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Personal Lines

When you buy property, such as a home (real property) or a car (personal property), and make payments on it, the party that lent you the money to buy it will need a way to protect its financial interest.  To do this they will require you to add to your home or auto insurance policy a Mortgage or a Lenders Loss Payable endorsement. [September 2018, 269 word article]

Hurricane activity peaks in the fall, but severe windstorms can occur at any time of year. The following pointers can help you protect your property. [September 2018, 718 word article]

We hope it never happens, but when you suffer a loss, you’ll have to file a claim to receive payment from your insurer. Here’s how the process works, and how to handle it to your best advantage. [September 2018, 834 word article]

Since 1990, 800 children have died in hot cars. A combination of education, technology and legislation could help prevent these tragedies from happening in the future. [September 2018, 726 word article]

Most homeowner’s policies exclude claims resulting from “business pursuits.” [June 2018, 407 word article]

Auto accidents cost hundreds of billions of dollars each year and in some places, like New York City and Los Angeles, nearly one out of three accidents may not be an “accident” at all, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB). [June 2018, 669 word article]

Did you think your jewelry was covered under your homeowner’s policy? [June 2018, 474 word article]

Due diligence before you hire a contractor can save you time and money in the long run. [June 2018, 679 word article]

Generally, your home will cost about the same to insure as similar homes in your neighborhood. A home’s prior loss history can affect your insurance costs, however. The more claims that have been filed on that property, the more the insurer will likely charge to cover it. While some claims are purely random, many claims can indicate structural problems or a lack of maintenance — both of which will affect your costs of ownership. [March 2018, 323 word article]

Whether you own a deluxe land yacht with all the bells and whistles, a mini motor home, a towable motor home or folding camper, having any type of recreational vehicle represents a change in lifestyle…and insurance needs. [March 2018, 537 word article]

An “endorsement” is an addition to the standard policy. Endorsements often, but not always, cost more. The added coverage could mean the difference between a claim that’s covered and paying out of pocket. Here are a few endorsements that you might need to cover frequently overlooked scenarios. [March 2018, 910 word article]

Like everywhere else the digital world is bringing changes to the insurance industry. [March 2018, 528 word article]

Standard homeowners policies include medical payments coverage, which will pay the medical bills of someone injured on your property, regardless of negligence on the part of the homeowner. However, the policy will not pay if you are obligated to provide workers’ compensation. [December 2017, 262 word article]

Every day, an estimated 2.5 million individuals—mostly women—work in others’ homes, cleaning, cooking and caring for children and the elderly. Although many people treat them as independent contractors, the IRS and workers’ compensation laws may consider these domestic workers “household employees.” If they are injured while working for you, you may be liable for lost-time claims as well as medical payments. [December 2017, 389 word article]

Forgetting to pay your premiums isn’t the only way to invalidate your automobile insurance. [December 2017, 697 word article]

Damage from wind and water aren’t the only financial losses that hurricanes can cause. [December 2017, 786 word article]

Sometimes legal disputes arise over what exactly constitutes a “dog bite.” If the laws of the community where the bite occurred do not specifically define “bite,” courts generally hold that the dictionary definition applies. Webster’s Dictionary defines “bite” as: “To cut, tear, or grip with or as if with the teeth.” [September 2017, 299 word article]

Many homeowners don’t. The Insurance Information Institute surveyed homeowners to find out how well people understand their policies. Here are some of the findings of the III’s 2016 Consumer Insurance Survey. [September 2017, 507 word article]

The Insurance Information Institute (III) reported that dog bite claims cost an average of $33,230 in 2016, an increase of 36% since 2008. If you own one or more dogs, do you have the insurance coverage to protect you from dog bite liability? [September 2017, 759 word article]

If you need insurance for a new car or you’ve been routinely renewing your car insurance with the same coverage and limits every year, it makes sense to evaluate your options before buying or renewing. Here are five practical tips: [September 2017, 685 word article]

If you own, drive or even ride in a car, the answer is yes. By 2022, there will be an estimated 2 billion connected vehicles on the road worldwide. “This transformation will impact insurers, repairers and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), creating new risks and opportunities,” according to Mac Fraser, a spokesperson for CCC Information Services. [June 2017, 289 word article]

In 2016, financial losses due to personal identity theft totaled $16 billion and affected 15.4 million U.S. consumers, according to the 2017 Identity Fraud Study, released by Javelin Strategy & Research. In the past six years, over $107 billion has been stolen by identity thieves. [June 2017, 684 word article]

 In 2015, the Coast Guard counted 4,158 recreational boating accidents that involved 626 deaths, 2,613 injuries and approximately $42 million dollars of damage to property. If you own or regularly operate a boat, you probably need more coverage than your homeowners policy provides. [June 2017, 567 word article]

In many instances, your homeowners insurance will cover you. You buy homeowners insurance to protect your home and your personal property. Many people don’t realize their policy also protects them from liability lawsuits and claims. [June 2017, 760 word article]

Fatal accidents are on the rise, and so are consumers’ auto insurance premiums. Allstate President Matthew Winter told shareholders that “the correlation between smartphone ownership and accident frequency is striking,” according to a Wall Street Journal article. [March 2017, 348 word article]

Americans are a charitable group. One-fourth (24.9 percent) volunteer for a nonprofit or school*. Most people volunteer because they believe in a cause, want to help others or want to improve their community. Although volunteering might feel good, it’s not always risk-free. [March 2017, 770 word article]

Having too little or too much insurance can cost you money. A regular insurance checkup can help ensure you have the amount and type of coverage you need. [March 2017, 674 word article]

If you have artworks, antiques and other collectibles, your collection might be worth more than you realize. Does it have proper coverage? [March 2017, 576 word article]

Renting out an extra room in your home might sound like a great way to make extra cash. It can also create new risks. [December 2016, 365 word article]

We hope it never happens, but when you suffer a loss, you’ll have to file a claim to receive payment from your insurer. Here’s how the process works, and how to handle it to your best advantage. [December 2016, 871 word article]

A homeowners policy will protect your home from loss due to fire, theft, vandalism and more. But without certain important coverages, your policy could leave you short of the funds needed to rebuild and recover. [December 2016, 678 word article]

Each day in the United States, more than 8 people die and 1,161 are injured in crashes reported to involve a distracted driver. In 2013, nearly one in five crashes (18 percent) in which someone was injured involved distracted driving. [December 2016, 825 word article]

Generally, your home will cost about the same to insure as similar homes in your neighborhood. A home’s prior loss history can affect your insurance costs, however. The more claims that have been filed on that property, the more the insurer will likely charge to cover it. While some claims are purely random, many claims can indicate structural problems or a lack of maintenance—both of which will affect your costs of ownership. [September 2016, 324 word article]

Bad things happen: that’s why people buy auto and homeowners insurance policies. But America’s love affair with lawsuits means your coverage could fall short. That’s where umbrella policies come in. They provide a convenient and surprisingly affordable extra layer of protection for your key assets. [September 2016, 547 word article]

Like cars, auto insurance policies have different parts with different functions. In this article, we’ll discuss the three types of coverage that most states require owners of registered vehicles to carry—bodily injury liability, property damage liability and uninsured motorists coverage. [September 2016, 887 word article]

Particularly in rural areas, your fire protection class can have a major influence on your insurance costs. [September 2016, 837 word article]

Rolling blackouts have become a part of life during summer in certain areas of the country, while lightning strikes and other disasters can cause longer-lasting power outages. Here’s what you should know about power outages. [June 2016, 339 word article]

If your vacation plans require a rental car, knowing what your existing insurance policies cover could save you money. [June 2016, 1023 word article]

The higher your property values and the higher your risk exposures, the more you will pay to get the coverage you need. But there are ways you can reduce your insurance premiums. [June 2016, 568 word article]

Today’s home-based businesses range from home day care centers to high-powered sales offices handling multi-million dollar contracts. Regardless of the scope of your business, if you work at home, you have insurance needs that go beyond your homeowners policy. [June 2016, 546 word article]

If you own or ride a motorcycle, you should be familiar with state helmet laws. Currently, 19 states and the District of Columbia have laws requiring all motorcyclists to wear a helmet, known as universal helmet laws. Laws requiring only some motorcyclists to wear a helmet are in place in 28 states. There is no motorcycle helmet use law in three states (Illinois, Iowa and New Hampshire). The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has a list of state helmet laws at www.iihs.org/iihs/topics/laws/helmetuse?topicName=motorcycles. [March 2016, 285 word article]

After booming in the early 2000s, motorcycle sales fell off during the recession. Over the past few years, though, sales have been growing slowly but steadily. If you’re considering buying a motorcycle, here’s what you need to know about coverage. [March 2016, 883 word article]

In the last couple of years, the sale of vacation homes has boomed. If you’re considering buying a second home, please contact us before you do, as second homes have special insurance considerations. [March 2016, 786 word article] 

In some states, policy on marijuana has turned a full 180 from the “reefer madness” scares of the 1950s and 1960s. But have your insurance coverages kept up? [March 2016, 705 word article]

Weather-watchers expect this winter to be wetter than normal in many areas, due to El Niňo. This weather phenomenon is characterized by higher than normal sea surface temperatures in the equatorial Pacific Ocean. Consequences include increased rainfall across the southern tier of the U.S., which can cause destructive flooding. [December 2015, 388 word article]

The largest electrical blackout in history, on August 14, 2003, left approximately 50 million utility customers in the Northeast and parts of Canada without electricity. [December 2015, 530 word article]

A motor vehicle is stolen every 45 seconds in the United States. And that’s the good news—five years ago, a vehicle was stolen every 33 seconds. [December 2015, 695 word article]

Many of us use supplemental heaters, or space heaters, to heat an ordinarily unoccupied space such as garage or workshop, to provide additional heat during cold spells or to minimize heating bills. However, incorrect use of these heaters leads to about 120,000 residential fires annually. With colder weather on the way, use the following checklist to ensure safe use of space heaters. [December 2015, 794 word article]

Some owners of waterfront property, pools, boats or high-risk vehicles such as ATVs and snowmobiles ask guests to sign liability waivers. Good idea or no? [September 2015, 250 word article]

Hurricane activity peaks in the fall, but severe windstorms can occur at any time of year. The following pointers can help you protect your property. [September 2015, 717 word article]

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me.” The old schoolyard rhyme isn’t true—mis-used words can hurt you! [September 2015, 575 word article]

Most people’s scenario of a domestic help glitch might include a room left dirty, a badly cooked meal or laundry left unfolded. But for the millions of American families who employ someone to help around the house or garden, the reality could be far worse. [September 2015, 862 word article]

Hurricane season started on June 1. These windstorms can cause the most widespread and costly damage, and can occur in every state along the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts. But every state has hail and windstorm risks. [June 2015, 291 word article]

Over the last century, agriculture has become increasingly concentrated in the hands of a few large producers. The local foods movement could change that. What small-scale farmers and back-to-the-landers might not realize is that they need specialized insurance. [June 2015, 612 word article]

A survey by one insurer found that 29 percent of all boat owners did not have a separate watercraft insurance policy. This could be a mistake. [June 2015, 671 word article]

The worst time to find out that you have no insurance, or inadequate insurance, is after a loss. If any of the following situations apply to you, a standard insurance program might not be enough. [June 2015, 944 word article]

Every year, about 41 million Americans, or one-fifth of drivers, get speeding tickets. They pay more than $6.2 billion in fines, according the U.S. Highway Patrol. [March 2015, 348 word article]

Fire claims top the list of the most expensive type of claim under homeowners insurance policies.  [March 2015, 688 word article]

In 2012, financial losses due to personal identity theft totaled $24.7 billion, over $10 billion more than the losses attributed to all other property crimes measured in the National Crime Victimization Survey. [March 2015, 615 word article]

Should you worry about the content of your teen’s tweets or your spouse’s Pinterest posts? All it takes is for one tweet to veer away from commentary to defamation, or one image to invade another’s privacy, and you could face a lawsuit. [March 2015, 964 word article]

Many newer cars have automated driving safety devices ranging from back-up cameras to automated parking systems. Google has been testing driverless cars on public highways, and soon most cars will include event data recorders, similar to the “black boxes” in aircraft.  What will these developments mean for your auto insurance? [December 2014, 336 word article]

Do you know the difference between “actual cash value” and “replacement cost?” The difference has a significant effect on how much your insurer will pay out after a loss. [December 2014, 764 word article]

Uninsured drivers cost every insured driver $14 annually, according to the Insurance Research Council (IRC). If you are unlucky enough to encounter an uninsured driver, your costs could be much higher…unless you have the right insurance coverage. [December 2014, 735 word article]

Home rental clearinghouses such as Airbnb and VRBO make it easy for homeowners to rent out a spare bedroom or a second home when they aren’t using it. This might sound like a good way to earn extra money. Before diving in, consider the risks and your insurance coverage. [December 2014, 1025 word article]

And you thought dropping your cell phone in a puddle was bad. Recently, a friend’s daughter accidentally dropped her brand-new iPhone in a porta-potty at a high school football game. To make matters worse, this was the second time she’d lost or damaged a phone in only a few months. [September 2014, 389 word article]

Shopping for auto insurance can be difficult if you’re lucky enough to have a fancy sports car in the garage — or unlucky enough to have an accident or speeding ticket on your driving record. Although anything out of the ordinary can make it harder to qualify for a standard or preferred-rate auto insurance policy with the best terms and prices, drivers in special circumstances still have plenty of options...[September 2014, 636 word article]

Many renters aren’t even aware that they need their own insurance, mistakenly believing that their landlord’s policy covers them. Your landlord’s policy will cover the building itself from damage or loss. But if your home is burglarized or destroyed by fire, your landlord’s policy provides no protection for your personal possessions. Renters insurance is inexpensive and provides great coverage for millions of families. [September 2014, 802 word article]

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that Americans age 16 and older donated a median of 50 hours annually to volunteer activities in 2013. Most people volunteer because they believe in a cause, want to help others or want to improve their community. Although volunteering might feel good, it’s not always risk-free. [September 2014, 771 word article]

Ten tips to help protect your home from wildfire. [June 2014, 250 word article]

Having too little or too much insurance can cost you money. A regular insurance checkup can help ensure you have the amount and type of coverage you need. [June 2014, 673 word article]

In 2006, a record 9.8 million acres burned in wildfires. Will this year’s droughts make 2014 another record-breaker? [June 2014, 732 word article]

Around 20 percent of the U.S. lies in areas susceptible to sinkhole events. Is your home in one of them? [June 2014, 641 word article]

As with your personal auto policy, a standalone motorcycle policy will provide the following coverages: [March 2014, 266 word article]

When events interfere and make travel planned in advance difficult or impossible, travel insurance can protect your investment. [March 2014, 712 word article]

Floods are four times more likely to occur than fires, according to insurance ratings company AM Best. Just a few inches of water from a flood can cause tens of thousands of dollars in damage…which your homeowners policy won’t cover. [March 2014, 554 word article]

Motorcycle, moped, motorized bike, “pocket bike,” scooter—what distinguishes them, and what do you need to know to operate them legally? [March 2014, 974 word article]

Ice dams usually occur after a heavy snowfall and several days of freezing temperatures. Warm air inside your home leaks into the attic and warms the underside of the roof, causing snow and ice on the roof to melt. [December 2013, 399 word article]

Personal risk management includes knowing your policies and what they cover. The following article will help you understand the various parts of your personal auto policy (PAP) and what to look for. [December 2013, 744 word article]

Every day, an estimated 2.5 million individuals—mostly women—work in others’ homes, cleaning, cooking and caring for children and the elderly. Although many people treat them as independent contractors, the IRS and workers’ compensation laws may consider these domestic workers “household employees.” If they are injured while working for you, you may be liable for lost-time claims as well as medical payments. [December 2013, 746 word article]

Holiday parties, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, Superbowl Sunday…party season is here. Keep the cheer in your holidays by avoiding alcohol-related accidents. [December 2013, 700 word article]

Replacing a lost, damaged or stolen smartphone can cost hundreds of dollars. Repairing your credit or reputation if data on your phone is stolen or misappropriated can cost thousands! [June 2013, 233 word article]

Twenty years ago, the typical cell phone was the size of a brick. It could make phone calls, and that’s it. Today, smartphones handle everything from calls to texts to organizing our lives. In fact, many people would be lost without their phones. Does this make smartphone insurance a smart buy? [June 2013, 591 word article]

You buy homeowners insurance to protect your home from damage or loss due to fire, theft, vandalism and more. But without certain important coverages, your policy could leave you short of the funds needed to rebuild and recover. [June 2013, 706 word article]

Once the stuff of science fiction, driverless cars are running on California freeways under a Google test program. How will they affect safety, liability and licensing? [June 2013, 953 word article]

A recent article in the ABA Journal reported that at least six states have proposed laws that would require gun owners to buy special liability coverage. Whether you own a gun for protection, hunting or target practice, what does this mean for your homeowners coverage? [March 2013, 347 word article]

Although prices for many fine arts and collectibles took a hit during the recession, your collection might be worth more than you realize. Does it have proper coverage? [March 2013, 582 word article]

People buy auto insurance for two important reasons: to protect their car and to protect their finances. [March 2013, 649 word article]

More than 45 percent of adults in the U.S. now own a smartphone. Among the younger (ages 18-29) and wealthier (incomes of $75,000 and up), ownership rates increase to two-thirds. While smartphones offer convenience, their use can also put your personal and financial information at risk. Read on to learn more. [March 2013, 953 word article]

You buy homeowners’ insurance to protect your home and your personal property. Many people don’t realize their policy also protects them from liability lawsuits and claims. [December 2012, 760 word article]

As this newsletter went to press, cost estimates for damage due to Hurricane Sandy ranged from $20 billion to $60 billion. Many of these losses are insured, but some aren’t. Here are some of the lessons we’ve learned from Sandy and other disasters. [December 2012, 957 word article]

A motor vehicle is stolen every 33 seconds in the United States. Unfortunately, only about 57 percent of stolen vehicles are ever recovered. [December 2012, 614 word article]

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that 40 to 50 percent of vehicle theft occurs due to driver error. Taking these commonsense steps can help protect your vehicle from theft. [September 2012, 375 word article]

A motor vehicle is stolen every 33 seconds in the United States. Unfortunately, only about 57 percent of stolen vehicles are ever recovered. How would the loss of your car and its contents affect your day-to-day life? [September 2012, 847 word article]

The Coalition Against Insurance Fraud estimates that 2 million Americans become medical identity theft victims each year. That’s up from an estimate by the World Privacy Forum of a quarter to a half million victims annually in 2006. As healthcare costs continue to escalate, the problem isn’t likely to go away. [September 2012, 801 word article]

According to the Insurance Research Council, about one in seven drivers in the U.S. are uninsured. Being involved in an accident with an uninsured motorist can mean huge financial losses if you don’t have the right insurance coverage. [September 2012, 671 word article]

Read your self-storage unit’s rental agreement carefully. Most place responsibility for loss or damage solely on the renter. Some even require renters to have insurance on their goods in storage. Coverage under your homeowners or renters insurance policy should apply... [269 word article, September 2013]

By the year 2020, adults aged 65 and older are projected to make up 20 percent of the population. With better health and medical care, many of these seniors will continue to drive well into their 70s and beyond. What does having an elder driver in the family mean for safety and your auto insurance? [758 word article, September 2013]

Too much stuff? Almost 9 percent of American households rented a self-storage unit in 2012, up from 6 percent in 1995. Before joining them, be aware that you, as the lessee, remain responsible for loss or damage to everything in your unit, unless your rental agreement specifies otherwise. [688 word article, September 2013]

In March, Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and eight cosponsors introduced the “Firearm Risk Protection Act” (H.R. 1369), the first nationwide bill to require buyers to have liability insurance before buying a gun. If you own a gun, do you need additional coverage?  [951 word article, September 2013]

If you are sending your child off to college this fall, you probably realize that your life is about to change. You might not realize that your insurance needs change as well. Here’s what you need to know about college students and insurance. - FREE article!

Take a peek inside a typical college student’s room: you’ll probably find a laptop, a smart phone, a television, a bike, clothing, jewelry and furniture...[760 word article, September 2009]

An independent insurance agent can help you assess your coverage needs, then shop from many highly rated insurance carriers. In this way, an independent insurance agent can bring you the best combination of service, coverage and cost. [351 word article, Summer 2012]

Every day, an estimated 2.5 million individuals?mostly women?work in others? homes, cleaning, cooking and caring for children and the elderly. Although many people treat them as independent contractors, the IRS and workers? compensation laws may consider these domestic workers ?household employees.? If they are injured while working for you, you may be liable for lost-time claims as well as medical payments. [605 word article, Summer 2012]

For many of us, travel is more than an adventure?it can represent a considerable investment of time and money. This makes travelers insurance one of the most widely used forms of personal insurance outside the ?big three? of homeowners, car and life. According to the U.S. Travel Insurance Association (UStiA), sales of travel insurance and emergency services provided by UStiA grew nearly 20 percent between 2009 and 2010. [802 word article, Summer 2012]

The textile mills in New England began using sprinkler systems more than 100 years ago, after a series of devastating fires claimed many lives and destroyed entire businesses. Today, you can find sprinklers in almost any commercial building. Although we protect our businesses from fire, how do we protect our families, our homes and our possessions? [639 word article, Summer 2012]

Sometimes in a property loss situation, the insured and insurer will disagree on the value of the damaged, lost or destroyed property. As this affects the claim payment, both parties will want to reach an agreement.

Your homeowners policy probably contains a clause that will call for an appraisal when either the insurer or insured makes a proper written request. A typical homeowners appraisal clause might read:… [390 word article, Spring 2012]

In the U.S. in 2010, 362,100 residential fires occurred, causing $6.6 billion in damage, and an average of seven deaths and 36 injuries every day. (Source: U.S. Fire Administration statistics)

The sad thing is that many of these deaths, injuries and property losses could be avoided or minimized with proper precautions. Here are some suggestions for making your home more fire-safe… [897 word article, Spring 2012]

In the preceding year, 53 percent of Americans made an economic-driven change that could affect the cost of their car insurance, according to an April 2011 survey by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC).

“Choices such as driving less, switching jobs, or even paying off a vehicle can save — or cost — on your car insurance,” said NAIC President and Iowa Insurance Commissioner Susan E. Voss… [839 word article, Spring 2012]

With the recession of the past few years, many individuals’ credit scores have taken a hit. In addition to affecting your ability to get a mortgage, loan or credit card, your credit score can also affect how much you’ll pay for your insurance.

Credit scores range from a low of 330 to a high of 830. Today, the average American has a credit score of 687, reports Experian, one of the three major consumer credit reporting companies… [636 word article, Spring 2012]

The best way to prevent identity theft is to protect personal identifying information. The tips below can help you minimize the risk of experiencing identity theft:

Protect your Social Security number. Do not carry your card with you and do not provide your number unless necessary… [317 word article, December 2011]

First, the good news: the number of identity theft victims dropped 28 percent between 2009 and 2010—from an estimated 8.1 million adults to 3 million. Now the bad news: their average out-of-pocket costs per incident have increased, from an average of $387 in 2009 to $631 in 2010. (Source: Javelin Strategy and Research, 2011 Identity Fraud Survey Report)... [506 word article, December 2011]

Teen drivers are four times more likely to be involved in a fatal car crash than an adult, found a study by The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and State Farm Insurance Companies. Parents can do several things to help keep their teenagers safe behind the wheel. Here are a few of them… [732 word article, December 2011]

Holiday parties, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, Superbowl Sunday…party season is here. Keep the cheer in your holidays by avoiding alcohol-related accidents.

Planning a party can be a complex operation — finalizing the guest list, the menu and the entertainment can tax even the most accomplished host. In this whirlwind of activity, many party-givers tend to overlook their potential liability if a guest drinks too much and is involved in an accident… [521 word article, December 2011]

Many families, including hunters and those who live in remote locations, often have food stores worth many hundreds or thousands of dollars. What would happen if a disaster destroyed these stores?

In most states, homeowners insurance policies do not cover food spoilage… [194 word article, September 2011]

In August, the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) released the latest Hot Wheels list of the 10 most stolen vehicles in the United States. For 2010, the most stolen vehicles in the nation were:

      1       1994 Honda Accord 

      2       1995 Honda Civic 

      3       1991 Toyota Camry… [356 word article, September 2011]

Bad things happen: that’s why people buy auto and homeowners insurance policies. But America’s love affair with lawsuits means your coverage could fall short. That’s where umbrella policies come in. They provide a convenient and surprisingly affordable extra layer of protection for your key assets… [553 word article, September 2011]

For most Americans, their home represents security, as well as their biggest financial asset. The cost of insuring a home averaged $780 in 2008, reported the Insurance Information Institute. What you pay could vary greatly from the average, depending on the value of your home and its contents and various risk factors… [831 word article, September 2011]

If you are sending your child off to college this fall, you probably realize that your life is about to change. You might not realize that your insurance needs change as well. Here’s what you need to know about college students and insurance.

Take a peek inside a typical college student’s room: you’ll probably find a laptop, a smart phone, a television, a bike, clothing, jewelry and furniture… [761 word article, September 2011]

Identifying potential hazards can reduce the dangers of serious injury or loss of life from an earthquake.

1 Check for Hazards in the Home

·       Fasten shelves securely to walls.

·       Place large or heavy objects on lower shelves… [313 word article, June 2011]

Drowning accounts for two-thirds of all boating deaths—even more if deaths with unknown cause are excluded—but does not account for the same fraction of deaths for all types of boats.

Personal watercraft (PWC) accidents are more likely to result in blunt trauma injuries (in part because of speed)… [145 word article, June 2011]

In 2009, the Coast Guard counted 4,730 recreational boating accidents that involved 736 deaths, 3,358 injuries and approximately $36 million dollars of damage to property. If you own or regularly operate a boat, you probably need more coverage than your homeowners policy provides.

A survey by one insurer found that 29 percent of all boat owners did not have a separate watercraft insurance policy… [563 word article, June 2011]

The 200th anniversary of the New Madrid earthquake reminds us that earthquakes can affect many areas of the U.S., not just California. Do you need coverage for earthquake or seismic events?

Many areas of the U.S. are vulnerable to damage from earthquakes or seismic activity… [612 word article, June 2011]

When you buy or renew an insurance policy, you should review it to make sure coverage reflects your current needs. The following article will help you understand the various parts of your personal auto policy (PAP) and what to look for.

As with any insurance policy, your auto policy is a contract between you and your insurer… [744 word article, June 2011]

Do you know the difference between “actual cash value” and “replacement cost” coverage? The difference has a significant effect on how much your insurer will pay out after a loss.

Suppose a tree falls on your house, causing severe damage to your kitchen. Your kitchen appliances are 10 years old. New appliances will cost $3,000… [777 word article, December 2010]

You buy homeowners’ insurance to protect your home and your personal property. Many people don’t realize their policy also provides important liability protection. What does this coverage include? What types of liability doesn’t it cover? Here’s what you need to know.

Almost everyone who owns a home or condo has a homeowners’ policy, which is a package of coverages for your home’s physical property, your possessions and your personal liability… [636 word article, December 2010]

Pilots say there is nothing like the thrill of flying your own plane. But making sure you have the proper insurance is not so exciting. Whether you are a long-time pilot or just thinking about it, aircraft insurance has many nuances you should be aware of… [686 word article, December 2010]

Winter storms are the third largest cause of catastrophic losses, causing roughly $1 billion in insured losses each year, according to the Insurance Information Institute. Most homeowners’ policies cover losses caused by burst pipes, wind and freezing rain. Nonetheless, you’ll be happier if you prevent a loss from occurring… [299 word article, December 2010]

Auto insurance took a lower percentage of median family income in 2008, continuing a drop that began in 2006, according to the Auto Insurance Report. The publication ranks the ratio of auto insurance expenditure as a percentage of median family income nationwide and by state every year… [336 word article, March 2011]

Whether you own a deluxe land yacht with all the bells and whistles, a mini motor home, a towable motor home or folding camper, having any type of recreational vehicle represents a change in lifestyle…and insurance needs.

You can insure most recreational vehicles under a personal auto policy (PAP). However, specialized recreational vehicle or motor home policies provide better coverage… [536 word article, March 2011]

In certain parts of the world, kidnap for ransom is a growth business—and adults are targets as well as children. If you plan to travel or work outside the U.S., the following information can help keep you safer.

Check with the State Department before traveling to any country outside Canada… [576 word article, March 2011]

The National Association of Realtors reported that one in 10 real estate transactions during 2010 was for the purchase of a vacation home. Sales activity in some areas has begun to recuperate from the effects of the recession.. If you’re planning to buy a second home, please call us—vacation properties have different insurance considerations than primary residences… [880 word article, March 2011]

The Insurance Information Institute (III) reported that dog bite claims cost an average of $24,461 in 2008 (the most recent figures available). If you own one or more dogs, do you have the insurance coverage to protect you from dog bite liability?

He may be man’s best friend, but dog bites account for one-third of all homeowners insurance liability claims. According to the III, dog bite claims cost homeowners $387.20 million in 2008, up 8.70 percent from 2007.. [1027 word article, March 2010]

What’s the difference between a boat and a yacht*? If you know the answer, you probably need more coverage than just the standard homeowners policy can provide.

Boating is a great family activity, but it does involve risks: in 2008 (the last year for which complete data were available at press time),... [845 word article, March 2010]

About 46 percent of self-employed workers conduct their business from home, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. If you have a home-based business, you have special insurance needs.

The broader availability of wideband or wireless Internet access and faster, cheaper computers have made working at home an increasingly viable possibility for millions of entrepreneurs.. [617 word article, March 2010]

Most people know that having a car accident can affect the price of their auto insurance. However, insurance companies use many factors to determine what they charge, and some of those factors may surprise you. Knowing what determines your premium could help you save money.

Auto insurance premiums are determined by two factors: underwriting and rates... [896 word article, September 2009]

With higher gas prices and the economy in recession, people are looking at motorcycles and other motorized transport as a way to get around town. If you’re thinking of buying, what do you need to know about insurance?

Even before gas prices went through the roof in 2008, motorcycle ownership was increasing. According to the Federal Highway Administration, motorcycle registrations increased 43 percent between 2001 and 2007...[718 word article, September 2009]

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