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So Little Time

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So Little Time

Wake. Workout. Eat. Shower. Coffee. Makeup. Hair. Coffee. Clothes. Drive. Coffee. Work, Work, Work, Work. Eat. Work, Work, Work, Work. Drive. Eat. Makeup. Hair. Clothes. Drive. Socialize. Eat. Drive. Sleep. REPEAT.  (sometimes I forget about the whole eating and sleeping thing)

That is just a ‘normal’ day. That doesn’t include my to-do list.

Life is full of schedules, activities, appointments, routines – and then some.  If you are like me, then you know that slowing down is not an option.  I am working hard to build a career for myself and attempt to have something that resembles a social and love life.  I don’t have time to stop and a read bunch of paperwork or add additional appointments to my schedule.  I don’ want to be bogged down with information that is overly technical and that doesn’t give me exactly what I need in a few short bullet points or paragraphs.  When I need to get something done, I want to do it in the most effective and efficient manner possible.  Time is the most precious commodity.  MY most precious commodity.  I don’t want it wasted.

When it comes to purchasing an insurance policy, I need to know that whether it is for auto, home, earthquake insurance, flood insurance, jewelry, renters, condo, house, life, or health insurance the entire process with be efficient, knowledgeable, and straight to the point.  With our business, online, over the phone, or in person – purchasing the insurance YOU need insurance has never been easier.  There are numerous methods to find quotes and purchase inventory – online, over the phone, thru an app, and even in person (GASP!). With so many options, there really isn’t a time excuse.  You can choose what will best fit in to your schedule. I mean, I can choose what will best fit in to my schedule.

I know the importance of having the proper insurance coverage, which means I also know I need to make the time to get it!

I am busy.  You are busy.  Let Susman Insurance Agency do the work for you, so you can use your time for that crazy-busy schedule.

Nobody Has Time For That!
Nobody Has Time For That!

Protecting What’s Valuable

When you look down, so you see a beautiful, sparkling diamond on your finger? Perhaps there is an amazing piece of jewelry hanging around your neck? Maye you have heirloom earring that always catch everyone’s attention? How about one-of-a kind fur coat, silver serving utensils, or unique patterned china?

Maybe your most prized possessions differ from that list, but regardless of what they are, they need to be insured. I am sure you would be devastated to lose any of those items, but knowing you have at least some protection will provide you with HUGE piece of mind.

Don’t just consider getting valuable items insurance – actually get it!

Okay – you might be thinking to yourself that you already have homeowner’s insurance and/or renters insurance. That is great and you should have those policies, but often times even those policies have limits on coverage – especially if there is theft.  A major dispute can erupt between you and the insurance company if your home gets damaged and the property inside, including the valuables, aren’t properly documented and inventoried.  While you can’t replace one-of-a-kind items, there is still opportunity for you to receive some sort of financial payout for the valuables lost.

This type of insurance offers additional protection for your most valuable possessions – diamond rings, fin art, collections, and more. The coverage provides the protection you need if there is loss through theft, accident or natural disaster. There is usually some type of coverage for such items offered for personal property under the typical homeowner’s policy.  However, that inclusion to the basic policy may not cover some types of loss that may be important to you. Most homeowner’s policies set dollar limits on the amount of protection offered.  It is optional to you to get add-on coverage to the homeowners and exp anded protection for special property.

You can get Floater Insurance – A type of insurance that covers property that is easily movable and provides additional coverage over what normal insurance policies do not. This can cover anything from jewelry to expensive equipment.  You can also look at getting Blanket Insurance which is a single policy on an insured property that covers more than one type of property at the same location, the same kind of property at more than one location, or two or more kinds or property at two or more locations.

If you still feel like your valuable items aren’t protected enough, then you need to seriously speak to your insurance agent (SUSMAN!) about getting a specific policy for those items.

Protect Your Valuables
Protect Your Valuables

5 Tips to Finding the Right Dental Insurance Company

With so many dental insurance plans to choose from it can be a daunting task to determine which plan is best for your needs or the needs of your employees. And to note, these needs are extremely important, as the dental care should never be overlooked. There are five tips that may help you discover which plan is right for you.

1. Consider Online Comparisons – While a trusted broker can provide you with several options to choose from, an online comparison of companies and dental insurance options can provide a means of insuring the greatest flexibility and price. The available plan types are extremely varied and an online comparison can allow you to see what a plan will and will not be able to do.

2. Price Comparison – It may be easy to make a quick decision based on a simple query, however, if you are working with a broker there may be other options they can present that may decrease the overall cost. Again by using an online comparison, you may be able to view all options and all price ranges. This information can provide information that can help you select a plan that fits your budget.

3. Benefit Comparison – There are several questions that you should consider when purchasing a dental insurance plan. Here are a few samples to consider.

Ÿ Will I be able to select my own dentist?
Ÿ Are there select dates and times that a dentist may restrict visits by individuals that are a part of a particular plan?
Ÿ Do I need insurance with co-pay?

4. Determine Personal Needs and Objectives – No one likes change, but you must ask yourself if certain components in a dental insurance plan are really a need or a want. You should determine what your objective is in obtaining dental insurance. When you underst and your motivation and needs you’ll be better able to select a plan.

5. Underst anding the Importance of Coverage – Once you underst and that a dental insurance plan removes the barrier to oral health and that improved oral health is linked to improved physical health, a dental insurance plan begins to make sense.

Like major medical insurance, dental insurance provides a means of managing the rising cost of dental care. In certain cases premiums for dental insurance is tax deductible.

Residential & Non-Residential Building Fire Estimates

Disaster_HouseFireFire Estimate Summaries present basic data on the size and status of the fire problem in the United States as depicted through data collected in the U.S. Fire Administration’s (USFA’s) National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS). Each Fire Estimate Summary addresses the size of the specific fire or fire-related issue and highlights important trends in the data.1

Residential Building Estimates

Definition of Residential Building
A structure is a constructed item of which a building is one type. The term residential structure commonly refers to buildings where people live. To coincide with this concept, the definition of a residential structure fire includes only those fires confined to an enclosed building or fixed portable or mobile structure with a residential property use. Such fires are referred to as residential buildings to distinguish these buildings from other structures on residential properties that may include fences, sheds, and other uninhabitable structures. Residential buildings include, but are not limited to one- or two-family dwellings, multifamily dwellings, manufactured housing, boarding houses or residential hotels, commercial hotels, college dormitories, and sorority/fraternity houses.

Nonresidential Building Estimates

Definition of Nonresidential Building
Nonresidential buildings are a subset of nonresidential structures and refer to buildings on nonresidential properties. Buildings include enclosed structures, subway terminals, underground buildings, and fixed portable or mobile structures. The term nonresidential buildings refers to those nonresidential structures that are enclosed.Nonresidential buildings include assembly, eating and drinking establishments, educational facilities, stores, offices, basic industry, manufacturing, storage, detached garages, outside properties, and other nonpermanent residential buildings. The term nonresidential also includes institutional properties such as prisons, nursing homes, juvenile care facilities, and hospitals, though many people may reside there for short (or long) durations of time.

Nonresidential Building National Estimates (2003-2011)

Cause Definitions

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Related Content

Links of Interest

Source: U.S. Fire Administration, “Residential and Nonresidential Building Fire Estimates” http://www.usfa.fema.gov/. Accessed June 16, 2014. href=”http://www.usfa.fema.gov/statistics/estimates/index.shtm”>http://www.usfa.fema.gov/statistics/estimates/index.shtm

© Copyright 2014. All rights reserved. This content is strictly for informational purposes and although experts have prepared it, the reader should not substitute this information for professional insurance advice. If you have any questions, please consult your insurance professional before acting on any information presented. Read more.

Do I Need Business Interruption Insurance?

Signs_TemporarilyClosedSignBusiness interruption insurance can be as vital to your survival as a business as fire insurance. Most people would never consider opening a business without buying insurance to cover damage due to fire and windstorms. But too many small business-owners fail to think about how they would manage if a fire or other disaster damaged their business premises so that they were temporarily unusable. Business interruption coverage is not sold separately. It is added to a property insurance policy or included in a package policy.

A business that has to close down completely while the premises are being repaired may lose out to competitors. A quick resumption of business after a disaster is essential.

  1. Business interruption insurance compensates you for lost income if your company has to vacate the premises due to disaster-related damage that is covered under your property insurance policy, such as a fire. Business interruption insurance covers the revenue you would have earned, based on your financial records, had the disaster not occurred. The policy also covers operating expenses, like electricity, that continue even though business activities have come to a temporary halt.
  2. Make sure the policy limits are sufficient to cover your company for more than a few days. After a major disaster, it can take more time than many people anticipate to get the business back on track. There is generally a 48-hour waiting period before business interruption coverage kicks in.
  3. The price of the policy is related to the risk of a fire or other disaster damaging your premises. All other things being equal, the price would probably be higher for a restaurant than a real estate agency, for example, because of the greater risk of fire. Also, a real estate agency can more easily operate out of another location.

Extra Expense Insurance

Extra expense insurance reimburses your company for a reasonable sum of money that it spends, over and above normal operating expenses, to avoid having to shut down during the restoration period. Usually, extra expenses will be paid if they help to decrease business interruption costs. In some instances, extra expense insurance alone may provide sufficient coverage, without the purchase of business interruption insurance.

Source: Insurance Information Institute, “Do I need business interruption insurance?” http://www.iii.org website. Accessed June 16, 2014. http://www.iii.org/individuals/business/basics/interruption/

© Copyright 2014. All rights reserved. This content is strictly for informational purposes and although experts have prepared it, the reader should not substitute this information for professional insurance advice. If you have any questions, please consult your insurance professional before acting on any information presented. Read more.

A Vacant Home Still Needs Insurance – Don’t Be Caught Without Coverage

Homes-Buildings_Sign_SoldSignUnderst and the Insurance Implications of Leaving a Home Vacant or Renting It Out

A tough economic climate and slumping real estate market has resulted in more and more homes left vacant by their owners— and that could have serious insurance implications, according to the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.).

The U.S. Census Bureau reported late last month that 14.5 percent of all U.S. residences were vacant in the third quarter of 2009, reflecting a trend that is having a major impact on homeowners insurance.

“In today’s real estate market, it is not uncommon for homeowners to buy a new home without selling their old one first,” said Loretta Worters, vice president of the I.I.I. “With it taking much longer for a home to sell—particularly with tightening mortgage requirements for potential buyers—people are moving into their new home while their previous one remains vacant and that can cause significant problems for homeowners and insurers.

Insurers discontinue coverage on a home if it becomes unoccupied for over 30 days and no new residents have moved in. However, some insurers will grant a policyholder a vacancy permit, providing it is requested before the 30 days expire. This permit continues to provide coverage against some of the st andard homeowners perils, such as fire and wind, but does not protect the house against perils such as theft, glass breakage or water damage. The coverage provided by a vacancy permit varies from company to company, so policyholders should check with their agent or company representative.

“Many insurers will not insure a vacant home because there is a greater possibility that something could happen to it,” Worters noted. “That’s because such occurrences such as theft, v andalism, fire, or water damage are far more likely to happen in vacant houses than in occupied ones and the resulting damage is likely to be worse because no one is around to report it or stop it.”

Some insurers do offer vacant home insurance, the I.I.I. noted. The premium depends on a lot of factors, such as whether a home has a central alarm system, deadbolt locks and/or smoke detectors. Insurers also may assess whether a policyholder has winterized their home to protect plumbing fixtures from freezing temperatures, and how long the house will be vacant.

“Arranging for someone to come by regularly to check on the place is may result in a lower premium,” said Worters. “But generally speaking, you could pay 50 or 60 percent more for a policy on an unoccupied home as compared to a regular homeowners policy.”

RENTING VS. VACANCY

With slumping housing prices, more homeowners are renting out their homes rather than taking a loss on a sale or having them sit vacant. Homeowners who rent their property can protect themselves from financial loss by purchasing a l andlord policy. A l andlord insurance policy covers:

  • The house. Much like a homeowners policy, it usually provides coverage against hazards such as fire, lightning, falling objects, smoke, explosion, wind and hail, water damage, among others.
  • Other structures located on the property (garages, sheds, etc.). This coverage is often limited to 10 percent of the overall coverage on the house. For example, for a home with a $200,000 policy limit, no more than $20,000 would be paid to a policyholder to cover losses incurred to structures on the property but apart from the house itself.
  • Property contents. While l andlord insurance policies do not insure a tenant’s belongings, they do typically cover any of the l andlord’s personal property that might be used by a tenant, such as tools, l andscaping equipment, appliances and furniture (either stored on site or provided by l andlords for use by their tenants). The best way to be sure of having enough personal property coverage is to take an accurate inventory of the contents on the premises.
  • Lost rental income. This coverage reimburses a l andlord for any lost rental income due to building damage. Typically it provides up to 12 months of lost rental income.
  • Legal fees and liability protection. L andlords may be liable if a tenant is injured on the property. Most l andlord insurance policies cover the l andlord’s legal fees should a tenant file a lawsuit. This type of policy would also pay out in the event of a judgment against a l andlord, protecting his or her personal belongings and assets if the tenant prevails in court. The policy may also cover medical payments in the event that a tenant is injured.

L andlord policies generally cost about 25 percent more than a st andard homeowners policy because l andlords need more protection than a typical homeowner. There are many factors used to determine the price of a l andlord policy, including:

  • The square footage of the house and any additional structures, such as a detached garage.
  • Building costs in the area.
  • The features of the home, and construction materials used to build it.
  • The crime rate in the neighborhood.
  • The likelihood of damage from natural disasters, such as hurricanes and hail storms.
  • The home’s proximity to a fire hydrant (or other source of water) and to a fire station; whether the community has a professional or volunteer fire service; and other factors that can affect the time it takes to put out a fire.
  • The condition of the home’s plumbing, heating and electrical systems.

When planning to rent out a home, it is important to take some basic precautions:

  • Require tenants to show proof of renters insurance for personal property, family liability, guest medical and additional living expenses. This not only provides them with protection, but will prevent tenants from trying to sue the l andlord if there is a fire or other disaster.
  • Notify an insurance agent or company representative that the home is being rented out, and discuss the implications. Be aware that many insurance companies do not provide coverage for vehicles that are left at a l andlord’s home and remain accessible to tenants.
  • Consider purchasing a personal umbrella policy. Umbrella insurance is designed to provide liability protection beyond the limits of homeowners, auto and watercraft personal insurance policies. With an umbrella policy, depending on the insurance company, the policyholder can add an additional $1 million to $5 million in liability protection. This protection is designed to “kick-in” when the underlying liability on other current policies has been exhausted.

Source: Insurance Information Institute, “A Vacant Home Still Needs Insurance – Don’t Be Caught Without Coverage” http://www.iii.org website. Accessed June 16, 2014. http://www.iii.org/press_releases/a-vacant-home-still-needs-insurance-dont-be-caught-without-coverage.html

© Copyright 2014. All rights reserved. This content is strictly for informational purposes and although experts have prepared it, the reader should not substitute this information for professional insurance advice. If you have any questions, please consult your insurance professional before acting on any information presented. Read more.

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