Top Questions When Buying Insurance for Your First Home
Buying a first home is one of the most exciting and scary things any human being will do in their adult lives, and part of that fear may come from a lack of understanding about what home insurance is and what it should entail. Whether you’re looking to buy homeowners insurance, condo insurance, or mobile home insurance, the same insurance questions tend to arise for first-time home buyers. The following is a look at some of the answers to those most frequently asked questions:
Q: What Types of Things Do These Policies Cover?
A: If you’re just starting the process of looking into homeowner’s insurance policies, the first thing to understand is what, exactly, these policies are going to do for you. There are three parts to most policies: dwelling protection, personal property protection, and homeowners liability. Here’s how those work:
- Dwelling protection covers the structure of your home and any attached features, like a garage or porch. If you lost your home to a fire, this would be the amount that insurance would pay out to rebuild.
- Personal property protection covers the items inside your home, like furniture, electronics, clothes, and other everyday household items.
- Liability coverage goes toward any legal or medical expenses you may incur should a visitor end up injured on your property.
Q: Will Everything in My Home Be Protected in Case of Loss?
A: It’s important to understand that, depending on the amount of coverage you buy, there will be limits to what insurance companies will pay out should you experience a fire, theft, or vandalism. That means if you’ve got especially expensive items, like jewelry, antiques, or art, you may need extra coverage. Also, these policies don’t cover all natural disasters, so if you live in a flood plain or near a fault line, you may need extra coverage for those.
Q: How Much Should I Expect to Spend?
A: It depends entirely on your policy, but we would caution new homeowners not to just opt for the cheapest coverage. Talk with your insurance agent to determine how many extras you need on your policy to make sure you’ve got the coverage you want and need. It won’t break the bank to pay these bills monthly, but it could crush you on the back end if your coverage isn’t comprehensive enough because you skimped initially.
Q: Are There Ways to Save Money on Homeowners Policies?
A: Yes! Many insurance companies will give you a discount if you bundle your homeowner’s policy with auto and/or life insurance policies. When you buy a home, it may be a good time to reevaluate all those policies since bundling them could provide you with more coverage and save you money.
If you have more questions about homeowners, condo, or mobile home insurance, especially as they pertain to your specific situation, give us a call here at EGR Insurance so one of our professionals can walk you through the basics and help get you started on a path toward proper coverage and happy home ownership. That first home is so exciting, but the peace of mind that comes with the right homeowner’s insurance policy makes it so much easier to enjoy.
Protect Yourself and Your Snowmobile with Insurance Coverage
While there are a lot of ways to enjoy the winter weather, thousands of people all over the country spend their time in the cold and snow riding their snowmobiles. Like any other winter sport, snowmobiling is a fun and exciting way to enjoy even the most frigid time of year. However, as with any vehicle, a snowmobile comes with a certain amount of financial risk, and as such, it requires certain insurance.
To some people, a snowmobile may feel closer to a go-cart or supercharged sled than a car or SUV, but the insurance that covers snowmobiles is much closer to the latter than the former. A snowmobile insurance policy is essential for everyone who owns one, and the following is a look at how this insurance works.
What Does Snowmobile Insurance Include?
Put simply, snowmobile insurance includes collision coverage, bodily injury liability coverage property damage liability coverage, and comprehensive coverage.
It should not be difficult to imagine a snowmobile sliding into a building, fence, or pole, or to imagine it smashing into a hidden branch or boulder hidden by the snow. As with any type of automobile, accidents can happen, and when those collisions do occur, it’s important to have the right type of insurance to cover the damage. Collision coverage can at least partially pay for the cost of repairs so you can right back to enjoying your snowmobile while the snow is still in season.
In a nutshell, liability coverage protects the snowmobile owner when an accident happens, and in many states, liability coverage is required by law.
There are two basic types of liability coverage: bodily injury liability and property damage liability. The first protects you should you injure someone while driving your snowmobile, as that person may hold you responsible for legal and medical bills. Bodily injury liability protects drivers from those.
Property damage liability protects snowmobile owners should they cause damage to someone’s property. Whether it’s a building or some other item on the property, if you are found liable for causing the damage, this type of insurance will help to cover the cost of repairs.
Sometimes, your sled can be damaged by things that are outside of your control, including fire, hail, theft, or vandalism. Comprehensive coverage exists to make sure that you aren’t held responsible for paying for those damages.
Investing in All-Year Coverage
Sometimes, we are asked by snowmobile owners if these insurance premiums are necessary to pay all year long, even when the snowmobile isn’t used, but we always point to the comprehensive coverage that handles things that can happen regardless of the season. A fire in a storage facility could incinerate the snowmobile at any time. It also could be stolen or vandalized at any time. For these reasons, EGR Insurance does not recommend cutting back on coverage in the off-season.
If you have any questions about snowmobile insurance, give us a call here at EGR Insurance so our professionals can help you get the coverage you need. Winter sports are fun, but they’re even more enjoyable when you’ve got the peace of mind that comes with snowmobile insurance coverage.
The Best Option to Insure Crops
All farmers know that working with crops is a risky proposition. In a great year, when the weather is perfect and that year’s seed proves fruitful, the job can be financially rewarding and undeniably satisfying. However, as is true with many professions, there are times when farming can be very unpredictable, and if the people running those farms aren’t prepared for the worst, it could be ruinous to them and their business.
So how does one protect themselves from this sort of catastrophe? There are a few things a person can do, but one of the most important and easiest to undertake is an investment in crop insurance.
What Is Crop Insurance?
Put simply, crop insurance exists to cover the catastrophic loss of certain crops in the face of unexpected natural disasters or major economic changes in the marketplace. According to the USDA, approximately 83 percent of U.S. crop acreage is insured under the Federal Crop Insurance Act, which in 2017 equated to about 311 million acres of farmland. EGR Insurance is a broker that helps farms access crop insurance through the available providers, all as a means of protecting their investments.
What Does Crop Insurance Cover?
Here at EGR Insurance, crop insurance is an umbrella term that covers two basic types of crop insurance for a farm or ranch:
- Crop-Yield Insurance – This type of insurance covers excess losses to crops due to natural disasters such as drought or flood, or other perils like insects or disease.
- Crop-Revenue Insurance – This type of insurance covers dramatic changes in the price of a crop that could occur over the course of a growing season.
Only certain types of crops are covered by these types of insurance. The most common among them are corn, cotton, soybeans, and wheat, however there are many other types of crops that could be covered in certain regions, such as vegetables, berries, citrus, pumpkins, and nuts.
How Much Does Crop Insurance Cost?
Premium rates and insurance terms and conditions are established by the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation (FCIC), which means the rates are determined by the federal government. The good news for farm owners is that this means the price of insurance is consistent, though every farm is unique in its size and needs, which means the overall bill obviously is going to vary.
If you would like to get a specific estimate as to the cost of crop insurance for your farmland, contact one of our professionals here at EGR Insurance and we can walk you through the expenses. At the very least, you’ll know that you’re being quoted at the same rate as every other farmer in the country.
As with all types of insurance, crop insurance exists to protect people from forces outside of their control. It’s impossible to predict a market downturn or a brutal cold snap, but those are precisely the kinds of things that can ruin a season for a farmer. Crop insurance makes sure that farming families can cover their expenses and keep food on the table, regardless of whatever happens in a given year.
Ladder Best Practices: Three Points of Contact
Accidents happen, but some incidents can have more serious consequences than others. In 2015 alone, there were more than 150 worker fatalities due to ladder-related incidents in the United States, as well as more than 20,000 nonfatal injuries. It is entirely too easy to misuse a ladder and end up in the emergency room, or worse.
It sounds silly because ladders seem like such simple household tools to use. The fact is, there is a proper way to ensure that you’re as safe as possible while using one, thereby lowering the chance of injury or having to make a costly apartment liability insurance claim.
The Three Points of Contact Rule
Here at EGR insurance, we take safety seriously because we know that safer homes and workplaces are better for the health and financial well-being of everyone involved. That’s why we always encourage clients to use the Three Points of Contact rule when using ladders.
The rule itself is straightforward: When you are using a ladder, three of your four limbs should be in contact with the ladder at all times. That means both of your feet remain on the ladder and you steady yourself with one hand, thereby giving you the best stability and support possible while using the ladder and also lowering the possibility of falling and injuring yourself.
Other Ladder Safety Tips
Of course, there are other ways to maximize your safety while using ladders, many of which work in conjunction with the Three Points of Contact rule. For example:
- Set up the ladder properly. This means placing the legs on solid, even ground so that the ladder doesn’t wobble while you climb it.
- Pay attention to your shoes. Wearing sandals on a ladder is a bad idea, and going barefoot is even worse. Wear clean, supportive shoes while ascending the ladder, and be sure to check the bottoms for mud or any other slippery material that could compromise your feet’s grip on the rungs.
- Center your body. Keep your center of mass in the middle of the ladder rather than leaning too far to one side or another. That can pull the ladder off-balance and cause a fall.
- Keep your hands free. The easiest way to violate the Three Points of Contact rule is to tell yourself that you need two hands for a project rather than just one. If your ladder has slots to leave tools or paint brushes, use them! If not, consider using a tool belt or something similar so that one hand can remain on the rung of the ladder at all times.
On the one hand, your homeowner’s policy or apartment insurance will likely take care of ladder-related injuries in the home, but it’s best to avoid the time and expense of dealing with medical care and rehabilitation by just practicing proper ladder safety in the first place. The professionals at EGR Insurance don’t want you to become an injury statistic, which is why we always push for people to use the Three Points of Contact Rule.
Driving Tips for Sharing the Road with Semi Trucks
As with all frustrating situations, traffic is something that can lead to people making irrational and sometimes dangerous decisions. When they are behind the wheel of an automobile, these types of rash decisions can prove to be even costlier.
It is important for drivers of consumer vehicles to share the road with semi truck drivers, especially when operating in heavily-condensed traffic. The following are a few tips from EGR Insurance to make sure drivers are doing everything they can to avoid incidents with the larger vehicles on the road.
#1 Slow Down
It sounds simple, but many accidents can be prevented if drivers simply slow down when they end up in traffic congestion. Chances of a crash increase exponentially when a vehicle is driving faster than surrounding traffic, and adding semi trucks to the equation can increase the probability of an accident. Go with the flow of traffic because there’s no point of being in a hurry in traffic that you can’t control.
#2 Be Aware of Blind Spots
All four sides of a semi truck are blind spots for drivers, so make sure you are in a place where the driver can see you. The general rule is that if you can’t see the driver in their side mirror, they also can’t see you.
#3 Watch for Work Zones
If you are driving in spring or summer, there is a larger chance that you are going to encounter some traffic, especially on highways and interstates. Keep your eyes peeled for changes in speed limits or shifts in traffic patterns, and reduce your speed if necessary.
#4 Maintain Safe Following Distance
You may not necessarily be in a blind spot, but if you are following a semi truck too closely, you may not be able to slow down in time to adjust to the truck ahead of you if they have to hit the brakes. A car traveling at 60 miles per her hour travels over 500 feet in just six seconds, which is why keeping a safe following distance helps reduce accidents.
#5 Don’t Cut in Front of Semi Trucks
Trucks are heavy and take a long time to come to complete stops, so cutting in front of them quickly when traffic is slowing down can lead to some unwanted accidents. Trucks also take more time to speed back up, so the best time to pass one is after traffic disperses and you’ve got a better chance to accelerate more quickly than they do.
Get an Auto Insurance Quote
While truck drivers are certain to have commercial truck driver insurance that would cover damage, medical, and legal fees in a worst-case scenario, the idea is to avoid any of that ever being necessary. The professionals at EGR insurance can provide both auto insurance for standard drivers and semi truck insurance for those operating big rigs, but everyone’s safety on the road depends on sharing that space and being ultra-aware when traffic tightens up. If you’re a driver near Moville, IA reach out to our insurance experts for a free quote.