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Get Ready For Summer With These 5 Insurance Policies: Part 2

A couple of weeks ago we posted a list of five insurance policies you definitely need to review as you prepare to head out and enjoy your summer plans. Believe it or not, though, that original list only mentioned some of the insurance policies worth keeping in mind during your seasonal activities.

By now we’re willing to bet that “summer brain” is starting to set in and wash away your worries. Unfortunately, even during this relaxing time of the year risk factors can become full-blown, potentially expensive problems. So before you head out for your summer adventures, take a moment and make sure you’ve reviewed whether or not your insurance covers these five scenarios and objects that could interfere with your favorite season in the year. 

-Scooters Or Motorcycles: For many motorcyclists early summer is the perfect time to ride their bikes. Since motorcycles can’t be included in an auto insurance policy, it’s important to review and consider updating your current motorcycle insurance policy before you head out for a summer roadtrip. We’ve talked about a motorcyclist’s insurance needs before, which include liability, personal injury protection, comprehensive and collision coverage.

Motorcycles aren’t the only form of transportation that require their own insurance; like motorcycles, any small motor scooters people may own are not covered under a normal auto insurance policy. Legally scooter riders only need to purchase basic liability insurance; seeing as this only offers coverage for any damage and injuries other people incur in an accident, it’s important to consider collision and comprehensive insurance as well. Don’t worry: many affordable policies cover all of these needs. 

-ATVs: For some people the most exciting part about the summer is bringing out their all-terrain vehicle (ATV) for a little off-road fun. However, just like motorcycles and scooters, ATVs are not covered under standard auto insurance policies. Sometimes a homeowners policy includes liability partial coverage for an ATV, but no ATV owner should assume they’re fully covered by this. Instead all ATV  owners should consider having a full ATV coverage policy; if any family members or friends will be driving your ATV for the first time this year, it’s especially important to check that they’re also covered under an existing policy to make sure any off-road tumbles don’t lead to extremely expensive medical costs. 

-Trampolines: We’re willing to bet you never expected to see trampolines on this list. While trampolines themselves don’t require insurance, what many people don’t realize is that some companies can deny a claim if they have policy exclusions for anything involving a trampoline. Some companies can refuse to insure a property if they deem a trampoline too risky, and others will cancel your policy if a trampoline goes against the safety guidelines written out by your insurance contract. Because of this, it’s extremely important to review your insurance policy and find out if trampoline-related injuries would be covered, and if a trampoline is allowed on your property to begin with, before your children or their friends beginning playing on one.

-Fireworks: Summertime festivities and fireworks go hand-in-hand, but for Pennsylvania residents fireworks create a double-whammy risk factor. Not only can improperly lighting and using fireworks cause serious injuries, but in states that do not allow the use of fireworks without a permit the use of fireworks can also jeopardize your current homeowners insurance coverage. So while residents in states where fireworks are legal should always check to see if their property includes proper liability and damage protections, those of us in the Keystone State must remember that setting off fireworks can potentially lead to us losing our insurance coverage. Plus as a result of the risk associated with us, we’ll pay far more for a new policy with a new insurance company.

-Renting Homes: Are you planning on renting out your home this summer? Many people rent out a room during the summer to help bring in some extra cash, but without the right insurance that extra cash could potentially go into paying liability and property damages caused by your temporary subletter or subletters. The insurance requirements for renting our homes vary considerably depending on how long and how often people will be staying with the homeowner. Some insurance plans will allow short-term visits on a regular home insurance policy, while others may require a small renters insurance policy. Because of this, it’s best to talk to your policy holder and see exactly what you are – and aren’t – covered for, before anyone moves in for the season.

Are you unsure if your insurance offers the right coverage for you? Do you need a new policy for one of your vehicles? Let the Fisher Widmann Flick Insurance Agency help protect you so that you can enjoy your summer in peace. Go ahead and contact us today to set up an appointment with one of us trained insurance experts, who can make sure your insurance policies cover exactly what they need to cover, all at a reasonable cost. We’re all that stands between you and a wonderful relaxing summer, so don’t wait!

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Never Make A Sale Without Special Events Insurance

Home and garden shows. Expos. Farmers markets. Arts festivals.

What do events like these have in common? They all feature concessionaires and vendors, each selling their handmade wares and crafts to an excited community. For many attendees special events like these are the highlight of their spring or summer – and for the concessionaires and vendors, these events are their livelihood.

So whenever you prepare to head out, set up a booth, and start selling your homemade goods, don’t forget to ask: do I have the insurance coverage I need for this event? 

While not every small-town local event will require that their vendors purchase insurance, having insurance in place while attending an event is always highly recommended. Special event insurance can offer protection in a range of situations:

-Your goods and services are your livelihood – how much would losing one or more of them set you back? Insurance can help keep you on your feet in the event of a theft.

-A special event is a public place, which means that your business must operate in a public place. Your insurance should protect your business from any injury or property damage claims that you may face as a result of your operations.

-As a business owner your responsibility does not stop when an event ends. Should one of your products become involved in an injury or property damage case later down the line, good insurance will kick in to help you deal with that situation.

Exactly what a concessionaire or vendor needs ultimately comes down to what they sell, how long they’ll be at an event, and the environment the event will take place in. This makes finding the right insurance for each event you go to incredibly important. Our staff at the Fisher Widmann Flick Insurance Agency understand this – that’s why we’ve taken steps to ensure that you’re always properly insured at the special events you attend. 

To make this happen we’ve partnered with the United States Liability Insurance Group, who’s known for specializing in underwriting low premium, low hazard specialty insurance products. Together we’re offering specifically designed insurance packages that accommodate the coverage and pricing needs for a wide variety of concessionaires and vendors. Through this partnership we now offer general policies and packages alike for special events that include things such as auto liability coverage, Inland Marine coverage and more.

Whether your booth will be located indoors, outdoors, in a lot, under a tent, or at a local market or fair, you can count on us to protect your operation. If you’re preparing to attend an event in Johnstown or central Pennsylvania, go ahead and make an appointment with one of our staff members to prepare your special event insurance package. Our representatives in Blaire County, Cambria County, Somerset, Latrobe, or in any other nearby counties are all ready to work with you so that you can continue doing what you love knowing that you’re good to go, no matter what might happen during your day at work!

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Will Your Insurance Protect You When Nature Strikes?

Last week tragedy struck when bizarre weather patterns resulted in dozens of powerful tornados, massive flooding, high winds and damaging dust storms occurring across multiple states. In some cases, the powerful weather fronts striking the Plains and southern states swept north, resulting in rainstorms that spread across the East Coast up to the state of New York. Unfortunately, last week’s freak-weather had devastating effects on many communities that have forced survivors to take in the resulting damages and evaluate their options for the future.

It’s difficult to imagine a disaster on the scale of what we saw last week happening in central Pennsylvania.  But natural disasters can hit anywhere and any time – and that’s why you need to ask yourself – would your insurance protect and assist you if disaster struck?

1. Evaluating Your Homeowners Policy

Basic homeowners insurance policies usually cover certain damages caused by some acts of nature, such as lightning strikes, wildfires, windstorms, hail storms, damage caused by heavy snow or ice on your home, and even tornados or certain amounts of volcanic activity. While this seems like enough on first glance, several key things are not included in this coverage:

-Any damage caused by earthquakes

-Any damages caused by flooding

-Certain types of hurricane damage

Central Pennsylvania, while a very safe state in terms of natural disasters, is still at risk for flooding, both due to local weather and due to hurricane storms moving north after making landfall. Because of this, locals are strongly advised to purchase additional coverage to make sure they’re protected in these events – and to make sure their homeowners insurance comprehensively covers any personal losses or potential rebuilding costs.

2. Evaluating Your Renters Policy

Renters by definition have to deal with a unique situation – while they can (and should!) look into a renter’s insurance policy that covers damage to their furniture, electronics and other personal belongings in the event of a natural disaster, the responsibility of maintaining building insurance belongs to the landlord.

Keeping this in mind, renters should always check their insurance policies to see if insurance would cover living expenses in the event of a disaster making an apartment unlivable; ultimately, renters are responsible for their belongings and their living expenses, but not for the damages that could affect an apartment complex following a natural disaster.

3. Evaluating Your Auto Insurance Policy

As we’ve discussed before, basic auto insurance offers skeletal protections for policy holders – and unfortunately damages due to natural disasters are not included in a basic policy. Many comprehensive auto insurance policies also cover the collateral losses that can take place as a direct result of a natural disaster, such as vandalism, theft (looting) and animal damages. It’s highly recommended that central Pennsylvanians invest in auto insurance that covers each of these scenarios.

So…what now? 

No one ever thinks they’ll be involved in a natural disaster. But after the events of last week, everyone watching the news should be asking themselves, “How much damage would my insurance cover if that happened to me?”

Many studies indicate that well over half of the insurance policies held in this country would not adequately cover natural disaster damages. With ever changing weather forecasts looming ahead, now is the perfect time to review your homeowner/renter and auto insurance policies. We strongly encourage you to schedule a personal assistance meeting with one of our Fisher Widmann Flick Insurance Agency staff members. Our representatives in Blaire County, Cambria County, Somerset, Latrobe, or in any other nearby counties will help you take inventory of your valuables to ensure that your insurance policy covers all of your possessions – and not just the structure of your home. We’ll also make sure that your insurance policy is affordable while still offering comprehensive coverage that will offer enough living expenses to cover the costs of temporary lodging, food, and other necessities in the event of a natural disaster.

Put simply, our job is to make sure that Mother Nature doesn’t become your worst enemy this summer – so give us a call and make sure that you’re thoroughly covered and properly protected today!

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Now Is The Time To Talk About Life Insurance

At the Fisher Widmann Flick Insurance Agency, we understand that talking about insurance is not typically a pleasant experience. This is especially true when it comes to purchasing one of the most important types of insurance of all: life insurance.

Life insurance is designed to offer a source of financial stability to friends or family listed in your policy as beneficiaries upon your passing. Needless to say, talking about what to do in the event of our passing is not an easy task. Discussing life insurance policies can be one of the most difficult things any of us has to do – so difficult, in fact, that many of us would rather talk about any other topic instead of life insurance!

Unpleasant as the idea of passing on may be, discussing and purchasing life insurance is especially critical if you have a family that would be affected by your passing. And since we’re encouraged to insure anything else of value to us, why put off insuring ourselves? This is especially true if you’re healthy and entering a point in your life where life insurance would greatly benefit a family that relies on you; by looking into life insurance while you’re healthy and young, you have ample opportunity to save money on your policy, as well as to do any necessary research that will help you find the perfect policy.

When you do decide to purchase life insurance, your next step is to ensure that you purchase a policy that meets your needs. According to money.usnews.com, “Financial experts often recommend that people take out insurance policies worth at least seven times their annual household income, but specific needs vary.

This, however, is not a requirement, as the worth of your life insurance is ultimately dependent on your needs as an individual. Foxbusiness.com said it best: “How much life insurance do you need? The answer depends on several factors, including your age, the ages of your spouse and children, your income, your mortgage and other debts, college expenses for your children and/or spouse, and the size of the last bill you’ll ever incur: your funeral expenses.”

Of course, like any other type of insurance, life insurance coverage varies from policy to policy, and may need to be changed or replaced depending on your changing needs from year to year. Our staff at the Fisher Widmann Flick Insurance Agency understands this need. That’s why we are all specially trained and ready to help evaluate your policy options to ensure that you obtain an affordable policy that will ensure your loved ones will be supported in the event of your sudden passing. So go ahead and schedule your appointment with us today; our representatives are ready to help you begin the long-term planning process that will result in the best life insurance plan for you.

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Why The Polar Vortex Should Have You Thinking About Your Homeowners Insurance

The holiday season may have come and gone, but the weather has remained quite frightful across the country as state after state deals with the residual effects of last week’s Polar Vortex storm. As a direct result of last week’s nationally awful weather, many insurance companies have already seen or expect to see an increase in the number of insurance claims made because of the damages caused by this year’s winter storms.

Last week highlighted that while there are things you can do to prevent major damage to a home in the cold, when extreme weather strikes, even the most prepared of us are at risk for winter weather-related problems in our home; once those accidents or disasters strike, we’ll often find ourselves looking to our insurance plans for help and assistance.

In the case of winter weather, we must rely heavily on policies such as our homeowners insurance, which protects our private property and offers financial assistance when something disastrous happens to said property. A typical homeowners insurance policy will cover damage to a home (and other structures) if the damage was caused by falling trees, wind, or frozen pipes. If heavy snow causes a roof, porch or other structure on the property to collapse, then that damage is often covered as well.

However, as with any insurance policy, depending on what exactly is listed as covered, some damages may not actually be covered by your policy. As highlighted on MSN.com, a few situations that are usually not covered include pipes that have burst as a result of the property owner taking no precautions, seeping water or snow, and damage as a result of backed up storm drains.

So what can a homeowner do to keep these situations from becoming a problem this season? In addition to weatherproofing their home to prevent prevent major damage, as well as taking other winter weather precautions where necessary, homeowners should know exactly what their homeowners policy covers. That’s why the staff at our very own Johnstown-based the Fisher Widmann Flick Insurance Agency (F.W.F Insurance Agency), as well as at our partner Safeco Insurance, are urging you to schedule an appointment now to have your homeowners insurance policy reviewed before another winter storm terrorizes your area.

Work with staff at one of our two companies, and we promise that you’ll leave knowing exactly what is covered in your home and what is not. Plus, if you’re unhappy with your homeowners insurance after speaking with us, we’re happy to work with you to help you find an affordable but still comprehensive insurance plan that won’t leave you out in the cold during this very chilly season.

So whether you’re located in Blaire County, Cambria County, Somerset, Latrobe, or in any other nearby counties, we’re ready to work with you! Contact us now to set up a meeting with one of our local representatives in central Pennsylvania! Our representatives will use their connections to 15 other major insurance companies, like Safeco, to ensure that your homeowners policy is just what you need to protect you from damage caused by severe weather this winter.

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Why Even Low-Risk Area Residents Should Consider Flood Insurance

As the state of Pennsylvania prepares for weather forecasts ranging from snow to cloudy to pouring rain, we want to take the time to urge all homeowners to evaluate how protected they would be in the case of a flood.

Each year, flooding is caused by heavy rains, melting snow, inadequate drainage systems, failed protective devices such as levees and dams, and tropical storms and hurricanes. While people living in the areas most likely to experience a flood are legally obligated to purchase flood insurance, lower-risk areas are often left believing that they don’t need flood insurance at all.

The reality, though, is that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recommends that even houses in low flood risk areas have flood coverage. This is because – as highlighted by stats on FloodSmartnearly 25% of all flood losses occur in low-to moderate-risk zones.

This means that while some areas are at a higher risk than others, the truth is that in the United States, everyone lives in a potential flood zone – floods and flash floods can happen in all 50 states, in any area, at any time. And they do occur more often than we might realize; statistics from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) reveal that within an average 30-year mortgage timeline, a homeowner has a 9 percent chance of making a claim for fire damage, compared with a 26 percent chance of making a flood damage claim.

But despite the risk of flooding across the nation, and although it only takes one-inch of water to potentially cause thousands of dollars in damages, the majority of homeowner insurance policies don’t cover flood damage at all. This means that for many people living outside of high-risk zones, a single faulty drainage system or heavy downpour could potentially result in massive out-of-pocket expenses.

So this year, as the snow begins to melt and the rain begins to roll in, be prepared: make sure that you’re not left to pay for these potential damages out of pocket should disaster strike. And if flood insurance is a new area for you, then we strongly encourage you to schedule a personal assistance meeting with one of our Fisher Widmann Flick Insurance Agency staff or representatives.

We are all specially trained and ready to help evaluate your policy options to ensure that what you select will keep you on your feet in the event of flooding. Whether you’re in Johnstown or any other area in central Pennsylvania – and whether you need an entirely new policy or to update the one you already have – we’re here to help you. Our representatives in Blaire County, Cambria County, Somerset, Latrobe, or in any other nearby counties are all ready to work with you so that you can go about your day knowing that in the event of the unusual, your insurance will keep you high and dry.

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Sail Smoothly Through The Winter With The Right Boat Insurance

As the air grows chillier and the holidays are approaching, most of Pennsylvania’s proud boat owners have already placed their beloved watercraft into storage for the winter. With these vessels set to sit indoors for several more months, we urge any and all local boat owners to make sure that in addition to being properly stored, their vessels are properly insured.

Whether you have a bass or fishing boat, a cabin cruiser, a ski boat, a sailboat or pontoon, any boat owner should have a separate policy fully covering their boating needs. Don’t assume that your boat already has coverage through your auto or homeowners policies; this is often not the case, which is why a separate policy for your watercraft is incredibly important. Additionally, with about 20% of all boat claims occurring during the fall and winter months – when boats and watercraft are most susceptible to fire, theft, vandalism, transportation damage, and sometimes even liability issues – having insurance that provides year round, on- and off-water coverage for your watercraft is an absolute necessity.

Our staff at the Johnstown-based the Fisher Widmann Flick Insurance Agency (F.W.F Insurance Agency) believes that if you’re a boat owner, both your time on the water during wonderful weather and your time off during the chilly months should be relaxing and worry free. We understand the importance of having a solid boat insurance coverage plan that ensures you’re protected at all times, not just during the summer months when you and your friends are enjoying a water-side vacation.

Our partner, Safeco Insurance (a Liberty Mutual-owned company), understands this as well. That’s why we’re working together to help you buy the perfect policy to ensure that your vessel, and even some of your boating-related personal effects, will be covered and protected year-round. Work with our staff, and we promise that you’ll be able to find an inexpensive plan for your boat that ensures your vessel, your boating gear, and even your friends and family are covered both on land and in the water, year round; in fact, SafeCo offers high-quality coverage that lasts an entire year, as well as roadside assistance coverage that ensures your boat will also be covered in the event of an emergency tow.

Don’t look at the winter as a time-out from protecting your treasured boat; talk to one our representatives today for personalized advice based on what kind of water vessel and gear you own. Whether you’re located in Blaire County, Cambria County, Somerset, Latrobe, or in any other nearby counties, we’re ready to work with you so that you can plan your next summer by the water knowing that you’ll be covered when you’re ready to set sail, no matter what happens during the off-season.

Contact us now to set up a meeting with one of our local representatives in central Pennsylvania! Our representatives will use their connections to 15 other major insurance companies, including SafeCo, to ensure that your boat’s policy is as comprehensive as possible.

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No One Home? Insurance For Vacant Buildings And Lots Is A Must

If you own a vacant home or empty plot of land, you probably have big plans for that property; you’ve also probably put up ‘No Trespassing’ signs for the time being. The next question to ask yourself, then, is: have I properly insured my property to protect myself, as well as my big plans for that space?

These days, having insurance coverage for any unoccupied space you own is a necessity. At first, it may seem that an empty plot of land or building would not need insurance if it were not in use, but this is not the case; in fact, because these areas are unoccupied, empty buildings or lots carry their own risks and liabilities.

Image a scenario where locals might see an empty lot as a shortcut on their way to work, or teenagers might see a deserted building as a cool place to hang out. Should anyone fall or hurt him- or herself on your vacant property during their fun, based on current case law, you could be sued for damages, no matter how many ‘No Trespassing’ signs you’ve posted around the area.

The only way to truly protect yourself from a potential liability suit is to make sure your vacant lot has vacant land insurance, or that your empty property has vacant property insurance. Both types of polices are usually very affordable, and both are designed to protect your best interests.

Vacant land insurance was designed specifically to protect you financially up to a certain liability limit in the event of an accident on your property, and can be used should someone hurt himself or herself while passing through or playing in the deserted space. Vacant property insurance, on the other hand, is designed to protect an actual structure, and so will often cover damages to a building caused by both natural and manmade disasters, including fire, storms, civil commotions, vandalism, and so forth.

The need for these types of insurance is not limited to individuals or landlords, either; others who may need to insure their empty space include:

-Homeowners who are moving but still own their old house
-Real Estate Investors who are overseeing properties that have lacked tenants for over 60 days
-Banks, mortgage companies, or contractors who are holding completed or repossessed properties or lots that have not sold yet

The good news is, insuring your vacant property or building may not be that difficult! In some cases, it’s an easy as extending a homeowners policy, purchasing an umbrella policy, or simply buying vacant property insurance for a couple of months. And with the right insurance agent, getting this done can be incredibly simple.

We highly encourage anyone who owns a vacant building or lot to talk to a member of our Fisher Widmann Flick Insurance Agency staff; we can find out what the most cost effective solution to your insurance needs really is. Don’t let your property pose a risk any longer; whether you live in the Johnstown area or even in Blaire County, Cambria County, Somerset, Latrobe, and any other nearby counties, if you contact us today, our local staff members will meet with you as soon as possible to evaluate your specific needs and make sure that you’re protected.

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Are You A Renter? Make Sure Your Property’s Truly Protected.

When it comes to rented living spaces, it’s not just the landlords that need insurance coverage. If you are currently renting an apartment or even a home, it’s in your best interest to invest in an insurance plan made just for renters.

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Rather than relying on any basic coverage that may come with your rented property, it’s in renters’ best interest to purchase additional coverage. Renters insurance plans protect you in unexpected situations, including fire, theft, water damage and so forth; with the national average of renters insurance working out to less than $14 a month, renters insurance is one of the most affordable and important insurance packages you can purchase if you live in an apartment or rented home.

Consider the protections that renters insurance offers:

1. Personal Property Protection: Renters insurance offers financial assistance if you have to replace any stolen or damaged items on your property – from furniture to computers to clothing – that result from a fire, windstorm, lightning, theft or vandalism.

2. Liability Coverage: Accidents happen. Whether you accidentally cause damage in your rented space, to your neighbor’s space – or even accidentally cause harm to a guest or neighbor – renters insurance covers your personal liability damages. 

3. Loss-of-Use Coverage and Living Expenses: Disaster can leave an apartment or rented home temporarily uninhabitable. People with renters insurance are provided living expenses for temporary relocation in these situations.

While some apartment complexes offer insurance programs to residents, it never hurts to get a third set of eyes to evaluate your coverage and make sure that it’s just right for you, as well as help you find the right insurance plan if you don’t have one yet. We highly encourage all renters to inventory their personal belongings and to meet with someone on our Fisher Widmann Flick Insurance Agency staff.

Based on your feedback and on the risk factors of the area you live in, we can help you find or even customize the perfect renters plan for your needs. Whether you live in the Johnstown area or even in Blaire County, Cambria County, Somerset, Latrobe, and any other nearby counties, our local contacts will always be there to help you.

Don’t spend another day living in an unprotected apartment or rental home – contact us now!

**Image courtesy of Flickr user longlostcousin