Auto Accident Tips

No one wants to be in an auto accident, but if you are, review these helpful tips.

Auto Insurance

Spring’s Coming! Do you know what type of “flooding” is excluded from your homeowners insurance policy?

Don’t be left drowning in costly water damages to your home. Find out what your homeowners vs. flood policies cover.

Need Insurance Coverage for a Special Event or Fall Festivities?

We have companies available to place your insurance with!
Eligible Classes:
• Haunted Attractions
• Pumpkin Farms
• Hayrides
• Sleigh Rides
• Corn Mazes
• Christmas tree lots including “cut your own tree”
• Mud Runs
• Skating Rinks
• Lumberjack competitions and other outdoor sporting events

• General liability limits up to $5M
• Property and inland marine
• Liquor liability
• Excess over AL / GL / LL
• Annual or short term
• No attendance limitation
• Additional insured coverage available

Affordable Insurance for Renters

Affordable insurance for renters

I rent my home. Am I covered for losses under my landlord’s homeowners or landlord insurance?

No. Your landlord cannot insure your personal property, your personal computer, clothes, stereo, television, jewelry, furniture, bicycle, artwork and other items against destruction or loss. Renters insurance, however, will give you both property and liability insurance and it’s very affordable, typically costing less per month than a cable bill.

Is a renters insurance policy inferior to a homeowners insurance policy?

No. Renters insurance provides essentially the same coverage as homeowners insurance, but without coverage on the dwelling. It covers personal property, protecting the renter against many causes of loss, such as fire and smoke, lightning, vandalism, theft, explosion, windstorm and water damage from plumbing as well as offering coverage for personal liability.

Does renters insurance cover all of my possessions?

It depends. Some possessions, jewelry, firearms, silverware are subject to a per category theft limit. Most renters policies set a $1,500 total limit on jewelry that is stolen, a $2,500 limit on firearms and a $2,500 limit on silverware or flatware. Many people feel that their pets are their prized possessions. Unfortunately when it comes to insurance, your pets are not covered. Other items, money, securities, personal records, watercraft and others are subject to special limits of liability. If your valuables exceed these limits, you may want to consider purchasing a floater which provides additional coverage for some of your items.

What if my family and I cannot live in our home because of damage caused by a fire?

Your renters insurance will pay for your living expenses that exceed those normally incurred before the loss, if an occurrence renders your home or apartment unfit to live in. This is a true benefit if you are required to live in a hotel for any length of time or pay for meals at a restaurant while your place is being renovated.

Will I be covered under my renters insurance if I am sued by someone who was seriously injured at my residence?

Yes. If a lawsuit covered by your policy is filed against you or against a relative living with you, your personal liability coverage under a renters policy will pay for legal defense costs and attorneys fees. It will protect you if you accidentally cause bodily injury to others or damage someone else’s property either at your residence or away from your residence.

OK I’m convinced. What should I be on the lookout for in selecting a policy or in checking my existing coverage?

When purchasing renters insurance, choose a policy wisely to be sure that all your possessions are covered. To begin, renters should take a home inventory, noting the description and value of their belongings. A copy of this inventory should be stored in a safe place outside of the home, such as a safe-deposit box. The inventory will be of great assistance later if you need to file a claim.

Also, be sure to inquire about property not covered under renters insurance, theft limits and other special limits. We’ll provide you with a list of standard coverage limits, so you know whether you’ll need to buy a floater.

If your apartment or home has a security system, smoke detectors or deadbolt locks, you may be eligible for discounts on your renters insurance. Call us today we’ll be happy to explain the many options available to you.

PIA Your Professional Insurance Agent … We want you to know about the insurance you’re buying.

Ok…So what the heck IS professional liabilty insurance?

Professional Liability Insurance

“Errors and omissions coverage” is another name for professional liability  insurance. It helps protect doctors, accountants, attorneys and architects and a variety of other business professionals against negligence claims made against them.

What is Covered

An example of an item covered by professional liability insurance would be an  accounting mistake that causes the customer a financial loss. Professional  liability covers claims awarded in a lawsuit.

When Professional Liability Coverage is Needed

If your industry has professional standards of care, you need professional  liability coverage. Different coverage is available for different types of  professional liability policies such as medical malpractice  coverage.

A Separate Policy is Needed

A separate policy is necessary for professional liability coverage. General  liability insurance and homeowner’s insurance do not cover professional  liability claims.

Where to Find Professional Liability Coverage

If you are a member of a professional trade organization, you may get a discount on your coverage. Your local independent insurance agent can advise you of the best deals available.

Does Homeowners Insurance Provide Coverage Beyond Your House?

Yes. Homeowners insurance provides financial protection against disasters. A standard policy insures the home itself and the things you keep in it.

Homeowners insurance also cover your liability or legal responsibility for any injuries and property damage (other than professional or motor vehicle related liability) you or members of your family cause to other people.

Damage caused by most disasters is covered but there are exceptions. The most significant are damage caused by floods, earthquakes and poor maintenance. You must buy two separate policies for flood and earthquake coverage. Maintenance-related problems are the homeowner’s responsibility.

A standard homeowners insurance policy includes four essential types of coverage. They include: coverage for the structure of your home; coverage for your personal belongings; liability protection; additional living expenses in the event you are temporarily unable to live in your home because of a fire or other insured disaster.

1. The structure of your house – This part of your policy pays to repair or rebuild your home if it is damaged or destroyed by fire, hurricane, hail, lightning or any other disaster listed in your policy. It will not pay for damage caused by a flood, earthquake or routine wear and tear. When purchasing coverage for the structure of your home, it is important to buy enough to rebuild your home.

Most standard policies also cover structures that are detached from your home such as a garage, tool shed or gazebo. Generally, these structures are covered for about 10% of the amount of insurance you have on the structure of your home. If you need more coverage, talk to your insurance agent about purchasing more insurance.

2. Your personal belongings – Your furniture, clothes, sports equipment and other personal items are covered if they are stolen or destroyed by fire, hurricane or other insured disaster. Most companies provide coverage for 50% to 70% of the amount of insurance you have on the structure of your home. So, if you have $100,000 worth of insurance on the structure of your home, you would have between $50,000 to $70,000 worth of coverage for your belongings. The best way to determine if this is enough coverage is to conduct a home inventory.

Expensive items like jewelry, furs and silverware are covered, but there are usually dollar limits if they are stolen. Generally, you are covered for between $1,000 to $2,000 for all of your jewelry and furs. To insure these items to their full value, purchase a special personal property endorsement or floater and insure the item for its appraised value.

3. Liability protection – This covers you against lawsuits for bodily injury or property damage (other than professional or motor vehicle related liability) that you or family members cause to other people. It also pays for damage caused by your pets. So, if your son, daughter or dog accidentally ruins your neighbor’s expensive rug, you are covered. However, if they destroy your rug, you are not covered.

The liability portion of your policy pays for both the cost of defending you in court and any court awards – up to the limit of your policy. You are also covered not just in your home, but anywhere in the world.

Liability limits generally start at about $100,000. However, experts recommend that you purchase at least $300,000 worth of protection. Some people feel more comfortable with even more coverage. You can purchase an umbrella or excess liability policy which provides broader coverage, including claims against you for libel and slander, as well as higher liability limits. Generally, umbrella policies cost between $200 to $350 for $1 million of additional liability protection.

Your policy also provides no-fault medical coverage. In the event a friend or neighbor is injured in your home, he or she can simply submit medical bills to your insurance company. This way, expenses are paid without their filing a liability claim against you. You can generally get $1,000 to $5,000 worth of this coverage. It does not, however, pay the medical bills for your family or your pet.

4. Additional living expenses – This pays the additional costs of living away from home if you can’t live there due to damage from a fire, storm or other insured disaster. It covers hotel bills, restaurant meals and other living expenses incurred while your home is being rebuilt. Coverage for additional living expenses differs from company to company. Many policies provide coverage for about 20% of the insurance on your house. You can increase this coverage, however, for an additional premium. Some companies sell a policy that provides an unlimited amount of loss-of-use coverage – for a limited amount of time.

If you rent out part of your house, this coverage also reimburses you for the rent that you would have collected from your tenant if your home had not been destroyed.

What is My Home Worth?

by agent and partner Ron Kadey

That’s a question that is not quickly answered.  In the property insurance business we try to avoid the word “worth”.  It’s too nebulous.  When my clients question the amount of coverage on their home I always start my explanation by clarifying the difference between “market value” and “replacement cost”.  “Market value” is what your home would sell for.  This value is determined by many factors e.g., square footage, amount of land, location, school district, mortgage market, waterfront or not, etc.  “Replacement cost” is a reflection of how much it costs to rebuild your home, specifically, a contractor’s cost of labor, material, and profit margin.  These two values are worlds apart.  Suppose we take a typical 2,000 square foot colonial and put it in the inner city area.  It would sell for maybe $70,000.  Next we place it in a typical suburban neighborhood.  Now the selling price or “market value” for the same house becomes $180,000.   Lastly, we now locate our home at a nice lake nearby with 200 feet of frontage.  Yikes, now it’s selling for $350,000.  However, the “replacement cost” is still the same, no matter where it’s located within the same general region.  The cost of labor and materials does not change. 
Most typically an insured will call and question why we are insuring his/her home for $200,000. when he/she can only sell it for $140,000.  But occasionally the question is reversed.  Just yesterday a client called and wondered why we insured his home for only $180,000 when he just paid $250,000.  Well, it’s because his home is a waterfront property.  This factor, or course, pushes the “market value” way beyond the “replacement cost”.
Therefore the most accurate and economical way to protect your home is to be sure you are insured on a “replacement cost” basis.

Insuring Your In-Home Business

Insuring Your In-Home Business

How Are Insurance Rates Set?

How Are Insurance Rates Set?

Are your holiday gifts covered?

Are your holiday gifts covered?