Answers To Your Common Homeowners Insurance Questions

homeowners insurance questions

homeowners insurance questionsThe best time to learn about what’s included in a basic homeowners insurance policy is before you have a claim. We’ve gathered the answers to the most common homeowners insurance questions to help you to minimize any coverage surprises.

What property and perils are excluded from my policy?

Typically, coverage does not apply to damage caused by flood, surface water, water that backs up through sewers or drains, earth movement, nuclear damage, war, etc. Personal liability and medical payments do not apply to the operation, ownership, use, etc., of any aircraft, automobile, RV, water craft powered by more than 50 horsepower motor; bodily injury or physical damage caused by an intentional act of the insured.

What happens if I have a fire? How do I collect for my personal property?

Whether your policy pays for the replacement or just the actual cash value of your possessions, you will be paid for personal property that you can show you owned at the time of loss. It is a very good idea to keep an up to date inventory in a secure place. Also, to help you remember what you had, it is helpful to take pictures or video of each room.

If my sump pump fails due to water backing up through the sewers, am I covered?

No, but you can easily add a sewer and backup endorsement to your homeowners policy to cover the loss.

Is my boat covered?

Theft to watercraft, including furnishings, equipment and outboard motors, is typically excluded if the theft occurs outside your residential premises. To cover your boat and its accessories, you need a separate boatowners insurance policy.

I have insured antique items listed on my policy. If I have a total loss, do I receive payment for the full insured value?

We will first confirm the value of the items with one or more independent antique dealers. You should then be paid a dollar value based on the dealer(s) estimate of the worth of the antique items. The best way to insure your antiques? Get appraisals and establish the stated values in the policy.

During a storm, a tree from my neighbor’s yard fell and destroyed my fence. Who pays for the loss?

Generally, your own policy should cover the loss. Our agency may be able to recover the amount paid for the loss from the neighbor’s homeowners insurance if the loss occurred as a result of your neighbor’s negligence.

If I have water damage from a rainstorm, am I covered?

No, a separate flood policy is needed to covers losses to your property caused by flooding. As long as your community participates in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), you’re eligible to purchase flood insurance. We can assist you in determining if your community participates in the NFIP.

What if I lose power and the food in my freezer spoils?

A basic policy typically does not cover this loss; however, coverage for electrical outages is available for a nominal additional premium.

If my iPod is stolen from my vehicle, is it covered under my auto insurance or my homeowners insurance policy?

Almost all auto and homeowners policies exclude coverage for any losses of iPods and other sound transmitting or receiving equipment used in an automobile. For added protection, check with us to determine if coverage can be purchased for the stereo and media players used in your auto.

How can I be sure I have the right coverage?

A complete review of your policy is the only way to determine what property is covered and what perils are insured against. We can help you identify your risks and explain what’s included in a homeowners insurance policy, including the standard limits of coverage on property insured such as money, watercraft, theft of jewelry, silverware and guns. We have the answers to your common homeowners insurance questions.

Contact us today to learn how we can help you insure your home, auto and life.

Helping You Understand How To Protect Your Auto Body Repair Shop

auto body repair shop

auto body repair shopWhile owning and operating an auto body repair shop can be a very rewarding experience, owners face a number of exposures that they will need to contend with on a daily basis in order to successfully run their business. It’s important to understand the challenges presented by these exposures, as they can cause significant damage to your clients’ property, serious physical harm to your employees and irreversible financial consequences for your business.

In addition to risks common to every industry, auto body repair shops face unique risks due to the movement of vehicles, the need to perform repairs, and the presence of equipment and chemicals. The list below provides an overview of these risks and more—helping you identify potential blind spots in your risk management and insurance programs.

Common Exposures for Auto Body Repair Shops

  1. Significant property exposures are present in auto body repair shops due to the presence of toxic or flammable chemicals and materials used for repairs, as well as the constant moving of vehicles around the property. Vehicles, tools and equipment, office supplies and the building itself are all at risk of being damaged during day-to-day operations.
  2. Even for a company that specializes in knowing vehicles inside and out, it’s important to protect yourself from commercial auto exposures. Auto body shop employees often use vehicles for business purposes, such as for picking up parts and materials, towing or providing mobile auto repair services. Additionally, if your business offers towing services, your commercial auto exposures will increase.
  3. Equipment breakdown can lead to huge costs and lengthy delays.Equipment like jacks and lifts are necessary for your daily work and, if damaged, must be repaired or replaced quickly in order to maintain operations.
  4. General liability exposures at auto body repair shops can directly affect customer safety and, when injuries occur at your business, you could be held responsible. Accidents related to slips, trips and falls are a source of concern. Slippery or uneven surfaces, under-lit exteriors and moving vehicles can all lead to accidents.
  5. Continuity is critical in business, and there are few things more important than continuous revenue and cash flow, particularly for small to midsized organizations. In fact, just one brief business interruption can be incredibly costly for an organization, often leading to serious reputational damages or long-term closures. Common interruptions for auto body repair shops can include natural disasters, fires, part recalls, cyber events and staff shortages.
  6. Due to the presence of toxic or flammable chemicals such as oil, grease, hydraulic fluid and other substances, auto body repair shops must contend with the possibility of environmental liability in the event of a chemical spill or similar incident. Environmental incidents are particularly concerning for body shops because they can cause harm to the surrounding community, involve costly cleanup and often cause damage to a business’s reputation. What’s more, businesses that cause harm to the environment are at risk of incurring fines that can exceed hundreds of thousands of dollars.
  7. Crime exposures can be of particular concern for auto body shops because of the presence of expensive parts, equipment and vehicles. Auto body shops are also at risk of computer fraud, forgery or alteration, cash theft and employee dishonesty. In some cases, a body shop’s location and the type of vehicles they service can increase crime exposures.
  8. Any time one of your employees is injured on the job, your business could face an expensive workers’ compensation claim. Normal, everyday tasks related to driving vehicles and performing repairs can all lead to accidents and, in turn, increased costs for your business. Musculoskeletal injuries, burns, shocks, respiratory problems, hearing loss, heat exhaustion, slips, trips, falls, sprains and strains are all common on-the-job injuries for employees of auto body repair shops.
  9. Customers trust you to take care of their vehicles when they leave them with you, which creates garagekeepers liability. Auto body repair shops must contend with liability exposures with respect to damage to a customer’s vehicle left in their care for service or repair.

For More Information

While the proper risk management practices can reduce certain exposures, no system is 100% effective in ensuring an incident-free workplace. As a result, it’s all the more crucial to work with a qualified insurance broker to not only assess your exposures, but to secure the appropriate coverage as well. To learn more, contact Rinehart, Walters & Danner today

 

The Mid-Ohio Youth Mentoring Comedy Benefit Show Is Next 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 February 15th at 6pm. To get your see more details and purchase your tickets, visit their website. 

www.midohiyouthmentoring.com

Help us support them by spreading the word. 

Comedy Show








What All Newlyweds Need To Know About Insurance

newlyweds

newlywedsChoosing insurance may not be as romantic as deciding where to go on your honeymoon, but it is one of the most important things you can do as newlyweds. Although most couples are aware of the need to readdress their insurance needs when they get married, there is a disconnect between that awareness and whether they take action.

Use the considerations in this article as a way to start a discussion about your insurance needs. Rinehart, Walters & Danner can then help you narrow down your options.

Auto Insurance

If you and your spouse have separate auto insurance policies, it may be wise to combine them. Get quotes from each of your carriers, and shop around to see if any others offer multivehicle discounts.

Life Insurance

Newlyweds who both have jobs and are not yet dependent on their spouse’s income may not see the need for life insurance. However, as they build their lives together, that dependency grows. If you’re young and healthy, you can benefit from getting life insurance early in your marriage. Typically, you can lock in better rates than if you were older. Remember that the older you get, the higher the rates, so don’t put it off for too long.

While life insurance is less urgent for young couples who are both working and don’t have children, it is important for newlyweds with only one working spouse or those who have children from a previous marriage to purchase life insurance early in their marriage.

If you already had life insurance prior to tying the knot, don’t forget to add your new spouse as a beneficiary.

Disability Insurance

Young people are more likely to become disabled than die prematurely. In fact, more than half of Americans identified as disabled are in their working years—between ages 18 and 64— according to the Council for Disability Awareness.

Disability insurance is historically inexpensive, and can pay you between 50%-70% of your regular monthly income if an accident, illness or injury prevents you from being able to work. If your employer doesn’t offer disability insurance, you can purchase it on your own. This coverage can be critical for you and your loved ones.

Health Insurance

Don’t make the mistake of declining health insurance, even if you and your spouse are healthy. An illness or emergency can cause newlyweds financial hardship that could have been prevented with health insurance. If you and your spouse both have health insurance through your employers, you can maintain separate plans, but it may be cheaper to be on the same plan. Doing so can help you reach your annual deductible more quickly.

Certain life events, such as marriage, allow you to join your spouse’s plan as long as it is within the required time frame. If you decide to share a plan, compare both employers’ coverage and costs to determine which plan best fits your health needs and finances. Be sure to consider each plan’s deductibles, coinsurance, copayments, coverage limits, prescription coverage and choice of health care providers. Remember that if you have a preferred doctor, you’ll want to make sure he or she is in your network.

Don’t panic if employer-sponsored health insurance is not an option for you. Coverage is available to everyone through the Affordable Care Act. You can visit http://www.HealthCare.gov to review and select a plan through the health insurance marketplace, either during open enrollment or within 60 days of getting married. Or, you can contact one of our health insurance specialist and they can assist you with this process. Timing is restrictive so it is important you check into this promptly. 

Renters Insurance

If you rent your living space, you should consider renters insurance to cover the value of your possessions. If you already have renters insurance, don’t forget that you have more to lose now that you have combined belongings, such as furniture, electronics and jewelry. Consider increasing your limits on personal property coverage, which pays to replace or repair items that are stolen or damaged.

Homeowners Insurance

Homeowners insurance is similar to renters insurance, but it covers more than just your possessions. It also covers your home in case of fire, theft or other perils. Both renters insurance and homeowners insurance also provide liability coverage.

Shop Around for Coverage

Addressing your insurance needs early provides a solid foundation for your marriage. Review your financial situation and objectives with your spouse. Then contact Rinehart, Walters & Danner to help you find sufficient coverage within your budget. 

How To Prevent Fires When Using Space Heaters

space heater








space heater“The weather outside if frightful, but the fire is so delightful”…well not all of us have a fire place, but a space heater will make due. Supplemental heating, such as space heaters, is the leading cause of house fires from December through February. They are the second leading cause of home fires year-round. 

Space Heaters – Did You Know?

According to the National Fire Protection Association, supplemental heating equipment is the leading cause of home fires from December through February, and the second leading cause of home fires year-round. Keep the following safety precautions in mind when using such equipment, like space heaters.

How Can You Keep Your Home Warm And Safe?

To help avoid a home fire, and a homeowners insurance claim, keep these safety tips in mind this winter:

  • Do not use space heaters to warm bedding, cook food, thaw pipes or dry clothing. These tasks can present major fire and burn risks.
  • Only use space heaters with the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) safety mark. The UL signifies that the produce was tested for potential safety hazards.
  • Purchase units with automatic shut-off features and heating element guards.
  • Keep sources of fire at least 3 feet away from heater, including drapery, clothing or bedding.
  • Turn off space heater when leaving the room to prevent burn injuries.
  • Periodically check for frayed insulation, broken wires and overheating. Have your space heater serviced immediately if you notice any of these problems.
  • Use only fuel recommended by the manufactures for liquid-fueled space heaters.
  • Avoid using extension cords. If you must do so, make sure that the cord is the right gauge size and type for the heater.
  • Avoid placing space heaters in high-traffic areas of your home. Units with long cords can present a tripping hazard. 

Following the above safety precautions can help you have a warm, safe winter. After all, you families comfort and safety are surely a top priority. 

At Rinehart Insurance we do more than help you prevent claims. Call us today to discuss all of your insurance needs.








Helping You Understand Your Auto Insurance Coverage

auto insurance coverage

auto insurance coverageIf someone were to ask you what was covered under your auto insurance policy, would you be able to tell them? Like most of us, you would probably have a hard time confidently answering that question. Interpreting the various types of coverage offered under your auto insurance policy can be tricky. But it can also be extremely beneficial. The more you understand your policy, the more peace of mind you have knowing you are sufficiently covered in an accident. To help you develop a better understanding of your policy, here are six types of coverage that it may include.

6 Types of Auto Insurance Coverage 

1) Liability Coverage

Purchasing auto liability coverage can offer you financial assistance in the event that you are found liable for a vehicle-related incident. In most states, you are required to have two forms of liability coverage in order to meet the state’s minimum auto insurance requirements. The two forms of liability coverage offered are:

  • Bodily injury liability: Bodily Injury liability coverage pays for medical expenses caused by an incident for which you are found at-fault. If you or others listed on your policy were to injure a third party with your vehicle, it would be covered under your bodily injury liability coverage. Not only does bodily injury liability cover medical expenses, it can also help cover lost wages of the injured party.
  • Property damage liability: Similar to bodily injury liability, if you or someone on your policy collide with another person’s vehicle or property, your property damage liability coverage will assist you in paying for repair or replacement costs.

2) Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Coverage

Unlike bodily injury liability coverage, PIP is designed to cover medical costs, lost wages and other expenses for you, drivers listed on your policy and passengers in your vehicle who may become injured due to a car accident. Regardless of who is deemed at-fault. As such, it is also referred to as “no-fault” coverage. PIP coverage is not offered in all states. Since PIP requires your insurance company to help cover expenses regardless of who’s at fault for the incident, having PIP coverage typically results in higher premium costs.

3) Collision Coverage

Damage to your vehicle from a collision with another vehicle or object should be covered under your collision coverage. Collision coverage is typically required if your car is still being financed. But, once your car is paid off, you often have the choice to keep or remove collision coverage from your auto policy. Although your policy may be cheaper without it, collision coverage can be beneficial in helping you cover damages to your vehicle for which you are found at-fault. If the damages were caused by a third party, it would be up to their insurance company to cover the damages.

4) Comprehensive Coverage

Simply put, comprehensive coverage provides insurance for losses caused by anything that isn’t covered under your collision coverage. Such as losses from natural disasters, riots, vandalism and contact with an animal. If a tree were to get struck by lightning and fall on top of your vehicle, your comprehensive coverage could help cover damages to your vehicle from the incident. Although comprehensive insurance tends to have lower premiums than collision insurance, the cost can vary depending on your deductible amount and policy limits.

5) Uninsured Motorist Coverage

A recent study by the Insurance Research Council revealed that, in the United States, roughly 1 in 8 drivers are uninsured. Having uninsured motorist coverage can ensure you are protected in the event that your car is involved in a hit-in-run or if you get in a car accident with an uninsured third party. Let’s say you don’t have uninsured motorist coverage—if an uninsured individual were to crash into your vehicle, resulting in major repair costs and medical expenses, you could be financially responsible for all of your vehicle repairs and medical bills.

6) Underinsured Motorist Coverage

Much like uninsured motorist coverage, underinsured motorist coverage applies if you are involved in an accident with an individual who doesn’t have sufficient insurance to cover all of the damage to your vehicle or your medical bills. For example, if your claim exceeded the other driver’s policy limits, underinsured motorist coverage would help cover the remaining balance of the claim after the third party’s insurance limit was reached. Both underinsured and uninsured motorist coverage are required in some states, while it still remains optional in others.

Contact Us

For more information on the various types of coverage offered under your auto insurance policy, or for more information on your current policy, contact Rinehart, Walters & Danner today!

You can also Click Here to read more about auto insurance. 

Or Click Here to read how to save money on your auto insurance premiums. 

Weather Damage and Your Home Insurance Policy; What You Need To Know

Weather damage

Weather damageWhen you purchase a homeowners insurance policy, you anticipate most weather related damages to be covered. Well, that is not necessarily the case. Depending on the terms of your home insurance policy, some weather-related damages may not be covered. Understand your homeowners insurance policy before a claim happens is extremely important.

To ensure you have sufficient coverage, you must first understand what weather damage claims are typically covered under a standard home insurance policy.

What is typically covered?

Perils typically covered under your insurance policy include:

  • Lightning strikes. Lightning may result in severe smoke or fire damage. Or cause power surges that can damage appliances or electronics in your home.
  • Hail, wind and fallen trees. All three can lead to a variety of damages to your home that are typically covered under a homeowners policy.
  • Frozen pipes. Frozen pipes and a small variety of other water-related damages may be covered under your insurance policy. The source of the water can determine your insurance coverage.

What is typically excluded?

Perils often excluded from your insurance policy include:

  • Sewer backups and flooding. Certain water damage that may be due to negligence will typically not be covered under your policy.
  • Hurricanes, floods and earthquakes. Most natural disasters are not covered under a standard home insurance policy. However, you may be able to purchase separate policies if certain disasters are common in your area.

What can I do?

Talk to your agent today to determine what weather damage is covered or excluded under your homeowners insurance policy. There may be additional overages you can purchase to cover excluded perils. Understanding your policy can help reduce stress in the unfortunate event that you do have a claim. Dealing with a claim is stressful enough. Dealing with a claim and finding you have no coverage is just horrible! We want to help make sure that does not happen to you. 

Do you want to know more about homeowners insurance policies?
Click Here

A New Year’s Resolution For A New You

New Year's Resolution








New Year's Resolution

Many people choose the new year to make changes in their financial and personal lifestyle. Whether you want to save more money, get out of debt, loose weight or start a healthier lifestyle; the start of a new year with a new year’s resolution is the way to go for many. We have some tips that will help you begin this new year off strong. 

A new year’s resolution for financial stability

Financial stability starts with reviewing your current financial resources. This is important because your current finances affect your ability to reach your goals and protect those goals from potential financial crisis. These are the resources you will draw on to meet various life events. To start, calculate your net worth – this isn’t as difficult as it might sound. Your net worth is simply the total value of what you own; your assets, minus what you owe; your liabilities. This gives you a snapshot of your financial health. 

First, add up the value of all your assets. This includes personal possessions, vehicles, homes, checking and savings accounts, and the cash value (not the death benefit) of any life policies you have. Include the current value of investments, such as stocks, real estate, certificates of deposit, retirement accounts, IRAs and the current value of any pensions you have. 

Now add up your liabilities: the remaining mortgage on your home, credit card debt, student and personal loans, taxes due on the profits of your investments if you cashed them in, and any other outstanding bills. Subtract your liabilities from you assets. Do you have more assets that liabilities? Or more liabilities than assets? According to Forbes Magazine “If you have $10 and no debt, you are richer than 15% of American Households put together.”

Your goal is to create a positive net worth, and to have it grow each year. Review this number yearly to monitor your progress. Make a monthly budget to help keep yourself accountable for your spending.  Websites like Mint.com help you keep track of your income, expenses and net worth on a daily basis. 

A new year’s resolution for a healthier you

There are numerous ways to create a healthier you. Healthy portion sizes and making time for fitness are two common ways to accomplish that goal. 

Healthy Portion Sizes

  • A serving of meat is about two or three ounces – about the size of a deck of cards, or the palm of your hand. 
  • One serving of grains is equal to one slice of bread, one ounce of cereal, or 1/2 cup of pasta or rice. 
  • A serving of fruit or vegetables is equal to one piece of fresh fruit or vegetable, 1/2 cup chopped, or 3/4 cup of fruit or vegetable juice. In general, it’s not as necessary to be vigilant about vegetable and fruit intake, as any amount is healthy – just make sure you’re getting enough while being aware of the sugar content in fruit. 
  • The key to any meal is to have 75% of your plate covered with vegetables and 25% covered with meat or pasta. 

Make Time For Fitness

  • Park your car far away, and walk farther to your destination.
  • Participate in a charity run, walk or bike event. 
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator. 
  • Squeeze a stress ball while at work to relieve tension. burn calories, increase flexibility, and improve blood flow. 
  • Exercise during your lunch hour, even if it’s just a walk around the block or up and down a flight of stairs. 

Getting even 20 to 30 minutes of exercise per day will improve your health. It will also make you feel better overall and can be fun. 

Set yourself up for a successful new year

In conclusion, the point of a new year’s resolution is to make changes in your life. Make sure to set reasonable goals and don’t set unrealistic expectations. You don’t want to start off the new year with a goal that is impossible to reach. There are numerous resources available online and as an app that can help you along the way. Budget websites and apps, workout videos and apps, even calorie counters are easily accessible and will help you along the way. 

Most of all, stick with your goals and you are on the right track to a new you! 








6 Tips To Help Avoid Frozen Pipes

frozen pipes

frozen pipes

As temperatures drop, the risk of frozen pipes increases in your home. If your pipes freeze, they may burst, causing sever damage. To prevent frozen pipes this winter, follow these tips:

#1

Set your thermostat to at least 55F. The lower the temperature of your home, the more likely your pipes will freeze. 

#2

Insulate exposed pipes with insulation material such as foam rubber or fiberglass sleeves.

#3

Open any cabinets that contain exposed pipes to allow warm air from your home to circulate around the pipes. 

#4

Allow your faucets to drip to help relieve pressure in the pipes and prevent them from bursting. 

#5

Seal any cracks in the foundation or any outside walls to prevent cold air from seeping into your home. 

#6

Locate all shut-off valves, so if  a pipe were to burst, you could quickly turn off water to prevent water damage. 

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.