THURSDAY, AUGUST 11, 2016
If you lease a car, you still need to buy your own auto insurance policy. The auto dealer or bank that is financing the car will require you to buy collision and comprehensive coverage. You will need to buy these coverages in addition to the others that may be mandatory in your state, such as auto liability insurance.
Collision covers the damage to the car from an accident with another automobile or object.
Comprehensive covers a loss that is caused by something other than a collision with another car or object, such as a fire or theft or collision with a deer.
The leasing company may also require "gap" insurance. If you have an accident and your leased car is damaged beyond repair, or "totaled," there's likely to be a difference between the amount that you still owe the auto dealer and the check you'll get from your insurance company. That's because the insurance company's check is based on the car's actual cash value which takes into account depreciation. The difference between the two amounts is known as the "gap."
On a leased car, the cost of gap insurance is generally rolled into the lease payments. You don't actually buy a gap policy. Generally, the auto dealer buys a master policy from an insurance company to cover all the cars it leases and charges you for a "gap waiver." This means that if your leased car is totaled, you won't have to pay the dealer the gap amount. Check with the auto dealer when leasing your car.
If you have an auto loan rather than a lease, you may want to buy gap insurance to protect yourself from having to come up with the gap amount if your car is totaled before you've finished paying for it. Ask your insurance professional about gap insurance; it may not be available in some states.
THURSDAY, AUGUST 11, 2016
The roof of your home is an essential part of the structure and any damage to it can cause structural damage right down to the foundation. The problem is, you do not see the roof often. You probably don't think about it too often either. Nevertheless, the roof faces a wide range of risks from the weather and other damage such as falling trees. One of the biggest risks to your roof is water. Protecting your home from water damage, which not only weakens the structure but also leads to the buildup of mold, is essential.
Routine Inspections are Necessary
Perhaps the first and most important step for homeowners is to have their roof inspected on an annual basis at least. This will provide the highest level of protection for the homeowner in preventing water damage, especially damage that gets into the roof's foundation and under shingles. Having a licensed roofing company inspect your roof for damage should happen in the spring and fall.
Get Into the Attic
Take a flashlight and head into the attic. With the lights out, do you notice any holes or areas where the sun is getting into the space? This could signal an area where water can also get into your space. It's best to also touch the walls and flooring to look for areas of moisture. Often times, water will run down the beams and hide very easily from plain view. Nevertheless, it could end up under your insulation and in your ceilings.
Look for Signs of Leaks
There are various other ways to spot leaks.
- Does the attic smell musty?
- Do you have stains on the ceilings or walls of your home that you cannot explain?
- Do you notice your paneling, floorboards or other materials warping?
- Is there peeling wallpaper or paint noticeable?
- Do you see missing tiles or shingles from your roof?
If you spot any of these concerns, talk to a roofer. In some cases, your home insurance can help to cover the damage. However, this depends on the cause and if routine maintenance was lacking and therefore, the cause of the damage. Protecting your home means looking for water leaks regularly.
THURSDAY, AUGUST 11, 2016
Airbnb is the new 'it' thing when looking for cool digs to stay when you’re out of town or looking for a change in scenery. Want to stay in a condo in the middle of downtown? No problem. A quick search on Airbnb and you could find a condo and rent it in just a couple of minutes. This is the new fad. Random strangers can now list their house to be rented for days or even weeks and make money off of it. Have an extra bedroom that no one uses? List the bedroom on Airbnb and make easy money from people needing to crash for the night. Before you sign up double check the gray areas where you may or may not have protection.
When you sign up to as a host home on Airbnb or similar companies make sure to double check what the host protection insurance does cover. Most homeowner’s policy will automatically not cover any damage or liability that may arise from renting out your home. Insurance companies look at this as a commercial activity. If you do plan on participating in Airbnb, be up front with homeowner insurance companies. By not detailing those types of operations, you could be putting yourself at risk to have coverage denied at some point. With Airbnb the host protection insurance provides primary liability for up to $1,000,000 for each occurrence for a third party. This would be if a guest trips on the rug and is injured. This would not be for someone intentionally punching the wall. Airbnb also offers a Host Guarantee package that protects the host in instances of property damage to their own possessions, unit, or home by a guest staying in the space. This would be what covers the punched in wall. Certain types of property are covered in a limited amount such as jewelry, collectibles, and artwork. If you’re a guest staying be sure to read the fine print. The sharing sites often give the company the right to file claims with the guest’s insurer if he/she causes damage to the property being rented.
The world is changing. Sharing economy is the new normal. It’s easy to keep yourself protected in this changing environment, it’s just important to keep on top of the details.
FRIDAY, JULY 22, 2016
A variety of motorcycle insurance policies are available. Each one is a bit different from the next in terms of what it offers in coverage. As you choose one, it is up to you read through the details to determine just how fitting the policy is to your particular needs. One area that is easy to overlooked but very important to consider is what happens when there is a total loss to your bike. How can the insurance company reimburse you for this loss if it is due to a covered claim? How it reimburses you is directly dependent on the type of coverage outlined in your policy.
Actual Value or Replacement Value?
Let’s say you have a very old motorcycle. You simply love the fact that you’ve customized various components of the bike. It has outstanding value and may even be a collector’s item one day. If this bike is totaled, replacing it can be hard to do. On the other hand, you may have a modern, affordable middle-of-the-road bike. It’s a common bike, one that could easily be repaired because parts are generally easy to find. If this bike is totaled, finding another may not be that hard.
What happens with motorcycle insurance can be tied directly to your policy. If you have actual value insurance, it helps pay you what the value of your bike is at the time of the loss. If you have replacement cost coverage, it may pay out enough for you to replace that bike. Classic or hard-to-find bikes are hard to replace, of course.
When choosing a bike, choose full replacement cost for your bike whenever possible. This most likely gives you the highest possible opportunity to get back on your bike. If you own a bike that’s older or not in the best shape, your insurer may not reimburse you enough to purchase a new bike. Depending on what your goals are for motorcycle insurance, it is usually best to work closely with your insurer to customize a policy that meets all of your needs and reduces your risks as much as possible. It could make a big difference in the long term on your financial risks.