2 weeks ago ·
by Donna ·
If you’re renting an apartment, condo, or home, then you’ll need an additional renters’ insurance policy to cover your personal belongings. Even if you feel like you don’t need insurance, here are some reasons why you should get such a policy.
It Protects Your Personal Property
It can cover your personal property in the event of a flood or a fire. Certain things like your television set, laptop, or furniture are often not covered under your landlord’s policy. Renters’ insurance allows you to cover the costs of your personal belongings.
Determine the actual cash value of your belongings. The Actual Cash Value or Replacement Cost can help you fix or replace some of your belongings. The Actual Cash Value will reimburse you for the things that got lost or damaged.
It Creates a Safety Net For Liability Costs
You might think you’ll never get sued. What happens if you get into an altercation with a neighbor over a noise complaint? What happens if you accidentally leave the oven on and it causes a fire to spread to the other apartments?
If you’re negligent or at fault, then you may have to pay up. Liability coverage can help cover some of those costs and any additional expenses for which you’re held accountable for.
It Creates Peace of Mind in Emergencies
If there’s a natural disaster in your area that makes conditions unliveable, your insurance may be able to cover the costs of additional living expenses for when you need a temporary place to stay. If your apartment costs less per month than your temporary location, then your insurance company will make up for the difference. It gives you peace of mind, knowing that you’ll have a temporary place to stay when needed.
It Covers Your Possessions Anywhere in the World
Renters’ insurance can also cover your personal belongings when you’re traveling. It doesn’t matter if your belongings are in your home, your vehicle, or in your luggage. Your possessions lost from theft can still get covered. Check your insurance policy to find out these “other covered losses.”
It Can Help Cover Additional Expenses
It can help you cover additional expenses such as temporary living, food, and other items. Check with your insurance policy to find out what “additional living expenses” it covers and for how long. Find out if there’s a cap that the insurance company will only pay.
Your Landlord Requires You to Have It
Your landlord’s policy may only cover the apartment and the grounds. As mentioned before, it’s not going to cover your property. Landlords are now requiring their tenants to have renters’ insurance policies. If you don’t know where to find the right coverage, your landlord can help you out.
Now you know why it’s so important to have this type of insurance. Ask your agent how you can save money when choosing a new policy. You may get a discount if you purchase renters’ and auto insurance through the same company. Speak with your local insurance agent for more information.
3 weeks ago ·
by Donna ·
There may be nothing more sacred than the safety and security of your home and family so, of course, you would go to any lengths to protect them. You can install systems to safeguard against events like home intrusion and fire but there is no way to prevent that unthinkable disaster. However, you can guarantee that you and your family will be prepared by creating a home emergency plan. This type of plan should be designed for all emergency situations so here are some tips to ensure that your plan is complete.
Review Your Insurance
Any property loss can be devastating but you will suffer less anxiety if you know that you are financially protected. The first step is to review your policies to be sure that they will cover any natural disasters that may be prevalent based on the area in which you live. Then, determine that your deductibles are within your budget and that the policy will pay the replacement costs of your property and possessions. Make whatever adjustments wherever necessary.
Design a Home Escape Plan
There is usually panic and chaos in a major emergency so to ensure that everyone has the best possible chance for escape, you need a step by step plan. The plan must include the locations of escape routes from each room in your home, assignment of specific duties to all who can handle them, and accommodations for those like infants, senior citizens and pets who cannot escape independently. There should be a step included for someone to contact emergency personnel if there is no home security system or if it malfunctions. You must identify safe meeting spaces within the house in case of an earthquake or tornado and outside of the house in case of fire or flood.
Create Contingencies If Separated
Emergencies often occur with little warning so you need to decide how you will respond if all family members are not together during the event. You should check with schools and other organizations to determine how they will protect your children. You should also teach your children how to contact you if necessary. Your local fire and police departments can make recommendations to help you with this part of the plan.
Plan for Evacuation of the Area
In cases where there is the potential for devastation to entire communities, it may be necessary to evacuate the area. You should decide on the location of your temporary shelter and multiple routes to use to travel there. It is important to inform friends and family members of your evacuation plans when possible so that they can track your progress.
Pack an Emergency Bag
One of the first steps in your home emergency plan is to pack a bag. This bag should be on hand in a designated area of your home and should contain all the items you need to sustain all members of the family for at least 72 hours. The bare essentials are water, a whistle, a first aid kit, a non-battery-operated flashlight, a portable device charger and a battery-operated radio. Any necessary medications like insulin or inhalers should be added once the evacuation decision is made.
Design a Communication Plan
Your plan needs to include instructions on how family members will contact each other if separated. In widespread emergencies, cell towers may become inefficient so texting should be the first option. Internet service may also be affected so you should identify wifi hotspots outside of your local area so that you can use email or social media to update loved ones about your situation. A written list of emergency contacts should be carried by all family members so that authorities can notify them if your communication efforts fail.
Practice Makes Perfect
Once you have the plan, practice it, practice it and practice it. Create a variety of possible scenarios and work through each of them. Make adjustments to the plan when necessary. There is nothing like the real thing and it is difficult to know exactly how everyone will respond. Hopefully, a well-organized home emergency plan keeps you and your family safe from all harm.
1 month ago ·
by Donna ·
Congratulations on pursuing your passion and taking the leap to become a home-based business owner! Starting your own home business can be an exciting albeit nerve-wracking time. The good news is the odds of success are in your favor.
Today, there are approximately 38 million home-based businesses being run throughout the US alone, and 70 percent of these have managed to stay in operation for at least three years. Even more inspiring is the fact that these same home businesses generate over $400 billion each year, making them a vital part of the overall economy.
With so much at stake, home businesses need to be protected just like any other business entity. Whether you plan on working for yourself around the clock or only a few hours a day, proper insurance coverage is a must in order to protect your business and assets should anything unexpected occur.
If you’re running a home-based business, the type of business you’re operating, the amount of inventory you have, and your sales volume are just a few of the many factors that will affect which home business insurance coverage is best for you.
However, with so many intangibles to account for and insurance options out there to choose from, how do you select the right coverage for you and your home business? Fortunately, we’ve broken the selection process down to three simple steps.
Keeping reading to learn how to choose the right coverage, insure your home business, and begin protecting your bottom line today.
Step One – Understand Your Home Business Insurance Options
Many insurance carriers provide several different insurance options for home-based businesses. Your coverage needs will vary depending on the type of home-based business you’re running.
For example, if you’re a freelance writer or graphic designer with no tangible goods other than a computer and software, the amount of coverage you will need will differ from someone selling custom t-shirts with a room full of inventory.
A simple home owner policy endorsement may do the job, or you may need several individual business insurance policies. Perhaps a businessowners package policy is a better fit?
Here’s a look at each of these options and how they apply to home businesses like yours.
Homeowner’s Insurance Endorsement
While homeowner’s insurance is designed to cover homes and not businesses, it may be suitable for your home business needs if you only need a small amount of coverage for business property. More than likely, incidental business property is already covered under your base policy. However, it provides zero business liability coverage. A business endorsement can solve this dilemma.
There are generally two types of home business endorsements:
• Endorsements that cover inventory, tools, computers, and so on
• Endorsements that cover liability
Basic business-related property endorsements typically provide up to $3,000 of coverage for business property in the home and only $250 of coverage when away from the home.
Liability endorsements only provide coverage in the event someone is injured on your property, and they are usually only available to home-based businesses with very few business-related visitors.
Unfortunately, neither provide professional liability coverage and offer protection in the event of a lawsuit. There is also no comprehensive coverage option for loss or damage to off-site business property, loss of records, and loss of income due to extensive damage to your home resulting in an unusable space.
With loss of income coverage, if a covered home event like flooding or a tornado forces you to pause in-home operations, you will receive funds to pay employees and bills for up to 12 months. If you need this or even more coverage to fully insure your home business, a businessowner’s policy may be a better option.
A businessowner’s policy, or BOP, is designed for home-based businesses of a larger scale. If you need to protect $10,000 or more of business property or have multiple types of liability coverage, you should consider a BOP.
Aside from the added protection, one of the main advantages of a BOP policy is the ability to have specific liability coverage for your type of business. However, it’s important to note that a BOP typically only covers any damages caused to others as a result of your product or service. It doesn’t cover the actual product or work itself.
It’s also worth pointing out that BOPs don’t provide any health, life, disability, or worker’s compensation coverage. So, if you have employees and want to cover your bases, it may be worth looking into these types of coverage as well.
Commercial Auto Coverage
Similar to homeowner’s insurance, personal auto insurance is not designed to provide coverage for business use. Therefore, if you have a company-owned vehicle, you need commercial auto insurance.
With commercial auto insurance, you can protect both company-owned vehicles and personal vehicles used for business. Commercial auto policies also generally cover coverage gaps between personal auto and business liability policies.
Whether you travel daily for your business to and from job sites or once a week to mail documents and packages, a commercial auto policy can make sure you’re covered in the event of theft or an accident.
Step Two – Find an Independent Insurance Agent
Independent insurance agents specialize in helping people just like you find the right home business insurance coverage. So, if you don’t already have one for your home or auto, find one.
Your independent agent will help you secure the best coverage at the best rates available. However, no ordinary agent will do. To get the right coverage for your needs, it’s important to work with an agent with experience insuring your specific type of home business.
Step Three – Regularly Review Your Coverage as You Grow
Whichever agent or type of home business coverage you choose, it’s a good idea to regularly review your policy and discuss any changes with your agent. Similar to the way you would review your homeowner’s policy when adding a bathroom or addition, you’ll want to increase your home business coverage as you increase your inventory, add additional work vehicles, and so on.
You may also want to discuss umbrella policies with your agent. The right agent will offer the right advice to provide you with superior protection both now and in the future.