Julie and Jason have an umbrella!
Q. What is Umbrella Insurance and do I need it?
A. Liability Umbrella policies are incredibly valuable and affordable protection needed by individuals and business, alike. Your primary policies – home/car/boat/business owner’s/worker’s compensation/commercial automobile/etc. – provide an initial layer of liability protection. This primary coverage is often maxed out at $300,000 – $500,000 for individuals and $1,000,000 for businesses. Umbrellas can come with many different coverage limits, but the most common limits are $1 million, $2 million and $5 million. Insurance is designed not only protect your current assets, but it also aims to protect your future earning potential against wage garnishments and judgments that a major claim may give rise to. Umbrellas extend your liability protection beyond your primary coverage. Simply put, someone with $500,000 primary liability and a $1 million umbrella effectively has $1.5 million in protection (within the bounds the policies involved). Umbrellas can sometimes even provide additional coverage that your primary insurance does not.
Whether or not you buy an umbrella policy is up to you, but for guidance call your agent!
I would like to thank one of our agents, Kathy Barton, with suggesting this question for our blog. This is a very specific question and if you have any questions on what exactly your policy covers make sure to call your agent.
Q. I just went grocery shopping and filled my deep freezer and refrigerator right before the big storm hit. My power has been out for 2 days and all the food has spoiled. Will my homeowner’s insurance cover this?
A. Your homeowner insurance may very well cover for spoilage of refrigerated property due to off premises power failure. However, this is usually only by a special add-on that incurs an additional premium. That means that you must request and pay for this specific coverage. It is not part of most standard homeowner policies. When reviewing your policy you should ask your agent what upgrades or optional endorsements, like spoilage coverage, are available through your homeowner insurance company.
Q. Does my auto insurance cover my rental car?
A. There is a strong chance that it does. Most standard and preferred automobile insurance carriers extend coverage to private passenger vehicles that you rent such as while on vacation. You must check with your specific carrier though, as many non-standard carriers and certain standard/preferred carriers do not extend such coverage. Also, remember that most auto carriers do not extend coverage to non-private passenger vehicles such as do it yourself moving trucks. As always if you have specific questions as to your coverage and policy make sure to contact your agent.
Our goal at Harry Levine Insurance is to make insurance a little less confusing and scary.
Q. Why did my rate go up?
A. No, you’re rate didn’t go up because your insurance company spent too much on office supplies! Insurance rates are derived by mathematicians known as actuaries who look a wide variety of factors. Whether it’s home, automobile or business insurance rates are formulated based on trends observed over time regarding how many claims have happened in a geographic area or demographic group. The more premium an insurance carrier pays out to help people the more it must take in to make sure it remains able to pay such claims. Fraud is one of the leading drivers of high premiums in Florida. Whether it’s staged accidents or unscrupulous legal and medical professionals, Florida insurance rates are much higher than they really should be thanks to extreme abuse of the system. Urban areas often have higher rates than rural areas because more congestion typically leads to higher numbers accidents/incidents. Each company insures different people so sometimes one company’s rate of claims is higher or lower than another. When too many policy holders in a company’s “risk pool” have claims it requires the company to raise rates to keep up with the demand for claim payments. Have any more questions, let me know!
The month of June kicks off summer and conjures thoughts of the beach, bbq’s and warm weather. There is something else that comes with the passage of June 1st though; Hurricane Season. Homeowners often hope for the best but aren’t certain how to prepare for a storm. It’s critically important to make sure that your family has a disaster plan, and that your home is properly protected. Preparation starts with basic maintenance. Making sure that trees are trimmed to remove dead and/or overhanding limbs, ensuring that gutters are clean and free flowing, and other means of drainage aren’t clogged shouldn’t be undervalued endeavors. It’s definitely time to repair that cracked roofing tile or peeling shingle too. These seemingly small things could help protect your home from serious damage should a storm occur. Hurricane shutters are much more affordable than you may think, and having them available could be the difference between having little or no damage versus catastrophic harm to the home.
Then there are the storm basics. Make sure to have a few day supply of bottled water and ready-to-eat food available. Batteries are a must to power flashlights and radios. In case you cannot ride out the storm have a general idea of where you might go if you need to evacuate and what records/valuables can be reasonably brought along for safe keeping. The decision is hard, but vital records like birth certificates and marriage licenses win out over the family photo album if forced to choose! Hurricane season is all about having pride of ownership in your castle and being prepared. Failing to prepare is preparing to fail!