A Daily Blog on Creating Success

What you need to know about Insurance and Bicycles

 

We have a sign out front of our office where we put up little messages.  For the longest time the sign read “NEED HELP WITH MEDICARE  CALL US

We had so many people call and stop in that my dad, our Healthcare guru, finally told us to change the damn thing!  Healthcare can definitely be a challenge to work with in today’s world.

So when the weather got warm in the Spring we changed it to, “WE INSURE BIKES AND BOATS TOO!  STOP IN FOR A QUOTE.”  We got crickets.  No one called.  No one stopped in.  No one cared.

 

pee wee herman bike

 

Until just the other day.  A man saw the sign few months back.  He is considering buying a bike that will cost $8,100!  That’s Eight Thousand One Hundred Dollars.  He said he got a quote to insure the bicycle from his Homeowners agent at Erie Insurance Group for around $600 for the year.  Seems like a lot.  In fact most if not all of our Motorcycle policies are less!

I did some research and found that most Homeowners policies would cover the bike without any extra premium.  I even reached out to our Travelers Insurance Underwriter and discussed it with him.  Here’s what I found out.

 

Under a Travelers Insurance Homeowners policy, the bike would be covered up to the full replacement cost.  There is NO limit!  In the event of a claim, the Insured would need to pay their deductible.  Also, the claim handler would take depreciation off of the total amount of the initial claim check.  That depreciation would be returned but only after the bike is replaced.

 

The bike could also be covered under it’s own Personal Articles Floater (PAF, sometimes called an Inland Marine Policy).  Here are some benefits of a PAF;

  • There is a low and often times a zero dollar deductible.
  • A claim on a PAF will not affect the Homeowners Policy whatsoever.
  • A PAF is an agreed value policy.  The bike would not be subject to depreciation.

 

A PAF is a great idea if you have expensive jewelry, music instruments, or other valuable items.

 

The cost of a PAF for a bike is $9.35 per $100 through Travelers.  So for a bike valued at $8,100 the cost of the PAF  would be $757.35.  This is not cheap but you need to consider a few things.

 

  1. A claim filed through your Homeowners policy could result in a loss of your “Loss Free Discount”.  This discount could be as high as $300-$400 and you would lose it for at least 3 years.
  2. You would have to pay your deductible.  Any new Homeowners policy written with Travelers has a minimum deductible of $1,000.
  3. A claim on your Homeowners Policy will make it difficult to find a lower rate if you start shopping your insurance.

 

It’s a risk you take, pay the high premium for the PAF and possibly not have a claim or just chance it and go through your Homeowners policy if you do.  In 9 years of being in the industry I have never seen a claim for a bicycle.  But I have also never seen an $8,100 bike!

In this case I advised my new biker friend to contact his agent at Erie and discuss the coverage available through his Homeowners Policy.

 

What would you do? 
My name is Keith Laskey. My goal is to educate the everyday consumer and to help them make intelligent decisions with their insurance policies. Please contact me at my office, 610-948-4830 or Email Me for any insurance related questions or concerns. You can also visit the Ron Black Agency website or like us on Facebook! Thank you for stopping by, have a great day!

How an Umbrella Policy Can Protect You

Umbrella Policies provide excess liability coverage.  It’s coverage that sit’s on top of the liability coverage of your other policies.  It comes into play if you ever find yourself on the wrong end of a lawsuit and you reach the end of your limits on your auto or homeowners policies.

 

The Travelers Neon | 113/365 Explored Mike Hiatt via Compfight

 

Umbrella policies insure against the worse case scenario.  If someone falls on your property and sues you, or if you cause an accident and there is significant injury or death to someone as a result of it, or even if your kid says something untrue about someone else on social media.  An Umbrella policy would prove it’s value a hundred fold in any of those cases.

 

The last reason I gave may be the most frightening of them all.  Kids are on their iDevices constantly these days.  And most of them are on Instagram or at least communicating via text.  Let’s say that your child, Johnny, makes up something about me that he knows is not true.  Something awful that would damage my reputation.  The rumor gets around to the community and now people are unsure what to believe.

 

I would have no choice but to protect my name.  I would need to file a lawsuit against you, the parent.  Your Homeowner’s policy would deny coverage but an Umbrella policy would protect you from this circumstance.

 

Here are a few other things to know about Umbrella Policies.

  • They are fairly inexpensive.  A $1 Million policy cost as low as $250 to $400.

  • Young drivers, rental properties, multiple vehicles will increase the cost.

  • Umbrella policies help pay for your legal fees and settlements above your regular insurance limits.  Your assets may be at stake without it.

  • Liability risks are everywhere. Do you have a teen Driver? Do you host parties? Do you have a pool, hot tub or boat? Do you have a housekeeper?  These are all risk factors.

  • An Umbrella policy is most useful for protecting your net worth.

 

Our agency recommends that all homeowners consider having a $1 Million Umbrella policy.  If you have a pool or another risk that I stated above than you should increase that to $2 Million.

 

Contact your agent and ask for a quote to add an Umbrella Policy.  It’s usually best to get the policy with the same carrier that you have your auto and homeowners policies to take advantage of multi-account discounts.

 

Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns you may have.

 

-Keith Laskey

Protecting Your Family and Home from Fall Weather

 

 

High Winds, heavy rains, leaves, leaves and more leaves.  All of these things can cause some serious damage to your home and property.

 

For the most part, however, damage to your house because of these conditions can be prevented.

 

Here are a few of the most common causes of damage during the Autumn season and how you can prevent them from occurring.

 

 

  • High Wind and Heavy Rain.

It was right about this time in 2012 that we all started looking at the radar planning for a Superstorm named Sandy.   Hurricane season will not end until November 30th so the potential for high winds is not going away anytime soon.

Wind can cause enough damage on it’s own.  But the real trouble emerges when you add heavy soaking rain to the high winds.  The wind can very easily rip shingles off of a roof and even siding off of a house exposing the home to rain.  When this happens you can expect a significant amount of interior water damage.

 

How to Prevent the Damage

 

  1. Prepare.  Get a tarp in case your siding blows off.  If the siding blows off, hang the tarp up to prevent rain from getting in.
  2. Gather a few numbers for local roofers and emergency service providers. Don’t go up on your roof if it is still raining! Allow a professional to do it for you.  If you are person that thinks they can do anything then….
  3. Get Life Insurance.  Your family very well may need it.

 

  • Fallen Trees.

Trees fall at all times of the year but especially when the ground becomes saturated and the winds become heavier.  We seem to see more in the season of Fall than any other.  Fallen trees can cause an unbelievable amount of damage in some cases going right through your house and landing in your living room or on your car.

 

wracked_house_01

 

How to Prevent the Damage

If you see a dead tree near your house or another structure located on your property, get it cut down.  As soon as possible.  Eventually that dead tree will drop and if it’s near your house, there is a good chance it’s going to land where you don’t want it to.

If your neighbor has a dead tree located on his property but is close to your house, ask them to cut it down.  If they refuse, send a certified letter to them with a formal request.  Document everything.  When his tree does fall on your house, that documentation will help your insurance carrier prove they were negligent.  If you cannot prove your neighbor’s negligence than the damage sustained to your house due to your neighbor’s tree will all be on you and your carrier.

 

  • Leaves and Debris clogging gutters and downspouts.

About 2 months after we moved in to our house we had a crazy Fall rainstorm.  Rain was literally pouring out of our gutters, onto the ground and straight into a window well of our basement.  Water was pouring down the back wall of our basement.  We didn’t know what the heck was going on!!!

Once the storm passed we went outside and discovered that our gutter was clogged.  I took about four or five hand fulls of leaves and debris from the gutter and there has not been a problem since.

Luckily for us, this happened in the back section of our basement which is unfinished and very easy to clean.  Had it happened in the front section of the house we would have had some serious damage.

 

How to Prevent the Damage

  • Check your gutters often to make sure they are not clogged.
  • Install a glass block window to completely seal out the elements from getting in.

 

I hope this information helps you. Have you ever had a Fall weather related claim?  Leave a comment below with your experiences.

 

 

My name is Keith Laskey. My goal is to educate the everyday consumer and to help them make intelligent decisions with their insurance policies. Please contact me at my office, 610-948-4830 or Email Me for any insurance related questions or concerns. You can also visit the Ron Black Agency website or like us on Facebook! Thank you for stopping by, have a great day!

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What Is Coverage B – Other Structures on a Homeowners Insurance Policy?

 

 

 

You received your Homeowners renewal in the mail.  Guess what?  The premium is up.  Up big!

 

It’s ridiculous.  Every year it goes up.  It NEVER goes down.

 

You have a few options to reduce your rate.  The two most common ways are to increase your deductible and possibly decrease your Coverage A for your Dwelling.  In order to decrease your Coverage A, your agent must provide proof to the Underwriter that the coverage can be reduced.

 

Can you save money by decreasing your Coverage B- Other Structures?

 

First, you need to know what is covered under Coverage B- Other Structures.

 

Shed at the edge of the woodsCreative Commons License John Hilliard via Compfight

 

Here are a few examples;

 

 

  • Detached Garage
  • Swimming Pool
  • Gazebo
  • Fence
  • Shed
  • Swing Set
  • Woman Cave (Yes they exist and are awesome!)
  • Barn

 

 

 

You get the idea.  Any structure that is not connected to your house is covered under Coverage B- Other Structures.

 

Most insurance polices provide 10% of your Coverage A for your Coverage B.  So if your Dwelling is insured for $200,000 then you will get $20,000 in coverage for your Other Structures.  Some companies do it differently but most insurers set up their Homeowners policies in this format.

 

So, can you save money by decreasing your coverage for Other Structures?

 

No.  Coverage for Other Structures is now an included coverage.  Meaning, you are given 10% of your Coverage A for your Other Strutures.  It is included in the premium amount.  So, for the majority of homeowners insurance policyholders, there is no opportunity to save money by decreasing your Coverage B-Other Structures.

You can increase it to as high as you want which will increase the rate.  This is common when people build detached garages or install a swimming pool.  Be sure to contact your agent if you build anything on your property.  You do not want to be Under-Insured.

 

My name is Keith Laskey. My goal is to educate the everyday consumer and to help them make intelligent decisions with their insurance policies. Please contact me at my office, 610-948-4830 or Email Me for any insurance related questions or concerns. You can also visit the Ron Black Agency website or like us on Facebook! Thank you for stopping by, have a great day!

The Who, How and What of ID Fraud

September is National Preparedness Month!!

 

Thank you Denverlibrary.org for the image.

Thank you Denverlibrary.org for the image.

 

Does your Homeowners Insurance company offer ID Fraud?  They should.  

 

 

Contact me for more information.   

 

Here is some helpful information from Travelers Insurance.

 


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