What if everything you own was damaged, stolen or destroyed? Would you have the thousands of dollars to replace valuable merchandise, such as your clothes, jewelry, computer, DVD player, television, furniture, and stereo equipment?
In the past 25 years what determines your insurance premium has undergone huge, complex changes. At one time car insurance premiums were based simply on your age, vehicle and driving record, but those days are over. Credit history and stability are becoming huge factors in your premiums in addition to claims history, home ownership, and prior insurance coverage. There are dozens of insurance carriers who want your business but their premiums to cover you can vary by hundreds of dollars for the same coverage.
If you call an insurance company directly to get a policy, you will only get one price and it may be way too high. By using an independent insurance agent, you will have the advantage of an insurance expert working on your behalf to find their lowest price for great coverage.
Many people ask why an independent agent will get for you their lowest price. It is because our agents know that if they don't find you the best price you will look elsewhere for insurance. Like any other retail store an independent agency won't stay in business if they are selling products at a high price.
You may wonder if you are getting the best coverage they have to offer. This is our agents are trained to do. Selling poor coverage will ultimately lead to you being dissatisfied in the event you have a claim. If you are dissatisfied, then our agency loses a customer. Our agents depend on making sure their customers are satisfied and coming back year after year. Independent Agents know the difference between quality carriers and carriers that may not be there for you when you need them.
Many businesses are exposed to the financial consequences of their ownership, use or maintenance of vehicles used in their operations.
Most coverage needs can be handled by a business auto policy (BAP) or similar form which cover operations such as:
Liability Coverage–protection for physical injury to other persons or their property because of an accident related to your covered vehicle, including legal defense cost or expense.
Comprehensive Coverage–handles loss from any cause except collision. A limited, less expensive option is available. It only protects against a set of specific causes such as fire, lightening, explosion, vandalism and several others
Collision–takes care of damage from crashes with another object or overturn of the vehicle
Towing And Labor Costs–handles expenses for moving disabled vehicles
Loss of Use/Rental Vehicle Coverage–if you damage a rental car, this option helps to reimburse the rental company for income it loses because the vehicle is out of use. Also, there may be limited coverage for injury or damage that you cause to others while using a rented vehicle anywhere in the world.
Typically, a business auto (or similar form) bars coverage for the following:
Most insurance policies are designed to cover the following:
If you share an apartment or rent a home and each of you retains separate ownership of your property, each of you should carry your own tenant's policy. If you own the home jointly, but maintain separate ownership of your personal property, you might consider the following strategy:
If each person has his or her own vehicle, the insurance question couldn't be simpler. Each vehicle should be insured by the individual owner. However, if two unrelated people share ownership of a vehicle, the policy covering the car should have a joint coverage endorsement added to it. A joint coverage endorsement (which may have various names) should result in giving the co-owners the same coverage as if they were related. (This endorsement is not available in all states.) The same strategy may be used when only one person owns the household's vehicle. The other person (who does not have his/her own car) may be added via a joint coverage endorsement. However, other options may exist such as (depending upon the insurer): the non-owner resident may be added to the owner's policy as a part-time driver or the other person might purchase a "non-owned" auto policy to get automobile coverage.
The insurance industry is making halting steps to acknowledge a broader range of ownership arrangements, including policy forms that allow policies to reflect domestic partnerships. How can you be sure about whether your interests are properly covered? Easy…speak to one of our insurance professionals; discuss your situation in detail and then determine the best way to structure your policies.
Holidays? Vacations? Coverage?
Usually insurance decisions are made on a static basis, related to life’s milestones such as the following:
However, there’s an issue with milestones. Typically years pass between these events and that may cause you complacency about your coverage needs. You may not recognize that having adequate protection is more dynamic.
Not to worry, there is an easy way to consider making necessary changes. Often, holidays and vacations include acquiring more personal items, such as Christmas, anniversaries and birthdays. These are times that, besides fun and memories, are also accompanied by gifts, such as jewelry or other high-value items. After these special days, take a moment to evaluate whether you received property that might make it prudent to update your coverage.
How about vacations? Generally any coverage concerns are unnecessary for routine trips within the country. However, what about dream vacations in foreign destinations or in-country get-aways for extended periods? In either case you may need to consider whether your existing policies cover the situation. For instance, do you need temporary, separate coverage for protection in other countries? Will your travel create any special liability issues? Did you acquire new property that needs protection? Will you be away so long that you have to address any issue created by your absence from your residence?
Having proper coverage means taking the steps to make sure that it protects you in the manner you need. Use these special days and events as touch points to contact one of our insurance professionals to make sure you have needed protection.
Coverage for mobile/manufactured homes is generally offered using two approaches. Some policies include a laundry list of items (or perils) that may cause a loss. Other policies protect your home against everything EXCEPT for a host of specified perils. Either approach includes liability coverage that protects you for injuries or losses to others which you accidentally cause.
Property Insurance Needs
Any coverage option you choose is likely to reflect the fact that mobile homes are, well, mobile. Therefore coverage is affected by the fact that mobile homes:
The policy is likely to include a provision that requires you to get permission to move your home. Once granted, you're likely to get thirty days of special transportation protection for collision; sinking, upset or stranding (a special, higher deductible may apply during the move). Another common coverage feature is coverage for your attempt to move the home in order to prevent damage from an insured cause of loss. For example, you move your mobile home fifty feet to get away from a neighboring trailer that is on fire. IMPORTANT: coverage for moving endangered property usually has a modest limit (several hundred dollars is typical) because of owners who may be too heroic or clumsy for anyone's good.
Liability Insurance Needs
The liability protection connected with mobile or manufactured homes is, for all practical purposes, identical to the liability provided to conventional homeowners. Why? The likelihood of guests to be hurt at your home, or your probability of being sued, tends to be the same. The important thing to remember is that one of our agents is a tremendous source for getting the information you need to be sure that your home and property are adequately protected at a reasonable price.
When you buy an engagement ring or expensive jewelry, know what your policy says.
Most homeowners and renter's insurance include jewelry as personal property, but that coverage may not be enough to cover your purchase.
Many policies set a limit and might not protect against all losses. Given the sentimental value of some heirlooms, think about coverage for all situations.
Wherever you go and whatever you do this Thanksgiving, I wish you the best. Being able to work with you is something I’m truly grateful for.
1. Inspect electrical decorations for damage before use.
Cracked or damaged sockets, loose or bare wires, and loose connections may cause a serious shock or start a fire.
2. Do not overload electrical outlets.
Overloaded electrical outlets and faulty wires are a common cause of holiday fires. Avoid overloading outlets and plug only one high-wattage into each outlet at a time.
3. Never connect more than three strings of incandescent lights.
More than three strands may not only blow a fuse, but can also cause a fire.
4. Keep trees fresh by watering daily.
Dry trees are a serious fire hazard.
5. Use battery-operated candles.
Candles start almost half of home decoration fires (NFPA).
6. Keep combustibles at least three feet from heat sources.
A heat sources that was too close to the decoration was a factor in half of home fires that began with decorations (NFPA).
7. Protect cords from damage.
To avoid shock or fire hazards, cords should never be pinched by furniture, forced into small spaces such as doors and windows, placed under rugs, located near heat sources, or attached by nails or staples.
8. Check decorations for certification label.
Decorations not bearing a label from an independent testing laboratory such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL), Canadian Standards Association (CSA), or Intertek (ETL) have not been tested for safety and could be hazardous.
9. Stay in the kitchen when something is cooking.
Unattended cooking equipment is the leading cause of home cooking fires (NFPA).
10. Turn off, unplug, and extinguish all decorations when going to sleep or leaving the house.
Unattended candles are the cause of one in five home candle fires. Half of home fire deaths occur between the hours of 11pm and 7am (NFPA).
The definition of “commercial use” varies by company. Our agency can help you determine your needs.