THURSDAY, AUGUST 11, 2016
There are few things in life that are more emotionally tolling and draining than going through a divorce and separation process. Emotions are heightened, nerves are on end, and feelings are raw. As you begin to untangle your finances, this may be the right time to untangle insurance ties when it comes to your personal auto and homeowner’s policy as well.
The process of breaking up and obtaining your own separate insurance policies can come with downfalls. Often, being classified as being married or in a domestic partnership can provide a 5% or even 10% discount. You may lose those discounts, but if you are still living under the same roof, you may be able to keep it all under one policy while living together. If you are going with separate policies, it is important to know that most companies will want the car to be insured under whom the car is registered to. If children of driving age are involved, many companies will require the spouse that has them the majority of the time to have them under their policy. It is important to check with each individual company. They all have their own rules and guidelines to be met.
If you or your partner moves out or a way, its important to endorse your policy to reflect that. Remember that buying insurance is a legally binding contract and companies will want notice if the details are no longer correct. Some companies will require the policy to be rewritten since you and your spouse were named insureds on the policy, others will let you remove one of the named insureds names and continue on with the current policy. If you end up in a rental home, it’s important to purchase rental insurance to cover your personal property and have some liability.
Remember, each company is different, so it’s important to check with your agent and let them customize and walk you through the process. If you have questions about your insurance, ECI is always here. Get an Oklahoma City auto or home insurance quote.
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.