Tomorrow is officially Halloween 2019. Many kids are eagerly awaiting this big day. In preparation below are some tips for keeping the holiday fun and safe.
Tips for home owners:
Keep walk ways clear of debris and leaves to reduce the chance of slip and falls.
Have the walk way to your home clearly marked and if possible lit.
Keep pets crated or in another room to reduce the chance of your pet escaping or a child being injured if your pet nips or jumps.
When giving out candy to small children you may wish to confirm with the parent if the child can have hard candy that may cause choking and/or candy with peanuts or milk that could cause an allergic reaction
When traveling go extra slow in communities and where you see trick or treaters.
Tips for trick or treaters:
Keep costumes at ankle length or shorter to prevent trips and falls.
Wear a light or other device to make others aware of your presence when walking sidewalks, walkways, driveways, roads, etc.
Remove face masks and covers when walking from home to home to reduce injury.
Make sure you monitor your small children with their candy to make sure they do not consume it before you have had the chance to inventory it.
The photos above are my minions over the years. I am excited to capture an image of them for my collection tomorrow. Stay tuned!
their first home is a rental unit or an apartment. I also did this for a few
years. When you go to sign the leasing agreement the leasing office will
require proof that you have renters insurance. This is the main reason you
purchase renters insurance.
reason to purchase reason is to protect you, the renter. There are a few
coverages that are important for a renter of a unit or an apartment to have.
Contents or Personal Property – This is
all the stuff you put into the unit/apartment; furniture, clothing,
pots/pans/dishes, electronics, etc. If you lose everything in a fire will you
have the money to replace all of your personal belongings?
Loss of Use – If you have a covered
claim and you are unable to live in your unit/apartment. This coverage will
cover the cost of a hotel, apartment, etc. temporarily. You will still be responsible
for the rent on your unit/apartment unless the leasing company decides to let
you break lease.
Personal Liability – If someone slips
in your unit/apartment and decides to sue you for medical costs and/or inability
to work, etc. this is coverage to pay for the damages or to settle the suit. If
found liable for a traumatic event your wages can be garnished by the courts if
Medical Payments – If the same person
that slips in your unit/apartment needs medical attention this is good will
dollars to get them necessary emergency care.
to these standard coverages you should consider the following additional
Replacement Cost Coverage for
Contents/Personal Property – After a covered claim you will want new furniture,
clothing, etc. not used.
Personal Injury – If you are accused
of libel, slander, defamation of character whether true or not you will want coverage
which can be provided through this endorsement.
Identity Fraud – Now that you are
taking on more responsibilities you have a higher exposure to an identity fraud
event, which can have long term consequences if you are unable to undo the
Water Back-Up – If a drainage system
in your unit/apartment backs up into your home you will need coverage for the repairs
and personal property damaged. You must add this endorsement to yours renters
policy in order to have coverage for this type of loss. This is the #1 cause of
home claims across the country.
assume the leasing company or property manager will cover the cost of a loss to
your unit/apartment. The leasing office/property manage can still hold you
responsible for the damages and they will not cover you for the loss of your personal
belongings or your liability as the occupant of the unit/apartment.
cost of renters insurance is minimal at around $200 a year or $15 monthly. While
renters insurance may feel unnecessary it is important in order to maintain your
At the end of July I had what I would call a traumatic insurance event. I was woken up one night by my husband saying the police were knocking on our door. It turns out an impaired driver had struck my SUV while parked outside our home. As I glanced out my window I could not see damage to my SUV but what I found shortly there after was my vehicle was a total loss.
I don’t know about other people but I loved my SUV. It took me a month to commit to buying her and I was diligent in maintaining her. I invested my time and money in maintaining the condition of my vehicle. I also enjoy the independence of having my own vehicle at my disposal at all times.
As an insurance professional I thought it would be smooth sailing but it was not. Between negotiating vehicle values to the rental car shuffle, nothing went as I thought it would. I was in four different rental vehicles while trying to get back to where I was before this claim began.
I am finally at the tail end of the claim and this is what I have learned.
Get towing coverage, whether through your auto insurance policy or a AAA membership. Get it! To drag my SUV onto a flat bed tow truck off of the curb the cost was over $400. Also, have the number of a tow company you trust for those 4am tow emergencies.
Get rental reimbursement coverage and buy it up to a minimum of $50 per day. For someone like me that drives a full size SUV with two small children in carseats and a 6’2″ tall husband you need more than the $30 per day limit. A full size SUV today is $90 per day if you are not the insurance company.
Know the value of your vehicle when you are reporting the claim and research similar vehicles as comparables so you are not surprised by the value the insurance company estimates.
In my case my gut told me my vehicle was totaled. If you have any inkling that your vehicle is totaled start finding a replacement vehicle as soon as possible. I did not want another vehicle. I delayed the process and had a hard time committing in the end.
If you have a good insurance agent they will help guide you through the claim process and give you tips and tricks to help make it as smooth as possible. Some claims will go smoothly and others will not. When the big claim comes along you will want someone on your side to help you along the way, if not just to vent to. I don’t wish claims on any one but if a claim happens I want to be there for them.
When looking at insurance quotes our eyes automatically drift to the bottom line premium quoted. But what about all the stuff above it? Not all home quotes and/or policies are created equal. One of the key parts of a home quote and/or policy is the deductible. Below is a list of things to keep in mind as you consider a home quote and/or policy.
Some deductibles are flat and some deductibles are percentages. Percentages are typically used in coastal areas where there is a higher probability of wind, hurricane, etc. A percentage deductible is based on the dwelling value listed in the policy. If the dwelling value increases the deductible increases as well.
Some deductibles are specific to a type of coverage; Water Back-Up, Water Damage, Hurricane, Tropical Cyclone, Named Storm, Wind/Hail, etc. You may also see the term All Other Peril which means where a specific deductible is not identified the All Other Peril deductible applies.
A home policy can have multiple deductibles which can be a problem if a claim triggers more than one deductible. Understanding how each deductible applies at the time of a claim is important.
Some deductibles are dictated or required by the insurance company. This decision can be based on where the home is located, such as coastal. One insurance company may require a higher deductible than another insurance company.
Some home policies waive the deductible for large claims or a total loss claim. Knowing when a deductible waiver applies is important. This can be beneficial in deciding on a high deductible.
Some companies offer a reducing deductible if you remain claim free.
It is important when you are reviewing a home quote that you be aware of the deductibles. While a high deductible will reduce the policy premium, a high deductible can be detrimental if you can not afford the deductible at the time of a claim or the losses that occur are below the deductible. An insurance agent can help you review all the deductibles applicable to a quote and/or policy. An agent can also help you select a deductible that fits your financial situation while providing you the most advantageous premium.
This Friday, June 28th is National Insurance
Awareness. The day was created to encourage everyone across the nation to
review their insurance policies.
Below are some tips to help you observe the day:
Review the home value. The value of the home
should be based on current construction costs, not market value. You should
review the home value every 3 to 5 years.
Review the home credits. If you have installed
an alarm or have turned your alarm service off you should update the home
Review the deductible. The higher the deductible
the lower the premium. Also a higher deductible will discourage you from filing
small claims which can impact your ability to obtain coverage in the future.
Review the endorsements included in the policy.
If you have switched insurance companies recently a coverage may have been
dropped during the process.
Review drivers listed on the policy. All
licensed drivers residing in your home should be listed on the auto policy.
Failure to do so could result in a denied claim for unlisted drivers.
Review ownership of the vehicle. If the loan or
lease agreement has been satisfied update the policy. This will prevent delays
in payment at claim time. Any change in titled ownership should also be
reflected on the policy or a new policy purchased for the vehicle.
Review deductibles. Insurance companies
continually increase the price breaks for higher deductibles. As with the home
insurance a higher deductible will save you premium and discourage you from
filing small claims.
Review usage of each vehicle. Vehicles used for
Uber or Lyft services do not have coverage while being used for this purpose.
Vehicles used for business purposes may also not have coverage if used for
business at the time of a claim.
Update items to be listed along with values.
Appraisals should be completed every 3 to 5 years to keep up with market
values. Use an inventory such as Collectify
to manage your collection easily.
Update properties, vehicles, drivers,
recreational vehicles, boats, etc. at each renewal. Failure to update could
result in no coverage under the umbrella.
Make sure the underlying insurance policies for
each of the above meets the minimum liability requirements to avoid a coverage
If you do not have coverage for the underlying
insurance policy for each of the above obtain it at your earliest convenience.
With the help of a Trusted Insurance Advisors they can help
you review your policies at any time, not just this Friday or at renewal. A
Trusted Insurance Advisor is there to help you every step of the way. Call your