Posted on February 10, 2016
You may have heard the term, or been asked by your insurance agent about umbrella liability coverage. But what is it , and do you really need it?
Umbrella Liability Coverage:
Umbrella Liability is an extra layer of protection over your standard insurance coverage. It protects you and your assets by kicking in if your liability limits are exhausted in the event of a claim.
Do You Really Need an Umbrella Policy?
Our expert opinion is YES! Contrary to popular belief, everyone should have an umbrella policy – not just the wealthy. An extra $1 million of personal coverage cost much less than you might think. And in today’s society, claim costs, settlements and legal fees (if it comes to that) can add up quickly, potentially leaving you to pick up where your home or auto coverage limits end. Wage garnishments, liens on personal property, etc. have been known to happen if responsible parties are unable to front the bill for the full cost of a claim.
Anything Could Happen…
A split-second distraction causes Jim to miss an approaching stop sign plowing into a passing car. The accident results in serious injuries and Jim is sued for $1 million for medical expenses, lost wages, etc. Jim’s auto liability limit maxes out at $300,000 leaving a balance of $700,000. A personal umbrella policy would kick in to cover that balance leaving Jim’s assets untouched (retirement savings, college funds, future earnings, etc.)
Personal umbrella coverage limits begin at $1 million, but higher limits are available. It’s important to talk to your insurance agent about your risk and what level of coverage is right for you.
Umbrella coverage is also available (and highly recommended!) for businesses.
Did You Know? February 10th is National Umbrella Day!
Posted on October 28, 2015
The health insurance open enrollment period for 2016 coverage is set to open Sunday, November 1st. Those who are renewing their marketplace coverage or enroll in a new plan will notice the rates for 2016 have increased. Understandably, many consumers are wondering why such a jump in premium. Unfortunately there is no single answer. Some of the major factors that have impacted 2016 rates are outlined in our 2016 rate infographic.
If you have questions about your coverage or need help finding a new plan, the marketplace-certified experts at AW Welt Ambrisco Insurance can help! Give us a call at (319) 887-3700
- Open Enrollment: November 1, 2015 – January 31, 2016
- Penalty for not having health coverage: 2016 – $695 per adult or 2.5% of annual income (whichever is greater)
- Penalties are assessed on the federal income tax return you file for the year you don’t have coverage.
For more information, contact us at (319) 887-3700 or email@example.com
Posted on July 27, 2015
Summer is in full swing and that means firing up the backyard grill. But, before you do, keep in mind these tips to stay safe while using a propane or charcoal grill:
- Always check the propane tank hose for holes, cracks or leaks before use.
- If you smell gas or suspect a leak while in use, turn off the grill immediately.
- Any grill suspected of having a leak should be serviced by a professional before future use.
- If a leak does not stop, get away from the grill immediately and call 911.
- Only use starter fluid designed for charcoal use. Never use gasoline or non-approved flammable liquids.
- Do not apply starter fluid to charcoal that has already been ignited.
- When finished grilling, let the coals cool completely before disposing of the ashes.
- Coals and ashes should be disposed of in a metal container.
Summer grilling season is a great way to enjoy the outdoors with family and friends, as long as you do it safely.
In 2007-2011, fire departments responded to an average of 8,800 home fires caused by grilling with $96 million in direct property damage.
Posted on October 15, 2014
Last month we learned that we were named among Iowa’s Top 100 Workplaces a list published by The Des Moines Register. We are honored to have been selected for this award from a statewide pool of employers, namely because the judges were our employees!
The evaluation for the Top Workplaces program is based on feedback from an employee survey which was conducted by WorkplaceDynamics earlier in the year.
Part of what makes AW Welt Ambrisco Insurance a top workplace is The AW360 Advantage. In addition to its application to enhancing client experience, it also encourages employees to provide input for the agency. Each employee is a member of a “4 C’s” team: Clients, Community, Companies and Co-Workers and helps the agency devise ways to better the organization in regards to those four key areas. In addition to making the agency better, it also allows employees to grow as professionals and individuals. “It’s a great place to work,” says one employee’s survey comment, “We have a great business atmosphere and we continue to look for ways to make things even better.”
We are excited to be among 17 Corridor businesses who made the Top 100 list! To see the full list, visit The Des Moines Register website.
Posted on April 18, 2014
‘Tis the season for vacations and that means rental cars for many people flying to their destinations. But before you hop in that car, make sure you take steps to ensure that you’re covered if any problems arise. Don’t Breeze Through the Pre-Inspection You’ve just landed and you’re already tired from the flight and just want to get to your hotel, but before you drive that car off the rental lot, take a few minutes for your vehicle pre-inspection. You may not think that little paint scratch on the door is a big deal now, but that could come back to haunt you when your vacation is over. If the company you’re renting from does not offer the pre-inspection make sure you ask for it. Most credible car rental agencies will have you fill one out before they let you drive off the lot. Sure you’re anxious to get on with your day, but taking the extra time to look over your vehicle and noting any damage or defects now could save you a future headache. If you have the opportunity, consider taking photos of the vehicle before and after your rental contract. Having extra documentation could help if any issues come up. Rental Car Insurance – Do I need to buy it? The best time to make the decision about whether you will need extra rental car insurance is before you’re standing at the car rental counter. It’s not uncommon for rental car agencies to offer you the opportunity to purchase additional auto coverages, but do you need them?
- Collision Damage Waiver (CDW), or Loss Damage Waiver (LDW), relieves you of financial responsibility if your rental car is damaged or stolen. If you have comprehensive and collision on your own car, you most likely do not need to purchase CDW from the rental car agency.
Additionally, your credit card company may include some collision and theft protection if the rental car is paid for with your card. This includes coverage for “loss of use,” which refers to the amount of money a rental car company can stand to lose while a car is being repaired. If your credit card doesn’t offer coverage for loss of use, you may want to consider purchasing CDW from the rental agency.
- Liability insurance provides excess liability coverage of up to $1 million for the time you rent a car. Rental companies are required by law to provide the minimum level of liability insurance required by your state. Generally, this does not offer enough protection in a serious accident. If you have adequate liability coverage on your car or an umbrella policy on your home/auto, you may consider forgoing this additional insurance.
If you don’t have comprehensive and collision coverage on your own car, you will not be covered if your rental car is stolen or damaged. It is also important to check that your coverage level is enough to cover the complete cost of the replacement value of the car you are renting – especially if you plan to rent a luxury vehicle or a substantially newer vehicle than yours. If you have questions about your current auto coverage and how it would apply to a rental vehicle, talk to your AW Welt Ambrisco Insurance agent! We can review your coverage limits to make sure you have the right level of coverage in place.
Posted on February 28, 2014
With the deep freeze we’ve been under this winter, it’s hard to imagine that temperatures will warm, all that snow will melt, and spring will arrive – but it will! And with that melting in addition to the typical Iowa spring storms, comes the potential for flooding. With current frost depths at 2 to 3 feet as a result of the “polar vortex,” periods of rapid snow melt and any additional rain will runoff into streams and rivers rather than being absorbed into the soil. (National Weather Service, 2014) We all hope that we won’t see devastation like that of 2008, but it’s important to remember that even mild instances of flooding can cause significant damage to your home and property.
Flood damage is not covered under a standard homeowners or property policy. A separate policy is needed to cover losses such as structural damage and debris clean-up costs that result from flooding. Additional policies to cover the contents of your home (furniture, clothing, jewelry, etc.) can also be purchased.
30% of flood claims are filed by people living in moderate-to-low flood risk areas.
Many people assume that the U.S. government will cover financial needs in the wake of flood damage. However, federal assistance is only available if the president makes formal disaster declaration. Those federal funds are then treated as a loan which in-turn have to be repaid, plus interest. Having a flood insurance policy means you’ll be reimbursed for covered losses and unlike federal aid, it never has to be repaid. In general, a flood insurance policy has a 30 day waiting period before taking effect. Therefore, it’s important to plan ahead instead of waiting for an immediate threat to apply for coverage – by that point it will be too late.
Currently, The National Weather Service in its first Spring Flood Outlook report issued on February 20th shows Eastern Iowa in a “Near or Slightly Below Normal” flood risk. Though we have had above average snowfall, that snow’s moisture content has been below normal – something to thank the frigid temperatures for – and current soil moisture levels are also below normal levels. Hopefully that means we’ll be in good shape heading into spring – but we still need to be cautious; heavy spring rains can still pose a risk so it’s good to be prepared. Remember, there is a 30-day waiting period for a new flood insurance policy to take effect so don’t wait until it’s too late!