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.

What can happen if you don’t have homeowners insurance?

Homeowners insurance is a very important thing to have. To understand why it is so important one must understand what homeowners insurance is. Homeowners insurance is a form of property insurance that is designed to protect ones home against damages to the house itself or the possessions that are in the home. It can also provide liability coverage against accidents that take place in the home or on the property. In the United States there are seven forms of homeowners insurance that have become standardized.

Disasters can strike at any time and in Lafayette, CO it is important to be covered. Many things can occur in Lafayette, CO such as severe storms, floods, wildfires, and more. The weather in Colorado changes so often that a small storm can drop a funnel cloud or tornado for a quick warm up to melt off the snow with the intensity. Luckily the National Weather Service relays weather messages, but if your home is not protected then it can be a disaster. Wind, wind driven rain, falling objects, or the collapse of a structure can cause damage to one’s home and if they are not insured then that can cause a lot of pocket expenses. Severe storms can cause floods and water damage to the home, which can lead to mold.

Wildfires threaten homes and personal property in Lafayette, CO, and without the homeowners insurance the home can have smoke damage and fire damage to the property and no help will be provided for damages. With those damages it can get expensive, but with homeowners insurance it can help cover your home and personal property for the actual cash value.  Contact an agent at 1st American Insurance Agency to learn more today.

Safe Driving Tips for the Morning Winter Commute

Living in Lafayette, CO means also living with snow for part of the year.  While people in Colorado love the great outdoors when the snow the falling – hiking skiing, sledding, snowmobiling and having fun in the snow are always on the do list.  But what usually isn’t so much fun is the morning commute during nasty weather.  This is a time to be extra careful so that you can avoid an accident.  Read on to lean about some driving safety tips you can start applying to the morning commute now.  

Stay at or Under the Speed Limit

Driving slowly during the morning commute when the roads are slick will give you ample time to stop if the vehicle in front of you suddenly stops.  You will also be able to respond faster in the event you needed to swerve out of the way, for example.  

Avoid Aggressive Drivers

Being in a hurry when driving in bad weather can be a disaster waiting to happen. Provide distance between yourself and any driver that is speeding and constantly switching lanes.  

Don’t Take Your Eyes off the Road

Accidents can happen in a split second, and those chances increase when the weather is bad.  Fiddling with the controls, reaching for a ringing cell phone, or turning around to talk to someone in the back should be avoided during a morning commute with nasty weather.  

Be Insured

Even when you do your best to remain safe during a drive into work when the roads are dangerous, accidents can still happen. That’s why it is important to have excellent auto coverage insurance in Lafayette, CO. At (agency name) we help you find the right coverage at the right price that will give you peace of mind as you brave the morning roads during a heavy snow fall.   

 

 

 

 

How a DUI can Affect your Insurance

Insurance rates can go up and down depending on how many moving violations and accidents you get in your driving career. However, none are more impactful than a DUI. Here are some things that 1st American Insurance Agency, serving Lafayette, CO, want you to know about insurance and driving under the influence.

SR-22 and DUIs

The state of Colorado requires any driver who has had their license suspended for a DUI to have what is called an SR-22, also known as the Safety Responsibility Form # 22, before they can get it reinstated. An SR-22 is not an insurance policy, but a document that proves that you have insurance. This is provided by the insurance company when you sign up for a policy. If you were to go with us here at 1st American Insurance Agency, we would provide this document for you.

DUI and Your Rates

Every insurance company has a different formula when determining insurance rates. While one insurance company might weigh a DUI heavily, another might not weigh it as much as other factors. This is why it is important to shop around. 

Getting a DUI can maker it hard to find a policy, because insurance companies do have the right to deny "high risk" drivers. However, there are many that will still sell you a policy, since it is still a legal requirement when you are driving.

No matter what your story is, you should shop around to see what policy you can get. Make sure you contact us here at 1st American Insurance Agency, serving Lafayette, CO, to see if we can help you with your insurance needs.