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Insurance for Tsunamis

Insurance for Tsunamis

Due to an increase in seismic activity, earthquakes and other underwater events seem to be happening more often. Those earthquakes occurring in the ocean sometimes spawn tsunamis, which can have devastating effects on coastal areas. Is your home or business covered in the event of a tsunami? What is a Tsunami? A tsunami is defined as “a long, high sea wave caused by an earthquake, submarine landslide or other occurrence.” A list of notable tsunamis from around the world throughout history can be found here. While many listed tsunamis have occurred outside the United States, there is a precedent for tsunamis affecting the United States. Earthquakes occurring in the Pacific Rim in 1946 and 1964 caused tsunami damage in Alaska, Washington, Oregon, California, and Hawaii. Recent seismic activity on the Pacific Coast has made residents and the US Geological Survey nervous about future events. Do You Have Tsunami Insurance? It is important to note that most homeowners policies do not cover earthquakes, flooding or tsunamis. These policies must be purchased separately in order to have coverage for these events. Where Can I Get Tsunami Coverage? While your homeowner’s insurance doesn’t cover it, you can get coverage for tsunamis on other policies. Earthquake insurance. Most tsunamis are caused by earthquakes, so it would make sense that there would be coverage under the earthquake policy. However, tsunami coverage is generally a sub-limit of earthquake coverage, and the limit may not be sufficient to cover damage caused by an earthquake-triggered tsunami. It is important to discuss coverage limits with your broker prior to an earthquake or tsunami to determine adequate limits. Flood...
College Students & Insurance

College Students & Insurance

In just a couple of months, your freshly minted high school graduate will be off to college. If your student will be living away from home for college, it is time to start thinking about what insurance coverage they have, and what they will need. For the college student to be covered under your homeowner’s policy the student must be a relative of yours that was a resident of your home before leaving for college, under the age of 26, and enrolled in the college or university full-time.  Property Insurance for College Students If you have homeowners insurance coverage, you may already have property insurance for your college student. However, there may be limitations to that coverage. Most homeowners policies extend coverage to insured property outside the home whether it is in storage or at a college dorm. The limit of this coverage is usually a designated percentage of the covered property, usually around 10%. For example, you have $150,000 in contents coverage on your homeowner’s insurance policy. 10% of that may be designated for off-premises, so your college student would have $15,000 in contents coverage in their college dorm. It’s important to discuss with your insurance broker just how much offsite coverage your policy extends. Then you and your insurance broker need to determine whether that amount is enough to cover all of your student’s belongings including clothing, linens, computers, gaming equipment, etc. Please note that the coverage may extend to the student’s belongings while in the college dorms but it may not cover your student’s belongings if they live in a sorority or fraternity house or in...
A Closer Look At Insurance for LLCs

A Closer Look At Insurance for LLCs

As we have previously discussed, LLCs are a great way to protect company assets, but this corporate structure is not a replacement for actual insurance coverage. Insurance for LLCs should still be a consideration. Let’s take a closer look at why. You Can Still Be Sued In an article on Legal Zoom about LLCs, it is noted that forming an LLC makes a company a separate entity from the company owners. In the eyes of the law, the company “can own money and property, have a bank account, make agreements, sue people, and be sued.” While the corporate structure may protect individual owners from legal liability for company activities, it does not protect the company from being sued. Lawsuits cost money. The best prepaid legal option a company can have is a solid commercial general liability policy to protect against both nuisance claims and legitimate lawsuits. There’s an insurance policy for that: General Liability. You Can Still Make Mistakes Many professional businesses such as lawyers and doctors cannot form LLCs in certain states. If your business is formed as an LLC the corporate structure does not protect you or the business from decisions made by professionals within your company that result in damage or loss to your customers. There’s an insurance policy for that: Professional Liability / Errors & Omissions You Can Still Suffer A Property Loss The physical assets of your business such as your equipment, furnishings, and buildings are still vulnerable to damage or loss. Fire, theft, hurricanes, earthquakes, floods and other natural disasters won’t stop at your front door due to your corporate structure. There are...
Should You Buy Insurance Online?

Should You Buy Insurance Online?

You may be tempted by the slogans: “Think of the Savings!” and “Coverage at Your Fingertips, Anytime Day or Night”. Buy insurance in your pajamas? This must be a dream! That dream, however, could turn into a nightmare. After all, you’re not buying a jar of peanut butter, you’re buying a risk management tool in case something bad happens to you. Here’s why you should avoid buying insurance online: No Comparison There are very few insurance aggregator websites out there. If you want the best price, you’ll have to enter your information on a number of websites. Besides the margin for error, you might get finger cramps. And really, who is to say that the best price is really the best price for comparable insurance coverage? All policies are not created equal, so the option with the lowest price may also offer the lease amount of coverage. How can you tell?  By reading and comparing all of the policy documents! Who has time for that? Luckily, an independent insurance broker has the skills and knowledge to not only get quotes from multiple carriers, but also to compare the coverage and help you determine what coverage options are worth the premium. You can’t get that expertise from a machine. No Coverage Advice While some online quoting websites tout “coverage options” what do they really mean? The website is often referring to a list of different endorsements that may be available for the policy you are quoting with pricing options for those endorsements. But what do those options really mean?  The website may give a brief description of what would be...
Car Accidents: An Insurance Survival Guide

Car Accidents: An Insurance Survival Guide

According to statistics at the Association for Safe International Road Travel, just over 2 million people are injured in traffic accidents in the United States each year. Assuming one per accident, that’s nearly 5,500 accidents per day, and that’s just the accidents reported with injuries. How many other are there when you include minor accidents? As the population ages and the numbers of vehicles on the roads increase, your chances of being in an accident also increase. How can you protect yourself, and what should you do if you are involved in an accident? Be Prepared Even if you aren’t a Boy Scout, your motto as a driver should always start with “be prepared.” Before every trip you should try to do the following: Locate your auto insurance ID card. You should try to have two: one for your wallet and one for your glove compartment. Even if you have an electronic copy on your phone, a hard copy should be available in case you need it. Keep a notepad and pen in your glove compartment. These will come in handy should you be involved in an accident. Do a quick visual inspection of your vehicle. Are your tires properly inflated? Is there anything that needs repair or replacement? Adjust your side and interior mirrors before taking off. They may have been properly adjusted last time you checked, but it’s always a good idea to check again. For the safety of you and your passengers, make sure you: Wear seatbelts. This includes everyone in the car, including the driver. Keep your hands off the cell phone. Put your phone...