Posts Tagged ‘home insurance’
If you rent your home, your property is not protected by the landlord’s insurance.
If you rent your home or apartment, you may think the landlord is responsible for the property’s insurance. Guess what? Your belongings are not covered on his policy. If there’s a fire or water damage or theft, you would likely be forced to leave your home for a length of time. And you may have to start over in terms of acquiring possessions. At least if you have renters insurance, you wouldn’t have to pay for those inconveniences.
Turner Agency Insurance offers affordable renters insurance protection that every renter should seriously consider having. It covers your rental property, no matter if it’s a house, apartment, multi-family residence, duplex, loft, townhome or condo. It covers renters in much the same way homeowners insurance works, but since it’s not always required, some renters neglect to protect themselves.
What Renters Insurance Covers
Renters insurance protects you against a wide range of disasters and damage caused by fire or smoke, lightning, windstorm or hail, volcanic eruption, ice, vandalism, theft, explosion, plumbing leaks and falling objects. Floods and earthquakes are typically excluded from standard renters insurance. Most policies cover sports and recreational equipment but not your vehicles, which would be covered by your car insurance.
You may add extra coverage for valuable jewelry, collectibles, cameras, musical instruments and more, as an endorsement to your policy. If you operate a business out of your home, you can add increased business coverage to protect those assets. Renters insurance also offers both personal liability coverage to protect you against lawsuits and additional living protection should you need to relocate while the rental property is repaired or rebuilt.
You can usually choose between actual cash value renters insurance, which will replace your belongings after factoring depreciation, or full replacement cost protection, which may cost more upfront, but covers the full replacement cost of your possessions.
Whose Possessions Are Covered
Any member of your family is covered under your renters insurance policy. If your kids are in college, their possessions are covered at school, provided they live on campus and don’t rent an apartment.
Common Myths about Renters Insurance
Let’s address these myths one at a time, and you can decide whether renters insurance is something you need.
- My landlord is responsible if anything happens to my apartment.
- I don’t need insurance; my stuff fits in the back of my truck.
- I can’t afford to buy renters insurance.
- If my friends get hurt at my house, their insurance will cover them.
My Landlord Is Responsible
There are many advantages to renting rather than owning your home. Your landlord probably handles general care of the premises and may even cover your utilities. You may have cable TV as part of your rental agreement. You never need to worry about lawn care, snow removal or trash collection. You are free to relocate simply by giving notice under the terms of your lease. Your landlord insures the property and has liability protection enough to cover appropriate claims. But that protection will not cover you, your belongings or anything occurring inside your home.
I Don’t Need Renters Insurance
Many renters believe their belongings could easily be replaced since they don’t have many possessions. Since most people acquire their things over time, it’s easy to lose track of cumulative value. But take one look in your kitchen or clothes closet and you’ll likely realize you wouldn’t readily have the financial resources to replace everything you currently own. Even renters whose earthly belongings fit in the back of a pick-up truck would be hard-pressed to replace furniture, appliances, electronics, food, clothes and more all at once if the duplex burned down.
I Can’t Afford Renters Insurance
Do yourself a favor and contact us for a no-obligation quote for renters insurance. It’s affordable, and it’s money well spent for protection that provides peace of mind.
If My Friend Is Hurt, Their Insurance Kicks In
In addition to insuring your personal property, renters insurance can protect you against lawsuits with liability protection. If a houseguest is injured at your house and sues for lost wages or pain and suffering, your renters policy can cover the damages.
What to Expect from Turner Agency Insurance
- One-stop shop for all your insurance needs
- Multiple policy discounts
- Free, no-obligation quotes
- Choice of insurance companies you can trust
- Efficient claims process
- Testimonials from satisfied customers
We can help you protect yourself and your property with renters insurance. Contact our independent agents for a no-obligation quote. We can help you discover discounts you may be eligible for, and we’ll be with you every step of the way. Call us today at 288-9513.
You may have noticed an increase in your homeowner’s insurance premiums. You’re not alone – increases are happening across the country.
Why the increase? In a word: weather. Catastrophic weather events in the second quarter (April, May, and June) of 2011 exceeded $15 billion countrywide.
Consider the following:
- Hurricane Irene caused record losses in the eastern United States
- Wind and hail caused over 20,000 severe weather reports in just the first half of 2011
- Tornado outbreaks this spring, most significantly in Joplin, Missouri and Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
- Wildfires in Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas destroyed over 2,000 homes and losses are estimated to exceed $250 million
- Ice and snow from Texas to New England!
- Earthquakes in various places, with the most significant occurring in Virginia
These catastrophic events have also put a demand on the building industry for labor and materials, driving up reconstruction and repair costs.
So while the market value – the amount you could expect someone to pay to buy your home – may have dropped, the cost to rebuild your home at the same location with similar materials – the replacement cost – has increased.
Because you insure your home to the replacement cost, not the market value, the amount of coverage you need to be fully protected, and thus your premiums, are going up. So what can you do?
There are several ways you can lower your insurance premiums.
Ask us about…
- Increasing your deductibles. If you assume a greater part of the risk by increasing your deductible, you can lower your premiums.
- Insuring your auto and home with the same company if you don’t already.
- Don’t move your coverage from company to company. Many companies will give you loyalty credit for staying with them!
- Protecting your home. Install fire, burglar, and smoke alarms in your home – discounts are available in most states.
An insurance policy is a promise…a promise to help you recover from your losses. Part of this promise is assuring that we will have the resources available to help you when you need us. While we hope you never experience a loss, be assured we will be here for you with outstanding claims service and the financial stability to help you recover quickly.
Please contact us with your questions or comments or to learn more about the benefits your homeowners policy provides you and your family.
Home fires caused 2,565 deaths (not including firefighters) and almost $7.8 billion in damage in 2009, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). While it’s impossible to completely prevent fires, there are several measures you can take to protect your family, home and valuables from the flames.
Check smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Test these devices monthly to make sure they are working properly and replace the batteries annually. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends putting at least one smoke detector on each level of your home. Never disable these detectors even if they go off while cooking or showering.
Install fire extinguishers. The NFAP recommends keeping extinguishers near exits of your home and in the kitchen where most house fires start. A multi-purpose extinguisher that is large enough to put out a small fire but isn’t too heavy to handle is ideal. Be sure to read all the manufacturer’s instructions on how to properly operate the device.
Create a home escape plan. Draw a map of your house that includes all the doors and windows and discuss a fire escape plan with all family members. Practice the escape route at least once a year.
Keep it clean. Remove leaves and debris from around the property and clean out the gutters. It’s also important to trim back any shrubs or tree limbs that are close to your home. All of these things can be potential fire hazards.
Make sure your home is fully insured. Talk to your Trusted Choice® independent insurance agent to ensure your home is fully covered for fire loss and that you have loss-of-use coverage in the event your home becomes uninhabitable.
Take a home inventory. Make a list of everything valuable in your home and document it with photos and video. Keeping a record of all your belongings will help you file a claim if you experience a fire or other loss.
Protect important documents. Keep a copy of your homeowner’s policy, home inventory, and other important documents, such as passports, legal documents and birth and marriage certificates in a fireproof lockbox or at an off-site location.
by Ross Turner
Every day, we are exposed to risk. Our daily activities result in lawsuit exposures, and unfortunately you no longer have to be a millionaire to be sued like one.
Umbrella liability insurance “sits over” your primary insurance, providing you a higher level of coverage above your automobile, homeowner’s, boat, and recreational vehicle policies. Umbrella policies can give you higher limits, broader coverage, and worldwide liability coverage.
Your family and your daily activities result in lawsuit exposures every day, and unfortunately the frequency and cost of lawsuits have increased dramatically over the last ten years. Some reasons to consider the purchase of an umbrella policy include:
You serve on a board of directors or participate in volunteer activities
You have teenaged drivers or drive a carpool You own rental property or vacation property
You have jet-skis, a golf cart, or other recreational vehicles
You have a swimming pool in your backyard
You are financially responsible for your children
You have a small business in your home and see clients on occasion
Consider these real-life examples where lawsuits were filed and judgments awarded:
- A talented softball player filed a $700,000 lawsuit against her former coach, alleging the coach’s “incorrect teaching style” ruined her chances for an athletic scholarship.
- A student hated math class and her teacher. She made negative comments about the teacher online. The teacher found out, sued the parents, and was awarded $750,000.
- A homeowner was burning a candle in her bathroom. As her niece washed her hands, her sleeve passed over the candle and ignited. She suffered third degree burns. The homeowner was held liable and had to pay out $917,000.
A one car accident occurred when a 17 year old driver ran off the road with three friends in the car. Damages awarded were over $ 1,500,000.
Think about the value of your assets. If your home, automobiles, investments, and potential future earnings are worth $400,000 and your automobile liability insurance limit is only $250,000, then you are left with $150,000 of uninsured assets.
Contact our Personal Lines department to see how easy it is put an umbrella policy in place. One million dollars of liability coverage is much more affordable than you think, and it small price to pay for peace of mind.
623 Halton Road
Greenville, SC 29607
Summer is truly party time in America. The Turner Agency would like to remind homeowners of the risks associated with get-togethers and offer some safety tips. Here are three common risks for which a homeowner might need insurance coverage:
Liquor liability: Summer parties can be a breeding ground for drinking-and-driving accidents. Most homeowners know that they bear some responsibility if a guest becomes impaired after consumer alcoholic drinks at the homeowner’s house, and then causes a car accident. If the party-giver is sued, however, his/her homeowners and automobile insurance policies may not provide liability coverage. (Keep in mind that the legal defense against a claim is another significant expense for anyone who is sued in such a circumstance.)
Changes to homeowners insurance standard contracts in 2000 may limit the coverage available under a homeowners policy. Homeowners might be well served to check their homeowners and auto insurance policies (contacting their agent, if necessary) to determine what protection they may have.
Personal accidents on the homeowner’s property: A homeowners policy and an excess liability policy (umbrella policy) provide broad protection for accidents on the party host’s property. For instance, if a guest tumbles down the steps of an outdoor deck or a child is burned by the outdoor grill, the homeowners policy would pay medical costs for the guest (and, should a lawsuit follow, likely would pay the costs of defending against the lawsuit and damages awarded in the case.)
No one, of course, wants to see such events occur, but accidents do happen. Homeowners coverage is designed to “make whole” a homeowner who is facing a liability claim due to an accident on his or her property.
Property damage liability: When guests drive to your party and park their cars at your home, the homeowner assumes risk. The possibilities of property damage range from a simple dent from a stray baseball, to a young driver releasing the parking brake and rolling the car into a tree, to an impaired driver going for a joy ride and damaging the car. A different example of property damage is the theft of a guest’s purse/wallet or valuable articles from the party-giver’s property.
Homeowners coverage pays for damage to another person’s property, if the homeowner is held liable. A homeowner’s negligence and omissions (i.e., failing to take steps that might have prevented an incident) are reasons that he or she can be found liable for damage to another person’s property.
To prevent accidents, consider some sensible safety precautions:
Some 5,000 people are injured by charcoal, wood-burning and propane grill fires each year, according to the U.S. Fire Administration of the Federal Emergency Management Administration. Good safety practices include:
- Before using a propane gas grill, check the connection between the tank and the fuel line. Make sure the Venturi tubes (where the air and gas mix) are not blocked, and check hoses for cracks or damage.
- Never use a propane barbecue grill on a balcony, terrace or roof. And never grill/barbecue in enclosed areas, as deadly carbon monoxide can be produced.
- Keep a fire extinguisher or a source of water (a garden hose or four-gallon pail of water) near an outdoor grill or barbecue.
- While barbecuing, don’t wear loose clothing. Use long-handled barbecue tools and/or mitts that are flame resistant.
- Don’t squirt flammable liquids onto an open flame.
- Don’t leave a grill unattended.
- Keep matches and lighters away from children. Supervise children around outdoor grills, which are objects of curiosity.
- If using a charcoal or wood fire, dispose of hot coals properly by soaking them with water, then stirring to ensure that fire is extinguished. Never place them in plastic, paper or wooden containers.
- Keep alcoholic beverages away from the grill since they are flammable.
Liquids containing alcohol cause the human body to lose more fluid, say health educators. So summertime drinking in the sun or heat can present hazards to health, including impaired judgment, balance and coordination. Consider these safety tips if serving:
- Use designated drivers.
- Make non-alcoholic beverages as available as alcoholic drinks.
- Stop serving alcohol before the party ends.
- If children are attending the event, remember that alcohol may seem more available to them at a party.
Food-borne illnesses favor the hot conditions found at outdoor events where food is not refrigerated or may be undercooked. The U.S. Department of Agriculture offers food safety tips:
- Cook foods thoroughly to safe minimum internal temperatures.
- Keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold. Hot foods should be heated and maintained at 140 °F or warmer with chafing dishes, slow cookers, and warming trays. Cold foods should be held at 40 °F or colder. Maintain cold by placing food dishes in bowls of ice or in a cooler.
- Live by the “two-hour rule”: Foods should not sit at room temperature for more than two hours.
We enjoy a summer party as much as anyone, especially when they’re safe. For more information about what homeowners and umbrella coverage, contact us.