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HOW DOES REMODELING MY HOUSE AFFECT MY INSURANCE?
Envision your house transformed into a welcoming space with fresh updates and extra room for the things you enjoy. With a remodeling project you can open up walls, add lighting or upgrade the flooring to create a stylish look and improve the efficiency of your home.
Renovating your home can be exciting and overwhelming, and the last thing you may consider during the process is your homeowners insurance policy. If you didn't think about this, you're not alone! Communicating with us when modifications are made will help prevent your house from being underinsured and policy limits from not being enough to cover your house in the event of a loss.
In order to ensure your home is properly insured, our agency utilizes a replacement cost estimator (RCE). The RCE is a tool used to assess the cost to rebuild your home with similar materials if it is damaged or destroyed. When adjustments are made that may impact the replacement value, it's the homeowner's responsibility to inform us so we can adjust the estimate. The replacement value of the home cannot be calculated correctly without us knowing about added features, and oftentimes that is last on the "to-do" list for you.
Guaranteed home replacement cost is a common coverage you may already carry or may be eligible for if your home is in-sured to 100% replacement cost. It's designed to offer a cushion if there are unexpected additional costs to rebuild the home from the initial evaluation, such as increased cost of building materials. However, if the home is not insured to 100% replacement cost, this coverage will likely not apply, potentially causing a significant disadvantage upon claim time.
Keep in mind some updates can save you money on your homeowners insurance. For instance, replacing the roof, installing security features, sprinkler systems, water shut-off devices or a backup generator may lower your rates or even offer a discount on your premium.
If you anticipate making renovations to your home - whether it's adding a new deck or remodeling your kitchen - ask
IF YOU HAVEN’T REVIEWED YOUR LIFE INSURANCE
COVERAGE RECENTLY, THERE’S NO BETTER TIME THAN NOW!
Inflation has been fairly low these past few years, and we tend to forget how much of an impact it has on our purchas-ing power. Our money really does buy less and less each year. You see it whether you are buying groceries, household goods, lattes, or ... life insurance. Life insurance, you ask? Yes, while the premium on your life insurance policy
remains the same, the purchasing power of the dollars underlying that coverage has declined over the years. In other words, the life insurance policy that you purchased a few years ago to protect your family now may be woefully
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' Consumer Price Index-All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), the average annual inflation rate for the ten years from December 2006 through December 2016 has been 1.82%. That means that if you bought a $300,000 life insurance policy in January 2007 to protect your family in case something happened to you, you need an ADDITIONAL $76,599 of life insurance coverage today just to maintain the original purchasing power of that policy and put your family back to where it was financially when you purchased the original policy! If you last purchased life insurance more than ten years ago, inflation has had an even bigger impact on your coverage.
A life insurance policy is not something that should be purchased and then stuck in a drawer, never to be seen again. Like any other financial instrument, it needs to be reviewed every few years and tweaked, if necessary. Think of how your life has changed in the past ten years—you may have more dependents now, a higher standard of living, more fi-nancial obligations, and, perhaps, a higher level of income. All of those items factor into how much life insurance you should have. If you haven't reviewed your coverage recently, there's no better time than now.
Call Us Today to set up a time to go over your life insurance needs. 515-964-0637 or 888-464-0637
Pet Safety: Are You Thinking, What She's Thinking?
In an emergency, most of us can lay our hands on first aid and other supplies to provide an immediate response. But your favorite pet wants to know if you're as well prepared to deal with an emergency situation for him or her. According to the Humane Society, everyone who shares a home with a pet should have a basic pet emergency kit on hand.
In an emergency, most of us can lay our hands on first aid and other supplies to provide an immediate response. But your favorite pet wants to know if you're as well prepared to deal with an
emergency situation for him or her. According to the Humane Society, everyone who shares a home with a pet should have a basic pet emergency kit on hand.
You can buy them ready-made online or at pet stores but, because every pet's needs are different, you may want to think about building one from scratch. This, says the society, should include a pet first aid book specific to your ani-mal/breed, phone num-bers for your veterinarian and emergency clinic, paperwork in a waterproof container, a self-cling bandage and a muzzle or strips of cloth to prevent biting.
You might want to add a full range of first aid supplies plus ear-cleaning solution, non-prescription an-tibiotic ointment, a temporary identification tag and some form of restraint appropriate to the pet, such as a leash or carrier.
Keep the kit in your home and take it with you when you travel with your pet, says the society. If traveling, you should also take medication supplies and copies of any prescriptions and vaccination certificates -- plus any other products your vet recommends.
CAR RENTAL COVERAGE
We frequently gets calls from customers wondering if their rental vehicle is covered by their auto insurance policy while on vacation. Some personal auto policies have specific coverage provisions that address whether an accident in a rental vehicle is covered. Let's look at a common example:
You take a vacation to Las Vegas and rent a car. How does cover-age extend from your car to a rented car while on vacation? Under some personal auto policies, if you have comprehensive and colli-sion coverage, it carries over to a rental vehicle.
Liability coverage (coverage for another person's medical bills or damage to another person's property) extends only to the
insured(s), a spouse, relatives who live with the insured, and anyone the insured gives permission to use the rental vehicle.
Physical damage coverage (coverage for the rental car if it is dam-aged or stolen) applies only to the insured(s), spouse and relatives who live with the insured.
The broadest or best coverage from any vehicle on your policy extends to the rented vehicle. In other words, as long as one of the vehicles on your policy has both liability and physical damage coverage, the car rented on vacation will have those same cover-ages. If coverage can be extended to the rental vehicle it is not necessary to purchase the damage waiver from the rental car company.
Some policies are broader than the industry forms when it comes to rented vehicles regarding what is covered. If you have ques-tions on this coverage please contact us.
Keep in mind that it will be important to understand why the vehicle is being rented and who will be driving it as these facts are important in determining if coverage will apply for a potential claim.
Finally, since we aren’t lawyers and haven’t read the contract you will be signing, you may be better off pur-chasing the coverage they offer you just for the peace of mind.