3 Reasons to Make a Home Inventory

As a homeowner, you may cringe at the thought of making a home inventory due to the time and effort involved. A home inventory, however, can be a lifesaver if you were to suffer a major loss in a disaster. A home inventory is a practical means of documenting your personal possessions. By taking photos or videos of pricey items and collecting receipts, you can prove ownership of these goods and verify their value. If you’re still not convinced a home inventory is worth your time, the following reasons may change your mind.

Accurate Insurance Coverage

A home inventory will make it easier for you to choose accurate insurance protection for your personal belongings. This can help reduce home insurance costs. After reviewing your list, an agent from 1st American Insurance Agency will have a better idea of what kind of personal property protection you need so you don’t waste money on useless coverage.

Simplify Filing a Claim

A home inventory can simplify filing a home insurance claim if and when the need arises. If a fire or natural disaster ravages your Longmont, CO home and destroys most of your personal goods, you can simply refer to your list to see what you have lost. You don’t have to rely on memory to claim loss of personal property as you’ll have an accurate account of your goods to include photos and receipts as proof of ownership and value. This will take the stress out of making a claim after a disaster.

Verify Financial Loss

When you file your tax return, your home inventory can come in handy to verify your financial loss. It may also help you get financial assistance, if needed, after a disaster.

For help in selecting home insurance coverage, contact 1st American Insurance Agency in Longmont, CO.  

Will Auto Insurance Fully Replace Your Totaled Vehicle?

Sometimes, a car accident in Longmont, CO can lead to a totaled vehicle. When your car becomes a total loss, you’ll likely want to know what your insurance company will do about it. The answer can vary depending on your coverage options from 1st American Insurance Agency.

What Is a Total Loss?

Your insurance company will determine if your vehicle is a total loss or not. The term totaled doesn’t necessarily mean the car no longer works or cannot receive repairs. If the repair costs for the vehicle are more than the fair value of the car before the accident, it’s a total loss.

Who Pays for a Total Loss?

After the total loss designation, fault comes into play. If you’re not the at-fault driver, then normal insurance rules will come into play.

The at-fault driver’s insurance will pay out up to their coverage limit to pay for damages. If the driver’s policy limit isn’t enough, you can try suing the driver directly as well. In this case, a full car replacement will depend entirely on the other person’s insurance coverage options.

If you’re the at-fault driver, your insurance will only cover replacement if you have coverage options in place for it. For example, collision coverage can pay for a replacement or give you the cash value of the car.

Why a Total Loss Can Become Complicated

The main issue with total loss replacements is that they can grow quite complicated. For example, if you’re leasing or still paying for the car, compensation for the total loss can go back to the lender.

If you don’t have the right amount of collision coverage or another type of insurance coverage that calls for a replacement car, you can receive compensation but not enough to actually replace the car.

If you want an insurance company to fully replace your car in Longmont, CO, you need to discuss the process and what you need beforehand. Contact 1st American Insurance Agency to learn more about our collision coverage and other options to ensure you can replace your car if it’s a total loss.

Protect Your Assets with Umbrella Coverage

Residents in the Longmont, CO area need a variety of insurance policies to protect their personal and business property. However, these coverages aren’t always enough. 1st American Insurance Agency wants to ensure that all of our neighbors are financially ready to meet any challenges that come their way. Umbrella insurance provides the extra protection you might need in the case of a catastrophic loss. How does umbrella coverage supplement your other insurance policies?

  • What happens when you crash a brand new car? Your auto insurance may not pay off the remainder of your loan. Even if it does, how will you be able to afford a replacement vehicle? With an umbrella policy, you can get the funds you need to completely repair or replace your vehicle, no matter what the costs.
  • After a natural disaster causes extensive damage to your residential or commercial property, your property insurance kicks in to help with the rebuilding effort. However, all insurance policies come with a dollar limit. Once you reach that amount, you have to pay for any additional repairs out-of-pocket. For cash-strapped property owners with little savings, this could mean losing your home or business. With an active umbrella policy, you’ll always have enough money to rebuild.
  • Hardworking small business owners rely on insurance coverage to protect their livelihood from accidents and legal liabilities. What happens if your product or service is found responsible for hurting multiple people? All of those medical bills and damages could quickly eat up your commercial liability coverage. Add an umbrella policy to your package to ensure you’re ready for whatever comes your way.

Protect your business and personal property in the Longmont, CO area with umbrella policies from 1st American Insurance Agency. Contact our representatives to learn more about this comprehensive coverage.

Do You Need Recreational Insurance For Jet Skis?

If you own a jet ski, you may not realize that you could use insurance to protect yourself and others while you are out enjoying the open waters. Although a jet ski isn’t a boat, you still need to cover the vehicle in the event of an accident or even theft.

Recreational Vehicle Coverage

Recreational vehicle insurance is used for both land and watercraft and covers jet skis and wave runners. If you enjoy spending time out on the water with any type of recreational watercraft you should research how much coverage you need and work with an experienced agent to find the right amount and type of coverage to prevent losses. Don’t take chances out on the water. You never know when someone may be careless or even steal your craft. These recreational vehicles can be quite expensive, which is why coverage is so important.

Working With An Agent

If you seek the assistance of a skilled insurance agent who is familiar with recreational vehicle insurance, you will likely have the coverage necessary to prevent gaps in coverage. Carefully select your agent and make sure they are willing to work closely with you to explain the terms and conditions and offers custom solutions to fit your lifestyle and needs. If you are in the Longmont, CO area, check with 1st American Insurance Agency about insurance products to protect you before selecting your policy. 

Recreational vehicles need insurance protection too. Call or stop by 1st American Insurance Agency, serving the residents of Longmont, CO, for more details and to speak with a friendly agent who can answer your questions. 

Motorcycle Insurance Laws in Colorado

As many motorcycle owners already know, things are a little different when you’re on a bike instead of in a car. While you have more freedom and maneuverability, you are also exposed to more risk simply because auto drivers often are not as careful or respectful around motorcyclists sharing the road with them as they should be. Located in the Longmont, CO region, the insurance experts at 1st American Insurance Agency are here to help make sure that you are taking on as little risk as possible. Here’s what you need to know about motorcycle insurance laws in Colorado. 

State Motorcycle Insurance Laws

The state of Colorado does not actually require motorcyclists to have vehicle-specific insurance or even general liability insurance. That said, the state does require you to have proof of financial responsibility. In a nutshell, this just means that you will be able to pay for the costs of an accident should you be deemed at fault. There are two ways to do this in Colorado— by having a motorcycle insurance policy that contains liability coverage, or by filing for self-service Insurance (only available to those with multiple vehicles registered under their name). 

What If I’m Not At Fault?

Unfortunately, even if an accident is deemed to be someone else’s fault, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you are completely free from financial burden. If the other person takes off (hit and run) or does not have sufficient insurance, it’s sadly often the victim who winds up having to foot the bill. Let’s face it— this is Colorado, and our state is visited frequently by drivers from other states. Insurance laws vary around the country, but that is all the more reason to make sure that you and your motorcycle are adequately covered. 

What Next? 

Serving customers in Longmont, CO and beyond, we’re here to help you get the motorcycle insurance you need. At 1st American Insurance Agency, we follow all local and state laws to make sure that your policy is compliant while still fitting your personal needs and budget. When you’re ready to take the next step, give us a call or send us a message. We look forward to meeting you! 

Different Types of Commercial Insurance to Consider

Besides general liability and workers compensation insurance, there are a number of other insurance policies that can benefit a business in Longmont, CO. Each business has its own unique set of risks, so it can be hard to determine which each business needs to protect. An agent at 1st American Insurance Agency can help you with these different types of commercial insurance polices.

Business Interruption Insurance: This can help your pay for any lost income your business experiences if external forces will cause you to close for a short time. This will help keep your business afloat so you won’t suffer a huge financial loss.

Accounts Receivable Insurance: This policy will help cover your business against losses due to the inability to collect customer payments.

Crime Insurance: Use this to protect your business from any losses related to crime, such as forgery and theft. 

Cyber Liability Insurance: This will protect your business from costs and damages that are related to computer system, data breaches, electronic data, and computer attacks.

Equipment Breakdown Insurance: This is used to protect your business from damages related to electronic, computer, and mechanical equipment breakdowns.

Additions to Property Insurance: Many businesses have property insurance but property insurance can only cover so much. There is debris removal insurance to cover the cost of removing debris after a flood, windstorm, or fire. Property insurance can cover the cost of rebuilding but not removing the debris. Glass insurance can cover plate glass windows and broken store windows. Builder’s risk insurance will cover buildings when they are being constructed.

Directors and Officers Liability Insurance: This insurance is used by non-profits and corporations, in order to cover the cost of lawsuits against officers and directors.

Contact 1st American Insurance Agency, serving Longmont, CO, to get a quote on commercial insurance. 

You Can’t Fool Mother Nature But You Can Be Ready For Her

A home frames our lives and shapes our memories;  memories that become more precious as the years pass by. However the question that always hovers around us is what will those years bring?  For while we in Longmont, CO are privileged to live in one of the most naturally beautiful areas of the country, that privilege comes with being at the mercy of her whims. Blizzards, hailstorms, torrential rains, and wildfires are always all too possible.  At this time of year, it’s a sure bet that major snowstorms will be actualities, not possibilities. We can’t stop Mother Nature, but we can be ready for her. These three steps are a good place to start.

Know Your Roof

The Institute for Business and Home Safety has found that most roofs are capable of holding up to 20 lbs/sq. ft. of snow. Although many homes in snow-prone areas like ours are designed to hold more, it pays to know how much your roof can be expected to handle. These rules of thumb can help.

  • Newly-fallen snow: One ft. of new snow weighs roughly five lbs/square ft. Using that as a gauge, you’re safe in assuming your roof’s surface can hold up to four ft of freshly-fallen snow.
  • Old snow: Snow that has been laying on the roof tends to get packed down on its way to becoming ice. Weight-wise, three to five inches of old snow is equivalent to one ft of new snow, so figure on your roof being able to handle about two ft of old snow.
  • Ice:  One inch of ice is equal to one foot of snow, so a mere four inches of ice on your roof puts it in jeopardy.

The best course of action to take is to keep a roof rake handy so you can clear off snow from the ground. Never consider using a ladder to get up there. But should you do all you can and still your roof suffers damage, your friends at 1st American Insurance Agency can help you file a comprehensive insurance claim.

Don’t Forget Your Pipes

Just because your water pipes are indoors don’t forget that their precious cargo can freeze if interior temperatures get too cold. Should this happen, you can look forward to leaks and possible flooding when they thaw, incurring as much as $5,000 in water damage according to a Consumer Reports article. Areas posing the most risk include unheated spaces like attics, garages, and basements as well as exterior walls and cabinets. The Institute for Business and Home Safety recommends taking the following precautions:

  • Let a faucet drip during periods of extreme cold.
  • Leave doors open on cabinets housing pipes.
  • Insulate pipes in crawl spaces, attics, or unheated basements with foam or fiberglass sleeves.
  • At the start of winter drain exterior pipes and shut off those leading to the exterior.
  • If the power goes out, use a generator or wood stove to heat pipe areas.

Should no water run when you turn on a faucet, take no chances, call a plumber. Then call us so we can get a claim started.

Take Inventory 

If you haven’t already, stock up on enough sand or salt to last you through at least the first storm. Make sure your snow shovels are in good working condition and don’t wait until the snow is piling up to make sure your snow blower works. And oh yes, – make sure you have plenty of gasoline on hand. But the best way to be prepared is to stop by 1st American Insurance Agency so we can review your home insurance policy and make sure your coverage has kept up with your Longmont CO home’s value.

 

Auto Loan Amount VS Insured Amount: How Much Insurance Coverage Do I Need?

Navigating your loan contract and your insurance policy can be confusing, and trying to figure out the difference between your loan amount and your insured policy amount can be complicated. At 1st American Insurance Agency, we know that knowing the difference between the two is critical in obtaining the best protection for your automobile. Here’s what you need to know about that difference. 

Loan Versus Insured Amount 

 The amount of money you borrow and promise to repay the lender for your car or Longmont, CO home is called the "loan amount". However, sometimes this includes items such as loan fees, or closing costs. Because of this, the amount of your loan may be different from the amount of your insurance policy by a significant margin. Additionally, the value of your vehicle or property may change or depreciate. 

Auto Insurance 

When comparing your loan amount with your insured amount, the difference in numbers can be explained through considering the money paid versus the money you’ll receive if you file a claim.  The same factors that apply to homeowners insurance come into play when it comes to auto insurance. For example, if you owe your lender $20,000, and you have an automobile policy that covers the cash value of $15,000 in the event of a claim, there is a difference of $5,000 between the amount of your loan and the insured amount. If you collect the full $15,000 cash value, you will still be required to pay the full $20,000 loan amount.  

A Solution 

For full protection of the loan amount, a gap insurance policy would cover the difference between the amount of money still owed and the insured amount of your policy. Some lenders require a borrower to obtain insurance covering the full loan amount to protect you and the lender from financial loss resulting from a claim. Contact 1st American Insurance Agency serving Longmont, CO today to discuss the best insurance options for your specific circumstance.

Save Essential Life Assets With Umbrella Insurance

At 1st American Insurance Agency serving Longmont, CO we have the experience to make sure clients at all walks of life are properly insured. We offer a wide array of insurances and are committed to making our clients lives more sound and peaceful. You may not be aware of risks that are leaving your underinsured and at the mercy of circumstance.

Your children’s college eduction, your savings, your automobiles, and your home may be at risk. Like many others, you may be one unfortunate event away from a much bigger headache and much bigger consequences than you expect.

Success comes with hidden responsibilities. Taking extra-precaution to protect assets is one of them. If you are not an ‘average’ person with an ‘average’ income than ‘average’ insurance is not enough. Typical homeowner, auto, and other policies only protect up to a certain amount. Beyond that amount, it’s all on you. If a workman is injured on your property and his claim exceeds the amount of your coverage, than you’ve got a choice to pay out of pocket or hire a lawyer to challenge the claim.

That’s why if you’ve gone past the ‘average’ thresholds of life then it’s in your best interest to invest in umbrella insurance.

What is umbrella insurance? It’s added coverage that kicks in when your primary policies, home or car for example, have been exhausted. Success probably wasn’t handed to you, and you have to work with extra diligence and focus to maintain it. Don’t let a distraction like a massive insurance claim add to your burdens. Contact 1st American Insurance Agency serving Longmont, CO and make an appointment to discuss the best umbrella insurance options for your circumstance.

What Type of Coverage Does Recreational Insurance Include?

Recreational insurance is a necessity for Longmont, CO RV users. RV insurance covers things on both ends of the home and auto spectrum. The 1st American Insurance Agency offers recreational insurance for all who require it. Here is what you need to know about RV coverage.

What Do You Plan to Do With Your RV?

Do you use your RV seasonally or for transportation like a traditional vehicle? Do you camp from your RV or park it in places with other RVs?

All of these things can factor into your insurance considerations. Knowing how you will use your RV will put you in a good position to choosing the right insurance options for your needs.

What RV Insurance is a Requirement?

Your RV will require traditional auto insurance, but you will also need special insurance coverage as well. In Longmont, CO, you need RV liability coverage.

You will need the state required liability coverage for an automobile. From there, the type of RV coverage will depend on:

  • The class of your RV
  • Whether you own or are financing the RV

Various types of recreational vehicles exist. For example, the classic motor-home or Class A RV can range from nondescript to luxury. However, you may have a Class B RV, sometimes called a campervan. Class C RVs are those that are hauled behind a truck or utility vehicle.

Outside of the required insurance, you will want to consider optional coverage depending on your specific needs. For example, traditional insurance options such as collision and comprehensive are still important. Things like roadside assistance become even more important for RVs.

In addition, if you live out of your RV even for short periods, you will want to protect your personal belongings from damage and theft. RV insurance isn’t the same for everybody. You need a package to address your individual needs and unique situation.

Whether you’re seeing the sights or living on the road, contact the 1st American Insurance Agency for all your recreational insurance needs.