Bet You Didn’t Know your Homeowner’s Insurance Policy Includes Workers’ Comp Coverage!

Bet You Didn’t Know your Homeowner’s Insurance Policy Includes Workers’ Comp Coverage!

My husband and I  hired a contractor to remodel our kitchen a couple years ago and it was quite an experience. The work seemed to drag on forever; it was never quite finished and the workers seemed to be more interested in singing and playing the radio than getting the job done. Thank heaven no one was injured during this long, drawn-out process!  This story brings up a good point. Many people are unaware that their homeowners insurance policy includes workers’ compensation coverage. That will certainly come as good news to those who didn’t know. But it comes with a caveat: The coverage is very limited. If you hired someone to do a one-time repair of your sprinkler system and they were injured while working – and they were only there one time for a couple of hours and charged you less than $100 – they wouldn’t be covered under the worker’s comp portion of your policy. In essence, the workers’ comp coverage on your homeowners insurance policy does not apply to temporary workers – sometimes known as day laborers or residence employees – who work less than 52 hours doing work around your house and charge you less than $100 in the 90 day period prior to the injury. Assembly Bill 206, which some lawmakers are pushing for, would eliminate that restriction. The message here is this: Be aware of what the workers’ comp portion of your policy does and does not cover. So how do you best protect yourself? For starters, you need to verify that the worker or workers who come to your home have industry licenses that are valid. You should demand...
Is My Car Totaled? What Happens Now?

Is My Car Totaled? What Happens Now?

In the unfortunate event of a collision, your auto insurance company will typically assess the damages and pay for the cost of repairs – minus your deductible. Sometimes, though, that isn’t the case. In situations where the cost of repairing a vehicle is higher than the vehicle’s actual cash value, your auto insurance company may instead offer you a cash settlement. Insurance companies in the state of California use a formula to determine whether or not a vehicle involved in a collision is to be deemed totaled or not. The formula is known as the Total Loss Formula, or TLF. Basically, the insurance company will take the cost of repairs plus the salvage value of the vehicle and add them together. If the total is greater than or equal to the actual cash value of the car, then it will be considered a total loss. If your vehicle is considered to be a total loss, your auto insurance company will offer you a cash settlement. When choosing to take the cash settlement from your insurance company, the money will be paid directly to you if you owned the car outright. If there is a lien holder (such as a bank or credit union), then the payout will go to them and anything left over will be disbursed to you. If the payout does not cover the remainder owed to the lien holder, then you will be responsible for paying the rest of the money. There are a lot of great auto insurance policies that can provide you with excellent coverage in the event of a total loss. If you’d like...
Understanding Non-Owner Car Insurance

Understanding Non-Owner Car Insurance

Non-owner car insurance are policies designed to protect people who don’t own a vehicle, but still drive sometimes. The fact that non-owner car insurance policies exist may come as a surprise, considering they’re usually not advertised by insurance companies anywhere near as much as other types of policies are. These policies can be an excellent alternative to full-coverage policies in a variety of situations, including: Those convicted of a DUI and are required to file an SR-22 in order to get their license reinstated. If you haven’t had a driver’s license for awhile, or no longer own a vehicle and you need to file an SR-22, non-owner car insurance will satisfy the state requirement to have insurance even if you don’t own a car. You use the vehicles of others. If you frequently use a vehicle owned by someone else, a roommate, sibling, parent, etc. and don’t own one of your own, non-owner car insurance can be a great choice. Usually, if you borrow someone’s car and get into an accident, their insurance will pay. However, if the damage exceeds the limits on the other person’s liability insurance, having a non-owner car insurance policy of your own can supplement their coverage and help ensure nobody has to come out-of-pocket. Non-owner car insurance isn’t for everyone, but it can be a lifesaver in the right situations. If you have any additional questions or concerns about non-owner car insurance, stop on by our Santa Clarita office or give Carol a call for a free quote at: 661-803-3803. Photo by Finance...
Taking a trip? Here are some things to keep in mind about your insurance coverage

Taking a trip? Here are some things to keep in mind about your insurance coverage

Getting ready to take a trip? Whether you’re planning an excursion to Hawaii, Palm Springs or Alaska, there are some things you need to keep in mind in regards to your insurance. We recently took a trip to Palm Springs and rode the famous Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. It was a spectacular beyond words. Personal Property – The personal property protection under your homeowner’s insurance policy will cover 10 percent of your personal property off premises. So if you have $100,000 coverage for personal property that would amount to $10,000 off premises. However, that’s also subject to your deductible, which is typically $500, $1,000 or $2,500. Open Peril – Keep in mind that if a loss occurs, whether off-premises or not,  you won’t be covered if you were the cause of loss – unless you have an Open Peril policy for personal property. Business Personal Property – If you’re on a business trip and you have a loss to your business property, like a computer you use for business or maybe a business phone, you will be subject to the sub-limits of your “Business Personal Property”  coverage which usually amounts to $1,000. Personal Liability – If you’re on a trip and you unintentionally cause bodily harm to someone, your homeowner’s insurance liability will typically cover you; this includes the cost of legal defense.  Coverage limits are usually $300,000 or $500,000.  The higher the better.  (Umbrella policies are available with coverage up to $1,000,000 and higher.) Damage to Property of Others – If you’re on a trip and damage someone else’s property, like maybe the mirror in a hotel room or someone’s expensive bicycle,...
Home Owners Insurance and Personal Floaters

Home Owners Insurance and Personal Floaters

When you buy home owner’s insurance, you’re purchasing a standardized policy that’s used by many home owners. These policies do well at protecting your home and personal property and offering you protection from third party lawsuits and claims. However, if you’re someone who happens to have some items that are particularly valuable, your standard home insurance policy may not cover your losses. Items such as money, coins, and medals are limited to about $200 worth of coverage in any one loss. Securities, checks, travelers checks and money orders are limited to about $1,000 for any one loss, and often times, jewelry and furs are excluded altogether. These limits can vary from one insurer to another, but one thing they have in common is that they are all covered with relatively low limits. Luckily, it’s possible to get coverage on particularly expensive possessions by purchasing what’s known as a personal floater along with your home insurance policy. Depending on what types of valuable items you want to cover, you may need to purchase several personal floater policies. For example, if you have both expensive art and jewelry in your home, you’d likely need to purchase separate policies to cover both. There are a few different ways that personal floater policies work. One of which is that the insurance company sets a blanket limit that they are willing to cover in any one loss, while another is that the policy itself will specify an amount based on the type of property lost. Your choice will depend greatly upon assessing your risk and deciding how much you want to pay. Less expensive options typically...