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Renters Insurance and You

Renters Insurance and You

If you rent a home or apartment, chances are you may not have thought too much about what insurance to buy. After all, you don’t own the dwelling that you rent, so there is no need to cover it. This is true, but the dwelling itself isn’t what you should be concerned about. As a renter you still have belongings that could be lost in the event of a fire or theft, and you still have most of the same exposures that home owners do. Let’s take a look at what renters insurance has to offer: Renters Insurance Covers Your Stuff When you rent, the structure in which you reside is likely insured by the owner, whether it is a person, corporation or association. This coverage only extends to the structure, and does not extend to any contents of the structure that may be owned by you. In the event of a fire or break-in, your landlord’s policy will only pay for repair or replacement of damage to the structure.  Your belongings would not be covered, so it’s important that you have renters insurance to replace your items. Renters insurance covers anything that is owned, used or worn by you or someone in your family that resides in the home.  This includes your furnishings, dishes, clothing, books, etc. There are usually incremental limits for this coverage ($10,000, $25,000, and more). Your broker can help you select the limits of coverage that are right for your family. Please note that there are sub limits for some categories such as electronic equipment, firearms, jewelry and fine arts. Be sure to discuss...
Should You Buy Homeowners Insurance?

Should You Buy Homeowners Insurance?

To many people, insurance is just a necessary evil, and they buy only the bare minimum to comply with state or local laws, or with lender requirements.  This is true of both auto insurance and homeowners insurance. Auto insurance is usually required by state law, and so the driver must purchase the coverage for as long as he or she is a driver. There is no such compulsory law for homeowners insurance, but a lack of coverage can end up being more expensive than keeping coverage in force. Here are just a few ways home owners may find themselves uncovered in the event of a claim. PMI Is Not Your Insurance Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) is NOT homeowners insurance. If you pay less than 20% down on your home, you mortgage company will require you to purchase PMI on the loan. This insurance pays the mortgage off to the bank in the event you default on the loan. There are many good reasons to avoid PMI. As any insurance broker will tell you, the best reason not to purchase is that you do not get paid under this insurance coverage. It will not replace your belongings, and it does nothing to make your family whole again or rebuild your home. This coverage also does not provide comprehensive personal liability. Should someone be injured on your property, you would have to pay those claims and legal expenses out of pocket. No More Mortgage = No More Insurance Some homeowners work with their mortgage company to include homeowners insurance in their escrow and pay the premium with their mortgage payment every...
The ABCs of Homeowners Insurance

The ABCs of Homeowners Insurance

When you think of homeowners insurance, you probably think of a policy that responds when your house burns down, or if someone breaks in. Those things are typically covered under a homeowners insurance policy, but these policies cover those instances and so much more. There are many types of insurance policies for personal insurance coverage, but the three basics are: Homeowners Insurance. This is a policy that most people who own homes do or should have to protect their home and their belongings. Renters Insurance. This is the policy that most people who rent homes do or should have to protect their belongings. Dwelling insurance. This is the type of policy that a homeowner should have on a house that they rent to others, or that is insured at another location such as a summer or vacation home. This article will be focusing on just homeowners coverage. The sections of a homeowners insurance policy are denoted by a coverage letter, and they start with the property coverage. Coverage A: Your House. If you own a home, whether detached, semi-attached (a townhome or similar) or attached (a condominium) you should have coverage for the entire structure or the part of the structure you occupy. The amount of coverage is typically determined by an insurance (not market-value) appraisal, and may be written on a replacement cost or actual cash value basis depending on the age and construction of the dwelling. Replacement cost coverage is preferred, since you will want to replace your home should it be damaged or destroyed. Coverage B: Other Structures. In some cases, there may be another structure...
Auto Insurance 101

Auto Insurance 101

Auto insurance in most states is mandatory. For both commercial and personal autos, this means just purchasing the basics: liability insurance to satisfy the state, and “full coverage” (comprehensive and collision) on newer vehicles only. There are many other important and useful coverage options available. Your broker tries to sell them to you not just to make more money, but also to increase your coverage and policy satisfaction. Each additional option will cost a little more money, but the benefits far outweigh the initial premium investment.  Please note that the limits for each option are selected by the policyholder and coverage is subject to the selected limit.  Your insurance broker can help you select appropriate limits of coverage. THE BASICS Comprehensive Insurance. This insurance is truly comprehensive. There are almost no exclusions. If your car is damaged in an earthquake or a flood or a riot, those are covered. If you leave a lipstick on the front seat and it melts, that is covered. If a passenger pukes in the vehicle, or you accidentally leave a package of fish in the trunk over the weekend, that is covered. Subject to your deductible. Collision Insurance. It doesn’t matter if you hit a house, a tree, a mountain lion or another vehicle: if you collide with it, this insurance covers you. Subject to your deductible. Uninsured Motorist.  Just because auto insurance is mandatory doesn’t mean everyone has it. Murphy’s Law says that if you’re in an accident, the at fault driver probably isn’t going to be insured. Uninsured motorist coverage is an inexpensive way to make sure you aren’t ever subject...
Comprehensive Personal Liability

Comprehensive Personal Liability

It’s a beautiful Saturday morning, and you’re out on the golf course with a few buddies. It’s all fun and games until you take a bad swing and your golf ball ends up conking a nearby golfer in the head, knocking him out cold. What are the chances? The injured golfer’s attorney sends a letter requesting payment for medical bills and pain and suffering. Now what? This is where the concept of Comprehensive Personal Liability comes in. What is Comprehensive Personal Liability Insurance? Comprehensive Personal Liability (CPL) insurance is coverage that protects an individual against claims for liability arising out of bodily injury or property damage claims related to personal activities.  There are three ways to get this coverage: It is packaged in with your homeowners, renters or dwelling insurance policy.  Most personal insurance policies include liability insurance coverage, which is also called comprehensive personal liability. The coverage can be purchased as a stand alone policy for individuals who do not own or rent physical property that needs to be covered separately. CPL can be added to an existing personal auto policy. CPL coverage isn’t just limited to an insured premises. The coverage is usually worldwide, though you should check your policy to find out the coverage territory. The policy pays for bodily injury or property damage caused by an occurrence for which the coverage applies, subject to certain exclusions. Who Should Purchase Comprehensive Personal Liability? Accidents happen at home and away from home. A CPL policy provides both legal defense and indemnification of individuals, so every adult should have this coverage to protect themselves in the event of...