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

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

Keep Your She Shed Protected

“Other structures” on your homeowner’s insurance policy often refer to attached and detached structures such as garages, carports, tool sheds, and barns. When it comes to other structures on your property, coverage on your homeowner’s policy will vary from carrier to carrier.  If you have multiple structures – either attached or detached to your home – on your property, it is worth investigating to find out what is covered and what isn’t under your homeowner’s policy should a claim arise.

Attached Structures

Garages | Carports | Porches | Pool Enclosures

Not all policies treat these structures as part of your house and may exclude or limit coverage to actual cash value only (depreciated cost), or may only cover certain components instead of the entire structure.

Quality homeowner insurers cover most types of attached structures at full replacement cost, including full pool enclosures or cages (both frames and screens). If the damage is caused by a covered peril (anything that your home would be covered against), the attached structures are generally covered as well.

Detached Structures

Barns | Boathouses | Detached Garages | Tool Sheds | She Sheds

Quality homeowner insurers consider these to be buildings and insure at full replacement cost, meaning the amount required to cover the materials and labor to rebuild the structure to similar parameters. Personal property kept inside these structures are typically covered to the same extent as personal property kept in the main house.

Fences | Docks | Gazebos

These are not considered buildings and are covered at actual cash value, meaning the current market value which is depreciated based on age and condition. Coverage for personal property outside of a fully enclosed building will vary, depending on the cause of loss.

Ask your agent what your policy covers when it comes to other structures and help ensure you have the best coverage available for all structures and personal items located on your property.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Katie Dierks is a Certified Personal Risk Manager who specializes in liability protection for successful individuals.  She takes a holistic approach in designing an insurance program that mitigates the potential threats to her client’s assets and lifestyles. | Connect on LinkedIn

Marsh & McLennan Agency to Acquire Bouchard Insurance

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Acquisition Expands MMA’s Footprint in Florida

Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC (MMA), the middle market agency subsidiary of Marsh, today announced that it has reached agreement to acquire Clearwater, Florida-based Bouchard Insurance, a leading full-service agency in Florida. Terms of the transaction, which is expected to close later this month, were not disclosed.

Founded in 1948, Bouchard has 260 colleagues based in its Clearwater, Fort Myers, Kissimmee, Maitland, Sarasota, and Tampa, Florida office locations. It provides property/casualty, employee health & benefits, and personal lines insurance solutions and expertise to midsize businesses. The firm has dedicated expertise in the agribusiness, community associations, construction, education, healthcare, hospitality, staffing, and social services industries.

As part of MMA, Bouchard will maintain its existing office locations and operate as Bouchard Insurance, a Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC company. On closing, Doug Bishop, who has served as CEO of Bouchard since 2009, will continue to lead the operation.

“Bouchard’s strong client-first culture and commitment to the education and development of its colleagues make it a powerful addition to our growing presence across the US,” said David Eslick, Chairman and CEO of MMA.

Mr. Bishop added: “By joining the MMA team we have the opportunity to provide innovative resources and solutions for our clients, and new growth opportunities for our colleagues. Equally important, MMA shares our passion to support the communities we serve. We are excited to play a role in the ongoing growth of this dynamic national firm.”


About Marsh & McLennan Agency

Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC is a subsidiary of Marsh established in 2008 to serve as a platform for the middle market. In 2015, it expanded its national footprint into Canada. MMA offers commercial property, casualty, personal lines, and employee benefits to midsize businesses and individuals across North America.

About Marsh

 A global leader in insurance broking and innovative risk management solutions, Marsh’s 30,000 colleagues advise individual and commercial clients of all sizes in over 130 countries. Marsh is a wholly owned subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Companies (NYSE: MMC), the leading global professional services firm in the areas of risk, strategy and people. With annual revenue over US$14 billion and nearly 65,000 colleagues worldwide, MMC helps clients navigate an increasingly dynamic and complex environment through four market-leading firms. In addition to Marsh, MMC is the parent company of Guy Carpenter, Mercer, and Oliver Wyman. Follow Marsh on Twitter @MarshGlobal; LinkedIn; Facebook; and YouTube, or subscribe to BRINK.

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.

Cellar Protection: Insuring your Vino

Whether you are a well-seasoned collector who purchases wine as an asset or someone who simply purchases the very best wines and spirits over time saving it for that perfect moment, anyone can benefit from insuring their wine collection.

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You may think that wine is covered under your homeowner’s policy, but since it is considered a “consumable good” homeowner coverage does not apply. Instead, your collection should be insured like you would insure fine art or jewelry.

You can have your collection insured in two different ways – blanket coverage or scheduled coverage.

Blanket coverage uses an overall coverage limit as well as a per bottle limit that is based on the highest valued bottle in the collection. This is the best choice if you intend to drink what you have acquired and your bottles are valued at less than $1,000 each. This gives you the flexibility to add and remove bottles without having to notify your agent each time.

Scheduled coverage itemizes each bottle on the policy with an individual description and agreed upon value, which guarantees the replacement value in the event of a loss. Scheduled coverage is appropriate for collections that have higher valued bottles that are being held for long period of time.

Wine insurance is generally written on an “all-risk” basis. This means you are protected against a broad range of losses, including fire, theft, breakage and spoilage due to mechanical breakdown of the wine fridge. What's more, the coverage is on a worldwide basis.

However, once your bottle is open, the bottle, even a collectible, loses all value and is no longer covered by your policy.  Gradual deterioration or any defects from original production would be excluded as well.

Many individuals who describe themselves as wine connoisseurs have, on average, anywhere between $50,000 to $100,000 in their wine cellars. Yet less than 10% of these collections are insured.

No matter how big or small your collection is, it has value to you. Just like any other asset you own, like your home or your car, you should have peace of mind that your collection is properly protected.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Katie Dierks is a Certified Personal Risk Manager who specializes in liability protection for successful individuals.  She takes a holistic approach in designing an insurance program that mitigates the potential threats to her client’s assets and lifestyles. | Connect on LinkedIn