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.

What You Should Know about Motorcycle Insurance before Buying a Bike

When buying a new bike, you will also have to get motorcycle insurance in Longmont, CO, if you are planning on driving it on the road. There are a few things that can help keep your insurance costs down that you should know before purchasing your new set of wheels.

Your insurance cost will go down with a smaller motorcycle without any modifications. The engine can help determine how much you will pay, so an older and less powerful bike will allow you to pay less.

Determine how you are going to use your motorcycle and choose a policy that fits your needs. If you are going to be using this as your method of getting to work seasonally, then you will want to have full coverage, but if you are only using your bike for a weekend out here and there, then you may want to consider other coverage options. An agent at 1st American Insurance Agency can help determine the best type of coverage for your driving needs.

How you store your new bike can also affect insurance. If you are keeping your bike on the street, or even in the driveway, it can be more high risk since you are more likely to have your bike stolen or damaged. The best place to keep your bike is in a locked brick building or garage. Also, be sure to cover your motorcycle to help prevent rust and water damage, and if you have to park it outside, choose a well-lit area.

Start researching insurance options early, since you may be required at the dealership to have proof of insurance. If you are financing your motorcycle, you will likely also be required to have comprehensive and collision coverage. The sooner you get insurance, the sooner you can ride.

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

Commercial Insurance: How It Affects Employee Health

For many employees, their level and type of healthcare are entirely contingent upon their job. Many people depend solely on their employer for health benefits. An employee that incurs a bodily injury while working for you can have detrimental effects on your business if you have no insurance. Not only should you acquire insurance, but you should educate yourself about the different types and the varying levels of protection available to you. Commercial insurance is not to be confused with government or public programs such as Medicaid. Coverage can be identified as commercial because it’s available on the commercial market.

Bodily injury

There are many affordable plans available at 1st American Insurance Agency that business owners can take advantage of to protect their employees. The vast majority of commercial health insurance policies are Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) or Preferred Provider Organization (PPO). If possible to obtain a business insurance policy on a group or individual level. Bodily injury is covered under the average commercial general liability policy.

If you are found at fault for an incident in Longmont, CO, the bodily injury (BI) coverage will compensate customers or patrons who were injured. If you are taken to court over the matter, your general commercial policy typically takes care of damages and the cost of defense. With this simple policy, the cost of medical expenses is taken care of, including lost income. Any days off from work that your injured customer needs are compensated including appointments to visit a doctor or physical therapist.

Financial loss

Most businesses exist for profit. Whether your company is non-profit or for profit, the economic losses enterprises are subjected to are genuine. The costs a business incurs from a lack of commercial insurance are so substantial that the company may not be able to recover. Employers may be eligible for tax credits as a result of purchasing business insurance.

For example, companies that have 25 or fewer employees with salaries at $50,000 may qualify for a tax credit that gives them 50% of their contribution. Not having commercial insurance in place during the time of the accident may result in a significant financial loss. Contact 1st American Insurance Agency in Longmont, CO to protect your business today.

Protect Your Home from Hail Damage

Residents in the greater Longmont, CO area are very familiar with hail storms and the damage that they can cause. At the 1st American Insurance Agency, we are here to help you protect your home and your family from the disruption that our many hailstorms can cause. If you have experienced damage from a hail storm, we are here to help you navigate the claims process and help you get your life back to normal! Your home insurance policy should provide adequate coverage from these storms, as they happen frequently in our area, and they can cause damage and destruction to your roof and home.

Don’t Let Hail Damage Ruin Your Day

When you work with a full-service insurance company you will have the assistance you need to make it through any hail storm that Colorado can throw at you! From a smooth and streamlined claims process to quality repair of the damage caused to your home, a professional insurance agent will be with you every step of the way. Roof damage is the most common side effect of a hail storm in our area and can be a nuisance for you and your family. These storms can also cause damage to your siding and windows as well. A comprehensive home policy will provide the coverage that you need to get this damage repaired in a timely manner and with the least amount of inconvenience possible to you and your family. 

Are you concerned about hail damage and want to make sure that your home insurance policy provides the coverage that you need? Call the 1st American Insurance Agency or stop by today and we will make sure that your Longmont, CO home is protected in the event of hail or other storm damage.

Should I Get a Full Auto Insurance Policy

Your car is a very important asset that needs to be properly protected by insurance. When you are driving your car in the Longmont, CO area, you will be required to follow the state’s minimum insurance requirements. While these requirements only require you to carry liability insurance coverage, you should consider getting a full insurance policy on your car.

When you get a full insurance policy on your car, you will receive both collision and comprehensive coverage as well. With a collision insurance policy, you will receive insurance coverage for your vehicle if you are at fault in an accident or if the other driver does not have insurance. With comprehensive coverage, you will receive coverage in the event you experience a loss due to theft, vandalism, or a variety of other issues. 

Protects Your Investment

The main reason why you should get insurance coverage is that it will provide you with protection on your investment. When you buy a car, you will likely spend thousands of dollars purchasing it and providing it with good maintenance. It would be a complete waste if your vehicle is damaged and you didn’t have insurance coverage and lost the full investment. 

Ensures Compliance

If you have taken out a loan to buy the car, you will also need to make sure that you stay in compliance with the loan agreement. This will normally require you to carry an insurance policy that has collision and comprehensive coverage. If the lender determines that you are not fully insured, you will be in violation of the loan and could face penalties. 

When you are looking for insurance in Longmont, CO, you should contact 1st American Insurance Agency. The 1st American Insurance Agency will be able to help you to build a great policy that provides enough protection. 

 

What Does Umbrella Insurance Cover?

Umbrella coverage is an additional liability insurance plan that’s designed to go beyond the limits of various standard insurance policies like home, automobile, or watercraft insurance. It provides extra security to anyone who is at risk of being sued for damaging another person’s property or injuring others in an accident. Umbrella coverage also protects against vandalism, libel, invasion of privacy, and slander.

Simply put, this coverage will supplement your basic liability policies because it has a much higher limit. So, once your original plan is exhausted, the umbrella insurance coverage will kick in. This added policy is useful if you own valuable assets or a lot of assets and you are at risk of being sued. Now, Longmont, CO residents can rely on 1st American Insurance Agency to get umbrella insurance.

How it works

Your umbrella coverage may come into play whenever you’re found accountable for damages and you have to pay for the losses or when you are prosecuted and you have to cater for your legal fees. The umbrella policy will only pay once the standard liability coverage limits are exhausted or if an entitlement isn’t included in the underlying liability coverage. Your insurer can pay the settlement up to your coverage limits. However, if the settlement amounts still exceed your umbrella coverage limits, you’ll be forced to pay the remaining amount out of your pocket.

Why is umbrella coverage vital?

Your house, car, retirement plan, investment accounts, and your normal savings and checking accounts are considered assets. If you are sued, all these assets will be at risk if you don’t have adequate liability insurance to protect you. Fortunately, an umbrella policy will ensure your assets are not exposed. This way, you will be protected regardless of the situation at hand.

Contact us at 1st American Insurance Agency for more information on umbrella insurance in Longmont, CO.

 

When do I need Recreational Insurance?

With the mention of a Recreational vehicle (RV), what comes to mind is fun and travel. Although this is so, an RV is a large and expensive investment that should be taken care of in every way possible. The 1st American Insurance Agency in Longmont, CO knows how valuable RV’s are, and that’s why we have different recreational insurance policies to suit your needs. Below are instances when you will need recreational insurance.

When Your RV is a motorhome

The law requires all motor homes to have liability insurance whenever they are on the road. You can decide whether or not you want full coverage for you RV depending on its value and the possibility of a loss. People who live in their RVs full-time may want to ensure that their vehicles have additional cover.

When your RV is financed

Financed RVs require full insurance coverage. This is because the financer would not risk losing money in case the RV is lost or involved in an accident. In case you want to avoid taking insurance for your RV, the lender may decide to take it on your behalf, but you will pay for the cost. Therefore, you do not have a choice in the matter considering the premiums will be higher if the policy is taken by the lender, and in most cases, they won’t cover liability.

When your RV is a rental

When you rent an RV, it is your responsibility to take care of it. It is advisable to purchase an insurance coverage for it while it is in your possession. Your auto insurance may cover a rental RV in some cases but you need to confirm this with your auto insurance carrier. If it does not, there are short-time policies that you can purchase for the period you intend to rent the RV.

Whether or not you are required by law to have insurance for your recreational vehicle, it is important to have one to protect your investment. The 1st American Insurance Agency offers this and other types of insurance in Longmont, CO. Visit our website today for more information about recreational insurance.