Home Inventory

Home Inventory

home-inventory

Have you ever thought what would happen if you fell victim to a burglary, fire or any other catastrophic event that would cause you to lose your possessions?  This is something most people do not think about on a regular basis.  Most can name the big items – furniture, clothes, jewelry, electronics; but how about the little items?  Also included in this is the consumables – items in your pantry, items in your refrigerator/freezer and dry goods.

Whether you own your home or you are renting, you need sufficient insurance coverage to protect you from the events listed above.  To help determine the amount of coverage you need, it is a good idea to conduct a Home Inventory.  Please find a Home Inventory PDF fillable form here.  This can be an overwhelming task to complete at once – start it now and work on it as you make new purchases, when time allows add the older items.

When completing your home inventory be specific as possible; including but not limited to, the serial number and model number.  The more detail provided the more likely you will receive a like replacement – less detail may mean a lower priced replacement.  For the more expensive items (TV, Appliances, Stereo) take pictures or a video.  Since we are in the age of technology you may prefer to take pictures or videos of all of your possessions. Some items you may not think of are items you take with you everyday – cell phone, laptop, tablet, mp3 player, cameras and jewelry.  These items should also be listed on your personal inventory.  Remember to update your inventory with new purchases and remove items you have disposed of.

Once your inventory is completed you can discuss your current coverage with your agent to see if you have adequate insurance and you will also have peace of mind that you have the coverage you need.  It is also recommended to keep your inventory, pictures and videos in a safe place such as a safe deposit box.  If you do have a loss it will make it easier to file your claim.

We are happy to help with any questions you may have about your current insurance coverage and discuss if there are any other options available.  Stop by one of our offices – Edenton or Kitty Hawk and ask to speak with a Personal Lines Agent.

By:  Jen Tighe

 

Auto Insurance Tips

Auto Insurance Tips

tip-for-lower-rates

Tips For Lower Rates Without Sacrificing Coverage

Everyone is looking to save money these days, and auto insurance is one of the most common expenses people shop around for in order to reduce costs.  There are some great ways to save money on your auto insurance, and the good news is you may not even need to switch insurance companies to save money—nor should you have to give up any of your coverage.  Here are some of the easiest and most common methods of saving money on your auto insurance.

What Are Your Deductibles?

The deductible is the amount that you would have to pay out of pocket in the event of certain types of claims.  Most people opt for low deductibles so that they won’t be responsible for coming up with much cash.  This isn’t always the smartest way to go, however.  Higher deductibles can save you a lot of money in the long run, even if you do wind up having a claim in which you have to pay that amount.

If you are a good driver, the odds of having an at-fault accident are relatively low.  If increasing your deductible saves you hundreds of dollars a year, you won’t have to go many years without an accident before you have already saved more than enough to cover that increase in the deductible.

Are You Getting All The Available Discounts?

One of the things many people don’t consider when shopping around for car insurance is shopping for homeowner’s insurance at the same time.  Why should you do this?  Most companies offer a hefty discount on both policies when they insure your home and auto together.  Check if your current auto insurance company offers homeowner’s as well, and you might not even have to bother shopping around.  In addition to the savings, you will also have the convenience of everything being in one place.

There are other discounts you may be missing out on as well!  Be sure to check regularly with your agent or insurance company to find out if all the discounts you qualify for are being applied to your policy.

Are Your Cars Rated Correctly?

Auto insurance rates are calculated based on a number of factors, including the number of miles you drive each day.  If you are a stay at home parent but your car is being rated as a commuter vehicle, you could be paying too much.  If you have changed jobs and now commute only five miles each day rather than 30 miles, your yearly average will drop, which could have an effect on your rates.  Be sure to advise your agent when changes in your driving habits occur!  You could be reaping the benefits.

 

Insuring Your Toys

Insuring Your Toys

toys

What do you consider a toy?  A toy when it comes to insurance can be any of the following:  RV, ATV, Golf Cart, Jet Ski, Boat (of any size/type), Motorized Scooter, or Motorcycle.  All of these items need to be insured separate from your home and auto insurance policies.

Boats and Jet Ski’s:

  1. Exposure:  Are you a Commercial Fisherman?  Recreational Fisherman?  Are you boating in salt water?  Fresh water?  Do you rent your vessel?  Do you live on your vessel?  These are all questions that will help determine the type of policy you need.
  2. Basic Coverages: Basic coverages include the hull, engine(s) and trailer. In some cases, the engine replacement cost is more than the hull.
  3. Bells and Whistles:  Don’t forget your special equipment ranging from fishing gear to recreational water sports equipment.  Valuable coverages also include Unisured/Underinsured Boaters, Theft, Passenger Injuries and more.

Motorcycles, Motorized Scooter, Golf Carts and ATV’s

  1. Exposure: Do you run Motorcross?  Vehicle commercially used?  Long distance commuting/travel?  Crusing/Pleasure riding?  Off-road riding?  These are all questions that will help determine the type of policy you need.
  2. Basic Coverages: In most cases, the NCDMV requires liability coverage for these vehicles when used on the road.  Physical damage coverage is also available to repair or replace your vehicle if an accident where to occur.
  3. Bells and Whistles: Safety apparel can be a significant investment. Check whether you have coverage for items such as helmets, boots and gloves and for how much.

Recreational Vehicles and Campers

  1. Exposure: Do you live in your RV/Camper?  How often is it used?  Do you rent it?  Is it garaged at a campground?  What type is your RV/Camper?  These are all questions that will help determine the type of policy you need
  2. Basic Coverages: Much like insurance for your car, RV insurance can include liability, comprehensive, collision and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
  3. Bells and Whistles: Just like your home insurance, it is important to cover all the items inside your RV/Camper, as they are just as valuable as the items in your home.

It’s a good feeling to get back behind the wheel of your favorite toy. It’s even better when you know you have the coverage you want for the toy(s) you love.  Vogedes Insurance Agency, Inc. can help you with all of the above and more.  Stop by one of our offices – Edenton or Kitty Hawk and ask to speak with an agent.

 

Force-Placed Coverage

Force-Placed Coverage

force-place

Unless you are very lucky, you probably have a mortgage on your home. Your mortgage company, also known as a lien-holder, has a vested interest in the protection of your home. If you fail to carry acceptable homeowner’s insurance and a loss occurs, their monetary loss will be much greater than yours. For this reason, lien-holders require that you carry homeowner’s insurance. You won’t be able to close on a purchase without it, and if it lapses, your lien-holder will step in.

What Is Force-Placed Insurance?

Force-Placed insurance is a policy that your lien-holder takes out on your home when your policy has lapsed or you have not provided them with proof of a policy that is acceptable to them. In order to protect their interest in the property, your mortgage company will obtain a policy and attach the payments on this policy to your mortgage. This insurance will remain in place until you provide proof of an alternate insurance policy.

Why You Don’t Want It

It doesn’t sound like such a bad deal to let the mortgage company handle placing insurance on your home. The problem is that this type of policy exists only to protect the mortgage company’s interests—not yours. There is no coverage for your personal property, and in the case of a claim you will get nothing—only the mortgage company will receive payment. In return for this limited coverage, force-placed insurance is very expensive—much more so than traditional homeowner’s insurance.

How Can I Avoid It?

First of all, make sure your homeowner’s insurance coverage doesn’t lapse! Make your payments on time. If you have trouble remembering, consider rolling the insurance in with your mortgage payment, or having it automatically withdrawn. Another important consideration is to make sure that the insurance company has accurate information regarding your lien-holder, including their address. This will ensure the insurance company provides proof of insurance to the correct lien-holder and there is no question that you already have insurance in place.

Force-placed insurance isn’t what the mortgage company wants, nor is it the best choice for your interests. Be sure your homeowner’s insurance stays in force and proof is provided so that your interests, as well as those of the mortgage company, are protected.