In California, everyone must register their vehicle within 20 days of coming into the state. And it has to be insured at all times. This required insurance includes several different types of insurance coverage for motorists. However, all of the required coverage still leaves some gaps, and many vehicle owners choose to add to the minimum required insurance.
Part of the required coverage for vehicles is liability coverage. This includes a required minimum amount of coverage for bodily injury liability for one injured person in an accident that you caused. There is another higher amount required for all of the injured people in an accident that you caused. In addition, there is property damage liability coverage required for damage that you cause to another party’s vehicle or building during an accident. However, all three of these numbers are relatively low, and it’s a good idea to get more coverage than just the bare minimum for liability coverage.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage
If you were in an accident that a motorist causes without auto insurance, uninsured motorist coverage pays for the resulting bills up to its maximum. This coverage includes a required minimum for each person who is injured in this accident. A higher amount is required for everyone who has a bodily injury from an accident. This coverage also includes a small amount required for property damage when an uninsured motorist causes damage to your property.
Get Your Auto Insurance
No one wants to get a ticket and fees, so it’s important to keep auto insurance at all times. If you need auto insurance, contact us at Alta Vista Insurance Agency in Vista, CA.
Renters insurance is a type of policy designed for a property you are renting that provides protection in the event of a sudden or accidental occurrence known as a covered peril. These policies protect your tenants in the event of a loss and include three key benefits: coverage for the person, their belongings and stuff, and additional living expenses. The coverage in the policy is referred to as personal liability, personal property, and loss of use.
In California, not everything is covered under renters insurance, so we’ll show you how each plan can be tailored accordingly to fit your tenant’s lifestyle.
Here’s a great resource you can provide to your tenants to educate them about the importance of renters insurance.
1. Does Renters Insurance Protect Landlords in California?
With renters insurance, landlords can protect themselves and their business against liability from tenant’s negligence. It can also protect you from additional costs due to natural disasters or other occurrences. When your tenants carry renters insurance, they protect themselves and it can add an additional layer of protection which can lead to fewer claims filed.
2. What Does Renters Insurance Cover?
We talked about the three key coverages that renters insurance includes: personal property, liability, and additional living expenses. Personal property will cover your contents and belongings inside the property from a covered peril. Things like clothing, furniture, appliances owned by the tenant, and electronics up to the limits of the policy. In California, a good recommendation is including replacement cost coverage for personal property. This provides full replacement for your tenants’ contents and belongings. Without replacements cost, personal property would be covered on an “actual cash value” basis, which could lead to tenant complaints. Liability is the second most important coverage on a renters policy and is overlooked in most cases. In the event of an accident like a slip and fall or personal injury matter like slander liability coverage will pay for claims that arise if a tenant is found responsible or liable for the injuries. It can also cover accidental damage to someone else’s property caused by a tenant.
This can help landlords and property owners reduce claims to their commercial property insurance and reduce out of pocket expense to their business. Another great reason to require renters insurance from your tenants.
The third coverage is loss of use. This will cover any additional living expenses for your tenant if their unit is damaged and needs repair. Things like, a stay at a hotel, or the cost to sign a temporary lease while the repairs are being completed. In California, it can also cover additional living expenses if your tenants are in a mandatory evacuation zone due to a catastrophic wildfire.
Fires are a common peril and can happen due to many different reasons. Whether it’s a kitchen fire, a faulty wire, neighbors negligence, or even a wildfire the damage that is caused can devastate a home or apartment building. Some renters insurance plans will cover fires if your tenant is negligible, like if they forgot to blow out a candle or left the stove on. Between the fire and smoke damage your building could cost more to repair than you think.
Water claims are the number one cause of loss in California and a huge pain point for landlords, especially when you own a building with multiple stories or units that share walls with each other. If a pipe bursts behind the walls it can cause major damage to the building and the interior, like your tenants belongings or furniture. Your landlord insurance covers your structure from water damage that is sudden or accidental and renters insurance covers your tenants “stuff” inside their unit.
Earthquakes and Floods
In California earthquakes and floods are catastrophic perils that require separate policies. When we say flood, we’re talking about outside water due to storm surge or rising water, like a tsunami. Earthquakes and seismic activity can cause total losses to buildings and force tenants out of their homes without a place to live. Tenants can also purchase coverage to protect themselves from these natural disasters separate from their standard renters policy. Your landlord insurance will cover your building but it will not cover any property owned by the tenant. That is why renters insurance is a must for your tenants and their policy will cover their belongings and in most cases replace them. Renters insurance with these additions gives landlords and tenants peace of mind that they can recover from a large natural disaster, like an earthquake or flood.
Having a safe home environment is important to your tenants. Living in an area with security is an important factor when choosing a place to rent. Proper basic protective devices like deadbolts, locks on windows, and even burglar alarms can deter break ins and theft which can reduce damage to the building and filing claims. In the event of a theft, renters insurance can help your tenants replace the items that were stolen. Make sure your tenants document the loss with the proper authorities, that way the renter’s insurance company will pay claims for theft to their property. Tenants can also purchase special coverage for valuable items like jewelry, artwork, guns, and antiques.
Tenants can be sued for a number of reasons due to their own negligence. A slip and fall accident by a guest or if a tenant is responsible for damaging someone else’s property can lead to liability claims that can be costly and stressful. Requiring renters insurance for your tenants in California can mitigate claims for the landlord if their tenants are responsible for damages or if guests are injured and seeking payment for their pain and suffering.
3. How Renters Insurance Protects Landlords
Rising Cost of Insurance
I think we’ve made good case for making renters insurance a requirement for tenants. It offers many benefits to renters to help them protect themselves while giving landlords another tool to protect their real estate investment. When landlords file claims it can lead to higher insurance premiums and in some cases your policy can be non-renewed if there is a frequency of multiple claims. Requiring tenants to provide renters insurance to protect themselves can reduce your exposure to claims and prevent rising insurance costs.
When landlords require renters insurance from their tenants, it creates an additional layer of protection against liability and additional fees due to catastrophic natural disasters, like wildfires in California, and sudden or accidental occurrences.
Managing risk exposures while reducing out of pocket expenses is very important when reviewing your real estate investment portfolio. If you own an investment property you should be working with an agent that specializes in helping landlords and real estate investors stay informed about potential exposures to their business and protect their real estate investments. Hiring a risk manager like Alta Vista Insurance is a sound business strategy to help you be financially protected, build wealth, and achieve financial freedom.
To book an appointment to talk about your investment property click the link here and let us help you create a plan to protect your real estate portfolio.
When it comes to life insurance, most people don’t think much about it until someone brings it to their attention. For many people, that is when you find out you are getting some through your employer as a benefit. When you decide to start thinking about the future and creating a financial plan to get you there, life insurance may fit that plan. Having a financial advisor or a trusted insurance agent is a good place to start. At Alta Vista Insurance Agency in Vista, CA, we are a full-service independent agency.
When should I start buying life insurance?
The obvious answer is as soon as you can afford it. The younger and healthier you are, the less you will pay for a policy. If you are buying term insurance, you should buy a term long enough to get you through the years when you will have the greatest need. Whole life lasts for your whole life, but it will be priced best if you take out the policy when you are young.
What other benefit does life insurance have beyond the death benefit?
If you have a whole life policy, it accrues cash value. If you need it, you may be able to borrow against that cash value. You may also be able to use the cash value to pay the premium if you are going through a tough time.
Do I need to buy life insurance if I get some from work?
This is a thorny question, and the answer is probably yes. You may not be getting as much from work as you really need, and if you change jobs, you may not be able to take your life insurance with you. Having your own life insurance will guarantee you are never without coverage.
Contact Alta Vista Insurance Agency in Vista, CA for your life insurance needs.
Owning your own home provides a great feeling of accomplishment and security. Your home is probably one of the biggest investments you will make in life. Not only is it a huge financial investment, but your house also holds great sentimental value as being the place your family calls home. For these reasons, as well as others, your home must be properly insured. At Alta Vista Insurance Agency, serving Vista, CA, we take great pride in educating our clients and future clients on these important insurance topics. Keep reading to find out what you need to know about home insurance.
Why Is Home Insurance Important?
Because your home is such a huge financial investment, there is much at risk if your home becomes damaged or unlivable. If your home sustains damage due to fire, natural disaster, or burglary, you could find yourself in a financially vulnerable position. Home insurance is set in place to defer this financial vulnerability so that you and your family can recover from a disaster.
Beyond the risk of damage, there is also the risk of someone being injured in your home or on your property. If this happens, you could be held liable for their medical expenses and possibly legal expenses in some cases. Insurance can also protect you in these situations.
What Does Home Insurance Cover?
Home insurance will cover:
Property damage – If your home is damaged due to fire, natural disaster, or burglary, your policy will pay to have your home repaired or replaced or your possessions replaced in the case of burglary.
Liability – If someone is injured on your property, liability will pay for medical expenses or legal expenses.
If you would like to learn more about our services, please contact Alta Vista Insurance Agency, serving Vista, CA today.
Morgan is out the studio. In this episode, my agent, Mark Lamb joins me with Edward Hull from Carlsbad Tax Services, a local tax firm in Carlsbad, California.
We dive into some of President, Joe Biden’s new proposed tax plans and a few different tax strategies that business owners, property owners, and high income earners can take advantage of to keep more money in their pockets.
This is an episode you don’t want to miss!
For the latest up to date tax information contact Carlsbad Tax services and click the button below.
Morgan and Seth are talking investment properties! In this episode they talk about getting into real estate investing, the advantages of buying a multi-family property as a smart first choice, and the best way to insure these types of real estate assets.
Whether you’re a first time homebuyer or real estate investor, it’s important to understand how to be financially protected. Click the video above and watch this episode!
To get a quote for your investment property or if you have a portfolio of properties and need an agent that understands how to properly protect those types of real estate assets in California. Click below and schedule a consultation to talk about making a plan.
Morgan and Seth talk about the crazy week the stock market experienced with the GameStop short squeeze, retail investors and the market manipulation, the real estate market in Southern California and how to protect those assets and why real estate continues to be a healthy and strong investment strategy.
Don’t miss this episode and make sure you like, comment, and subscribe because we love doing this!
We started a podcast! This is not your regular insurance podcast.
Since we’re in the business of protecting our client’s real estate assets, we thought it would be valuable to talk about real estate as a primary investment strategy, how to build wealth through real estate, and the best way to protect those assets.
We also talk about current events and how they relate to investing and talk to subject matter experts in the industry to hear their stories and give us some guidance on best practices so you can be financially protected, build wealth, and live your best life. We also have some fun along the way!
Check it out! Time for the call to action! Like, comment, subscribe!
I’m embarking on a new journey this year. Over the last thirteen years I’ve helped homeowners, new home buyers, and real estate investors in California protect their lifestyles and stay out of harms way so they can keep their assets in their pockets.
Very early on I saw the importance of being a problem solver and educating my clients so they could make the right decisions about their insurance protection. It sounds sexy, but it’s not. In fact, most people when you say the word “insurance” they immediately check out and look for the nearest exit.
WHY? I get it. Insurance is boring. Most consumers have no interest in it, until something happens in their life that changes their perception of what insurance actually does and the value it brings.
Insurance is a great tool and when used properly it can create a strong foundation to protect your income, your family, and your health.
I have said before,
the foundation to building wealth starts with financial protection. Understanding how to protect what you already have is one of the primary concepts to achieve financial freedom.
Many of these ideas have to do with the proper mindset. Mindset is everything. Without the right mindset you end up “running for the hills” when someone talks about insurance.
This is where the industry and many of my peers underdeliver. They constantly focus on price and the cost of insurance and overlook the importance of the proper protection. They do consumers a huge disservice by focusing so much of their time and resources on lowering the cost to squeeze every dollar out of the policy that it loses its value. And when the time comes when you need it the most the coverage doesn’t protect your lifestyle.
That is my goal as a personal risk manager. I want to change your mindset and the way you look at insurance. I want to invite you into a story where all your assets are protected, you have peace of mind, and you have the proper plan to achieve financial freedom.
Starting with a plan to be financially protected is the part of the story where we begin our journey. Insurance agents play an important role in guiding their clients in the right direction so they can make educated decisions about the proper protection they desire. That is very valuable to consumers seeking to protect their assets and their real estate investments.
In California, having an insurance agent that works closely with your real estate agent, CPA, and CFP creates a healthy ecosystem of “subject matter experts” that provide holistic solutions to their client’s problems.
Want to learn the benefits of adding a personal risk manager to your team?
And as your needs change they play an intricate role guiding you through different stages of life making sure you stay on the right path to building wealth through real estate.
No matter where you are on your journey through life it’s always best practice to educate yourself on the best way to protect yourself, your family, your income, and your health and well being. You don’t need a million dollars in the bank to start learning how to be financially protected and build wealth.
So let’s start making insurance exciting! Well, maybe not. How about we start with changing the mindset when it comes to insurance. This year I want to lay a foundation starting with some basic strategies that you can implement right now to help you create a plan for you and your family.
Whether you’re buying your first home in California or adding another investment property to your portfolio, this information will help you understand exactly how to protect your lifestyle.
Personal Insurance Protecting Your Home
I’m going to start with some basic tips on how to help you get the best value out of your homeowners insurance in California. These are benefits you can include if you own a home or you’re a first time home buyer!
Make sure your home in California is insured to value and your policy has extended dwelling replacement coverage. Replacement cost is a MUST. Your home has to be insured up to the replacement cost of the structure. How much would it cost to rebuild? That’s replacement cost or insurance to value. I recommend a minimum of 150% extended dwelling replacement. That will come into play if the cost of materials increase or labor costs increase after a covered peril.
Loss of Use. If you have a claim and you cannot live in your home while the repairs are being completed, you need additional living expense coverage. If you have a total loss from a fire you could be displaced from your home up to 1-2 years. This is why having adequate loss of use limits for your lifestyle are critical. Most people overlook this coverage and most agents will reduce this type of coverage to lower the rate. Purchase the maximum amount of loss of use that is available from your insurance company. In California, you can activate this coverage if your home is in a mandatory evacuation zone. Lodging, food, gas, and transportation costs can be covered under additional living expenses.
Liability for your residence premises. If you’re sued due to negligence this will keep your assets in your pockets. In some cases, this coverage can be activated for personal injury as well. Remember, you don’t have to be a millionaire to be sued like one. If you live in California, your property is one of your most valuable assets. You should purchase at least $500,000 in liability on your homeowners policy. Some insurance companies are offering up to $1 Million limits.
PRO TIP: I would also purchase a personal umbrella policy. This is a separate policy you can purchase that provides an additional layer of protection for your assets. It will cover your home, autos, toys, and rental properties and provide you with legal defense in case of a large lawsuit.
Some of my peers say insurance is like defense and if you played sports defense was never very glamourous. But, a good defensive strategy always wins championships. That’s how I want you to start thinking about your insurance protection. As a defensive strategy to help you win so you can live your best life.