THURSDAY, MAY 4, 2017
Having flood insurance can provide significant financial protection after a major event occurs. For those properties located in a high-risk area, the need for this coverage is very valuable. It can help with making repairs to the structure and foundation. It can also cover the loss of permanent fixtures and features.
In addition to this, most flood insurance plans help with the cleanup efforts. This can make it a must-have for many property owners. Cleanups are often very costly.
What Cleanup Does It Cover?
To determine how much cleanup coverage you have, check your flood insurance policy. In most cases, though, it can help to cover the costs related to the following types of cleanup:
- Removal of water from the space (such as pumping or draining)
- Removal of damaged furnishings and permanent structures such as carpeting and flooring
- Removal of soil and other debris located within the structure
- Cleanup costs resulting from the need to replace drywall
- Cleanup and disposal costs related to replacing major appliances. These may include things such as the air conditioner, water heater, or furnace
When a water event like this happens, the damage can be extensive. Water not only gets into the home. Certain features like the drywall and foundation absorb it.
Cleanup generally also includes steps such as mold and mildew eradication. This can be very expensive and hard to do. Flood insurance can offer financial coverage to remove the water and all damaged components of the home. This is often in an effort to reduce the risk of mold growth.
Coverage Specific to Your Policy
Flood cleanup coverage ranges significantly from one policy to the next. It is important for you to work closely with your agent to determine what exclusions apply.
For example, if the flooding is a result of a broken pipe in your home, rather than a weather event, it may not apply. In this case, your home insurance may cover the damage. If the damage results from a sewer line break, cleanup may not have coverage.
Flood insurance is one component of the protection you should have as a property owner. Protecting the value of your home means having a comprehensive plan and set of policies in place.
Insurance Planning Service can help you get the best Michigan flood insurance policy to meet your needs. Call us at (800) 220-5582 for more information.
MONDAY, APRIL 10, 2017
Musical instruments can be used as a hobby, for educational purposes, or used professionally as a source of income. And, they can be expensive and valuable – especially when you own several.
Are musical instruments covered by a standard homeowner or renter’s policy? The answer is “maybe”. It depends on your particular homeowner’s or renter’s policy, the value of your instruments and whether they’re used personally or professionally. Even if they are covered by the homeowner or renter’s policy, the coverage will be the same that applies to your other home furnishings within the same coverage territory, and the same limitations, exclusions and deductible.
Many homeowner insurance companies can add a “floater” or “endorsement” to your home or renter’s policy to specifically insure your instruments and related items for a very reasonable cost. The advantages of having specific insurance on your instruments include:
- They will be specifically listed and identified in your policy, including serial numbers (when available) and the dollar value
- Most musical instrument floaters provide world wide coverage
- There is no deductible. Most homeowner policies now have deductibles of $500 and up
- Coverage can be much broader. There are still exclusions but nowhere near the number of exclusions found in the policy for other contents of your home. The exclusions are things like damage resulting from wear & tear, neglect, mechanical or electrical breakdown, rust, insects, moths or vermin, war, etc.
- By example, a trumpet player can add his/her instruments, mutes, mouth pieces, gig bags – whatever instrument-related
The cost to add this protection will be based on the value of items you want to insure and whether you use them personally or professionally. For items of unusually high value that are used professionally, the homeowner insurance company may prefer they be insured on a commercial policy.
For more information, contact Insurance Planning Service / The Lighthouse Insurance Group at 800-220-5582 or visit us at www.ipsagency.com.
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 29, 2017
More and more people are choosing to go into business for themselves. Unfortunately, statistics show that many startups fail in the first 18 months.
If you are planning to launch a business, take steps to increase your chances of success. Keep the following tips in mind:
Plan for Every Aspect of Your Business
If you don’t plan for your business, then you are essentially planning to fail. A business plan is a critical component that helps you map out your business success. You can also take note of any risks you face.
With business insurance, you can mitigate risks and maximize opportunities. Business experts recommend business owners have a comprehensive business plan for their business.
Focus on Making Money
One of the most common reasons businesses fail is due to the lack of money. If you are launching a business, it’s imperative that you have a steady stream of business income.
To increase your success, increase your clientele before launching the business. You can also diversify your income. With more clients and a diversified income, you’re insulating your business revenues.
Hire Only When Necessary
Many business owners fail to run a tight ship. A feeling of inefficiency causes them to hire too many people in the beginning. When you hire too many people, you're tying up your working capital.
To prevent this, only hire people when you are growing. With a tighter ship, you’ll save money, and you’ll have more control over your business.
Focus on Value, Not Price
Customers are looking for value when it comes to products and services. They don’t want low-quality products at high prices. If you focus on building value into your products and services, your business will grow.
Protect Your Business with Business Insurance
Even with a business plan, you can’t avoid every potential business risk. When you can’t avoid a risk, consider transferring the risk by buying business insurance.
With business insurance, your insurance company bears the risk for you. This protects your business in the end. You should consider commercial property, auto, and general liability insurance for starters. Once you have that, consider industry-specific business insurance options.
You may think the odds of being successful in business are against you,. But, you can do it. Maximize opportunity and reduce the impact of business risks to increase your chances of success.
Insurance Planning Service is here to get you the best form of Michigan business insurance for your startup. If you aren't sure what business insurance you need, give us a call today at (800) 220-5582.
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2017
Your rental home comes with the same personal responsibility as any other property. While you are in the home, you want to make sure that it is safe and sanitary. You also want to make sure the home doesn’t pose a threat to anyone who visits.
It is usually your landlord who makes a home code-compliant and oversees maintenance. However, you are responsible for the home’s day to day safety upkeep. You have a lot of things to consider when making your home's environment safe.
Part of most renters insurance policies is liability coverage. Liability coverage could protect you if you are liable for property damage or injury to another person. If a dog bites your neighbor, the neighbor may sue you to cover their medical bills. If you cause a kitchen fire, your landlord may want you to cover the damages. Liability coverage can sometimes help you in these situations.
Every renter needs to consider investing in liability coverage. If you do so you can protect your assets should you face a liability lawsuit.
As you consider how much renters liability insurance you need, keep these steps in mind:
Know what risks your home faces. Could you potentially cause an accidental fire or other damage? Is your pet a bite risk? If so, you might need higher levels of coverage.
Consider how much you can afford to pay for damages. You might need higher levels of coverage in case an accident would stretch your finances.
Think about the possibility of accidents, how likely are they to occur in your home? Is there a significant fall risk? Could your child or animal inadvertently damage a neighbor’s property?
These considerations can help you get the correct liability coverage in your rental.
You might wonder why you need such high coverage limits. Shouldn’t another person’s insurance help them in case of an incident?
The answer is no, not always. That person’s insurance may not fully cover the damages. The affected person may still seek compensation from you. The good news is that many renters insurance policies can cover your legal costs should you have to go to court.
As you contemplate Michigan renters insurance, know what levels of liability coverage you need. Insurance Planning Service can help you find appropriate levels of renters insurance. You can also call us today at (800) 220-5582 for more information.
MONDAY, JANUARY 23, 2017
Winter is upon us. Cold weather, deep freezes and winter precipitation can often damage car batteries. Batteries die at a higher rate during the winter.
During cold weather, it takes more energy for a car battery to start a car. If the battery has damage or is old, the excessive energy use may cause a battery to die or not function properly.
Battery maintenance should be a priority for every driver. The typical battery lasts around five years, and many can last much longer. The average cost of replacing a car battery is around $200 according to repairpal.com.
Battery replacement can be a very hefty cost. In most cases, your car insurance won’t cover battery replacement due to normal wear and tear or purposeful negligence.
It is your responsibility to make sure that a battery functions properly. Not only will a functioning battery protect your money, it can also protect your car itself. You don’t want a bad battery to put a drain on the rest of your car.
Here are some tips to keep in mind to manage your battery health and make small adjustments.
- Don’t leave on your headlights, radio or other internal electrical systems. Turn them off before turning off the car. If you leave these on, they can drain your battery without your knowledge.
- Make sure that battery cables are not loose. Also ensure that the battery does not leak and has no corrosion.
- Consider keeping your car covered or in a garage. These steps help insulate the engine and the battery and can reduce the effects of cold on batteries.
- If your battery does die, don’t attempt to restart the car multiple times. If the car won’t crank after one or two tries, don’t drain residual power by attempting to restart the car.
- When you have to use jumper cables to restart a car, leave them connected long enough to build up power. Also, many experts recommend that you drive your car for a period of time after jumping it to rebuild power.
- Have your mechanic regularly check your battery’s water levels, insulation and power terminals.
- Batteries are sensitive systems. If you are not a car mechanic, you shouldn’t attempt to replace or fix a battery yourself.
Car batteries have long lives. They cost a large amount to replace. You want to do everything you can to keep your battery properly functioning for as long as possible. Following some of these steps will help you do so.
Insurance Planning Service is here to help you. If you want to learn more about Michigan auto insurance and battery maintenance, visit our auto insurance page on our website. You can also call us at (800) 220-5582.