Owning a firearm is a major responsibility and requires significant insurance to go along with that responsibility.
If you own a firearm, it’s a good idea to know what kind of coverage is available under the standard home insurance policy. You will need to consider both the personal property and the liability aspects of the policy. The property portion of your policy will cover your firearms if they are stolen or destroyed, whereas the liability coverage applies due to the accidental discharge of a firearm causing injury up to the limits of the policy; typically $100,000 to $500,000.
Like many items that are small, valuable and easily transportable, firearms are subject to a limit. In many cases, the firearm sub-limit is $1,000 – $2,500. If you need more coverage than is normally available on the home insurance, you’ll have to look for more specialized coverage. Your options will be to add a “rider” to your existing home policy; or you can purchase a separate, stand-alone policy. Riders are very common for items such as jewelry and antiques. In the case of firearms, you will need to ask your agent just how much coverage you would have. Because of the risk factors associated with firearms, it would be beneficial to purchase an Umbrella policy which provides additional liability protection.
A few tips for firearm storage and safety:
- Store guns safely and securely to prevent unauthorized use.
- Guns and ammunition should be stored separately.
- Use a trigger or cable lock so it can’t be fired.
- Store unloaded in a lockable container.
- Don’t store firearms where visible.
- Don’t store firearms with other valuables such as jewelry or cameras, etc.
- If you have children, be EXTRA vigilant for obvious reasons.
On average, one Minnesotan dies every day by firearms while others suffer injuries. Firearms are the state’s second leading cause of traumatic brain injury deaths.
Minnesota Department of Health
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The Essentials of Quality Protection for Your Home
First and most importantly, you need enough insurance to cover the costs to rebuild your home at today’s rates. That is referred to as a Replacement Cost policy, which means that in the event of a disaster (i.e. fire or wind), the policy pays for the repair or replacement of damaged property with materials of like kind and quality. Insurance Advisors has state of the art tools to better value your home properly, based on specific criteria such as square footage of your home, type of construction, the style and age of the structure among other things. There is no depreciation applied for wear and tear on standard replacement cost coverage. You should be mindful that a homeowners policy does not cover floods or damages caused by flood; nor does it cover damages caused by neglect of routine maintenance.
Your policy typically features coverage for costs incurred in the event of a loss that requires you to temporarily live away from home. Your contents and personal possessions are automatically covered under most homeowners policies. Your Insurance Advisors representative can provide the details on how that dollar amount is derived.
Many people like to raise their deductible to save money on the premium; and that is certainly an option. But beware! The deductible amount you choose will come directly out of your pocket if you have a claim. For example, if you decide to maintain a $5,000 deductible, make sure you set aside the funds to cover that amount if there is a loss.
If you own a cabin, seasonal place or vacant dwelling, they will require a different type of policy. That distinction is something you will need to discuss with your agent to ensure you have the proper policy and subsequent coverage’s.
Consider adding a Personal Umbrella policy to your portfolio if you own a lot of assets. An umbrella policy is an excess liability coverage that goes above and beyond your homeowners and auto insurance policies. You get a lot of coverage at a very affordable price.
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Having mold present in your home causes a musty odor and can be hazardous to your health.
If your home is flooded by a severe storm, a leaky roof or a broken pipe, mold spores could begin to spread due to the excessive moisture. Even though it is not visible, mold can still be lurking on certain objects within the household. Whether or not mold is covered by homeowners insurance often comes down to the source of moisture and the wording of a policy. Most basic homeowners insurance policies exclude coverage of damage caused by mold, fungi, and bacteria. Yet that doesn’t mean a mold claim will be denied automatically.
In most cases, if mold results from a sudden and accidental covered peril, such as a pipe bursting, the cost of remediation should be covered. That’s because technically the pipe burst is the reason for the claim, not the mold itself. Claims are more likely to be rejected if mold is caused by neglected home maintenance; long-term exposure to humidity, or repeated water leaks and seepage.
Moisture prevention is the key
The surest way to avoid having a claim denied is keeping mold at bay in the first place. Preventing mold and eliminating mold when it does occur are critical to protecting the value of your home.
To help prevent mold growth in your home, we suggest following these guidelines:
- Lower indoor humidity with air conditioners, dehumidifiers, and exhaust fans.
- Inspect hoses and fittings on appliances, sinks and toilets.
- Use household cleaners with mold-killing ingredients like bleach.
- Opt for paints and primers that contain mold inhibitors.
- Clean gutters to avoid overflow and check roof for leaks.
- Avoid carpet in wet areas like basements and bathrooms.
- Remove and dry carpet, padding, and upholstery within 48 hours of flooding.
Generally, if items have been wet for two days or longer, mold has had the opportunity to set in. Other items that are made of more porous material may be at risk of mold infestation sooner than two days. Remove carpet, wood or laminate flooring as mold can become trapped between the sub floor and the floor covering. Throw away sofas, chairs and mattresses that have sustained water damage. Contact a mold inspector through the help of your Insurance Advisor’s agent.
Because of the unknown effects to your health, vacate your home during the mold removal process. Never re-enter your mold-infested home without wearing a mask.
Do you need one?
People buy insurance policies to protect themselves and their families from unexpected events that could end up costing them a significant amount of money. Homeowner and auto insurance are two types of insurance policies that help to reduce the risk of financial liability. However, what many people do not realize is that most insurance policies do not cover the entire financial risk. This creates a coverage gap.
An umbrella insurance policy covers liability that go beyond the limits of your homeowners, auto, renters, watercraft or motorcycle and/or other personal policies.
Your homeowners, auto, and other personal insurance policies have limits; a maximum they will pay on a single incident. If you are sued or a claim is settled against you for more than the maximum the insurance company allows, you are personally responsible for the rest.
An umbrella policy is only used if you exceed the liability limits of coverage under your other personal insurance policies, so the premiums are usually very affordable.
An umbrella policy helps protect your assets from being seized or attached in the event you are held liable for paying a claim or lawsuit that it exceeds the limits of your other insurance policies; a policy like this can also prevent a judgment against you that can eventually lead to a lien on your house or business.
Umbrella insurance policies typically offer coverage limits starting at $1 million; some police limits can be up to $5 million. You can enlist the advice of your insurance agent to help you decide if an umbrella policy would be appropriate for your financial situation.
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Sources: New York Times, Smart Money