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Colorado Insurance Blog

Do You Have Enough Coverage For Your Belongings?

One coverage included on home, condo and renters policies is Personal Property coverage. If there is a covered loss on your home that results in your belongings being damaged, your Personal Property coverage will extend to help cover the costs to replace your property.

Most homeowners, condo and renters policies default to Actual Cash Value coverage for personal property.

That means if your belongings were damaged or destroyed in a loss, your claim payout would be the original value minus depreciation for age and wear & tear. That’s not going to go very far when it comes to replacing your things.

At Integrity First Insurance, we always try to write policies with Replacement Cost coverage instead of Actual Cash Value. With Replacement Cost coverage, our clients are given the full cost to actually replace an item, rather than the depreciated value.

How do you know if you have enough coverage?

One way to account for the personal property you have in your home is to fill out a Home Inventory Checklist. Having an inventory of your belongings is a great way to speed along the claim process if you have damaged property. You won’t have to spend hours trying to remember every little thing, and it’ll help your claim adjuster verify what you had prior to the loss.

It can also be helpful to take photos of any valuable or unique items you have. That makes it easier to prove what you have if any questions arise during the claim process.

How to create a home inventory:

Here are some tips from the Insurance Information Institute for creating a list of your belongings:

  • Pick an easy spot to start – A contained area—like your small kitchen appliance cabinet, your sporting equipment closet or your handbag shelf—is a great place to get started.
  • List recent purchases – Another way to start is with recent purchases—get into the inventory habit and then go back tackle your older possessions.
  • Include the basic information – In general, describe each item you record, and note where you bought it, the make and model, what you paid and any other detail that might help in the event you need to make a claim.
  • Count clothing by general category – For example, “5 pairs of jeans, 3 pairs of sneakers…” Make note of any items that are especially valuable.
  • Record serial numbers – Usually found on the back or bottom of major appliances and electronic equipment, serial numbers are a useful reference.
  • Check coverage on big ticket items – Jewelry, art and collectibles may have increased in value and may need special coverage separate from your standard homeowners insurance policy. While you’re making your home inventory list, check with your agent to make sure you have adequate insurance for these items before there is a loss.
  • Don’t forget off-site items – Your belongings kept in a self-storage facility are covered by your homeowners insurance, too. Make sure you include them in your inventory.
  • Keep proof of value – Store sales receipts, purchase contracts, and appraisals with your list.
  • Add significant new purchases to your list – Make it a habit to add the item information and receipts to your inventory while the details are fresh in your mind.
  • Store a copy of your paper inventory outside the home – Keep it—along with applicable receipts and appraisals—in a safe deposit box or at a friend’s or relative’s home. Make at least one backup copy of your inventory document and store it separately. An easy way to make digital backup copies of your paper list is to take pictures of it on your smartphone.

Sources:

How to create a home inventory. (n.d.). Retrieved April 19, 2021, from https://www.iii.org/article/how-create-home-inventory

What is Condo Insurance and What Does it Cover?

One of the questions we receive at Integrity First Insurance is whether one needs condo insurance if they own a condo in Colorado. Purchasing a condo is the first step towards homeownership. The next step is to purchase condo insurance to protect your investment. Even if your condo comes with condo association (COA) insurance, covering common exterior damages like roofs and walls, you need an individual condo insurance policy (HO-6).

What to find out more about condo insurance? Please read on.

What does condo insurance cover?

When you purchase condo insurance from Integrity First Insurance, it will cover the below areas:

Interior coverage

Whether it’s your flooring, kitchen cabinets, fixtures, or drywall, your condo insurance should provide coverage in many case of damage from many possible causes. Ultimately, everything that is attached to your premises makes up interior coverage. It’s often referred to as “walls-in” coverage, because it covers everything from the walls inward.

Liability coverage

Whether somebody gets injured in your condo or damages someone’s property in the neighboring condos, liability insurance covers damages and medical expenses arising from these unfortunate events. Without liability coverage, you are left exposed to potential lawsuits and would be responsible for paying legal fees and judgements against you out-of-pocket. 

Personal property

Condo insurance protects your personal belongings from theft, fire, and other risks. If you opt for replacement cost protection, your insurance will have to indemnify you for goods replaced after theft or damage. Personal belongings covered by your policy include clothing, furniture, electronics, and jewelry. 

Loss assessment

It’s inexpensive yet commonly overlooked. When your COA has high deductibles on their master policy or when short of cash in their reserve account, COA places a loss assessment on each condo owner. 

Considering this optional, cost-friendly insurance could save you thousands of dollars in liability costs, medical costs, and property damage not covered by your COA master policy.

Colorado condo insurance

Do you own a condo and are unsure of the coverage you need? Please talk to Integrity First Insurance for more information. We have been serving condominium owners in Colorado and surrounding areas for many years. When you visit us, we will discuss your condo insurance needs and recommend a policy that you are comfortable with.

3 Ways You Can Protect Yourself From Personal Injury Attorneys

If you watch TV or listen to the radio, chances are you’ve seen or heard a commercial from a personal injury attorney. You know the ones- “I called (name of law firm) and they got me $700,000!” The frequency of these commercials means you’re more likely to get sued if you are at-fault in an accident.

The fact of the matter is, there are people out there that see a big payday if they get in an accident. Insurance is there to pay your medical bills paid and get your vehicle fixed. When the injured party wants to pocket extra cash, it drives up rates for us all.

Read more about Colorado’s increasing rates in our blog 5 Reasons Insurance Rates Keep Increasing in Colorado.

If you’re at-fault in an accident your insurance company will only pay up to your liability limits. Anything beyond that is your responsibility. If you don’t have that money laying around, they can take your home or garnish your wages.

Here are 3 ways you can help protect your family and your financial future:

Continue reading “3 Ways You Can Protect Yourself From Personal Injury Attorneys”

10 Insurance Terms Everyone Should Know

When it comes to insurance, there are many confusing terms. Here is a list of 10 common insurance terms that it’s important for everyone to know.

1. Deductible

Your deductible is the amount you have to pay before your insurance company will payout for a claim.  The insurance company will generally subtract the deductible from the total payout.

Example:

You file a claim for roof damage. Your deductible is $2,500 and the roof replacement will cost $10,000. The insurance company will pay $7,500, are responsible for the remaining $2,500.

Continue reading “10 Insurance Terms Everyone Should Know”

Vacation Rental Property Insurance: What You Need to Know

What you need to know about vacation rental property insurance

A few years ago, vacations rentals were few and far between. These days they seem to be on every other street, especially in large cities and mountain towns. Companies like Air Bnb and VRBO have exploded in popularity, and for good reason.

There are many benefits to choosing a vacation rental over a hotel. More privacy, wider location availability, and access to a kitchen are just a few perks. 

Continue reading “Vacation Rental Property Insurance: What You Need to Know”

Save Money by Bundling Your Home and Car Insurance

What are the benefits of bundling?

Until recently, there were countless options available for homeowners insurance in Colorado. In the past few years many carriers applied stricter underwriting guidelines. We have even seen some completely pulling their business out of the state of Colorado. Many carriers won’t write a home policy unless the car and home insurance are bundled.

Catastrophic hailstorms cause significant damage and cost a lot of money. That makes home insurance a huge risk for insurance companies in Colorado. 

Insurance carriers in Colorado have been in the negative (losing money) for years now. As a result, there are very limited options when it comes to a “standalone” home policy.

There are more options available when you bundle.

Continue reading “Save Money by Bundling Your Home and Car Insurance”

Ski Accidents: Will Insurance Pay?

Who pays the bill if you hurt someone while skiing?

Many of us in Colorado get excited after Halloween. That means the holidays are just around the corner and it’s almost ski season!

Ski season is the best time of year for some of us. But, it’s also the time of year when the liability risk skyrockets.

The roads become more treacherous when we start to see rain and snow mixed with the cold weather. Skiing or snowboarding down the slopes also presents a very real risk.

Luckily, there are some simple steps you can take to make sure you’re prepared.

Continue reading “Ski Accidents: Will Insurance Pay?”

Home Insurance FAQs

Common Home Insurance Questions

Does my home insurance cover flooding?

Simply put, probably not.

Most homeowners policies exclude coverage for flooding. That can include a flash flood, water accumulating in a window well and seeping into the home, or anything between.

 A select few carriers now offer an optional endorsement to add flood coverage. But, with most carriers the only way to get coverage for flooding is to buy a separate flood policy.

What is a deductible?

Continue reading “Home Insurance FAQs”

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