Insurance companies have used vehicle telematics for about two decades now as a way to bring more transparency and accountability to auto policyholders. Telematics are most commonly associated with the little modules that plug into your car’s Onboard Diagnostics Port (OBD-II), which relay driving data to insurance providers. Today, many insurance companies offer plug-and-play solutions and even apps that eliminate the need for modules altogether.
Homeowners Insurance Summer Vacation Checklist
You’ve checked your auto and travel insurance policies and know you’re covered while on vacation, but what about the home you’ll be leaving behind? Burst pipes, broken appliances, and burglaries are easy potential hazards for those excited about upcoming trips to forget about. Fortunately, they’re easy to prevent, and this checklist can help make such prevention easier.
Home-Sharing Services: Do You or Those Who Rent Your Home Need Insurance Coverage?
The sharing economy has brought about business model innovations, allowing people to monetize underutilized assets including cars, storage space, gear, and living space by renting them out. While this can create exciting opportunities, it can also present risks — particularly when it comes to home sharing. Having the proper insurance can help reduce those risks.
It’s Tornado and Hurricane Season: Is Your Property Insured?
As glorious as the spring and summer months can be, they can also bring some of Mother Nature’s most destructive behavior. April, May, and June are peak months for tornadoes in the U.S. while hurricane season officially begins June 1 and lasts through November. Both can cause widespread catastrophic damage as well as injury and death. While those who live in areas prone to such natural disasters should have emergency plans in place to protect themselves and their families, what about their homes, businesses, and personal property? It’s impossible to predict or control the amount of damage such storms can cause, but it is possible to manage how well you bounce back and rebuild after such life-altering events. Ensuring you have adequate insurance coverage in advance is a huge step in protecting yourself amid such devastation.
Don’t Get Left Underwater! Follow This Flood Insurance and Water Damage Prevention Checklist
Water. We need it to survive, but it can also be a relentless, unforgiving beast. In mere minutes, water can cause property damage that requires months of costly cleanup and restoration.
Babysitter Liability: Accidents Can Happen, Even on Date Night
A thousand questions can race through a parent’s mind when hiring a new babysitter or in-home nanny: Is the candidate experienced? Good with kids? Responsible? Dependable? CPR- and first-aid-certified? Able to cook? Does he or she have reliable transportation?
Boat Insurance Can Be the Difference Between Smooth Sailing and Rough Waters
For those who long to be out on the water, there is nothing quite like the freedom and thrill of a day spent on your very own powerboat. But with as much pleasure as boat ownership can bring, boating also carries with it inherent risks and responsibilities. Boat insurance, though not always required, is something every owner should understand and seriously consider when investing in a powerboat.
3 Tips for a Hassle-Free Annual Insurance Review
Many often file their insurance policies among life’s “set-and-forget” items. We rarely give them much thought after obtaining the policies and coverage we think we need. Over time, however, life and insurance industry changes can affect insurance coverage in ways we might not even realize. That’s why it’s important to do a regular review of all your policies to ensure your records are up-to-date, your coverage is still what you believe it to be, and you aren’t spending more on premiums than you need to. Here are some simple steps for a thorough yet hassle-free annual insurance review.
From Furry Friends to Life’s Big Events: Sure, You Can Insure It!
When you think of insurance, the obvious might come to mind: health insurance, car insurance, life insurance, and homeowners or renters insurance. But life is full of many other important things and defining moments. Should you insure those, too? Here’s a look at some lesser-known policies that offer important coverage to those who invest in them.
Rental Car Insurance: Money Wasted or Well-Spent?
Have you ever rented a car and felt awkward confusion when the representative asked you to accept or decline rental car insurance? Could you have made a big mistake if you’d declined? Would you have wasted money if you’d accepted? Understanding your regular insurance policies and what they cover when you’re behind the wheel of a rental car can help you make an educated choice next time you’re at the rental counter.
Travel Insurance: A Friendly Foe in the Wake of Potential Vacation Woes
Vacations: We dream of them, save for them, and plan their every detail months in advance. They’re our escapes from everyday doldrums, monotonous routines, and nagging responsibilities. Unfortunately, life’s unforeseeable twists and turns don’t take breaks just because we do. Accidents, illnesses, theft, lost luggage, and weather disasters can upend vacations before they even start. But when is it necessary to invest in travel insurance — and when is it best to skip unnecessary added expenses?
Achieving Financial Fitness in 2018 Starts with Knowing Your Numbers
It’s a new year, a clean slate, and a fresh beginning: Although we’re nearly two months into 2018, it’s not too late to define your goals for the year and make a plan to accomplish them. While health-related goals like losing weight and eating better seem to top the list of Americans’ most popular New Year’s resolutions, financial fitness is a top goal for many, too. A YouGov survey of 1.2. million Americans revealed 37% of respondents said they want to “spend less money” in 2018, while making better financial decisions was the third-most popular response in survey data compiled by analysts at Statistic Brain.
How Could the New Tax Overhaul Affect Your Insurance?
The most sweeping U.S. tax reform in 30 years became official when the federal tax overhaul passed both houses of Congress and was signed into law by President Donald Trump Dec. 22, 2017. The new law includes several major changes to the Internal Revenue Code and also repeals former President Barack Obama’s health care law, which included an individual mandate for health insurance coverage. Under “Obamacare,” nearly all Americans were required by law to have health insurance or pay a penalty. In 2017, the penalty was $695 per adult and $347.50 per child or 2.5% of one’s household income, whichever was greater.
Small Businesses Aren’t Immune to Cybercrime
The ability to handle business transactions via the internet has opened countless doors for owners of small to medium-sized businesses — even those who don’t have a single door for customers to walk through! Yesterday’s brick-and-mortar stores are today’s digital marketplaces, and consumer demand for online commerce is only bolstering the shift.
Evaluating Risk: Understand the World of Commercial Insurance Underwriting
Businesses are a bit like snowflakes: No two are exactly alike. This means there is no quick and easy formula for assessing potential business insurance risk. A commercial insurance underwriter’s job is to assess the risk of providing insurance to a business owner based on that owner’s type of business, business activities, and claims history. It’s a tedious analytic process, and many business owners don’t understand what underwriters are looking at when their businesses are subject to review.
Life Insurance: A Selfless Gift to Those Left Behind
Life can be complicated. The older we get, the more complex it can become: more assets, more dependents, more decisions to be made in the event our own lives are unexpectedly cut short. If you were suddenly gone tomorrow, would your family be financially secure without your income? The answer may depend on two simple words: life insurance.
A Happy, Claim-Free Holiday Starts with Home Safety and Security
It’s the most wonderful time of the year, or so the song goes. It promises “parties for hosting, marshmallows for toasting, and caroling out in the snow.” But in the midst of such seasonal jubilation, don’t fall victim to hidden household dangers that lurk beyond the twinkling lights and perfectly wrapped packages. Filing insurance claims due to preventable property damage or theft is sure to put a damper on holiday cheer. Instead, be aware of common seasonal hazards and take proper measures to keep your home safe and your celebration merry, bright, and insurance-claim-free!
Don’t Leave Homeowners Insurance Behind on Life’s Journey
Homes often mirror changes in homeowners’ lives. As families grow or careers takes new paths, homeowners adapt their spaces to accommodate such life events. When they need more space, they make additions or finish basements. And when homeowners found home-based businesses, their homes double as offices.
Avoid Potential Home Dehumidifier Risks
Dehumidifiers can mitigate moist conditions that cause condensation on windows as well as musty smells, mold, and mildew. Mold flourishes in areas above 65% humidity and can cause breathing problems, skin conditions, and other illnesses. Over time, humidity can also wreak havoc on furniture, appliances, fixtures, and structures. Thus, maintaining proper humidity levels is important for healthy, comfortable living — and a dehumidifier is often the go-to small appliance for handling it.
Get Ahead of the Storm: Simple Steps to Winterize Your Home
As the hustle and bustle of the holiday season approaches, it’s easy to get caught up in party planning, shopping, gift wrapping, and home decorating … while forgetting about home winterization. But skipping some simple winter prep steps can lead to high utility bills, costly home repairs, insurance claims, and more. Get your home ready now so you can spend your time and money on the more enjoyable things winter brings.
Maintain Your Sump Pump Today to Avoid Water Damage Tomorrow
Images of Florida, Houston, Puerto Rico, and other hurricane-riddled areas serve as powerful reminders that flooding can wreak devastating havoc on property. While water damage from historic weather events like hurricanes may be impossible to prevent, there are proactive measures homeowners can take to protect their homes from isolated water damage that typical seasonal rainfall or snowmelt can cause. And proper insurance coverage can add an additional layer of protection.