How to protect yourself and your family with Renters Insurance

What you’ll discover in this report:

  • Surprising secrets about what’s covered in a standard Renters Policy!
  • The most dangerous myth about renters insurance
  • What to do before you ever have a claim
  • Protecting your jewelry, art, computer equipment and other valuables that may not be covered!
  • Renters Insurance demystified! What are you really getting? Find out here…

Busting the Myths about Renters Insurance

It is one of the most commonly repeated myths about insurance. Renters don’t need insurance because their landlord’s policy provides coverage for the renters’ property.

No, it doesn’t. Further, if someone slips and falls in your apartment or rented home, your landlord’s insurance usually won’t provide any coverage for you if you are sued.

Renters insurance is basically like homeowners coverage without coverage for the structure.

* Note. Renters insurance provides coverage for your possessions and for liability if someone injured while on your premises sues you. Renters insurance also covers any of your possessions when they are away from your residence, including in your car.

In addition, renters policies provide what are called additional living expenses. If some catastrophe covered by the policy — fire, bursting pipes — makes the place you are renting uninhabitable, the policy will pay some of the costs you incur to live somewhere else while the residence is being repaired.

The coverage is usually limited to either a specific period of time, say 12 months, or what the insurance company considers a “reasonable length of time.” Also, there is a cap on the amount of additional living expenses the insurer will pay, usually a percentage of the total liability limits.

Like homeowners insurance, renters policies do not cover damage or losses resulting from flooding, landslide or earthquake — although it is possible to buy coverage for these risks separately.

Continue reading “How to protect yourself and your family with Renters Insurance”

How to protect yourself and your family if you own a boat!

What you’ll discover in this report:

  • Surprising secrets about what is and what is NOT covered in a standard Homeowner’s Policy for your boat
  • Clear up the common confusion about the different kinds of “watercraft” insurance…most owners don’t know this!
  • How to save money on boat insurance…
  • A special kind of insurance you may need to have…depending on what you do with your boat…
  • Insurance jargon demystified! What are you really getting? Find out here…

They are called pleasure boats or pleasure crafts, but, let’s face it, sometimes they’re a “pain.” They are expensive, to say the least — and potential danger comes with the pleasure.

They are, after your house(s) and maybe your car(s), possibly your most valued assets. You can choose to own and operate a boat, yacht or Jet Ski without insurance (although some marinas and yacht clubs won’t let you dock your craft unless you have coverage). However, that’s not a very smart choice.

Continue reading “How to protect yourself and your family if you own a boat!”

It’s What’s NOT Covered That Will Hurt You

Imagine your home is damaged.  You call your insurance agent to report the claim.  And then you hear the worst news possible, “I’m sorry.  That’s not covered by your policy.”  Now, you have a real problem.

The unfortunate truth is no insurance policy covers you for everything that could possibly happen to you or your property.  However, with a little bit of understanding you can make sure you have the protection you want … and make sure your claims get paid by the insurance company.

Beware: It’s Not Always Covered

Just because you have an insurance policy that doesn’t mean your home is covered for everything.  Your home policy doesn’t cover you against every “cause of loss”.  What’s that?  Fire is a cause of loss.  High wind is a cause of loss.  These are also known as “perils” in insurance terminology.

A standard home policy excludes many causes of loss.  That is, it does NOT protect you from certain perils – like earthquake, flood and surface water, termite damage and many more.  That means if your home is damaged by one of these excluded perils your policy will not respond.  You have no insurance against them.

If you want insurance against some of these perils, you can buy it … like earthquake or flood insurance.  However, some excluded perils are not insurable … like insect damage.  Be sure to discuss your policy exclusions with an agent in our office and buy the protection you really need.  Don’t be caught by surprise after the damage is done.  It’s too late to buy insurance then.

Special Limits On Personal Property

As if your home policy wasn’t complicated enough already it includes “special limits” of protection for some of your personal property.  A “special limit” reduces the protection specifically available for certain types of property.

Property subject to a special limit typically includes … property used for business … cash & coin collections … jewelry & furs … guns … silverware … and more.

Additionally, some of these special limits apply only if the property is lost or stolen – making things just a little more confusing.

For example, the standard home policy typically includes only $1,000 of protection for stolen jewelry.  If your $2,500 diamond engagement ring is stolen you’ll get only $1,000 from the insurance company.  Ouch! And, if the stone falls out of the ring and is lost, there may be NO coverage at all!

The bottom line is it’s very important you fully discuss these conditions and special limits with your agent and buy the protection you need.  Otherwise, you could find yourself with a very nasty surprise … an unpaid claim!

Conducting Business At Home

WARNING!  Your home policy has very strict limits and rules about business conducted at home.  The protection offered by your policy is severely limited if your claim arises from business activities.  Your business property has very little coverage.  And in some cases you may have no liability protection at all.

This is not something to take lightly and just assume everything will be fine.  Be sure to discuss your home business activities with a licensed agent in our office to make sure you’re still protected.

Other Exclusions and Options

The standard home policy excludes protection for many things.  But then the insurance company gives you an opportunity to buy some of them back.

Additionally, you have the option of increasing protection where you personally need it.

There are literally dozens of optional coverages available in your home policy.  Here are some of the more common options available to you.

Identity Theft – many home insurers now offer protection for Identity Theft in their home policies.  This will help pay the expenses you incur to restore your identity if it’s stolen.

Water & Sewage Backup – the standard home policy excludes damage caused by a water or sewage system backup.  You can buy this protection if you want it.

Ordinance & Law — pays the increased costs of repairing or rebuilding your home that are a result of changes in local building codes. For example, your home has single paned windows. After a loss, the local building department requires double-paned windows. This endorsement pays for the increased cost required by the new building code.

Packaged Endorsements – often times an insurance company will package the optional coverages people most commonly buy into a single endorsement.  That means for a lower price you can get several optional coverages added to your policy.

There are many more optional coverage and exclusion buy-backs your agent can explain to you.  Take a few moments to understand them and make good decisions about your protection.

What's New In Health Reform?

Last year it was a political hot potato and no doubt, with an election on the horizon, it’ll grab a few headlines again, but in the meanwhile the controversial health reforms program, under the Affordable Care Act, continues to move forward in 2012.  Although many of the changes don’t take effect until 2014, it’s worth taking stock of current and upcoming changes in your entitlements. These include:

  • Young people up to age 26 can now remain on their parents’ health insurance. Some 2.5 million have so far opted to do so.
  • En route to closing the “donut hole” prescription coverage gap for Medicare recipients, seniors now qualify for a 50% discount on Part D brand-name drugs when they reach the gap.
  • The Independent Payment Advisory Board has been established and, from next year, will be able to intervene if Medicare costs rise too much.
  • States are now allowed to offer home-based services to disabled people through Medicaid instead of institutional care in nursing homes.
  • From the start of this year, new rules encourage physicians to set up “Accountable Care Organizations” by working together to improve the standards of care and reduce costs.
  • From March 1, federal health care programs have to collect racial, ethnic and language data about patients to identify inequality of treatment.
  • From October, health records will have to be stored electronically – with new rules in place to make sure they’re secure and confidential.
  • Also from October, hospitals will have to publicly report on performance for a range of treatments, and reveal comments from patients.

The official Government site has also launched an easy-to-use action page to help individuals identify which public, private and community programs meet their needs. Check it out at
finder.healthcare.gov.

Ask the Agent

I love checking out the keywords that people use to find our blog.  This weekend, someone asked, “Will insurance pay off my house if I set it on fire?”  The short answer – no.  The long answer – that’s arson, which is a felony.  And if you try to file a claim on it, it’s also insurance fraud, which is a crime in 48 states.  So while you wouldn’t have a house anymore, you’d still have a roof over your head in the state pennitentary.

Driving Safety Tips

I am often amazed by the reckless driving I see on my way into to the office.  So many accidents could be easily avoided.  We handle the “after” effects in our business every day…

So, I thought I’d send you a quick “reminder” this month.  PLEASE … read through this short list of safety reminders.  It won’t take long, and it could save your life!

We drive so much it becomes sub-conscious.  So, let these safety reminders dwell in your sub-conscious, too…

  • Back off.  Odds are, if you can clearly read the bumper stickers on the car in front while moving- you’re too close!

    I wish I had the statistic of how many car accidents are rear-ending collisions.  It’s a lot.  I realize in heavy traffic it’s sometimes impossible to keep a safe distance between you and the car in front.  But try.

    A safe distance is determined by a 2 second gap – that is, when the driver in front of you passes a road marker, you shouldn’t get there for 2 seconds.  That means the faster you’re going, the bigger the gap between you and the driver in front should be.

  • Slow down.  I know its cliché, but speed kills.  It really does.  Plus, speeding tickets are expensive.  And if an insurance carrier finds out about it – and they do check – you could get a rate increase, too.
  • Put on that seatbelt.  Why fight the odds?  Statistics prove that seatbelts save lives.  Not to mention in most states being caught without your seatbelt on means a hefty fine.  Be safe – put it on!
  • Are you too close to the airbag?  Make sure you’re more than 10 inches from the steering wheel.  If you’re too close, an inflating airbag could hurt or kill you.
  • Pay attention to road conditions … and slow down!  If you lose control of your vehicle on a wet road, you might blame the road, but the cops and the insurance company won’t.  They’ll blame you!  Remember, you’re responsible for controlling the car you’re driving in ALL conditions.
  • Check all around before changing lanes.  Never assume another car isn’t there.  Look.  It only takes a few seconds for a car to move into a dangerous position.

Of course, there are tons of safe driving tips, these are just the top ones…hope this short list sticks in your sub-conscious mind and keeps you safe.

From everyone here at Hejny Insurance Agency, we thank you for your business and may the roads you travel always be safe ones!