Flood Insurance: Do You Need it?

Flooding can happen anywhere, and it’s important to be prepared. While properties located in high-risk flood zones are more likely to experience flooding, it can also occur in areas that are not considered high-risk. Even if you are not in a high-risk flood zone, there are other factors that can increase the likelihood of flooding such as nearby bodies of water, heavy rainfall, and poor drainage. Additionally, if you live in an area that has a history of flooding, it may be a good idea to get flood insurance even if you are not in a high-risk flood zone.

It’s important to note that standard homeowners insurance does not cover flood damage. If your home is damaged or destroyed by a flood, you will need to have flood insurance in order to receive financial assistance to repair or rebuild your home.

When determining whether or not you need flood insurance, it’s a good idea to speak with an insurance agent who can provide you with more information about the specific risks associated with your property. They can help you understand the different types of flood insurance that are available, and help you make an informed decision about whether or not to purchase flood insurance.

Keep in mind that if you have a mortgage on your property, your lender may require that you have flood insurance. Even if you own your home outright, it’s still a good idea to consider purchasing flood insurance as a precaution. It’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to protecting your home and your family from the financial devastation that can result from flooding.

In conclusion, flooding can happen anywhere and it’s important to be prepared. Even if you are not in a high-risk flood zone, you may still want to consider purchasing flood insurance as a precaution. If you have any doubts or concerns about whether or not you should get flood insurance, contact LG Insurance Group and we can provide you with more information about the specific risks associated with your property and help you make an informed decision.

How much does your At-Fault Accident impact your Auto Insurance Premiums?

The impact of an at-fault accident on your auto insurance premiums can vary widely depending on a variety of factors. Some of the factors that may affect the size of the premium increase include:

The severity of the accident: More serious accidents, such as those involving significant damage or injuries, may result in larger premium increases than less serious accidents.

The amount of damage caused: The amount of damage caused by the accident can also affect the size of the premium increase. If the accident resulted in significant damage to your car or the other party’s car, your premiums may increase more than if the damage was minimal.

Your insurance company’s policies: Different insurance companies have different policies when it comes to handling at-fault accidents, so the impact on your premiums may vary depending on which company you’re with.

Your driving record: If you have a clean driving record prior to the at-fault accident, your premiums may not increase as much as they would if you had multiple accidents or traffic violations on your record.

State laws: Some states have laws that regulate how much insurance companies can increase premiums after an at-fault accident, so the impact on your premiums may vary depending on where you live.

It’s difficult to give a specific estimate of how much an at-fault accident will increase your premiums, as it will depend on these and other factors. However, it’s not uncommon for premiums to increase by hundreds or even thousands of dollars after an at-fault accident.

Why home and auto insurance rates are rising in 2022

Rising Insurance Costs

Thanks to an unusual convergence of market trends, ushered in by the pandemic and other disruptive events, you may see a bigger change to the cost of your home and auto insurance than usual when it comes time to renew your policies this year.

Insurance rates are based on what an insurer thinks it will cost to make you whole in the event of a loss – whether it’s roof damage during a windstorm or a vehicle totaled during a traffic accident. As you’ve likely noticed, pretty much everything costs more than it did even a few years ago.

What’s driving higher home insurance costs

If you’ve shopped at Home Depot or Lowe’s lately, you’ve certainly seen that the price tags on building materials have risen dramatically. Last year alone, the cost of building materials rose 14.1%, with lumber playing an outsized role in that trend, more than tripling in price since March 2020.

To make matters worse, the home-building industry is facing a shortfall of at least 200,000 skilled laborers, which is driving up construction-related labor costs. Combined with the high cost of construction materials and historically low housing inventory, this has been making home claims much more expensive for insurance companies.

What’s driving higher auto insurance costs

An ongoing shortage of microchips and other critical parts like wiring harnesses, plastics and glass is making it more costly to repair or replace a vehicle after an accident.

Supply chain issues are rapidly depleting inventories of new and used cars. Inventories have reached a critical low-point, falling 87% between 2020 and 2022. As a result, the average price of new cars has risen 14% over the same period, while used car prices have skyrocketed 55%.

At the same time, accidents have become more frequent and severe, increasing the number and cost of auto claims. In the first six months of 2021, nearly 2.5 million people sustained injuries requiring consultation with a medical professional. Accident fatalities in Jan. 2022 were 14% higher than in Jan. 2020.

Focus on value as you explore ways to save

Keep in mind that savings comes in many forms. The value of the coverage you choose today may save you more in the long run than the lowest possible premium. Contact us to review your current coverage. Click here to get an online quote, Compare Quotes | LG Insurance Group (lg-ig.com). We will help you explore opportunities for discounts that could offset higher rates when it comes time to renew your coverage.

Side Hustles & Entrepreneurism Risks: Are You Covered?

After businesses shuttered and U.S. workers were sent home at the height of the pandemic in 2020, a report from Dollar Sprout revealed that more that 27% of those with a side hustle rely on that income to pay their bills. They might be doing anything from tutoring, freelance writing, offering professional consulting services, walking dogs or delivering groceries, to name a few.

The Dollar Sprout report also revealed that:
• Of those with a side hustle, 18% expect to turn it into a full-time source of income.
• Although 23% lost side-hustle income because of COVID-19, 42% remain hopeful about their prospects.

While the pandemic reshaped the workplace, the prevalence of home-based businesses had already given rise to ETSY, the fourth largest U.S. ecommerce site by monthly visits, where people sell everything from crafts and antiques to handmade toys and items for weddings, among other things.

The community of freelancers is increasing steadily. The Freelancers Union, established in 1995, says:
• There were 57 million U.S. freelancers in 2020.
• Americans rack up more than 1 billion freelance hours each week.
• Freelancers contribute more than $1 trillion annually to the U.S. economy.

New models of work create different insurance requirements. As individuals take on side hustles to generate more income or out of a desire to operate their own businesses, they also take on risks. If you have a side hustle, you need to insure yourself accordingly.

Liability insurance tops the list. Your Trusted Choice Independent Insurance Agent® can help you evaluate your side business, assess your existing coverages, and determine if you need a professional or business liability policy in addition to personal insurance. As a highly trained professional, your Trusted Choice agent can advise you of the specific or often overlooked coverages you should consider, and then assemble competitive product choices for you from the insurance marketplace.

Why is this so important? Even the most benign gig could destroy an individual financially in the absence of appropriate insurance coverage. Imagine a child takes a nasty tumble in your home while there for a piano lesson or a client accuses you of plagiarism: You will be liable. Or consider the costs you would be responsible for if the dog you’re walking breaks loose and attacks a pedestrian. The right policy can protect you.

Cyber insurance is also a growing consideration. If you set up an online store to sell crafts or homemade baked goods and a hacker steals your customers’ credit card data, what would be the cost to you? Would you be able to recoup your losses? Cyber insurance can protect you in the event of a breech whether your computer is hacked or your phone containing private information is stolen.

Auto insurance. Some automotive policies are for personal use only. Others may cover a business-related accident, but with limited coverage. If your side hustle involves driving and you get into an accident, do you know whether your insurance will cover you? If not, check with your Trusted Choice agent before an accident occurs.

Even if you are employed as a delivery driver, you need to know whether the company’s insurance covers you and what the limits are for collision, liability and medical. Talk with your independent agent, so you’ll know if you need a commercial policy for adequate protection.

Fire insurance. You probably have a homeowners or renters policy that provides coverage for losses incurred in a fire. But what happens if you operate a home business and spent thousands of dollars on office equipment? Will the insurance extend beyond your personal belongings to cover that equipment? Or, for that matter, will it cover the materials you purchased to make the items that you sell, or the business inventory you store at home?

Find answers before you need to make a claim, and avoid potentially devastating surprises. Your Trusted Choice agent can explain where your personal coverage ends, and where the gaps are in your business coverage.

As your business grows, be sure to inform your Trusted Choice agent so they can work with you to adjust your coverages and ensure the policies keep pace with your needs — especially if you hire workers or engage a contractor. Your agent can advise you about workers’ compensation insurance and employment practices liability insurance. Your agent also can review your contractor’s proof of insurance to determine if it meets your business’s needs.

Think of your Trusted Choice agent as a business partner who has your interests at heart. Your agent will work with you every step of the way as you grow your side hustle and reap the fruits of your efforts. Contact LG Insurance Group today if you have any questions regarding your insurance needs.

Tips for Avoiding Water Loss in your Home

Did you know that water damage is the second most frequently filed loss experienced by homeowners and renters each year? (according to the Insurance Information Institute)  The infographic below, provided by Safeco, can help you understand the risks, offer prevention tips and share the resources you may need if a water loss occurs. 

Why You Need Higher Auto Liability Limits

When deciding which auto liability limits to select on your auto insurance policy, your premium should be secondary.  Your primary thought in selecting your liability limits should be protecting your assets and yourself from potential legal liability and avoid exposing yourself to costly lawsuits or judgments.  Minimum insurance limits should only be selected if that is truly all you can afford.  Once your budget allows, be sure to increase your limits and also consider purchasing an umbrella policy.  It is not as expensive as you may think and it could save you during a claim!

 

Identity Fraud Coverage

Many of us have been victims of identity fraud, or known someone who has.  It is a grueling and time consuming process to try to restore your identity and clean up the mess left behind by the criminal(s).  Identity Recovery or Identity Fraud Expense Coverage is offered by many homeowner’s insurance companies to guide you through the process and reimburse you for many of the expenses you incur along the way.  The infographic below gives additional details regarding Safeco’s optional coverage: