Rental Cars and Your Auto Insurance Policy

Written by on 5/24/2011 6:12 PM . It has 7 Comments.

The first question that many clients ask us is this: "If I'm driving a rental car and have an accident where I hurt someone, am I covered?"  Generally speaking, if you are renting a car in the United States, in your name, for personal use, then the answer is: "Yes." Consider John and Mary Smith, who have a personal auto policy that covers their 2006 Toyota Prius for liability, medical payments, uninsured motorists, collision and other-than-collision.  They fly to Maui for 2 weeks of fun in the sun.  They rent a car from any one of the myriad of car rental companies, and off they go.  On the way to the hotel, John runs a red light and hits another car.  John and Mary are unhurt, but the elderly driver of the other car must be taken to the hospital.  If that injured driver sues John over his injuries, John's personal auto policy will provide him with liability coverage and a defense.  End of story. The grey area of coverage for rental cars pops up in the physical damage cove ...

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10 Tips to Avoid or Reduce Mold

Written by on 5/16/2011 5:04 PM . It has 0 Comments.

It's all around us, but mostly we can’t see it. And often we associate it with damp winter weather but it's just as common a threat during the high-humidity of summer.  We're talking mold – a common fungus species whose spores are found everywhere. In small, invisible concentrations mold spores can be harmful to health, especially for anyone who suffers a breathing disorder. Once they get together in the right environment, they party! Then you see them -- those familiar furry growths that smell musty. Dampness, condensation and high moisture content in the air promote mold growth and, with that in mind, here are a few preventive measures: Mop up spills quickly. Keep gutters clear. Keep a/c drip pans clean. Vent appliances that produce moisture. Use air conditioners and dehumidifiers. Open a window  or run a fan in the bathroom during bathing. Use exhaust fans when cooking or using a dishwasher. Prevent condensation by covering cold surfaces. ...

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Is Your Wedding Protected From the Unexpected?

Written by on 5/9/2011 5:04 AM . It has 0 Comments.

Summer not only brings great weather to Southern California, but it brings weddings too!  While most weddings proceed without any major problems or interruptions, it always helps to plan ahead and protect yourself from the unexpected. What if your venue suddenly goes out of business? What if the bridal salon loses your dress? What if your caterer backs out? Wedding insurance is an easy and affordable way to put your mind at ease for that special day.  Investing in a Wedding Protector Plan provides you and your family with several different types of coverage and coverage enhancements for the big wedding day, your rehearsal and rehearsal dinner. Plus, you also have the option to add liability insurance, which includes an option to add liquor liability. The coverages listed below are all available on a single policy and can be purchased with increasing limits of coverage. Cancellation / Postponement Lost Deposits Additional Expenses Event Photographs & Video‚Ä®- Event Gifts ...

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What You Need to Know About Renters Insurance

Written by on 4/20/2011 6:15 PM . It has 0 Comments.

,P>What do you think your belongings are worth? Conducting a thorough home inventory might be an eye-opening experience since the value of your furniture, DVD collection, clothing, books and moveable appliances can really add up. Without coverage, replacing these items could be a real financial hardship. With Renters Insurance, you are covered. Plus, if you have valuables such as expensive jewelry or collectibles, an Endorsement to a Renters insurance policy can add to the policy’s provisions. This means that in the event of a covered loss, the amount of insurance is enough to cover the repair, replacement or cash reimbursement of the item. That also means that your expensive camera equipment or wedding ring can be covered, too. Renters Insurance provides protection against both property loss and liability (in the event that you cause injury or property damage).  To learn more about what that means, we’ve covered some basics about each. Property Protection Renters Insurance covers your ...

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Do You Need Employee Fidelity Coverage?

Written by on 4/13/2011 6:01 PM . It has 0 Comments.

Business owners don't typically believe employee dishonesty will happen in their business. However, employee fraud is more common than you think. Did you realize $3 Billion dollars of business profits are lost annually due to employee fraud? Here’s an example of an employee fraud case from 2008 that could have been covered had Motorola had an Employee Fidelity policy in place: One might assume that supervisors at Motorola would notice that one employee was ordering an awful lot of inkjet cartridges and getting reimbursed for a ridiculous amount of purchases for the company. But it would be a bad assumption. For three years beginning in December 2003, Bethann Gilroy, 33, got away with a four-pronged theft scheme that defrauded Motorola of $860,000, according to her recent plea agreement. In 2008, she was sentenced to 33 months behind bars, despite her attorney's arguments that her mail fraud guilty plea should result only in probation. Her lawyer failed to return a call seeking comment. According to ...

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Crashing a Lot? Blame Your Astrological Sign

Written by on 4/6/2011 5:53 PM . It has 0 Comments.

In the wake of recent news that the zodiac calendar requires updating, a large insurance company has taken a look at who's most likely to get in an accident based on their signs. Virgos, watch out! People born under the sign were almost seven times more likely to be in a car accident last year when compared to Scorpios, according to claims data. "Perhaps Virgo's shy perfectionistic nature leads to overly cautious and timid driving habits," the company says in a press release. Scorpios, on the other hand, known for determination and awareness, were involved in only 1.5 percent of all accidents in 2010. The "new" sign, Ophiuchus, also fared well in the study. Drivers born Nov. 29 to Dec. 17 were the second-safest drivers on the road. Generally, the signs with the fewest number of reported accidents were those associated with such traits as compassion, graciousness and resourcefulness, while the zodiac signs of those with more accidents are described as uncompromising, arrogant and impatient. But a casual ...

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How to Insure an "Extended" House Guest

Written by on 3/29/2011 6:17 PM . It has 0 Comments.

Question: My 28-year-old son was laid off and is now living at home with us again. He’s brought all his stuff, which we’re storing in the garage. While he’s with us, he’ll be helping out with household expenses as much as he can. Does he need renters insurance? What additional insurance do we need to get, if any? Answer: A growing number of adult children have had to return home to survive the recession. The so-called boomerang effect does have insurance consequences, but your son doesn't need renters insurance, even if he pays you rent. The only exception is if he's living in a separate rental unit, such as an apartment above your garage. Your son's belongings are protected under your home insurance policy while he's living with you. However, whether your home insurance policy limits are high enough to cover all your possessions, plus his stuff, is another question. Home insurance coverage for personal belongings is usually a percentage of the coverage amount for the dwelling. Revi ...

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What Determines the Price of Your Auto Insurance?

Written by on 3/22/2011 7:15 PM . It has 0 Comments.

If you own a car, auto insurance is not just an option, it’s a legal necessity.  If you are in an accident or have your car stolen, having the right kind of auto insurance can help to ease a very difficult situation.  As your local insurance advisors, our job is to ensure that you are properly protected -- and we take that responsibility very seriously.  However, you might be curious as to how the insurance companies come up with the price of your auto policy. Here are the primary factors that influence the price you pay for auto insurance... Your driving record: The better your record, the lower your premium. If you've had accidents or serious traffic violations, you will pay more than if you have a clean driving record. You may also pay more if you haven't been insured for a number of years. The number of miles you drive each year: The more miles you drive, the more chance for accidents. If you drive a lower than average number of miles per year, less than 10,000, you will ...

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Drinking and Driving Prevention: Safety Tips

Written by on 3/17/2011 5:32 AM . It has 0 Comments.

In traditional St. Patty's Day fashion, you might be enjoying a pint of green beer with some friends and family this evening.  As your protection specialists, your safety is our primary concern.  Therefore, if you know someone who is thinking about driving after kicking back a few drinks, here are some tips on how you can intervene without causing a scene. If the person is a close friend, try to use a soft, calm approach at first. Suggest that they've had too much to drink and it would be better to let someone else drive or to take a cab. Be calm. Joke about it. Make light of it. Try to make it sound like you are doing them a favor. If the person is somebody you don't know well, speak to his/her friends and have them make an attempt to persuade him/her to hand over the keys. Usually, they will listen. If the person is a good friend, spouse or significant other, tell him/her that if they insists on driving, you are not going with them. Tell them that you will call som ...

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Home Inventory Checklist - Do You Know Your "Stuff?"

Written by on 3/9/2011 4:49 PM . It has 0 Comments.

Have you lived in your house/condo/apartment for a long time?  Have you recently had a change in your household?  Have you added some new items (flat screen TV?  artwork?)  When was the last time you actually looked around your space and thought about what it would cost to replace your possessions?  Sure, you have insurance…but is it enough? While it's important to protect the contents of your home -- through alarm systems and adequate insurance -- it's also vital to know exactly what you are protecting. No home protection system is complete without a thorough inventory. Imagine, for a moment, that one day soon you come home to find your residence engulfed in flames. You have insurance for the home and its contents, but . . . what would you do if you had to produce an accurate inventory for insurance purposes? The best answer is that you already have one, which is in a safety deposit box or at your work or with a relative. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to produce an inve ...

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