Is water leakage and flood damage covered by homeowner’s insurance?

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Is water leakage and flood damage covered by homeowner’s insurance?

Water damage claims are the second largest home insurance claim only behind wind and hail damage. Water leakage and flooding, even if a little, can be devastating and cause problems both short-term and long-term. A good idea is to review your policies and learn if you are covered in the event of unwanted water.

Flooding and water damage can happen in many ways such as: 

  • Sudden or Accidental Discharge
  • Sewer backup or water backup 
  • Overflow
  • Flood
  • Storm Related Water Damage

Now the real question is: If any of this happened, will your house be covered?

Sudden or Accidental Discharge

It covers damage to items due to water damage if the incoming water is from sudden or accidental leaks such as a pipe bursting.

It does not cover lack of maintenance. For example, if you have a leaking toilet or washing machine that you never get serviced and the water leaks into the floor or other areas causing damage.

Sewer backup or water backup

Typically, not covered and sewer backup insurance is not automatically included in most standard homeowner policies. You must add it to your policy by endorsement to make sure you're adequately protected. 

Overflow

If a toilet, tub, sink overflows or a dishwasher explodes. The damage to those items, as well as the water damage to home furnishings would be covered by the homeowner’s policy but only if the overflow is caused by sudden or accidental change.

Flood

Flood damage of any kind is not covered by your homeowner’s insurance policy. Separate flood insurance can be purchased and if you live in an area where that may be a concern you will want to talk to your agent about adding it.

Storm Related Water Damage

Homeowners insurance may help cover certain causes of storm damage, including wind, hail and lightning but homeowners insurance does not cover flood damage, whether it's caused by a rain storm or overflowing river. 

Water damage of any kind can be very confusing in terms of what is it isn’t covered by your insurance. Be sure to review your options with your agent on a regular basis so you aren’t caught off guard in the event of leaks and floods. If you are looking for homeowner’s insurance or any water related insurance, give us a call!

What is Life Insurance?

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Purchasing life insurance can be confusing and may not seem worth the hassle and price you pay.  However, most people overestimate the price of life insurance by 2 to 3 times what it will actually cost you.  But the question always remains, “What type of life insurance if right for me?”  Below is a brief description on the 3 most commons types of life insurance that will hopefully give you an introduction into the life-long protection life insurance provides.

Life insurance is a contract between an insurance company and you where upon death they are obligated to provide a payment to your beneficiary in the form in a tax-free lump-sum for the amount detailed by the plan you purchase.

There are many different types of life insurance but there are three mains ones everyone should be familiar with:

  • Term Life Insurance
  • Universal Life Insurance
  • Whole Life Insurance

Term Life Insurance

This plan is designed to provide financial protection over a set period.  It tends to be less expensive and the premium payments stays the same over the course of the plan whether it’s 10 years, 20 years, etc.  The benefit is in that the case of loss of income, financial burdens, etc., a term life plan can help save money while still providing protection.

Universal Life Insurance

A type of long-term, permanent life insurance, a universal life insurance plan is designed to provide last indefinitely and is open to a change in premium rates and coverage amount.  However, due to its lifetime coverage it carries a higher premium price.

Whole Life Insurance

Another type of permanent life insurance, whole life insurance differs from universal because it provides a consistent premium to be met and is protection for the individual until time of death or the age of 100 when the lump-sum payment is paid directly as an endowment.

There are so many different types of life insurance that it is easy to get confused and become unsure of which type is right for you.  If you ever have questions and need help making the right decision give us a call at 614-463-0455.

Insurance Purchasing Tips for Millennials

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Insurance Purchasing Tips for Millennials

You have hit the age where everything has started to pile up all at once. Student loans, rent, car payment, insurance, insurance, insurance. Don’t fret because if you plan smartly and understand the benefits of buying insurance. A good life insurance plan can provide you with protection for the inevitable and provide a long term financial security safety net.

The problem is that the current generation with buying power “millennials” are considered the least insured generation. (According to a survey from the Princeton Survey Research Associates International)

This is due to many factors but most of them lead back to “it’s too expensive.” “I’m healthy, I don’t need it or will ever use it.” Insurance generally costs a lot less than what you are thinking, and renter’s insurance costs alone get overestimated by millennials but more than five times the actual costs.

There are so many things insurance covers that you will never be expecting that it just makes too much sense not to have it. Break-ins, car accidents, etc. You can be prepared for what you can’t predict!

Need help on the best practices for buying insurance? Here are five tips that will start you on a path to long-term protection.

Smart shopping.  While shopping for insurance it is smart to make adequate coverage the top priority. Determine the type and amount of coverage you will need, and what your budget is. (We can always help and are just a phone call away at 614-863-0455) Keep in mind, buying the lowest priced insurance is not always the fiscally smart thing to do. Think of a car accident, you saved $100 per year on your insurance when you purchased it and opted for a $1000 deductible over a $500 one. You get into an accident, your at fault or fault can't be determined and you need to get your car repaired. Would you rather be paying $500 or $1000 to get you car fixed? You must think in terms of what you can afford now for coverage vs. what you can afford if an accident happens.

Discounts.  Once you narrow down what your budget is and how much coverage you need, you can look around for any discounts you may be eligible for. Carriers often offer discounts for paying your policy in full, having a history of safe driving, good grades in school, and bundling your policies together under one carrier. Always ask and start saving.

Fill in the gaps.  Most policies will cover all the basics and while buying online on your own can be quick, easy, and inexpensive, you may need extra coverage to meet your needs. If you have expensive items in your home that would be hard/impossible to replace in case of loss, you can add extra coverage to cover those items.

You aren’t too young to purchase life insurance.  Life insurance is essential for everyone despite how much you think your worth is. For a millennial, it’s cheap to get a good policy due to being younger and healthier. If you have kids and you, or your partner pass, a life insurance policy can help cover funeral arrangements in the short term as well as expensive long-term costs such as child care, and even help pay for your kids college expenses someday. Long-term disability coverage also should be considered in the case of becoming disabled and not being able to work.

Work with independent agents like us.  (See: What is an Independent Insurance Agent) Independent insurance agents are an amazing resource, especially for first time purchasers. We work with numerous carriers, so we can do the shopping for you with multiple companies to ensure you get the best price with the right amount of coverage and not miss any details on what you would need. We have the experience to be able to provide clear understanding to you about the coverage you need, the discounts you are eligible for, and any changes you should be aware of going forward when you need to add or remove coverage.

Insurance can be one of the toughest things to consider and when your young it hard to spend the money and there are many reasons you will tell yourself to not purchase it. Ditch the financial short-sighted benefits of opting against insurance and think about the long-term benefits and protection it provides and be thankful there are many places (Like the Arnold Insurance Agency) are here to help you navigate and work with you to start provided stability for your future. Lean more by visiting us at our website, facebook, twitter, or give us a call 614-863-0455.

Myths About Renters Insurance

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What is Renters Insurance?

Renter’s Insurance is a policy that covers property owned by the renter in the event of loss, theft, fire, and other damages. There are usually multiple levels of coverage you can chose from that provides the best protection. If for some reason the place you’re are renting becomes uninhabitable for a period, your policy may help pay for you to stay elsewhere temporarily.

Items that are covered will be listed in the policy’s text and may be up to the renter to provide phots or proof of ownership to the insurance provider. There may also be liability coverage included to a policy to protect renters in case someone gets injured or someone else’s property is damages while in your property.

Myths:

  • It’s Expensive

If you think of the difference in premium in owning vs. renting. Renters have a big advantage in terms of the amount you pay for insurance. The average premium for homeowner’s insurance is $1000 per year. The average price for a renter’s insurance policy is between $150-$200. That’s only about $15-$30 a month.

  • One tenants policy covers everybody’s stuff

While you items may be covered if you have a roommate with a renters insurance policy. It is usually not guaranteed and not likely. Insurance usually only covers the persons who name appears on the policy. Signing a joint policy is easy to do from your provider and sometimes can mean paying less per person per year.

  • Your possessions aren’t valuable enough to insure

Even if you don’t own a brand new tv, computer, or home gym, you will still have items that warrant insurance. If you add up all your items like kitchenware, clothes, etc. It adds up quickly and would be costly to replace by yourself without the help of renter’s insurance. Always consider the total value of ALL your items and how much it would be to replace, not just your most expensive.

  • Without risk of severe weather, a policy isn’t worth it.

Even if you don’t like in an area where earthquakes and tornados aren’t likely many insurance policies can provide coverage for more likely events such as vandalism, fire, water damage, and burglaries. There are separate policies that cover related events.

  • Landlord’s Insurance Covers Personal Property

The landlord will have his own insurance, but this will cover the building itself not the items in it. This means items that are stolen or damaged inside the property will not fall to the landlord or his coverage to replace. Most landlords will require their tenant to have renter’s insurance policy in place while renting.

  • If you live near water you can’t get insurance

It is true that some carriers won’t provide insurance to a tenant who lives in a costal type area. This is due to wind damage and the possibility of flooding. Best course of action is to research which companies will provide coverage in those area and contact them to see what your options are.

Before buying renters insurance you should talk with your provider to ask any questions you may have and get clarification on what costs and coverages are available. Providers like the ones here at Arnold Insurance Agency have years of experience providing coverage for almost any situation and we guarantee we will do everything to get you the best policy for the best price and help you chose a plan that will give you piece of mind.

The 10 Things You Need to Do After a Car Accident

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In the United States alone there are over 6 million auto accidents each year with 20% of them involving fatal injuries.

If you are unfortunate to be involved in one, make sure you remember these 10 things you need to do to protect yourself and your interests:

1. STOP.

Do not leave the scene of the accident ever. Doing so will result in a “hit and run” violation and it’s 100% illegal and you will face charges from the police.

2. PROTECT THE SCENE.

For your own safety and other drivers passing by you should set up cones/flares if you have them. Always keep your emergency lights on for both cars to alert other drivers to stay away. In the dark you should keep a flashlight on, so you can alert other drivers of your location.

3. CALL THE POLICE.

In almost every situation of an auto accident you should call the police. Even if there is no serous damage or apparent injury this can protect you from the other party making claims against you later.

4. MAKE AN ACCURATE RECORD.

Make sure you tell the police everything that happened as accurate as you can. Do not guess, if you don’t know or don’t remember let the officer know. If you are not 100% sure if you are injured in anyway tell the officer “I’m not sure”. Injuries from car accidents sometimes don’t surface until hours after the accident. Also make sure the other party in the accident is telling the office accurate information as well to protect yourself.

5. TAKE PICTURES. 

The more the better. This will provide accurate detail of the damage of both vehicles and the scene. Be sure to take pictures of any visible injuries you suffered as well.

6. EXCHANGE INFORMATION.

The officer on the scene will take all the relevant information for their records as well but you should always do the same. Information you should take are:

  • Name of the other driver/s
  • Their address
  • Phone number
  • Drivers license #
  • License plate #
  • Their insurance information
  • Witnesses name and phone number in case you need an attorney and they need to contact them.
  • Police report #

7. REPORT THE ACCIDENT.

Let your insurance company know ASAP of any accidents you are involved in whether it be your fault or not. They will be able to help you every step of the way with renting a new car in case yours in undrivable, working with the other persons insurance company to  make sure the claims are filed correctly. Most policies require immediate reporting so do not fail to do so.

8. SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION.

If you or are injured in any way you should seek medical attention immediately whether it involves having an ambulance come to the scene or you go to the hospital right after the police wrap up their report and send you on your way. Often, injuries caused by motor vehicle accidents are not immediately apparent. Even in accidents involving minor impact, you can sustain a serious and permanent injury to your spinal cord. If you lost consciousness or were dazed for even a short period of time following the collision, you may have suffered a concussion or closed head injury. This can cause cognitive and behavioral changes if left untreated.

9. KEEP A FILE.

Keep record of the information on the accident. This will include all the information you took earlier as well as files of the photos you took at the scene.

10. PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS.

The most important thing you can do after an accident is contact an attorney. They can protect your rights and make sure all the evidence is collected and protected. Sometimes insurance companies will want official statements from you about the accident but consulting with an attorney first can provide the legal advice necessary, so you don’t make mistakes or incriminate yourself. Your attorney can advise you on issues ranging from how to make sure you are fully compensated for your vehicle to how to make sure you are getting the best medical treatment available. Personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, which means there is no legal fee unless the attorney recovers compensation for your injuries.

6 Types of Risks for ANY Construction Job

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It’s hard to find a profession in the world as complex and unique as construction and contracting jobs. The same can be said for the risks you face every day. While thinking about it can be overwhelming and cause you to lose sleep, there are numerous ways to counter and prepare. (Partnering with Arnold Insurance Agency for your insurance needs and help to evaluate your risks is a great start) Here is a list of 6 types of risks that every contractor needs to be aware of.

Occupational Risks:

  • Injury (fatal and non-fatal) that could be attributed to:
    • Worker behavior
    • Improper methods utilized
    • Technology used
    • Weather-related incidents

Financial Risks:

  • Increase in supply costs
  • Unmanaged growth
  • Lacking sales
  • Interest rate increases
  • Universal economic problems

Contractual Risks:

  • Financial penalties from not completing a job on time.
  • Risk to company’s reputation for breach of contract.

Project Risks:

  • Inadequate project management practices
  • Company policies that are below standard and lacking applications of such policies,
  • Error in determining the amount of time needed or the resources required for a job.

Natural Risks:

Any natural occurring event that can slow down work at any rate such as:

  • Rain
  • Floods
  • Snow
  • Ice
  • Earthquakes
  • Etc.

Competitive Risks:

  • Losing a job to another company
  • Straining your resources and profit margin to ensure a lower bid over another company
  • Losing talented workers to someone else due to:
    • Income
    • Benefits
    • Quality of life
    • Better training and growth opportunities, etc.

Managing and preparing risk seems like a full time job, but with proper help from The Arnold Insurance Agency, OSHA, and others, you can develop a strategy that keeps your workers safe, jobs operating on budget and on schedule, and ensures the growth and future of your organization. If you have any other examples of risk please leave a comment below.

 

How to prepare your home in case of a fire.

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Prepare your family in case of a fire

June is National Safety Month and at the Arnold Insurance Agency we take your safety very seriously. This week's theme is Emergency Preparedness and the importance of creating a home emergency plan for you and your family. Here are some helpful safety tips to help your home be prepared in case of a fire:

  • Install the right number of smoke alarms. Test them once a month and replace the batteries at least once a year.
  • Teach children what smoke alarms sound like and what to do when they hear one.

  • Ensure that all household members know two ways to escape from every room of your home and know the family meeting spot outside of your home.

  • Establish a family emergency communications plan and ensure that all household members know who to contact if they cannot find one another.

  • Practice escaping from your home at least twice a year. Press the smoke alarm test button or yell “Fire“ to alert everyone that they must get out.

  • Make sure everyone knows how to call 9-1-1.

  • Teach household members to STOP, DROP and ROLL if their clothes should catch on fire.

It's very easy to panic during an emergency; being mentally and physically prepared may help to minimize that feeling of panic and enable you to keep your family calm. An emergency preparedness plan should include a disaster supply kit, as well as any emergency essentials. Emergency preparedness supplies should also be arranged and easily accessible. For additional information on best practices for an emergency escape plan visit https://www.ready.gov/make-a-plan

When should you file an insurance claim in an auto accident?

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Have you been in an auto accident?

Has there ever been a time you were involved in a minor car accident and thought about whether you should report it to your insurance company or just pay out of pocket? A lot of people have, this is because of the fear that filing a claim will automatically raise their insurance rates no matter what. Many think that just coming to a settlement with the other driver and not getting the insurance companies involved makes everything go away but what if the other driver claims an injury later on or, if the damage to their vehicle is more extensive that what they originally thought? You could still be eligible for legal action taken against you. 

To prepare for a possible claim against you, provide the other driver with your insurance information, call the police, and report the incident to your insurance company. This is because the insurance company can help you pay for any legal defense you may need as well as, help pay for property damage or injuries to others. This also protects you from the insurance company being able to deny coverage.

There are only a few instances where not filing a claim due to an accident makes sense and those are usually when it is just a single car accident and no one’s property but that of the person causing the accident is damaged. For instance, you are backing out of your driveway and hitting the mail box.

Another good tip for any car accident is to always take multiple photos of your cars damage and the other drivers before leaving the scene of the accident. This will help protect you in the case the other driver claims something different that actually happened in the accident.

To make sure you always have the right coverage and an expert who can walk you through any insurance claim when they happen. Call The Arnold Insurance Agency. 614-863-0455

What is Umbrella Insurance?

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Umbrella insurance

Also known as personal excess liability covers gives you extra protection against lawsuits and claims made against you that exceed what your normal policy covers.

For example, say you are in an accident and you must pay $500,000 in bodily injuries to the other party but your bodily injury limit only covers $200,000.  Where does the other $300,000 you owe come from?  Well this in effect is the beauty of having an umbrella insurance policy because it will cover the remaining $300k. 

So what does Umbrella Insurance cover?

What's covered under umbrella insurance:

  • Bodily injury
  • Personal injury
  • Property damage
  • Landlord liability

What typically isn't covered under umbrella:

  • Personal belongings
  • What's Covered
  • Intentional or criminal acts or omissions
  • Written or oral contracts

Who should have it?

Generally, anyone who has 1 million or more in net worth should always have an umbrella policy because the minimum amount sold on a policy is $1 million. However, it might make sense for someone who falls below that number to purchase it.

Arnold Insurance Agency can answer any questions about personal umbrella policies, so you can decide whether having additional liability coverage makes sense for you. Give us a call today at 614-863-0455 or toll free at 1800-345-BOND. 

 

What you need to know about OSHA's Electronic Reporting Rule

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OSHA's Electronic Reporting Rule

What is it?

OSHA is taking information that employers are already required to collect and using these data to help keep workers safer and make employers, the public, and the government better informed about workplace hazards. Releasing the data in standard, open formats will:

  • Encourage employers to increase their efforts to prevent worker injuries and illnesses, and, compelled by their competitive spirit, to race to the top in terms of worker safety.
  • Enable researchers to examine these data in innovative ways that may help employers make their workplaces safer and healthier and may also help to identify new workplace safety hazards before they become widespread.

https://www.osha.gov/recordkeeping/finalrule/index.html

Who needs to report and how?

  • Organizations that are already required to create and maintain OSHA injury and illness records and have 250 or more employees. Forms, 300A, 300, 301
  • Have between 20 and 249 employees and belong to a high-risk industry , Forms 300A
  • Receive a specific request from OSHA to create, maintain and submit electronic records, even if they would otherwise be exempt from OSHA record keeping requirements.

Who doesn't need to report?

Organization who have under under 20 employees guidelines are as of now, not required to report to OSHA at the July 1st deadline. But be sure to keep up to date with all OSHA updates because they change all the time. https://www.osha.gov/

Be sure to follow Arnold Insurance on social media for updates on future OSHA requirements and other safety tips throughout the year! Facebook, Twitter

What is an Independent Insurance Agent???

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What is an independent insurance agent?

The first thing to consider is that they are not just an "salesperson" trying to sell you an expensive policy but more of a producer who represents the insurance companies and works with you to guarantee that you are getting the best available option in terms of coverage at the right price. Think of them as a personal shopper who goes out to the store and picks out the groceries (policies and coverage's) that fits your budget and your needs. 

They are trained and licensed experts:

Our agent have years of experience working to understand the complexities of the insurance industry so that they are able to explain to you what you are purchasing is easy to understand terms. This knowledge also gives them to ability to know exactly what to look for in getting you the best policy that fits your needs. 

They create a one-stop shop:

By now we know that our agents can shop dozens of policies across dozens of companies all at once for you to guarantee you are getting the best option available, but did you know they can take care of all your insurance needs all at once as well? If you own a small business, you can secure commercial insurance coverage from Arnold Insurance Agency along with insuring your car and home too!

They are with you every step of the way: 

While you can buy insurance online yourself, too many people either buy too much coverage or not enough while paying way too much. Having an agent walk you through a tailored policy ensures that you have the right coverage and do the work for you in finding the right price. When the unexpected happens and you need to file a claim or need to change your coverage, your agent can be your advocate, working with the insurance company on your behalf.

Independent insurance agents save you time, save you money and build a relationship with you that can last a life time to ensure you always have peace of mind while buying the best policies. Arnold Insurances goal is to protect you and your family from those unexpected events by finding the right coverage at an affordable rate. Give us a call today!