College Student Insurance

Is my college student covered on insurance?

Damaged, lost, or even stolen property at college is a more common occurrence than you might think. As we send our children off to college for the new year, we should ask ourselves “what happens if their property is damaged or stolen?” Generally your homeowners insurance will provide some coverage. At what cost though and what does it really cover? How about property of the college or university in your child’s care? Will the college cover the loss if the dorm or building has a fire, water leak, or tornado? Who pays if actions of your student result in a loss to someone else?

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Most homeowners insurance will extend coverage to the property your student takes to college. However, many of the probable causes of loss may not be covered. For example, the new laptop that gets damages as a result of a drink being spilled on it at a small gathering your child was having in their dorm room. A pipe breaks in the dormitory, causing water damage to a TV, computer, iPod including downloaded music, smart phone, etc. Also, you might consider your deductible on your homeowner policy. Most deductibles are $1,000 or more. A claim could also increase your premium for years to come. College is expensive enough without racking up higher premiums for your insurance. Heck, you might actually need to file a claim for serious damage to your house and if you already filed a claim for your child’s belongings things could get sticky. Your premiums are sure to go through the roof, and you may even be cancelled for high claim activity.
College Student Insurance or CSI has a simple solution. Get a policy for your student to protect their things and your insurance history. In Kansas and Missouri you can get a $5,000 property policy with a $25 deductible for about $130 a year. This will provide coverage for theft, fire, flood, earthquake, vandalism, water damage, electrical damage, even accidental damage. The property is covered anywhere the student might go, even to another school to visit friends for the weekend. Coverage is also extended to any property of the college or university in the students care. The policy covers all property including jewelry and course books!
Finally, for those parents whose children may be mischievous or practical jokers? Liability insurance is also available for very little premium. Don’t let your insurance history be ruined by your college student’s good time. And remember if you don’t pay the premium, you will own the loss.

Getting The Lowest Premium Possible

You just received your homeowners’ insurance renewal from your insurance carrier. If the first two thoughts to pass between your ears are; I didn’t have any claims, and there weren’t a lot of bad storms in our area this year; you are not alone! Homeowners’ insurance premiums in Kansas and Missouri are on the rise. Instead of bothering you with the corporate hogwash that all agents are force fed, we will focus on what you can do to stem the tide of out of control premiums.

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First, analyze your deductible. The higher the deductible you can reasonably afford to pay, the lower   annual premium you will pay. Most people go years even decades without a homeowners claim. Imagine the savings that has been wasted by not increasing the deductible. If you have a $1,000 deductible and a pipe burst causes $1300 in damage are you going to file the claim? If you do you will receive the $300 from your insurance carrier, and most likely an increase in premium which will remain in effect for 3-5 years. Who is really paying for the $300 claim? Now imagine a wind and hail storm damages your roof. (I know this is hard to do for you Missouri and Kansas homeowners) You most likely can’t afford to not file this claim, and as a result will show two claims in a short period of time. This is considered high claim activity and will most definitely be accompanied by a sizeable increase to your home insurance premium. Still want to file the $300 claim? When considering whether to file a claim, remember this rule of thumb. “Pay for what you can, and file claims for what you can’t.” Many companies are raising their minimum deductible that is allowed. I suggest going even higher and pocketing the savings for a rainy day!

Second, ask your agent to run an updated reconstruction cost estimate. If you have been with the same company for a number of years, they ran a reconstruction cost estimate when you first purchased the policy. In the subsequent years they have just increased the amount of coverage based on forecasted market conditions. Very often this can save homeowners between $50 and $100 in annual premium. Doesn’t sound like much? Consider that all future increases are based on this amount and compounded annually. For example, let us assume a 20% increase. That $100 will now be $120, and next years increased will be based on the $120. Keeping the homeowners insurance premium as low as possible is very important to acceptable future premiums.

Third, work to improve your credit score, and if you know your credit standing has improved talk with your agent about getting a new quote from your carrier along with other carriers. Credit scores are very fluid. I have had premiums drop or raise as much as $250 within a short period of time due to changes in a credit score. Married? Have the agent use the spouse with the better credit score for the quote. Obviously keep quiet if your credit has slipped at all!

Fourth, let your agent know if you have upgraded your home in any of the following ways; new roof, new HVAC, updated wiring, updated plumbing, or a change in exterior wall construction materials. This will also include checking for upgrades to your local fire department if you live in a smaller community. All of these upgrades can have a significant effect on homeowner insurance premiums.

Finally, shop your insurance every couple years. Very seldom will you find a carrier has the best rates for your home insurance for more than a couple years. Your personal circumstances are changing all the time. All carriers have different factors they like in an ideal customer. Age, zip codes, age of home, age of roof, credit score, claim history, state of residence, construction materials of home, and others affect the premium with a given carrier. The significance given to a particular factor by a carrier is ever changing as well. Shopping every couple years helps insure that you will find the carrier that offers you the best rates, based on these factors. So don’t just complain about your increased premium, do something about it!

DBR Insurance, LLC is a Kansas, Missouri, & Arkansas Licensed insurance agency.  For all your insurance needs contact DBR at (913) 871-3606.

Contact a Live Agent

Call today for your FREE quote! DBR works with top-rated carriers for all of your insurance needs. Let us shop the market to find you the best coverage at the lowest prices. Speak with a Live Agent now at (913) 871-3606 or get an online quote.

Claims That Homeowners Insurance May Not Cover

Claims That Homeowners Insurance May Not Cover

          I paid my homeowners insurance premium, so I’m covered right? Not necessarily, though this is a common belief. Limits, exclusions, and homeowner maintenance cause homeowners problems at claim time, on what is thought to be a “covered loss” by the insured. Following is a list of items that should be reviewed on the policy and discussed with your agent.

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  1. Loss assessment- If you live in a condominium or townhouse, or belong to a HOA and there is community property such as a pool, playground, or clubhouse? You probably have loss assessment coverage on your policy. The communal property and liability with that property is covered by the master policy of the HOA. However, any amount of a loss that exceeds the limits and any deductibles are often paid by the HOA individual members. Example: Someone gets hurt in the clubhouse and sues the HOA for three million dollars and the master policy liability limit is two million dollars. The excess one million dollars will be divided equally among each member.
  2. Earthquake- Coverage for earthquake is excluded from the standard homeowners’ insurance policy, and must be added to the policy by endorsement. If you are anywhere near a fault line, a talk with your agent is advised. In most areas the endorsement is inexpensive.
  3. Flood- insurance to protect against a flood is purchased as a completely separate policy from the federal government (NFIP). “My home is in a low risk flood zone, so I don’t need flood insurance.” Think again, flooding is often caused by heavy localized rain, snow melt, poor engineering, and ground saturation due to water run-off in developed areas.
  4. Drain and Sewer Backup- depending on where the sewer drain is in your house you can determine the amount of coverage, if any, you need. A drain that is located in the finished basement of a house may require more than a home with the drain in the garage. Assess the location and potential damage to drywall and contents in the area and discuss with your agent. Many policies have no coverage for this peril, with many more providing the minimum $5,000 of coverage. Many carriers will not allow this endorsement to be added or increased once a claim is filed, so determining the proper amount of coverage up front is paramount.
  5. Collectibles- Jewelry, instruments, stamps, antiques, and guns are normally covered with minimal amount of coverage, if any at all, on a standard homeowner’s policy. Often this coverage is limited on covered perils. A stand-alone policy can be purchased to cover these valued items for the amount they are worth and from all perils. Many homeowners have been disappointed to find out their most prized possessions had no coverage after a loss occurred.
  6. Personal property- Quick, close your eyes and mentally list every item in your living room. Probably forgot a few items? Now, do it for the whole house! A video recording of the contents in your entire house is invaluable when a total loss has occurred. Personal property is standard on a homeowner policy. However, remembering what you have and proving that you had it to begin with is another story. Finally, make sure your policy covers personal property at replacement cost not Actual Cash Value. You will not be happy if the insurance company reimburses you for your minus depreciation. Ask yourself, how much are my used clothes worth? What would I get for a three year old used refrigerator? If your policy is Actual Cash Value, you may find out the painful answer.

The bottom line is: talk to your agent! It could be the most valuable fifteen minutes of your life. Not everything is covered on a homeowner’s insurance policy, but almost everything can be with a little forethought and time. If you don’t pay the premium, you will own the loss!

Contact a Live Agent

Call today for your FREE quote! DBR works with top-rated carriers for all of your insurance needs. Let us shop the market to find you the best coverage at the lowest prices. Speak with a Live Agent now at (913) 871-3606 or get an online quote.

 

Vacation Tips

Vacation Tip #1. Post your vacation pictures after you return home, as to not encourage other people to help themselves to your stuff! Theft claims kill insurance rates!

Vacation Tip #2. Renting a vehicle on your vacation? Typically your auto insurance will extend to the rental car. If you have liability only, it might be a good idea to purchase the ridiculous insurance from the rental company. Check with your agent on what is and isn't covered. Many companies don't provide coverage for loss of income, so if you wreck the rental car, you may be liable for the income generated by that vehicle while it is being repaired. Average length of repair is 7-10 days, and they don't use your discounted rental rate when figuring loss of income!

Understanding Boat Insurance

Many people assume boat insurance is just auto insurance on the water.  Unfortunately this is a very common way of thinking, because the policy and some of the coverage is similar.  Liability insurance on a boat covers the boat and any authorized operators.  Liability on a boat insurance policy does not extend to other boats the policy owner may operate, as does an auto policy.  Others believe their home owners insurance covers their boat.  While some home policies will extend coverage to a boat, it is usually only on certain size boats with motors smaller than 50 horse power.  And my favorite, the insurance company will replace my boat if it gets wrecked.  Not always sailor!  Make sure you know which of these boat coverages you have on your policy.  Replacement, the most expensive and does replace your boat less any deductible.  Agreed value policy states at time you purchase your policy how much you will receive in the event of a total loss.  Actual cash policy which pays the cost of your boat new, less depreciation for time, condition, and market value.Insurance Pic4

In addition to the above misconceptions, there are a few critical forms of coverage that boat owners assume would be covered but, would be wise to ask their agent about before purchasing boat insurance.  The first kind is tow coverage.  I know, if your boat runs out of fuel or breaks down on the lake, you can just wait for the next   Good Samaritan to sail by and throw a rope.  While this is a great solution for the fuel shortage dilemma or mechanical breakdown, it is useless if your pride and joy is resting on the bottom of the lake.  Not only is tow insurance critical to your policy, but the amount of tow coverage is just as important.  Another coverage that should be researched before purchasing boat insurance is fuel spill coverage.  If your boat leaks fuel from an accident, your liability coverage will generally apply.  However, if your boat is leaking fuel and the cause of the leak isn’t covered on your policy, you may be on the hook for the clean-up.  Understand too, that more likely than not, any fines associated with a fuel spill by various governments are not covered.  Finally, ask your agent what waterways your boats coverage will extend to.  If your policy is for the Midwest lakes and rivers and you have an accident in the Gulf of Mexico your only coverage is probably all of the assets you own!

There are numerous ways to save money on boat insurance.  First, keep a clean driving record because the silly insurance company will assume you are a poor boat operator if you appear to be a poor car operator.  Second, ask about marine safety courses you can take to lower premium.  Not only will this help with rates, but probably will help avoid claims.  Last, safety equipment is important.  Find out what discounts are available for GPS, auto fire extinguishers, depth finders, and other equipment.

In closing, if you already have boat insurance, ask your agent about these issues.  If you are buying a boat, I suggest finding out the answers prior to purchase.  The only thing worse than paying for insurance, is finding out you didn’t pay for the right insurance!

Ready to Save Money?

Call today for your FREE quote!  DBR works with top-rated carriers for all of your insurance needs.  Let us shop the market to find you the best coverage at the lowest prices.  What have you got to lose?  That 5 minute call could save you $100's!  Speak with a Live Agent now at (913) 871-3606 or get an online quote.

Insurance Overland Park KS

There are many types of insurance policies that one purchases throughout thier lives.  Whether it's insurance for you home & auto, or more detailed insurance for a business you own, DBR Insurance has the carriers and knowledge to help you with your needs.  DBR insurance

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specifically serves the Overland Park, KS area but is not limited there.  That's just our home base and we are passionate to help out those looking for insurance in Overland Park, KS because we are neighbors.

Along with the many types of insurance policies, there are many insurance carriers.  Since we are independent and work for you and not the insurance companies, we can shop multiple carriers to help you find the best coverage with the lowest cost.  That doesn't mean the lowest coverage and lowest cost as we don't look to sacrifice coverage.  If you have the best costs for the coverage and we can't lower your cost without sacrificing coverage, we'll tell you!  How's that for honesty?  We are not going to try to get you to lower your coverage just so we can get a lower price.  Most often we will increase your coverage as well as lower your premiums.  For all of your insurance needs in Overland Park, KS (as well as all of Kansas & Missouri) call us today at (913) 871-3606.

Ready to Save Money?

Call today for your FREE quote! DBR works with top-rated carriers for all of your insurance needs. Let us shop the market to find you the best coverage at the lowest prices. What have you got to lose? That 5 minute call could save you $100's! Speak with a Live Agent now at (913) 871-3606 or get an online quote.

Kansas & Missouri Insurance Options

Introducing DBR Insurance, LLC!  We not only broker insurance in Overland Park, KS where we are located but also throughout the states of Kansas & Missouri.  With today's fast pace society we understand it's sometimes difficult to meet face to face so for those that cannot and are outside of the Kansas City metro area we can help you still.  Give us a call today to see how much money you can save - without sacraficing coverage.

Call us today at (913) 871-3606 or Online.