4 Renters Insurance Myths and The Truths You Need To Know

Renters Insurance

Renters InsuranceRenting instead of buying is a preferred way of living for many. Moving to a new location and being unsure of where you want to stay permanently. Not wanting or having the extra money for a down payment. Or simply wanting the ease of knowing you don’t have to worry about home maintenance or repairs. Those are all common reasons you may rent instead of purchasing a home. However, just because your landlord has insurance coverage, doesn’t mean that you should not purchase renters insurance. 

Insurance is an important protection you need for yourself and your family. There are many myths out there when it comes to renters insurance. We’re here to discuss those myths and make sure you have all the information you need to make an informed decision. 

I don’t have enough stuff to get renters insurance

Things add up fast! Your electronics, appliances, clothes and even food are all large expenses that can be protected under your policy. 

My landlord’s insurance will cover the damages to my belongings

Typically, a landlord’s insurance policy only covers the physical building. Not anything that’s within the walls or that belong to a tenant. 

Personal belongings are the only things covered under renters insurance

Renters insurance can also cover damages to someone’s property within your home. And, depending on the limits of your liability coverage, it can cover some or all of the medical expenses if someone happens to get injured on your property. 

I can’t afford renters insurance

Renters insurance can be incredibly affordable. Although pricing can always vary, some policies can cost as little as a couple cups of coffee at your favorite cafe. 

Did you know that if your home becomes uninhabitable for reasons covered in your policy, the insurance company will reimburse you for your temporary living expenses until you are able to find a new place to live? Your insurance policy is there not only to protect your belongings, but so much more. 

Don’t wait until it’s too late to start thinking about renters insurance

We spend a lot of time and energy filling our living spaces with items that make it feel like home. It only takes one unexpected event to have it all stripped away. Renters insurance can give you peace of mind knowing that you and all of your belongings are covered. 

Click Here to learn more. 

4 Tips You Need To Know When You Do Winter Vehicle Storage

Vehicle Storage

Vehicle StorageWhen winter comes and brings the snow and cold with it, it’s time to think about vehicle storage. You should store your recreational vehicle – or any vehicles that won’t be in use – to avoid damage from the harsh weather and roads and to ensure it’s in good working condition for spring.

Use these tips if you plan on vehicle storage this winter:

  1. Clean your car—Thoroughly cleaning your vehicle inside and out not only makes it look nicer, but also prevents dirt and acidic materials from eating away at your car and causing it to rust.
  2. Change the fluids—Having clean oil, fuel stabilizer and brake fluid, and a full tank of gas will help protect your car while it’s in storage and will help it run smoother when spring comes.
  3. Protect your car—The best way to prevent the winter elements from damaging your vehicle is to keep it covered, whether it’s in your garage, a local storage facility or at a family member’s home. If you plan on keeping your vehicle outdoors, consider using a weatherproof car cover.
  4. Check tires and brakes—Inflate your vehicle’s tires to their maximum air pressure, so they can slowly deflate as the temperature drops. Also, don’t engage your parking brake as it may become frozen. Instead, use chocks (wedges placed under car tires) to ensure your vehicle doesn’t roll away.

Start it Up

Even in storage, it’s wise to start your vehicle periodically for 10-15 minutes to get the proper oils and coolants running through it. If your vehicle has a cover on it, remove it and roll down the windows before running. If your vehicle is stored in the garage, ensure that the garage door is open and the windows are down for proper ventilation before starting your car.

Should I Bundle My Insurance Policies Or Not?

bundle

bundleIf you’ve ever shopped around for insurance, you’ve likely been asked if you want to bundle your policies. In other words, combine your home or renters, auto and life insurance policies with the same carrier. Although you have the option to shop around individually for each policy, it almost always makes sense to have the same carrier cover as many of your policies as possible.

Click here to learn more about personal insurance options

Benefits of Bundling

  • The discount—Most policyholders bundle their policies because of the promise of a discount. The amount varies by provider but can generally range between 5-25 percent.
  • The option of a single deductible—With bundled policies, your deductible may be cheaper in the event of a claim that affects multiple policies. For example, if your home and auto policies are with two separate carriers, and a hailstorm damages your home and your car, you’re responsible for paying both your home and auto deductibles before receiving payment. But if you bundle your policies, your provider may offer you the option to pay only the higher of the two deductibles.
  • Less chance of being dropped—If you’ve made claims or gotten tickets, having your policies bundled with one provider can decrease the chance of them dropping you.

When It Doesn’t Pay to Bundle

It isn’t always better to bundle your policies with one insurance carrier. Here’s when it may be better to split them up:

  • If you have tickets or past claims that make your auto insurance expensive – In this case, it may be cheaper overall to buy each policy from separate providers.
  • When premiums increase—Bundling discourages people from price shopping, which makes it easier for providers to increase their rates. Most assume that you won’t go through the effort of shopping around when your policies renew.
  • If policies aren’t technically bundled—Some carriers may insure you with an affiliated company. Although you may get a discount with that company, you’ll lose the convenience of paying your premium with one familiar provider.

A Few Tips to Consider

Although discounts are the main reason people bundle their insurance policies, never assume that bundling is the cheapest option. Your needs and circumstances will dictate whether you should combine your policies with one carrier. Consider the following tips:

  • Shop for new coverage when your policies renew. Ask for the price of the individual premiums as well as the price of the bundled premium. Then you can decide whether it is worth it. Just make sure you compare the same coverage when shopping for quotes from each carrier.
  • Ask if the provider uses a third-party insurance company. Remember that you may save money but lose the convenience of dealing with one provider and a combined bill.
  • Ask an independent insurance agent to get prices from multiple companies so you don’t have to do the legwork. An agent that is loyal to a particular carrier may be able to offer discounts that you can’t get alone.

With multiple factors contributing to the price of your insurance premiums, it is important to shop around in order to get the best rate for your insurance needs. Feel free to contact us to determine if bundling is right for you and help you take advantage of all available discounts.

Thanksgiving Turkey Preparation Safety Tips You Need To Know

Thanksgiving

ThanksgivingThanksgiving will be here before we know it and chances are you’re already planning your menu. Everyone loves the green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, pumpkin pie, and lets not forget the main star…the turkey! But there are a few thinks to keep in mind when preparing your turkey this Thanksgiving.
  • Thawing – There are three safe ways to thaw food: in the refrigerator, in cold water, and in a microwave oven.
  • Preparation – After preparing the turkey, thoroughly wash your hands and disinfect utensils or surfaces to avoid bacteria from the turkey spreading to other foods.
  • Stuffing – The safest way to prepare stuffing is to cook it outside the turkey in a casserole dish. However, if you prefer to cook the stuffing in the turkey, do so just before cooking, and use a food thermometer. Make sure the center of the stuffing reaches a save minimum internal temperate of 165 degrees F.
  • Cooking – Be sure the turkey is completely thawed, and set the oven a minimum temperate of 325 degrees F. Make sure the stuffing, breast, thigh, and wing joint reach a safe minimum temperature of 165 degrees F.
  • Rest –  When finished, let the turkey stand 20 minutes before removing all stuffing from the cavity and carving the meat.
As long as you follow the above steps you will have a safe and delicious turkey! If you cook your turkey other ways such as smoker or deep fryer ensure you follow proper instructions for each device and keep a safe distance from your home or other structures. No one needs a homeowners insurance claim during the holidays.

Do You Understand The Benefits Offered By Your Job?

Benefits Offered By Your Job

Benefits Offered By Your JobMany employers recognize the hard work their employees do every day. In addition to a pay check, many employers will offer additional benefits to compensate their employees. Whether you are a new employee of the company, or an existing employee that has never enrolled in the benefits, understanding everything an employer has to offer can be difficult. We break this all down and help you understand the benefits offered by your job.

Common Benefits Offered By Employers

When it comes to benefits offered by employers, there is no set guideline to use. As a result, employers build their own benefits packages and can pick and choose what they want to offer. Some of the most common options include:

  • Medical Insurance
  • Dental Insurance
  • Vision Insurance
  • Disability Insurance
  • Life Insurance
  • Flexible Spending Account (FSA)
  • Health Savings Account (HSA)

Click here to learn more about employee benefits.

Employer-paid vs Voluntary benefits

Depending on the size of the company you work for, there may be several packages available. Some may be employer-paid, some may be voluntary and some may be in the middle where you and the employer split the cost. There could be several options for benefits offered by your job.

  • Employer-paid benefits are those that the employer pays 100% of the cost. This typically includes life insurance and disability insurance.
  • Voluntary benefits are those you the employee can choose to elect or not. You will pay 100% of the premium. This typically includes dental and vision insurance
  • Contributory benefits are those that you and the employer both pay for. The employer picks how much they will pay and then you pay the remainder. One example would be medical insurance. The employer may pay 80% of the premium, you pay the remaining 20%

What Coverages Are Included In The Benefits Offered By Employers?

This will vary for each company. They will be able to provide you with a summary of benefits that will show you basic plan information. Deductibles, copay’s, coinsurance and maximum out of pocket is standard on each summary. Employers have HR departments or an insurance agent they work with. They will be able to explain everything to you and help you enroll.

Understanding benefits offered by employers can be overwhelming. Take time to review the information provided to you and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Every individual’s situation is different however employers have specific plans in place to help you.

Have questions? Contact us today, we can help.

What Is Rental Car Insurance And Do I Need It?

Rental Car Insurance

Rental Car Insurance

Does your auto insurance cover rental cars?

When renting a car, the rental company will typically ask if you’d like to purchase rental car insurance coverage for the vehicle. It’s at this point when you have to ask yourself: Do my personal insurance policies provide the coverage I need, or should I purchase insurance through the rental car company?

Although standard auto insurance policies may extend to rented vehicles, you should never assume you are protected. Examining your own auto insurance policy will show you the types of coverage you already possess and where additional coverage may be needed. Since auto policies differ, it’s a good rule of thumb to contact your broker so they can help you navigate your policy and determine if you have the appropriate amount of coverage when renting a vehicle.

Examining Your Insurance Policies

When deciding whether or not your personal insurance will cover your rental car, there are a few different coverages you should have. If you answer yes to all of the following questions, you may not need to purchase additional coverage:

  • Do you have liability, collision or comprehensive car insurance? Liability, collision and comprehensive insurance are the three main coverage options available when purchasing car insurance. Although it is not always required to purchase all three coverages, they can optimize your protection in the event of an accident.
    • Liability insurance provides coverage if you damage or injure another person or their personal property.
    • Collision insurance provides coverage if your vehicle is involved in a collision, either with another vehicle or object.
    • Comprehensive insurance provides coverage if your car is damaged by a variety of exposures such as theft, vandalism or natural disasters.
  • Does your policy cover administrative fees, loss of use or towing charges? It’s always a good idea to check see whether your insurance company pays for—or provides a rider for—additional fees associated with rental cars. This coverage can be helpful if a car you rent is lost, stolen or damaged.
  • Do you have a renters or homeowners policy that will cover your belongings if lost or damaged? Your homeowners or renters insurance policy covers your personal belongings from theft, fire or vandalism within your home. Policies often include off-premises coverage that can extend your coverage to outside your residence. Therefore, if personal belongings in your vehicle are stolen or damaged, your homeowners or renters insurance policy may be able to cover a percentage of your losses. Not all insurance carriers will extend coverage to protect personal belongings within your vehicle—always check with your broker to see what your renters or homeowners policy covers.

What Is Rental Car Insurance, and What Does It Cover?

Car rental companies provide additional coverage that is often used to supplement insurance you already possess.

Rental car agencies offer four different coverage options:

  1. Supplemental liability insurance: Most car rental companies need to have the minimum amount of liability coverage required by the state, but oftentimes it isn’t an adequate amount of coverage. If you have a personal car insurance policy with a high liability limit, you may not need additional protection.
  2. Loss damage waiver (LDW)/collision damage waiver (CDW): This is not insurance per se, but rather a document that can alleviate your financial responsibility should your rental vehicle be damaged or stolen. This also includes loss of use coverage if the rental company charges you for the amount of time the car could not be used while being repaired, as well as other administrative fees the car rental agency assesses. The LDW may become void if the incident occurred from the driver of the rented vehicle exhibiting reckless behavior, speeding or the vehicle being driven on unpaved roads.
  3. Personal accident insurance: This will cover the driver and any passengers within the rented vehicle for any medical bills caused by a car crash. This coverage is useful if you do not already have health insurance or personal injury protection insurance.
  4. Personal effects coverage: This covers any personal belongings that are stolen from the rental vehicle. If you already have renters or homeowners insurance, this may already be covered under your policy.

The coverages offered are oftentimes the same as what you already have for your personal car insurance. Again, to avoid paying for coverage you already have, review your policy before renting a vehicle.

Does Your Credit Card Provide Rental Insurance?

Many reputable credit card companies offer rental insurance to their customers. To utilize this secondary form of coverage, you must put the total amount of the car rental on your credit card. In many cases, credit card companies will also require you to deny any insurance offered by the car rental agency in order to access their coverage. In the event that your rental car is in a covered incident, the credit card company will help cover costs of damage or theft up to a certain dollar amount. Various rental car fees can be covered by your credit card, but this can vary by provider.

Before purchasing any additional coverage through the car rental facility, call your credit card company to see if your card offers car rental insurance. Since most credit card rental insurance is classified as a secondary form of coverage, you may need to rely on your personal auto insurance coverage first.

Ask About Your Policy

Deciding on your rental car coverage can be a tricky endeavor. Before purchasing any extra coverage, talk to your insurance broker about your personal auto insurance policy and whether you may need to purchase any additional insurance. No one wants to pay more for their auto insurance, and you shouldn’t have too.

If you have any questions or are unsure if rental vehicles are covered under your policy, contact Rinehart, Walters & Danner today.

Click here for Auto Insurance information.

What Is Umbrella Insurance? Do I Need It?

Umbrella Insurance








Umbrella InsuranceAfter a long day at the office, Sally is finally on her way home. Deciding she is not going to go home and cook dinner, she reaches for her cell phone to call in a takeout order. She takes a moment to look at her phone to find the number, just a few seconds, but that was all it took to miss that the car in front of her had turned on its turn signal and slowed down. Sally rear ends the car in front of her. This accident resulted in serious injuries, which turned into a lawsuit and court dates.

Sally was found at fault and ordered to pay $1,000,000 for medical expenses, lost wages and the “pain and suffering” of the injured parties. Although she had auto insurance, the policy had a limit of $300,000. That leaves Sally to make up the additional $700,000. Fortunately Sally didn’t have to drain her assets because she has personal umbrella insurance.

What is umbrella insurance?

It is a policy that will extend the limits of your auto and homeowners insurance policies. It will also provide coverage for personal injury claims. Like an umbrella that protects you from the rain, a personal umbrella insurance policy provides an extra layer of insurance coverage over your standard liability policies. It protects your personal assets by kicking in when your standard liability coverage is exhausted. Even if your assets are small, it can protect your income; in some settlements, wages can be garnished up to 10 years.  In Short: an umbrella insurance policy protects you from a downpour – that worse-case scenario where you could lose everything in a lawsuit.

Learn more about personal insurance – Click here

Who needs a umbrella insurance?

You do! contrary to popular believe, umbrella insurance is not just for the wealthy. We recommend that everyone consider carrying an umbrella insurance policy. If you have a teenage driver, own a swimming pool or entertain at your home frequently, you could have increased chances of getting sued. It is wise to supplement your insurance with umbrella insurance.

How much do I need?

That is something you should discuss with your agent to ensure you have enough coverage. You’ll want to take into consideration not only your total personal assets but your potential personal risks. Coverage starts at $1 million, and can go as high as $10 million.

How much does coverage cost?

Compared to the coverage you gain, additional liability insurance is fairly inexpensive. Depending on the policy value and your personal risk factors, such as recent auto tickets, your credit rating and more, a $1 million umbrella insurance policy typically costs about a dollar per day. Cost goes up an additional $50 to $75 for each million thereafter.

Don’t put your savings and assets at risk. Count on our expertise and let us design an insurance plan to fit your needs.

Click here to contact us to get started today.








Do I Have To Pay If A Tree Falls On My House?

tree falls








tree fallsEvery year, storms are responsible for knocking over or breaking off limbs of numerous trees. Unfortunately, sometimes, a limb or tree falls on our house or other property. Cleaning up the damage from a storm can be a difficult task, both physically and emotionally. And things can become especially tense when you discover that it’s your neighbor’s tree that damaged your house.

To make matters worse, many homeowners are surprised to discover that if a neighbor’s tree falls on their house, it’s usually their own homeowners policy—not their neighbor’s—that will cover the cost of the damages. What follows are general guidelines for who pays what in various situations. However, you should also check your homeowners policy for coverages and exclusions. (Click here to learn more about homeowners insurance policies)

Your Property, Your Policy

Generally speaking, if your property is damaged, you are responsible for the damages. It doesn’t matter if the tree or limb came from your property, your neighbor’s property or even municipal property. Keep in mind that a windstorm isn’t anyone’s fault; it’s an act of nature. If a tree does damage your property during a windstorm, your policy will cover the damages. After all, that’s why you purchased a homeowners policy. To protect yourself against unforeseen losses like a tree damaging your house.

Their Property, Their Policy

It might seem unfair that if it’s your neighbor’s tree that damages your home, you should have to pay. Fortunately for you, that standard applies both ways. If a storm rolls through and your tree falls and damages your neighbor’s house, his or her insurance is going to cover the damages.

Negligence and Liability

So far, these scenarios have been fairly straightforward. But what happens when it wasn’t a storm that made the tree fall? Instead, your neighbor’s tree was hollowed out from years of disease, and he’d neglected to do anything about it. In fact, it was so diseased that you expressed your concern to your neighbor that it might topple over and damage your property. Unfortunately, one day, that’s exactly what happens. What then?

Your insurance carrier is still going to be the one paying your claim. However, if you can prove your neighbor knew that the tree was diseased and that he or she neglected to fix it your insurance carrier would probably attempt to collect from your neighbor’s insurance. If your carrier is successful, you could be reimbursed for your deductible.

Remember, though, this rule also applies the other way. If you have diseased or damaged trees on your property and they damage your neighbor’s house, he or she can try to prove your negligence. Your property is your responsibility. So it’s best to inspect your trees every year for signs of disease or damage. If you’re not sure what you’re looking for, consider having a professional arborist examine your trees.

Other Structures

If the tree doesn’t damage your house but instead damages your fence, are you still covered? Generally, you are. Most homeowners policies distinguish between two different kinds of structures on your property. The “dwelling” refers to your house and any attached structures (like an attached garage), as well as any fixtures attached to the house. “Other structures,” including detached garages, sheds, fences or gazebos, are also insured, but typically only for 10 percent of the coverage on your dwelling.

Vehicles

If, in the aftermath of a storm, you discover that a tree has fallen on your car, your homeowners policy doesn’t apply. Instead, you’ll be looking at your auto policy. If you have comprehensive coverage on your vehicle, your auto insurance carrier will pay for the damages, after you pay your deductible. The same rule would apply to a guest’s car. Hopefully, he or she took out comprehensive coverage, too.(Click here to learn about auto insurance)

Removal and Cleanup

What if the tree fell but didn’t hit anything? Would you be covered for removal costs? If the fallen tree blocks a path to your front door or driveway, then many homeowners policies would pay for removal. Generally, the maximum coverage is around $500. If the tree simply falls in the middle of your yard, your policy likely wouldn’t cover it. Unless the fallen tree damaged insured property, there is no loss to file a claim for.

Replacement

Replacing the trees themselves can be more complicated. Trees that have fallen due to wind damage may or may not be covered, so it’s best to check with your broker. Most policies offer limited coverage for trees that have fallen due to fire, lightning, explosion, theft, vandalism, malicious mischief or aircraft. Amounts and exclusions will vary. It’s important to read your policy and check with your broker if you have any questions.

Making Sure You’re Covered

Hopefully, your trees grow and endure. In the event that they fall, it’s important to know that you’re covered. Contact our office today to make sure that you have sufficient coverage for whatever might blow your way.








Halloween Doesn’t Need To Scare Your Bank Account

Halloween








Halloween

What do you get when you mix costumes, decorations, and candy? A Happy Halloween!!
Those that have children, probably feel the sting a little more while at the check-out. But Halloween doesn’t need to break the bank.

A few tips to keep in mind to help you save money

• Buy bulk candy to get the most for your money.
• Ration out how much you will give each Trick-or-Treater.
• Buy pumpkins close to Halloween to get the best deal.
• Make your own decorations – use leaves for stuffing in outside decorations, spray paint cardboard or cereal boxes for DIY headstones, or use cotton balls as cobwebs.
• Make your own costumes or only buy what you have to.

Halloween Safety Tips

In addition to saving money, your family’s safety is extremely important. Costumes, trick-or-treating and pumpkin carving are all Halloween traditions. But there are also dangers associated with each of those activities.

Costume Precautions

• Do not let children wear baggy or long costumes, as they are difficult to walk in and can be tripping hazards.
• Purchase wigs, costumes and accessories that are fire-retardant.
• Select face makeup and paint that is labeled as “FDA Approved” or “Non-toxic” to prevent allergic reactions.
• Place reflective tape on your children’s costumes and candy buckets if they are going trick-or-treating at night.

Trick-or-Treat Safety

• Remind children to walk only on the sidewalk and look both ways before crossing the street.
• Do not allow children under 12 years old to go trick-or-treating by themselves.
• Remind children to never approach or get into a car with a stranger offering them candy.
• Once your children get home, inspect their candy.

Pumpkin Carving Tips

• Only carve pumpkins on a flat surface with good lighting, such as a kitchen table.
• Use a pumpkin-carving kit that includes tools appropriate for the task.
• Place lit jack-o’-lanterns away from flammable objects such as sheets and curtains.
Having a good time does not mean spending a lot of money. Even on a budget you can have a spooky Happy Halloween!








The Mid-Ohio Youth Mentoring Comedy Benefit Show Is This Saturday!

Mid-Ohio Youth Mentoring








Mid-Ohio Youth MentoringMid-Ohio Youth Mentoring, formerly known as Big Brothers Big Sisters of North Central Ohio, is a well known local program. They have mentored children, ages 5 through 16, in communities across Mid-Ohio for the last 25 years.

Visiting their website you can see their mission

“Our mission is to provide youth in our community with a mentor that supports, encourages, and provides opportunities, that will help them achieve success in life.” 

In order to make their mission successful, they need donations.

One popular event they hold annually is the Mid-Ohio Youth Mentoring Comedy Benefit Show. This year’s show is Saturday October 12th at 7pm. To get your see more details and purchase your tickets, visit their website. 

https://www.midohioyouthmentoring.com/calendar/2019/10/12/comedy-benefit-show-a-night-of-improv

Help us support them by spreading the word. 

Mid-Ohio Youth Mentoring Comedy Show