Welcome to 2019! As everyone sets their sights on the upcoming year, many will be setting New Year resolutions. Weight loss and budgeting goals are great and all, but how about some insurance resolutions? You may be wondering what that might include. We’ve gathered some resolutions you could aim for in 2019, the year of insurance! Resolve to drive safe. Alright, we know this one sounds obvious but let’s make 2019 a year of safe driving. Make your goal to be the safest driver you know. Do your best to avoid tickets and accidents, both of which can cause insurance premium hikes. Did you know that tickets and claims can negatively affect your rates for up to 5 years? Obey all speed limit signs and keep a safe distance between you and other drivers on the road to protect yourself and your wallet. Resolve to keep in touch. Make sure to schedule a yearly review and reshop when your policies come up for renewal. Our experienced and knowledgeable staff will help educate you on the different parts that make up your insurance policy, and they will verify that your coverage adequately protects you and your ever-changing life. Did your mortgage change hands? Contact us to make sure the mortgage company information is up to date on your homeowners’ policy. This will ensure seamless payment and renewal of your home policy.
Resolve to protect your other valuables. This year, think about setting up insurance for things you may not have thought of. You can get coverage on your jewelry, valuable electronics, cameras and furs. Protection for these items can be set up on your existing home or rental policy or can be covered on a special personal articles policy. Set up insurance coverage for your toys like motorcycles, RV’s, Travel Trailers, snowmobiles and classic cars. They can all be protected. We even offer coverage for pets! Set up a policy for your dog or cat today and get ready to take on the new year with confidence knowing that you are thoroughly protected. Resolve to protect you and your loved ones. Set up life insurance policies for you and your family members. Sure, there are lots of options out there for life insurance but, who better to trust your life insurance policies with than your agency? We take care of protecting your home, your cars, your rental properties and your valuables, you can trust us to take care of this. We are knowledgeable about life insurance and can offer many coverage options. With these benefits, you can also take advantage of the convenience of having all of your policies in one place! Resolve to save money. We can help you explore opportunities for policy discounts. Discounts may be available for burglar alarms, new roofs and using telematics devices. Seniors may qualify for a defensive driving discount and teen drivers may be able to take advantage of a driver training course and good student discount. Married? Let us know and we can quote adding your spouse to your insurance to see if you can save money. Do you currently only have a home or auto policy with us? Call and see if you can switch and save by bundling your policies.
Get ready to take on this year of insurance. With our help you can save, stay safe and have a successful 2019!
Welcome back! In part two of our Brush Up on Your Basics series we are going to dive into some of the optional coverages you will find available on an auto insurance policy. Collision Coverage – This coverage is helps repair or replace your vehicle in the event of a collision. If you are leasing or have a loan on your vehicle it is typically required by your lender. Collision coverage is subject to a deductible of your choosing and the higher the deductible the lower the premium. The most common deductibles for collision coverage are $500 or $1000 though most of our carriers offer deductibles higher or even lower than these. The deductible will be a determining factor when considering whether to file a claim. Any damages to your vehicle that do not meet or exceed your set deductible are usually best paid for out of pocket. Comprehensive Coverage – Often referred to as “Other than Collision Coverage”, comprehensive coverage helps repair or replace your vehicle for damages caused by a variety of events. Some examples being – hail, theft of your vehicle, vandalism, fire and falling objects. Like the collision coverage, comprehensive claims are also subject to a deductible and is often also required by leasing and financing companies.
lIt’s never too early to plan your summer home improvement projects. If you are considering installing a new roof this year you might have questions. With a dizzying amount of choices on the market, you may not know where to start! We’ve gathered some information that may help guide you as you make this important home decision. The most common choices for roofing material are Asphalt, Tile, Wood Shingle/Shake and Metal. Let’s explore the advantages and disadvantages of these choices:
Asphalt – This is the most common roofing material. Typically, the cheapest roofing option, asphalt shingles come in a wide array of colors and styles. Made of asphalt-coated fiberglass and mineral granules, their composition makes them lightweight, fire and UV resistant. That being said, the life expectancy of asphalt shingles is less compared to alternative options. Depending on the brand, the life expectancy for asphalt shingles will range anywhere from 20 to 50 years. Excessive wind, hail and mold or mildew growth can take years off the life of your roof. On the bright side, minor shingle repairs can be easily performed by the homeowner.
Tile – Made of clay or concrete, tile shingles bring a long-lasting option to the table. Though twice or three times more expensive than asphalt shingles, tile shingles can last 50 years or more. Tile shingles are quite heavy, so it is important that the underlying structure of the roof is strong enough to withstand the weight. If going from another roof type to a tile roof, you may need to reinforce all or some of your roof. Small repairs may be done by the homeowner, but larger scale upkeep projects may require that you call upon a professional roofer. Overall, tile is a strong, weather resistant option.
Wood Shake/Shingle – Wood shakes and shingles are typically made from “cedar, redwood, southern pine and other woods”. They may be handmade or manufactured by machines. Since they are made of wood, they are more likely than other roofing materials to catch fire. The typical lifespan of a wood shingle/shake roof is 30 years and the cost is comparable to a tile roof. This option may not be the best in areas of extreme weather. Excessive rain and moisture, freezing, thawing and harsh sun can shorten the life span of the roof. This type of roof also requires regular maintenance, including cleaning and chemical treatments to re-seal the wood. Wood shingle or shake roofs are a great eco-friendly option and are resistant to wind and hail. Unfortunately, due to the cost and risk of damage, it may be difficult to find homeowners insurance that will cover a home with this type of roof.
Metal – Metal roofing is becoming more and more popular due to its long life and versatility. It comes in a few different formats from shingle and tile to shake or panels. The cost of a metal roof can range anywhere from $5000 to $12,000. A well cared for metal roof may last you anywhere from 50 to 75 years. The benefits of a metal roof include resistance to fire, mildew, insects and rot as well as the ability to “survive high winds, and easily shed snow”. Due to the complexity of the installation, repairs and additions to the roof should be done by a roofing professional. It may also be worth noting that some insurance carriers may not cover cosmetic damage to a metal roof. This is important especially, if you live in a particularly hail prone area.
*Source: http://www.everybodyneedsaroof.com/asphalt-shingles https://www.homeadvisor.com/r/best-asphalt-roof-shingles/ https://www.hometips.com/buying-guides/metal-roofing-drawbacks.html https://www.homeadvisor.com/cost/roofing/metal-roof-installation/ https://www.homeadvisor.com/cost/roofing/cedar-wood-shakes/
You rely on your roof to protect you, your home and your valuables. We hope this guide will help you make your decision when looking at replacing your roof. Don’t forget, a new roof can help improve your insurance rates and a hail resistant roof may earn you a discount. Call our Service Team today with any questions! 720-283-1722.
Do you own a classic car? Whether it was inherited, bought or bartered for, chances are your classic car holds a special place in your heart. Read on to find out how we can help protect your precious “ride”.
Do you have insurance on your classic car? Do you have it covered on your standard insurance policy? If so, what you may not realize is that this coverage may be insuring your car for its actual cash value, the depreciated value of your vehicle due to wear and tear over time rather than what the car is truly worth.
This is where classic car coverage comes into play. With a classic car policy, losses to your vehicle will be based on an appraised value or agreed value that you settled on with the carrier when your policy is written. This will allow you to take into consideration the value of any modifications, improvements and restorations you might have made to the car as well as the cars’ increasing value over time.
So how do you get coverage for your classic car? It may be as simple as updating your policy. Many of our insurance carriers do offer coverage for your classic vehicles. If you have coverage elsewhere and would like to combine it with your existing coverage, let us know and we will happily compare your rates. Alternatively, we can offer classic car coverage through Hagerty - a big name in the classic car insurance business. They offer special coverages that may not be available through standard carriers and Hagerty is able to cover newer high value vehicles, classic trucks, modified vehicles, motorcycles and scooters in addition to classic cars. Call us today and see how we can help protect your classic car!
Planning is crucial, so imagine the very worst thing has happened. A fire started in your kitchen and slowly spread throughout your home. Everything you own from the paintings on the walls to the rugs on the floor have been either destroyed or damaged beyond repair by smoke, ash and water. Now what? Well, assuming your home had a great insurance policy in place, you will soon start rebuilding your home and your life. However, all of your cherished belongings are now gone and you’ve got to start replacing them. You are now tasked with the job of remembering everything you possibly owned, from a paperclip to a big screen tv to that pair of fuzzy socks you loved.
So, if you were given a piece of paper and a pen, what are the chances that you could recall everything you had in your home? How about fifty percent of your belongings? Twenty percent? Ten percent? The truth is, not many people will be able to easily recall everything they owned, especially once it has all been lost. This is where a home inventory comes into play. A home inventory is a list of all of your belongings.
There are many ways to do a home inventory. A basic inventory could be as simple as a video taken on your cell phone that walks through your home. Open every drawer, closet and scan every bookshelf thoroughly to make sure you’ve captured everything on video. A more thorough home inventory could involve photos and a typed list of the belongings therein. Be sure to keep special note of high valued items. Take many pictures of valuable items and keep electronic copies of all appraisals and receipts. As you purchase additional big-ticket items for your home such as appliances or electronics, retain the receipts and even write down their serial numbers. It’s okay to have a hard copy version of your home inventory but it’s important to keep an electronic version as well in case the original is destroyed. There are even applications you can download on your phone to facilitate the home inventory process.
The hardest part about the home inventory is getting started. Once you have your initial home inventory compiled you will simply need to add to it a couple of times a year to keep things up to date. We urge every homeowner, condo owner and apartment dweller to make this a priority. We are headed into disaster season so wildfires, tornados and hail storms can hit at any time, make sure that you are prepared!
Now that things are heating up here in Colorado, it’s likely that you are breaking out your recreational trailers and vehicles. As you clean and prepare your home away from home, don’t forget another facet of preparation – insurance. You may be asking yourself, “What type of insurance should I get”? Well, RV’s or motorhomes that have motors and are not towed behind a vehicle require coverage just like a car would. The policy itself will have elements like a standard auto policy, including bodily injury liability coverage, uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage and deductibles. Oftentimes, there will be the option for roadside assistance or even glass or windshield coverage. Most carriers we work with offer optional coverages such as emergency vacation expense, which provides you with alternate lodging and transportation if your RV is damaged during a trip, as well as special coverage for your personal belongings while they are in your RV.
What about travel trailers, toy haulers and fifth wheels? With these pull-behind recreational trailers you will typically find that the liability coverage will extend from whichever vehicle is towing it. While it may be covered liability-wise that doesn’t mean that there will be any coverage for repairing damage. Should you get in an accident or suffer a loss from a hail storm, an insurance policy will help take care of the costs associated with repairing your trailer. Comparable to RV policies, you will have options to add comprehensive coverage, collision coverage, roadside assistance, glass and vacation liability. Utility trailers are also eligible for coverage, like travel trailers, liability coverage will extend from the vehicle pulling the trailer. If you would like physical damage coverage for your utility trailer, you can insure it as well, and for a nominal fee for the year.
Hail season is upon us. Whether you’ve been lucky in the past or suffered hail damage yourself, we are all keeping an eye on the skies. Weather can be pretty unpredictable here in Colorado. This time last year, many of us were left reeling when one of the largest and costliest hail storms in Colorado history swept through the state. The Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association (RMIIA) estimates that the damage caused by the storm cost approximately 2.3 billion dollars1. As we brace ourselves for another hail season, we’d like to share with you some tips for how to deal with the aftermath. Whether you are dealing with damage to your home, rental home, travel trailer, RV or car, it can be daunting to figure out where to start and what to do after a storm. Hail itself can be particularly damaging because you are oftentimes dealing with a two-part problem, damage caused by the hail hitting, and water damage caused by the accompanying storm or melting hail. Hail damage can range anywhere from pockmarks on cars and siding to broken windows and water-logged carpets. Damage to your vehicle will likely be cosmetic in nature with the exception of broken windows which should be mitigated to reduce further damage to the car. After the storm, we recommend bringing your vehicle to your local trusted auto body shop. They should be able to provide you with an estimate for the cost of the damages to your car. That will help you determine whether it is cost effective to file a claim or not. Damage caused by the hail will be subject to your comprehensive coverage so, if you have collision only coverage or liability only coverage on your vehicle, you should expect to pay for any repairs out of pocket. Hail damage to your home is usually a more pressing issue to address
Dented roofs and broken windows can cause even more trouble if another storm passes through. Make sure that you are mitigating the damage early on. Cover broken windows to avoid leaking water, set up fans to dry any water that may have gotten into your home and consider putting a tarp on your roof if you found that it has developed leaks. Once you’ve mitigated the damage, we recommend you call a restoration, roofing or home repair company to come out and provide you with an estimate for the repairs. If you feel that you may need to file a claim, we recommend that you consider your home deductible. This may be expressed as an “all perils” deductible or “wind/hail” deductible on your home insurance depending on how it is written. If the estimate of the damages exceeds your deductible you may want to continue to file the claim. If the estimate of the damages does not meet or exceed your deductible you are likely better suited to pay for the repairs out of pocket. If you do need to file a claim, we will refer you directly to your insurance carrier and their department of licensed claims adjusters and specialists.
Summer is heating up here in Colorado and, with an unusually dry winter, the risk for wildfire is at an all time high. There have already been several substantial wildfires so far this year. With some pre-planning you can help reduce the risk of loss and danger to your property and home. The first steps towards decreasing risk of damage from Wildfire start in and around your home. Sprinklers installed in and outside of your home can help stop or reduce the damage of a fire. These will offer protection for wildfires and general home fires. Create a 30-foot defensible space around your home. Clear brush from around your home and rake and remove dead leaves and grass clippings. Trim bushes and trees that are near or touching your home and remove any dead plants or trees from your property. These are especially dangerous as they easily catch fire. Woodpiles, wooden playground equipment and other combustible objects should also be placed away from the home. Fire resistant roofing material can help protect your home from errant sparks or embers. The next time you replace your roof, or if you are building a home in a wildfire prone area, opt for fire-resistant materials such as tile or metal. Keeping your roof clear of debris such as dead pine needles or leaves which tend to pile up in valleys and gutters can also help deter fire.
We are living in a tech-based world and every day new advances make life a little easier. It was only a matter of time before we saw this bleed into the world of auto insurance. In a state of high insurance rates, everyone is searching for a way to reduce their costs. While our agency is at the forefront offering 12 different carriers and a yearly reshop of your rate, you may be looking for an even quicker fix. Maybe the answer lies in telematics. From Safeco to Progressive and Nationwide, more and more of our carriers are offering telematic devices to monitor your driving and reward those who drive with care. The process is simple, you are given a small device to plug into your vehicle. With variations depending on your carrier, the device typically tracks the time of day or night that you drive, the number of miles you drive, hard breaking and rapid acceleration. All you need to do is leave the device installed in your vehicle for the predetermined time (typically 60 – 90 days) and drive as you normally would, or even better. Over time, the device will collect and relay this information to the carrier who will then rate your driving based on this information and determine the level of discount you qualify for. You may see a discount ranging from 1% up to 30% of your policy premium. Overall, the program helps to nurture good driving habits and mindfulness. Less careful drivers may be shocked to see how much room there is for improvement and cautious drivers may rejoice. There is a reward for good driving, all you have to do is plug in and go.
Maybe you are new to the renting game or you’ve been renting for some time now… either way you’ve heard about it - Renters Insurance. You’ve probably got some questions; Do you need a policy? What does it cover? How much will it cost? Luckily, we are here with the answers. Renters insurance is often touted as being optional, because unlike a homeowner’s insurance policy, you don’t own your apartment. However, renter’s insurance offers crucial protection not only for your belongings, but also for your assets. You may think that with renter’s insurance you are only receiving personal property coverage for the items you own and keep in your rented space. Your belongings will be covered; however, you will also be gaining liability coverage. Liability coverage offers protection for you and your assets should you be found legally responsible for damage to other people and their property. This is crucial to protecting yourself and your family. In addition to the coverages mentioned above, your renter’s policy can provide you extra protection for your valuables. For high valued items such as rings, jewelry or furs you can schedule them on your policy and take advantage of the benefits of elevated coverage. This includes protections for mysterious disappearance and settlement at agreed or replacement value. Most of our carriers also offer identity theft coverage, a huge benefit in this age of information. Coverage for water back-up is strongly recommended to help replace your personal property that may be damaged by water backing up or overflowing from a sewer, drain, sump or sump pump. So, how much does a renter’s policy cost? It depends on a variety of factors including the location of the property you are renting and the level of coverage you need. Typically, we see renter’s insurance priced at $10 - $20 a month. Cheaper than your daily coffee habit. It’s easy to see that the benefits outweigh the cost when it comes to renter’s insurance. We highly recommend you carry this coverage to protect yourself and your family. Don’t forget renter’s insurance isn’t just for apartments, if you rent a condo or a home we’ll cover those too! Get some peace of mind today, call or e-mail if you would like to get a quote! Phone: 720-283-1722 E-mail: Service@cissinsurance.com
In the wake of the recent hurricane disaster on the East Coast, our hearts go out to the families and people affected by the damage and flooding caused by Hurricane Florence. The photos and videos on the news show how truly devastating a natural disaster can be. Whether you live in a flood, fire, tornado or hail prone area or not, it seems that these large-scale disasters are becoming more frequent. Do you and your family have a plan in place should the worst happen? There is no time like the present when it comes to planning and making sure your family is prepared in the event of a disaster.
One of the basic aspects of an emergency preparedness plan is creating an emergency toolkit. The emergency toolkit you create should be tailored to fit your family. Do you live by yourself, or do you have a pet, small children or an elderly person living in your home? The toolkit should have everything from emergency rations, first aid supplies, bottled water, flashlights, batteries, a radio and blankets. If you have a pet be sure to stock appropriate food. If you live with a senior, be sure that you have everything to support their health and well-being including spare medication or medical supplies.
Keep and maintain all important files, documents and data in a weather proof, fire proof and tamper proof box. Knowing where all your vital paperwork is stored will save you from running around during a storm, fire or other impending disaster and struggling to locate these significant items. Additionally, consider making backups of important computer files and storing the backups on a cloud-based server or on a physical backup drive that is also stored in the disaster proof box.
Developing an escape plan for your home is a simple way to prepare. The plan can be applied to many situations and it could mean the difference between a safe exit and death or injury. At its most basic, it should establish room specific primary and secondary escape routes, assign responsibility to individuals for children, elders or pets and establish a safe meeting location outside of the home. Additionally, the escape plan should be practiced once a year at minimum. The National Fire Protection Agency advises that “while 71% of Americans have an escape plan … only 47% have practiced it” *. Put your plan into action and make sure that you are well practiced for when it counts. If you need guidance, there are many resources available online to help you formulate the best plan for your family.
You may not always be at home when disaster strikes, so being prepared on the go is just as important. Put together an emergency toolkit for your car. You can include many of the same items you have in your home emergency toolkit and add some extra’s including an emergency tire pump, a shovel in case of snow, emergency flares, jumper cables and rope or chain in case a tow is necessary. At work, be sure to familiarize yourself with all available exit options, where fire extinguishers may be located and memorize a few different routes that will get you home safely should your normal route be compromised.
While you can’t plan for everything, be sure to put a few safeguards in place for your family and for your peace of mind. For more resources on disaster preparedness we recommend checking out https://www.ready.gov/ , it is an excellent resource with tons of disaster specific information. *Source: https://www.nfpa.org//-/media/Files/Public-Education/Resources/Safety-tip-sheets/EscapePlanningTips.pdf *Source: https://www.ready.gov/
We are now in the full throes of winter. As you bundle up to stay warm, you might be overlooking the need to bundle up your pipes! We’ve all heard the horror stories; a frozen pipe burst, and the resulting water damaged both home and belongings. Be proactive this year and take some precautionary steps to ensure that you don’t suffer too! Once the temperature dips below freezing there is a risk of frozen pipes. One simple way to reduce that risk is to insulate them. You can purchase rubber or foam insulation to cover exposed pipes. Both options are quick and easy to install and last for years. Outside insulation is important too, install an insulation cover for your outdoor faucets to reduce the possibility of freezing and caulk and fill any gaps around the pipes entrances and exits to the home. One method to reduce the possibility of your pipes freezing, is to run a small amount of water from your sink’s faucet. This should be done on very cold days and especially windy days. Turning on the faucet will help relieve any pressure should a pipe begin to freeze. It’s recommended that you run both cold and hot water simultaneously. You don’t need to have a full flow of water, simply running it at a drip will be enough to ward off bursting pipes.
Be sure to program your home’s thermostat to maintain a minimum temperature through the day. It can be tempting to turn off your heat to save money while you are gone during the day or while you are traveling out of town, however, doing increases the risk of freezing and can cause your furnace to work overtime to heat back up when you return. Check with your energy or gas provider to see what they recommend you keep the minimum temperature at when you are away. If you suspect your pipes are frozen or on the verge of freezing, shut off the water and set up a space heater in the area or use a hairdryer to heat up the pipes. Check on the heater periodically to avoid damage or fire. If you are dealing with a burst pipe be sure to act quickly. Turn off the main water valve and mitigate any further damage. Mop up excess water and run fans and dehumidifiers to dry up the moisture, stop further water damage and to deter the growth of mold. Contact a plumber or restoration service to help with the repairs and if the damage is extensive, be sure to call your insurance carrier right away.
We know you want to be sure you are taking the right measurements to protect your home. Last year alone there were over 841,000 home burglaries₁ in the United States₁. Of those burglaries, the average value of stolen goods was about $2,368₂. Is there more you could be doing to deter theft? We have some recommendations for ensuring you don’t become a victim. Consider the outside of your home. Does your home hinder or help potential burglars? Perhaps your landscaping actually provides burglar’s protection from prying eyes. If the trees and shrubs surrounding or touching your home are overgrown, you may be giving thieves an opportunity. Take precautionary measures and be sure to trim and cut back any foliage that might be offering places to hide. How about lighting? Make certain that your exterior lights are outfitted with the brightest bulbs possible and that the area surrounding your home is well lit. Outdoor security lighting can be extra effective as it pairs the benefit of a flood light with motion sensing capabilities. These are readily available at your local hardware store, run anywhere from $20 to an upwards of $100, and can be installed in just a couple of hours. These motion detecting lights would draw unwanted attention to any potential thieves, thereby curbing theft.
The best methods to deter theft involve making access to your home more difficult. Be sure to lock your doors and windows every time you leave your home and install deadbolt locks on all exterior doors since they are more difficult to bypass. Reconsider storing a spare key outside, you might be providing a criminal easy access to your home and belongings. Instead, keep a spare key in your wallet or purse or with friends or family that may live close to you. A call to a locksmith is cheaper than a theft which could amount to losing thousands of dollars. Traveling? Take some precautions before you leave. An overflowing mailbox may be a sure sign that a family is away from home. Ask a trusted neighbor to pick up your mail regularly while you are away or arrange a hold with your local postal service. These holds can be placed on your mail for up to 30 days and can be arranged up to a month in advance₂ . Be sure to keep your travel plans private. Sharing travel information on social media could be risky. It wouldn’t be difficult for a thief to figure out that you aren’t home, making you an easy target. Installing light timers around your house can also throw them off the scent. If lights are turning off an on around your home periodically, it will give the impression that someone is inside. If you have put all of these tips into practice and would still like another layer of protection, we recommend installing a security system. With today’s technology, home security can be easily and seamlessly integrated into your life. From video cameras to window sensors and video doorbells, advances are constantly being made. Having a security system that reports to a central monitoring station may even provide a discount on your home insurance. Feel free to use any and all of our tips above. Our goal is to help protect you every step of the way!
We hope that you were able to learn a little bit more about the auto policy coverage options available to you. We’re here to help! If you are interested in adding or discussing these coverages call our Service Team at 720-283-1722.
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7901 Southpark Plaza #110, Littleton, CO 80120