Tag Archives: renters insurance

swimming pool 2

The weather has been great, you are getting back in to swimsuit shape, and your backyard pool is beckoning. You are thinking about barbecues, pool parties, and enjoying a nice water-centric summer season. Of course, something like a swimming pool can have become a liability issue.

First off, be sure your insurance company knows you have a pool if you do. Not listing it on your homeowners policy will probably result in a denied claim should you file one. Where most people see the focus of great backyard parties, insurers see increased risk. That, of course, is what drives insurance rates.

If you have a homeowners or renters policy, it should cover for bodily injury of someone other than residents of the insured home if they are injured – up to the limits of the policy. The personal liability coverage should cover medical costs for the injured party including emergency room, ambulance charges and follow-up medical visits. You may want to purchase additional liability insurance; maybe up to $300,000 to $500,000.An umbrella liability policy is not a bad thing, either, say for an additional $1 million of liability protection.

Your homeowners insurance policy may cover any personal liability for personal injury to guests or visitors. However it would most likely provide very little coverage for damage to the swimming pool itself. If the pool itself is above average in cost (expensive material, special design, etc.) and/or has special features, such as a waterfall, you may want to consider a special endorsement. You may also wish to consider that most damage to the in-ground pools consists of cracking from ground movement or maintenance type issues to pool equipment, which most likely will not be covered by a standard home insurance policy.

Having a swimming pool can be a great thing, especially in the middle of a sweltering day. Inviting friends and family over can make you a very popular person. Just remember all of the potential implications of being that great friend. Talk with your insurance professional and see that an insurance claim won’t ruin your summer.

boxYou’re only renting. Maybe it’s your first apartment, maybe you’re an empty nester downsizing to a smaller house, maybe you are just checking out the community before you buy. Either way, the property doesn’t belong to you. Plus, the landlord has to have homeowner’s insurance, and that will cover your stuff, too. Right? WRONG!

Obtaining renter’s insurance can be a bit overwhelming when you consider the variety of options and how many ways there are to put a policy together. But do not skip this coverage. Just like with homeowner’s coverage, you should make a list of all your property, making special note of especially valuable assets like collections, a rarities, as these will likely need additional coverage. If the home has had safety items installed, such as carbon monoxide alert systems, fire extinguishers and even a sprinkler system, the price will be positively affected.

With most policies, your possessions are covered against losses from fire or smoke, lightning, vandalism, theft, explosion, windstorm and water damage (not including floods). Like homeowners insurance, renters insurance also covers your responsibility to other people injured at your home or elsewhere by you, a family member or your pet and pays legal defense costs if you are taken to court.

Renters insurance covers your additional living expenses if you are unable to live in your apartment because of a fire or other covered peril. Most policies will reimburse you the difference between your additional living expenses and your normal living expenses.

The bottom line is renters are responsible for protecting their own belongings. Don’t be caught short or surprised when your landlord’s insurance company dies not cover your losses. Talk to your insurance professional and obtain the necessary coverages before it’s too late.

broncos panthers 4You’re all set with your Broncos or Panthers gear. Plates, cups and napkins have already been bought and all your Super Bowl invitations have been sent. But before you go pick up the chicken wings and hamburger rolls, be sure some other paperwork has been checked. That is, your insurance policy, specifically, your homeowners or renters policy.

Anytime you host an event where alcohol is served, there is the possibility of some liability issues arising. Slip and fall accidents become more probable. Property damage (yours) is another distinct possibility. Even thefts, inadvertent, of course, can occur. Check your policy to be sure you are covered.

There is also Social Host Liability, which underscores your responsibility to your guests. In California, the host is usually not responsible for his/her guests once they leave the party, but they do have a social responsibility to make sure everyone has a safe experience. That said, a host is 100 percent liable for what happens to an underage drinker during and after the event. A host may also be found guilty of a misdemeanor for serving “habitual or common drunkards,”

Here are some excellent suggestions posted by the Insurance Information Institute (www.iii.org) that can help you have a party memorable for the right reasons:

– Hire a professional bartender. Most bartenders are trained to recognize signs of intoxication and are better able to limit consumption by partygoers.

– Encourage guests to pick a designated driver who will refrain from drinking alcoholic beverages in order to be able to drive other guests home.

– Be a responsible host. Limit your own alcohol intake so that you will be better able to judge your guests’ sobriety.

– Offer non-alcoholic beverages and always serve food. Eating and drinking plenty of water, or other non-alcoholic beverages, can help counter the effects of alcohol.

– Do not pressure guests to drink or rush to refill their glasses when empty. And never serve alcohol to guests who are visibly intoxicated.

– Stop serving liquor toward the end of the evening. Switch to coffee, tea and soft drinks.

– If guests drink too much or seem too tired to drive, call a cab, arrange a ride with a sober guest or have them sleep at your home.

Enjoy the game while you root for your favorite team (at least for that day). Make sure your guests have a great time, but remember they are your guests. Make you party one to remember for all the right reasons.