Personal Insurance

NASCAR Fans: Tips for RV'ing the Races

Most people associate February with Valentine’s Day and chocolate, but for others it’s the kickoff to the NASCAR season with the Daytona 500. If you love spending your Sunday afternoons watching NASCAR from the comfort of your living room, imagine how great race day would be from the luxury of your home on wheels?  NASCAR is one of a few sports that allows you to be right in the middle of the action while camping in your RV.  Here are some things you should know if you decide to take in a race from your infield campsite and if you’re protected if something were to happen to your RV.

Be Prepared

Most tracks on the NASCAR circuit are not going to have full hook ups.  With no water hookups, be prepared to dry camp.  Make sure your generator is in good working order, you have full water tanks, plenty of propane, and empty black tanks.  Some of the larger tracks offer extra camp services like propane delivery and waste removal, but be prepared to pay a premium for those services.

Parking

Most infield camping spots will need to be purchased far ahead of race weekend.  These coveted spots go quickly. Once you have procured your spot, be sure to arrive early. Give yourself plenty of time as most tracks will pack the infield like a can of sardines.  While maneuvering through the tight areas and making camp, you trade paint with some of your neighbors, don’t worry, a good agent will make sure your RV is protected by collision coverage that will repair your rig and property damage liability that will repair your fellow race goer’s rig for any damage you may have caused.  Remember, rubbing is racing.

Getting to the Track

You’ve gone over your check list one last time and you’re ready to hit the road.  You are on your journey to the race and you have a mechanical failure with your rig and she’s not going to make it to your destination.  What now?  Some RV policies will have a few coverages that will come in handy in a situation like this.  Roadside assistance and towing is available on most RV policies to help you get to a repair shop.  You may also want to review your policy for emergency expense coverage which would help you with transportation and hotel costs. 

Trip interruption is another coverage you may want to consider. This reimburses you for paid non-refundable fees such as reservation and lot fees that you are not able to use do to a covered trip interruption or trip cancellation.

Maybe taking your RV to the races is not your scene. Maybe you would rather travel to Yosemite and hit every stop in between or perhaps spend your time at the best beach side campgrounds the country has to offer.  Either way, making sure your RV, your belongings, and your family are covered correctly should be number one on your checklist.  Whether you’re in the market for your first RV or you’re a seasoned road warrior, contact our office to get a quote or review your current policy.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Raymond Killian.jpg

Raymond Killian is a Personal Lines Account Manager at Bouchard Insurance. Raymond is experienced in all lines of personal insurance.

Your Home’s Replacement Cost vs. its Market Value

Your home is one of your biggest assets. Therefore, it’s imperative to make sure you are protecting it with the proper amount of coverage in the event you find yourself forced to rebuild from the ground up because of a catastrophic event. 

Selecting the amount of dwelling coverage can be tricky. There are many different approaches to valuing a property, depending on your focus. Two common valuation methods are market value and replacement cost. A big misconception is that a house should be insured for the value it was purchased for. Market value is simply an agreement between a buyer and a seller for what a property is worth. It is typically the amount the market demands based on the location, schools, local crime statistics, and availability of similar homes in the same area. The value of the land is also factored into the market value.

Replacement cost, on the other hand, ensures that in the event of a loss, your home will be rebuilt using modern materials, current methods of construction and installation, and today’s pricing for labor. The land value is not a factor when determining replacement cost. As an example, a home purchased 30 years ago for $200,000 may cost $300,000 to rebuild today given the rising price of construction materials and labor. While it may be attractive to insure an older home for the market value, it could be a huge financial burden during the rebuild process. The cost for rebuilding or restoring hardwood floors, ornate woodwork, masonry, and plastering to their original condition may be much higher than the home’s purchase price. Conversely, a home situated on a 5-acre lot near the water might sell for $500,000 due to the location and lot size but the replacement cost of the house house itself may only be $200,000. In this case, insuring the home for market value is most certainly setting you up for disappointment in the event of a claim, not to mention the unnecessary premium dollars spent!

Due to the ever-changing nature of the construction industry, it’s important to review your homeowner policy at every renewal to make sure your home is valued properly. If you have done upgrades or added additional living space, your insurance company needs to know so your coverage can be adjusted accordingly.

Our team at Bouchard can help. We have tools to help calculate replacement cost based on your home characteristics. Whatever you decide, understand there is a clear difference between replacement cost and market value. It’s similar to comparing apples and oranges.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

DeeDee Simpkins is a Personal Lines Account Manager at Bouchard Insurance. DeeDee is experienced in all lines of personal insurance.

Are You Properly Covered for the New Year?

The holidays are almost over and the new year is upon us.  What will the dawning of a new year have in store for us? Is my insurance covering me for the changes I made this past year?  Am I covered for the changes I’m going to be making this year?

After the joy and fun of the holidays, insurance may be the last thing on your mind.  But as unattractive as it may seem, reviewing your policies can be a quick and painless process.  Here are a few things to consider.

Do I have enough coverage?

Have you updated features in your home? New and updated home features can increase the reconstruction cost of your home and your limits may not reflect that increased value. You may have also acquired more valuables. Jewelry, art, and collectables have sub-limits on your policy that may leave you underinsured. Do I have replacement cost or actual cash value?

This is not a situation that you want to be in and it is important to review your policy to assure that your property and belongings are covered and covered correctly moving forward.  This may not apply to everyone, but a review is a great opportunity for a refresher of what is and is not covered.

Do I have too much coverage?

Most homeowners insurance policies include a property inflation guard that will increase your dwelling coverage at each renewal.  If you haven’t reviewed your policy in quite some time you may be over insured. You may have also purged your home of unnecessary personal property items and may need to amend that limit as well.

Assessing and adjusting these coverage limits can save you premium in the coming year.  Anytime reducing or removing coverages I always think of the statement, “It is better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it.” 

Am I missing any discounts?

Reviewing your policy is the only way to know if you’re missing out on any available discounts.  Maybe you have added or plan to add a monitored alarm system to your home. Most homeowners carriers offer discounts for monitored systems.  You may have also taken a driver’s safety course. A majority of auto insurance carriers offer additional discounts for completing a safety course.

The new year is also the time to mark your calendars for your policy renewal dates.  Policy renewals are a great time to contact our office to re-market your policy with our other carriers and compare in order to assure you have a policy that suits your needs and fits your budget.  Keep in mind, the lowest premium is not always the best option.  Insurance is like a fire extinguisher, you hope you’ll never need to use it, but you’ll be glad you have it if you do.

And, finally, from all of us at Bouchard Insurance, we wish you good health and happiness in the New Year!


Raymond Killian.jpg

Raymond Killian is a Personal Lines Account Manager at Bouchard Insurance. Raymond is experienced in all lines of personal insurance.

Four Ways to Care for your Holiday Bling

You’ve been preparing all year for the holiday festivities. You’ve bought your perfect dress to match your perfect shoes. You’ve somehow even convinced your husband to agree to wearing that suit that he just hates, but looks so good wearing and conveniently matches your outfit perfectly! The thought of wearing your grandmother’s heirloom bracelet is the highlight of the night!

After having an absolute amazing evening, you look down and notice that your gorgeous bracelet has fallen off your wrist. Where did it go? Your mind goes a million miles an hour retracing your steps. You look down and THANKFULLY it’s laying at your feet. After catching your breath, you realize that you avoided a close call this time, but next time you may not be as lucky!

Check out four easy steps to make sure your jewelry stays as protected as possible. 

Don’t wear your jewelry all the time.

Jewelry is delicate and should be removed when you’re swimming, cleaning around your home, gardening, working out, playing sports, and other activities that could harm your jewelry by causing damage.

Check your items regularly.

Every so often you should check your jewelry out to see if the stones are loose or if the prongs have shifted. Is the clasp secure? Is there dirt or has it tarnished? You should also have them looked at by a professional at least once a year.

Updating your appraisals every five years.

The value of metals and stones will change and getting an updated appraisal makes sure that the value is close and properly covered. And don’t forget to update your Bouchard agent of these changes.

Insure your jewelry!

Most people aren’t aware how limited standard home policies can be with jewelry and other fine arts, until they’ve lost an item. Most home insurance carriers place a limit of coverage, which can range between $500-$2,500 in coverage. For a fairly inexpensive price, you can insure your items on a per item or blanket option. Most jewelry insurance will cover you anywhere in the world if the jewelry is lost, stolen, a stone falls out, and for many other possible risks.

Bonus Holiday Tip: Did you know that vodka can make a great jewelry cleaner, when you’re in a pinch? Break out the vodka cocktails… you’ve got jewelry to clean!

As always, speak with your Bouchard agent for questions about coverage options and adding your jewelry to your policies. We hope you have a wonderful holiday season. Be sure to bring out your finest jewelry and dance the night away! It is the most wonderful time of the year, after all!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Christin Snow Linkedin.jpg

Christin Snow is a Personal Lines Account Manager at Bouchard Insurance. Christin is experienced in all lines of personal insurance. | Connect on LinkedIn

The Holidays & Homeowners Liability

“250 strands of lights, 100 individual bulbs per strand, for a grand total of 25,000 imported Italian twinkle lights.  I dedicate this house to the Griswold family Christmas.” - Clark Griswold

Christmas is around the corner and you are not about to let Tom next door out-decorate you this year. You have purchased all the latest and greatest lights and blow-up lawn decorations, but now you have family on their way into town and there is last minute present shopping to be done. How are you going to get these decorations up in time? There are many companies, handymen, and helpful neighbors that can help you reach your Christmas decoration goals.  But before you hire someone to deck your halls with boughs of holly, are you covered if they go for a sleigh ride off the ladder or the roof?

When hiring a professional to do any work around your property, you want to confirm that they carry their own insurance. If you hire an uninsured company or handyman you may be completely liable for any property damage or personal injury. In this case, your homeowners personal liability and medical payments coverage will come into play. You may also be held liable for any usage of your own equipment by a hired professional, such as a ladder, or for any injury caused by an accident or defect in that equipment.

All homeowners and renter’s policies offer personal liability and medical payments coverage.  Personal liability coverage is issued at a minimum of $100,000. It is recommended that you carry at least $300,000 or $500,000 if the carrier offers those limits. The personal liability portion of your homeowner’s policy provides protection for accidents you are liable for that occur on your property and result in bodily injury or property damage to others. 

The personal liability works alongside of the medical payments to others coverage. Medical payments coverage is there to help pay for reasonable and necessary medical expenses of non-residents who are accidentally injured on your property, up to the coverage limit. Your personal liability coverage would be there for claims of negligence that caused an injury or a lawsuit filed due to an incident. 

Do not hesitate to contact our office to confirm that you have adequate coverage. Remember, don’t let Cheryl’s new she-shed be the talk of the neighborhood.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Raymond Killian.jpg

Raymond Killian is a Personal Lines Account Manager at Bouchard Insurance. Raymond is experienced in all lines of personal insurance.