Does your insurance coverage meet your individual needs?

January 2017: For your peace of mind, resolve to evaluate your insurance policies
Happy New Year – The time at which we are all contemplating self-improvement resolutions in the hopes of making our lives cleaner, lighter, less cluttered, and more efficient. Along those lines, have you considered resolving to improve your insurance coverage? Experts agree that the beginning of the year is the perfect time to review all the protections you have in place to see how your coverage needs may have changed. You may wish to ask yourself the following questions and consider various lines of insurance at this time.

Has your home increased or decreased in value in the last year or two? Many homeowners in Livingston Parish flooded this past August and, depending on what repairs and renovations have been made, your property value may have gone up or down. Have you recently remodeled your kitchen or bathroom? Added on a room, garage or outdoor kitchen? In addition to these changes, any changes in the real estate market could also affect the value of your home. If not correctly valued, you could either pay for too much coverage on a house that has been devalued or be underinsured and at risk if there should be a major disaster requiring a claim to be made.

NEWLY REBUILT KITCHEN: After nearly 5 feet of water covered the Stark family kitchen a little over five months ago, the rebuild is done.

NEWLY REBUILT KITCHEN: After nearly 5 feet of water covered the Stark family kitchen a little over five months ago, the rebuild is done.

Do you own other properties? Property and liability insurance should be carried on other properties you may own, such as fishing and hunting camps and rental properties. Jewelry, furs, guns, art and other valuable items require the addition of riders or umbrella insurance for their specific protection.

KITCHEN UNDER  CONSTRUCTION: 2 months after the flood and the kitchen is clean and ready for the rebuild.

KITCHEN UNDER CONSTRUCTION: 2 months after the flood and the kitchen is clean and ready for the rebuild.

Are you adequately insured against flooding? In our part of the world this has always been an important consideration. Flood insurance requires a policy separate from homeowners as flooding from rising waters is not covered otherwise. Mortgage companies may require homeowners to keep flood policies that cover the amount of the mortgage, but not the amount of rebuilding a flooded home. Sit down with an agent and consider all of the valuations for your home.

Have you considered resolving to improve your insurance coverage?

What Do You Need? If You’ve Got it, We Cover it.

Are you rebuilding from the recent flood? Renovating/remodeling? Building a new home or office?
Builder’s risk insurance is a special type of property insurance which protects against damage to buildings while they are under construction. It is coverage that protects a person’s insurable interest in materials, fixtures and/or equipment being used in the construction or renovation of a building or structure should those items sustain physical loss or damage from a covered cause.
Buildings are subject to many different risks while under construction. They may catch fire, be damaged by high winds, or fall victim to other forces. A principle of common law is that any new construction or other improvement to land becomes property of the owner of the land once there has been an improvement to the owner’s site.
Builder’s risk covers perils such as fire, wind, theft, vandalism and many more. It typically does not cover perils such as earthquake, flood or wind unless the policy has been specifically endorsed to do so. These policies also do not cover accidents and injuries at the workplace. It is intended to terminate when the work has been completed and the property is ready for use or occupancy.

Who buys builder’s risk?
Coverage should be purchased by the custom builder or general contractor and may also be purchased by the property owner. Builder’s risk coverage may be necessary to show proof of insurance to comply with local city, county, and state building codes and is often required as a condition to many contracts. However, it is safer for the home owner to obtain the Builder’s Risk policy because they own the building even while under construction and they deserve to receive the benefits from any insurance policy. The funds end up going to the builder, but at the control of the owner.
Is your contractor fully licensed and insured? Double check with licensing bureaus to determine whether someone you’ve hired is fully licensed and has the liability coverage needed to be protected on the job. A declarations page shown to homeowners is only proof that a policy was acquired, but was it kept in force through premium payments?
All of our Builders Risk Policies are underwritten by A-rated companies. This type of policy covers the property only and has no Liability Coverages. If you are an Owner Builder or a General Contractor, Integrity can supply you with a General Liability policy as well.

Do you own a business? Business owners have a special need for different coverages and for an agent who can clearly explain commercial policies and help get the insurance they need. Integrity agents handle all lines of commercial and personal insurances and can help you to determine what you may or may not need.

Are you a renter? Many of us have become renters in the last few months of 2016. Renters should consider protecting their personal property – their contents. Landlords protect their structures, the dwelling, but not their renters’ contents. Add up the value of the property you own, such as furniture, televisions, computers, game systems, sound systems, firearms, jewelry, etc. and you may be surprised at the total of your assets that need protection. Look for a renter’s policy to cover your contents.

We are an insurance agency, a small business that is part of the community.

Do you have the correct coverage on your auto insurance to adequately protect you in the event of an accident? If only the minimum required limits are carried and you cause an auto accident with two or more cars that are fairly new and expensive, you might not have enough coverage to pay for the damages. Likewise, if you carry low limits for uninsured/underinsured motorists, you could be left with bills to pay for your own damages when the other driver is at fault. Also, look at relatively inexpensive coverage options such as car rental and roadside assistance as they might prove to be very helpful in times of need.

What recreational vehicles do you own? Many overlook liability coverage for their toys. To help make sure that these items remain a source of pleasure for you, consider insurance coverage for your boat, ATV, jet ski, their trailers, and other recreational vehicles. Even though insurance on some of them may not be required by law, the coverage is affordable and may protect you from financial loss if your vehicle is accidentally damaged or from liability if you accidentally injure someone or cause damage to another’s property.

What are your life insurance needs? Life insurance replaces the loss of income your family will experience in the event of your death. Everyone’s need for life insurance changes as they age with the need to increase and decrease protection as one goes through various phases in life. Call an agent to discuss changing needs.

So, how do you decide what you need? Call the agents at Integrity Insurance for a free, no obligation assessment of your complete insurance needs. They can assist you in determining what types and amounts of coverages fit your personal situation and offer help in finding discounts for which you may be eligible, such as security systems and multiple policy discounts.

Do you receive the service you deserve? Above all else, what consumers need from their insurance agent is good service. The first key to good service is talking to a live, local person who understands your needs and is not just a voice in a call center somewhere. According to the staff at Integrity, they are not an insurance company – we are an insurance agency, a small business that is part of the community. Don’t hesitate to call them. Whether you need personal or business insurance, agents are able to shop multiple A-rated providers on your behalf to find the best coverage at the most affordable rates to meet your individual needs. They have two offices in Livingston Parish for clients’ convenience located in the hometowns of Livingston and Albany. Beyond providing attentive service to their clients, Integrity is an integral part of the community supporting civic organizations and local charities. As you step into this New Year, contact Integrity Insurance for your policy reviews in person, by phone, or online.

Details:

Integrity Insurance, 225.686.1217, 20185 Iowa St., Livingston, or 29887 South Montpelier Ave., Albany, 225.567.5700; Email: integrityagency@bellsouth.net; website: www.integrityinsurancela.com; and Facebook: Integrity Insurance. Hours: Mon-Thurs 7:30 am-5 pm, Friday 8 am-noon.