Congratulations to all the new graduates.
Your child just graduates college and is out among the rest of the world looking for work, and moving out on their own to start they next chapter in their life. What a great day for everyone.
A recent 2016 study revealed that only 41% of renters have renters insurance (insurance to not only cover their stuff, but also to protect from a liability situation if they are sued). So the argument is that the graduate just moved out of mom/dads house, and they really don't own anything yet - they have all hand me downs and not worth much. I couldn't agree more, however remember that the proper renters insurance will provide money to replace the items if there is a covered loss.....not just provide what the items are worth.
Also, the personal liability now is their responsibility. Especially with all the social media outlets - liable and slander law suits are far to common place.
Also, what about the car that they are driving?
If the car is titled in only the child's name only, the parents have no insurable interest in the vehicle and therefore parents, you can no longer insure the vehicle. Even if, somehow, your personal auto policy has their car on your policy, you have given the insurance company every right to deny a claim. Parents you might want to remove yourself from the exposure and consider gifting or selling the vehicle to your child and get your name off the title as well as the exposures of an accident your child may have.
What about all the college debit that has been now created?
It might be a good time to discuss a term life insurance policy to safeguard those left behind that would have to pay off the debit should the child die prematurely.
Key thing to remember is that if the children are no longer living at home and independent of their parents - they will need to get their own insurance. They will be tempted to research and buy coverage from one of the many online options. We hope that you, as parents, will explain the value of working with an Independent Insurance Agent that can be on their side and search for the best options for them among a lot of markets.
Welcome to the brave new world of being adult!
I read a recent article in the May 2017 issue of the National Underwriter. It was interesting that while technology is transforming our lives more and more - it is also impacting the vehicles we are driving as well.
Fancy dash boards that resemble jet fighter plane cockpits, self driving cars are just a part of the trends. Don't forget about our portable devices.
Would you even dream of buying a car today if it didn't have blue tooth, or built-in WIFI, or access to your Pandora account, let alone NetFlix for the heads up screens. Don't forget to put in a charging station for my cell phone, tablet or lap top. The heck with mpg, or color of the vehicle, towing capabilities - that type of stuff is very old fashion. Give us the technology - and lots of it.
Well the interesting statistic is that while the number of auto accidents are not going up. In fact, it is in proportion to the increase in number of vehicles on the road. What is going up is the severity of the claims - or the dollars being spent out - because the claims are not cheap.
From the article - the last year the insurance industry collected more premiums vs paid out dollars in claims was 2007. That's right, over 10 years ago. Can you run a business if your expenses continue to outpace the revenue you charge for your service.....for 10 years in a row?
From 2014-16 the data reveals an alarm increase in severity on type of auto losses:
The more alarming statistic in the article - the costs to settle claims, or what increases are impacting insurance. Hospital bills, auto repair parts and labor, attorney fees, etc. Remember that for the same time period, the consumer prices overall rose only 1.7%.
What does all this mean?
The auto insurance industry is forecasting more and more sever claims as we are more and more distracted while we are driving. Tapping the car in front of you at the light used to be that you were only going 5-10 mph, and minor damage with no bodily injury. Now, because we are more and more distracted behind the wheel - we are no longer "tapping" the car in front of us - we are hitting them at 40 mph, and people are getting hurt....badly.
We should NOT be surprised that until there is a way to shut off the technology to keep us focused on the road, auto insurance rates will begin to increase at dramatic rates.
You may have seen reports of a worldwide Ransomware attack currently occurring. This attack is targeting large and small businesses as well as personal email addresses. Anyone receiving a suspicious email is advised not to open any attachment or click any links.
Some signs of suspicious email include:
- You do not recognize the sender or if you know the sender, the message does not look like something they would send
- The subject and or attachment name is vague or confusing
- Spelling or grammar errors
- You are part of many people who have been sent the message
- The message is unexpected or not business related
Earlier this year we discussed Cyber Liability Insurance - for more info, check out our blog:
Homeowners, and commercial property insurance policy ALL have standard exclusion for damage caused by a flood. But even with the exclusion - there is some coverage for damage caused by water.
First - "flood" will be defined as water that travels across the ground and gets into the house under the door, cracks in the foundation, basement window wells, etc. Don't think of rain as the source of the water either. If you live near a retention pond and the pond breaks and water rushes down the street into your house is a flood. Neighbors above ground pool that breaks and not only impacts you but at least 3 other homeowners can be considered a flood loss.
What is type of water damage is covered?
Water line in the house that breaks, water heater collapses, damage to your roof and water leaks in causing damage to your ceiling, or storm knocks out window and rain comes in thru window and causes damage - the insurance will provide coverage for all the damage that has been caused by these examples. In the case of a broken water line - it just won't repair the broken line....that is maintenance.
We strongly encourage families and businesses to consider coverage for Backup of Water (also known as sump pump coverage). If water gets into your home thru the sewer lines or a true sump pump pit, there is coverage that can be purchased to add coverage for an agreed amount of protection. Don't just think of heavy rains as the cause of the water thru the pipes either. We have had claims where the city sewer line collapses and water backs up into several homes causing damage.
But I don't live in a "flood zone" is the normal argument that we get from homes and businesses. Well the fact of the matter is, you probably do live in a "flood zone."
First, flood insurance is controlled by the United State Government - it is the only place that you can get the basic contract. For that reason, if your community has decided to participate in the National Flood Program - ALL properties will be rated into a zone. Property that is closest to water/streams are typically in an "A" zone while homes that are higher up the hill are in an "X" zone.
Next, its not a good contract, but it is the only one available. It will cover your structure at a limit you want. You have to add coverage for contents, but here is the first problem with the flood contract. It doesn't cover any contents in a basement. Here is the kicker....a basement is defined as anything that is below the main elevation level of the house - therefore - sunken living room, crawlspaces, and true basements there would be no coverage for contents.
Last problem with the flood policy is that should you be forced out of your house because of a terrible flood and your home is not habitable - there is no funds within the policy to get you into temporary housing and to cover any additional living expenses. You may say, well my homeowners has coverage for additional living expenses and you would be correct, except the homeowners excludes flood.