Personal Property Inventory

November 19, 2015 at 3:06 PM | Posted in Event Planning, Home, Insurance Claims, Insurance Policy, Personal Insurance, Personal Property, Safety Tips, Specialty Policy | Leave a comment
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Why is taking inventory of your Personal Property so important?

If your home was destroyed, or a theft occurred, could you compile a complete list of your personal property from memory?  Most people couldn’t; WHY? Maybe because they’d be too devastated by the loss itself to be able to write down all that was destroyed. Or maybe because after a lot of years, it’s hard to keep track of what one owns! Compiling a complete list is something you’d be asked to do at the time of filing your claim.

We know that putting a dollar value on possessions you’ve accumulated over many years is difficult and that only you can decide the extent of your insurance needs. However, if the unthinkable happened, would you have enough coverage for everything?  Your Personal Property Inventory serves two important functions:

  • as a valuable record of your possessions
  • as a way for you to judge the adequacy of your present coverage – do you have enough?

The inventory list should be stored somewhere safe, preferably away from your home. Our suggestion would be to take a video of each room in your home and store that video off premises – a relative’s home, safety deposit box, etc. Then if the worst happened, it would be available at the time you report your loss.

 

Benefits of a Home Inventory

Obtaining a comprehensive home inventory:

  • Ensures you have the necessary amount of insurance coverage.
  • Identifies items—such as jewelry, coins, antiques, artwork, and silverware—that have limited coverage on a home or tenant policy and helps to determine if additional insurance is needed for those items.

The decision can then be made to purchase additional coverage (known as a “rider”) so the items will be insured for their full value. This then…

  • Allows an evaluation on whether to insure your property and contents at “replacement cost” or “actual cash value.” Replacement cost is the amount it takes to replace or repair your home and possessions with materials of similar quality. Actual cash value is a lower amount that consists of replacement cost less depreciation.
  • Verifies the condition of your assets before moving or placing them in storage in case of loss or damage.

So break out your camera and say action!cinematographer marker

Don’t be caught “underinsured” and/or unable to remember what you own. Call us today to discuss your homeowners or renters insurance policy, and find out what you need to ensure you’re protected in case of loss at our toll free number: 888-850-9400.

 

Tenant Coverage

October 29, 2015 at 2:33 PM | Posted in Home, Insurance Claims, Insurance Policy, Personal Insurance, Personal Property, Regulations, Renters, Specialty Policy, tenant, tenant policy | Leave a comment
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While renting an apartment, a house or condominium, the dwelling or structure may not be your responsibility but you still have property to protect. The landlord does not carry any coverage on their property policy for you. A tenant policy is also known as HO4 policy, for the tenant who opts to buy coverage to protect their personal property and to obtain personal liability coverage. Most insurance carriers allow coverage as low as $20,000 for personal property and can be purchased for approximately $200 annually. A general guide to determine the amount of coverage needed is to multiply each full room by 10,000 and make necessary adjustments to that figure. Also keep in mind this is a property policy and makes you eligible for the account discount if you also write your auto policy with the same insurance carrier, or with an affiliated company. This policy could respond by replacing your household items, such as clothing and furniture, from loss caused by fire, theft or vandalism.

Ask yourself the following questions:

What if there is a fire in the building? Or if your apartment is vandalized or burglarized?

  • Could you afford to buy your own replacement items?
  • Could you also afford to relocate while building repairs are being made?

The police report will be on file, the fire department will extinguish the fire, but neither will replace your belongings.  If you had purchased a tenant policy in these scenarios, you would need to pay the policy deductible for a covered loss and would be eligible to replace your items up to the limit of coverage you had purchased.

Call us at (888) 850-9400 to obtain the annual rating of this valuable coverage.

College-Bound Coverage

August 6, 2014 at 9:01 AM | Posted in Home, Reminders | Leave a comment
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Sending your child off to college can be a very emotional experience, making it difficult to remember everything that needs to be thought of while worrying about them leaving home. Insurance coverage is one topic that is often forgotten, although it is one of the most important topics. The proper insurance coverage not only protects the student but protects you, the parent as well. If your child is under the age of 24, is a full-time student, and was a resident of your household before moving out to school, some of your home and auto coverage may follow them if they will be living in the dorm.

Covering a student’s actions:
Your homeowner policy provides coverage for bodily injury or property damage that is caused by your child accidentally. Intentional acts are not covered. This only applies if they are in the dorm. This may be a good time to consider an umbrella policy to obtain additional liability coverage.

Covering a student’s belongings:
Your homeowner policy provides coverage up to 10% of your contents coverage for their belongings while away from your premises. This may NOT apply if they are living in an off campus apartment or fraternity or sorority house.  When it comes to electronic devices such as laptops and computers, you may want to specifically schedule these items.

If your child will be living off campus, they would want to purchase a tenant policy to protect their personal items and receive liability coverage. Some landlords are now requiring that they be listed on a tenant policy so they will be notified if it cancels during the year.

Covering student autos or driving liability: When your child takes a car to school, be sure they are listed as the primary operator and that you have notified your insurance agent of the town the vehicle will be garaged during the school year. Make sure your child knows not to let anyone else drive the vehicle, as this would negate any available coverage in the event of a loss.

If your student is not taking a car to school and there is a chance they may drive someone else’s vehicle, make sure you leave them on your policy as a rated operator. Should they be in an accident, your auto policy will provide them some coverage if the owner of the other vehicle did not carry enough liability coverage. There may also be discounts available to students away at school.

There are so many issues to consider as you help your child leave for college. Call us at 888-850-9400 and we can help you arrange for any insurance coverage needed before they go.

Tips to Protect Your Valentine Jewelry

February 19, 2014 at 9:27 AM | Posted in Home | Leave a comment
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If your valentine was sweet and bought you jewelry for Valentine’s Day, you will want to make sure you protect it.  Here are some tips to help you:

  • Get an appraisal – Make sure the person appraising it knows it is for insurance purposes so they don’t inflate it.
  • Update your home inventory to include the new jewelry and keep a copy of the receipt and appraisal in a safe, fire-proof spot.
  • Contact your insurance agent to make sure your jewelry is properly covered on your home insurance. There are many coverage options to fit your needs and your budget.
  • If you rent and don’t have a home policy, make sure you purchase renters insurance to cover your valuables.

No matter what the value of the jewelry you own, there is insurance coverage to provide protection from fire, theft, and even for items you’ve lost.  Protector Group can help you get the coverage that best fits your needs. Call us today!

Do you have Renters Insurance?

January 15, 2014 at 9:39 AM | Posted in Home, Insurance Policy, Personal Property, Renters | Leave a comment
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In our last blog post, we suggested ways to prevent frozen pipes and what to do if a pipe freezes.  If you own your home, most likely you have homeowners insurance to cover any damage due to a burst pipe, but what if you rent? Your landlord’s insurance policy will NOT cover your personal belongings.

The following are some coverages that are included in a renters policy that are not covered by your landlord’s insurance:

  • Coverage for your personal belongings, including emergency expense money to replace clothing, keys, and documentation such as licenses immediately after a covered loss.
  • Liability coverage for defense costs for any bodily injury suits brought against you or a household member.
  • Medical payments coverage for medical costs for any injury occurring on your rented premises.
  • Loss of use coverage in case you can’t live in the space you rent due to a large loss such as major water damage, fire etc.

Typically, as temperatures drop even lower in the months of January and February, we see a lot of weather related losses. Frozen pipes and ice dams are the most frequent and can cause thousands of dollars in damage. If you don’t have a renters policy in place, now would be the time to get one.  They cost so little and cover so much.

For more information contact Protector Group at 1-888-850-9400.

College Bound Students

August 7, 2013 at 9:17 AM | Posted in Auto, Home, Personal Property, Reminders | Leave a comment
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Whether your child is returning to college or starting their first year, it is an exciting and stressful time for you.  You want to make sure everything is covered, from what you need to do before they go to what they should bring with them.

Here are some tips to share with your child to make college life a little easier:

  1. Visit http://www.collegepackinglist.com/ for a dorm checklist items, and other helpful suggestions
  2. Organize yourself and your belongings when you move into your dorm.
  3. Commit to Healthy Eating Habits and Exercise Routines
  4. Try not to burn the candle at  both ends – Get plenty of necessary sleep
  5. Develop a respectful relationship with your roommate
  6. Manage your time well to avoid becoming stressed over deadlines

Here are some items you should take care of before they go off to college:

  1. If they are taking their own vehicle make sure you change the garaging address on the insurance policy.
  2. If they are not bringing their own vehicle but may be using other student’s vehicles or Zip cars, there are options on the auto insurance policy to address these scenarios.
  3. Personal belongings such as laptops, electronics, and musical instruments have limited coverage under your home policy.  Scheduling these items on your policy will give you better coverage.

There is a lot to think about.  Call Protector Group at 888-850-9400 and we can help you obtain coverage tailored to your specific needs – – – before dorm check-in time.

Personal Auto Policy vs. Travel Trailer Policy for Campers

June 5, 2013 at 9:05 AM | Posted in Camper, Insurance Policy, Motor Home, Personal Insurance, Personal Property, Specialty Policy, Travel Trailer | Leave a comment
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If you have a camper that you pull from location to location throughout the summer, there are many different ways you could insure it. You can add it to your auto policy with Collision and Comprehensive coverage providing you with: collision, fire, theft, and falling objects coverage at actual cash value. However, when you insure your camper on a Travel Trailer policy, you’ll get much more coverage – for example, here are some of the coverages an auto policy alone does not provide:

  • Coverage for Attached Accessories such as awnings and satellite dishes.
  • Emergency Expenses coverage that pays for lodging or travel expenses to get back home if your rig is damaged by a covered loss occurring more than 50 miles from home.
  • Campsite/Vacation liability coverage when a travel trailer is used as a secondary residence.
  • Total Loss Replacement coverage protects from the effects of value depreciation.
  • Personal Property coverage for your personal belongings within the camper.
  • Full-Timer coverage provides liability protection similar to a homeowners policy when the camper is parked and being used as a residence.
  • Fire Department Service coverage up to $500.
  • Debris Removal coverage.

In most cases, Travel Trailer policies cost the same as it would to add the camper to your auto policy. If you use your camper as a secondary residence, there may be additional coverage you need. Contact us at 888-850-9400 to discuss your individual needs.

Tips to Protect Your Home from Insects and Vermin

May 29, 2013 at 10:54 AM | Posted in Home | Leave a comment
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This time of year, it is common to see spiders and other small bugs in your home, and to see the ants marching across your counter. There are other things that can get into your home and cause problems such as bees, mice, squirrels, and birds. Unfortunately, a homeowner policy does not provide coverage for damage caused by birds, vermin, rodents, or insects. Preventing them from getting into your home in the first place is the key. Here are some helpful tips:

  1. Make sure all entry points to your roof are sealed and repaired if necessary. Holes in vents, fascia boards, and trim are common areas that birds, squirrels, and bees use for getting into your home to nest.
  2. Seal cracks in foundations and exterior walls so chipmunks, snakes, and mice can’t find their way into your foundation.
  3. Check screens and seals on doors and windows for gaps or tears.
  4. Have an  treat the perimeter of your home each spring to keep the ants from marching in.
  5. Keep wood piles away from your foundation.
  6. Store foods in airtight containers.

Staying vigilant throughout the summer will keep you ahead of the critters. Bees and hornets are especially resourceful and will constantly keep finding new areas to build a nest.

If you have any questions on how your policy will respond to a situation, call us at 888-850-9400.

Important Tips for Keeping Your Basement Dry This Spring

March 20, 2013 at 9:10 AM | Posted in Home, Personal Insurance, Personal Property, Seasonal | Leave a comment
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March 20th is officially the first day of spring, bringing warmer temperatures, melting snow, and spring showers. All that melting now and rain has to go somewhere, and there are steps you can take to make sure it is not in your basement.

  • Check your sump pump to make sure it is working properly and the hoses do not have leaks in them
  • Make sure your battery backup or generator is ready to support your sump pump in the event of a power outage.
  • Clear any snow mounds away from your foundations especially around your basement windows or entrance.
  • Make sure your gutters are clear and downspouts are pointed away from your home.

Remember, seepage of groundwater is excluded under the homeowner policy. If you have a sump pump, we suggest that you add the sump pump overflow endorsement, which would give you limited coverage should your sump pump suddenly malfunction and cause the basement to flood. Most companies now require that you have battery or generator backup for the sump pump in order for the coverage to apply.
If you have any questions about your homeowner coverage call Protector Group Insurance at 888-850-9400.

Special Valentine Gifts May Need Special Coverage

February 20, 2013 at 8:54 AM | Posted in Home, Insurance Policy, Personal Insurance, Personal Property, Specialty Policy | Leave a comment
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Was your Valentine good to you? If you received a gift of jewelry or maybe a marriage proposal, make sure you have adequate insurance in place.

  • Jewelry. Since there is limited coverage for jewelry on a standard home, condo, or tenant policy, you should schedule the item on your policy. Not only will you be insuring it for its full value, you will have coverage for mysterious disappearance and will eliminate any deductibles for a loss.
  • Weddings. No matter how carefully you plan a wedding, there are many things that are out of your control. Wedding insurance will help keep that special day a happy one, and protect against the possibility of unforeseen snags. For as little as $160 you can be covered for things such as no dress, lost deposits, severe weather, or ruined photos.

Call us at 888-850-9400 and we will help you get the coverage you need.

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