Wednesday, June 29, 2011

BBQ Safety

Each year there are approx. 7,000 calls to fire departments due to injury or property damage due to BBQ grills.

Here's a couple of tips to help you and your loved ones stay safe.

1. Establish a child and pet free zone - Keep children and pets at least 3 feet away from the cooking area.

2. Check the connections on gas grills to make sure they are hooked up correctly and are not leaking.

3. Check the grill, housing and bottom for cracks.

4. Work on a non-flammable surface (concrete patio, asphalt, etc.).

5. Keep the grill at least 5 feet from any structure, 10 is better. Many house fires start because of flame ups that reach the patio cover above, the roof overhang or fence.

6. Never leave the grill unattended.

7. Keep the grill clean and practice sanitary food handling.

Have a great summer!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Does My Tenant Need Renters Insurance?

If you are a landlord you are only interested in covering your property inside the rental, structure, and liability.

But none of your coverages apply to the tenant. If the house gets broken into and the tenants stuff is stolen, they are out of luck. If there is a fire and all their things are destroyed, they are out of luck. The tenant must get a renters insurance policy to cover their things.

Typical coverage in a renters policy includes personal property coverage,  liability, loss of use and medical payments to others.

Next week I'll talk more about each of these coverages and why a tenant would need them.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Medication coverage and Homeowners Insurance, know what is covered.

One of the things I love about insurance is the challenge of  addressing anything that can happen to a property or person. Insurance carriers get it all!

With some states legalizing marijuana shops and others banning them, many carriers have revisited this important issue. Homeowners policy typically offer some form of coverage for prescribed medications. If marijuana is legal in your state, will your carrier cover your stash?

They may, up to a limit. If you are prescribed medication by a licensed physician, no matter what that medication is, you may have some coverage if the medication is stolen or destroyed in a disaster like a house fire. Some carriers will reimburse you the cost of medication refills for the medicine you lost.If you have a condition that requires you to take medication on a regular basis, know what your homeowners, renters or condo policy will cover.  Others will assign a flat amount. Check your policy or call your agent.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Look out for Brush Fires!

Brush fires in California are a unfortunately a common occurrence. The best thing you can do to save your home is to keep a defensible area around your home clear, 30 feet or more, trim tree limbs away from the roof, keep bushes and plants maintained, clean up an leaves and needles from trees and store any flammable items (gasoline, rags, paper etc) in approved safety containers.

If you are buying a home, one of the frustrations (as if there are not enough in real estate!) is when you can't get insurance because of a brush fire moratorium. When insurers get news of a bush fire in an area, they go into action and suspend the writing of any new policies in and around a burn area. Some insurers are more extreme than others and depending on where your home future home is located you might find a carrier that can still bind a policy in that area. If you are down to the close of escrow or near it when a brush fire starts up, make sure to ask your agent if they can bind the policy, and not just quote it.

Insurers put in moratoriums and stop binding polices in areas where there is a brush fire in order to protect themselves from losses and to prevent panic buying. Sometimes all you can do is wait.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Myth That You Must Have Insurance

Many people think you must have insurance on your home. The fact is, you don't.

If you do not have a loan (lucky!) then you can choose not to have insurance and to pay for all the repairs yourself or get a loan should the house get some serious damage or be destroyed.

If you have a lender, as do most of us, you will be required to get insurance or the lender will force place insurance to protect their interest in the property. I have yet to see a forced placed policy that is less than what a local agent can provide.

Keep your insurance up to date on your home. Open everything you get from your insurance company and call your agent or carrier if you don't understand it. Look at your renewal quote and check around. You may be able to save by switching carriers, changing your deductible, or adjusting coverages.

You can request a quote for homes in Southern California by clicking here.