5 Reasons to Get Renter’s Insurance Even if you Don’t Own Much

5 Reasons to Get Renter’s Insurance Even if you Don’t Own Much

5 Reasons to Get Renter’s Insurance even if you don’t own much.

If you’re renting a home or apartment, you’ll need an insurance policy to cover your belongings.  Your landlord’s property insurance policy only covers losses to the building itself.  Renter’s insurance is the only way to cover your personal property and certain liabilities.

95% of homeowners have a homeowner’s insurance policy while a mere 37% of renters have renter’s insurance.  Many people incorrectly assume they are covered by their landlord’s policy. Others simply underestimate the value of their belongings; once you start adding up your electronics, clothing, and furniture alone, it quickly adds up to thousands of dollars.

Even if you think you don’t need insurance, here are five great reasons why you should get a renter’s insurance policy today.

1. It’s affordable

The average renter’s insurance policy costs $15 a month; that’s about as much as you pay for a Spotify or Netflix subscription.   Your actual cost will depend on how much coverage you need and the type of coverage you choose; either way it’s pretty cheap.

2. It covers losses to personal property

Personal property like clothes, smaller pieces of jewelry, luggage, computers, electronics and furniture are all covered.  It will also cover your personal belongings, whether they’re in your home, car or with you while you travel.  There are limitations when your personal property is away from your house but it’s better than not being covered.

3. It covers loss to personal property from perils besides just theft, including:

  • Explosion
  • Falling objects
  • Fire or lightning
  • Riot or civil commotion
  • Smoke
  • Vandalism
  • Water damage
  • Windstorm or hail
  • Damage cause by aircraft or vehicles

4. It provides liability coverage

This provides protection if someone is injured while in your home or if you accidentally hurt anyone anywhere in the world.  Also, if your playful child accidentally hurts another child, it’ll be covered.  It will pay court judgments and legal expenses too up to the policy limit.

5. It covers your additional living expenses if there’s a claim

So say one of your knucklehead neighbors causes a fire that damages your apartment or home that you rent.  What if it’s damaged so badly that you can’t live there while the damage is being repaired?  There’s coverage in a renters policy that will cover you to go live somewhere else while your place is being rebuilt or repaired.

As you can see, renter’s insurance covers a lot more than just your belongings being stolen from your house or apartment.  It’s definitely worth it.

AZ Insurance Team | 480-535-5709https://www.azinsuranceteam.com/

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Texting and Driving is about to be illegal in Arizona.

Texting and Driving is about to be illegal in Arizona.

Let’s face it, texting and driving is a real problem and nearly everyone does it.  If you’re not texting, you’re changing the music on your playlist, switching podcasts, or checking the score on the game.  Either way, your eyes aren’t on the road while you’re driving a 2 ton vehicle down a neighborhood street where kids are playing or on the freeway with stop and go traffic.  For those of you responsible enough to not let any of these distractions into your driving habits, we say “thank you”.

Distracted driving is not only dangerous, it’s also costly.  Since 2011, the average auto insurance premium has increased 16 percent to $926.  Insurance companies say the large spike is partly caused by more drivers distracted on their smartphones and getting into collisions.

Last year, more than 40,000 people died on the road, which is up 14 percent since 2015.  This is the steepest rise in 53 years.  These aren’t just teenagers causing accidents; State Farm says that 36 percent of all drivers text and drive – we tend to think it’s a lot more.

In an effort to combat collisions caused by distracted driving, Arizona lawmakers approved the first ban on texting while driving in April.  The bill forbids all drivers under the age of 18 from using any wireless device while they hold a learner’s permit and extends into the first six months of their license.   The hope is to develop good habits in new drivers.

If Governor Doug Ducey signs the bill for newly licensed drivers, it will take effect July 1st of 2018.  Some Arizona lawmakers fear this texting ban is a gateway to making it illegal for everyone statewide, while others encourage such a law.

Either way, distracted driving is extremely dangerous and is going to make your insurance cost more, year after year.  Whether it’s illegal or not yet, don’t do it!  Just remind yourself “it can wait”.

-AZ Insurance Team

https://www.azinsuranceteam.com/

3 Ways to Avoid 1,600 Wrong-Way Drivers in Arizona.

3 Ways to Avoid 1,600 Wrong-Way Drivers in Arizona.

The Arizona Department of Public Safety received more than 1,600 reports of a wrong-way driver in 2016.

Raul Garcia, public information officer for the Arizona Department of Public Safety, said “A very small percentage of that 1,600 has resulted in a crash, and in many instances, these people reorient themselves or get to where they are going and exit the highway.”

However, 27 of those incidents have had serious injury or death and more than 100 of the involved drivers were arrested with suspicion of impairment.

So, what can be done to stop or help prevent future accidents involving wrong-way drivers?

The Arizona Department of Transportation is planning to test a prototype wrong-way detection system along a 4 mile stretch of Interstate 17.  They will use existing in-pavement sensors to detect and alert state troopers of wrong-way drivers. Read more about this plan here.

There are a few things you can do to avoid wrong-way drivers too.

  • Avoid driving in the fast lane at night, because wrong-way drivers believe it is the slow lane.
  • Avoid driving late at night (past midnight i.e.) and on weekends when more drunk drivers are on the road
  • Take public transportation where available.

If you do see a wrong-way driver, slow down and get to the shoulder.  Once you’re able to safely come to a stop, call 9-1-1.  You can also sound your horn and flash your lights as a way to alert the wrong-way driver.

There are no significant differences between Arizona’s figures and national figures on wrong-way crashes, but every preventable crash and life that can be saved is worth the extra effort.

-AZ Insurance Team

*This photo provided by the Arizona Department of Public Safety shows the mangled remains of cars

If your car is broken into, what’s actually covered?

If your car is broken into, what’s actually covered?

Imagine this, you’re running out the door in the morning to get to work and find that your car has been broken into.  Someone smashed your window, stole your laptop, radio and gifts for your mom.  Your personal space has been invaded by a stranger and your belongings taken.

You can make a claim on your auto insurance policy to have the damages fixed as soon as possible, but what items are actually covered by your auto insurance?

Break-ins usually occur when a burglar spots valuable items inside a vehicle.  Some common items that are stolen include:

  • Car stereos
  • Cell phones
  • Laptops
  • Small Electronics
  • Purses or Wallets

With most insurance policies, damages due to theft will be covered under Comprehensive coverage.  Check your auto policy to see if you have Comprehensive coverage if you’re the victim of a break-in.

Of the items listed above, usually only the car stereo would be covered by your auto insurance policy, but even that’s not always guaranteed.  If your stereo is detachable, it’s not considered a permanent and attached item to your vehicle.

Well, you’re not out of luck yet.  If you have homeowners or renters insurance, the items stolen from your vehicle are likely covered.  You’ll need to file a police report and pay your deductible to make a theft-related insurance claim.

If you don’t already have homeowners or renter’s insurance, definitely consider it; especially if you ever leave pricey or priceless possessions in your car.

-AZ INSURANCE TEAM

Get a free homeowners or renters insurance quote now! https://www.azinsuranceteam.com/property-quote.html

 

What to do if you’re the victim of a Hit and Run

What to do if you’re the victim of a Hit and Run

Getting in a car accident can be a traumatic event on its own, but to add to the chaos the other person involved in the wreck flees the scene.  This crime is commonly known as a “hit and run”, which can be characterized as either a misdemeanor or felony in the United States.

Just imagine, you’re standing next to your busted up car and there’s no one there to point the finger at, what do you do?  Luckily, in many cases whoever flees the scene is more or less automatically regarded as being at fault.

However, when it comes time to file a claim with your insurance company, you’re going to want proof.

  • Immediately following the hit and run, talk to any nearby witnesses and collect as many details as possible about the driver description, vehicle make, model, year, color, license plate and what actually happened.
  • Take plenty of photos and get copies of any surveillance footage that may have captured the accident. With help from the police, you may be able to identify the other driver.
  • Don’t forget to call your insurance company right away; typically you must report the incident to your insurance company within 24 hours of the incident.
  • If you are able to identify the other driver, your insurance company will be able to file a claim against the third party insurance company; If not you’ll have to file a claim against your own insurance plan, which can result in a denied claim or higher future premiums.

For those that live in a state with traditional liability and carry underinsured or uninsured driver insurance you should be covered for your bodily injuries up to the limit of your policy.  If you don’t have UIM coverage as part of your policy, you’re likely going to have a difficult time recovering damages for your injuries.

Also, if you have collision coverage, you will have to pay the deductible in order for your car to be repaired or replaced.  If you do not have collision coverage, your car will not be repaired or replaced.

Being the victim of a hit and run driver can be an upsetting experience, remember to keep your calm and collect as much information about the accident from passerby’s and Closed Circuit TV’s (CCTV).  The more evidence you can acquire, the easier time you’ll have later on with your insurance claim.

-AZ Insurance Team

Visit www.azinsuranceteam.com for more info and to get a free quote!

 

Explaining Insurance Deductibles

Explaining Insurance Deductibles

The deductible is the amount the insured pays out-of-pocket for towards any damages or loss before their insurance company starts to pay for the claim.  This can be either a percentage of the total amount of insurance or a specific dollar amount.

For example, if you have a $1000 deductible on your auto insurance and you get into a car accident with $3000 worth of damage to your vehicle, you will pay that $1000 and your insurance will cover the rest.  The process is the same for homeowners’ insurance claims.

With that being said, it may seem that choosing a lower deductible is the optimal decision as you will be paying less out-of-pocket if you file claim.  However, a lower deductible general means you’ll be paying more on your monthly insurance payments.  So if you’re a safe driver who almost never gets into accidents, a higher deductible could be the better option.  It’s estimated that raising your deductible from $500 to $1000 can save up to 30% on your yearly insurance expense.Of course, the most important thing to consider is that you can afford to pay the deductible you decide on.

How Much Life Insurance Is Enough?

How Much Life Insurance Is Enough?

It’s impossible to know the exact amount of life insurance you should purchase, but you can make a reasonable estimate based on several different factors regarding your financial situation and what your loved ones will need in the years following your passing.

There are many rules of thumb and life insurance calculators out there that are beneficial, but the truth is that different situations call for more detailed analysis and that “8-10 times your salary” is not sufficient for everyone.  The purpose of life insurance is to allow your loved ones to continue a certain standard of living even after your death.  This can relate to several different factors and it’s best to speak with an agent to determine how much would be best for you, but to start, some important things to consider include:

Sum of debts:  This can include your mortgage, credit card balances, student loan balances, car loans, and whatever other debts you would be leaving behind.

Education expenses:  This is related the amount that will be necessary to put your children through school at the time they will enroll.  It’s important to note that higher education becomes increasingly more expensive as time goes by.  Also, if your surviving spouse would like to complete a college education, you could also set aside some money for that purpose.

Funeral expenses:  In 2016, the average cost of a funeral and related expenses was between $7,000 and $10,000.

Income replacement:  This accounts for the loss of income related to your passing.  This is listed after the previous considerations as once the sum of debts, education expenses, and funeral expenses are covered your dependents will not necessarily need to replace 100% of your income.  Of course, it also important to consider how many years of your income you’d like to leave behind.

Again, the amount of life insurance you need is an extremely complicated subject and the considerations above are only a starting point.  The amount you need changes throughout your life as changes happen and speaking with a professional about your situation is the best way to make sure you’re fully covered at all stages of life.