Important Questions to Consider When You Buy Condo Insurance

Important Questions to Consider When You Buy Condo Insurance

A house and a condo aren’t the same, and neither are their insurance policies. When you own a condo, it can vary from complex to complex on what you’re responsible for insuring and what’s covered by your association insurance policy. The last thing you want is to have something happen and find that you’re under-insured; the out-of-pocket costs can be astronomical. If you’re looking to buy condo insurance, make sure you take these three issues under consideration: How much does your HOA’s deductible cost? If there’s major damage to the structure from a natural disaster, your HOA’s insurance policy will likely cover repairs, but the deductible can be considerable. When you buy condo insurance, you can often have your condominium insurance policy cover the deductible from your HOA’s policy, saving you from having to pay out-of-pocket. How much coverage do you need? Knowing what your HOA’s insurance policy covers will indicate which items need to be covered by your own condo insurance policy. One way to make an educated guess as to how much coverage you need to is to get an estimate on the cost of new cabinets, flooring, and cupboards, then buy insurance for 50% of that value. Finally, you’ll want to consider the type of coverage to purchase: cash value or replacement cost. Replacement cost means that if something is destroyed, your insurance will cover the cost of replacing it. Cash value means that if that same item is destroyed, your insurance reimburses you for what the destroyed item was worth at the time (including depreciation with age). Replacement cost coverage will often pay out more, but...
Santa Clarita Business Insurance Tips

Santa Clarita Business Insurance Tips

Photo by homestilo. When starting a business, finding the proper insurance options can be long and complicated. Most folks aren’t too savvy when it comes to the world of business insurance, but small or large, every business is better off with it. If you’re looking to buy business insurance in Santa Clarita, here are a few important tips to take into consideration: Working from home? You still need insurance. A lot of times, people working from home don’t think they need insurance because they don’t own a brick and mortar location, but that isn’t the case. If you’re running a business and keeping merchandise, files, or other expensive items at your house and something happens to them, your business insurance can help cover you. Do you ever have clients come to your home office?  If so, and a client slips and falls, chances are you are not covered under your home insurance liability coverage.  You have to notify your home insurance carrier – and most likely they will not extend coverage.  In almost all cases, you have to secure a Business Owner’s Policy (BOP) for this exposure. Make sure you cover your employees. If your business has employees, then you definitely want insurance. Workers’ Compensation is a requirement in California, even if you only have one employee. If that person gets injured, you’re required to pay for it. Make sure you cover freelancers. A freelancer gets a 1099 at the end of the year, but that’s just for tax purposes. If they’re doing work for you, you’re better off making sure they’re covered. Your business insurance policy should cover...
Does your homeowners insurance cover that expensive artwork hanging on your wall? Read on …

Does your homeowners insurance cover that expensive artwork hanging on your wall? Read on …

My husband and I just returned from a trip to Las Vegas, and along the way we encountered an extremely unusual – and eye-catching – art installation smack in the middle of the desert. The Seven Magic Mountains isn’t related in any way to the Six Flags Magic Mountains theme park in Valencia. But it certainly offers a visual counterpoint to the dry and brown desert landscape. Designed by artist Ugo Rondinone, it consists of seven columns of stacked boulders that are all painted in bright, day-glow colors. They tower 30 to 35 feet above the desert floor! It’s unlikely that you have anything close to this in your home, but what about the expensive artwork that’s hanging on your wall? Or that pricey sculpture perched atop your fireplace?  In most cases, your home insurance policy won’t cover these items. But you can insure them by “scheduling” them. That’s when you itemize each item by the appraised value and insure them as such. But be prepared to offer proof of recent appraisals. By scheduling, not only are you guarenteed the true value of the item, but this kind of coverage typically covers breakage and “mysterious disappearance,” which happens when it appears that an item might have been stolen, although there is no clear evidence to prove it. What’s also good about scheduling, is that your deductible is usually a lot less than your home insurance deductible.  You should also be aware that homeowner insurance policies have limits on cergtain categories of personal property: Jewelry, watches and furs – The limit could be as low as $1,000 or as high as $6000. Firearms – $2,000 to...
Homeowner’s Insurance Mistakes to Avoid

Homeowner’s Insurance Mistakes to Avoid

IMG_5699Whether it’s your first time buying homeowner’s insurance or it’s a song and dance you’ve done before, it’s possible to make mistakes. Not all home insurance policies are created equal, and the worst time to find out what your policy does and doesn’t cover is when you’re hoping to file a claim. We at Insurance SCV have provided you below with a few common mistakes people make when buying home insurance: Assuming the Home has Flood Insurance California has been going through a horrible drought these past several years, and that probably left homeowners somewhat less concerned with flood or flood-related insurance. Unfortunately for these folks, when heavy rains decided to show up this year, a lot of them were left up the creek without a paddle. If you’re not sure whether or not your homeowner’s insurance covers you in the case of a flood, you may want to check.  (By the way, earthquake and earth movement are perils that are also excluded.) Misunderstanding Your Deductible If you think your deductible is a flat rate you have to pay in the event you file a claim, you’re only half right. Usually, your deductible will be just that – a flat rate. However, with some insurance carriers your deductible may be a percentage like 1%.  So if your home is insured for $500,000, your deductible would be $5000.  In other instances, your deductible may just be higher than what you remembered – $5000 or $2500 when your thought it was $1000.  (Home insurance deductibles are usually never written for less than $1000 these days.)  It’s a good idea to check...
Falling Trees and Home Insurance – Are You Covered?

Falling Trees and Home Insurance – Are You Covered?

IMG_5741 (1)High winds can be dangerous, especially when they cause a tree to fall on your property. When a bough, or the tree itself, hits your home, the damage can run the gamut from cosmetic to catastrophic depending on a variety of factors. If you have trees near your home, you may want to take a look at your home insurance policy and see what kind of coverage you’ve got. Many home insurance policies provide coverage in the event a tree falls and damages one of the insured structures, but that coverage only goes so far. If a tree falls due to high winds, you’re probably covered. If the tree falls due to neglect, though, you may have to come out of pocket for any damages. When a tree falls and damages a structure, your home insurance should pay for the removal and disposal of the tree, as well as repairs to the damaged structure (minus your deductible). Interestingly, if the tree falls and does not do any damage to one of the insured structures, then your homeowner’s insurance may very well not cover the cost of removal. If you don’t have any trees on your property, but your neighbor does, you may want to review your home insurance policy to make sure that you’re covered regardless of who owns the tree. Some policies will only cover trees that are on the holder’s property, while others will cover damages no matter who owns it. Knowing the specifics can help keep you safe if your neighbor’s tree falls and hits your property – particularly if it happens due to neglect. If...