What Flood Insurance Does And Does Not Do

Insurance can be a confusing, somewhat mysterious thing to buy.  It’s an expensive purchase, but often people don’t actually know what they are and are not paying for.  Especially with lesser-known areas of insurance like flood insurance.

If you’ve never experienced in a flood and don’t live in a flood-prone area you might think you don’t need it.  It sounds like an unnecessary cost.  However, that’s when you’re the most vulnerable.  An unexpected flood without insurance can be incredibly costly.  Just 1 inch of flooding is said to cause up to $25,000 in damage.

What does flood insurance cover?

Essential systems of your home:

  • Electrical
  • Plumbing
  • Furnaces
  • Water Heaters
  • Central Air Conditioning Units
  • Heat pumps
  • Sump pumps
  • Fuel tanks
  • Water tanks
  • Solar energy equiptment

Appliances:

  • Refrigerators
  • ranges
  • dishwashers
  • washing machine
  • drying machine
  • Window air conditioning units (usually)
  • freezers
  • the food in your fridge or freezer

Carpeting:

  • permanently installed carpeting

Personal property:

Personal property is only covered if it’s not stored in the basement.  This includes

  • Electronics
  • Clothes
  • Furniture

The Structure of the House

  • Walls
  • Anchorage systems
  • staircases

So what’s not covered?

Basically, most things that weren’t left in places that are high risk are covered.  However, there are a number of caveats and exceptions.

  • Art and other luxuries are only insured up to $2,500.
  • Damage caused by the earthmoving, even if the earth moved because of the flood it still won’t be covered.
  • Damage caused by non-flood related water damage
  • Mold/mildew damage
  • Time lost
  • Money lost for business having to close
  • Anything stored outside the home
  • Money, stock certificates, jewelry

So although there are some limitations, Flood insurance really covers quite a lot.  It can cost as little as $700 a year to insure against a risk that can be incredibly costly.

If you need to insure your home contact us today.

Top Summer Insurance Considerations

man holding an insurance contract with a pen to signWith the summer officially started it is time to bask in summer activities we have been waiting for all summer long. From relaxing in a pool to having fun on your trampoline or taking your boat out for the day, there are a bunch of activities that you can have insurance policies on for extra protection. No matter what time of the year it is, it is always better to be safe than sorry and to have a layer of protection on your side in the event of any accident that may happen. Below are a couple of common insurance needs that tend to come up during the summer months.

Common Insurance Needs in the Summer

Renters & Homeowners Insurance

Whether you have either renters or homeowners insurance, you will have a peace of mind that your belongings will be protected. If you are on vacation during the summer and your possessions are damaged or stolen from your house or car, having these insurance policies will cover you. Keep in mind that while these policies should cover you in these events, they may not cover for the full value amount of your items. This is why you should look at special policies that cover the full value of special items such as jewelry, furs, and antiques. You will usually find these special policies as floaters or insurance riders.

Pools

Pools are the number one way to get away from the heat in the summer where you can relax cool off by the water. However, they are the cause of many injuries and sometimes death during these warm months. With the known risk of having a pool, homeowners should expect your homeowners’ insurance will rise when you add a pool to your property. The great thing is that there are a ton of policies out there to cover pools so it will be easy to find insurance for it.  While most homeowners policies cover pools and hot tubs, be sure to read over yours in the event you have to find a policy for your pool on the side. One route you can take is if you grab an umbrella insurance policy to encompasses anything your regular insurance policy may not cover which in this case could be pools and hot tubs.

Trampolines

Like with pools, trampolines are categorized as attractive nuisances and homeowners will need to get extra protection if they plan on having a trampoline. The big difference between pools and trampolines is that injuries caused by trampolines are more frequent to happen which is why some insurers refuse to cover them. If they do, then you can expect to pay higher rates because of the high injury frequency. If anything, a standard umbrella policy should help you cover a trampoline.

Boats

As anyone knows, owning a boat is a huge investment as there are a lot of expenses that come with these luxury items such as gas and getting licenses. Another thing to keep in mind is the cost of repairs as well as making sure you and the boat are protected from injuries and damage. Sometimes, a standard homeowners policy will cover boats but not all of the time. This is why we recommend you look for an insurer that offers boat insurance as this policy specifically covers you and your boat from any injury or event you can think of.

 

 

Everything You Need To Know About Car Insurance & The Winter

Aside from cold weather and snow, the winter usually comes with an increase in motor collisions on the road. This is especially true for those living in New England as the winters can get pretty harsh. After purchasing a car, you will want to buy a car or auto insurance to protect you and your vehicle from any future incidents. However, every insurance policy is different and covers different types of incidents so you should read up on your policy before you drive in the snow this winter. We have laid out some common situations that could occur while you drive in the winter and how having car insurance can help you save money.

If Roads Are Closed

With New England known for their bad winters, there are going to be points where roads will be closed due to bad weather conditions. If this is the case, just stay home and wait until the weather gets better and the roads are cleared. Not only is it dangerous, but insurance companies may have grounds to deny any claim you can file due to an accident. An example is if you drive still after roads are declared closed, the insurance company can say you were committing “contributory negligence.” While this probably won’t happen, it is good to keep in mind that due to certain instances, a claim could be denied so it is better to be safe than sorry.

A Tree Damages Your Car

Far too often we hear of stories of people being denied claims because insurance companies not having to cover for natural occurrences. If you are wary of this, then you might want to see if your insurance agency offers comprehensive insurance. This is an additional policy that goes with your car insurance that covers damages to your car that is out of your control. This usually includes falling trees, baseballs hitting your car if you drive by a game, hail, etc.

You Skid & Hit a Building or Car 

More often than not, accidents in the winter usually consist of a car skidding on ice and then crashing into a building or parked car. The good thing is that if this happens then your property damage liability insurance will take care of it. Since property damage liability is mandatory in every state, as long as you have car insurance you won’t have to worry about paying for any damage costs.

A Car Skids Into Your Parked Car

If this situation happens to you and you are not around to talk with the person who hit your car then you have a couple of options. The first is to file a claim against that person’s property damage liability insurance. The second, if you have collision insurance, is to file a claim through that but the only downside is that your rates may go up. This is why we recommend filing through property damage liability insurance.

You Skid On Ice and Injure Yourself

If you encounter a situation where you skid on ice and are harmed by the snow that caused the accident then you will be covered by either personal injury protection or your health insurance. Personal injury protection (PIP) is a coverage, mandatory in 15 states, that takes care of injury costs from a car accident no matter who is at fault. With a standard car insurance policy, and depending on where you live, you may not be covered for your injuries. Knowing this, you should talk to your insurance agency to see if they provide PIP and have it added on to your overall coverage.

If you have any questions about car insurance or would like to know about our other insurance policies, then contact us today!

5 Reasons You Need Car Insurance

It’s easy to take advantage of how much we depend on our vehicles. Being without one for more than a day seems like an unthinkable event in some situations. Protect your car as you would your home and purchase adequate car insurance. In order to drive your vehicle, it’s required that you have car insurance in the first place, but understanding the reasons for needing it will put you at ease when you go to pay that premium every month.

The first reason to purchase car insurance is to help save money in the long run. Auto accidents are frequent and expensive. You can hope that you are never involved in one, and hopefully, you would be right. However, insurance can help cover a lot of those expenses should you become involved in an accident. Property damage and personal injury can be extensive and the type of policy you have dictates how much you will be responsible for paying. The better your insurance, the lower your deductible, the more money you save. Your insurance agency can help you navigate all of the options and the costs associated with them.

An insurance agency is no stranger to processing claims and has most likely seen countless different situations. No matter what has happened, your agent will be able to walk you through the process and keep you informed about the next steps. They will take over coordinating coverage amounts with the other driver’s insurance agency, help you find a repair shop, and even walk you through what to do if the other driver is uninsured. It’s almost a no-brainer. Simply having someone there to walk you through the process will be invaluable should an unfortunate accident occur.

It’s not a guarantee that every single driver on the road has the correct or adequate insurance coverage if they even have it at all. Making sure you are covered with your own auto insurance will provide a piece of mind no matter what happens out on the road. The only thing you can control is your driving. Insurance helps cover the consequences of the unpredictability of the road.

If you are in an accident, hopefully, the only thing that sustains damage is the vehicle. Should it be more serious, your car may not be the only thing auto insurance covers. If you don’t have health insurance, if it is inadequate, or if they won’t cover certain medical expenses, your auto insurance may be able to help out. Personal injury directly sustained from an accident may qualify for compensation or reimbursement. Talk to your insurance agent about what personal injury coverage options are available and if they are required by your state.

You can be caught in a worse situation if you decide to drive without insurance. Getting pulled over or in an accident without coverage can result in astronomical unplanned expenses. On top of those, there could be punitive fines. You could also risk losing your driver’s license.

Top 5 Reasons To Purchase Flood Insurance

flooded living roomHome ownership can be very rewarding. While no one really wants to think about home insurance it can be one of the best preemptive strikes to protecting your investments, your home arguably being one of the most important. Whether or not you live in a floodplain area, you may be able to purchase flood insurance. Flood insurance services are provided under federal backing through the National Flood Insurance Program or NFIP for short. Those who choose to purchase flood insurance through this program do so in exchange for steps taken to try and reduce damages caused by floods in their communities. The following points are some of the best reasons to purchase flood insurance.

  1. Benefits received from the NFIP are fully yours to use in flood damage recovery. You don’t have to pay back what you receive from the program, nor do you have to worry about your insurance premiums increasing should you have to make a claim against your policy.
  2. Basement coverage includes the most expensive things that make your household functional. It can be stressful under normal circumstances when major home appliances like your washer or your furnace break down which is cause for repair or replacement. During an emotionally elevated time, it can be even more so. Flood insurance can provide some peace of mind by covering things like laundry machines, furnaces, pumps, freezers, and utility connections.
  3. You don’t have to worry about waiting for what feels like ages to receive claim payment. Under this particular type of insurance policy, you have the capability to request a partial advance on your benefit payment. In other words, as soon as the flood subsides you can get some money right away to help get repair and recovery jumpstarted. This can make a huge difference in getting back to normalcy more quickly.
  4. You can feel confident in knowing that assistance will be paid to you. A lot of insurance policies may have you worried about whether or not you will actually get reimbursed for the necessary expenses of recovery. The NFIP is federally backed. You will get reimbursed. The President doesn’t even have to declare a state of emergency for the flood insurance to be utilized.
  5. Don’t own a home? No problem. If you rent you are able to purchase renter’s insurance through the NFIP as well. Whether you are renting your home or apartment or a business space you can have your personal belongings covered by the policy.

One caveat of purchasing flood insurance with the NFIP is to do so in a timely manner. Plan ahead and make sure you have a general idea of when flood season starts (if you live in such an area) as you must wait 30 days before coverage kicks in. A second caveat is that your community must be a participant in the program in order for you to buy insurance through them. Not sure if your community participates? You can find out for sure by going to the Community Status Book. Talking with your insurance agency about your options can provide peace of mind in the present and in the future.

Benefits Of Getting Wedding Insurance

bride and groom making a heart with their handsSummer is going strong and so is the wedding season with pictures appearing left and right. If you are looking to get married then you and your significant other should consider purchasing wedding insurance. Wedding insurance is a form of coverage that is to protect them from unforeseen issues that may create problems for your special day. The main coverage of wedding insurance falls under is event cancellation coverage, which reimburses policyholders for financial losses in case that the event under coverage is canceled or postponed. However, a wedding insurance policy does not just cover cancellations or postponements. There are a number of benefits to getting wedding insurance. Below are the most popular benefits that come with most insurance policies for weddings.

Extra Expenses

When it comes to having to cancel or postpone a wedding due to unforeseen circumstances, a cheaper route would be to paying more for an alternative. Whether this is finding a different vendor, buying replacement items, or making a whole set of new plans altogether. Getting wedding insurance helps reimburse you for the cost of these extra expenses if these types of situations were to arise.

Photographs & Video

With wedding insurance that has coverage for photos and videos, you are simply getting financial reimbursement for any payments you made to the photographer/videographer in unforeseen situations. This may include the person not showing up, or the film/negatives get damaged before your receive copies, or even the vendor not loading the film.

Event Gifts, Special Jewelry & Special Attire

When it comes to gifts and jewelry being stolen, most policy carriers will tell you to report to the police to make a claim. However, this part of wedding insurance covers items that are damaged or lost and depending on the contract there could be different stipulations for each case. If you claim there was damage due to weather then it would have had to have happened during the event, not prior to or after the wedding. If you have special attire that has been damaged then you will get reimbursed for that damage but the amount of reimbursement depends on whether or not the damage occurred prior to or during the wedding.

Professional Counseling Coverage

When it comes to different carriers, you could have wedding insurance that covers professional counseling. The coverage, however, would be for financial costs should the emotional stress of a canceled or postponed wedding push one of the policyholders to seek professional counseling for up to a year. This part of wedding insurance is a tricky aspect as for what it covers, as it could overlap with health insurance coverage for mental health. So when looking at different wedding insurance policies you should ask the insurance company if there is professional counseling coverage if you were to buy wedding insurance.

If you are interested in purchasing wedding insurance or other types of insurance, contact John J. Walsh Insurance today!

Benefit of Having Boat/Yacht Insurance This Summer

boat in the oceanIt’s that time of year again when boats are on the water and folks are in high spirits because of the warm summer season. Before you go out to play on the water, it is wise to get boat insurance. Boat/yacht insurance is a policy that offers boater coverage and protection against damages, liability, and collision, and also provides you with the peace of mind that you need when boating. Let’s look at how a boat/yacht insurance policy can be beneficial for a boater this summer.

Flexible Coverage

With boat insurance, you don’t have to settle for limited coverage; instead, you have the flexibility to compare liability limits and deductibles, and you have the freedom to add additional coverages to a policy. A boat owner could start with specific liability limits but have the option to later increase that limit significantly. Under an umbrella policy, a boater has the ability to purchase additional liability for their boat that is higher than the traditional policy.

Covers Property Damage

An accident can result in costly damage to your boat/yacht, and having boat insurance is a convenient way of being prepared to address the damage done to your property, or damaged caused to someone else’s boat or a dock. A boating accident can average $10,000 worth of property damage, and a boat insurance policy is ideal for taking care of the cost associated with transporting the boat and repairing the boat itself.

Protects Against Physical Injuries to Yourself & Others

With boating accidents come the potential for injuries to self and others, and in 2016, there were more than 2,900 reported boating injuries. Boat insurance can provide medical payments coverage to help with the costs of watercraft-related injuries, that requires hospitalization and treatment.

Provides Liability Coverage

If you are involved in a boating accident, you could find yourself deemed at fault and this is when liability insurance comes in handy to help cover the damages. Boat accidents can be costly to the point where you could be responsible for the full amount of liability coverage. With a boat insurance liability coverage, you could ease your worry if at fault in a boat accident.

Like home or car insurance, boat insurance is very important because it provides liability protection, cover damages, protects against injuries, is flexible and provides the peace of mind that you need when you are boating this summer. If you are interested in boat insurance, or any other insurance services we cover, contact us today!