Need for Umbrella Insurance

Do I really need an umbrella policy given I already have liability coverage on my home and auto insurance? This is a question I get asked frequently by many of my clients. If you have a sizeable amount of family financial assets you might want to consider having an umbrella policy for your household. A quick way to determine if you should have an umbrella policy is to add up all of your assets such as the value of your home, bank accounts, stocks, bonds, retirement funds and other valuable assets. If this total is significantly above your current liability limits you should consider purchasing an umbrella policy. What an umbrella policy provides: Additional liability coverage above your current home and auto liability limits Protection against libel, slander or false arrest An inexpensive investment against a high-cost lawsuit Protection against having to use your own assets in a large financial judgment The cost of adding a typical $1 million personal umbrella is around $175 – $225 annually with each additional $1 million in coverage adding around $50 – $75. Households having teenage drivers and/or a large number of vehicles and properties will pay somewhat higher rates. However, these households might benefit the most by purchasing an umbrella policy. What if a large tree on your property falls and crushes your neighbor’s home, or you or your teenager rear-ends another car and severely injures many passengers, or a child injures him or herself at a party in your backyard. If you are sued or a court judgment finds you liable for an amount over your base liability amounts, your umbrella...

What Water Damage Is Covered by Homeowners Insurance

Most homeowners insurance claims are water related. Yet, many policyholders are unaware of what is covered and what is not covered by their homeowner’s insurance policy. Unfortunately, a lot of confusion and hard feelings result when policyholders try to file a claim only to find out that the damage caused as a result of a water event is not covered or only partially covered by their homeowners policy. It is imperative that policyholders ask their agent what is covered and read their policy as to what is covered and what is excluded with regard to water damage. Not all policies are the same.  So sometimes that cheaper policy you think you are getting a great bargain on results in creating a lot of holes in your homeowner’s insurance coverage. So what water damage events are typically covered by homeowners insurance? For the most part, homeowners insurance will cover water claims that arise from “sudden and accidental” occurrences and not neglect, wear and tear or normal maintenance that is the responsibility of the insured. For example, water entering the home through leaks, cracks and seepage are considered to be the responsibility of the owner and should be prevented through routine home maintenance. Similarly, water entering through a roof that has shingles and tiles that have not been maintained for a good number of years is the responsibility of the homeowners. While the resulting damage to carpet, flooring and dry wall may be covered by the insurance carrier the slab, foundation and roof would not be covered. Here are some common water-related events that may or may not be covered: Burst...

Why Being an Insurance Agent is Awesome

With the advent of smartphones, laptops and virtual offices being an Insurance Agent is the ultimate “Life on the Beach”. Where else can you sound sincere from thousands of miles away and still make your clients feel right at home. Yes sir, gone are the days when you have to wear an ugly checkered multi-color blazer and meet your customers live and in person. Agent Kevin Cozy originally from Topeka, Kansas says, “ Why in earth would I want to sit in a 10 by 10 office and listen to customers tell me what their friends say they should be paying for their insurance when I can listen to them on my Bluetooth sipping on frosted vodka Collins here on the beach. Hell, they think I’m a slacker anyway…might as well live up to the perception.” Other agents have a different perspective. Mike Laidlow from Akron, Ohio says, “Yeah it’s helped to have all these new communication technologies at our finger tips but the reality is a happy insurance agent is a happy customer. Hey, a calm environment means we are able to keep the whole insurance experience a pleasant one…even if a car is totaled or a home is being flooded. We remind the customer it’s not the end of the world…we’re here to help them “chill out”. Yes these are just a few reasons why being an Insurance Agent is such a rewarding career in the 21st century. There are worse things in life than death…and spending time with an insurance agent isn’t one of them...