Renting Cars Or Trucks?
Summer is here—finally. I wanted to take the time to give you some information about renting cars and trucks over the summer. Some folks rent a car or van for a summer trip rather than using their own car. It’s ok to do that, but here are some little known facts:
- Most insurance companies cover your rental car if you have full coverage. Full coverage includes bodily injury, property damage, a comprehensive deductible, and a collision deductible.
- If you have never rented a vehicle before, ask your insurance professional what the rules are for your insurance company. Unfortunately, this is one of those areas where every company can be different.
- If you get into a car accident, insurance companies cover your vehicle and any other vehicles involved in the accident up to your insurance limit in most states. That is only true if you have full coverage. What is not known is that if your car was in an accident and was damaged, most insurance companies do not cover the rental fees for the time that the rental car is being repaired. That expense is yours.
- If you do get into an accident and you are unharmed and you can safely walk around the crash area, take pictures of the accident. A picture can sometimes be worth a thousand words.
Renting A Truck To Move
If you are going to rent a van or a truck to move this summer and you are trying to decide if you should purchase the rental companies insurance for that vehicle… I am going to say the answer to that question in most cases is yes! Here’s why:
- As a general rule of thumb, vehicles that have 6 wheels do not qualify as an insurable rental vehicle on your personal automobile policy. Those vehicles are considered commercial vehicles.
- Certain vehicles can be disqualified because of the weight of the vehicle. After a certain weight, some vehicles automatically qualify as commercial vehicles.
In general, remember to treat the vehicle that you are renting as good as you would your own vehicle. I know that this goes without saying, but please remember that your driving record goes with you no matter what vehicle you are in. So, please be careful out there and enjoy this summer.
What To Do Before You Buy That Next New Car!
This may seem counter- intuitive, but I recommend that you (my clients) call me before you go out and shop for a vehicle. Why?
With the use of the internet today you can get actual Vehicle Identification Numbers (VIN) for pretty much the exact vehicle you want to purchase. Many dealers provide that information so that you can shop for the insurance ahead of time. I help you use that information as a tool for your car buying decision making process.
I can plug that information into your current policy and we can get a good estimate of what it will take for you to get into your new car and drive it off the lot with insurance coverage. If you have several different types of vehicles that you are looking at, it may helpful in narrowing down your choices. I am not going to say that you should not get a particular vehicle. I am going to say that this is what it’s going to take to protect this particular vehicle.
Anecdotally, some companies seem to be more sensitive to some vehicles over others. Just like people have unique experiences with vehicles, so do insurance companies. If a particular vehicle has been consistently costly to that particular insurance company, you are going to pay more to insure that vehicle.
So what I like to do is give you the insurance information upfront so that you can shop for your new vehicle in an educated fashion.
Shopping for a new vehicle is exciting as it is sometimes stressful. I want to lessen the stressful part for you so that you can enjoy the purchasing process as well as enjoy the ride in your new vehicle.
Insurance Records To Keep
Keeping Good Records For Insurance
You have homeowner’s insurance to protect your home and everything in it. It is supposed to cover you from an accidental and unexpected incident that causes a major loss. If something catastrophic like a fire should occur, you will be called upon to provide a list of everything that was in the house, and in some cases, even proof. To protect the insurance company from paying out fraudulent claims, an insured may be asked for photographic or other evidence of valuable possessions. Here are some easy ways to be sure you keep good records of your home and its contents.
For expensive and valuable possessions, it’s a good idea to keep purchase receipts and appraisals where appropriate. These things, being paper, won’t survive something like a fire, so purchase a fireproof box in which to keep them or arrange for storage off-site. Ask a friend or relative to hold onto them for you, or place them in a safety deposit box if you have one. Some insurance companies will also scan these items for you and keep them in their computer system for future reference.
One of the most popular ways to keep records of your personal property is to take photographs, and again, keep them somewhere safe. When taking photos of your items, be sure they are clear and where possible get close-up shots of model and serial numbers, especially on electronics. Digital cameras have made it easier than ever to store large numbers of photographs. You can back up your photos to a server where they can be kept safe in case they are needed and the original files have been lost or destroyed.
Photographs can also be used to document the features of your home so that should it need to be rebuilt, you can return it back to its original state.
Video cameras are also a popular choice for documenting your home, as you don’t need to snap a picture of each individual item, but can pan the room, zoom in where necessary, and just keep one file with all of the evidence you need. Again, digital video makes it easy to store the files in a safe place where even a total loss of your home won’t damage it.
A good record of the things inside and outside of your home helps your insurance company to restore you to your position prior to the loss. The more information they have, the easier it will be to reconstruct your home and replace your possessions. It’s up to you to create and store this evidence, so take the time to make sure the records are created and kept safe. One of the resources that I have recommended to my clients is Insurance Information Institute’s Know Your Stuff Home Inventory. It is a free online resource that will take you through the process from beginning to end on what information needs to be store. Additionally, it allows your to store that information online and can be accessed from anywhere. And of course, if you are my client, I will be happy to help. Call me at 513-223-6947 or click the Contact Form and send me a message.
Insurance – How Much Do You Need For Your Home?
How Much Home Insurance Do I Really Need?
Home Insurance is an essential part of home ownership. It is a cost usually considered as part of the regular maintenance and protection of your home. In most places it is also required by your mortgage lender, but how much home insurance do you really need? The minimum coverage may suit some homeowners, but most need additional types of coverage that the minimum polices do not include. So what are the types of coverages home insurance policies typically provide, and how do you determine how much home insurance you really need?
Do I Need Disaster Insurance?
While disaster insurance that covers natural occurrences such as floods, earthquakes, and hurricanes can be expensive, if you live in an area where these types of events occur frequently the cost of replacing your home will certainly far exceed the cost of the insurance. In the case of disaster insurance it is a matter of balancing risk, financial situation, and peace of mind.
Do I Need Additional Content Insurance?
While most basic homeowner’s policies include content coverage, the amount of this coverage and the cost of the deductible may not be appropriate for your particular situation. If you have a number of valuables, such as jewelry or rare items such as antiques, your basic coverage will not protect these in case of theft or damage. On the other hand, if you have few belongings, choosing a policy with a high deductible to save money may not be worth it, as the value of your items may not be much more than the deductible itself.
Do I Need Theft Protection?
Again, most basic home insurance plans do not offer extensive coverage for loss from theft or damage due to a break-in. If having the peace of mind that comes with this kind of protection is important to you, then this additional coverage will definitely be worth the cost.
Do I Need Liability Coverage?
If you have a home-based business or own a condo, having homeowner’s liability insurance is important. If a client had an accident on your property or your negligence caused damage to a fellow condo owner’s property, liability coverage would protect you from the potential costs associated with this, including legal costs.
Call my office as I can help you determine how much home insurance you really need. I can be reached by phone at 513-223-6947 or you can click on my Contact Form and I will call you.