Thanksgiving day hanging lights… leaving us with the cliff hangers who finally get inspired Christmas Eve and then decide when, or if, they want to dismantle things.  Whatever your tradition,

   Whatever your tradition, I am sure you will savor each and every moment, but… I do hope you will leave time to actually enjoy the myriad events that make our Arizona communities unique and special to me. It is the events that bring people together in celebration, where love is shared, and life-long memories created. The following list is the result of some pretty extensive research, bringing you a much-needed list in one place so that when your calendar seems a little bit empty… you can have choices of what to do to spread joy in the upcoming holiday season.

Please bookmark this page… the contents will expand.  I will keep everything in date order and make note of the nature of the events in case you need to quickly scroll through a block of time to decide which sounds more fun!

Arizona Events…


October 16th  Moondance
On a beautiful starlit evening in October, friends and supporters of the Heard Museum gather to celebrate distinguished individuals that propel the Heard Museum forward and share the values of the organization’s mission. This year, the event will honor community members Arlene and Giora Ben-Horin as well as world renowned artist Kay WalkingStick, for their contributions to the museum and contemporary American Indian art.
Guests will drink, dine, and dance under the moon while enjoying musical entertainment, an artist tour of the Kay WalkingStick retrospective exhibition, one of a kind raffle prizes and an auction full of exquisite American Indian works of art. It is a true celebration of the museum’s mission and its relationship to the Arizona community. Moondance raises funds to support the Heard Museum’s exhibitions and educational programming.


November 25th  Ornament Marketplace Heard Museum

Enhance your holidays with wonderful Native-themed ornaments hand-crafted by American Indian artists from the Heard Museum Shops during this annual event! Choose from hundreds of various ornaments in different art forms for yourself or for unique holiday gifts. Several Native artists will be offering ornaments featuring carved wood, miniature baskets, pottery, and beads. Ornament prices vary. Admission to the Heard Museum Shop is always free (museum admission additional).

This year’s featured artist is Navajo jeweler Vernon Begaye, who will create only 30 editions of the 2016 Ornament Marketplace signature ornament.

The History of Chocolate

The history of chocolateIf you look around the house, what supply of chocolate do you have? I cannot imagine a home in our Arizona communities that doesn’t have something chocolate. Have you ever heard that chocolate is the food of the gods? I did a little research because I know pretty much everyone loves chocolate, and I found it has been around for well over 4,000 years. I was fascinated by a few of the tidbits I found and wanted to share them with you:

  1. Chocolate was initially consumed as a rather bitter tasting beverage rather than the sweet, delectable treat we all love.
  2. Anthropologist studies support chocolate was produced in present-day Mexico as early as 1900 B.C. by ancient Mesoamericans who cultivated the cacao plants—fermented, roasted and ground them into a paste that was mixed with water, honey, vanilla, peppers and other spices—to brew their frothy “chocolate” drink.
  3. The Mayans were known to have worshiped a “God” of cacao; saving the coveted chocolate to be served at ceremonial rituals to rulers, priests, and warriors. Rumor has it the Aztec emperor, Montezuma, drank gallons of chocolate daily—to increase his libido! History classes introduced us to Hernán Cortés of the 1500s, but I am not sure the pages in our history books had any information about how the Spanish conquistadors elevated chocolate to a symbol of luxury, power and wealth; only the elite could afford to indulge.
  4. The royal marriage of King Phillip III’s daughter to French King Louis XIII in 1615 brought the love of chocolate to France, where European courts and aristocrats were so enthralled with the treat they established plantations around the world to grow both sugar and cacao, ultimately importing African slaves to work them.
  5. The technology gods were with us as early as 1828 when a Dutch chemist invented a cocoa press that changed the processing of the beans to a fine powder able to be mixed and molded into the basis of the delicious product we know today. I am happy to report that this new process gave us a confectionary product available to the common folk.
  6. The rest seems to be, history… as we would frequently say. Such names asFry, Lindt, Cadbury, Mars and Hersey ushered in a chocolate “boom” that has yet to decline.
  7. Statistics note the average American partakes of over 12 pounds of chocolate each year, and, unbelievable, this—more than $75 billion is spent worldwide annually.

Jan Vitale
Independent Insurance Agent
Proudly serving her clients, her community, and her industry for 30+ years

Chocolate Novels

The Chocolate Rose, Chocolate NovelsSomewhere, lying around the house, I know there are going to be some juicy novels you have read, or plan to read. I just wonder how many of them have a heavy inference on chocolate? My curious mind also wandered away from quoting an auto insurance policy—just for a few minutes, mind you—to see if there were really any novels with the word chocolate in the title; novels that were far from cookbooks or diatribes on nutrition. Guess what I found!

  • The Discovery of Chocolate by James Runcie: Follow along as the young Spaniard travels through time and shares and learns about chocolate throughout history, all the while longing for the love he lost.
  • Chocolat by Joanna Harris: Focused on a sumptuous chocolate shop in a small town, this novel pits the sinful delights of chocolate against the will of the church.
  • Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel: Forced to prepare the wedding dinner for the marriage of the man she loves to her sister, this poignant tale will keep you reading and hungry until the end.
  • Chocolate to Die For by JoAnna Carl: Follow along as a chocoholic tries to solve mysteries in this set of two novels.

I was rather tickled when I saw how one mystery writer connects with her readers… did you know Joanne Fluke  (Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder) has baked over 500,000 chocolate chip cookies for fans of her Hannah Swensen mysteries since the series debuted in 2000, not to mention countless pies, cakes, muffins and other sweets?

And some books… they seem to be rather timeless, such as Robert Cormier’s The Chocolate War, published March 12, 1974. The story of an exclusive prep academy with a secret society that dominated students through psychological warfare and systematic victimization seems little like a book where you would find much of a focus on chocolate, but it does! A fundraiser means the financial solvency for the school, but one student is forced to refuse to sell the requisite chocolates as an act of public defiance against the school—not a good choice for a young man who recently lost his mother to death and whose support of the school he desperately needs. The standoff turns into an all out war between the entire school and one teenager who isn’t even sure why he’s refusing to go along with the crowd. The book was so well received, a sequel was written in 1985.

Although certainly not the predominant topic in Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, chocolate became an important factor in his tale. “For example B.B. (Big Brother) has promised that there will be no reduction of the chocolate ration, but there has been one, so Winston has to rewrite an old article, where the speech of B.B. is reported. At dinner, Winston Smith meets Syme, a philologist, who is working on the 11th edition of The Newspeak Dictionary (see Newspeak – Political System). Syme explains the main character of their work on this dictionary. During their conversation, the telescreen announces that the chocolate ration has been increased to 20 g a week, whereas yesterday it was cut down to 20 g a week.”

I am finding this list far more extensive than I would ever imagine and want to leave you with one final read, The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris by Jenny Colgan. According to the book description, it is a heartwarming story of a tiny chocolate shop in Paris. The story opens with the main character, Anna Trent, mixing the finest hand-made chocolate in all of Paris. Many twists and turns of life have Anna returning to England, and then… back again to work in Paris with her love interest, a master chocolatier. A good romance, if that is the genre that calls to you, Anna discovers as much about herself as she does chocolate—and far more than she ever imagined about both!

I would love to hear about some “chocolate novels” you may have read!

Jan Vitale
Independent Insurance Agent
Proudly serving her clients, her community, and her industry for 30+ years