New Property Owner? What You Need To Know About Your Landscape And Home Owners Insurance

Posted by on Feb 9, 2015 in Uncategorized

If you just bought your home, you’re likely thinking about how awesome your front and back yard is going to be when your finished decking it out the way you want. What you might not consider is the fact that the same things that can damage your home can also have a negative impact on your landscape. This guide explains what your insurance company pays for and what it doesn’t pay for in the event of a catastrophic event, so you can add additional coverage if needed. When Landscape Is Covered Under Homeowners Insurance Check with the insurance companies you’re considering to find out the particulars of what they will cover in your landscaping. Typically, insurance companies cover a certain percentage of the costs due to damage caused by the following events: vandalism fire lightning explosions Keep in mind that you may not receive the full replacement amount and not all items are covered. As with any other insurance claim, deductibles come into play, so whether it is worth filing a claim depends on how much the replacement value is. When Landscape Is Not Covered Under Homeowners Insurance Not all catastrophic events are covered by homeowners insurance when it comes to any aspect of your home, including landscaping. In many cases, landscape damage from a storm with high winds is not covered. Many insurance companies pay to have a fallen tree from a windstorm removed from your property. They will also pay for the damages to any structure that the tree hit. But they will not pay to replace the tree. Tree and plant damage causes by pests are not typically covered. Additionally, the insurance company doesn’t typically pay if plants and trees die from neglect.   Special Landscape and Homeowners Insurance Considerations As you’re planning your landscape, keep in mind that various structures such as pergolas, sheds, and other landscape buildings should be declared on your policy so that you can have the peace of mind knowing that you have coverage. If you’re decking out your landscape with expensive or exotic plants, consider additional coverage to be sure that you’re covered in the event that they are destroyed. Read your homeowners insurance policy carefully to determine whether all your hard work and landscaping expenses are covered. Remember that each company is different in what they cover. Ask your insurance company to explain anything in your policy that you don’t understand, and check to see if you can purchase additional insurance for landscaping items you pay a lot of money for. Talk to a company like Axis Insurance Agency for more...

Read More »

Hidden Dangers: Why Potholes Are More Dangerous Than You Think

Posted by on Jan 26, 2015 in Uncategorized

Th-thunk. What the heck was that? You drove over a pothole, or small uneven area, in the road — and you sure felt it. While most potholes just give you a momentary jolt, some can cause real damage to your vehicle. Almost half of all drivers have had some damage to their cars or trucks caused by potholes in the past 5 years. These problem areas in the road are more common in areas where there are severe winters, but drivers report issues throughout the U.S. What kinds of damage can potholes cause? Just about anything. Here are the most common reasons why drivers request coverage from their auto insurance policies: Tire damage Wheel rim damage Suspension damage, including broken components Steering system misalignment Exhaust system damage Engine damage How to Avoid Damage from Hitting Potholes The best way to keep from incurring damage is to avoid hitting potholes all together. Just like with all driving, staying observant is key: If you see one pothole, there could be others. Be cautious. Always travel the speed limit. Going faster could increase the damage your car gets when you hit a pothole. Keep an eye on the drivers in front of you. If they show signs of hitting a pothole, or look like they are trying to maneuver around something in the road, watch out. Don’t swerve if you see a pothole at the last minute. It’s better to hit the pothole in the road than swerve into the path of another car. Report potholes that you see or hit to your city or state transportation departments. It’s their responsibility to repair the roads. If, despite your best efforts, you do drive over a pothole, wait until you are in a safe place to pull over and inspect for damage. Take photos and note the details of the situation so you can report the pothole to transportation authorities and request compensation, if appropriate. Recovering Repair Costs It’s the job of your local or state transportation crew to keep the roads maintained and patch or repair any potholes. Before they can make repairs, workers need to identify potholes with obvious road signs. If this hasn’t been done, you may be able to recover the cost of repairing your vehicle from the government rather than your insurance. Talk to your insurance agent about the incident, along with all the details you have. Your agent can advise about how to request compensation from your city or state; if that’s not possible, your agent can assist you with filing a claim. Before you hit a pothole, take the time to check with your agent, such as someone from Hamsher Insurance, and make sure that you have the coverage you need to pay for any damage. That can make hitting a pothole a little easier to...

Read More »

Perform A Financial Check-Up For The New Year

Posted by on Jan 9, 2015 in Uncategorized

Looking for a New Year’s resolution that can make a real difference in your life?  Why not complete a financial check-up?  It doesn’t take as long as you might think to ‘pop the hood’ on your financial engine and make sure that your family is prepared for whatever rough weather may come in the next year. Here are a few suggestions: Insurance.  How long has it been since you assessed your life, health, and homeowners insurance coverage?  Years?  A decade? A lot may have changed since then.  Some of the reasons why old insurance coverage amounts may no longer be sufficient (or perhaps may be too high) include changes in income levels, number of children, ages of children, working spouses, levels of debt or home values.  Meet with your insurance agent to review changes and recommendations.  Wills/Trusts.  Do you have a will?  How about a living revocable trust?  Advanced medical directives and powers of attorney?  No one wants to think about death or end-of-life decisions, but it’s especially important for families with young children to do so.  Dying without a will or a trust in place may result in your assets not going to the persons you desire or even the state being the one to appoint guardians for minor children.  Portfolio.  Do your investment choices still make sense? While it’s usually not advisable to try to ‘time the market’ by changing an investment portfolio constantly, every investment plan needs to be monitored at least once a year (it not more).  Has your risk tolerance changed?  Are your investments still doing consistently well or do they need replaced?  This is especially important as you move closer to retirement and the horizon on your investments gets smaller.  Contact your brokerage company to see if they offer an annual review online or in person.  If participating in automatic investment plans through your employer or brokerage firm, consider increasing auto-deposits-  even by a small amount.  Interest Rates.  Look up or contact your banking institution to find out the current interest rates on savings and checking accounts.  With some research, you may be able to find better rates, rather than let inertia keep your accounts stagnant.  Consider online only banks, which often are able to offer better rates due to lower overhead.  Also, keep in mind high-interest checking accounts as an alternative to a traditional savings account.  Whether you spend a few moments or a few hours doing annual maintenance on your financial plan, it’s time well spent and has the benefit of fewer worries in the next year. Talk to your financial advisor, such as Watauga Insurance Inc, for more...

Read More »

Minimizing The Cost Of Auto Insurance Coverage For Teen Drivers

Posted by on Dec 16, 2014 in Uncategorized

Automobile insurance rates are higher for teenage drivers due their relative lack of experience. New drivers are more likely to be involved in car crashes than experienced drivers. With adequate planning, insurance rates can be kept reasonably low as a teenager becomes licensed and learns to safely operate a motor vehicle. Most states have adopted a graduated licensing program, with three license steps. Young drivers are granted greater privileges each year after they demonstrate an increased level of driving skills. After a learners permit and a restricted license, a regular drivers license is obtained. If you are a parent, your teen might be covered under your policy when driving with a learning permit. Contact your insurance company representative to inform them of the situation. When new drivers move up to a restricted license, adding them to your own coverage is probably less costly than obtaining a separate policy. Rates for coverage can be minimized in several ways. Driver training Ask your agent if a rate discount is available after the completion of an approved driving instruction course. Classes are offered in many locations, and online learning options may also be acceptable. Additional training also serves to make any driver more aware of the need for traffic safety.   Good-student discount Many companies offer discounts on auto insurance for student drivers who maintain good grades. The requirement is usually that the student must maintain at least a B average. A college student may need to be enrolled on a full-time basis. A student who demonstrates strong study habits is perceived by insurers to be a more responsible vehicle operator. Cell phone block All drivers need to refrain from cell phone use during driving. If your teen has been issued a smartphone with GPS capability, there are apps available that disable texting and most calls when the car is in motion. The phone is able to call 911 or numbers that you have selected and entered into the phone beforehand. In addition to the safety aspect, your insurance company may offer a rate discount. Additional factors affect the safety of a teen driver. Driving during daylight hours is safer than at night. The presence of teenaged passengers can create additional distractions for a young driver. Avoiding traffic citations altogether certainly helps to prevent rate hikes. Teenage drivers are subject to higher rates for several years, but the available discounts provide rewards for sensible behavior. Contact your auto insurance representative like one from Martin Insurance Company for further information on how to achieve the best coverage solution for your teen...

Read More »

Stop Paying High Premiums! Tips For Lowering Your Commercial Trucking Insurance

Posted by on Dec 11, 2014 in Uncategorized

Being a truck driver can be a very rewarding career. It allows you to see some pretty awesome places, and it can be quite lucrative, too. Just like any job, in the trucking industry there are certain tools that you need in order to do the job; and insurance is one of those tools. It safeguards you, and other drivers, from potential harm. However, insurance premiums can be quite high for commercial truckers because the trucks are expensive, they can potentially cause serious harm, and they have a high risk of being stolen. Paying high premiums isn’t the be-all and end-all, though; there are ways that you can lower your commercial trucking insurance rates. Raise Your Deductibles One of the easiest ways to lower the cost of your insurance is to increase the rate of your deductible. The deductible is the amount you pay toward any damages you may encounter before your insurance will kick in. By raising your deductible, the amount you’ll pay out of pocket in the event of an accident, your premiums will almost certainly go down. Set Up an Automatic Payment Plan Another great way to lower your premiums is by setting up an automatic payment plan. Known as Electronic Fund Transfer, or ETF, your insurance provider will be able to take payments directly out of your bank account on the due date. By using this payment method, you can avoid paying late fees, which will certainly raise the cost of your premiums. Plus, you won’t have to constantly remind yourself to pay your bill, which is another definite plus. Pay All at Once If it’s possible, pay your insurance premiums in full. Many insurance providers, such as Truck Writers, do offer a discount if you pay in full, which will allow you to save a great deal of money. Of course, check with your insurance provider first to find out if they do offer this option. You may not want to pay a lump sum if you aren’t going to benefit from doing so. Boost Your Credit Better credit can do you a world of good in so many ways, including lowering your insurance premiums. With lower insurance, you won’t be targeted as a risk to your insurance provider. Many insurance providers actually associate low credit scores with unsafe driving. So, the better your credit score, the lower your premiums will be. By putting these tactics into practice, you’ll be surprised how much you will save on your commercial trucking...

Read More »

How Exotic Pet Ownership Affects A Home Insurance Policy

Posted by on Dec 3, 2014 in Uncategorized

The ownership of exotic animals as pets is on the rise. As a result, more and more exotic pets are behind property damages and human injuries. Homeowners who want to join the increasing ranks of exotic pet owners should be aware that their home insurance policies may or may not cover the costs associated with incidents caused by their animals. What is an Exotic Pet? An “exotic animal” is, actually, a term of art; to qualify as an exotic animal, the creature must be a species that is not native to a region. If a homeowner lives in, say, Chicago, then even a pet turtle is classified as an exotic animal. Naturally, the more rare pet choices, like tigers, wallabies and chimpanzees, are also classified as exotic animals. What Exotic Animals are Legal? A homeowner cannot legally keep just any animal as a pet. Federal and state laws dictate what animals a person can legally own, and what additional procedural or licensing steps a person must take prior to owning an exotic animal. For example, Colorado prohibits homeowners from keeping nearly all exotic animals as pets, but allows homeowners to keep a limited number of non-exotic (native) reptiles. This means that a Colorado homeowner could have a pet snake if that species is native to Colorado, but cannot have a snake that is found only in Florida. How Do Homeowners Insurance Policies Treat Exotic Animals? With few exceptions, a homeowner with domestic animals will not have trouble finding an insurance provider. These policies will cover the costs of damages caused by domesticated pets, including dog bites. If a person has an exotic animal or is considering adding one to the household, then things can be more tricky, but not impossible. Insurance providers have what is called an “Exotic Pet Species Index,” which lists the types of exotic animals that its policies will cover. Home insurance providers differ in the species that they allow and do not allow; with a little bit of research, a homeowner can likely find an insurance policy that will cover potential damages resulting from the ownership of an exotic pet. What Happens if a Home Insurance Policy Does Not Cover an Exotic Pet? Most home insurance policies will deny liability if the homeowner’s exotic pet is not approved by the insurance provider. This can be a big deal because between 1990 and 2011 there were about 1,500 exotic animal incidents. Attacks are not the only source of concern for homeowners, either, considering that undomesticated animals can cause a great deal of property damage resulting from their lack of experience living in urban environments. Thus, if a homeowner’s pet tiger bites the neighbor and that homeowner’s insurance policy does not approve tiger ownership, then that homeowner will have to find another way to pay for the neighbor’s injuries. Similarly, if a cute but mischievous (and uninsurable) pet bear demolishes the kitchen,...

Read More »
Page 7 of 7« First...34567