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The Royersford Insurance Agent

Not all College Kids Need a Renter’s Policy

Marshmallow man

 

 

I was talking with a potential client last week about his Homeowner’s Policy. He gave me the basic details of his house; square footage, finished basement, fireplace and other details that I needed to figure out how much coverage needed to be on the house.

 

This, by the way, is a fantastic thing to discuss with your agent to make sure you are not paying too much for your Homeowners policy.

 

Then he said something that I had not heard before. He mentioned that his current policy has an endorsement that provides liability coverage to his son who goes to West Chester for college.

 

I was unaware of this. From what I understood, all college kids needed a Renter’s policy to make sure they had A.) Liability Coverage and B.) Coverage for their personal property.

 

I called the Travelers Underwriter and ran it by him. “Is there an endorsement that enables us to extend Liability coverage to kids away at college?” In fact there is. Turns out it’s incredibly inexpensive too!

 

With Travelers, the minimum premium on a Renter’s policy is $150. The cost of this endorsement is only about $15! On top of the extension of Liability coverage, a Homeowners policy can also extend property damage coverage.  Usually this is only 10% of the amount shown on your policy for Personal Property. But 10% is usually more than enough. So you really do not need a Renter’s policy for a college kid.

With Safeco Insurance you don’t even need the endorsement.  The coverage automatically extends over to the college kid away at school!

 

The exception.

 

Of course there may be an exception. If the landlord or apartment requires that the child have a policy in his or her name then you may have not choice. You may need to get them their own policy.  Also, if your child has any high value items, like musical instruments, jewelry, computers or an expensive bike, we would recommend a separate policy, called a Personal Articles policy.

 

These policies are also pretty inexpensive and could end up saving you a ton of money in the long run.  So although Renter’s policies are never a bad idea, especially given the low cost, they may not be necessary.

 

As always, consult your agent to make sure you are doing what’s right for you.

 

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!

Pools and Homeowners Insurance. What you need to know.

Congratulations to you on your decision to get a pool.  You are going to have a blast!  Before you get too crazy, there are a few things you need to consider regarding your insurance policies.

 

Dog and boy swimming in a pool. Make sure you are covered by liability insurance. Chris Richmond via Compfight

 

Homeowners Policy

Other Structures (Coverage B)

Your Homeowners policy comes with automatic coverage for Other Structures.  This can be rather annoying if you live in a townhouse, like me.  We have NO other structures! Why do they automatically give us this coverage!!

Relax, the coverage is included.  Meaning you could reduce the coverage to zero and your rate would not decrease.  Usually the Other Structures coverage is adequate for what you have.  Most of us don’t have a $50,000 barn on our property.

Sometimes though, we do have a detached garage, a deck and a pool.  If this is the case for you then you absolutely need to let your agent know that you are adding on a pool.  In fact, a good rule of thumb is to let your agent know anytime you are adding anything onto the house, detached or not.

So if the pool you are building is costing you $20,000, make sure you make your agent aware so that your policy limits for Other Structures can be increased if need be.

 

What does your pool need?

The pool itself will require a few things in order for the insurance company to stay off your back.  Most insurance companies will require a fence around the pool.  This is a good idea anyway as you don’t want stray animals or neighborhood children wandering into the pool.

Another thing most insurance companies will require is a locked gate leading into the pool.  This can just be a Master Lock.  Anything that shows you need a combination in order to get through the gate on the fence that surrounds your pool.

 

Umbrella Policy

This is the big one.  Everything mentioned in this article is important but this is absolutely essential.  Pools put you at risk.  Kids running around on wet ground tend to slip and fall, adults enjoying themselves a bit too much could get hurt, and God forbid the worst case scenarios which you can imagine but I won’t mention.  I’m not trying to instill fear in you, but you need to be aware of some of the possible risks that are associated with adding a pool to your property.

Umbrella policies cost anywhere between $200 and $500.  Sometimes a little more, sometimes a little less.  There are many factors that go into the cost.  They provide an additional $1 Million of liability coverage.  They protect you if an injury occurs to someone at your house and you are found to be responsible.

At our agency, we believe if you own a house you should have a $1 Million Dollar Umbrella policy.  If you have a pool at your house, you should consider a $2 Million policy.

Have a great time with your new pool.  Be safe but more importantly, be covered!

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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!

 

 

Coverage for cars caused by wind blown shingles and trees.

We have had some epic windstorms the last week here in PA.  Probably the same type weather in the entire region.  It was crazy! 

Today we received a phone call from one of our insureds.  Apparently their neighbor has scratches to their cars due to shingles that blew off our insured’s roof.  The neighbors are hoping our insured’s insurance company will pay to repair the damage.

 

Nocturna [Explore #133] Pedro Javier Jiménez via Compfight

 

What does my Homeowners Insurance policy pay for?

 

There are two sections to your Homeowners policy.  Section 1 provides coverage for the following things.

 

  • Dwelling.  
    • Roof, shingles, walls, floors, etc.
  • Personal Property.
    • Whatever you would take with you if you were to move.
  • Other Structures.
    • Sheds, detached garages, pools, fences….
  • Loss of Use.
    • If you were to have a covered claim and could not stay in the house due to the damage, your policy would pay for alternative living arrangements as well as excess cost of food.

Section 2 provides coverage for Liability.  If someone were to slip and fall at your house and sued you.  Also, if someone were to get injured at your house and needed medical treatment.  Your policy provides funds for medical treatment to others.

 

Your policy does not provide coverage for property that is not owned by you.

 

The most common example of this is when a tree that stands on your property falls and lands on a neighbors house or car.  Often, the neighbor would want you to pay for their damage.  Whether or not you pay for that damage is up to you.  But your insurance company is under no obligation to pay.

Your insurance policy is a contract between you and the insurance company.  You agree to pay the premium and they agree to pay for damage to property owned by you.

 

Who pays for the damage to the car?

 

The neighbor should contact their auto insurance company and report a comprehensive claim.  Often comp deductibles are lower than collision.  I recommend a $100 deductible at the most?  Also, the price of comprehensive coverage is typically much less than the cost of collision coverage.

 

Will my neighbors auto insurance rate increase due to a comp claim?

 

I can’t say for sure.  We represent several carriers, Travelers, Encompass, Safeco, and Progressive just to name a few.  A comp claim would not cause a rate increase from any of those carriers.

There could be a potential affect on the rate if you were to try and rewrite the policy with a different carrier or even with the same carrier.  We have seen quotes increase by about a hundred dollars or so after we indicate that the driver had a comprehensive claim.

So there is typically no increase in price on a policy renewal due to a comp claim but the cost of a re-written policy is typically more than it would have been if the claim was never filed.  This post provides more information on comprehensive and collision coverage.

 

Are you in a situation where you have damage due to a neighbor’s falled property?  Is a neighbor asking you to help pay for damage to their property due to something that blew off your property?

 

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

Liability Coverage on a Homeowners Policy

Homeowners Liability Coverage not available for Jerry Sandusky

Above is an article regarding Jerry Sandusky’s Homeowners policy through State Farm.  The article appears on www.centredaily.com, a site which focuses on the greater State College region of PA.

 

As expected, Sandusky and his wife, Dottie, initially filed a claim against State Farm with hopes that the policy’s Section II Coverage for Liability would kick in and protect Jerry Sandusky.  Anyone could have guessed that there would be no coverage from the insurance giant on these claims but do you know the reason why?

 

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