Insurance and Moving
Moving somewhere new can be one of most exciting times in your life, especially if that move is relationship or job related. The last you need to worry about during this experience is insurance.
So, we've laid out what you need to know insurance wise. And to answer your other questions: no, we don't have a truck and no, we're not helping you move...
Moving Truck Rental Insurance
Unless you (or your employer) shell out the doe for professional movers, you will be truckin' it from your old place to the new one. Even if it's across town, renting a moving truck can save you tons of time and a whole lot of hassle. But you need to make sure that during this process you're still covered.
Think about it; your entire house is in a moving vehicle, and chances are you don't have a lot of experience driving something that size. So, just like you have renters or home insurance, you're going to need to make sure you have moving truck insurance as well.
The rental company will sell it, so just make sure you read over the coverage and ask questions if you're not sure about anything. Some auto policies do cover a rental truck. And your renters or homeowners will probably cover your belongings while in transit. But double check with your policy writer or, if you're in a pinch, give us a call at (818) 233-0825 and we'll help you sort it out!
Now That You're Moved In, What About Insurance?
When you move to another state your auto and homeowner's and insurance will change. Insurance companies apply different rates to different states. Plus state laws may differ.
Here are some vital info you'll need for your move:
You can contact your current agent for a referral in your new state or find an agent on your own. But most likely, you'll need to get another agent (unless your agent is licensed in your new state).
If you move within your state, report your change of address to your agent. Since where you live impacts the rates, it may make a difference in your insurance costs.
If you own a home, you'll have to keep your insurance in force until the house changes ownership.
For your new home you'll have to supply proof of insurance prior to purchase. Even if you rent, you may need to provide proof of renters insurance as part of the lease.
You might want to consider getting umbrella insurance as another layer of coverage in the event you’re a victim of our litigious society. The umbrella coverage kicks in after your homeowner and or auto insurance policy liability limit is reached.
If your new home is part of an association, you might want to consider loss assessment coverage. This coverage pays for a loss the association might assess its homeowners for. (For example, if the association gets sued and the judgment is greater than the association's policy limits, they might ask the homeowners to kick in that overage.)
Finally, if you store belongings in a commercial storage unit, check your homeowners or renter's insurance to see if they're covered. If not, you may have to purchase a storage unit policy.
One Insurance Source
Talk with WHINS Insurance Agency if you're moving to the California area. We'll make sure you get the right auto and homeowner's coverage for your new surroundings.
As a leading independent agency, we have many highly rated insurance companies to choose from. We will be able to obtain the best value and insurance coverage for your situation by making sure you receive all of your allowed premium discounts.
Your insurance policy is usually not part of the to-do list when it comes to planning a home remodel, and rarely finds its way into the file folder with paint swatches, contractor bids, or hardware store shopping lists. But it pays to start your home improvement project on a solid foundation.
Call the team at WHINS Insurance Agency and let us “hammer out” a protection plan that can bear some weight - from the ‘Before’ to the ‘After’.
Hiring a contractor? Check his insurance
A home remodel is an exciting undertaking and a professional contractor can definitely help. But what does this have to do with your insurance?
Quite a lot, actually. When hiring a contractor, it is very important that you check his insurance, and how it extends to employees or potential sub-contractors. If ‘your’ contractor doesn’t have adequate insurance protection in place and one of the workers gets injured on the job (your house!), they might end up suing you and you might be held responsible.
Protect yourself! Only hire a licensed and bonded contractor. And don’t take his word…ask to see the insurance policy so you can make sure that it is in force and that the limits are adequate.
It is absolutely OK to ask for an insurance certificate from your contractor. The contractor and his/her insurance agent should happily provide it. The problem is that not many people are aware of this right to see their contractor’s policy, and therefore don’t ask for it.
You should also confirm your contractor’s licensing status on the California State Labor & Industries website.
There are three major parts of a contractor’s insurance policy:
- Worker’s Comp
Applies when an employee or sub-contractor gets injured on the job site. Worker’s Comp covers medical/rehabilitation expenses and lost wages for the worker. If the contractor’s limits are not adequate, an injured worker may sue you.
On a side note: If you assume the role of being your own General Contractor, you may have to purchase Worker’s Comp Insurance before you hire sub-contractors. Contact the California State Department of Labor and Industries for more information.
- General Liability
Covers negligence on the contractor’s part which causes injury or property damage to others.
- Builder’s Risk
Covers damage to your home and materials, including materials that haven’t been installed yet.
Are you your own General Contractor? The risk may be greater than the savings!
Unfortunately, it’s not quite as easy as that. If you function as the General Contractor and hire sub-contractors to work in or on your home, you may be held responsible in case of an accident or an injury to a worker or to a third party (for example, a neighbor kid walks by your house just as one of the guys working on your roof accidentally drops his hammer and it hits the child).
Your homeowner’s policy may provide some liability coverage, but even if so, it may not be enough to cover your assets if you are sued for liability and medical costs.
Worker’s comp is not always required by law but if you are in the situation of hiring sub-contractors to work in or on your home and property, you may want to purchase Worker’s Comp insurance for your own protection.
Since this is a very complicated topic with many variables, you should speak with your agent before hiring anybody.
All in all, you might be better off both financially and risk-wise if you hire a licensed and bonded contractor who has the insurance and the experience. It may save you a lot of hassle and worries during an already stressful time.
D-I-Y (Do-It-Yourself) project? Some are covered, some are not. (But not because you did it yourself!)
Whether or not damage, loss and injury that result from a D-I-Y project are covered by your home owner's insurance policy depend on a huge list of variables.
To make sure you are protected, you need to sit down and lay out what you're planning on doing, who is involved and if something happens all of the facts. If you're gearing up for a big project, why call us at (818) 233-0825 and make sure you're all set?
Major Remodel? Insure the “After” before it’s too late
If you don’t want to remember the “Before”, be sure to not leave your homeowners insurance policy stuck in the past! If you plan a major remodel like an addition, a new deck, or a significant upgrade, be sure to call your trusty Encino insurance agents at WHINS Insurance Agency to inform us about the scale of the remodel you are planning.
The replacement value of your home may now be significantly greater than it was before, and your homeowner’s policy limits might not be enough to cover your house if you have a total loss.
*Very Important* If you have an extended replacement coverage endorsement your policy contract requires that you inform your insurance company of any significant change in value (usually defined as improvements over $5,000.) Finally, if you purchased new furniture or electronics, be sure to adjust the personal property limits on your homeowners insurance policy.
Make sure you don’t wait until all the work is done to get your insurance in line. During the construction phase, you may have a significant amount of supplies stored on your property, which could be worth a lot of money. If these building materials are stolen or destroyed before your remodel is finished, there may be inadequate coverage.
So, don’t let your excitement be dampened by unforeseen incidences. Give us a call before the ‘After’, and get the peace of mind you deserve.
How certain remodels can save you money on your homeowners insurance
If you did a major remodel that included updating certain systems such as...
Putting on a new roof
A security system
Or other features that improve the safety of your home...
...give us a call (818) 233-0825 and share the news!
You may qualify for a new discount on your homeowners insurance policy!