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Condominium Insurance: Do You Need it?

do you need condominium insurance

The concept of condominium housing, or condos, has been around for decades and is a viable and affordable solution to ease the demand for housing. In a limited land area, multiple housing units that generally rise several stories above the ground, are able to provide decent housing to many families needing them. Many different types of condominiums exist today, from the expensive posh residential units in high-end business city centers to the more affordable modest condos in lower income areas.

Do You Need Your Own Insurance?

One of the main questions about condos is, do you need your own insurance or does the condominium association provide that? Generally you as an owner of a condo can exercise all the legal rights inherent to each individual owner such as making improvements, selling, mortgaging, etc. You likewise have the responsibility for any damage to your personal properties, possessions, and fixtures within your unit.

The condominium association, on the other hand is responsible for the common areas like the passageways, lobby and the ground. Because of this, the association insures only the building structure that includes the exterior of your unit and the common areas.

Your condo’s interior fixtures, building materials and personal possessions are therefore your responsibility. You should protect all your valued property within the confines of your unit. One of the most prudent ways to do this is to get a condominium insurance policy. Obtaining the proper coverage ensures you are fully protected from unfortunate incidents such as fire, smoke, explosions, burst pipes, vandalism and theft.

Condo Insurance Coverage

Condominium Insurance is different from renter’s insurance. Unlike renter’s insurance, the condo insurance policy covers a lot more than just personal possessions and includes the following:

  • Personal property coverage – loss or damage to your stuff.
  • Real property protection – coverage for things such as fixtures and other installations that are not normally considered personal property.
  • Family liability protection – provides insurance and legal representation against judgments.
  • Guest medical protection – Covers medical costs for guests injured at your home.
  • Additional living expense – Reimbursement for costs of temporary housing during the reconstruction of the damaged condo.
  • Loss Assessment – Covers assessments passed onto the condo owner by the association for expenses related to a covered loss.

Next to your condo structure, your possessions and other items inside are valuable assets that should last you decades and should be well protected from unexpected accidents or events. We’re happy to discuss how you can have your condo covered and protected properly by a condo insurance policy. Contact us at 817-423-0048 or send an email to jonderrick1@allstate.com to get started.

Everything You Need to Know About Renters Insurance

apartment for rent

The dream of owning property may not be realized by many Americans for a number of reasons. In the last few years, inflation and demand have caused home values to skyrocket, leaving many buyers looking at smaller homes with a much higher price tag. What do you do when you can’t afford to buy a home or just want to wait until market conditions are more favorable? You rent.

Statistics show that 36.6% of American households rent their homes. In fact, there are more renters today than in the last 50 years. The prospect of owning property, especially for the lower income groups, also looks bleaker with the ever-increasing cost of living.

Understanding Renters’ Insurance

As a renter, you might put your money into other valuable personal property. Valuable possessions like jewelry, expensive clothes, electronics, appliances and furniture are just as important to you as a home you might own, and therefore you should protect them. You don’t want to lose them from unexpected causes such as fire, theft and vandalism. As a renter, the owners of the home or apartment are responsible for insuring the only dwelling. They bear no responsibility for the tenant’s belongings.

You can get a renters insurance policy to protect your precious goods against unfortunate events. Similar to a homeowners insurance policy, renters insurance will cover your belongings arising from these accidents and perils, up to the amount you designate in the policy.

Advantages of Renter’s Insurance

Renters insurance, also called tenants insurance, is an insurance policy that provides some of the benefits of homeowners insurance excluding the coverage for the dwelling or structure. It can include liability coverage for small alterations you, as a tenant, make to the structure. If on the other hand, you happen to cause damages to the premises, your landlord and other tenants can also recover against your insurance. You can choose from any of the three types of insurance coverage for your renters’ insurance: loss of use, personal property, and personal liability.

Renters insurance will give you the same protection and peace of mind that the homeowner will have for insuring his real property. Since the value of your personal property within the house you rent is relatively lower than that of the house itself, the coverage you need and the premium you pay is much smaller compared to that of a homeowners policy.

Regardless of whether you own your home or rent, everyone should protect their valuables inside the property. They are valued possessions and often difficult to replace financially in the event of a loss. If you would like the specifics on renters insurance and how to protect your possessions for a very small price, contact our experts at Jon Derrick Insurance Agency, 817-423-0048 or visit jonderrick.com for more information.

Life After Disability

life after disability

Your ability to make a living is your most valuable asset, not other things like houses, personal property, or retirement accounts. While these things may add up to a large value, they are not things that you want to depend on for income in the event of an accident or sickness. Rental properties, for example, are often purchased and backed with your earnings and probably don’t provide enough cash flow to maintain your normal financial obligations. Other assets, like your retirement account, are a work in progress that you need to continue to build, not drain, in the event of an emergency.

Understanding the Truth about Disability

Unfortunately, accidents and sickness can happen unexpectedly and hinder your ability to work and make a living. No matter how young or healthy you may be now, anyone should consider planning for illnesses and accidents serious enough to stop you on your work tracks. Data from the Social Security Administration shows that more than one in four people who are 20 years old will experience disability lasting 90 days or more before they reach the age of 67.

Disability does not just refer to things like debilitating spinal injury or crippling disease. It is typically defined as a state caused by sickness or illness that prevents you from performing material and substantial duties of your occupation or any occupation for which you are reasonably qualified by training, education or experience. Disability may also be caused by cancer, heart attack, diabetes, back injuries, surgeries and other illnesses.

Reality Check

Ask yourself what you would do if you couldn’t work and how long you can last without a paycheck. If you are among the 78% of American workers who live paycheck to paycheck, you cannot afford to miss a few beat. You should strongly consider disability insurance.

Disability insurance provides wage replacement for a portion of your income when you can’t work because of disability or illness. On the average, it covers 60% of your earnings as an employee and lets you receive monthly payouts up to an allowable cap.

Terms and Types of Disability Insurance

There are two terms of disability insurance to consider – short-term disability insurance and long-term disability insurance. Short-term disability insurance pays out for a few months to one year, depending on the policy and allows for a shorter waiting period, called elimination period, after you become disabled before you are paid your benefits. Long-term disability insurance, on the other hand has a longer waiting period before benefits are paid. If disability continues, you either receive benefits after a certain number of days/years or upon retirement age, depending on the policy.

There are three types of disability insurance:

  • True Own Occupation – Covers individuals who become disabled and are unable to perform the majority of the occupational duties that they have been trained to perform.
  • Income Replacement Insurance – Insured is considered disabled only if they are unable to work in any occupation for which they are qualified.
  • Gainful Occupation – Your policy will pay benefits if you cannot work in your own occupation and start earning income in a new occupation, but your total new income (including benefits) cannot exceed the total original earned income.

Consider your current financial situation and what it would look like if you couldn’t work – you might want a disability policy if you don’t have one, if your current policy does not provide enough coverage, or if you are self-employed. If your employer-sponsored disability insurance pays only up to a very limited cap, it is wise to supplement that coverage. We’d be happy to discuss your situation with you and whether disability insurance might be right for you. Give us a call at 817-423-0048 or visit jonderrick.com to get a free quote.

Rental Hazard: Why Landlord Insurance is Important

landlord insurance

Rental properties are valuable assets and typically provide some short-term cash flow and long-term benefits. The largest profit is realized when you sell it and its market value has (hopefully) appreciated to a substantial new high.

Rental properties can be a great investment, and there are some things you should consider if you own one.

Importance of Getting Landlord Insurance

If you are renting out your property, you cannot afford to forego a Landlord insurance policy. First, if you have a mortgage, the mortgage company requires you to have it. Second, you have everything to lose if your property is uninsured and sustains damage from unforeseen circumstances caused by both natural and man-made disasters.

Landlord insurance protects you as the property owner from any covered calamitous situations such as fire, hail, snow and wind. You will also be compensated for damages from losses caused by malicious tenants and bad renter behaviors, coverage must be added by endorsement.

What You Need to Know about Landlord Insurance

Your landlord insurance policy will not cover your tenants’ personal property. Tenants need to purchase a separate renters policy to cover their belongings. A Landlord policy will, however, cover up to 12 months of lost rental income while it is being repaired if the dwelling is uninhabitable due to a covered loss.

Landlord insurance typically costs some 15% higher than what you pay for homeowners insurance. The increase is from the additional risk and coverage not normally included in the standard homeowners’ insurance. Regardless of the cost difference, it is still a small price to pay to make sure your investment is safe and secure, and is typically an expense easily offset by rental income.

Although it is not legally required for landlords who do not have a mortgage or lien against the home, prudence dictates that you should take advantage of landlord insurance to ensure your investment remains a profitable one and blesses you for many more years to come.

Want to know your options? Contact us at Jon Derrick Insurance Agency at 817-423-0048 to discuss how you can optimally protect your investment.

Homeowners Insurance: Valuing Your Home

homeowners insurance

After years of hard work saving money, faithfully following your budget, and with a little help from bank financing, you may have finally acquired your dream house. This house is your home and might just be your home for a while, as you enjoy home ownership and build equity. As an investment, It should therefore be maintained and protected to last you a lifetime.

Maintaining the quality of your home will keep its value intact and may even increase with regular upkeep. A home requires a regular maintenance, just like a car and other equipment. Here are ways on how you can value your home so it can last generations.

Periodic Maintenance Checks

A regular check on the following items in your house can prevent your house from gradually deteriorating and losing value:

  1. Check the caulking and weather stripping around windows and doors. It is good to do this with every change in season. Check screens for tears.
  2. Regularly clean gutters and drain pipes of leaves and debris to prevent their clogging.
  3. Check the roof and chimney for leaks and flashing around vents and skylights.
  4. Inspect siding for holes and peeling paint.
  5. Maintaining the exterior of your home is as important as the interior.
  6. Regularly check and replace the filters on your HVAC system.
  7. Check your HVAC drip pans to make sure they are not holding water.
  8. Check that your fire extinguishers, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are in good working order.
  9. Have your gas appliances checked by a licensed engineer or technician.
  10. Trim tree branches that are hanging over the house. They could cause damage during a storm and may also be causing fallen leaves into the gutters.

These are just some of the more important items you need to check on a regular basis. For a small fee many home services companies will come to your house and provide an inspection.

Repairs

Knowing the brewing problems in your house’s structure is good, but without making the necessary corrections, your home and possibly the safety of your family remains in jeopardy. If you do not have the skills, tools and time, it is time to call on the experts for these jobs. Experienced professionals are the people to go to for help. Repairs are less costly than renovation, so it’s always best to get repairs completed before they worsen and affect other parts of the house.

Proper maintenance and repairs will prolong your home’s life and restore it into its original high value. You will also enjoy the benefit of lower insurance premiums.

Homeowners Insurance

Called force majeure or acts of God, problems resulting from natural phenomena cannot be controlled or prevented in most cases. Examples are lightning, smoke, hail and fire (which may be from natural causes or otherwise). They occur when you least expect them like other man-made accidents.

It is essential to ensure your valuable property is protected against all of these disasters. Homeowners insurance will be your strong shield against natural catastrophes. Getting the proper coverage will allow you to sleep peacefully at night and give you a peace of mind that the home you worked so hard to get will not be affected or diminish in value.

If you want to protect your home and make it last a lifetime, we’d be happy to discuss what coverage is best for your home and family and make sure to protect what’s most important to you. Give us a call today at 817-423-0048.

Be A Better Driver: How to Stay Safe on the Road (Part 2)

road safety tips part 2

In our previous article, we discussed some of the common road safety tips you need to keep in mind while driving. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced driver, it is still important to always be careful and extra mindful while driving on the road.

Here are more driving tips on how you can become a better driver.

6. Observe red light and stop signs.

Running a red light and ignoring stop signs are two of the surest ways to cause an accident. Not observing red lights and stop signs often result in side-impact collisions at high speeds and even to wrongful deaths.

7. Pay attention to traffic road signs.

Signs indicating one way, wrong way, U-turn, slippery when wet, animal crossing and other road safety signs are there for a reason – to help you avoid accidents.

8. Avoid tailgating and road rage.

Tailgating or driving too closely to another vehicle can prevent you from reacting in time if the vehicle in front of you brakes suddenly. Observe a one car-length buffer for every ten mph you drive – It is the safe distance to allow you to brake suddenly at any given time.

9. Adjust to unfavorable driving conditions.

The presence of unfavorable driving conditions like snow and ice, heavy rains, flooding, fog and potholes should signal you to exercise extra caution. When bad weather occurs, the roads usually become slippery, and the surroundings have low visibility. Anticipate these conditions and drive accordingly to avoid collisions and other accidents. It is important to ensure that your car’s lights, tires, brakes, windshield wipers, defroster, and radiator are in good operating condition for driving especially during bad weather.

10. Less accidents = more savings.

Insurance companies reward good drivers. A clean driving record free from traffic violations and accident history can earn you more favorable rates when you apply for your auto insurance.

With driving, the old adage is true – practice makes perfect. New drivers are more prone to being involved in accidents because of their inexperience and skill level. Veteran drivers rarely get involved in accidents. Regardless of your experience, it is wise to make sure you and your vehicle are suitably covered. We would be happy to discuss your coverage and help you gain a clear understanding of what you need. Give us a call today – 817-423-0048.

Top 10 Driving Tips: How to Stay Safe on the Road (Part 1)

road safety and driving tips

The motor accident statistics in the US are staggering. The average number of car accidents each year is 6 million. Three million people get injured in car accidents and two million of them suffering permanent injuries. Every day, 90 people perish in car accidents. Aside from loss of lives and injuries, accidents result in economic losses.

The cost of hospitalization and the inability to work resulting from accidents can drain your emergency funds and savings and render you income-less for a long time. For drivers who are not at fault, most accidents are unavoidable, regardless of whether you are a veteran driver or just got a driving license.

Top Driving Tips for Road Safety

To prevent accidents from happening, utmost care must be observed by all drivers at all times. If you are a new driver who is beginning to experience the freedoms of having a vehicle, you must exercise caution even more.

1. Use your seat belt at all times.

According to DriverKnowledge.com, 1 in 7 people do not wear seat belts while driving. Not wearing seat belts is a major cause of many car injuries and deaths. Seat belts are your first line of defense. They reduce the risk of death by 45% and cut the risk of serious injury by half.

2. Avoid distractions.

Distracted driving is the #1 cause of car accidents in the U.S. today. A distracted driver is a motorist who diverts his attention to other things when driving. These distractions are usually caused by talking on the cell phone or texting or by eating. It has been determined that using a cell phone while driving reduces your brain activity associated with driving by 37%. Have your mind fixed on your driving, and nothing else.

3. Do not speed.

The most damaging and lethal car accidents come from speeding – driving 10 to more than 30 mph over the limit – and street racing. Collision and crashes normally occur when you drive beyond the tolerable speed limit for a given driving zone or condition. It is always safest for you and other drivers when you follow speed limits and adjust your speed according to the driving conditions, like bad weather and heavy traffic.

4. Do not drink and drive.

This important pointer is almost a cliché, but surprisingly, many drivers do not put it into practice. Driving while under the influence of alcohol causes many accidents daily. Get a designated driver when you cannot avoid drinking.

5. Avoid reckless driving.

Reckless driving is when you speed unnecessarily, change lanes abruptly or tailgate. Impatient drivers who cannot wait for the appropriate time end up causing needless car accidents.

Accidents don’t always come at a time you least expect them – they come when you are least prepared and mindful of what’s happening on the road. When you stay alert and aware, you can not only maintain a safe driving state of your own, but also anticipate a dangerous situation forming around you and make the necessary adjustments to prevent being involved in an accident.

More Driving Tips on Part 2

Stay tuned for part 2 of our top 10 driving tips to stay safe on the road. To keep you and your vehicle safe at all times and to ensure that you have someone reliable on your side during emergencies or accidents, contact Jon Derrick Insurance Agency. We will protect what is precious to you – 817-423-0048.

Ready for the Road–A Few Tips Before Summer Travel Season

This is probably the perfect time to schedule your road trip, but before you hit the road it might be worthwhile to check your auto insurance. We don’t mean to be a downer, but the basic fact is, it not only necessary for everyone who drives a car, but also could mean the difference in a financial catastrophe if you don’t have proper coverage. Here are a few topics to consider before you go on that much-awaited road trip. 

  1. Liability gets you the basics. 

Liability coverage is required for all vehicles and comes into play if you are in a car accident and you are determined to be at fault. Liability coverage will help you pay for the cost of the other drivers’ damages, whether to property or people.  

2. Eliminate risk with collision and comprehensive coverage. 

Collision takes the “what if” out of the equation when you are at fault and your vehicle is damaged. What if you only have liability and you cause an accident? You are responsible for paying for the damages to your vehicle by yourself. This can add up to a very large amount of money depending on the damage. The average cost of damage to a vehicle in Texas is over $4,000, so if you don’t have collision, be prepared to pay out of your savings. Comprehensive covers you from damages caused by storms, vandalism, and passive objects like a tree or post in a parking garage. Both coverages are important and are relatively inexpensive compared to the costs involved to repair your vehicle. If you live in an area that often experiences accidents caused by nature, comprehensive coverage is a sure win. 

3. Medical is included. 

The Medical Payments option covers medical bills you might incur should you find yourself in a covered accident. On top of the trouble of sorting out the accidents, it is one less thing to worry about on the part of the driver. No one wants to pay bills on top of bills, on top of bills and this inclusion helps with that. 

You might be interested in other auto insurance inclusions and how they can save you money. To learn more visit jonderrick.com/services/auto-insurance or give us a call at 817-423-0048 for a quick check to make sure you and your loved ones are properly covered with the right auto insurance.  

Summer’s Here, Enjoy Peace of Mind While Playing with Your Toys

motorbike on the road riding. having fun driving the empty road on a motorcycle tour journey. copyspace for your individual text.

Nothing is sweeter than spending summertime outdoors playing with your favorite toys.  Taking your motorcycle for a short trip in the country, skiing or fishing with the family on your boat, or relaxing at your favorite state and national parks with your RV are all fun and games – until an accident happens.

Protecting yourself not only means having your vehicle in tip-top shape, but also having the right insurance to safeguard you during unpleasant circumstances.

When purchasing insurance for your toys, here are some important things you need to know:

 

Bodily Injury Liability

Bodily Injury Liability should be the top priority when shopping for your insurance.

If you cause a car accident that injured another driver, pedestrian or unrelated passenger, bodily injury liability helps pay for their medical expenses and lost income as a result of their injuries.

This liability does not include your own hospital fees or loss of income if you cause the accident.  However, it does provide legal defense if you are sued over the accident by the injured party or their insurance company.

 

Property Damage Liability 

Property damage liability usually aids in covering repair costs if you are at fault for an automobile accident that destroys another vehicle or property which includes

  1. Repair damage or destruction to other businesses, fences, houses, lamp posts, mailboxes, etc
  2. Auto body shop labor or parts replacement
  3. Legal expenses incurred for property damage claim
  4. Lost of income from business closure that your accident was assumed to cost
  5. Other recurring expenses from the destruction

Property damage liability excludes damage to your own vehicle. You should get collision coverage to shoulder the repair costs of your vehicle.

 

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage

Uninsured motorist coverage insures you if you’re in a not-at-fault accident with an uninsured driver, including hit-and-run incidents. On the other hand, underinsured motorist coverage comes in when the at-fault drivers do have insurance, but the damages surpass the liability limit of their policy.

 

Watercraft and Boat Insurance

There are many options to look for when shopping for watercraft and boat insurance.  Physical Damage Coverage gives protection to your boat, motor and trailer during an accident. There are other options like Watercraft Liability, Medical Payments, Equipment and Accessories and Emergency Service.

Taking trips with your toys can do wonders for your physical and mental health, but safety should not be compromised as you go on your adventures.  Knowing you are protected can help ease your mind from worries so you can fully enjoy your time.

 

See what it takes to get your toys covered. Check out our Motorcycle Insurance and Watercraft/Boat Insurance.

 

Got questions? Call Jon Derrick at 817-423-0048.

 

 

 

When Should You Get Long-Term Care Insurance?

This is an important question to ask. But before one delves into consideration, the definition of long-term care insurance must first be laid out.

Long-term care insurance is a benefit to pay for care when a person is no longer able to perform two of the six daily functions: bathing, dressing, using the toilet, moving from a chair or a bed, eating, and caring for incontinence.

When one is in his or her prime years, thoughts of this possibility might not come naturally. But as most insurance policy advocates will say, the sooner, the better. Some experts say buying during one’s mid-40s is ideal because premiums are lower. You are also healthier. Others prefer to buy in their early 60s to pay premiums for fewer years.

The American Association for Long Term Care Insurance (AALTCI), a national trade group, says that in 2009, 50% of longterm care insurance policy buyers were in the 55 to 64 age range.

Some might think that long-term care insurance is unnecessary if an individual is able to selfinsure and has prepared well for retirement. But it may not always be the case because money in the bank may need to be allotted for other things such as expenses or debts, leaving no room for healthcare in their advanced years. Also, not having coverage could reduce the retirement funds for the healthy spouse.

Another consideration in investing in longterm care insurance is your family’s medical history. If Alzheimer’s is part of your family’s medical history, the care you or a loved one might need in the future, when the disease has taken its toll, may best be given by trained professionals. It may help preserve positive relationships and memories with loving family members if they are not obligated to provide care for family members whose disease has progressed, making it difficult and even emotionally painful to care for their loved ones.

Long-term care insurance may be a difficult reality to plan for, but it is well worth everyone’s time to consider, especially while the possible policy holder is young and healthy.

To know more about long-term care insurance, visit this link.

We would love to answer your questions. Call us today at 817-423-0048.