Real Estate Agents – Determining Older Homes’ Insurability

Real Estate Agents – Determining Older Homes’ Insurability

Most newer homes are relatively easy to insure; they have little or no history of claims, the building materials are all up-to-date, and too little time has passed to require significant repairs or maintenance. With older homes, though, determining whether or not the home is insurable takes a little more leg work. Having the following information available for your clients immediately will help them determine the insurance coverage they can get much quicker: When the home was built The age of the plumbing and electrical The type of roof Sq. footage Claims filed in the past 5 to 7 years The home’s location As a real estate agent, you likely have all of this information. Putting it together and giving it to clients in a tidy package can expedite their acquisition of homeowners insurance, and subsequently their mortgage loan. Before handing the information over to your clients, know that there are certain areas of older homes that frequently result in insurability issues, including: The Roof – The roof of a home should last about 25 years. After that, the odds of leaks increase significantly. With greater risk of water damage comes higher homeowners insurance premiums. The Electrical System – The old wiring and fuses originally installed into older homes wasn’t designed to keep up with today’s power demands. When stress is put on electrical systems, the chances of a fire occurring skyrocket, and this issue alone could be a non-starter for insurance companies. The Plumbing – Aside from a leaky roof, plumbing issues can be a water damage disaster. The work required to repair water damage is expensive, invasive,...
Will My Auto Insurance Cover Custom Modifications?

Will My Auto Insurance Cover Custom Modifications?

The minimum insurance required by the State of California is liability coverage, which means that if parts of your vehicle are stolen, you’re on the hook for replacing them. For example, there’s been a growing trend in the world of car thievery to avoid stealing an entire vehicle and to steal specific parts instead. One of the parts that’s often targeted by thieves is the catalytic converter – part of the automobile exhaust system that converts harmful compounds into less harmful ones. These valuable pieces of machinery contain precious metals like platinum, palladium and rhodium that can be sold to metal scrap yards for anywhere from $50 to upwards of $400 a piece, depending on the type of catalytic converter. When stolen, the cost of replacing them can run between $1,000 and $4,000. To protect yourself from having to shell out that kind of money to replace a stolen car part, you should look into comprehensive auto insurance. It’s designed to cover your entire vehicle from a variety of potentially damaging situations and can be a life saver if an expensive vehicle component (or your whole car) is damaged or stolen. Unfortunately, comprehensive auto insurance does have its limitations. When someone makes custom modifications to their vehicle (rims, stereo, body work, etc.) and one of those modifications are damaged or stolen, the vehicle owner may find that their comprehensive auto insurance doesn’t cover the damages. The reason for this is because comprehensive auto insurance is priced and intended to replace stock vehicle components, not custom ones, because the value of custom components can be difficult to determine. If you...
Millennials need to have renters insurance!

Millennials need to have renters insurance!

Millennials are forking over a lot of money for rent, according to a new study by RENT Cafe. The study tracks millennial spending from age 22 to 30 using U.S. census data on rents and incomes. The numbers show that millennials pay $92,600 in rent by the time they turn 30, despite earning more than previous generations The report also shows that they are devoting 45 percent of their monthly income to rent. That’s more than the recommended 30 percent, and it’s outpacing Gen Xers (41 percent) and baby boomers (36 percent). With rents being so high, some parents are buying investment homes for their children to rent  while they’re in college. This serves a dual purpose in that their children can pay a monthly rent that’s within their often meager budgets, and the parents have a solid investment vehicle when their children move on with their lives. But many parents who set up this kind of arrangement falsely assume that their landlord insurance policy for the property will cover their son or daughter’s personal belongings in the event that they are stolen or damaged by a fire.  Not true. The fact is, their children are considered to be tenants and would need to have their own personal renter’s insurance for their property, just like any other tenant. Why should millennials have renters insurance? Here are some good reasons: It will cover their belongings in the event of a fire or theft Millennials like to travel and their renter’s insurance would cover their luggage if it was stolen during a trip. If they accidently hurt someone while playing softball or doing...
What Type of Business Insurance Do I Need?

What Type of Business Insurance Do I Need?

Whether you’re starting your own business or taking one over after purchase, it’s important to know that every business has its own unique risks and insurance needs. Businesses come in many shapes and sizes, and what works well for one business may not work well for another – even if they provide a similar product or service. Knowing your business’ specific insurance needs is crucial if you want to both save money and keep yourself protected. In California, every business with at least one employee (other than the owner) is going to require workers’ compensation insurance. Beyond that, discovering your businesses’ insurance needs will take a little bit of work. Most everyone in the business world agrees that that general liability insurance is necessary for most business owners. It’s not mandatory, but it’s highly-recommended. General liability insurance covers third-party damages, (property damage, injuries, or other things that may occur on your business’ premises), certain legal fees if you’re sued, as well as losses due to libel, slander and copyright infringement. After taking a look at general liability business insurance, you may want to consider buying a business owner’s policy. These are like insurance package deals that include several different types of insurance into one convenient policy. They usually include things like general liability coverage as well as property coverage – a type of coverage that protects your place of business and your inventory – and can allow you to get more coverage for less money than buying business policies a la carte. Last but not least, in our increasingly technological world, you should probably look into cyberliability coverage. When...
What is Commercial Auto Insurance?

What is Commercial Auto Insurance?

Commercial auto insurance is coverage designed to provide protection to the vehicles used primarily for a business. Regardless of whether you’re driving a vehicle that’s dedicated for business use only, or using your own personal vehicle, a commercial auto insurance policy is necessary to provide you with adequate protection as private auto insurance policies tend not to cover business-related claims. While specifics will vary from one company to another, commercial auto insurance typically covers: Property damage liability Bodily injury liability Personal injury coverage Lost wages Medical expenses Uninsured/under-insured motorist coverage Towing Substitution transportation There are several other types of coverage that can be obtained via commercial auto insurance policies, sometimes as separate policies or riders, as different types of businesses require different types of coverage. Commercial vehicle insurance policies can be purchased to cover one vehicle or an entire fleet – all depending on the size of your business. Most personal auto insurance policies are very limited in their coverage when a vehicle is being used for business. For example, if you occasionally drive during work hours to attend meetings (such as lunch meetings), your personal auto insurance will probably cover you. However, if operating your business depends on the use of your personal vehicle (making deliveries, driving someone around, etc.) you may need to purchase a commercial auto insurance policy to be covered.. To be sure, always check your personal auto insurance policy to be sure of when you are/are not covered. If you operate one or more vehicles as part of running your business and have additional questions regarding commercial auto insurance, give Carol a call at...