Thursday, November 21, 2019

Do all household members need to be listed on my auto insurance policy?

Two of the questions that we ask when working on an auto insurance quote is what other licensed/permitted drivers live in the household and are there any other drivers of the vehicle(s).   
You might also have to list anyone who co-signed the loan for your car or who is also registered on the vehicle.   
Each company handles these additional drivers differently, so it is important that we know all of the household members and other drivers when we are quoting your auto insurance so that we can give you an accurate rate.  Depending on the company, these additional drivers could be listed as: 
  • Rated Driver:  A rated driver is covered to drive your vehicle(s); most of the drivers on your policy would fall under this category 
  • Excluded Driver: An excluded driver would not be covered to drive any of the vehicle(s) on the policy 
  • Non-rated Driver: – Some companies list household members who have their own vehicles and own insurance as non-rated drivers 
Not every company allows licensed drivers to be listed as non-rated drivers or to exclude drivers, so it is important that we know all licensed and permitted drivers in the household or additional drivers of your vehicle(s) when we are working on your insurance rate so we find the best insurance company for you initially.  If you have any questions on whether someone should be listed on your auto insurance plan, speak with your agent. 
As always, your Absolute Insurance agent can help you with any questions about coverage on your insurance policy.

Do you have an insurance-related question or an insurance topic that you would like to see covered in an upcoming newsletter or blog post?  Send us your ideas to

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Creating a Home Inventory

Included in most Homeowners, Condo-Owners, and Renters policies is coverage for the contents of your home.  Do you know how much coverage you need if you had to replace everything in your house?  Would you know what you had in each room of your home in the event of a claim?

Keeping an inventory is helpful to know how much coverage you need, and to have a list of your contents in the event of a claim such as a break-in, a fire claim, or other claim.

There are several different ways to create an inventory – pick a method that works best for you.  Keep a copy of the inventory someplace other than your home.  It is recommended that your attorney or executor of your estate have a copy as well.  You can also leave a copy with a trusted family member or emergency contact.

Ways to keep an inventory:

  • Written List  
  • Digital List (Online with a Google Doc or Excel Spreadsheet) 
  • Pictures/Videos - this is especially recommended for more valuable items.  If you are taking a video, audibly describe items as you move through your home. 
  • Combination of above 

It is recommended that you take inventory by room within your house.  Make sure to take photos from different angles and in a well-lit room.  You can also use sticky notes to label certain items.  Keep receipts or appraisals of higher-priced items.  For electronics and appliances, it is recommended to also include the model number and serial numbers of each item.  Don’t forget to include your garage, shed, deck, and basement when you are completing your inventory. 

One example of how you could set-up your inventory digitally would be to use Google Docs.  Create a folder called “Home Inventory”.  Within the folder, you could upload photos/videos of each room.  An inventory would be created with either Google Docs or Google Sheets (similar to Excel); create a separate page for each room. If you are working on the inventory with another household member such as a spouse, you could share the folder and give them editing rights so that they can also modify the inventory.  You could also share the folder with your attorney, executor, or emergency contact with viewing rights so that they have a copy as well, or you could give them a hard copy to keep as a back-up for you.

A few times a year, review your inventory to add new items or remove items that you have gotten rid of.  Make it a habit to update your inventory when you add new purchases to your home.

As you are doing an inventory of your house and come across special or high-value items such as jewelry, art, cameras or coin collections, you might want to talk with your agent about insuring these items as Scheduled Personal Property (SPP) on your policy.  Here is a blog giving more information about SPP, but you can also reach out to your agent for more specific information.