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Insurance Policies : Which Do You Need, Which Should You Skip?

Insurance is protection against unexpected expenses and insurance policies are available for nearly any scenario you can envision — even your own ransom. But just because an insurance policy is available, that doesn’t mean you should buy it.

Some insurance policies give you good bang for the buck. Others are plain wasteful.

In this 3-minute segment from NBC’s The Today Show, you’ll hear of several common insurance policies and their relative merits to people of Colorado who purchase them.

For example, Americans will spend an estimated $450 million on pet insurance this year. Because of the policies’ restrictions and deductibles, though, it’s an insurance policy that rarely pays off. This is one reason why financial experts often recommend that you pass on purchasing pet insurance.

Within the segment, other reviewed insurance policies include :

  • Mobile phone insurance
  • Flight and travel insurance
  • Extended warranties for electronics
  • Umbrella policies
  • Renters insurance

There’s also discussion about home warranties, and why you should avoid policies that last longer than one year.

Insurance should be an important part of your overall financial plan. However, the key is to have the proper policies in place, with an appropriate amount of coverage. Review your policies annually and keep your coverage current.  

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Everyone Lives In A Flood Zone. Are You Covered?

Everyone lives in a flood zone.

Flooding is the top-ranked natural disaster in the United States, with a dozen potential causes ranging from heavy rains, tropical storms and hurricanes to new housing developments and rain after fire. Floods can occur in all 50 states and, when they do, they leave massive damage in their wake.

Flood damages exceed $2.7 billion annually.

As a homeowner, you carry homeowners insurance to protect against theft and loss. Typical homeowners insurance, however, excludes damages from flooding. Homeowners in Boulder , therefore, should make sure to have a separate flood insurance policy. And once that policy is in place, there are other steps you should follow, too.

First, make a log of your possessions, either on paper or by video. In your log, include everything that you own of value. Next, if you own jewelry, have it appraised and store the appraisal; if you own appliances, log the serial numbers and attach original receipts.

Then, buy a safe-deposit box at a bank, for example, and store your possession log. 

All of this information matters because, in the event you need to make a claim, you’ll have an easier time dealing with the insurance adjuster. It’s hard to prove possession of items that have been washed away by flood waters, after all.

You’ll also want to share this list with your insurance agent in advance so your policy is made with the proper amount of coverage.

Floods can strike anywhere and, as many people learn the hard way, standard homeowners insurance does not include flood coverage. If you’re without flood coverage, talk to your insurance agent about adding a flood policy.

Because many policies don’t take effect until 30 days from purchase, this is one form of insurance you’ll want to buy in advance.

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If You’re A Landlord, You Need A Landlord Insurance Policy

Landlord rental insuranceThe ranks of the landlords are growing. Along with an increasing number of “accidental landlords”, real estate investors now account for close to 20 percent of all home resales, according to the National Association of REALTORS®.

If you plan to buy a rental property in Boulder , or to convert your current residence for long-term rental, make sure your home is properly insured.

A traditional homeowners insurance policy may be unsuitable for landlords.

A landlord insurance policy typically covers the home itself; the owner’s possessions in the home; structures on the land including garages and sheds; and, minimal liability coverage in the event of injury or lawsuit.

It’s common for landlords to increase that minimal liability coverage, adding an umbrella policy for $1,000,000 or more. Umbrella policies protect your home from an unfavorable lawsuit related to just about anything — housing-related or not. 

Optionally, a policy may includes provisions for “lost rental income”.

Annual premiums for a landlord insurance policy are often 20% more costly than for a standard homeowners policy. This puts the average landlord insurance premium near $950 per year.

Premiums vary by state, too. The top 3 most expensive states in which to insure a rented home are:

  • Texas : $1,752 per year
  • Florida : $1,668 per year
  • Louisiana : $1,386 per year

At $464 per year, Idaho is the least expensive state in which to hold a landlord insurance policy.

Talk with your insurance agent about your insurance options as a landlord. There are tens of choices and coverages from which you can choose. Let a professional help you pick the best choice.

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Boulder Fire Details

taken by Sam Hall

taken by Sam Hall

With this latest fire, over 1,800 Boulder Colorado residents were asked to evacuate their homes yesterday and the breaking news for today is that the evacuation was lifted.  And according to the Daily Camera, mandatory evacuation orders remained in place overnight for at least 139 Boulder County residents and 1,700 people within city limits west of Seventh Street, from Canyon Boulevard on the south, to North Street on the north. Also, Boulder Community Hospital’s Maxwell and Mapleton facilities were also evacuated and will remain closed Saturday. The hospital’s north Broadway location was not affected.  Read about how the fire started and more. Read the rest of this entry »

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