Protect Yourself

The Benefits of Renter’s Insurance

There are many benefits to invest in renters insurance. One of the most common mistakes that tenants make is assuming that the landlord’s insurance will cover their belongings in the event of loss or damage. In addition, tenants may think that renters insurance is too expensive. However, the common myths associated with renters insurance that keep tenants from purchasing it can end up costing much more in the long run.

It is imperative to always read the fine print in your lease. You may assume that your landlord is liable for damages caused by leaky roofs or broken appliances, but there could be a clause in your lease that negates landlord liability, such as for theft, or injuries to a guest visiting your apartment. Also, your lease may require you to obtain renters insurance, especially if you live in an expensive apartment.

Guest Injuries

If a guest slips and falls, trips, or has any other accident in your home, you may be liable for injuries and medical bills should your guest pursue you for damage because of your negligence. It is simple to assume that guests are safe in your house, but if they happen to injure themselves falling down on a loose step, or a heavy painting falls and hits them in the head, the medical costs can get quite expensive. If your pet bites a guest you may also face some pricey medical bills.

Issue with Theft

In the event that your home gets burglarized, your landlord will not be responsible for anything stolen, assuming that your landlord is not legally responsible for the break-in. For example, some states require landlords to provide minimum-security measures, and should a break-in occur because the security was not properly provided, your landlord may hold some liability. However, if your landlord is not responsible, the chances of recovering your valuables are typically slim, but renters insurance will protect your stolen property as long as it is listed on your policy and you meet the coverage limits.

Natural Disasters

If your rental home and property is damaged because of a natural disaster, such as wildfire, hail, or tornado, the landlord may or may not repair the home damages, but your personal property usually isn’t covered. Renters’ insurance will protect you in the event that a natural disaster occurs, but keep in mind that a few natural disaster coverage options are considered “riders,” which means they are add-on coverage, such as earthquakes or floods.

If you are unsure about what renters policy to invest in, make sure to contact us. We can answer any questions or concerns that you might have. Being aware of your insurance policy can help protect you, your family, and your belongings from any unforeseen damage that may occur. Make sure to contact us with any questions you may have.

Why Do You Need Home Owner’s Insurance?

People take out homeowners insurance for the same reason they take out car and health insurance. If a home is damaged or someone else injured on the property, insurance helps owners cope with the financial consequences. Homeowners insurance is actually a combination of two different types of protection, hazard insurance, and liability insurance.

Hazard

Hazard insurance protects you against unintentional damage or destruction to your house or its contents, including fire, storm, theft, vandalism and similar threats. It can cover the cash value of the damages or the replacement value; replacement value pays enough to replace what you lost, but cash value only pays what a property is worth. The cash value for a five-year-old $1,000 television won’t be $1,000, for instance, because it depreciates with age, making it worth less in the insurer’s eyes.

Liability

Liability insurance covers personal liability for accidents on your property. If your neighbor trips on a hose in your yard and gets hurt, for example, liability insurance will pay for his medical expenses, up to the policy limit.

Mortgage Requirement

One reason homeowners need insurance is that mortgage companies require it. If you take out a mortgage, your house is the lender’s collateral, so your lender will require you to buy a minimum level of hazard insurance. That does not prevent you from buying a greater amount than the minimum, if you think it is necessary.

Exclusions

Homeowners insurance doesn’t protect you against everything: Insurers routinely exclude things such as flood damage and earthquake damage from coverage, though separate flood and earthquake policies may be available where you live. If an older building is damaged more than 50 percent, it will have to be rebuilt to the current building-code standards; the law exclusion means the insurer won’t pay the cost of upgrading wiring or roofs to meet the code.

If you have any questions about your insurance policies, make sure to contact us so we can answer any questions or concerns you might have.

Types of Life Insurance

Life insurance protection comes in many forms, and not all policies are created equal. While the death benefit amounts may be the same, the costs, structure, durations, vary across the types of policies.

Whole Life Insurance

This provides guaranteed insurance protection for the entire life of the insured, otherwise known as permanent coverage. These policies carry a “cash value” component that grows tax deferred at a contractually guaranteed amount, usually a low interest rate, until the contract is surrendered. The premiums are usually level for the life of the insured and the death benefit is guaranteed for the insured’s lifetime. With whole life payments, part of your premium is applied toward the insurance portion of your policy, another part of your premium goes toward administrative expenses and the balance of your premium goes toward the investment, or cash, portion of your policy. Your basis is the amount of premiums you have paid into the policy minus any prior dividends paid or previous withdrawals.

Universal Life Insurance

This is also known as flexible premium or adjustable life, is a variation of whole life insurance. Like whole life, it is also a permanent policy providing cash value benefits based on current interest rates. The feature that distinguishes this policy from whole life is that the premiums, cash values and level amount of protection can each be adjusted up or down during the contract term as the insured’s needs change.

Variable Life Insurance

This is designed to combine the traditional protection and savings features of whole life insurance with the growth potential of investment funds. This type of policy is comprised of two distinct components: the general account and the separate account. The general account is the reserve or liability account of the insurance provider, and is not allocated to the individual policy. The separate account is comprised of various investment funds within the insurance company’s portfolio, such as an equity fund, a money market fund, a bond fund, or some combination of these.

Term Life Insurance

This is one of the most common policies. Term insurance can help protect your beneficiaries against financial loss resulting from your death; it pays the face amount of the policy, but only provides protection for a definite, but limited, amount of time. Term policies do not build cash values and the maximum term period is usually 30 years. Term policies are useful when there is a limited time needed for protection and when the dollars available for coverage are limited. The premiums for these types of policies are significantly lower than the costs for whole life.

No matter what policy you have, or are looking to get, make sure to contact us with any questions that you might have.

Why Having Multiple Policies May Be Needed

Life insurance is a wonderful tool that spares your loved ones some of the pain of losing your income and support. But as with insurance options, the terminology can be confusing to many people. Complicating matters, life insurance comes in two basic forms that have many different names and different degrees of coverage. The question most people ask is whether they need term life or whole life.

The most basic definitions are the simplest: term life lasts for a specified term of your life; whole life lasts for the rest of your life. In both policies, your beneficiaries receive your death benefit when you die. The main differences lie in the duration of the two forms of life insurance and some of the built-in features available.

But term life is generally aimed at younger consumers, and often those customers outgrow their term life policies. If you buy a policy at 25 and name your parents and your spouse as beneficiaries, you can later change the policy to include future children, but the overall terms will remain the same, your designated beneficiaries would end up with fewer benefits from your life insurance policy. Consequently, some term life policies allow you to switch to whole life down the road.

Term life comes in two basic forms: level term life and decreasing term life. Level term life is more popular because the death benefit stays the same throughout the policy’s time frame. In decreasing term life policies, the benefit decreases over the course of the policy, most commonly in one-year increments. As with most insurance policies, the premiums you pay are not refunded if you make no claim during the course of the policy

Also known as permanent life insurance, whole life policies pay out death benefits if you die tomorrow or years from now. Whole life also allows you to build equity in the form of a savings account. Whole life insurance is available is three types of policies, each with their own variations.

Having multiple life policies offers consumers more flexibility and more opportunities to save on overall costs. This is possible because multiple policies do not cancel each other out. Rather, they work together to better meet your individual needs. Life insurance is available is so many forms that it can fit your current financial situation and whatever your situation may be in the future. If you have any questions about your current policy or other options, make sure to contact us.

Knowing How An Umbrella Policy Can Help You

Having the right insurance policy can help protect yourself, your family, and your property. If you find yourself in a situation where the basic policy is not enough, and umbrella policy can be beneficial to help cover extra costs.

A personal umbrella policy is a type of insurance that provides liability coverage over and above your automotive or home owners policy. So, if your liability coverage is not enough to pay for the damages of an accident you cause or a visitor’s injuries on your property, a personal umbrella insurance policy kicks in right where your underlying policy’s coverage left off. An umbrella policy could provide the additional coverage you need so that you do not get stuck trying to pay the remaining balance yourself. This extra policy could help protect your bank account, home, and other personal property.

In most cases, personal umbrella policies are available in million-dollar increments, from $1 to $5 million. While an umbrella policy is not required, it may offer increased protection in the unfortunate event of an accident. No matter if you have questions about your existing policy, or any other insurance policy, make sure to contact us. We can review with you the different options you have, and recommend what type of insurance policy is right for you.

Benefits of Having Car Insurance

When you own a vehicle, it is important to invest in car insurance. By having insurance, it will keep you from hefty fines, possible impoundment of your vehicle, suspension of your license, and even jail time that can result if you are convicted of driving without this important form of protection.

Different Types of Auto Insurance

There are several types of coverage drivers should consider. Liability car insurance is the most important part of the insurance because it protects you from the financial and legal repercussions of an accident affecting another vehicle, driver, or property. The benefits of liability car insurance will apply if find yourself responsible for damages to others, not to yourself or your own vehicle, in an accident.

Having only the minimum level of insurance means that you are leaving yourself open to a significant amount of risk if damages from the accident exceed your coverage levels. On the other hand, having too much car insurance means you might be paying excessive premiums for coverage you do not need. It is important to do your research when deciding how much liability insurance you need. We can also advise you on the correct amount you will need

Collision is the form of car insurance that will pay for damages to your own vehicle in an accident. If you owe any money on your car, you will likely be required by the bank to purchase collision insurance. Choosing the right deductible for you is an important consideration. The deductible refers to the part of any damages that you must pay yourself before your policy kicks in. Paying a higher deductible means forking over less each year in premiums because you are taking away some of the burden from the insurance company. If you choose a lower deductible, you will pay more for your policy because the insurance company is assuming more risk.

Comprehensive car insurance coverage is an extension of collision insurance that covers your vehicle when it is on the receiving end of damages from theft, weather, or fire. When your windshield is struck by a rock over the course of your travels, for example, it is comprehensive insurance that will pay to repair the crack. If you ever have a question about insurance or your current policy, make sure to contact us.

Understanding Homeowners Insurance

Having insurance is important and necessary to protect your home, but do you know what is included in the insurance? If you have any questions or concerns about your insurance, or coverage you might need, make sure to contact us and we can advise you.

When you purchase insurance, make sure you are getting the right coverage you need. There are different levels of coverage, so you will want to make sure you have enough to cover what you have. You will also want to avoid paying for more than what you need. One level in the policy protects newer, well maintained homes. It can cover against accidents and disasters, except for those specifically excluded by the policy.

You should also understand the details and terms of your policy. The deductible will refer to the amount you will pay out of pocket before the insurance kicks in. The higher the deductible is, the lower the annual premium will be. You will also want to know what liability coverage is. This is the coverage that will pay for medical or legal bills if someone is hurt on your property. Personal property refers to your property such as furniture, electronics, or clothing. Replacement cost is the kind of insurance that will pay for the full cost of replacing your personal property, but only up to a maximum dollar amount. Most of the standard policies offer replacement cost, but you will want to make sure the amount is correct for your items. If you have questions about what your insurance means or covers, always make sure to contact us. We can help answer your questions, as well as advise you on the right coverage that you will need.

Why Do You Need Insurance?

Having insurance is important in order to protect yourself and what you own. You can find an insurance policy that cover almost anything imaginable, but there are only a handful of policies that you actually need. Some types of insurance can protect your possessions, income, and even provide for a loved one when you are gone.

Health insurance is a necessary policy to have. Good health allows you to work and earn money, as well as enjoy life. If you come down with an illness or have an accident without health insurance, you may find that you are unable to receive proper treatment. Many employers will provide health insurance benefits to full time and sometimes part time employees. If you do not currently have health insurance, make sure to contact us so we can set you up with the right plan.

Another insurance policy you can invest in is life insurance. This is recommended to have if you are married or have children. When you are gone, you create an income gap, which could put your spouse or children in financial trouble. This can also create more stress on the family during a difficult time. Many employers offer basic life insurance as a benefit, so make sure to check with them first. Otherwise, you can contact us and we can provide the right coverage for you.

You should also make sure you have homeowners insurance. For many people, their home is their greatest asset, so it is vital to adequately protect it. If you rent your home instead of own it, you should get renters insurance. Your possessions inside your home can add up to a significant amount of money. If there was a fire, natural disaster, or burglary, you should have a policy that will cover most of the replacement costs.

You can also invest in auto insurance. This will help protect your vehicle incase it gets damaged and you would like to repair or replace it. Most automotive policies can also cover bodily injury or death of another person in an incident that you are legally responsible for. You can also find medical payment coverage that pays for medical treatment for you and your passengers during an accident, regardless whose fault it might be. If you have any questions about your current insurance policy or any other ones, make sure to contact us so we can answer your questions.

What is an Umbrella Policy?

A personal umbrella policy can be a good option for you. It is a type of insurance that will provide liability coverage over and above the auto or homeowners policy. If the liability coverage is not enough to cover the damage of an accident you cause or and incident on your property, a personal umbrella insurance policy kicks in right where your other liability has been reached. By having an umbrella policy, you can be protected when your other insurance is not enough. An umbrella policy provides additional coverage or excess liability above the limits of your basic policies. It can protect you from bodily injury liability claims and property damage liability claims. Umbrella policies also provide a broader form of coverage and can help cover legal fees, false arrest, libel, and slander.

Your umbrella insurance can come into play if you are found liable and need to pay damages, or if you are sued and need to pay for your legal defense, even if the result is that you are not found to be responsible. An umbrella policy only pays once your basic liability limits have been exhausted or the claim is excluded from the basic liability coverage. The claim will be made against you, the policyholder, on behalf of the wronged party. Then your insurance company may pay the settlement amount up to the limits of your coverage. If the settlement amount exceeds your coverage limits, you are responsible for paying the remaining amount out of pocket.

When choosing your coverage limits, there are some things you should consider. Consider the risks that you might face. Consider risks as a homeowner or renter, the risk of causing an accident during your work commute, and any potentially dangerous activities you participate in that could put those around you at risk. Also remember to value the assets you have. These include properties, possessions, stocks, bonds, savings and retirement funds. The more assets you have to protect, the higher the umbrella policy limit you should consider. Since liability lawsuits can results in loss of both current assets and future income, consider potential loss of future income. Even if you have a few assets to protect, you may want to consider the long-term ramifications of a serious claim.

If you have any questions about your current insurance policies or other ones, make sure to contact us. We can advise you on the options you have, as well as recommend the policies that are beneficial for you.

Be Aware of Cyber Insurance

When you hear about insurance, one type that you might not be aware of is cyber insurance. By knowing what cyber insurance is, you can help to protect yourself, as well as your business. Since technology, social media, and the internet play a key role in how most organizations conduct business or reach out to potential customers, there is a greater chance that a cyber attack happens. This can happen to businesses large and small.

A cyber insurance policy, is also referred to as cyber risk insurance or cyber liability insurance coverage. This is designed to help an organization mitigate risk exposure by offsetting costs involved with recovery after a cyber related security breach or similar event. About one-third of U.S. companies currently purchase some type of cyber insurance.

Cyber insurance typically covers expenses related to first parties as well as claims by third parties. Although there is no standard for underwriting these policies, the following are common reimbursable expenses for cyber insurance. If you have any questions about your insurance policy, or cyber insurance, make sure to contact us so we can explain the options to you.