I Am Moving, But Want To Keep My Current Home As An Investment Property

Investment Property Insurance Santee, CAThe process of going from being a homeowner to a real estate investment/landlord is an exciting time. Not only are you working towards creating an extra revenue stream for your income, but you’re investing in what has historically been one of the best places – real estate!

When it comes to investing in real estate and being a landlord there is a lot to know and a lot to consider for liability purposes. In this article, we’ll discuss the ways to close the gaps with your insurance on your investment property.

Get a landlord insurance policy

Landlord insurance will insure your Dwelling/rental property as well as offer additional coverage for items stored at the property such as:

  • Additional buildings on premise such as sheds or garages
  • Equipment like tools, washing machines or other appliances used by tenant

In addition to property damage, landlords or rental property owners may also face legal ramifications for events that take place on the property they own. Having additional coverage for Legal Defense may help pay for legal fees from lawsuits like:

  • Libel or slander
  • Accidental Damage
  • Wrongful eviction

Get an umbrella policy, or consider increasing your liability limit on your umbrella policy

Being a landlord comes with an increased liability exposure. You can protect yourself with above and beyond insurance coverage in the form of an umbrella insurance policy to increase your liability limits that you purchase.

Think your liability limits are enough? Take this recent claim settlement:

A renter had notified the landlord that the boiler in the rental property was acting up and the landlord didn’t act quickly enough. Shortly after that call, a toddler severely scalded themselves and required months of painful skin grafts and therapy. The attorney settled with the landlord for the policy limits of $3 million.

Eliminate dangers around the property to limit your exposure

When you’d looking to eliminate liability exposures around a property, check some of these items:

  • Stair railings – check for loose or rotten railings inside and outside of the home
  • Trip hazards – walk the property and eliminate any large edges where someone could fall or trip
  • Swimming pools – if your property has a swimming pool, these pose major dangers to children. Be sure there is a fence with a self-closing gate that locks behind the person entering to stop curious neighborhood children or unattended children from entering the pool.

Owning investment property can be very rewarding, but do be aware of the additional risks there are. Fully eliminating your liability exposures is not ever a possibility, but mitigating your risk is. This is where we can help you come up with a comprehensive insurance package that protects you and your rental property. We would recommend scheduling a time to speak with one of our licensed agents to find you the right coverage and company for your rental property.

National Insurance Awareness Day – June 28th

Best Insurance Agency Santee, CAConsider Sunday, June 28th a day to think about your current insurance policy. While this can be a good time to do annually at your renewal, you may have been thinking about your policy again since COVID-19 hit.

Reach out to your agent.

We can do an in depth review of your current insurance policy based off of your current situation. We can look for any gaps in coverage and explain in detail your limits and what it means.

  • Other things to think of – have you done any home remodeling or have items in your house appreciated? If so, make sure to let us know so your policy is up to date.
  • Will you be making any big changes that may affect the amount of insurance coverage you need?
  • Are you considering other insurance policies?
  • Are you car or home shopping?

Are you a business owner?

Has your business made any changes with added or removed staff, services, products, etc.? Have you moved your business to an at-home business? If so, reach out to us regarding an endorsement so you are covered. Out agents can review your business insurance policy. There are many ways to ensure your business is covered whether it’s through a business owner’s insurance policy, workers comp, cyber liability, general liability and many more options.

Safety measures for your business

Let June 28th be a reminder of all the safety measures your staff should be practicing while at work. This is something your team should do at least once a year. Have can you lower your risk for an injury at work?

Insurance gives you a great sense of security. Whether it’s protecting your assets or your loved ones, let us help you ensure you have the best coverage.

Why working with an Independent Insurance agent matter

Independent Insurance Agents represent multiple top-rated insurance companies. This gives you more choice in coverage, pricing, payment options and discounts when shopping for all of your insurance needs. Not only do independent agents represent better choices, coverage and pricing, they are also a part of your local community which means they understand the unique risks, challenges and companies who have the best pricing in your area.

When you’re looking for insurance for your car, home, business or other product, know that picking an independent insurance agent is the right choice. You’ll get comparative quotes so you can decide which company fits your insurance needs best.

Everything You Should Know About Motorcycle Insurance

Motorcycle Insurance Agent Santee, CASpring is here, which means motorcycle season has arrived. Whether you enjoy going on long road trips or simply just like taking your motorcycle for a ride around your town, it’s important you have the right insurance coverage in the event you have to file a claim.

What You Should Know About Your Insurance & How Your Rate Can Be Calculated

Where You Live Matters

If you can ride your motorcycle year round, there is a chance you may pay more than an individual who can only ride during warmer months. Why? With your shortened window for riding, individuals who have a “motorcycle season” lower their risk for an accident.

Your Experience & Age Matter

This shouldn’t be too shocking to read. If you are an experienced motorcycle rider, you may have a lower rate vs. someone who just bought their first motorcycle. Your age factors in with your experience. Like car insurance, young drivers usually pay higher rates. However, if you are 50 years old and have no experience, you may pay more for insurance compared to a 30 year old who has 10 years of experience.

Your Riding History Matters

Just like car insurance, your riding history matters. Accidents, claims and tickets all play a role in your motorcycle insurance rate.

What Type of Bike You Own Matters

High performance bikes may be more to insure. If your bike has a big engine, that too can cost more to insure.

What Type of Motorcycle Insurance Coverage Should I Have?

Talk to one of our licensed agents about this. We can explain all coverage options. Some of these coverages are mandatory, but others are optional.  Here are a few to consider below.

Comprehensive insurance – covers you in the event your bike is damaged due to vandalism, falling trees/debris, storms, hitting an animal, theft, windshield damage, etc.

Liability – this covers you if you are responsible for causing damage or injuring someone else.

Collision – covers your motorcycle if you collide with a vehicle or object regardless if you are at fault or not.

Uninsured/underinsured motorist property damage – if your bike is damaged by someone who isn’t carrying insurance or is underinsured. This coverage provides coverage up to your policy limits. Bonus – it can cover your injuries too.

Have custom parts for your bike? Get it covered. Some carriers automatically include some coverage in a policy, but not all.  Talk to your agent about this.

How Can I Save Money On My Motorcycle Insurance Coverage?

  • Establish good credit
  • Bundle your insurance policy with other policies such as your car or home insurance
  • If you’re a member of the Harley-Davidson Owners Group (applies in 42 states)
  • Some insurance carriers give a discount for having a motorcycle endorsement
  • Take a motorcycle safety course (this is great for all riders! Experienced or beginner)

Almost every state in the United States requires some form of motorcycle insurance. Contact our office for a motorcycle insurance quote! We will help you determine what coverage options fit your lifestyle the best.

How to Avoid Insurance Claims & Liabilities From Hiring Contractors

Contractor Insurance Santee, CAIf you’re an experienced home remodeler, you’ve probably come across contractors who are willing to offer better pricing for cash deals or who are reluctant to provide you with a service contract. Did you know that you can be held liable for hiring a contractor who does not carry the right insurance and causes damages or injuries to another person or even one of their own workers? Saving a few dollars on your remodel can end up costing you thousands so follow these tips to avoid an insurance disaster.

  1. Look for obvious red flags: Getting multiple quotes for the job is a great idea, but did you find a contractor who will do the work for ½ as much as the next guy? How is this possible? When you’re inviting a contractor to your home, be sure to ask them for credentials before they come over to give you a bid. Following these steps can save you from theft, liability and even money.
  2. Ask for references: If you found a great contractor and you like him/her, ask them if they have a website or if there is someone who has had work done by them recently that you can talk to. If a contractor is proud of the work they do, they should have several references for you to call. It is okay to ask for reference and most people expect it. Most small businesses survive off of word-of-mouth advertising, so don’t be shy.
  3. Utilize the internet to look up their license: Contractors are required to have a license to perform work. You can utilize your states resources to find these contractors. An internet search will provide you with some quick references. You can even make your job quicker by asking them to provide you with a copy of their license or number.
  4. Active License, Insurance & Bond: Ask the contractor for a copy of their license as well as documentation of their insurance and bond. Note: Check the dates on the license as well as the insurance to ensure they’re currently in force or active.
  5. Get specific: Not only is it important to protect your insurance from a scam, but ensure your pocketbook doesn’t get taken for a ride too. Ask questions like, “Is this an estimate or a final bid?” “Does this estimate include parts and labor?” “Can I see where you’re buying the products beforehand?” The more questions you ask, the better you will feel and the more the contractor will understand that you’re educated on this process.

Let’s take a closer look at what some of these products do:

  1. License: A license to do business means that contractor has met local guidelines and qualification standards to work in their field. Hiring an unlicensed contractor can result in shoddy work or dangerous results such as with an electrician.
  2. Insurance: Contractors need two types of insurance really.
    1. General Liability Insurance: This will protect you from damages that the contractor causes such as a ladder falling through a window, causing a fire or overspray onto a neighboring house during some painting.
    2. Workers Compensation Insurance: This insurance will protect the contractor if one of his employees is injured on the job while on your property. If the contractor does not carry workers compensation insurance, your homeowners insurance policy might be asked to pay that workers claim.
  3. Bonds: A bond acts as a guarantee that the contractor will perform the work they’ve been asked to do. For instance, say your pay a contractor to do a job and he never gets the permits or doesn’t pay a subcontractor – collecting from his bond can help cover these costs.

Hiring a contractor this way can be a great option to bringing some new changes to your home. It is possible to really save money on these services, but just using some simple, quick research and asking the right questions can save you a bundle as well as a headache.

When Is The Best Time To Do an Insurance Review With My Agent?

Insurance Agency Santee, CAWorking with a local, independent insurance agency has many perks versus trying to figure out your insurance policy by yourself & purchasing it online. Not only do independent insurance agencies represent the top insurance carriers, but we can also act as your adviser. So, when should you take advantage of our expertise and do an insurance policy review?

Annual Review

Whether it’s your auto or home insurance policy, your insurance policies get renewed on the same month every year. This is probably the best time to reach out to your insurance agent regarding an insurance review. Did you premium go up? If so, reach out to us. We can re-quote you, often quoting several carriers at once. Then, we can shop to find you the best rate at similar coverage. Rates have been trending up, so it is possible your current carrier is still the best one.

At the Start of a New Season

This works best for all those individuals who own a boat, RV, ATV, motorcycle, etc. In many cases, individuals use their toys during the season and not year round. If this is the case for you, it might be best to ask your agent for an insurance review before you bring your boat, RV or ATV out to use for the season. A quick email or phone call is all it takes.

If You Have Multiple Insurance Policies

Did you know you can earn a nice discount by bundling your policies together? If you are a new college grad, you may be looking for renters insurance. Ask us if you can save money by bundling your renters and auto insurance together. Or, if you are looking to purchase an umbrella insurance policy to protect your assets, we may be able to score you a discount by bundling it with your auto or home insurance.

Updating Your Home

If you recently completed some major remodeling to your home, reach out to your insurance agent. We will want to ensure you have enough insurance coverage for all the changes you made such as custom cabinetry or new hardwood floors.

Life Changes

Whether you are working from home now and are driving less, recently got married or now have a teen driver in the house, we appreciate when you reach out to us! Not only can we look for discounts, but we can update your insurance policy to avoid any gaps in coverage.

We hope these examples encourage you to ask for an insurance review. As you insurance agent, we want to make sure you understand your current coverage and are getting the best coverage for your unique situation. We are here to help! Ask for insurance review today.

How to Effectively Work From Home

Tips for working from home in Santee, CA2020 has been the year where many more individuals experience working from home instead of driving into work. For some, this may feel luxurious, while other individuals may feel lost and unsure how they can be productive at home. We are looking to help the latter group! Working from home can be effective and relaxing when done correctly. Follow these simple tips to be successful.

Have a Dedicated Work Space

This is crucial. Just like you have a dedicated work space in your office, you want the same thing when working from home. Some individuals may have the luxury of having a separate bedroom or other unused space they can transform. Others may not. If you do not have an extra room, we suggest setting up your space in a clean, organized matter. Use one seat at your kitchen table that can mimic a cubicle. Keep your space organized and make it appear to be your dedicated work space. Or, rearrange your living room to have a small workspace.

Create a Routine

Some individuals may find it is best to follow their exact routine as if they were going into the office to work. Set an alarm, shower, eat breakfast, start working by 8 am. You can mimic your exact work schedule or you can create a new routine. Regardless, you should have a routine! If you are looking for a new routine, consider constructing a to-do list at the beginning of each day. Do you have any conference calls? What needs to get completed today and by what time? When you know this information, you can lay out your day in an organized manner. Be sure to include a work break as suggested next. Working from home has perks, but if you’re constantly doing other things because you can, this will hurt your work productivity.

Take a Break

Just like you would take a lunch break while working in the office, take a break when you are at home. We would not recommend tackling your household to-do list during this time, but perhaps taking a break to do a 20 minute walk, sit down and have a meal or anything else that gives you a break from your work duties.

Want to Start Working From Home Full Time?

If you run your own business, consider creating a dedicated work space in your home. Whether it is converting a room into an office or building a detached office outside your home. It should feel like work and is only used for work. Best of all, you may be able to deduct the dedicated space from your taxes. Talk to you accountant about this. If you find you will be working from home permanently and are a small business owner, contact us regarding your insurance policy.

We hope these tips are helpful. If you have any questions regarding your insurance policy, reach out to our agency. We can provide a free quote or complete an insurance review.

5 Ideas to Spring Clean Your Home or Vehicle

5 Ideas to Spring Clean Your Home in Santee, CAHaving a clean home or a clean car is a great feeling. While it can be a pain to get started mentally, it’s always worth it once it’s complete. Here is a quick checklist to help you when it comes to spring cleaning your vehicle and your home. Consider committing a few hours to your car and your home over a weekend. With a solid to-do list, you may find it takes less time than you think.

Five Things to Do For Your Car –

  • Check the conditions on your tires. Any visible sidewall damage or bulging?
  • Wipe down all windows on the inside. While you’re at it, wipe down your dash with a vinyl cleaner. Not only will it be nice to wipe away any dust or grime, but it can help protect against the sun’s UV rays.
  • Check for the last maintenance visit. How long has it been since your last oil change?
  • Check your wiper blades. Are they cracked or do they leave streaks?
  • Give your car a wash, possible wax and vacuum the interior! If you have the supplies at home, great! If not, drive down to your local car wash to tidy up the interior and exterior of your vehicle. Doing so will help maintain the value of your vehicle.

Five things to do for your home –

  • Dust

Make a checklist of all the areas in your house where dust can collect. We typically look to dust televisions, window sills, baseboards, blinds, picture frames, night stands, the top of cabinets or ceiling fans or bed frames.

  • Organize

Go through your cupboards and closets. Consider donating any clothing you haven’t worn in over a year. Organize your cupboards like your food pantry, junk drawers or storage closets.

  • Change smoke detector batteries

This chore takes less than 5 minutes to complete. If you have a carbon monoxide detector, check the batteries there too.

  • Disinfect

This may take a little more time. It’s always good to wipe out your refrigerator a few times a year. You can disinfect areas like your shower, tub, toilet or wash your shower curtains. Also, disinfect your TV remote, door knobs, computer mouse or drawer handles.

  • Donate

It feels good to get rid of things! Whether it’s going through your closet to donate clothing or going through your garage, getting rid of things can make your life feel organized.

We hope this short checklist to spring cleaning your home or car is helpful. If have questions about your car insurance or other vehicle insurance, contact us! We can also do a policy review for your home or condo insurance. Take advantage of working with a local independent insurance agency to ensure you have the right insurance coverage for your needs.

Auto Insurance Myths vs. Facts

Auto Insurance Agent Santee, CAWhen it comes to purchasing auto insurance there are many myths that exist. Let’s take a closer look at some of these myths and help you understand why they may not be true.

Auto Insurance Is More Expensive For Men

If you have two individuals of the same age who live in the same town, one male and the other female, it is not true that the male will pay more for his insurance. In fact, there are many variables that come into play when an insurance company determines premium. Some of those are:

  1. Garaging Zip Code
  2. Driving history
  3. Credit report
  4. Loss history
  5. Education level
  6. Type of vehicle
  7. And many more!

To find out what your premium might be, the only way is to get a quote. Compare companies and coverage options that you need by talking to an independent agent. We can compare many companies side by side.

Older Cars Cost Less To Insure

Not true. For instance, your personal injury protection will likely be less on a newer vehicle because it is equipped with more safety features to aid you in the event of an accident – meaning you’re more likely to be injured in an older vehicle without airbags for example. However, insurance costs for comprehensive and collision coverage do tend to go down the older a vehicle gets because it is simply worth less money.

If someone borrows your car, they are responsible for the insurance.

In most states, insurance follows the vehicle. It is called “permissive use.” If you give someone permission to drive your vehicle, you’re also essentially giving them permission to use your insurance. Now, be careful here because if someone is in your household and not listed on your insurance policy and has regular access and use to your vehicle, you may find yourself in a tricky claims situation because that person should be listed on your insurance policy.

I have an auto insurance policy so it will cover me when I’m delivering food or working for a rideshare company.

If your job requires you to deliver food using your own vehicle or you work part time as an Uber or Lyft driver, you need a special insurance policy. Typically an endorsement to your regular auto insurance, this provides coverage for you while you’re using your vehicle for work related purposes.

Your friend pays less for their insurance than you do so that means you’re paying too much.

Insurance is specific to the driver, their history, vehicle, garaging zip code, usage and so many other factors. There are hundreds of different scenarios that can be calculated to determine your auto insurance premiums. Just because your friend pays less for a similar car, does not mean you’re overpaying.

If you ever want to know if you’re paying too much or want to know all your options for auto insurance, call us! As an independent insurance agency, we have many choices for insurance. Oftentimes we can share with you the insurance premiums of up to 10 different insurance companies in the same time it takes to do a single quote. Trust us to find you the best rates and service for your specific situation. We can also help you dispel other myths that exist with insurance premiums.

Local Insurance Agents: 6 Key Benefits of Choosing Us

A local insurance agent listens to your needs then finds a customized insurance policy that fits those needs. When looking for insurance, consider your local, independent insurance agents in Santee. We do more than just provide you with a great insurance policy. Because we live in a “need it now” society, instant quotes for auto insurance, home insurance and more seem attractive. However, these instant quotes don’t guarantee you are getting the best insurance rates and coverage for your situation. Here are some ways a local insurance agent can help you:

Professional Advice

Not sure how much coverage you need to protect your home or confused about what line of insurance you need to protect your small business? Local insurance agents not only want what’s best for you but we’ll provide our professional guidance as well. We’ll listen to your needs, strive to not only educate you on what you are and aren’t covered for, but also counsel you on what insurance company best fits you. Because we represent multiple insurance companies, you get choice.

Did you insurance increase? We can help.

If you have insurance through a direct carrier and you notice your car insurance increases by $300 the following year, you might be thinking it’s time to change carriers.  While your insurance may increase with a local insurance agent, all you have to do is reach out to your agent via email or phone. We’ll shop our many insurance carriers to find the best coverage for your needs & budget. Our agency works to save you time and money by working with pre-selected insurance companies and acting on your behalf to fit you into the right insurance program.

Guidance with how to deal with a claim.

Being involved in an insurance claim can be a hassle, but we can assist you throughout the entire process to make it easier on you. By simply calling us, you’ll quickly learn how to settle your claim and be made whole again.

Build a Relationship

Just like you have built trust with your doctor or dentist, we want the same type of relationship with helping you with your insurance. We strive to build that same trust when it comes to needing insurance guidance or saving you time & money. To us, you’re not just a customer, you’re a valued client who needs to be properly protected.

You Have Questions, We Have Answers

Your lifestyle and needs change over time and we are here to assist you with all of life’s changes. Whether you’re looking to start a business, going from renting to owning a home or needing to insure your new classic car vehicle, we are here to help with all your insurance needs.

We Can Do It All

Since we offer many lines of insurance, we can cover all your needs. Plus, when you bundle insurance policies, it may qualify you to save additional money. Get your home, car, boat and business insurance all under one roof to make it easy for you.

If you are looking to find a local insurance agent in Santee, CA for your auto, home or business insurance, call True Pro Insurance Center, Inc.  We look forward to earning your business and will strive to create a lasting relationship.