With the holiday season quickly approaching, you may be considering renting a car to drive out to visit family. Sorting out your travel plans can get complicated, but renting a car does not have to be! Rental car insurance is actually a lot simpler than you may think. In fact, most people won’t even need to purchase additional coverage.
In many cases, your auto policy’s coverages and deductibles will apply to your rental car, especially if you have higher liability limits than the state required minimum amounts and if you carry both comprehensive and collision insurance. Additionally, if your homeowners or renters insurance covers the loss of possessions, it is likely that your belongings in your rental car will be covered.
If you don’t already have those coverages, you may want to consider the options the rental company may offer. Brick-and-mortar car rental companies will offer a few different coverage options. These may include loss damage waiver, liability insurance, personal accident insurance, and personal effects coverage.
On the other hand, car sharing services like Zip Car may have insurance costs built into their fees. It is important to thoroughly read the contract to see if there are any other fees you may have to pay in the case of an accident.
Did you know wind is the most common cause of homeowners claims? Data from Travelers spanning the last five years found that wind accounted for 26% of claims year-round. Since wind damage is so common (and destructive), wind coverage on your homeowners policy is essential. Pruning your trees and reinforcing your home’s structures and windows is also key to preventing severe wind damage.
Non-weather water was the next most common risk, at 23% of home claims. And in the fall, it is the most frequent claim! Non-weather water damage involves plumbing, sewer, or appliance leaks and failures. The best way to prevent this damage is to inspect and maintain all appliances that use water regularly. This includes air-conditioning systems, water heaters, bathtubs, refrigerators, pipes, and hoses, to name a few. Also, make sure the main shut-off valve for your main water supply is functioning properly.
Hail made up 18% of home claims year-round, followed by weather-related water at 12%, like frozen pipes and leaky roofs. Of course, weather is uncontrollable. Being prepared against weather-related damage means being protected — which means having adequate coverage on your homeowners policy.
Don’t put off your home inventory list any longer! If there is an accident or robbery, you will need to give your insurance provider this list to guarantee complete coverage on your belongings. This list should include all household items and personal belongings.
Here are some quick tips to get you started:
Start simply with a list of rooms you need to work through. Then, head to your first room!
Describe each item’s make and model, value, and any other unique factors. Serial numbers are helpful identifiers for appliances and electronics.
Save documents like receipts and appraisals for proof of value on more expensive items.
Check with your agent to see if you need additional coverage on valuable items like jewelry or collectibles. This could mean an endorsement or an additional specialty policy. More on that here.
Consider making a digital record by taking pictures or videos of your belongings. This can save you time and guarantee that you don’t miss an item!
Building this list may take a while, but ensures true coverage.
Did you know that many homeowners insurance companies “ban” certain dogs?
If your dog bites or injures somebody, your homeowners policy must pay for the injured’s medical fees. According to the Insurance Information Institute, the average dog bite claim is $44,670, so this is a pretty expensive risk!
Therefore, many insurance companies have lists of “banned” dogs.
Doberman pinschers, pit bulls, and rottweilers are on 100% of these 42 lists of banned breeds.
Chow chows are on 95% of the banned lists.
Wolf dogs, canary dogs, and akitas have the next highest frequencies of being banned — all three are included on over 75% of the banned lists.
Some other insurers will allow all dogs, while others decide whether or not to cover the dog based on if they have a history of violence.
In Massachusetts, there is no legislation forbidding insurance companies from discriminating against certain breeds.
Nevertheless, dogs are a wonderful addition to the family and not all “banned” dogs are dangerous. Give us a call if you plan on bringing a new dog home! We will review if your premium may change and can give you quotes on pet insurance.
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