Auto | Home | Business
Despite what you may think, an insurance review doesn’t have to be as involved or a time-consuming endeavor. A conversation or a visit with your agent can help make sure you’re knowledgeable about your insurance coverage and comfortable that your limits are meeting your current needs.
When the bill arrives in the mail to pay your insurance premiums, this should prompt a reaction to review your policy. Insurance policies can be changed to accommodate changes in your life or circumstances. Many consumers don’t understand what coverage they have and could be uninsured or paying more than they need in insurance premium. Reviewing your insurance premiums and coverage should be done annually. Failure to do this could result in paying higher premium or a headache down the road.
When your homeowner’s insurance is up for renewal, it’s important to review each piece. Even if you haven’t made any significant developments or improvements to your home, it is possible that other changes have occurred that your insurance agent should know about. Changes in the real estate market may affect the current policy or changes in lifestyle, living situation, or income are all factors to consider when reviewing your homeowner’s policy.
Auto insurance policies should be reviewed to ensure you have adequate coverage and protection for all drivers. If you have a new driver on your policy, it may be a good time to increase coverage. In addition to adding or changing the vehicles on your policy, it is important to review your driving habits. Are you driving more compared to last year or less? Will you have any upcoming road trips that may require additional coverage? If the value of your car has dipped below $2,500 it may be a good time to remove collision coverage and have liability only. If you take the time to review these aspects each year, it will help save you money and provide you with peace of mind.
When small business owners are focused on the day-to-day activity of a growing business, it can be hard to realize all the small changes occurring that may affect insurance rates. Perhaps you have purchased new equipment, additional vehicles, or developed new products or services. On the other hand, if your business is struggling and has lost money, you may want to lower your policy limit in order to accommodate a reduced value. This will also reduce your premium and save you a little money.
Did you know, how your drive your auto whether it’s for personal or business depends on the type of policy you should have? Most people do not understand the importance of Business Auto Insurance.
Why business auto insurance v. personal auto insurance?
There are several differences between business auto and personal auto insurance. A business auto will have higher liability exposure to a risk than a personal auto. A business auto will carry a much higher liability limit in coverage than a personal auto. Business auto provides other coverage’s that personal auto does not, such as:
- Property and liability trailer exposure
- Equipment used with or attached to the vehicle
- Additional insured requirements
- Higher limits (up to $2 million)
- Loading and unloading exposure
- Hired-vehicle coverage
- Non-owned vehicle coverage
Did you know?
If you own a vehicle that is insured under a personal auto insurance policy and use if for business, you need a commercial business auto policy.
Did you know?
An insurance company may not pay claims for any damages you incur, if the insurance company deems it was used in the course of business as a commercial vehicle.
Why is it important to discuss with your agent how you use your vehicle?
In order to select the right policy coverage for your vehicle business auto or personal auto, it is important that you disclose how you plan on using your vehicle. This will help to prevent any claims issues.
How do I know if my car should be on a personal or commercial insurance policy?
If you use your car for any business-related purpose, you need a commercial auto insurance policy.
Did you know how to classify a commercial vehicle?
Your auto is classified as a commercial vehicle if you use it to:
- Pick up or deliver any goods,
- Provide a service for a fee,
- Travel to remote work location or between work locations,
- Visit client locations.
- Haul goods for a service
Additional conditions which your car may be classified as a commercial vehicle:
- The owner’s name is listed on the vehicle title as a business – incorporated, unincorporated or LLC,
- The vehicle is rented or leased by others
- The vehicle is equipped with a snow plow, has an altered suspension system or other equipment or modification
- The vehicle is used for a landscaping business
- Is driven by you or your employees for both business and personal use on a regular basis.
If you use your personal vehicle occasionally for business use, it may be covered under your personal auto insurance. I would discuss with your agent how you plan on using your vehicle, whether it’s for personal or business usage. Your agent will advise you as to the appropriate policy is for your situation.
How do you prevent freezing and bursting pipes?
When temperatures drop or even reach subzero degrees you are at risk of your pipes freezing or bursting. Pipes are most at risk in unheated areas such as basement, attic and garage. Once temperature start to drop and reach 20 degrees or below you should take necessary measure inside to keep pipes warm and water running.
Here are some steps in protecting your pipes:
- Keep garage door closed, especially if there are water supply lines in the garage.
- Open Kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors, this will allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing, especially if your sink in on an exterior wall.
- Turn on cold water and allow it to drip from the faucet, allowing water to run through the pipes or even trickle will help prevent pipes from freezing.
- Keep thermostat set at the same temperature during day and night. During a cold snap is not the time to reduce your thermostat setting so you can save money on your heating bill.
- If you plan to be away during cold weather, leave your heat on in your home, and set no lower than 55 degrees.
- For the long term, add insulation to attics, basements, and crawl spaces. Insulation will maintain higher temperatures in those areas. To prevent drafts, seal cracks and openings around windows, doors, and at sill plates, where the house rest on its foundation.
Do you know how to thaw frozen pipes?
If you turn on your faucet and only a trickle of water comes out, you may have a frozen pipe. If you think you have a frozen pipe, be careful when thawing because if the pipe has already burst, the water will come flowing out and flood your home. If a pipe is broke, turn off the water at the main shutoff valve. If the water is still running and no pipes have burst, you can take the following steps:
- Tun on the faucet. As you heat the frozen pipe and the ice plug begins to melt, you want the water to be able to flow through. Running water through the pipe, even as cold as it is, will help melt the ice in the pipe.
- Apply heat to the section of pipe. Use an electric heating pad wrapped around the pipe, a hair dryer, or a portable space heater, or you can wrap pipes with towels soaked in hot water. DO NOT USE – a blowtorch, kerosene or propane heater, a charcoal stove, or any device with an open flame; the high heat can damage the pipes or even start a fire.
- Apply heat until full water pressure is restored. Make sure you check all your faucets in your home to see whether you have additional frozen pipes. If one pipe freezes, other pipes may too.
- Call a licensed plumber if you are unable to locate the frozen area, if the frozen area is not accessible, or if unable to thaw the pipe.
Happy New Year ‘2019’
It’s time to ring in a New Year. This is when people make resolutions but never really follow through with their resolution. We are entering “2019,” so what is your resolution or promise to yourself? Most people would recognize the following phrase:
- “This is the year I’m getting organized.”
- “This is the year I’ll stop smoking.”
- “This is the year I’m going to get into the best shape of my life.”
These are great New Year’s resolutions, but what about resolutions that provide you with peace of mind, secure protection for you and your family, and saving money on your insurance that could put money back in your wallet. Lancaster Insurance Center encourages you to take the time and review three simple “insurance resolutions” that could help you start 2019 off on the right foot.
- Check to see if you qualify for auto and home insurance discounts to help lower your premium. Saving a little money is always nice, and by speaking with Lancaster Insurance Center about any potential discounts is a great place to start. While premiums are calculated based on the level of risk an insurance company must take in order to provide you with coverage, there are steps you should take in order to reduce those risks. Here are few examples: “protecting your home by installing an alarm system in your home that will alert local authorities if there is a fire or a home intruder, this will aid in the prevention and mitigation of a fire or break-in. This will help in providing you with peace of mind and help by reducing your homeowner’s insurance premium. If you have teen driver that is starting to drive or already driving, speak with your agent about the “good student discount,” and all drivers may be able to lower their premiums by successfully completing the “defensive driving course,” if offered in your state.
- Make a home inventory list. We purchase home insurance for the primary purpose to protect from fire, or any other loss that may occur. Homeowner’s insurance is designed to protect you in the event of a loss or damage to your property. There are ways to reduce your exposure and drastically reduce your premium; we suggest you review your insurance thoroughly once every three to five years. Preparing a comprehensive detail home inventory list will help you at a time of a loss in replacing your belongings. Keeping accurate records such as, a list of all items in your home, receipts of items purchased with serial and model numbers, and pictures will ensure the less possible chance of having any issues or disputes between you and the insurance company during the claim process.
- Find and fix gaps in coverage. Not having enough coverage or the right coverage is a one of the worst experiences anyone could have during a time of loss. You file a claim, and then your claims adjuster informs you that you do not have enough coverage or any coverage for the loss. The purpose of homeowner’s insurance is to get you back to whole in the event of a loss or/total loss. It’s important to remember cutting coverage to save money now could only hurt you at the time of a loss. Lancaster Insurance Center will work with you to try and eliminate any of these situations from happening. There will come a time when your circumstance could change, and if you do not review and update your insurance coverage accordingly, you may find yourself with a gap in your insurance coverage or no coverage. If you have any high value items such as jewelry or collectibles make sure you have the proper coverage in case of a loss or you may not be covered under your homeowner’s insurance. Your homeowner’s insurance should offer you a coverage called “scheduled personal property,” this coverage is an add-on to your homeowner’s insurance. Did you know that flood insurance is not covered under your homeowner’s insurance? In the event of a storm such as Sandy or any other storm related where intense flooding may occur will not be covered homeowner’s insurance, even if your mortgage company does not require you to have it. If you want coverage for this type of loss you need flood insurance. Having a flood insurance policy could provide you with an important piece of protection and piece of mind knowing that you are protected in the event of a flood loss.
Remember, find and fix any gaps in your homeowner’s insurance coverage before it’s to late. Lancaster Insurance Center would be happy to sit down and review your homeowner’s insurance policy with you to identify where there may be potential gaps, and help you obtain the proper coverage to fill them.
It’s a New Year, a new start and a time to start over. Commit yourself to these resolutions could help provide you with peace of mind, more protection, and hopefully a little more savings that provides you with more money in your wallet this New Year.