Friday, December 7, 2018

Protecting Your Valuables: The Two Step Solution

It’s the holidays! And you bought that “special someone” a certain piece of bling that they’ve been hinting at for the past year. What happens if that item is lost or stolen? Do you have it insured properly?

On Homeowners and Renters Insurance policies you can “schedule” or list out specific items to be covered. This applies to jewelry and other items such as fine arts, antiques, even wine collections. If you don’t schedule an item, the policy deductible will apply. After the deductible is satisfied, then you have another problem – special limits of liability. Most Homeowners and Renters Insurance policies have special limits on valuable articles such as jewelry. For example, your $5K ring gets stolen. Let’s say you have a Homeowners policy with a $1K deductible and a $1K special limit on jewelry: In this case, the policy will only pay up to a $1K for that loss. So, here’s the solution:

1.       Get an appraisal for any item you want listed. An appraisal is so important because it provides the value of the item and will assist the insurance company in the event of a loss. 

2.       Choose your deductible. Did you know that you can have a zero-dollar deductible on scheduled items?  Let’s go back to that $5K ring that was stolen earlier. In this case, if it was scheduled with a zero-dollar deductible, you can now recover the full appraised value of that item. As you can see there is a BIG difference between “scheduling” and not scheduling.
In our example, a difference of $4000!

The typical cost to schedule an item is $10 per thousand in value. In this case scheduling the $5K ring would cost approximately $50 per year.

So now that you know the facts, are your valuables insured properly? Contact your agent if you have any questions.  ~ Logan Kirk

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Rental Car Insurance: 3 Facts You Didn’t Know

Have you ever rented a car and the agent asks you if you want to purchase their insurance? Are you confident in your answer? Here’s what you need to know…

Accidents happen, unfortunately, and let’s say you have an accident while driving a rental car. Now what? There are three items you should keep in mind: personal liability, damage to the rental vehicle and loss of use. 

Item #1
Personal Liability
Liability Insurance protects you in the event that you cause an accident that results in injury or property damage. If you have auto liability insurance of your own in force, this would apply to your rental car, so you’re covered!

Item # 2
The Vehicle
Most companies consider a rental vehicle to be a “substitute” for the one you usually drive, and so they would cover the actual loss of the vehicle, minus your deductible. For physical damage to apply to a rental you must carry physical damage coverage on at least one vehicle on your auto policy. You may find that accepting the rental company’s insurance could be a good choice because there is usually no deductible, and you would not have to turn in the claim to your own insurance.

Item # 3

Let’s say the rental car gets damaged. Loss-of-use is the rental company’s loss of revenue while the car is being repaired. Although your own auto insurance may cover the liability and physical damage, it may not pay for the loss-of-rental-income.

Some insurance companies will cover loss of use, but it is sometimes limited in terms of how much they will cover each day. Let’s say you rent a vehicle for $50 per day and your insurance company only provides coverage for $20 per day; you would be responsible for that $30 per day difference.

Bonus Tip!
Did you know? Your credit card may provide coverage!
If you have a credit card that offers travel rewards, check your benefits. Some cards will offer physical damage coverage and loss-of-use coverage if you booked the vehicle rental with that specific card.

If you’re wondering what’s covered under your policy give us a call for a free review.
~ Logan Kirk
Logan Kirk, Insurance Advisor

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Is your business properly protected for an employment related lawsuit?

Even though you are an honest and fair employer, one accusation of unfair employment practices could cost you thousands of dollars. Charges ranging from age or sex discrimination to wrongful termination, even unfounded charges, can hurt or destroy a business.

Until recently, only large businesses were able to affordably insure against the risk of employment practices claims. Now employers of all sizes can insure against the risk.

While multi-million dollar jury awards against large corporations make the headlines, thousands of small- and medium-size businesses experience difficult times. Answering a groundless complaint filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission can be costly to employers.

Employers face increased financial risk of potentially violating ever changing and complex employment laws such as the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Family and Medical Leave Act and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. Your directors, managers, supervisors and employees may not fully understand the ins and outs of these laws and may be unaware of new rulings and interpretations.

Contact our offices today to discuss affordable options to protect your business.  ~ Mike Dostal

Monday, March 19, 2018

Facts about Renters Insurance

“What’s the point of renters insurance? I don’t own anything of crazy value.” This response is a common misconception when it comes to how the world views renters insurance.
Renters insurance is actually an essential (and inexpensive) tool in properly protecting not only your “stuff”, but other things too.
  • Personal property- this is your “stuff”. Don’t think you have a lot to protect? Take a second and mentally take a personal property inventory, starting with the big-ticket items: your furniture, clothing, kitchen items, electronics, etc. Clothing alone will add up quickly when you add up all the items in your closet. Remember, when calculating your inventory don’t think about what Plato’s Closet would pay if you were to box everything up and take it in; think about how much you paid for the items new.
  • Personal liability- this is protection against any liability or lawsuits filed against you. This could be something as simple as one of your friends injuring themselves while at your place for a party or your dog biting somebody.
  • Loss of use- this covers temporary living expenses (lodging, food, etc.) when your place of residence is uninhabitable. An example would be pipes freeze and burst causing water damage to your unit. You have to vacate your place while a restoration company comes in to mitigate the water, a plumber repairs the pipes, etc. Renters insurance pays for your reasonable living expenses while you do not have access to your residence.
  • Valuable articles- thinking of taking it to the next level with your significant other and purchasing some jewelry? Renters insurance can cover this by “scheduling” it. Doing so can guarantee the value of the item in the event of a loss. Be sure to ask your agent to ensure that it is covered for theft and mysterious disappearance (losing it), the two most common valuable article losses.
Other important things to consider:
  • Living with a significant other, sibling or friend? Did you know that anyone living in the same residence can share a renter’s policy? This
    will likely provide cost savings versus having separate policies.
  • If bundled with the same company, having renter’s insurance can provide a discount on your auto insurance and vise-versa. Win-win!
As you can see, renters insurance provides a range of coverages for a reasonable premium (the average premium is only about $10 per month!). As you set yourself up with a plan for financial success be sure that renters insurance is part of it.  ~ Logan Kirk
Logan Kirk