Melendez Insurance Blog

Is That Covered by Home Insurance? Five Surprising Facts

5-Surprising-facts-about-home-insuranceHome insurance policies are designed to protect your personal property and provide reimbursement in the event of damage or loss. Yet, when a claim is filed, many people are surprised to find certain items are excluded from coverage. Likewise, some individuals miss the opportunity to file a claim, not realizing they have experienced a covered loss. Below are five areas that tend to cause confusion in the world of home insurance. Do you know which ones are covered by your current policy? (Hint: Ask your insurance agent if you aren’t sure.) Business Activities Typically, home insurance covers only minor losses such as damage or theft of home office equipment. According to Paul Martin, CPCU, another example of a covered loss would be damage caused by your child’s after-school job mowing a neighbor’s grass. Most home insurance policies provide a $2,500 loss limitation for business property such as inventory kept in the home, computer equipment, or a fax machine.… Read More

8 Things Your Car Needs in Winter

173670653_coolant-e1418849405887Hello, it’s me—the faithful friend who ferries you all over town. What your car needs in winter is also what you need. When I can do my job well, your driving experience will be easier, safer and more pleasant. Here is what your humble car needs in winter: 1. A maintenance plan review. Your owner’s manual will list what kinds of maintenance you should schedule after a certain number of miles or years. I think you left your manual in the glove compartment. (If so, good luck finding it among all those takeout menus and tissue packets!) 2. A battery test. Winter takes a toll on batteries. And I don’t want us to get stuck somewhere—especially without what I talk about in tip number seven. My recommendation? Have a pro check my battery with a quick test to see if it’s up to the task of winter driving. Good news: Many auto supply stores will do this for free.… Read More

Frozen Water Pipes Still a Danger

Intro-e1392216716609Your home is your castle, and nothing beats a warm night inside when the cold sweeps in. But while your home protects you from bone-chilling weather, it’s under attack from blowing winds and frigid chills. One of the biggest dangers to your home during this time of year is frozen water pipes. There is still plenty of time for Mother Nature to wreak havoc this winter. Help spare your home by following these tried-and-true tips for preventing frozen pipes. What causes frozen water pipes and what makes them burst? Find out why pipes freeze and what causes them to rupture. What can I do to prevent pipes from freezing? Protection is key, so learn what you can do ahead of time to protect your pipes from winter’s coldest temperatures. What can I do to protect my pipes from freezing if I didn’t freeze-proof my home before now? Don’t fret if you didn’t have time to put long-term solutions in place.… Read More

The 5 Biggest Financial Threats to Your Small Business

Biggest-Financial-Threats-for-Small-BusinessRunning a business is about balance. You have to balance your weaknesses with greater strengths. You have to balance your team with talented candidates in many different disciplines. You have to balance threats with opportunities, or at least proactive measures to reduce those threats. Threats to your business can come in many forms, from conceptual failures to real physical consequences. Some of the most dangerous threats are financial threats, which can escalate your costs, stifle your revenue growth, or in some other way compromise your profitability. As you grow and develop your business, be sure to avoid these five major financial threats. 1. Losing a Major Client Once you get your business up and running, you’ll probably have a handful of major clients or a major segment of your audience that you rely on for the majority of your revenue. The Pareto principle applies here for most businesses—approximately 80% of your business (or revenue) will come from 20% of your customers.… Read More

America’s Best-Kept Secret About Business Insurance

best-kept-secret-business-insuranceThe vast majority of successful business owners enjoy that status by working hard and making smart decisions. One of the best decisions any company can make is finding experienced, qualified people for key positions. One position that can greatly impact any business investment’s chance of success is its insurance agent. Do you want an agent who works for your business, or the insurance company? To protect your investment and future, purchasing from a quality business insurance company is imperative for the long-term success of your business. As a business owner, however, it can be difficult to know what actually constitutes a “quality” company, given the variety of options available to you. This article will serve as a primer to help guide you in the right direction. Captive Versus Independent There are two primary types of insurance agents who will handle your business insurance needs. Understanding the differences between the two will help you determine which one is best suited for your business and your needs.… Read More

What All Single Parents Should Know about Life Insurance

single-parent-life-insurance-childThere is no denying that it is difficult being a single parent. Though it can be highly rewarding, juggling work, child-rearing, bill-paying and other responsibilities can sometimes be overwhelming. If you are in such a position, know that you are far from alone. A recent report by the U.S. Census shows that as of 2008, single-parent households made up 29.5 percent of all American households with children. The numbers have undoubtedly risen since then. As parents, we all want what is best for our children. Though it isn’t fun to think about, it is important to consider what might happen to them in the unfortunate event that we meet an untimely demise, particularly when there is not another parent in the picture. Knowing that you have friends or family members who would be willing to take in and raise your children in such a situation is not enough. Life insurance also plays a crucial role in securing your children’s future.… Read More

What’s Cheaper: Insuring Old Cars or New Cars?

486766305_questions-e1416593951171Many people believe that insuring old cars costs less than insuring new cars. However, that’s not always the case. Newer vehicles with safety features like back-up cameras and automatic braking do a better job of preventing accidents. However, it typically costs more to repair and replace a car with the latest safety features. Does insuring a newer, safer vehicle cost less than insuring old cars that lack extensive safety features? There are a lot of variables that determine a driver’s insurance rates, and it’s impossible to pinpoint one specific factor. Essentially, a person’s driving history has a major impact on their insurance rates. The vehicle they drive may not impact their rate as much as you might think. What other factors really impact a driver’s car insurance rates? Underwriters factor in an individual’s age, marital status, gender (although some states don’t allow insurance companies to use this), vehicle usage, driving history and claim history.… Read More

Too Little Liability Insurance Creates a Big Risk

PCL-Web-art_1I’m a safe driver. I don’t do risky things. Someone I know would never sue me. Sound like something you’d say? When it comes to truly terrible events, many people have an “It can’t happen to me” mentality. This belief is not only false—it’s also dangerous. “Believe me when I say a catastrophic event can happen to anyone,” says Scott Brown, a supervisor in the Erie Insurance Claims Department with 38 years of experience. “Most of the serious cases we see involve simple negligence, not recklessness.” A few examples Many of the catastrophic cases Scott has seen over the years involve cars. Surprisingly, most do not involve alcohol or drugs. “Everybody believes they are superior drivers, but we all make mistakes on the road,” says Scott. “Anything from a momentary distraction to poor weather can contribute to an accident.” Accidents can have major repercussions if you injure someone else. The same applies if you hit an expensive vehicle like a brand-new luxury car or a commercial truck.… Read More

What You Need in Restaurant Insurance

As a restaurant owner, what you need in restaurant insurance probably includes coverage for your building, your business personal property, the personal property of others in your care, liability and employee on-the-job injuries. And that is probably just the beginning since restaurants face some pretty unique risks. Below are some common industry risks that can help you think about what you need in restaurant insurance. Not every insurer or policy offers coverage for each one, so it’s important to have an idea of what you really need in restaurant insurance when you’re shopping for coverage. This is a chart of what you need in restaurant insurance. A few of the other coverages that restaurant owners often need include coverage for property damage related to an off-premises utility failure; employee dishonesty and theft; sewer and drain backup; and dish and glass breakage. As you can see, restaurant insurance is important—and complex. To get some peace of mind about your coverage, it’s important to speak with an insurance professional.… Read More

Video: What You Need in Business Insurance

Whether you’re the owner of a small home-based business or the owner of a company, you face unique risks as a business owner. That’s why it’s so important to have the right coverage and to find a trusted insurance agent who will help you close any potential coverage gaps. Watch the video above to learn about which coverages you need in business insurance. Also keep in mind that certain changes and situations should prompt you to review your business insurance policy.… Read More