What are the available add-ons for a homeowners policy?

In Longmont, CO, as well as the rest of the United States, a homeowners insurance policy is vital to cover emergency issues, such as theft or natural disasters. But what if you experience a sewage backup, as many unfortunately do? Most policies do not have this coverage, so owners end up paying thousands out of pocket to clean up the mess! The add-on for coverage of sewage backup is often only in the ballpark of $50 per year. 

It is essential that you speak to an agent at 1st American Insurance Agency, serving the needs of Longmont, CO, in order to discuss a plan that works for you. Basic homeowners insurance policies cover possessions (like art and jewelry), damage to the physical structure from certain disasters (fire, for example, but not floods), and the medical expenses and/or lawsuits against you caused by someone’s injury within your dwelling. Again, individual policies differ, so talking to an agent at 1st American Insurance Agency is vital.

If you own pieces that are very valuable, consider special coverage for them, whether individually or as a collection, which drops the deductible and adds additional coverage like theft from the premises or breakage. 

If you live in an area that is more prone to disasters such as earthquakes or floods, separate plans are necessary, as they are not covered by a standard policy. 

If you own recreational or watercraft vehicles and store them at your house, chances are they won’t be covered by your basic policy, either. A rider to cover the cost of these apparatuses must be purchased.

Additionally, if you have a home-based business, your homeowner’s policy will exclude it from coverage. If you are going to have a business, be sure to get an add-on just in case there is damage to electronic equipment, computers, etc.

Keeping Auto Insurance Costs Down in Longmont

The best way to keep your auto insurance costs down may have nothing to do with calling a variety of insurance company and comparing rates side-by-side. The more you know about how insurance cost rates are calculated, the more likely it is you will find ways to keep them down. Let 1st American Insurance Agency give you a few tips about what to do if you live in Longmont, CO, and want to tighten up your budget.

Brushing Up Your Skills 

No matter how many years you’ve been driving, there are always ways to get better. Becoming more mindful of what’s on the road all starts with practice. Whether you tend to get heated up under the collar when a driver cuts you off or you just find yourself bored on the road, there are ways to become a better defensive driver. The fewer speeding tickets you get, the fewer accidents you cause, and the fewer near-misses you see on the road all add up to better insurance rates. Breathing techniques, schedule changes, and even just learning more about what defensive driving looks like can really help. Sometimes all it takes is avoiding the times when traffic is at its worse to become safer on the road.

Finding Help 

If you live in Longmont, CO, then now is the time to call 1st American Insurance Agency to find out more about how you can plan for the next few years. Let our agents answer any questions you may have. We know just how much it matters to take a few deep breaths before you find yourself in a situation that could have been avoided. Give us a call now if you’re gathering information about rates, and let us work out the right policy for you!

What To Look For When Reading An Auto Insurance Policy

Your auto insurance policy is a legal contract and it is important to understand it before entering an agreement with your insurance provider. Familiarize yourself with the different components of your policy so you can easily find information in the future and know exactly how much coverage you are purchasing. Here are the main components you will find in your auto insurance policy.

Declaration Page

This section gives you an overview of the policy. You will find the names of the people covered by the policy, the duration of the coverage, a short description of the type and amount of coverage you are purchasing and how much your premiums will cost.

Insuring Agreement

This section provides you with details on the service offered by your insurance provider. This is where you will find information about the type and amount of coverage you are purchasing and about what you should do if you are in a collision. The insuring agreement should also include details about exclusions and deductibles.

Types And Amount Of Coverage

This is the section of the insuring agreement that tells you exactly what you are paying for and how much coverage you will receive. This section will typically include details about body injury liability, property damage liability and collision coverage. If you choose to purchase optional coverage, you will find information about comprehensive, uninsured motorist and medical payments coverage as well.

Conditions

The conditions of your auto insurance policy detail what your obligations are. Go over the conditions to find out about payment details, how to file a claim and how to cancel your policy.

Don’t purchase a policy before reading it! The insurance agents at 1st American Insurance Agency serving Longmont, CO will always take the time to go over your policy with you to make sure it is a good match for your needs. You should reach out to 1st American Insurance Agency if you are in the Longmont. CO area and need help with finding the right auto insurance policy.

Will a Smart Home System Reduce Home Insurance Costs?

At 1st American Insurance Agency, we provide each of our clients with the comprehensive home insurance right for their needs. One of the key factors in determining the cost of your insurance is accessing the amount of risk your home presents to the company. If you can take steps to minimize those risks, you may be able to save money on home insurance. For some people, smart home systems can help.

What Can a Smart Home System Do for You?

A wide range of smart home systems exist today. Each offers a few different features – and not all will offer the same benefits. However, some features can enhance the security and safety of your home. For example, if the system features a security camera outside of the home’s doors, this video can help to minimize the risk of theft. Like the addition of any home security system, this could help to reduce your premium.

In addition, some smart home systems feature sensors that monitor for high levels of carbon monoxide or smoke. Some also monitor temperature and can detect when a fire is present. These automatically alert the family and may even alert the local safety forces of your need. In doing so, they help to avoid the risk to your home from fire damage. In this way, they may also help to reduce your costs.

Should You Invest in One?

If you are thinking about investing in a smart home security system, call your experienced agents at 1st American Insurance Agency first. Let our team help you determine if this can be beneficial to your specific needs and costs. We serve residents in and around Longmont, CO and can help you to get the lowest possible premium for your home insurance needs.

When You Should Exclude People From Your Auto Insurance Policy

Unless otherwise stated, any licensed driver you allow to drive your car is covered by your auto insurance policy if they are involved in a car accident. However, if you live with someone or closely associate with someone who has a poor driving record and the auto insurance company knows, they may raise your rates to compensate for the possibility of this driver getting behind the wheel of your car. Excluding the driver from your policy, or stating that they will not drive your car, can help keep your premiums low. Here are a few reasons why you may want to exclude a driver your auto insurance policy.

They Have Been Convicted of Drunk Driving

If your spouse, child or roommate has been convicted of drunk driving, the insurance company may be alerted to the fact that someone living with you has a conviction. Based on this, they can ask you to exclude the driver from your policy. If you fail to do so, they may raise your auto insurance rates because there is a possibility the driver will get behind the wheel of your car while drunk. As such, excluding the driver may be best.

They Have Been Involved in Numerous Accidents

If someone you live with has been involved in numerous auto accidents, your auto insurance policy may want to raise your auto insurance rates. Excluding the driver can help to ensure this does not happen.

They Have Multiple Traffic Infractions

The last reason why you may want to exclude someone from your auto insurance policy is because the driver has multiple traffic infractions. Multiple infractions shows that they do not abide by traffic laws and may be at a higher risk for an accident. Excluding them from your policy shows the insurance company that bad driver won’t be behind the wheel of your car.

If you are looking to obtain a new auto insurance policy and have questions about whether you should exclude another driver or not, 1st American Insurance Agency can help. We serve the greater Longmont, CO area. If you have any questions about excluding drivers or obtaining price quotes, give us a call today to get answers.

Ways to Get Your Home Ready for Spring

There is no doubt about it: the cold weather is about to go away and spring is coming to Longmont, CO. You likely cannot wait to get out and enjoy the area in the new season but before you do any of that, you need to do a few things around your home to prepare. Use these tips from 1st American Insurance Agency to help get you started on your list. 

  • De-winterize your home. Many people in the area likely took the time to winterize their home before the winter began and if you were one of them, then you need to make sure you de-winterize it too. You can call a professional to get this taken care of for you. 
  • Get your A/C checked. You may not need it yet but you do not want to find out that your A/C does not work in the heat of the summer. Get it checked out now so you can avoid that problem later and get everything taken care of now. 
  • Clean up a bit. You can do a little bit of spring cleaning and it will go a long way. If you do not have the time for a huge project, do not fret. Do what you can and it will look better. Even doing some basic dusting can change how it looks and feels in your home. 

One other thing you need to make sure you have in place is a great home insurance policy. If you do not already have one then 1st American Insurance Agency, serving Longmont, CO, can get you a free quote. If you do have one, they can take a look at your current policy to make sure that you do not have any gaps in coverage. Be sure to contact them today.

Auto Insurance Coverage for Injuries: Do You Have Enough?

When it comes to insurance coverage, most people check to make sure they have enough coverage to pay off their car if it gets totaled. They may even think about how much coverage they would need if they collided with a high-end vehicle and the accident was their fault. You’ve likely thought of all these things, but have you thought about how much insurance you need to cover the medical bills of those who may get injured in the crash? 

Minimum coverage for Lafayette, CO

By law, you are required to carry a certain amount of insurance for injuries. In Colorado, you must have a policy that will pay out at least $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident. Keep in mind that this is only the amount that you need to drive legal. Medical bills often cost much more than state minimums, especially if you’re in a serious accident and there are multiple injuries. 

Rising Costs for Medical Care

Thanks to innovative safety features on modern vehicles, the rate and severity of injuries have actually decreased. However medical costs keep rising astronomically. The average claim per injured person in a car accident is about $15,500. Keep in mind that this number represents the average of both minor and major accidents. Medical expenses in a serious accident could be as much as $500,000. Fatal accidents can be even more expensive. 

How Much Coverage Is Enough

At the very least, you must have enough bodily injury coverage to meet the state minimum requirements. However, you should know that you may end up paying tens-of-thousands of dollars out of pocket if you only opt for minimum coverage. For example, if you have a policy that covers $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident and you get into an accident where two of your passengers are injured. The first passenger has medical bills amounting to $45,000 while the second person’s bill only amounts to $5,000. You will still be responsible for anything over $25,000 for the first person. You will pay $20,000 in this scenario. 

If you’re not sure how much coverage you need, talk to an agent at 1st American Insurance Agency today. They will be more than happy to discuss your needs and find a policy that works for you. 

What is covered by standard homeowners insurance?

Homeowners in Lafayette, CO know that the uncertainties of living in the Front Range of the Rockies provide unique challenges to maintaining their homes. Sudden and volatile changes in the weather can cause unexpected and disastrous damage to your home. 

Has your basement ever flooded? Did you know that most homeowners policies don’t cover the damage caused by a sump-pump that can’t handle runoff water from a lot of snow melt?

In fact, most homeowners and renters policies don’t cover flood damage at all. You’ll need a separate policy for flood damage if you’re in an area with a high risk of flooding. 

Have you had a lot of snow this winter? Standard homeowners policies don’t cover the cost of repairing collapsed roofs or shrubbery damaged from the weight of snow, or from freezing.

If your pipes or appliances freeze and burst, you may not have coverage either for the damage to your pipes or the damaged caused to the infrastructure of your house when your pipes burst.

Often homeowners policies don’t cover landslides, mudslides, and avalanches – these could be common in the Front Range.

If your sewer backs up and causes damage to you home, this is not usually covered by your homeowner’s insurance policy or your flood insurance policy. You’re also responsible for maintaining the sewer lateral—the pipeline between your house, and the city sewer system. This is usually located on your street and can cost a fortune to repair.

If you’re worried that you don’t have enough insurance coverage for your home, speak with an independent insurance agent at 1st American Insurance Agency. They can go through your policy with you, and create a policy to fit your unique needs to make sure that you have the protection that you need for your home.

How to Save On Your Energy Bill This Winter

The winters in Lafayette, CO can get pretty cold. Unfortunately, this can also mean a high heating bill. Are your energy bills consistently high during the winter? At 1st American Insurance Agency, we recognize that costs add up. Fortunately, there are some simple measures you can take to help lower your monthly energy bill. Most of these only take a few minutes of your time. However, if you would like to save on energy costs, they are certainly worth doing!

Turn Down the Thermostat

We don’t want you to freeze all winter long, however, did you know that you can save significantly by turning your thermostat down just one or two degrees? If you are willing to put on a warm robe or sweater and keep it a little cooler, you will see a difference on your next bill.

Regularly Clean Your Furnace

While most people recognize that they need to change out the filter for the air conditioning each summer to keep it running efficiently, they often forget about this in the winter. If you make it a habit to change the filter out every two months, you will increase its efficiency by a full 50 percent.

Check Your Energy Bill Rates at Different Times of Day

It is quite common for energy companies to charge higher rates during what they consider to be “prime” hours of the day.  These rates go down during other parts of the day such as early mornings and later in the evening. Look at your rates and try to run appliances like the dishwasher or washing machine during times with lower rates. At 1st American Insurance Agency of Lafayette, CO, we hope you find these tips helpful for saving on your next energy bill. 

Tips For Keeping Auto Insurance Low When Adding a Teen to Your Auto Insurance

When you add a teenage driver to your auto insurance policy, you can expect your rates to increase. This is because teenage drivers are inexperienced and thus, more likely to be involved in an accident. However, this does not mean that you need to pay an insane amount of money to let your teen drive. Here are a few tips for keeping your auto insurance as low as possible when adding a teen driver.

Have Your Teen Take a Defensive Driving Course

Many insurance companies will reduce a teenage driver’s auto insurance rates if they take part in a defensive driving course. Those who take this course are less likely to be involved in an accident, which helps to negate some of the risk that an insurer has when insuring a teen driver. As such, this is a great place to start when trying to lower auto insurance rates for a teen driver.

Shop Around for Auto Insurance Rates

Another tip for keeping auto insurance rates as low as possible when adding a teen driver is to shop around with various companies. Your existing auto insurance company may have high rates for teen drivers. But unless you shop around, you won’t know it. It can be hard to leave your comfort zone, but checking rates with other companies will help you get the best possible rate for your teenage driver.

If you are looking for a new auto insurance policy for you and your teen or just for your teenager, 1st American Insurance Agency, serving the greater Lafayette, CO area, would love to help you. We offer affordable rates for drivers of all ages. Call us today to set up an appointment to discuss your needs and to get a price quote.