Your Insurance and Renting Out Your Home

Your Insurance and Renting Out Your Home

Home sharing has become more and more popular over the past few years with companies like Airbnb and Homeway.  But before renting out a room or the whole house, it’s always best to consult with your insurance agent to make sure you have the right coverage.  Below is a blog that gives a some information to consider before you begin home sharing.

 

Educating homeowners about home-sharing insurance coverage

Home-sharing continues to grow in popularity as owners use their homes for income generation, and travelers look for unique experiences. If fact, experts are predicting vacation home rentals will increase 25% this year – up from a 19% jump last year – and it’s expected this growth trend will continue for some time.

 

Employee Spotlight

Karen Fournier

This month’s employee spotlight is on the wonderful Karen Fournier in our Taos office.  She  has been with Brown & Brown for nearly 5 years, about as long as she has been in Taos.  Karen and her husband Gary have been married for 32 years and have two sons and three grandkids.  Karen also says that she loves to travel with her husband—they especially like cruising.  For fun closer to home, Karen says that she and Gary love to downhill ski and golf (and Taos is perfect for both of those!).  She is such a help to everyone in the Taos office and we all are so happy to have her as part of our team.

 

Jewelry Protection

Have some new jewelry in the house? Protect it!

 

 

Ah, Valentine’s Day is near, and love is in the air. Well, love and a few other things, suchjewelry-protection as chocolates, romantic dinners, candy hearts that say “Be Mine” – and, of course, jewelry.

It’s exciting to receive jewelry from a loved one — or to give it as a gift. Not to mention romantic. But if you’re lucky enough to have some new jewelry in your New Mexico home this Valentine’s Day, you should take a few minutes to think about something you probably don’t find exciting or romantic: insurance.

Don’t know where to turn? Don’t worry. At Brown & Brown Insurance, we think it is exciting to help our customers protect what’s most important to them — so we’re ready to help and can answer all of your questions.

Things to consider when insuring jewelry:

You may need to purchase additional coverage. Your homeowners policy covers valuable items such as jewelry only up to set amounts. If the cost of replacing your jewelry exceeds that limit, you will want to purchase scheduled personal property coverage. You can check your policy or give us a call at 505-821-5888.

You might want to reconsider your deductible amounts. As always, this impacts your policy premium. It’s a good idea to take a look at your deductibles whenever you make a change to your policy.

Do you need an appraisal? You may need to have an independent appraisal if the insurance company requires it or if you don’t know the value of your jewelry. Each item should be listed with a description and value on paper.

What kind of coverage is offered? You’ll want to determine if items are covered no matter where they are, whether they’re in New Mexico, or on an international trip, and if the policy offers full replacement cost. You also should ask if you will be required to replace your jewelry if lost or stolen, or if you can simply keep the cash settlement.

Pictures can be helpful. Lost or stolen pieces of jewelry sometimes can be recreated if the jeweler has a good photograph to work from.

Of course, it’s important to store your jewelry securely when it’s not in use; a safe in your home or a safe-deposit box is best. We want your jewelry to be replaced if it’s lost or stolen, but we’d rather your sentimental and valuable pieces stay with you and your family for years to come.

 

Contact Us!

For further questions and assistance, please contact Brown & Brown Insurance of New Mexico at 505 821 5888 or info@bbnm.com

 

Content provided by Safeco Insurance

Understanding Your Policy

In light of all of the recent weather disasters and catastrophes, we in the Brown & Brown personal lines department want to be sure you aren’t in for a surprise (the bad kind, not the good kind) if something were to happen to you.  It is important that you understand the coverages provided to you by homeowner’s insurance and your auto insurance. Contact your agent today to review your policy.

Review Your Policy

The first thing to do is read your policy.  Car insurance terminology can be a bit daunting, but the main thing to know is your limits of liability, your uninsured motorist coverage, and your deductibles.  For home insurance, make sure that your dwelling coverage is at replacement cost.  There is obviously a lot more to each policy, and if you have questions, our personal lines agents are here to help.

Contact Your Agent

We want you to be confident that you are covered properly.  Our three offices are in Albuquerque, Taos, and Santa Fe, but we insure clients throughout all of New Mexico.  We hope you give one of our offices a call to help with all of your insurance needs.Understanding your policy

Insuring Power Wheels

Imagine this:

You buy your daughter a brand new Power Wheels Jeep, and you let hInsuring Power Wheels Jeeper drive it up and down the block.  All is well until she swerves to avoid hitting a cute little lady bug and drives right into your neighbor’s beautiful new real Jeep, causing a nice long scratch in the paint.  This is your child, so you are clearly liable for this damage.  But the Power Wheels isn’t something you insure on your auto policy, so what do you do?!
Fortunately, there is a solution, and it’s fairly simple.  Give your insurance agent a call.  You’ll find that in the fine print of your homeowner’s insurance policy you are actually covered for liability for a child’s riding toy.  The only stipulations are that it can only have one battery, designed for kids age 7 and under, and is designed to only go 5 mph (which is how most are designed).
You can put your mind at ease knowing that a simple toy isn’t going to cost you thousands in liability, thanks to your homeowner’s policy.

Saving Money on Your Personal Insurance

Saving Money on Your Personal Insurance
NM Logo - Red Line

In today’s unsettled economy, many people are looking for ways to stretch their money—but sometimes this includes altering insurance  coverages to dangerously low levels or eliminating coverage entirely. If you’re thinking about changing your coverage to save money, consider these key issues below — and give us a call. We can help make sure you’ve got the right protection at a price you can afford.

 

  • Make sure you’re getting the appropriate discounts and credits: Most insurers offer a variety of policy credits and account discounts that can translate into significant savings — without endangering the level of protection you need for your home, autos and other valuable property. And often, if you purchase multiple policies through the same insurance company, you’ll receive further discounts. People who own motorcycles or boats and who complete approved safety courses can qualify for discounts, and families with teen drivers who earn good grades in school may qualify for auto policy discounts.
  • Increase deductibles for cost savings: Only a small percentage of homeowners have claims in any given year, so you might consider increasing your deductible.
  • Specialty lines coverage options: Own a classic car or RV?  If their use is seasonal, you can typically reduce your coverage to liability only during the off-season, then add full coverage only when you are actually using the vehicle
  • Full payment on policy: Depending on your financial circumstances, you may be able to make lump-sum payments instead of partial premium payments, such as monthly or quarterly. Partial payments often include small transaction fees, so paying the full amount can eliminate those extra costs.

 

Some decisions to avoid
It is just as important to understand what not to do as you look for cost savings. Here are some scenarios you should avoid:

 

  • It may be unwise to carry only the minimum state-required amount of uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage on auto policies, or to cancel it entirely if it is not required in your state: According to the Insurance Research Council (IRC)*, the correlation between the percentage of uninsured motorists and the unemployment rate is high — when the economy is struggling, more people go without insurance. You want to make sure you’re protected in this instance.
  • Ignoring renters insurance: This coverage is often overlooked no matter what shape the economy is in. Landlords’ policies generally only cover the structure, not the individual renters’ contents. Imagine having to replace furniture, clothing and other personal property out of pocket because you excluded this essential, affordable coverage and then suffered a devastating loss from a burglary or other covered event.

 

Saving money is important, but so is making sure that what you’ve got is protected. If you’re looking for ways to save, or want to review your coverages, give us a call!

 

*Insurance Research Council, January 21, 2009

 

Back to School

Insurance Tips for Back-to-School TimeBack to School

College is expensive enough without finding out too late that an accident or theft isn’t covered under your current policies. So, as you get your children ready to head off to school in the fall, there’s one vital “to-do” to add to your list (other than writing that tuition check): a review of your insurance coverage.

It’s important to keep in mind that policy language varies from state to state, and there are never “one-size-fits-all” situations, but below is a general guide. If you have questions, or want to go over your insurance needs, don’t hesitate to contact us!

 

HOMEOWNERS (may vary by state and individual policy)

  • Coverage of personal property: Most homeowners policies provide 10 percent of Coverage C (Personal Property) for property owned by an insured that is at a residence other than the insured’s. For example, if the contents of a policyholder’s home are insured for $100,000, a student’s property up to $10,000 would be covered if living in a dormitory – provided the damage is caused by a covered peril and the student meets the definition of an insured.
  • For apartments or houses off-campus, the same coverage generally applies. Certain items, such as jewelry or expensive electronics, may require special coverage, or a “rider.” Renters insurance is strongly recommended if a particular policy does not cover a student’s personal property.
  • Liability coverage: There usually is an exclusion for damage to property rented to an insured, so generally damage to a dorm room or apartment would not be covered.
  • Ensuring adequate coverage: Contact us to get specific answers and information about your coverages. Also, it’s a great idea to create an inventory of the items your student is taking to school, as is keeping photos of and receipts for the items.
  • Renters insurance: If your student’s needs can’t be met under your current policy, don’t forget renters insurance. Landlords’ policies generally only cover the structure, not the possessions of renters.

 

AUTO (may vary by state)

  • Coverage without a car at school: If your student will continue to drive while at home on school breaks, they should continue to be listed on your auto policy. If they are attending school more than 100 miles from home, and are not taking a vehicle with them, the policy may qualify for a distant-student discount.
  • Coverage with a car at school: In most instances, a car registered to parents and listed on their policy will be covered if used by a listed student away at school. But you should make sure that your insurance carrier writes coverage in the college’s state and location. And note that a change to the principal location of the vehicle could result in a change in premium.
  • Driving a friend’s car at school: Students generally would be covered while driving a friend’s car if the students are listed on their parents’ policy and do not have regular use of the vehicle. The coverage would likely be secondary in this case, as the carrier for the friend’s vehicle likely would be the primary coverage.
  • Coverage discounts: In addition to the possible distant-student discount mentioned above, students may qualify for a good-student discount. To qualify, most insurance carriers require that a student must be enrolled in at least four courses per term as a full-time student at an accredited college or university and meet certain academic qualifications. Also, drivers under the age of 21 who complete a driver education course may be eligible for a policy discount.

 

Going away to school is an exciting time for both students and their parents. Making sure you’ve got the right insurance coverage can help you protect your assets as you invest in your child’s future. We’re happy to discuss your coverage and options — just give us a call or stop by!

When To Replace Your Roof

When to replace your roofDo you know when you should replace your roof?  Occasionally, a roof claim is denied because the damage is caused by wear and tear or lack of maintenance.  It is always best to stay on top of the maintenance and repairs of your roof.  Check out the blog below for helpful advice and tips on staying up to date with your roof.

 

http://www.deneveconstruction.com/know-reroof-roof/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Insurance to Value

Do You Have Enough Coverage to Rebuild Your Home?

Insurance to Value

Imagine how devastating it would be to lose your home in a fire. Now imagine not being able to rebuild it completely because you didn’t have the correct amount of insurance.

Selecting the proper amount of coverage is the single most important decision you can make with your Homeowners policy. Without it, you may not have enough coverage to rebuild after a total loss. This is called “insurance to value.” Below are some explanations and tips to help you make the right choices for your needs — and remember, if you need help, we’re just a phone call away!

What is insurance to value?
Insurance to value is the relationship between the amount of coverage selected (typically listed as “Coverage A” or “Dwelling Coverage” on your policy declarations page) and the amount required to rebuild your home. Insuring your home for anything less than 100% insurance to value could mean you wouldn’t have enough coverage to replace your home in the event of a total loss

Why is the cost to rebuild different from the market value?
A home’s market value reflects current economic conditions, taxes, school districts, the value of the land and location, and other factors unrelated to construction cost. The cost to rebuild your home is based only on the cost of materials and labor in your area. It is important that you insure your home based on its reconstruction cost, NOT its current market value

Why is reconstruction more expensive than new construction?
New-home builders typically build many homes at once, and solicit bids from various sub-contractors to receive the best pricing. Their business model is based on economies of scale. For example, they may purchase 20 bathtubs at once, securing a lower unit cost. These economies of scale don’t exist when building a single home.

How can I make sure I have the correct amount of insurance?
Work with your agent to provide detailed information at time of purchase to be sure that you receive a thorough and accurate quote.
Ask us about additional coverage options that may be available.
Review your insurance to value calculation on a regular basis with your agent.
Tell your agent about any changes or improvements that you make to your home.

Pool Safety

pool safety

Summer fun usually consists of a day at the pool or going to the beach. Before jumping off the diving board, there are precautions you need to take.  Below are links to a couple blogs that give great advice on items to take to the pool and what you need to be aware of.

10 Safety Tips for Your Summer Swims – Safeco Blog | Safeco Insurance

Safeco Blog – Swimming and summer are a perfect combination, but make sure to include safety, too. These 10 swimming safety tips will help.

Safety Tips

The Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act (P&SS Act), the law which founded the Pool Safely campaign, takes its name from Virginia Graeme Baker, a seven-year-old girl who drowned after she was trapped under water by the powerful suction from a hot tub drain.

http://www.swimmingpool.com/games-safety/safety

 

 

 

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