Why Do I Need Renters Insurance?

For many 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.

The second 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 necessary.
  • 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.

In addition to these standard coverages you should consider the following additional coverages.

  • 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 damage.
  • 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.

Many renters 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.

Overall the 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 financial independence.

What you need to know about selecting a home deductible.

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.

National Insurance Awareness Day, June 28th

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:

Home:

  • 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 policy accordingly.
    • 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.

Auto:

  • 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.

Schedule:

  • 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.

Umbrella:

  • 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 gap.
  • 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 agent today!

The Value of An Insurance Agent

Recently, I have been seeing the same quote over and over again in my daily readings. It’s in my trade journals, my social media posts, and my daily business readings. It is stirring up several thoughts and feelings that I need to voice.

As of right now, insurance agents are in an uphill battle to gain more ground as a necessity in the insurance industry. I, we are battling against the major insurance giants that spend millions of dollars on advertising to gain market share.

What few fail to realize is that not all insurance is created equal. Every insurance company is different. An insurance company has several different types of policies for the same purpose. And pricing is specific to the person requesting coverage. Insurance is not a one size fits all.

Can you imagine if your underwear was a one size fits all? What if cars were sold as, one size fits all?

Sounds kind of crazy doesn’t it? So why would insurance be one size fits all?

That being said, how is the discerning insurance buyer suppose to know what they need and execute the appropriate policy on their own? They wouldn’t and they shouldn’t have to.

That is where insurance professionals like myself come into to play. We don’t have millions of dollars to create fancy ads using a lizard with an Australian accent. What we have is knowledge and experience and your best interests at heart. We live and breathe insurance on a daily basis. Our job is to help you determine your needs and get you the right policy at a price you can afford.

So what is this quote that is bring all of this to the forefront…

“Premium is what you pay, value is what you get.”

What value is your insurance company providing you?

Insurance for Older Homes

I visited Evergreen Museum yesterday. I was able to take a self-guided tour of the museum. It was amazing to see the details of the home up close and personal. The design of older homes is just amazing.

As part of the tour I learned why you should consider Chubb Insurance Group to insure your older home.

Do you know the differences between a Georgian home versus a Queen Anne home? The appraisers at Chubb sure do. Not only do they know the difference but they can also tell you alot about the architects and designers of those types of home, and the cost to replicate the home today. They are truely experts in their field.

If you have an older home you should consider Chubb. Call me for more information.

Chubb Insurance Group: http://www.chubb.com/personal/

Evergreen Museum: http: http://www.museums.jhu.edu/evergreen.php

Pamela

Home Inventory

Do you know how much stuff you have in your home?

Would you remember every item you currently own after a major loss?

What about the value of each of those items?

These are some pretty tricky questions, which are even tougher to answer after you experience a home fire or other catastrophe.

In an effort to help you recover after a loss you should have a home inventory or listing of all of your personal property in your home. So when a loss does happen you can relieve some of your stress and get back to normal quicker.

Insurance Information Institute (III) has come up with software that can be used via your iPhone or Android to document your personal property, and it’s free!

This software should even be used by individuals that own a condo or rent. The value of your personal property is the driving force of policy premium. Having an idea how much stuff you have will help narrow down a premium faster.

Information on conducting a home inventory, and instructions on getting the software can be found by visiting, http://www.knowyourstuff.org/iii/login.html.

Check it out today!

Coach… yummy!

It’s official… I have my first Coach purse! It looks so pretty and it has that new smell. Its so sleek and stylish. Eeeek! See for your self.

Are you jealous? I would be if I were you and didn’t have a Coach purse. Lol!

Truth be told and I am a fashion nut. I subscribe to like 5 fashion magazines. And when I receive them I go through them religiously. My husband always teases me about my expensive taste, which means I have to remind him of his expensive taste. He did pick me, right? And you can’t forget his collection of fishing rods, reels, and the several tackle boxes full of fishing gear. (Baby, see I’m learning the lingo…)

So now I have another purse but not any purse… A Coach! She will go right next to my Guess and Jessica Simpson purses.

Now here is the lesson….

This precious purse is an investment, despite the fact that I got it 80% off. I would like to protect my investment. I know a major way do to so… homeowners insurance. Your homeowners insurance policy should have replacement cost coverage for contents, so that when my precious Coach bag is lost or damaged my homeowners policy will pay the full price to replace it.

Time to go show off my new stylish, Coach purse.

Pamela