Monday, August 18, 2008

You've Got Some Q's: We've Got the A's

Q:  My wife lost her wedding ring while we were on vacation.  Is this covered under my house insurance?

A:  No.  It would have to be stolen in order to be covered UNLESS it was scheduled on the home policy as "Scheduled Personal Property"

Q:  A tree has landed on my house and has caused damage to my home.  Will insurance replace the tree?

A:  No.  Home insurance protects your home and detached structures.  Trees are not covered.

Q:  My vehicle was broken into and personal property was stolen, is this covered under my full coverage auto insurance?

A:  No.  Only items that were attached to the vehicle as stock items are covered.  Personal property losses would only be covered under a home, renters, condo/townhome, or mobile home policy.  Auto insurance never covers personal property.

Q:  Water came up through my sewer drain and destroyed my roommate's belongings.  Will my homeowners insurance cover this?

A:  No.  Your home insurance will cover only those things belonging to you or a family member.  Unless you have Water Back-up coverage, your home insurance would not even cover your belongings.  In this situation, your roommate would need to get a renters insurance policy to cover their belongings in an event of a loss, and in this situation, they would also need to have the renters insurance policy endorsed with the Water Back-up of Sewers and Drains coverage in order to be protected.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Life and Home: Similarities Galore

Why do some people buy houses for their primary residence instead of living in apartments?  In most cases, there are a number of reasons, ranging from the desire to own instead of renting to tax-advantaged growth to building equity to overall security.  Do any of those reasons sound familiar?

Permanent life insurance offers many of the same benefits as home ownership.  You buy a home because you want permanence, a place to put down roots, because you are always going to need a place to live.  Renting an apartment is generally a temporary solution to housing needs.  Buying permanent life insurance, whether it be whole life or universal life, is what one does to cover a need that will always be there.  Term insurance is temporary, and the premiums continue to increase, just like rent on an apartment.

Permanent life insurance also offers equity buildup, just like home ownership does.  The cash values will generally increase year to year and can provide equity that can provide equity that can be tapped for emergencies, for college funding, for additional retirement funding, or for many other needs, just like home equity.  The growing cash values in the permanent life insurance policy also offer tax advantages because you don't pay income taxes on the growth as long as it stays in the policy.  The earnings are income-tax deferred.  You can say the same about a home in that you don't pay income taxes on any increase in the value of your home as long as you live there.  Once you sell the home, you may have capital gains tax to pay on the growth if the gains exceed allowable levels and the money is not reinvested in another home.

Permanent life insurance also offers a peace of mind security, just like a home.  You know it's always there protecting you from whatever storms may come, financial or otherwise.  Term insurance, on the other hand, eventually will go away go away because the price gets too high to continue.

For more information on life insurance, contact your Absolute Agent today!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Off Season: Keep the Boat Insured

Summer is over, and you've taken your boat out of the water.  To save a few dollars, you cancel your boat insurance.  After all, what could possibly happen to your baby while it's hibernating? 

A lot, according to Progressive.  "You'd be shocked at the number of claims filed in colder months," says Dominic Mediate of Progressive.  "Nearly two out every 10 Progressive boat claims filed in northern states happen between Labor Day and Memorial Day."  Don't take a gamble on nothing bad happening.  Common off-season claims include:

  • Fire, theft, vandalism, and flooding:  Most claims are filed for one of these reasons, which can occur anytime of the year.  Without coverage, boats damaged by fire, theft, vandalism, or flooding aren't protected
  • Injuries that occur on or around your boat:  Some boaters don't realize they could be responsible for injuries that occur on or around their boat - even if the injured person was there illegally.  Without liability coverage, you could be responsible for the damages or the injured person's medical bills.  
Keeping your policy all year round might also save you a few bucks.  For example, Progressive's disappearing deductibles reduce your Comprehensive and Collision deductible 25 percent for every claim-free policy period.  Four policy periods in a row without a claim equals a $0 deductible.  Canceling your policy could mean paying more or the entire deductible, generally $500 or $1,000.

Check your policy and consult with your Absolute Agent before making any decisions.