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.
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.
5 months ago ·
by Donna ·
Homeowner’s and renter’s insurance policies offer personal property coverage. There are many categories that insurance companies use to assess reimbursement for theft or damage to an item. We will discuss the replacement cost and actual cost value. The coverage stated in your policy will determine which one applies to you. A good place to start is to know the difference between the two different claims payouts.
What is the actual cost value?
This is one of the methods that an insurance company uses to reimburse your claim. It is the least expensive and benefits those on a tight budget. Using the actual cost value (ACV) method, you will not receive the full amount of money that your paid when you originally bought the item. An exception to that rule would be if you have some antiques in your home.
The insurance company has a way of compiling the actual cash value of an object. They start with determining the market value of an item. This begins with discovering how much you paid for it. Next, they consider how long you have had the object. There are other criteria that may be used such as the expected lifespan of an item and its condition. The ACV is the value of an item minus depreciation.
What is the replacement cost?
It is another method that an insurance company uses to pay out a personal property claim. This is the most recommended coverage to have because it has more benefits for the home owner. A claim is handled differently than an actual cash value request. The claim amount tends to be of a higher amount.
When using this process, the owner is offered how much it would cost to re-purchase the damaged item as if new. This type of coverage is used for many objects including insuring the house itself. Insurance companies use contractors with house structure claims due to their expertise in knowing the materials used and how to estimate the costs to re-do a home.
There are many things to consider when preparing to buy new coverage or switching insurance companies. Do you prefer replacement cost or actual cash value? In both instances, you need to already have the coverage before an incident occurs. Consider the cost and benefits of the different value assessments. Do you have many high-end products to insure or a small amount of less expensive items? This may make a difference.
It’s important to read your policy and fully understand the type of plan that you have. Don’t forget to ask an insurance professional if you have questions. It would be helpful to take an inventory of your possessions. Taking pictures of your inventoried items will make the process easier when you have to file a claim. Another factor to keep in mind is the deductibles that you would need to pay before insurance will make a payment. Lastly, remember that your insurance has limits and may not pay the entire cost of replacements.