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.

 

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

Renters Insurance

The Importance of Renters Insurance

renters insuranceIf you live in a rental home or apartment, chances are you don’t have the proper insurance. Despite the fact that rented homes are more likely to be burglarized than owner-occupied properties, nearly 60 percent of renters don’t have a renters policy.

Why does it matter?

“If you rent a house or apartment and think that your landlord is financially responsible when there is a fire, theft or other catastrophe—think again,” warns the Insurance Information Institute*. “Your landlord may have insurance to protect the building you are living in. But your landlord’s policy won’t replace your personal possessions or pay for your living expenses while the building is being repaired. The only way to protect yourself financially against disasters is to buy a renters insurance policy.”

Renters insurance covers your possessions, liability and additional living expenses. Let’s take a look at these three types of protection:

Possessions

Standard renters insurance protects your personal belongings against damage from fire, smoke, lightning, vandalism, theft, explosion, windstorm, water and other disasters listed in the policy. Floods and earthquakes are not covered.

To decide how much insurance to buy, you need to know the value of all your personal possessions—including furniture, clothing, electronics, appliances, kitchen utensils and even towels and bedding. The easiest way to figure this out is to create a home inventory, a detailed list of all of your personal possessions and their estimated value.

There are two types of renters insurance policies for your possessions:

  • Actual Cash Value pays to replace your possessions minus an amount for depreciation (the reduction in the value of items due to age and use) up to the limit of your policy.
  • Replacement Cost pays the full cost of replacing your possessions (with no deduction for depreciation), up to the limit of your policy. The price of Replacement Cost coverage is about 10 percent more than Actual Cash Value coverage, but can be well worth the additional cost.

Note that a standard renters policy offers only limited coverage for items such as jewelry, silver, furs, etc. If you own property that exceeds these limits, it is recommended that you supplement your policy with a floater. A floater is a separate policy that provides additional insurance for your valuables and covers them for perils not included in your policy such as accidental loss.

Liability

Standard renters insurance policies also provide liability protection in the event you or members of your familiar cause injury to others or damage their property.  It also pays for damage your pets cause.

If you are sued, the liability portion of a renters policy may pay for both the cost of defending you in court and for court awards, up to the limit of the policy. Liability limits generally start at about $100,000. Your policy may also provide No-Fault Medical coverage. If visitors are injured in your home, regardless of fault, you can submit their medical bills directly to your insurance company. You can generally get $1,000 to $5,000 worth of this coverage. It does not however, pay medical bills for your own family or your pets.

Additional Living Expenses

Many people are pleasantly surprised to learn that Additional Living Expense (ALE) coverage is typically included in a renters insurance policy. If the home or apartment you are renting is damaged or destroyed and you need to live elsewhere while it is being repaired or rebuilt, renters insurance will cover your additional living expenses—namely the difference between your regular living expenses and the additional costs incurred by having to live away from your home, such as hotel bills, temporary rentals, restaurant meals, etc.

Need help deciding what coverage is best for you? Contact us today!

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*Insurance Information Institute, September 30, 2009

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

 

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

 

 

 

A Look Back At The Month of June

month-of-june

In the month of June, Brown & Brown Insurance of New Mexico co-hosted two events. On June 15th the Dental Lunch & Learn was held at the Northern Italian Grill, where we had the pleasure of having guest speaker Dr. Pino with Pino Periodontics discuss topics regarding todays dental technology and helpful tips and advice for oral care.
On Thursday, June 23rd the Wildfire Prevention Event was held at the Albuquerque Country Club. Chubb Insurance presented services they provide for the Wildfire Defense Services. Attendees also viewed a live demonstration of the effects of Thermo-Gel when applied to a dwelling. Visit our blog for more information and pictures of the events.
Below are some other blogs you may find helpful from the month of June.

Home Inventory

Firework Pet Safety

Dogs and Umbrella Insurance

RV Campsites

 

Renting your home

Wildfire Prevention Event

Thursday, June 23, 2016, Chubb hosted the “Wildfire Prevention Event” at the Albuquerque Country Club. The Chubb Wildfire Defense Service is coverage that is initially written on your Chubb home policy. The insured would need to contact their agent or go online to register each location on their policy. Registering your policy consists of an agreement to let Chubb enter your property in the event of a wildfire emergency and adding phone numbers to be contacted at.

After enrolling your home for the service Chubb will inspect the exterior of your home and give helpful tips and advice to help mitigate exposure on the property. Example would be if you had a wood pile against your home, they would advise to move the wood pile away from the home about 30ft.

Having this coverage will give you that extra piece of the puzzle that most home policies don’t have. Knowing that a qualified wildfire service provider will come out to help protect your home  from damage as best as possible and to keep you updated during the event can give you much needed peace of mind.  For more information regarding this coverage call us at 505-821-5888.

Wildfire Prevention Event

 

Visit firewise.org for more helpful tips to protect your home

RV Campsites

Finding a great place to camp in your RV

RV Campsites“Wherever you go, there you are.”

Whoever said that must have been an RV owner — after all, one of the best things about vacationing in an RV is the fact that your “hotel” is pretty much anywhere you decide to stop.

Of course, there’s a little more to finding a great camping spot than just pulling over and hoping for the best, so we at Brown & Brown Insurance of New Mexico put together some tips and resources to help you find the best spots on your next trip.

Plan ahead

Just as you would book a hotel before you leave on a vacation, it’s best to make reservations for your RV trip, regardless if you’re staying at a private RV park or a campground on public property. As anyone who has been t can tell you, spots fill up quickly during peak travel seasons and often sell out.

Public or private?

From basic accommodations to luxury RV resorts, you have many choices. State and national parks tend to have simple campgrounds, but they often offer the best in natural beauty! Whether you go public or private, you’ll want to factor in whether the site has hookups for your RV, how much you’re willing to spend and how close you’ll be to attractions you want to visit — particularly if you aren’t towing a separate car and need to use the RV for all of your travel.

What about parking lots?

Some shopping centers and truck stops will allow overnight camping, while rest areas generally prohibit it. Always be certain that you have permission to camp before setting up for the night.

The Family Motor Coach Association recommends the following if you stay in a private parking lot:

  • Park out of the way.
  • Avoid using slide-outs and awnings if possible.
  • Do not use your leveling jacks on asphalt.
  • Limit your stay to one night and leave the area cleaner than you found it.
  • Purchase fuel, food or supplies as a thank-you when feasible.
  • Do not put personal items, such as chairs or a grill, outside.

 How to find campgrounds

RV campground directories are available at bookstores, libraries and some RV supply stores, and they can be very useful to keep with you as you travel. You can also contact local and state tourism bureaus for camping information. Naturally, you have plenty of online resources to choose from as well:

We know insurance is just about the last thing you want to have on your mind when you’re on vacation, so give us a call at 505-821-5888 before you leave to make sure you’ve got the coverage you need!

Here’s to safe travels and happy RVing!

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