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
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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

 

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