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Understanding Your Classic Car Insurance Options

 

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Classic car insurance was created for the unique needs of the classic car collector. It does not take long to realize the differences between owning an everyday car compared to a classic. This blog will go into detail about what makes classic car insurance different and how it meets the needs of the collector.

Already done your research and just need a quote? Get an online quote here or give us a call.

 

Difference between classic car insurance and your everyday car insurance

The foundation for insurance is generally the same everywhere; protect the piece of property, protect the individual, and protect those around. This is the way classic car insurance works but the way you are protected is much different. Let's take a look at why classic car insurance is a better choice for collectors compared to a normal car insurance policy.

 

Coverage

Classic car insurance coverage protects a car for what it's worth without depreciation. A standard car insurance policy generally looks at all cars the same way and will not likely pay out much for a 40 year old vehicle. 

Coverage for a standard car policy does offer more protection across the board which is needed because there is a lot more risk involved driving everyday in traffic. It is not necessarily that one is better than the other, they are just designed to fit needs differently.

 

Premiums

Premiums are often much lower for classic car insurance (45% lower on average according to Hagerty's consumer data) compared to car insurance and you may not have to pay a deductible. A large part of the premium is based on usage so with limited usage of your classic car it keeps your rates down. 

 

 

A closer look into classic car insurance

It is pretty easy to understand why you would need a classic car insurance policy opposed to a standard policy. Even though you know you need this type of policy, it is still important to understand it in depth to get the most out of it. 

 

Do you and your vehicle qualify?

The terms "classic" and "collector" are somewhat subjective. Sometimes individuals feel their vehicles are classics but it must fit with the insurance company's definition. Most antique vehicles, high quality replicas, retired commercial vehicles, vintage vehicles modified vehicles such as hot rods and even classics under construction qualify.

Some of the vehicles that usually do not qualify for classic car insurance are daily use vehicles, utility type vehicles, or vehicles with performance modifications. 

Your vehicle may qualify but there still may be some circumstances keeping you from being insured. Do you have a safe and enclosed structure to keep your vehicle in? Is your classic car usage limited to organized events, tours or occasional pleasure driving? Have you kept your driving record clear of serious infractions the past few years? If you have answered "yes" to all of these questions you will likely qualify for classic car insurance.

 

Specific Policy Features

The basics of classic car insurance are obvious, if something happens to your vehicle you will be paid the fair value of your covered loss. There is however more to classic car insurance than just repairing your damaged vehicle. 

If you find a good deal on a hard to get replacement part you get it. Chances are you have spare parts for your vehicle and classic car insurance will actually cover these items for you.

Like motorcycle insurance, if you own unique cruising gear or safety equipment this will also be insured up to a given amount.

Once you get a taste of collecting cars it usually doesn't stop. When you find a good deal on a classic car or the vehicle you have been looking for the last thought on your mind is to get it valued, then get it insured. You want to get it home to meet the family. Classic car insurance will cover up to $50,000 for new purchases within the first 30 days of purchase. 

One worry with any insurance is medical coverage. Even small injuries can lead to high medical payments and accidents can happen anywhere. Classic car insurance will provide up to $10,000 in medical payments if you or a family member is injured during an auto show or organized function. 

 

Customized Policies

What do you do with your cars? Do you take them for a weekend cruise? Show them off at car shows? Restore them, keep them in a garage then sell them? What ever you do with your vehicles you will be able to customize your insurance plan accordingly. A customized plan means 1) you get the coverage you need and 2) at the right price. Contact one of our agents to discuss classic car insurance and to create a customized plan. 

 

 

 Get a Quote from the Best Collector Car Insurance Company

Hagerty classic car insurance quote

 

Getting the right PWC Insurance Policy

 

watercraft insurance banner

 

Personal watercraft insurance or PWC insurance is designed to protect your watercrafts (such as Jet skis, Waverunners, Sea-Doos, etc) from damages as well as yourself financially if damages occur due to the operation of your vehicles.

If you are familiar with PWC insurance and are just looking for affordable quotes or discounts, contact Diversified Insurance Service and they will be able to provide the services you need. You can however, continue reading this blog if you would like to learn more about PWC insurance coverage.

 

PWC Insurance Details

The way PWC insurance is set up is similar to your personal auto insurance policy. It will provide coverage against property damage, bodily injury for you and other parties involved, medical payments and the theft of your vehicle.

PWC insurance may provide protection like an auto policy but its limits are quite different.  A typical policy will include a $250 deductible for property damage, $500 for theft and $1,000 for medical payments. Liability starts at $15,000 and can increase to $300,000.  

What those limits explain is that you will be covered in about any event that happens due to the operation of your PWC. The deductibles are created differently to make the policies more affordable to us. This is a good base coverage but there are additional coverage options which may make your PWC insurance more customized to your needs.

 

Additional PWC Insurance Options

When it comes to insurance there's no one size fits all policy. If there was it would have to cover everything under the sun and no one would be able to afford it. Many insurance companies have a fairly similar standard PWC insurance policy but offer additional coverage options allowing insurance to be a perfect fit on a person to person basis.

Here are a couple insurance options you may want to consider along with your standard policy:

 

Roadside Assistance

If your trailer or tow vehicle breaks down or is disabled it can be quite costly to have it towed to the nearest decent repair facility. This coverage will allow your towing vehicle to be towed with no out of pocket expense for you.

 

Wreckage Removal 

Clean up of a wreck takes a lot of effort. The sunken vehicle needs to be raised, debris needs to be cleaned up and the debris may even need to be destroyed. All of the clean up is your financial responsibility but wreckage removal insurance for your PWC will cover you.

 

Fuel Spill Protection

No one intends to have an oil or fuel spill. Even though it is an accident, you will still be legally responsible.

 

Important Reminders of PWC Insurance

Policy details are important to know but there is additional information that you also need to know about PWC insurance.

 

Exclusions

Remember to check with your policy to know fully what is excluded. Every company will have different exlusions which are risks that will not be covered. One example is using your personal watercraft to make a profit. Giving lessons and giving rides for money is a good way to make some extra money but if an accident occurred with a personal watercraft insurance policy the claim would likely be denied.

 

Discounts on PWC Insurance

PWC insurance rates very from company to compnay but they are very affordable. Even though it is affordable does not mean you can't still save. Two of the major ways to save on PWC insurance is 1) Take an approved water safety course 2)Through a multi-policy discounts.

 

Having an agent can make all the difference

With technology it is easy to get online quotes and never meet your agent. With insurance you sometimes have questions and they are best answered by someone who knows you and your policy. Having an agent can also help you during tricky claim situations or to provide you with resources to help you save on insurance.

Diversified Insurance Service can provide you with an expert agent and resources to help you with all of your insurance needs.

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Finding Affordable Insurance

 

Secret to affordable insurance

 

Affordable insurance is something we all want. It seems silly to pay a lot for something you hope you never use. Insurance is however a very important part of our lives and what we put into it is very small considering what it can actually do for our lives. In the worst situations insurance can save our lives and our well being. 

Insurance is extremely important but realistically it still needs to be affordable. This blog is going to help you find affordable insurance.

 

Comparing quotes to get the best rate

One way to get affordable insurance is to compare quotes from different companies and find the best rate. The internet has opened the flood gates for companies to offer affordable insurance rates strictly online and many individuals are using the convenience of the internet to buy insurance online.

Online quotes however are not the only way to go to get affordable insurance rates. Your neighborhood agent is still a great place to get an affordable insurance policy. Some agents can quote you from one company while others can give you quotes from multiple companies.

You have the option of going on the web and/or calling a local agent. You can compare the different rates and pick which best suits your budget. 

 

The lowest quote is not always the best option

On the surface it makes sense. A car insurance quote $20 cheaper than your current policy is cheaper right? Not necessarily. Often times when we think of insurance we break down the different policies. Car insurance, homeowners insurance, life insurance, etc... and we view them as different policies. 

Technically speaking they are separate policies but bundled together they can save you big time. When looking to lower your rates taking the cheaper quote is tempting, but if it means you lose your discount it may not be worth it. 

Occasionally you will find that other company can give you a lower rate and it even beats your bundled rate. If you have the chance to save, great, but be weary of these situations that will not be in your favor:

  • The more affordable insurance quote has lower limits or offers less coverage than your current policy.
  • You are giving up great customer service or the ability to speak with a live agent when needed.

If you find a more affordable insurance quote that still meets your coverage needs and still provides easy access to an agent if needed than go for it! As long as you are not losing services you enjoy, giving up an agent you love and are saving money why would you not?

There are however, ways to make insurance more affordable if you do not want to give up the policy or services you currently have.

Ways to make insurance more affordable 

With all of the insurance commercials telling us we need to switch companies to save, we forget that we have a say in our insurance. Many of the things we do, or can do, will cause us to have higher or lower rates.

Our insurance rates are based on risk for the insurance company. If we constantly make claims, live in a dangerous area, or have other circumstances that make us appear riskier financial to the insurance company our rates will increase. Unfortunatly there is not much we can do about things of the past such as traffic violations, but we can take action to lower our insurance rates.

Here is a small list of things you can do to make insurance more affordable:

  • Invest in safety features

  • Bundle policies

  • Improve your credit score

  • Reduce comprehensive/collision coverage on older vehicles

  • Ask about discounts

This is a small list of how you could save money on your insurance. Every agent will be able to offer something slightly different in terms of discounts and rates. If you are looking for more affordable rates or it is your first time buying insurance, contact a Diversified Insurance Service agent. They will be able to give you quotes from the top insurance companies and provide other ways for you to save on your insurance.  

 

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NEW Flood Insurance Law PASSED

 

Flood Insurance

On March 7th, 2014 I wrote a blog “NEW Flood Insurance Bill: What in the H$$$ is it?” discussing what the new flood insurance law was proposing and where it was at in legislation. You can read all about the details of the Flood Insurance bill, which did go on and pass, at http://www.divinsurance.com/personal-insurance-blog/bid/338381/NEW-Flood-Insurance-Bill-What-in-the-H-is-it. I said in this blog that I would make sure to update you with new details of the bill; so, here are all the new changes made to the NEW Flood Insurance LAW.

On March 21, 2014, the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014 (the Flood Insurance Act) was signed into law. The law repeals and modifies flood insurance reforms adopted by Congress in 2012 that were set to dramatically increase premiums for property owners in high-flood risk areas. These reforms were intended to improve the soundness of the National Flood Insurance Program, but many property owners were facing unaffordable, and sometimes unexpected, rate increases. In response to an outcry from property owners, Congress adopted changes to the reforms to address these problems and provide relief from increasing premiums, including maintenance of grandfathering provisions and certain subsidies. So what does this really mean for you and your flood insurance policy?

Make sure you check out the first blog to get all of the details on what was a part of the bill before it passed into law (the main points in that blog were not changed or altered as the bill became ‘The Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014’). Major Provisions of the Flood Insurance Act are:

  • Reinstatement of Grandfathering Provision: On March 21, 2014, the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014 (the Flood Insurance Act) was signed into law. The law repeals and modifies flood insurance reforms adopted by Congress in 2012 that were set to dramatically increase premiums for property owners in high-flood risk areas. These reforms were intended to improve the solvency of the National Flood Insurance Program, but many property owners were facing unaffordable, and sometimes unexpected, rate increases. In response to an outcry from property owners, Congress adopted changes to the reforms to address these problems and provide relief from increasing premiums, including maintenance of grandfathering provisions and certain subsidies.
    • Continuation of Subsidized Rates:On March 21, 2014, the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014 (the Flood Insurance Act) was signed into law. The law repeals and modifies flood insurance reforms adopted by Congress in 2012 that were set to dramatically increase premiums for property owners in high-flood risk areas. These reforms were intended to improve the solvency of the National Flood Insurance Program, but many property owners were facing unaffordable, and sometimes unexpected, rate increases. In response to an outcry from property owners, Congress adopted changes to the reforms to address these problems and provide relief from increasing premiums, including maintenance of grandfathering provisions and certain subsidies when a home was sold. This means that a change in home ownership no longer immediately changes the rate of insurance.
      • In addition to subsidies, the Flood Insurance Act provides refunds of premiums to property owners who purchased homes after the Biggert-Waters Act became law and experienced an immediate increase of their insurance rates.
  • Limit to Annual Premium Increases:The Flood Insurance Act limits yearly premium increases to an average of 15 percent per year for nine specific property categories listed by FEMA. It also limits all increases to no more than 18 percent per year.
    • Under the Flood Insurance Act, FEMA is encouraged to limit premiums to no more than 1 percent of the value of coverage for most policyholders.

The impact of the Flood Insurance Act on each property owner will depend on a number of factors. Contact Diversified Insurance Service for more information on how this law may affect your premium costs and coverage. Contact us and you can also get more information about Flood Insurance and what Diversified Insurance can do for you at http://www.divinsurance.com/natural-disasters/ .

 

Auto Dealership Insurance: OSHA - OH SNOW!

 

 

describe the imageToday is officially the first full day of Spring! Who else is ready for some sunshine and blue skies? I am hoping it does not snow too much for the first Full day of Spring! I do not know about you, but I am beyond tired of hearing about snow, seeing the weatherman on the news with another winter weather advisory, or that darn temperature gage not going above 30 degrees (and that was on a good day). I know, I know, you are already wondering why am I STILL talking about that white cold crap; especially, when you thought you came here to get some tips and tools on safety and risk management (you should test yourself on how OSHA compliant you are right now) for auto dealerships and service centers. Most of what you will read below is specific to auto dealerships and service stations. Nonetheless we can always alter what information you want and tailor risk management plans and safety programs to your specific insurance needs.

When Mother Nature hit us with the hardest winter in decades this yea, it caused some auto related businesses to scramble to keep up with the increase in business. With that being said, sometimes procedures have a way of falling through the cracks when you're busy. It happens to the best of us especially with how crazy the storms have been this year, but if OSHA decides to show up it could cost you. Find out the Top 10 most Frequently Cited Standards (and how much each citation will cost you) for Automotive Dealers and Service Stations: (http://cdn2.hubspot.net/hub/146188/file-595632146-pdf/docs/OSHA_Frequently_Sited_Auto_Service.pdf?t=1395257667000)

One of the Ten Citations are Portable Fire Extinguishers and employees following the specific guidelines concerning the placement, use , maintenance, and testing of them and this could cost you up to $916 if you let one of these things fall to the side. Did you know that your Insurance Company can actually help make sure you are 100% OSHA compliant at any given time no matter the weather?

Does your insurance agent have a FREE service that provides you with:

  • Timely Updates on new and/or revised OSHA regulations
  • Information tailored to you and your company
    • Information for Cyber Liability and Safety Checklists in the same area all labeled (you customize what type of data you want from millions of whitepapers and topics)
  • Checklists and inspection tools to prepare for a surprise OSHA inspection
  • Have one spot that stores all of your recordkeeping for your personal use, business use (your employees use and your own) for your insurance coverage
    •  for things like what cars are on the lot and how much each vehicle costs in case of damage
    • in case OSHA comes knocking you won’t be digging through 50 different file folders because everything will be in one spot
    • Safety Checklists for your employees to go over
      • Safety Programs and forms your employees need to sign off on for training

That is just a few of things your MyWave Portal (http://www.divinsurance.com/innovadiv-solutions-portal/) can do for you. The best part about this is we customize it to your liking, give you a tutorial on how to use it, oh and did I mention yet that it comes FREE with your insurance policy with Diversified Insurance Services. Seriously it is so easy to navigate and use my Grandma can do it, which if you knew her is saying a lot!

Give us a call at 877-357-8049 or go to any of our “Contact Us” forms on our webpages for more information on what your MyWave Portal could do for your and your business! 

What you need to know about insuring your boat

 

boat insurance banner

 

Before deciding what type of boat insurance coverage you need, it is important to know that boat insurance is usually not mandatory. You do not need boat insurance, but because the cost of the investment is so large and the liability risks are so high it is a good idea to consider boat insurance. 

Without a boat insurance policy you may have partial coverage already through your home and auto policies. While you do have some coverage it will not be enough to fully protect your boat if something were to happen. This blog will talk about how your boat is covered and changes you will need to make to your current policies.

Let's take a look at how your boat needs to be insured

 

Your boat at home

When you bring your boat home it will be insured under your homeowners policy. Unfortunately only about $1000-$1500 of it will be insured. 

$1000 is enough to cover something small like your coolers or shades, but what if someone sneaks into your boat and takes your engine, gps or other expensive boat equipment? 

Worse than just stolen equipment, what about if your boat is damaged or destroyed? Your homeowners insurance will not have enough coverage for you to replace/fix your boat. 

To ensure your boat is protected at home, a boat insurance policy is necessary.

 

Your boat at the marina

Your boat may have some coverage docked at a marina. In the past, the marinas would be liable for all damages done to your boat but recently marinas have required boat owners to sign contracts waving their right to recover damages from the marina. This leaves you at the mercy of your own insurance company.

Some marinas will require you to have a certain amount of liability insurance before docking at the marina.

Once leaving the docks and going onto the open water the marina will no longer have any responsibility and your boat insurance policy will be your entire protection.

To know your coverage and protections check with the marina on their duties and ensure you have an insurance policy to meet your needs. 

 

Your boat in transit

When you are towing your boat your auto insurance actually kicks in. When towing your boat, the liability will be based on your vehicle's liability insurance. However, The damages done to your boat will still be covered under your boat owners policy. 

When driving with a boat, there is an increased risk of an accident as well as the risk of having increased damages in an accident. Double check your auto insurance limits and ensure that your liability limits are high enough. 

 

What a standard boat insurance policy covers

A standard boat insurance policy is similar to car insurance policy. It's designed to protect the boat, the passengers in the boat and the liability if someone is injured due to the boat.

Boat insurance policies have evolved and have additional coverage. Most boat policies will cover emergency services, towing, personal property and your boat trailer.

depending on what type of boat you have, and the insurance company you choose, the actual coverage will differ. Call one of the Diversified Insurance agents for a detailed break down in coverage.

  

When to talk to an agent about boat insurance

Have you ever thought about what would happen if you drove your boat off the lot and were hit by a distracted driver totaling your boat right away? Because your new boat was never insured you will not be able to make a claim and I doubt the boat dealer will allow you to get your money back.

The best thing to do is talk with an insurance agent before even buying a boat. They will help you decide what coverage you need, give you quotes, and as soon as you purchase your boat you can just call your agent and have your boat insured. Start the process of getting your boat by contacting one of Diversified Insurance's agents and discussing your boat insurance options.

NEW Flood Insurance Bill: What in the H$$$ is it?

 

flooded house

 

If you are anything like me the words “Flood Insurance” hurts my head because I do not understand more than half of it.  If you fully comprehend the whole shebang of Flood Insurance that is great! But have you heard about the new legislation aimed at reforming the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 (BW12) that the House of Representatives passed on the 4th of March called Grimm-Waters Bill?

It is similar to the bill that was passed on the 30th of January by the Senate, but carries some significant differences.  The main parts and differences of the proposed Grimm-Waters Bill (that has now been passed back to the Senate to approve) are:

  • Prevents FEMA from raising average rates above 15% for a class of properties and above 18% on individual policies per year.
  • Rescinds provisions in BW12 requiring individuals to pay the full-risk rate for Pre-FIRM properties at the time of purchase.
  • Rescinds provisions in BW12 requiring Pre-FIRM property owners to pay the full-risk rate if they voluntarily purchase a new policy.
  • Rescinds provisions in BW12 terminating grandfathering.
  • Requires FEMA to refund policyholders for 'overpaid' premiums.

There was obviously a lot more of the bill that was agreed on in the Senate (January 30th) and the House of Representatives (March 4th) and some of it is still the exact same as the BW12 (the Flood Insurance Act from 2012). Parts of the bill that were changed by the Senate, but okayed by the House are as follows:

  • Additional Surcharges (on top of surcharges that are already apart your Flood Insurance policy) may be added on for all NEW policies or RENEWED policies from the National Flood Insurance of $25 UNLESS:
    • Any Property that is: a non-residential property OR a residential property that is NOT the primary residence of an individual will be a $250 surcharge
    • Affordability of the Flood Insurance Policy is rated the same as it was in the BW12 EXCEPT the following criteria HAS to be considered:
      • Accurate communication to consumers of the flood risk associated with their properties.
      • Targeted assistance to flood insurance policy holders based on their financial ability to continue to participate in the National Flood Insurance Program.
      • Individual or community actions to mitigate the risk of flood or lower the cost of flood insurance.
      • The impact of increases in risk premium rates on participation in the National Flood Insurance Program.
      • The impact flood insurance rate map updates have on the affordability of flood insurance.
      • You now will be able to set up your payments for your policy to be monthly when before it had to be paid either annually or quarterly

A lot of consumers are not happy with the Flood Insurance laws changing and we just want to help you understand what the changes are and why. We will keep you up to date with any more changes that could come about as the Senate (then ultimately needs to be signed by the President of the United States) before it will go into effect. If you already have a Flood Insurance Policy they will not be able to change your policy until the renewal date and even then it could only increase no more than 18%. Yes I know that is still a high increase, but that is not saying that it will increase by 18% just that it could which is better than before when there was not a cap on the increase.

Call the office any time if you have any questions or concerns about Flood Insurance or would like to get a quote for Flood Insurance. You can also go to http://www.divinsurance.com/natural-disasters/ for more information and to get a quote or contact us online.

 

For a full summary of the proposed bill, please click here

 

What Homeowners Insurance Policy is Right?

 

For many of us, different types of homeowners insurance policies do not even exist. Unless we have experience with it, homeowners insurance is just well... homeowners insurance. Believe it or not but there are actually quite a few different options you can choose from when insuring your home. This blog will help you decide which homeowners policy seems best for you, in an easy to understand way. 

 

HO-5 vs HO-3 Policies

The terms "HO-5" and "HO-3" probably do not mean a whole lot to you now, but they are two of the most common homeowners insurance policies and will help you decide what your true needs are. 

 

Before we get into the differences lets take a second to define a few insurance definitions:

Dwelling- your home

Contents- personal property (or anything that would fall out of your home if you turned it upside down)

Open Perils- a policy which covers just about everything under the sun except the listed exclusions

Named Perils- a policy which names exactly what is covered. You can assume everything else is not covered.

Exclusions- a list of exceptions that your policy will not cover

 

Knowing the definitions above will help understand what your policy is talking about. It will make understanding your coverage terms a lot easier too which really means you will know for sure whether or not you have the coverage you want. So lets get into the policies:

 

HO-5 Policy

An HO-5 policy is a complete open perils policy and probably the easiest one to understand. Both your dwelling and your personal property is covered under an open perils basis. So instead of listing what is covered it will list a set of exclusions such as these:

1. Earth Movement (earthquake coverage can be endorsed/added)  8. Intentional loss 15. Mechanical Breakdown
2. Ordinance or law 9. Government action 16. Smog, Rust and Corrosion
3. Water Damage (sudden accidental water damage is automatically included) 10. Collapse 17. Smoke from Agricultural Smudging and Industrial Operations
4. Power Failure 11. Theft to a Dwelling under construction 18. Discharge, dispersal, seepage of pollutants
5. Neglect 12. Vandalism or malicious mischief (only if vacant more than 60 days) 19. Settling, shrinking, bulging or expanding
6. War 13. Mold, Fungus, or wet rot 20. Birds, vermin, rodents and insects
7. Nuclear Hazard 14. Wear and Tear, Deterioration 21. Animals owned by insured

If any of these events lead to a claim, under your homeowners insurance policy it will be denied. Any other events are likely covered by your insurance. The HO-3 policy has the same exclusions for the dwelling but less coverage when it comes to personal property. 

 

HO-3 Policy

The HO-3 policy is the most common policy we see in the US and is a hybrid between an open perils policy and named perils policy. The dwelling is covered under an open perils (like the HO-5) while the personal property portion is under the named perils. Because the coverage is limited, in the HO-5 policy, they actually list the "named perils" or what is covered.

These are generally the 16 named perils of an HO-3:

1. Theft 7. Volcanic Eruption 13. Damage due to weight of ice, snow or sleet
2. Fire or Lighting 8. Windstorm or Hail 14. Sudden and Accidental tearing apart, cracking, burning or buldging
3. Explosion 9. Riot or Civil Commotion 15. Sudden and Accidental damage from artificially generated electrical current
4. Smoke 10. Falling Objects 16. Accidental discharge or overflow of water from plumbing, air conditioning, etc...
5. Freezing 11. Damage caused by aircraft  
6. Vehicles 12. Vandalism or Malicious mischief  

If it is on the list, it is covered. If it is not on the list, most likely you are not covered. 

 

Deciding what homeowners insurance policy is right

You may be thinking , "This information is great, but how does it apply to my insurance purchasing decision?" Well when it comes down to your homeowners insurance you will most likely have these as option. More importantly you will need to understand what all this means. Many individuals purchase a homeowners policy based off of price. Price is very important especially for a first time homeowner but it is so sad when individuals go to make claims and they find very big holes in their coverage that their insurance company won't pay out to.

Using what we know from the HO-3 and the HO-5 policy let's discuss key points which will help you decide on the right policy.

Coverage- More important than price. Your home is a very large investment, knowing what is covered and what is excluded is very important. This will allow you to get extra coverage when needed or back off if you are paying too much. Personal property should also be considered. If you would like superior coverage for your personal property, consider something like the HO-5 if available.

Price - Very important especially for first time homeowners. Most first time homeowners have a mortgage payment as well as all their other bills to pay. It is hard to justify paying more for insurance when your bills are very close to your income. You should always ensure you have enough coverage, but often you will find the HO-3 policy will have slightly lower rates.

Peace of Mind- Isn't having piece of mind one of the main reasons we have insurance. It is hard to have piece of mind without knowing what is truly covered under your homeowners insurance. Having an open perils policy may give you relief knowing that you have a wider range of protection.

Claims Process- If you've never dealt with claims and the insurance process before, it can sometimes be very aggravating. If you have not dotted all of your "I's" and crossed your "T's" (or had your agent help you do it) the claims process can get messy. Depending on the type of policy you have the process will be different. The more exclusions you have the more chances the insurance company has to deny your claim. 

 

Additional info to consider before making your decision

Unfortunately, getting the right homeowners insurance policy takes more knowledge than just knowing a few definitions. There are additional things you will want to consider.

ACV vs RC - Is Actual Cost Value or Replacement Cost Insurance better for your home?

Different Insurance Companies - You may receive similar quotes from two different insurance companies but which one will give you the services and processes that you will benefit from the most?

Insurance Discounts - Find out if you are eligible for discounts. Choice A may have lower rates than Choice B but with a discount Choice B may end up having lower rates.

Agents - To have an agent or to go direct, that is a very good question. Agents can benefit new homeowners and even individuals with years of insurance experience. Agents can help you find different quotes and help you find the best plan without you having to have all of the knowledge. 

Get in touch with one of Diversified Insurance Service's homeowners insurance agents and have them take you step by step through the insurance buying process so you know you are getting the right policy.

 

auto and home insurance quotesAttention Ohio and Michigan Residents: You can get Free Online Homeowners Insurance Quotes from a local agent! Click the image above to go straight to the online rater.

Are you receiving all of your Auto Owners Discounts?

 

discounts

 

Auto Owners Insurance is a company that Diversified Insurance Service has done business with for years. They have a reputation for excellence in the way they satisfy customers needs (which may be why you have one of the 5 million policies issued to their customers). They also offer huge discounts that you may or may not be receiving.

 

Discounts offered

Auto Owners Insurance Companies offers many ways for you to get discounts and save. Some discounts are specific to certain policies (ex. safe driver discounts are for car insurance), but some of their discounts can apply to different policies so you won't miss out in case your not say a "safe driver." 

Here are some of the discounts that are saving people 5% on their home, auto or boat insurance:

  • Being a credit union member
  • Being a member of certain associations or organizations
  • Adding additional Auto Owners insurance policies 

Chances are you already qualify for one or more of these discounts. Does your agent know about it and have you received your discount? 5% might not seem like a whole lot but when you have a mortgage, car payment, or boat payment, being able to save on insurance can help make things a little easier in life.

 

Additional Auto Owners Discounts

The above section listed some of the most common ways to get discounts. Auto Owners however does offer many more discounts for your personal insurance policies or your business policy. 

  • Premium paid in full discounts
  • Student Discounts
  • New building discounts for businesses
  • Discounts for safety features (home & auto) 
  • Seasonal home discounts
  • Renovated or new home discounts

While I'm sure I did not get all of Auto Owners discounts accounted for, it is a good list to get you started. If you are taking proactive steps to protect your assets then chances are there is probably discounts out there for you.

 

The most underutilized Auto Owners Discounts

In  my opinion, some of the most underutilized discounts are having your life insurance, long term care insurance, or disability income protection with Auto Owners. These policies are often overlooked because many individuals are insured through their employer. 

These policies are so important to have to protect your future or to protect your families future and often times an employer's benefit is not enough. I know the need for these policies are not as black and white like an auto insurance policy or a homeowners policy so I wanted to provide a couple of resources which will help you decide if these are policies that you actually need.

Here is a document titled all about Long Term Care. It will highlight:

  • Common questions about long term care
  • coverage options
  • who needs it and when to buy

Click here to open the document

 

Here is another resource which is a life insurance needs estimator. This will help you understand:

  • If you need life insurance
  • How much life insurance you need
  • How much life insurance you can currently afford

Click here to open it

 

Review these documents. If it is something you believe can be beneficial to your life, contact one of Diversified Insurance Service's agents and they will help you apply the discount to your current Auto Owners' policy.

 

Should you switch insurance companies based on discounts?

When it comes to insurance, most think it logical to switch insurance companies if they find a better deal. It is not really as simple as that. 

Your insurance decisions should be based on your needs not just rates. Every insurance company offers different services, and claims processes to make your experience a better one. What do you look for in an insurance company? Saving a buck is not always worth giving up services that make your insurance experience better.

So if you have say your homeowners insurance with Auto Owners but your auto insurance with another company should you switch your car insurance to Auto Owners for discounts? Ask yourself these 3 questions:

  1. Will I be missing out on services I really enjoy or will I be receiving equal/better services?
  2. Does it make sense financially?
  3. Will I be getting the same or better coverage with the new policy?

Insurance is not all about getting the most discounts but they sure are nice to have. The agents at Diversified Insurance Service can help you find the discounts you qualify for and also provide you with Auto Owners quotes. Contact them to learn more.

Jewelry Insurance for your Valentine's Day gifts

 

Chances are you either gave or received jewelry for Valentine's day. Most jewelry is already valuable and as the years go on, your growing collection becomes very valuable. What would you do if that jewelry was stolen, lost or damaged? Most warranties on new jewelry will only cover certain circumstances and will not cover everything that can happen. jewelry insurance may be something you want consider and this blog will help you discover if it is or is not for you.

 

What if you do not get insurance for your jewelry

Insuring your jewelry is obviously not required by law. In the best case scenario nothing will happen to your jewelry. As far as insurance considerations go, we do not insure for the best case scenario.

Realistically anything could happen to your jewelry. Your house could be ransacked while out on your date night, jewelry left in your car could be stolen or jewelry could even be taken from you personally.

Without having insurance for your jewelry, if it's lost, stolen or damaged then it may be gone forever. 

 

Your homeowners or renters insurance may already have you covered

Some good news. You may already have insurance on your jewelry! Most homeowners and renters insurance policies cover a small amount of contents (jewelry, electronics, etc...) if stolen. It can be anywhere from about $1000 to $15,000 worth of coverage depending on the insurer. Check your policy to know exactly how much is covered. 

Knowing that you are insured already is great, but you should ask yourself if your jewelry is insured under the right conditions or not. 

  • If someone breaks into your home while you are on vacation will you have to choose between replacing your jewelry collection, grandma's China collection, or the tablets, gaming systems and flat screens in your home?
  • Will you feel comfortable paying a large deducible for 1 piece of jewelry or even the whole collection if something were to happen?
  • Would you like to completely replace your missing items or possibly be forced to find a cheaper alternative? 

It is your decision on whether you are O.K. with your current coverage. If you are uncomfortable with how much coverage you have or are interested in seeing what others options are available then continue reading.

 

Insuring one piece of jewelry

It is very easy to get a valuable piece of jewelry insured. You can get a rider on your homeowners policy which will extend additional coverage to that one piece of jewelry. Your other option is to get a jewelry insurance policy. A rider is simply an extension to your homeowners policy while jewelry insurance is a stand-alone policy. 

Choosing to insure a piece of jewelry in this fashion will give you lower or zero dollar deductible if a claim needs to be filed. These options will also give you more choices in how you want the item replaced.

Having a specialized piece of jewelry is sometimes hard to replace. It may need to be hand crafted and may cost more to replicate it then its actual cash value. Having a personalized policy will allow you to have coverage like this under your terms. 

 

Insuring all of your jewelry

Over the years, many individuals build up quite a nice collection of jewelry. You may not want or need to insure one specific item but many collections can easily outgrow the coverage set in their homeowners policy. 

Your entire collection can be covered simply by extending your homeowners coverage. You can get your collection appraised then increase your coverage to fit your needs. This is an easy fix but does not give you specialized coverage.

If your collection is made up of fine specialized pieces you may want to think about more specialized coverage then your standard homeowners insurance rider.

 

Let an agent help you decide

Deciding on the right policy can always be tough. You may be split between this option or that. An agent can help you determine what needs you really have and find an appropriate coverage for you. Speaking with an agent can also help you find areas to save in case you need to increase your coverage.

Call an agent today to help you insure your valuables because no one knows what will happen tomorrow.

 

 

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