How to Avoid Underinsuring Your Home

Avoid Underinsuring Your Home

Avoid Underinsuring Your Home

Your home is one of your greatest assets and a significant long-term investment. As such, it’s vital to protect your home and its contents with adequate homeowners insurance. Nevertheless, recent research found that many homeowners lack proper coverage. In fact, nearly 2 out of every 3 homes in America are underinsured! That means that the home is protected to an extent by a homeowners policy, but that policy doesn’t have sufficient limits or coverage features to cover the full expense of a potential claim. What’s worse, the average underinsurance amount is over 20%, with some homes being underinsured by as much as 60%.

Don’t let your home become another statistic and suffer the devastating consequences of inadequate coverage in the event of a loss. Review the following guidance to ensure your homeowners insurance policy meets your unique needs and avoid underinsuring your home.

Coverage Elements to Consider When Insuring Your Home

Homeowners insurance offers financial protection in the event of an unexpected disaster or accident involving you, your home or your personal property. However, homeowners insurance policies consist of several different types of coverage. With this in mind, it’s important that you review each form of coverage included on your policy to make sure you are adequately insured for your specific risks. Here are some key coverage elements to look out for:

Dwelling coverage

Dwelling coverage is the portion of your homeowners insurance policy that can offer compensation for the cost of repairing or rebuilding the physical structure of your home if it gets damaged or destroyed by a covered event (e.g., a fire, a windstorm or vandalism). To secure proper dwelling coverage:

  • Make sure you have enough coverage to compensate the full cost of rebuilding your home in the current market. That includes construction expenses (e.g., labor and materials) and the associated costs of making sure your home is compliant with any new or updated building codes within your community. Many homeowners make the mistake of only purchasing enough coverage to compensate the real estate value of their home. That is typically far less than the cost of rebuilding.
  • Don’t forget any important features of your home’s structure when determining the cost of rebuilding. This includes the flooring, countertops and the type of or quality of materials used throughout the structure. Further, avoid making a rough estimate when determining the cost of rebuilding. Be as exact as possible and consider getting assistance from a qualified property valuation expert to ensure a correct calculation and adequate coverage.
  • Be sure to recalculate the cost of rebuilding your home and review your coverage needs whenever you make changes to your home. Examples would be things such as renovating the bathroom, remodeling the kitchen or adding an attached garage.

Other structures coverage
Other structure coverage is the portion of your homeowners insurance policy that can help cover the cost of repairing or rebuilding any detached structures on your property (e.g., a shed or fence) if they get damaged or destroyed by a covered event. Similar to dwelling coverage, it’s crucial to ensure that you have enough other structures coverage to compensate the full cost of rebuilding any of your detached structures. In addition, be sure to reevaluate your coverage needs whenever you make changes to any of your detached structures or add a new detached structure to your property.

Personal property coverage

Personal property coverage is the portion of your homeowners insurance policy that can provide reimbursement for the cost of stolen or damaged items inside your home, such as furniture or electronics. To ensure adequate personal property coverage:

  • Review your policy to ensure you have the best form of coverage for your unique needs. At a glance, there are two forms of personal property coverage—replacement cost and actual cash value. Replacement cost coverage can offer compensation for the cost of replacing your stolen, damaged or destroyed property with a brand-new version (as long as it’s similar in kind and quality) following a covered event. Actual cash value coverage, on the other hand, can offer compensation for the depreciated value of your property. This value is determined by the age, condition and expected remaining useful life of your property prior to the covered event. Be sure to weigh the pros and cons of each form of coverage before making a final selection. Click Here to read more about Replacement cost vs Actual cash value
  • Maintain an up-to-date home inventory checklist. Be sure to include photos of all of your belongings and their original value, as well as an estimate of their current value. This practice will help you better determine just how much coverage you need to fully protect your personal property. However, keep in mind that certain high-value items—such as jewelry, collectible items or fine art—won’t be covered by your homeowners insurance policy and will require specialized coverage.

Loss of use coverage
Loss of use coverage is the portion of your homeowners insurance policy that can help pay for temporary living expenses in the event that you have to move out of your home while it’s being rebuilt or repaired due to a covered event. Loss of use coverage typically equates to up to 20% of the insured value of your home. That being said, make sure you consult your broker if you are concerned that such a value won’t offer enough financial protection for your temporary living arrangements. Also, remember that if you conduct business within your home, this form of coverage will not protect against any loss of income related to your business. You will need to secure specialized coverage for business-related risks.

Liability coverage

Liability coverage is the portion of your homeowners insurance policy that can offer compensation for the expenses that may result if you are found liable for injuring another person or damaging their property. These expenses include medical payments, pain and suffering settlements, lost wages, legal costs and death benefits. Because these expenses can be significant, it’s vital that you have adequate liability coverage tailored to your specific risks. Otherwise, a liability claim could wreak serious havoc on your assets and financial well-being.

Most homeowners insurance policies typically offer a minimum of $100,000 in liability coverage. But, depending on your personal risk profile, you may need to consider securing additional coverage. After all, various property features (e.g., having pets, a trampoline or a pool) can increase your liability risks and require further protection. You may even want to consider purchasing personal umbrella insurance, which can provide additional compensation if your liability coverage is exhausted following a covered claim.

Keep in mind

Lastly, keep in mind that some events—including overland floods and earthquakes—are not always considered covered events on your homeowners insurance policy. If you live in an area that has an elevated risk of these weather-related catastrophes, you will need to obtain additional, specialized coverage. Also, don’t forget that you will usually (with the exception of liability coverage claims) have to pay a deductible before your homeowners insurance kicks in. What’s more, each form of coverage is subject to a limit, which is the maximum amount your policy will pay for a covered claim. Be sure to review your coverage limits to ensure maximum protection. After all, you want to avoid underinsuring your home.

We’re Here to Help

There are a variety of factors to consider in order to avoid underinsuring your home. Rinehart, Walters & Danner is here to walk you through your homeowners policy and help you secure ultimate insurance protection for your personalized risks—ensuring full coverage in the event of a claim. For further insurance guidance, contact us today.

Rinehart Insurance Will Golf For Kids’ Sake This Friday








It’s that time of year again. Summer is coming to an end, but not before we get a few more community events in. This year will mark the 22nd Annual Golf for Kids’ Sake for Mid-Ohio Youth Mentoring. And we are proud to once again be attending this great event. 

The details

When: Friday July 31, 2020

Where: Oak Tree Golf Club

Time: Registration is at 7:30am, Shotgun start at 9:00am.

You can find more details below or by visiting www.midohioyouthmentoring.com

Golf for Kids sake 2020

Join us in supporting this great event and an amazing community program! 








How to Avoid Condominium Coverage Gaps

Condominium Coverage Gaps








Condominium Coverage GapsA new home, less work for you, now it’s time to relax and enjoy all the amenities…well, maybe not yet. If you own a condominium, it’s important to make sure you don’t have any condominium coverage gaps. Owning a condo creates both common and personal insurance needs. Make sure to determine what exactly is covered by your association’s master policy, and what is not.

Condo Association Master Policy

Typically, the condo association carries a master policy. This policy insures all of the property and common areas that are collectively owned by the unit owners. However, it usually does not provide any protection for the interior of your unit or personal possessions. That leaves you with condominium coverage gaps. So what do you do?

Purchasing Your Own Coverage

A Condo Insurance policy is designed to help prevent condominium coverage gaps. A condominium is different than a standard home, therefore it needs a specialized policy. The policy includes coverage for your personal possessions, structural improvements made to your living space and additional living expenses incurred due to an accident.

In addition to the covering your belongings, you will also want to purchase liability protection. This will cover you against lawsuits for bodily injury or property damage that you or a family member cause to other people. In some cases, it even includes coverage for pets. It will pay for the cost of litigation as well as any court awards. Coverage will be provided up to the limit of your policy, and covers you at home or away. 

Other potential Condominium Coverage Gaps

Some additional coverages to consider including: 

  • Unit assessment coverage: This coverage reimburses you for the expense passed on to you by the association as long as the cause of loss was covered by the association’s policy. 
  • Sewer backup: This coverage insures your property for damage by the backup of sewers and drains. It does not include flood protection. 
  • Flood or earthquake: These can strike anywhere, so It’s important to understand your risks and check into coverage options. 

We are here to help. Give us a call if you would like to review your current coverage or if you need to get a brand new policy. 








Adjusting To Your New Normal; Post-Coronavirus

new normal

new normalThere’s no denying that the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic has rapidly and abruptly changed how we live, work and play. As the threat of the coronavirus shifts, Americans are navigating their new normal and figuring out how Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance for social distancing and mask wearing fits into a daily routine.

You may be experiencing a range of emotions. It’s important to know that it’s completely normal to feel uneasy and confused as you figure out what your post-coronavirus normal looks like. To put things in perspective, to have a fighting chance against the coronavirus, everyone needs to sacrifice and develop a coping mindset. You are not alone in this challenge as millions across the world are weathering the same storm of the coronavirus pandemic.

Consider these coping methods when adjusting to your new normal; post-coronavirus:

  • Focus on what you can control—Focusing on the things you can’t control, like the course of the pandemic and actions of others, will only fuel frustration and stress. Instead, focus on things that you do have control over, such as washing your hands, wearing a mask and practicing social distancing.
  • Adjust expectations—It’s important to approach your new normal with flexible expectations. Just as coronavirus guidance is ever-evolving, your expectations should shift and match reality. Resilient people continually reevaluate and focus on new goals.
  • Be kind—Inside and out of the home, be accepting and polite to others as everyone may be feeling stressed during the pandemic. Collaboration (e.g., problem-solving or sharing), compassion, cheering people on and learning from this overall experience will help you connect with others.
  • Find a routine—As the pandemic seems unpredictable, setting a routine for yourself can help you stay productive and active. Don’t forget to take care of yourself and schedule time for physical and emotional health, social connection and stress relief.
  • Set boundaries—Not everyone is navigating the pandemic the same way and may have different viewpoints on measures like mask wearing and social distancing. Respectfully set your boundaries with family, friends and co-workers. Once again, just focus on what you can control in your life.

Other Considerations

While experiencing stress or anxiety over the health and economic fears brought on by the coronavirus is normal, if you don’t take steps to cope with these feelings, you can put yourself at risk for long-term health effects. Some healthy ways to mitigate your stress and anxiety include exercising, sticking to a routine, spending time outside and meditating.

Since the pandemic is still evolving, get up-to-date information about coronavirus activity and guidance from your local public health authorities, the CDC and the World Health Organization. If you are feeling stressed or anxious navigating your new normal, contact a licensed mental health professional.

How To Promote Safe Teen Driving








With graduation season kicking off, now is the perfect time to remind your children and loved ones about safe teen driving. They have a 3 ton (or heavier) hunk of steel going 55 mph down the road. Make sure they think of their safety, and the safety of those around, them every time they get in the car. Below are a few talking points to go over with them.

Safe Teen Driving Tips

  • Safe teen drivingAlways use your seat belt, even if you’re just going for a short drive down the block – it’s the law!
  • Never drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Remember that prescription medications can impact your driving too.
  • Avoid driving at night if you don’t have much experience behind the wheel.
  • Watch the forecast to avoid any inclement weather.
  • Always try to stay at least two seconds behind the vehicle in front of you. This can help give you more reaction time in the event of an emergency. Never use your cellphone in your car.
  • Never talk or text while driving, it can wait.
  • If you ever feel uncomfortable or unsafe on the road, pull over somewhere safe.
  • Obey the speed limit
  • Never reach for something in the car while driving, a lot can happen in the few seconds your eyes are away from the road.

One more thing, many auto insurance companies also offer discount for good grades. It’s as simple as providing your insurance agent with a copy of your kid’s grade card. Stop by our office and review your auto insurance policy with your agent today to make sure you are receiving all available discounts. (Click here for more information about auto insurance)

The best way to ensure child is practicing safe driving is to practice safe driving yourself and to talk to them.

Remember Stop the Texts, Stop the Wrecks!








Firework Safety Tips You Need To Know This 4th of July

Firework Safety








Firework SafetyFireworks are a staple of many Fourth of July and other celebrations, but remember to take precautions to ensure your special event is safe and accident-free. Firework safety is crucial to ensure you and you family have a great 4th of July holiday.  

The Risks

Unfortunately, many people do not realize just how dangerous fireworks and sparklers can be—which is a primary reason that injuries occur. Fireworks can not only injure the users, but can also affect bystanders.

Bottle rockets and firecrackers can fly in any direction and may explode on or near someone instead of up in the air. Sparklers are also a huge risk, as they burn at very high temperatures and are often given to children too young to use them safely. All fireworks pose potential risks of burn, blindness and other injury.

Firework Safety Tips for Safe Use

When using fireworks, always plan carefully in advance for who will shoot them and what safety precautions you will have in place. Here are some suggestions to ensure safety and avoid accidents:

  • Use fireworks and sparklers outdoors only.
  • Always have a hose or water bucket handy.
  • Only use fireworks as intended. Do not alter or combine them, and do not use homemade fireworks.
  • Keep spectators a safe distance away.
  • Never give sparklers to young children.
  • Wear safety goggles when handling or shooting off fireworks.
  • Do not shoot fireworks off if under the influence of alcohol.
  • Show children how to properly hold sparklers, how to stay far enough away from other children and what not to do (throw, run or fight with sparkler in hand)—but supervise closely, regardless.
  • Point fireworks away from people, homes, trees, etc.
  • Never try to relight a dud (a firework that didn’t properly ignite).
  • Soak all firework debris in water before throwing it away.
  • Do not carry fireworks in your pocket or shoot them from metal or glass containers.

Protection for Your Pets

Like thunderstorms or the vacuum cleaner, fireworks may frighten your family pets. To protect your pets from becoming stressed as a result of loud noises from fireworks:

  • Keep pets indoors away from loud noises in a place that is comfortable to them.
  • Allow pets to go to the bathroom before beginning your fireworks show to prevent accidents.








How Confusing A Copay and Coinsurance Can Cost You

Copay and coinsurance








“What’s the difference between a copay and coinsurance?”

This is a question our benefits department receives quite often. For most it can be quite confusing. The short simple answer is a copay is usually a set dollar amount and coinsurance is a percentage of the cost. Let me explain.

Copay

Copay’s or copayment’s are fixed dollar amounts you pay for covered health care. These are usually charged when you receive the service. For example you pay a set $20 when you visit your primary care doctor. 

Coinsurance

Coinsurance is your share of the costs of a covered service. It is calculated as a percent of the allowed amount for the service. For example, if the plans allowed amount for an overnight hospital stay is $1,000, your coinsurance payment of 20% would be $200. This may change if you haven’t met your deductible. 

The below image from a Summary of Benefits and Coverage shows you example of the listings for copay and coinsurance. 

Copay and coinsurance

How Will Confusing Copay and Coinsurance Cost Me?

Depending on your plan, you could find yourself in a situation where you pay extra money because you choose the wrong type of provider. Say your plan has a $100 copay for a Urgent Care visit but if you go to the Emergency Room your plan has a 20% coinsurance cost. You just have strep throat and not a life threatening situation. The Urgent Care will cost you $100 but the Emergency room will be 20% of the total cost. I don’t know if you’ve been to the Emergency Room lately but most of the times just to walk in is about $1000! That alone has you at $200 ($1000 x 20% = $200). Just by choosing a different type of facility you overspent. But by understanding your benefits can help. (The above are strictly fictional numbers, but you get the idea). 

Health Insurance can be confusing especially if your new to handling your own coverage or have never taken the time to read up on the definitions. Copay and coinsurance are just the tip of the iceberg so to speak. But don’t fret, we are available to answer any questions you may have. Give our benefits department a call today with any questions you may have. 

You can also view the below blog post that goes into more detail on other health insurance benefit definitions. 

Do You Understand The Insurance Benefits Offered By Employers?








Avoid Heat Illnesses This Summer With These 7 Important Tips

Heat Illnesses








Extreme summer temperatures are not only uncomfortable, they are also dangerous for your health. This is particularly true for older adults and children, who are more susceptible to illness. When it is hot outside, your body temperature can rise to dangerous levels. Normally, your body cools itself through sweating. However, in hot and humid weather, sweating is not enough and the result can heat illnesses.

Avoiding Heat Illnesses

Here are some tips for staying safe when you’re out in the heat:

  1. Wear loose, light-colored clothing so your skin gets air exposure.
  2. Shield your head and face from direct sunlight by wearing a hat and sunglasses.
  3. Avoid spending time outdoors during the middle of the day, when temperatures are highest and the sun is directly overhead.
  4. Take regular breaks in a shaded area if you’re involved in a strenuous activity.
  5. Drink water frequently, even if you aren’t thirsty. Experts recommend drinking at least 8 ounces every 20 to 30 minutes to stay hydrated. Stick to water, fruit juice and sport drinks while avoiding caffeinated or alcoholic beverages, which can dehydrate you.
  6. Monitor children and seniors carefully, since they can get dehydrated more easily.
  7. Call 911 if someone exhibits symptoms of heat stroke, such as flushed skin, rapid breathing, a throbbing headache or confusion.

Providing Treatment for Heat Illnesses

It is essential to treat heat illness as soon as possible. If you are feeling any of the above symptoms, inform a co-worker and ask for help. If you suspect that a fellow worker has any of these conditions, follow the first-aid suggestions below:

  • Heat Cramps – Move the victim to a cooler area and provide them with water or other cool, nonalcoholic beverages. Follow up with a medical examination.
  • Heat Exhaustion – Move the victim to a cooler area and keep them lying down with their legs slightly elevated. Cool their body by fanning and applying cool, wet towels. Have them drink approximately six ounces of water every 15 minutes. Follow up with a medical examination.
  • Heat Stroke – You or a bystander should immediately call an ambulance. Meanwhile, move the victim to a cooler area, remove their outer clothing, immerse them in cool water or apply cool, wet towels or cloths to the body. If the person is awake and able to swallow, give them small amounts of cool water to drink. If medical help is delayed, call the hospital for further instructions while waiting. Heat stroke is life-threatening, so it’s important to move quickly!

Stay Safe

The risk of heat illness increases with age, poor diet, being overweight, insufficient liquid intake, poor physical condition and/or when taking medication. Never take salt tablets without your doctor’s approval. Be aware of weather conditions when you will be working outside so that you can be prepared with appropriate clothing and beverages. If you are working outside and start to feel any adverse symptoms,  let someone know and take a break.

Click here to read more Heat Illness Safety Tips from the CDC








How To Improve Your Virtual Meetings

virtual meetings

virtual meetings

There’s no denying that virtual meetings have become a workplace norm. Several factors fueling that growth include access, price and need.

Most laptops, tablets and smartphones have built-in webcams and microphones so employees can dial in to a virtual meeting from anywhere and at any time. These technology advancements have created affordable and easy-to-use tools to help businesses—both small and large—stay virtually connected. Web-based technology will continue to advance to keep virtual communication attainable and meet business needs.

The demand for virtual meetings increased as the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic closed offices, introduced social distancing and halted business travel. As the COVID-19 threat shifts and offices reopen, virtual meetings will continue to be a viable way to conduct business with employees, customers and other stakeholders.

Virtual meetings require more planning than in-person meetings to be effective. This article explores common challenges and best practices to help meeting leaders drive attendee engagement, acceptance and commitment to action.

Common Challenges

Virtual or not, meetings can be hampered by problems such as insufficient planning, lack of engagement and insufficient follow-up.

Virtual meetings also come with their own unique challenges surrounding technology. Meeting attendees may have trouble accessing the meetings or using the platform. If the meeting leader is unfamiliar with features or capabilities—like screen sharing—they may waste meeting time while learning on the fly.

Technology and computer problems may be out of one’s control. With any meeting, the facilitator should be flexible and have a Plan B. For example, your video conference call may have to become an audio call or be rescheduled altogether if video was vital.

Before the Meeting

Start right to end right. To ensure a successful and productive virtual meeting, keep in mind the following steps before the meeting even begins:

  • Choose the technology—There are many web and videoconferencing platforms available, so find the right software and features to support your business. Choose one platform and stick to it. After attendees download the platform once, it’ll be easier to join meetings later.
  • Create an agenda—Attendees may have a full calendar, so be clear on the purpose of the meeting and provide a timed agenda with topics and assigned facilitators. This will help invitees decide their attendance if they have multiple meetings at the same time. Share this prework at least 48 hours in advance.
  • Establish ground rules—It might be helpful to have an agreed way of working, such as stating your name before talking or muting when not speaking. This helps keep the meeting efficient and remove distractions.
  • Test the technology—It’s important to join the meeting at least five minutes early to test your connection, microphone and video.
  • Look professional—If using video, present yourself with appropriate grooming, hygiene and attire. That means mirroring what you would wear in person and keeping in mind whether it’s an internal or external meeting.

When it comes to virtual meetings, it’s crucial to invest in preparedness. Setting expectations beforehand can go a long way and positively impact a meeting’s effectiveness.

During the Meeting

Meeting hosts and attendees may have slightly different roles when it comes to facilitating the virtual gathering, but there are some general tips that can help everyone. Once it’s time to dial in, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Choose a moderator—This should be established in the agenda. The moderator will keep the meeting moving and engage attendees. If attendees don’t know each other, make those introductions to help everyone feel connected and welcome.
  • Stick to the agenda—The host should consider assigning a time checker to keep the meeting on track. When possible, end a few minutes early to give people time to get to their next meeting.
  • Encourage interaction—Encouraging people to speak up, especially in a virtual setting, is not always easy. Everyone should actively be doing something to support the meeting’s purpose and objective (e.g., talking, screen sharing, monitoring the side chat channel, note taking and running slides). This move transforms someone from an attendee to a participant.
  • Turn on video—Video is effective and makes people feel more engaged because it allows attendees to see each other’s non-verbal clues. That, in turn, humanizes the virtual meeting room and strengthens personal connections.
  • Do not multitask—A virtual meeting is not the time to check and respond to emails or text messages. The use of video could cut down on multitasking.
  • Expect (and accept) the unexpected—In a remote work setting, it’s not unlikely to have a crackly connection or interruptions from a barking dog or talking child. Approach those unexpected moments with empathy.

When wrapping up the meeting, provide attendees some time to ask questions or share concerns. That could help increase engagement and ensure that attendees are still present and listening. Every attendee should have an opportunity to speak, whether or not they were assigned agenda topics. Approach meeting etiquette as if the gathering was in person.

After the Meeting

Once the meeting is finished, it’s important to check for understanding and share a recap of what was discussed. If the meeting was a casual check-in, there may be no need for a recap. However, if there are any outstanding action items or missing attendees, it could be helpful to send a recap to outline next steps and responsibilities. If this was a standing meeting, it might be an opportunity to share the next meeting’s agenda as well to give attendees time to prepare. It’s all about sharing a transparent record of work progress.

Other Considerations

There’s no denying it’s much easier to communicate when you can see someone’s face. While it’s usually recommended to always use video, if employees or other stakeholders are facing online meetings all day, a compromise can be to allow audio-only times so everyone can focus solely on what is said, and forget about how they look.

How To Set The Mirrors On Your Car

How to set the mirrors on your car








Mirrors are on your car to prevent blind spots. Knowing how to set outside mirrors to eliminate blind spots is a crucial part of being a defensive driver. While almost all vehicles come equipped with two outside mirrors, many drivers do not set the properly, making it almost like the vehicle has no mirrors at all. We have a few pointers on how to set the mirrors on your car.

Mirrors - Rinehart Insurance

Position Your Mirrors

The following procedures for correctly positioning mirrors will help you eliminate blind spots and avoid potential vehicle accidents.

To start, park your vehicle and place your head against the driver’s side window. Set the mirror so you can just see the side of the car. For the passenger’s side mirror, position your head at the middle of your vehicle. Again, set the mirror so you can just see the side of the car.

Checking Your Blind Spot

This method should ensure that the mirrors are positioned outward enough to eliminate blind spots, but you should also double-check to be 100% sure. To do this, sit in a normal driving position and watch the mirrors as a vehicle passes by. It should appear in the outside mirror before it leaves the inside mirror. And it should appear in your peripheral vision before leaving the outside mirror.

In addition to using your mirrors, you should also physically turn your head over the appropriate shoulder to double-check your blind spot prior to changing lanes. We do more than help you avoid claims and arrive at your destination safely. 

Click here to learn about auto insurance.