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!


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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.


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

Staying Safe on Black Friday

With Halloween behind us, it’s time to start thinking about Thanksgiving. While we make plans for Thanksgiving with our family, many of us are also making shopping plans for Black Friday. Black Friday is one of the largest shopping days of the year.  It seems that more stores are opening earlier each year; some even open their doors to the crowds on Thanksgiving. 

The day after Thanksgiving used to be the day my mom and I would wake up before the sun came out, grab tea or coffee, and head out to join the madness at our favorite stores.  At that time, it was so exciting to be one of the first people to get to the store and get our hands on the best deals for the holidays. In recent years, the scene has changed!  Black Friday deals are bringing out larger crowds than ever, which means higher risk of accidents, injuries, and theft.  I still love a good Black Friday shopping trip, but I live by the following tips and tricks to make sure that I make the most out of the madness that has become Black Friday Shopping.

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Research deals ahead of time

The less time you spend on the roads and in the stores the less of a chance you have of getting into an unfavorable situation, like a car accident. Black Friday ads are usually posted on each stores website. It’s helpful to research and narrow down the number of stores you visit.  You can also visit the store of your choice a few days ahead of time and map out where their items are shelved. This can make your shopping more efficient and helps you avoid confusion in large crowds.

Leave kids at home

Taking kids shopping with you not only slows you down but also puts you at risk. Most kids don’t like going shopping, but if you find yourself having to take your little ones with you during this busy shopping season, make sure to be cautious of your surroundings.  Parents with kids spend more time loading their car which makes them an easier target for someone to grab items out of their cart or trunk while they attend to their kids.  

Parked vehicles

Try to find a parking space close to the store so you are in view of others and in better range of parking lot cameras. If it’s dark outside park near a light as thieves are less likely to break into vehicles that are in spotlights. Put shopping bags in the trunk or in areas of the car that are not visible to avoid theft. 

Keep your purse and wallets secure

Wear a cross-body bag to avoid leaving your purse unattended as you are shopping. Wallets shouldn’t be kept in back pockets as it will make it easier for someone to grab it.

Use one credit card for all purchases

Keep only one credit card on you just in case your wallet or purse is stolen. This way you only have to cancel one card if needed.

Wishing you a happy shopping season! As always, don’t forget to reach out to your personal lines agent to insure those valuable articles that you acquire during the holidays!


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

Common Home Insurance Mistakes That May Be Costing You Money

Buying a house is not only one of the biggest purchases you’ll make in life but also one of your largest assets. A home requires protection and the most common form of protection is your home insurance. If you’re not careful, you might make one of these costly mistakes when protecting your home.

Being captivated by the lowest price

Have you ever heard the saying, “it’s too good to be true?” Well, in the case of home insurance, many home owners can get stuck on getting the lowest price. However, what they don’t see is the coverages and/or quality may be taking a big hit to get you there. This can cost you BIG if there is a home claim!

Using multiple insurance agents for your insurance

It’s better when they’re together. In addition to having one point of contact, your agency will be better equipped to review your entire portfolio “holistically”, identify gaps in coverage, and make more personalized recommendations.

Not keeping your home insurance agent in the loop

If you’ve added a bathroom, screened in your pool, or gave your kitchen a facelift, you need to ensure your insurance agent is aware!  Not doing so could jeopardize the settlement amount in the event of a claim.

Not understanding the restrictions on your policy

I’m sure the first thing you do when your home policy comes up for renewal is sit down and read through it, right? Not everyone has time to do that, but not being aware of the restrictions or exclusions on your policy can be a costly mistake.

Keeping your deductible too high or too low

Determine your out of pocket threshold and select your deductibles accordingly.   Deductibles are not one size fits all. Too low of a deductible could result in paying unnecessarily high premiums. Too high of a deductible could put you in an uncomfortable position if you do have to file a claim.

Not getting an updated Wind Mitigation

Missing out on getting a Wind Mitigation may be one of the costlier mistakes. Wind Mitigations are what allow us to add credits to your home policy for your roof and other items. When you get a new roof, always think about getting a new Wind Mitigation so you receive the credits you’ve earned!

Ignoring flood insurance

Many people feel that if they don’t live in a high-risk flood zone, they don’t need flood insurance. But according to the Insurance Information Institute, 25% of flood claims come from people in low-risk or “no” flood insurance areas. It can be a costly mistake to not evaluate your flood risk.

As always, the team at Bouchard is here to help you with any questions you may have about insurance. Be sure to speak with your agent to make sure you’re getting the most out of not only your homeowners insurance, but all of your insurance.


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

Does My Credit Affect My Car Insurance Premium?

When it comes to auto insurance, there is never a one-price-fits-all scenario. While there are many factors that cause the costs to vary from driver to driver, carrier to carrier, and state to state; did you know that your credit history can impact your car insurance premium?

Insurance companies will only use a soft inquiry when pricing your coverage. These types of inquiries will not affect your credit score and you can shop your coverage around until you find the policy that fits you just right. Using a credit-based insurance score when determining premiums helps to better predict insurance losses. It has been shown that individuals with higher credit-based insurance scores typically have fewer claims over time.

While several factors contribute to determining an individual premium, some factors related to your credit that may be used are your payment history (including delinquencies or late payments), the length of your credit history, and the types of credits (e.g. credit cards or loans).  Using a credit-based insurance score allows you to possibly even pay a lower premium than if your credit wasn’t used as a factor during the quoting process.

Being that your credit score often changes, it is important that you talk to your agent on a yearly basis to make sure you are getting the most out of a credit-based insurance premium.

About the Author

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Lisa Jewell is an Advisor in the Private Client division of Bouchard. Lisa specializes in high net worth personal insurance that focuses on successful individuals with more complex insurance portfolios and exposures in all 50 states.  | Connect on LinkedIn