Umbrella Liability Insurance for Landlords

Do you have enough liability insurance? Probably not. But how much is enough? Unfortunately that question varies. First, what does liability insurance do? Liability insurance does two things: (1.) it pays for losses for which you become legally liable for as a result of a lawsuit and (2.) it pays to defend you in the event of a lawsuit.

So what can you become legally liable for? As a real estate investor you have some unique exposures. You have tenants, and, let’s face it, they probably don’t love you. Not because you’re a bad person, but because you represent a bill, and maybe a past due bill. You’re the proverbial “man” they are trying to stick it to. So you need to protect yourself, your assets, your business.

“It won’t happen to me.” Try this. Google how to sue your landlord and feast your eyes on the three million, yes, three million results.

The bottom-line is that if you get sued and are found liable you will be required to pay the judgment. How? That depends. If you have insurance, that would be first, then it goes to your assets, including cash, stocks, bonds, REAL ESTATE. Yes, you selling that investment property might do real well to pay off your judgment, and you’re out the asset and the cash flow. Beyond that, your wages from your J-O-B can be garnished. Liability is a serious thing.

Liability insurance isn’t expensive, it’s actually quite reasonable. So max out the limits on your policy, the marginal difference will be dollars. Then, consider an umbrella policy. An umbrella policy is a liability-only policy with some unique features which are pretty cool, but the important part is that it kicks in when you get sued for limits that are higher than a home insurance policy. For the limits you get, it is amazingly affordable. And if you have several investment properties you may have several million in real estate. Protect your investment(s) by making sure you have enough liability insurance!

Get covered today with an umbrella policy today! Start your quote immediately, but have what you need on hand!

Budget Friendly Insurance

How to save money on your insurance in Safford, AZBudget friendly insurance, that’s all we really want! No one wants to pay more than they have to for insurance, but the cheapest insurance isn’t always the best either. It’s a balance of getting the proper coverage at a price that fits into your family’s budget.  Here are three ways to ensure you have found this balance.

  1. The best way to ensure your budget isn’t getting hijacked by insurance is to shop it on occasion. Gila Insurance Group LLC is an Independent Agent, meaning we represent multiple companies and can shop the market for you. So if you feel that you your insurance is too much, if it blows up your budget, let us know, and we will see what we can find.
  2. Do you have the coverage that you need? It’s the story of Goldilocks. You want the right coverage, but not too much or too little. A great place to save is to look is at your limits of coverage. The companies help determine the value of the home, and actually limit what can and can’t be changed, but outside of the home value there is often leeway. For example, what’s your deductible. Low deductibles are great, but if you had a $1,000 loss, would you even report it to your insurance company? Or would you fix it yourself? If so, your deductible might be too low. It really is a conversation that you need to have in your family, at what point would we ask the insurance company to pay a claim? Ask yourself, how is it affecting my budget? Maybe it is time to talk again.
  3. Is there anything that makes you look like a worse risk to the insurance company? Increasing your credit score with lower insurance costs in many states (not all), not having exotic pets or vicious dogs, and many other factors. Eliminating these factors can decrease your insurance cost and better fit your budget.

Let us help your budget, we have markets we can shop, we will have the conversations to help you determine what coverage you need, and will help you understand those risk factors that are increasing your costs to help you keep budget friendly insurance for your Manufactured Home. Contact Gila Insurance Group for an insurance review or insurance quote. We are here to help!

The Different Types of Liability Covered Offered with RV Insurance

RV Insurance quote in Safford, AZThere are several different types of liability insurance coverage found on recreational vehicle insurance policies. Not only does the type of RV have an effect, but also how the recreational vehicle is used can make a difference in which liability coverage is offered.

For Motor home insurance policies, Bodily Injury Liability and Property Damage Liability coverage, like on an auto policy, will apply while the vehicle is in motion. However, these particular liability items will not be included on travel trailer, fifth wheel travel trailer, pop-up camper, or even slide-in camper insurance policies, since all these types of recreational vehicles are considered to be towed units and cannot actually be moved without a separate vehicle to tow them.

Motor home insurance policies will have some coverage available that is commonly included in traditional auto insurance policies. However, they often have some coverage items that one might expect to see included in a homeowners’ policy. This is because Recreational Vehicles are used for two distinct purposes. Some of the time recreational vehicles are used to travel from one point to another and other times they are used as a seasonal vacation residence, or for some, as a primary residence.

For most typical RV owners, those who use their RVs less than 30 days out of the year, Vacation Liability is usually offered with varying limits of coverage. This particular coverage works much like homeowners premise liability coverage does, offering protection should the insured be found responsible for either bodily injury to others and/or property damage to others, while the RV is not in motion and being used as a vacation residence.

Full Timers Liability is available for those RV owners who use their RV more than 150 days out of the year. This can apply to both Stationary Full Timers as well as Full Timers who are traveling. Full Timers Liability works pretty much like Vacation Liability, but will typically offer higher limits of coverage. Full Timers Liability is also a great fit for those people who use their RVs as their primary residence.

When shopping for RV insurance or Travel Trailer insurance, be sure to choose a carrier that specializes in recreational vehicle insurance. Many make the mistake of purchasing auto insurance policies for their recreational vehicles, which can provide the necessary coverage needed to drive the unit, but most often are missing important coverage that are needed while the unit is being used as a residence.

For more information about specialized Motor home insurance and Travel Trailer contact the RV Insurance Professionals at Gila Insurance Group LLC at 877-784-6787 or request a quote on our website.

This coverage explanation is for illustration purposes only and is general in nature. Coverage explained here may not apply to your policy, State, company, or situation. For more information about how your policy would respond in the event of a loss, please refer to the terms and conditions and declarations page of your policy.

Why Travel Trailers Aren’t Required to Have Liability Insurance

Travel Trailers, Fifth Wheelers and Motorhomes are all classified as Recreational Vehicles, but there are differences in how the units are used, which also affects the coverage offered by RV insurance carriers.

When considering RV insurance, there are some key differences between a motorhome and a travel trailer or fifth wheel trailer. The main consideration is how the different types of units are moved from one point to another. While a motorhome has an engine and drive train that enables it to be moved on its own, travel trailers and fifth wheels require a separate vehicle to tow them from one location to another. This difference also affects some of the most basic coverage that is associated with recreational vehicle insurance policies. Motorhomes, because they are drivable units, require Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability insurance coverage, while travel trailers and fifth wheel trailers do not.

Now, there may be some who are scratching their heads, wondering “…what is meant by Liability?” Simply stated, being liable means you are legally responsible for a debt. Whenever you are involved in a motor vehicle accident, the cost of treating injuries and repairing damages can often be very expensive. If it’s determined you are responsible for a vehicular accident, then you are indebted for the costs for medical treatment for injuries caused and to repair property damage done by your vehicle to other persons and/or vehicles. Purchasing Liability insurance not only satisfies most state’s requirement to register vehicles, but also helps to ensure that you are financially protected, in the event you are responsible for an accident.

Now that we have a better understanding of what Liability means, let’s get back to our original question: “why doesn’t a travel trailer policy include Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability insurance coverage?” The easiest way to understand where the responsibility or liability falls is to think about where the driver sits while the vehicle is in motion. A Motorhome, because it moves under its own power, requires Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability coverage. However, Travel Trailers and Fifth Wheel Trailers cannot be moved without the use of a tow vehicle, so the responsibility instead defaults to the vehicle that tows the trailed unit. So, if you are insuring a Travel Trailer or a Fifth Wheel, be sure to also consider the liability coverage limits associated with the vehicle you use to tow them. Looking for a quote or policy review? Contact us today.

This coverage explanation is for illustration purposes only and is general in nature. Coverage explained here may not apply to your policy, State, company, or situation. For more information about how your policy would respond in the event of a loss, please refer to the terms and conditions and declarations page of your policy.

The Liability of Not Responding to Tenants Quickly

STORIES FROM AN INSURANCE LAWYER PART 3

Protect yourself from a lawsuit in Safford, AZHave you ever had a tenant ask you to fix something one, twice? What about three times. Consider this story. Landlord, purchases rental property with older windows. Single pane, not super-efficient, but who want to replace the windows in your rental right away, right? Anyway, tenant complains to landlord, asking for double pane windows. This happens a couple of times. No action by the landlord. Now, we can argue whether or not this action is required of the landlord in any case, but it’s not material to the story. Tenant and her boyfriend are otherwise occupied. The tenant’s child, is playing by a two story window. Kid falls out of the window. Now, as I understand the story, Kid was okay, BUT the landlord gets sued. What? Yeah, it was a stretch, but the landlord got sued.

Basically, the tenant claimed that if the windows had been replaced then the child would not have fallen out of the window. Yeah, I am not sure how the new window somehow watches the kid and makes sure no one falls out the window, but I haven’t seen that model at my local Home Depot, but I digress. The suit went to court. In this case the Landlord won the case, and was not found negligent, BUT it begs two questions.

  1. Are you responding to your tenant’s request? The reason the case had any standing to begin with is that the tenant had made multiple requests that the windows be replaced.
  2. Defense costs, again a huge benefit of your insurance policy.

So, keep your property well-kept respond to these tenant requests, and be sure to purchase enough liability coverage. Start your landlord insurance quote online right now!

Does Your Landlord Policy Cover Personal Injury

Landlord Insurance Safford, AZLandlord gets sued for a dog bite. For dog bite lessons please see “Why you should require your tenants to purchase renters insurance.” Landlord gets ticked at the lawsuit and the prospect of his insurance rates go up, squeezing his cash flow. Consequently, landlords decides to do a little investigative work. Simply because he believes the kid’s parents wanted him to fake the injury, and so the pain and suffering stuff would be hogwash. So, he has the kid followed, and gets sued.

Under what? Invasion of privacy. Question is, is that covered under your policy? The answer is that it depends. There are some companies that will offer personal injury coverage and there are others that don’t. On landlord policies the answer is probably not. Wait, what’s Personal injury? Personal injury is a broad term that covers several things. Most of them mental injury that we could cause to others. For example, defamation, libel, slander, false arrest or imprisonment, malicious prosecution, or invasion of privacy. Now you would never do anything like those types of things, right? Have you ever spoken negatively about a tenant? Have you ever bent the rules on your rights of a home inspection? Have you ever driven by just to see “what’s going on?” You get my point. It’s a fine line, and your tenant views you has the “rich landlord,” and there are plenty willing to take advantage of an opportunity. Not to defame any of your tenants, but you have probably had a tenant like that.

So, what can you do. Well, first off be aware, you might be just driving by, but the tenant might see that as a stifling landlord, or a weirdo, or you name it. Second, be sure you are covered. Not all insurance policies are the same. Do you have the coverage you need? Many landlord insurance policies specifically exclude personal injury liability, and I have yet to see a policy that automatically included an endorsement or “rider” that adds it automatically. In fact, it may simply not be available, in which case you would need to have a different risk management plan. Such as, stick to the lease in terms of inspections, don’t have your tenants followed, etc. That said, the question remains, what kind of coverage do you have? Take away? Contact your agent about personal injury coverage.

Insurance Bundling for Investors

If you turn the TV on for 2 seconds you will hear all about you can bundle and save on insurance, and that is a great way to save. For investors this can also be true. Imagine having multiple investment properties on one insurance policy, with one renewal date, one payment. We have several options that can make this a reality.

The first is called the 10+ program. If you have more than 10 properties, we can put all your properties on one commercial policy that makes life easy. This program can include single family homes, apartment units with up to 6 dwellings, condos and manufactured home policies all in one place. You can even have a vacant home or two if they plan to be filled.

The second is a program that can have as few as 1 unit, but as many as you have. This program is a little different than the 10+, and is a great option for investors that are flipping houses on a regular basis.

These programs allow us to save you money and get you great coverage, but almost as important it allows you to simplify your insurance. It’s these programs that allow us to become more than your insurance agent, but a member of your team.

Have questions about your current coverage? Contact us or request a quote on our website.

Auto Insurance Medical Payments

AUTO INSURANCE MEDICAL PAYMENTS

Medical payments is a simple coverage that is often over looked. Medical payments pays for the reasonable medical expense and funeral services of any “insured” while they are occupying a vehicle, as a pedestrian OR any other person while occupying your insured vehicle.

It is often overlooked as many people say they have health insurance and therefore is a redundant coverage. To that we say, there is a certain logic to that, BUT there are several reasons medical payments makes a lot of sense.

REASONS MEDICAL PAYMENTS MAKES SENSE

  1. While you might have great healthcare, who is getting in your car, and what kind of coverage do they have? Remember medical payments covers anyone occupying your vehicle, so if you car pool or often have non-familial passengers in your car Medical Payments can be extremely important. What if they don’t have health insurance? Medical payments might be the only coverage they have in the event of an accident.
  2. When you are in an accident and the other guy is at-fault, his liability policy will be what kicks in to pay for your medical bills, but what if you are at fault. The only thing to help you with your medical bills may be Medical Payments on your policy.
  3. What is your deductible on your health insurance policy? As healthcare costs have increased many people have increased their deductible and now have HSA plans with $5,000 deductible or higher. Is your heath savings account full funded? If not, medical payments on your auto policy may become a very important “bridge” that can help cover the cost of your health insurance deductible.

So to those that say its redundant we say, maybe think twice. Medical Payments coverage is a very cheap, coverage that can become very important in the event of an accident.

Have questions about your current coverage? Contact our agency. We are here to help you & ensure you have the proper insurance coverage.

Why Real Estate Investors Should Choose Gila Insurance Group

As you build your investment team, everyone knows about getting a lender, a real estate agent, a property manager, etc. But far too many people forget about adding an insurance broker to their team. Yet getting the right insurance broker on your team is important, the loan officer will require an insurance policy, and there is no need to hold up the process for insurance.

Having an insurance broker who knows your business can ensure that you have the right coverage to protect your assets, and can communicate important information to the insurance company. For example, if you have a buy and hold strategy, your exposure to liability can increase dramatically as you add new properties. The more assets you hold the more you have to lose. Ensuring you have an umbrella policy with sufficient limits is important in protecting those assets.

Or, if you have a fix and flip business, working with a broker that understands that you may have some building materials around the house, as you rehab it, can make a difference. Because your policy can be cancelled if that kind of information isn’t communicated to the insurance company. Team members that know your business make a difference. Plus there are a few other things that set us apart.

  1. We represent multiple companies. Who cares?! You should, because multiple companies helps you get the coverage you need. Not every company has great rates. You have probably noticed that insurance prices go up, which sends you off to find another company. But why should you have to find a new insurance team member? We represent multiple companies so that we can get you a policy that fits your needs and ensures you get the right coverage at a price that won’t kill your profit.
  2. We have unique products. What products?
    1. 10+ – if you have more than 10 investments we can simplify your life significantly AND save you tons of money.
    2. Flood -How is flood unique? Well, our program is underwritten by Lloyds of London, NOT the US Government. That means better coverage, more flexibility, and NO ELEVATION REPORTS.
    3. Umbrella Coverage – Chances are if you are sued a standard policy doesn’t provide sufficient liability coverage. Umbrella coverage not only provides that coverage, but will also fill in some gaps that your standard policy does not cover.
  3. We are committed to you, the investor. We got into this market because we love real estate. However, we are also insurance nerds. Ours was a match made in heaven. But beyond that, we strongly feel that if you are investing properly you need an insurance person on your team–someone who understands your needs, and who specializes in covering your investments. Its true, if you want us to insure your home, auto, and sell you a life insurance policy, that’s not us. Truth is, if you are doing this right, you need to hold your properties in LLCs completely detached from your personal assets, and you should be insuring your investments with someone who understands them.

For more information, contact Gila Insurance. Our agents can provide you a quote or review your current policy.

4 REASONS WE STRONGLY RECOMMEND UNINSURED / UNDER-INSURED MOTORIST COVERAGE

According to the most recent statistics provided by the Insurance Information Institute (2012), 11% of driver’s are uninsured in Arizona. That means that just over 1 in 10 drivers don’t have insurance, at all. Nationally that number is closer to about 12%. There are a lot of uninsured motorists! There are probably many more that are under-insured, but until there is an accident, we don’t actually know if a driver had enough insurance. So, long ago insurance companies invented this thing called uninsured and under-insured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage.

Essentially, this coverage is provided by YOUR insurance company to act as if the OTHER GUY had insurance (uninsured) or enough insurance (under-insured) to cover the damage they caused. State laws vary about how this is treated, so we are going to focus on Arizona for a second. In Arizona UM/UIM coverage does not protect your vehicle for the physical damage, if you want that you need Comprehensive and Collision coverage. However, UM/UIM does provide coverage are for your medical bills, loss of earnings, pain, suffering, and other personal injury damages. It also can provide the same coverage if you are a victim of a hit-and-run situation.  UM/UIM is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT; here are 4 reasons why.

  1. It’s a law that it’s offered – In Arizona, UM/UIM, must be offered to clients, and clients must accept or reject this coverage in writing. It is mandatory to purchase liability if you will be driving on public roads, but it is mandatory that UM/UIM must be offered. I believe reasons 2, 3 and 4 explain why.
  2. State minimum limits are too low – Arizona’s state minimum limits are 15/30/10. Meaning that if you get in an accident and the other guy has “just what the state requires” you have a total of $15,000 to cover your medical bills. On a side note, I think that’s about the cost to get a hang nail treated these days, so imagine if you got really hurt.
  3. This coverage is for catastrophic events – There are two types of injuries, those that you take an anti-inflammatory for, and all others. When UM/UIM coverage is triggered its usually because someone was seriously injured in a car accident. Meaning the insurance companies aren’t usually paying out $20 UM/UIM claims.
  4. My Experience – Let me take this personal for a second. My wife has a leg worth 1 million dollars from a boating accident. I know, completely unrelated, or is it? Stick with me for a second. My wife was injured wake boarding. She fell in a very routine manner. In fact, when we came around we asked her if she wanted to go again. She very calmly said she was “broken” and as we looked into the water we understood what she meant. She had dislocated her knee tearing all the ligaments, but one, and was bleeding. She was rushed to the ER, helicoptered to a trauma center, and underwent surgery that night. Long story short she almost lost her leg. She was able to keep it after 8 surgeries. At the time, we had 5 kids. While my wife was in surgery I was left in a waiting room. Understanding the gravity of the situation, I wondered how I would be able to work. How I would keep my Job. How I would be Dad and Mom through recovery and rehab. Our family lives in a rural area. I imagined all the follow up appointments, missed days at work, cost to drive back and forth to the doctors. Now, let’s pretend it was a car accident. Imagine getting a check for $15,000. Yeah, you may have other insurance for that, but health insurance doesn’t cover all the personal injury you know other stuff, but UM/UIM does. Remember UM/UIM covers medical bills, other out-of-pocket expenses, and pain and suffering. That’s HUGE.

WE NEVER KNOW WHAT LIFE HOLDS. MY WIFE IS OKAY, WE ARE BLESSED WITH FAMILY THAT HELPED US, BUT STUFF HAPPENS, AND WE PURCHASE INSURANCE TO PROTECT US. UNINSURED / UNDER-INSURED (UM/UIM) COVERAGE CAN HELP IN THESE CRAZY SITUATIONS, AND WE STRONGLY RECOMMEND YOU PURCHASE IT.

For more information on uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, contact us!