805-238-1818

Protect your property loss claim

I am often asked and mostly after the fact. What do I do to prove my claim. Step one you can keep all your receipts. Well that does not happen in my house at any time, maybe for work on the house that we can use as a deduction when we sell. So the real step one is photos or a video. If you are taking still photos, make sure that you get all angles so that everything in the room is visible. Drawers open or closed, I say open because I want to be reminded what we had in there. A photo can jog your memory about items in drawers you may not use often. If you are going to use video, then you can do a monologue about what is in the picture. For example an antique can be described with who made it and when and what you paid for it.. Same principle applies be sure to get everything and open the drawers and cabinets. What next, We be sure to store you documentation outside of the house. Put it in your safe deposit box, give it to a trusted friend or relative, or I have even held them for clients. With the docume ...
Read the rest of entry »

Wildfire Safety, Protect your self

I was introduced to a great safety list from the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety. It gives a great list of things to do to do your best to protect your home in event of a wildfire headed in your direction. These are things to be done prior to be told to get out. The  foremost thing is to protect yourself and your family. First and foremost have an evacuation plan. Where are you and your family going to meet up if you are separated. Who can you call outside of the fire area to let them know you are OK and act as a rallying point for information for family members. Have you planned for alternate routes of ingress and egress in event one is blocked. Probably the most important thing is to have a go bag prepared in advance. Your medications, glasses a flashlight and  important phone numbers and insurance documents. Check out   ready.gov/kit  for a complete list. Oh and before you leave be sure to turn off the air conditioning and shut off the gas.   But ev ...
Read the rest of entry »

The truth about Uninsured Motorist Property Damage

I had occasion to brush up on this form. An older car with no collision was involved in an accident. The accident was not their fault and that was clear. I was sure of the answer but thought it prudent to make sure. There in black and white my concerns were confirmed. With respect to coverage for “property damage”,the accident must involve direct physical contact between “your covered auto” and the “uninsured motor vehicle”, and: 1. The owner or operator of the “uninsured motor vehicle” must be identified; or 2. The “uninsured motor vehicle” must be identified by its license number. Well that was the problem. The other party did not stick around to allow either their information to be gathered or the opportunity to get the license number. Yes it was a hit and run and we don't know any more about it today than we did then. The car was totaled. Unfortunately the car was a great running machine but it had miles on it I could not even believe. The ca ...
Read the rest of entry »

My Identity was Stolen, Now What?

Well not my whole identity, just my credit card. Found out from the credit card company that I was in Alberta, Canada. Yes, you might have had that experience where they cancel your card and you get to start all over with any recurring charges, but what if it was worse. You hear of people using your information to open credit lines and buy motorhomes and the such. Well my policy says that it will pay $25,000 of expenses incurred by me to repair any one identity fraud that occurs during my policy period. What does that mean to me? To put it simply, they have agreed to pay notary expense, mail expenses. lost wages for time spent dealing with law enforcement, credit agencies and lawyers  ( Oh yes there is a maximum of $1000 per week for 5 weeks ) and some other incidentals. What it does mean is that I do the work and they will pay. It is better than nothing and many companies throw the coverage in at no extra cost. It still means however that I either do the work to get it straightened out or I ...
Read the rest of entry »

Replacement Cost for your home, What do I need to know?

A series of question have come up regarding replacement cost for your home. First what is replacement cost, well it is almost like it sounds. The insurer is going to replace your home in the type and form that it was prior to an insured loss. Are there any caveats? Well yes,  they do depreciate floors and roofs but the remainder of the home is rebuilt or repaired to bring it back to its original condition. How do they arrive at replacement cost after a loss? This involves getting bids from a contractor to do the work. Most of the adjusters also have a program that allows them to estimate the job as well. The adjusters numbers are usually pretty close as long as there has not been a large problem in the area or even on the other coast. Building materials fluctuate all the time and a flood on the East coast or Fire on the West coast can cause building material prices to spike. What do you need to know before the loss? Have you spoken to your agent about any changes to the house? Did you add on, upgr ...
Read the rest of entry »

Is your Home Fire Safe?

All the fires in the news! What are the odds of your home being saved? A lot of it is up to you. Talking with a fire fighter he brutal opinion is that if there is not a defensible space around your home it is a not going to be protected. So what is a defensible space? It is the area around your house where the brush and dry grass have been removed for at least 100  feet from the house. Trees have been trimmed back from the house and do not overhang the roof especially if the roof is combustible. The driveway must be clear of weeds and brush so that there is a safe entrance and egress for the fire fighters. Its pretty simple if they can't get in safely they are not going to try. Also if your house can be saved they will put in the effort, but if it is not cleared they will go on to the next house where they can be successful. I have seen several fires where it was not possible to save all the homes, but given the opportunity and helpful winds most get saved. Our fire fighters do a great job, one whi ...
Read the rest of entry »

I just bought the most beautiful Diamond !

Well not really but We have been asked about a lot of rings lately. One of the mis-conceptions is that homeowners insurance provides all the coverage for the ring you may need. Well only maybe. Homeowners coverage has limits on jewelry as low as $1500 per item with a max of $2500 total. This can cover a lot of small items but if you like jewelry it might not be enough. Here are a few examples of the value of scheduling your items on your policy. Advantage number one is that by scheduling the item the stone is covered. Why is that special you may ask. It covers the loss of the stone, homeowners doesn't. If the stone comes out of the setting and is lost, the insurer will replace the stone. Number two is the loss of the ring. Homeowners cover the rings if they are stolen but what happens if the ring is taken off and just isn't there when you go to look for it. Not covered, a disappearance by unkonwn causes is not covered. By putting the ring on a schedule you gain the protection of just either misplacing or h ...
Read the rest of entry »

Insurance stinks Until You Need It!

Here is another entry in the insurance stinks until you need series. This is a true story but I will use no names. Client came into the office with a renters policy. He was complaining that the premium was too high after all there was no way that he had contents that exceeded $10,000 and we had given him $40,000 of coverage. Ok, we can make that change but let me give you an example of a training I went through. The Idea was to take one room and guess the contents. Well I that I would be a smart alec and I chose the bathroom. After all how much can you miss by in the bathroom. Well from the classroom I made my guess, a few towels some paper products etc. I got home and completed the assignment and found that by replacement value I was 50%, I had missed so many little things like razors and a bottle of Aspirin. That was the same story with the whole class, the best guesses were 50% off. I completed my story and the client said he would leave it there for another year, but he still thought I was wrong. Two w ...
Read the rest of entry »

To Earthquake or Not!

Earthquake insurance is another hot topic. We get asked all the time about the availability of earthquake insurance and the cost. It is our opinion that no financial plan is fail safe without earthquake coverage. This may have you scratching your head but here is our reasoning. Earthquake insurance is for catastrophic protection. If you own  more than 15% equity in your home it is difficult to walk away if it has major damage in a quake. The 15% number comes from the fact most earthquake policies have a 15% deductible. If you have 15% equity in your home and  it is going to cost more to repair than the 15% for the  repairs, you are now at zero equity in the home. You can decide to repair or walk away. But if you have a high equity and have reached the waning years of employment, waking away is not an option. Lets take an example, You have a home that has a value of $750,000 , have equity of 70% and during an earthquake the home has $350,000 of damage. If you don't repair the  home the los ...
Read the rest of entry »

What is the right amount of Auto Insurance?

We get asked this question all the time. We are talking about liability insurance, that amount that you pay to repair the damages and injuries to the party that you hit. Well the bad news is there is no exact answer. It all depends on your assets and your willingness to pay the premiums. We have had several clients that have had severe accidents. The medical bills for the person and or persons they hit have run into the high six figures and one topped a million. Fortunately all of these clients had the highest limit of auto liability we could buy for them and had umbrella coverage to give them the extra they needed. They were able to settle the claims for the insurance amount and not have to sell assets. This is not to say that by buying a $5million umbrella, you can't lose a lawsuit for $10 million but having the right limits give you the chance to pay the claim with the insurers dollars and not your own. Sure we have seen people that have been lucky as well. New clients that had not looked at their c ...
Read the rest of entry »
Pages: Previous1234567...14NextReturn Top
or call
805-238-1818