Diminished Value Claims – An Auto Insurance Secret

Diminished Value Claims – An Auto Insurance Secret

One unavoidable rule regarding the value of an automobile is that the value goes down once it’s been in an accident. It doesn’t matter how good the repairs are, or how high quality the replacement parts, or if it was done at the dealership or somewhere else. This being the case, once someone’s vehicle has been in an accident they can easily lose out on several thousand dollars. However, in some states (including California) there’s a way for a vehicle owner to get the difference back. Known as a diminished value claim, this claim will allow a vehicle owner to make up the difference  between their vehicles pre- and post-collision values, and can be filed in one of three ways. Repair-Related California Diminished Value If the reason for the diminished value is due to the inability to repair the vehicle perfectly, and the vehicle is now worth less after the repairs than it was before the collision. Immediate California Diminished Value This one has to do with difference between the resale value of the vehicle before the collision and the resale value after the collision but before any repairs have been made. An immediate diminished value is also the loss of value caused by the insurer’s direct involvement in the claim adjustment. When this happens, the insurer gains control over the repairs, resulting in incomplete, insufficient repairs that leave the vehicle in less than optimal condition. Inherent California Diminished Value This ensures that the best quality repairs have been obtained and is defined by the amount by which the resale value of a repaired vehicle has been reduced due...
Your Guide to Buying Earthquake Insurance

Your Guide to Buying Earthquake Insurance

Earthquake insurance is a type of natural disaster insurance that anyone can use, but some more than most. It’s possible to experience an earthquake anywhere in the country, but as many of you know, certain places (like California), are more earthquake prone than others. Around here, earthquakes happen all the time, but most aren’t very big. Unfortunately, earthquakes can be devastating, and being protected by earthquake insurance can be a life saver when one strikes. Where to Buy Earthquake Insurance The State of California requires home insurance companies to provide earthquake insurance, but it doesn’t require that residents purchase it. As such, checking with your homeowners insurance carrier is one place to start. However, it’s possible to buy a stand-alone earthquake insurance policy from another insurer altogether, so shopping around is beneficial if you want to save money. What Earthquake Insurance Covers Earthquake insurance will typically pay for repairs to your house and attached structures, such as your garage, as well as personal belongings and additional living expenses if your home is uninhabitable due to the earthquake. Coverage in these areas is pretty standard, though there are some options that can be added to an earthquake insurance policy including building code upgrades, such as emergency repairs. Deductibles Earthquake insurance policies are usually associated with large deductibles of 5% to 20% of your dwelling coverage limit. Additionally, some companies use separate deductibles for different types of coverage. For example, you may have one deductible for your personal property coverage and another for your dwelling. Not all earthquake insurance policies have more than one deductible, so make sure to ask your...
If you own a salvage car your insurance options will likely be limited

If you own a salvage car your insurance options will likely be limited

When it comes to buying a car, everyone likes to save money. And salvage cars typically sell for much less than new or other used cars. But if you choose to buy a salvage car there are some things you should be aware of. For starters, some insurance carriers won’t insure a vehicle if it’s a salvage car and others will insure it for liability only. Still others will insure it for liability and comp and collision … but the settlement will be significantly reduced if you happen to get into an accident. You should also be aware that you might end up buying a salvage or damaged car without knowing it. Tens of thousands of cars, pickups and SUVs that were flooded in Hurricane Harvey in the Houston area this summer are now being sold as junk, with “salvage” titles indicating they were severely damaged and are usable just for parts. But others have been dried out, cleaned up and resold as quality used cars. Owners only find out months later that they bought a flooded out rust bucket that is now dangerous to drive … if it still runs at all. Here’s another thing to consider: If you own a non-salvage car and get involved in an accident which turns your vehicle into a salvage car, some insurers will allow you to keep it, subject to the restrictions listed above. However, the Department of Motor Vehicles has to certify it as roadworthy. Consider this: More than 600,000 cars have been damaged in this year’s hurricane season. Industry experts believe that 60 percent of the cars that were flooded in...
Workers Compensation Insurance Tips for the Small Business Owner

Workers Compensation Insurance Tips for the Small Business Owner

Making the leap from a self-run small business to one that employs other people might seem relatively simple from the outside, but hiring a member of the public to work for you is a big deal. Before you even think of placing an ad regarding your open position(s), you’re going to need to get workers compensation insurance, a.k.a. workers comp. It’s mandatory in California, and the penalty for hiring people without it is steep. For those who aren’t familiar with workers compensation insurance, here are a few tips to help you keep yourself covered in the event of a claim. Train any and all employees properly for the job they will be doing, and get them to sign off on it. One of the easiest ways to avoid injury in the workplace is to know what you’re doing. Make sure your employees do, too. Ensure your employees have adequate equipment to perform their duties. Providing work gloves to landscapers or hard hats for construction may seem like a no-brainer, but a job that requires physical labor isn’t the only kind where workplace injuries can occur. If your employees’ job is to sit at a desk and type, they’re at risk for cumulative trauma – that is, an injury that occurs as a result of repeated use of one or more parts of the body. The most prominent of cumulative trauma injuries is carpal tunnel syndrome, an injury that results from pressure on the median nerve in the wrist. Workers comp insurance claims regarding this are growing fast. If an employee does get injured on the job, keep a channel...
Business Liability Insurance – No Business is Too Small

Business Liability Insurance – No Business is Too Small

Just because you run a small business doesn’t mean the workload is small too; particularly when you’re the only employee. When you run your own business, your time and your funds may be limited, and it’s important to know what your liability insurance needs are. Much like the old adage: “a stitch in time saves nine,” a small investment up front can save you a great deal of money, time and headache down the road when it comes to insuring your business. Here are a few basic tips regarding business liability insurance intended to help you along your way. Business Liability Insurance isn’t Mandatory in California, but … The state of California doesn’t require business owners to buy business insurance in order to run their business. This can seem like a pretty good deal on the surface, as most folks think they can get their business up and running and then buy business insurance later (or not at all). However, while the state doesn’t require that one purchase business liability insurance, they also don’t set a cap on business liability lawsuit rewards. That means that if you don’t have liability insurance and someone is awarded money in a lawsuit they filed against your business, you’ll be on the hook to pay it out-of-pocket. The Type of Business You Run May Influence the Policy Cost There are several different categories insurance companies use to put businesses in that influence the cost of premiums associated with insuring those businesses. Insurance is all about risk, so if you own a low-risk mail order clothing company, your rates will probably be significantly lower...