Attractive Nuisances

An attractive nuisance is an object on your property that is potentially dangerous while at the same time appealing to children. Pools, trampolines, play equipment – even dogs – are considered attractive nuisances and homeowners coverage can be iffy. With houseguests and partygoers in the mix, they become even more risky. Here’s a list of precautions you can take to reduce your accident liability.

The Nuisance: Swimming Pool

The Fix:

Swimming pools provide much needed relief from hot Arizona summers, however anyone who gets hurt in your pool can sue, even if they are trespassing. Ask your insurance provider if it’s covered, and if so, if the limits are high enough. You can minimize your rate by putting up safety precautions such as signs and fences. Remove all pool toys from the deck and pool area immediately after swimming and keep rescue items like life rings within reach.

The Nuisance: Trampoline

The Fix:

Trampolines are responsible for over 100,000 injuries each year. Ask your insurance provider about coverage – they’re often excluded. You should also thoroughly read the trampoline manual and always supervise use.

The Nuisance: Abandoned Cars

The Fix:

Even if you plan on restoring your classic car to its former glory, insurers often see it as an attractive nuisance. Children are curious by nature and it wouldn’t take much for them to get locked inside or otherwise injured. Always keep windows shut with the doors and trunk locked.

The Nuisance: Play Equipment

The Fix:

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), most home playground injuries involve swings. To reduce the chance of accidents, the National Association of Home Inspectors recommends spacing swings at least 24 inches apart and at least 30 inches from the support frame. Ensure it’s installed securely on a safe surface and maintain regularly.

Attractive nuisances are some of the main items that increase homeowners insurance rates. By knowing some of the usual suspects that are considered attractive nuisances, you can plan ahead and make your home safer and wallet-friendly. Give INW Insurance Group a call to discuss what’s covered under your homeowners policy and what options you have to increase your protection.

Do You Need Wedding Insurance?

There’s no doubt about it — weddings can be expensive. Last year, couples spent an average of $35,329 nationally, with Arizona weddings costing just over $29,000, according to The Knot’s 2016 Real Weddings Study. With so much time and money invested, why wouldn’t you protect your special day in the event of a disastrous wedding mishap?

While you may not be able to prevent the unexpected, you can protect a portion of your investment by planning ahead and purchasing wedding insurance. Wedding insurance typically costs only a few hundred dollars, but it can save you tens of thousands if dust storm winds blow over the reception tent or a bankrupt vendor ruins your day.

The most common wedding cancellation claims include a vendor going out of business resulting in them being unable to fulfill their agreement, a member of the bridal party or a family member being too ill or injured to participate, and extreme weather. In 2017, Travelers received a record number of wedding insurance claims due to weather, about 22%. Because September and October are the most common times to get married in Arizona, it’s important to make sure you’re covered with wedding season right around the corner.

Typically, wedding insurance policies will reimburse you for deposits and charges you’ve paid to wedding vendors, as well as travel costs and other expenses incurred, if you need to cancel or postpone the wedding for a covered reason. However, coverage options, costs, and limitations vary widely. For example, some policies require the rehearsal dinner to be held no more than 48 hours prior to the wedding to be covered. Therefore, it’s important to give the team of agents at INW Insurance Group in Mesa, AZ, a call to discuss the right policy for you.

It’s also important to make sure wedding suppliers such as caterers and limousine services maintain their own liability insurance. In addition, any venue providing alcoholic beverages should carry liquor liability insurance — ask for a copy of their certificate of insurance before signing the contract. To play it safe, you may want to buy your own host liquor liability coverage to protect you from any potential lawsuits as well.

When considering liability, cancellation, or loss of deposits coverage, the most important thing is making sure you’re protected on your big day. The last thing any bride or groom to be needs is the added stress of lack of coverage. With competitive prices and the option of customizable plans, INW Insurance Group has your back every step of the way.

Insurance Tips for Millennials

You keep your car filled up with gas, so you don’t get stranded on the side of the road and your phone charged so your loved ones can reach you. But what kind of safety measures do you have in place for more extreme scenarios?

What if you lost everything you owned in a fire at your house or apartment? What if your car was stolen? These situations are scary, but your insurance can help you through them, so long as you have the right coverage in place.

So, what is the right coverage for you? Give INW Insurance Group in Mesa, AZ, a call to find the best policy to fit your needs. Whether you’re starting out on your own or starting a family, these tips can help you begin to understand the level of insurance you may need.

Consider What You Own – And What It’s All Worth
Could you imagine having to replace all your personal belongings at once? What about having to do so from memory and all out of pocket? It would be both a difficult and a costly task. Make an inventory of your belongings and their value to help alleviate some of that pressure. Also, be sure you have enough insurance coverage, whether you rent or own a home. It’s known as “personal property coverage,” and you want enough of it to replace all your belongings in the event of a tragedy.

Take Your Lifestyle in to Account
Drive an expensive car? Repairs are likely costly, so be sure to carry full coverage. Own a home with a lot of custom features? Be sure your homeowners policy takes them into account. Your lifestyle choices can also help you save. For example, if you take public transportation to and from work even though you own a car, you may pay less for your insurance.

Talk to Your Independent Agent for Ease, Choice, and Advice
As an independent agency, INW Insurance Group offers a choice of carriers and options, plus personalized advice to help make sense of it all. We make it easy by doing the research and the work for you.

Remember, we’re here to help. Serving Arizona, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, and Colorado, give INW Insurance Group a call today with all your insurance questions and needs.

Five Common Mistakes that Put You at Risk for Car Theft

Most people would say their car is one of the most valuable assets they own — if not the most valuable. However, some people make it downright easy for thieves to drive off in their pride and joy.

At INW Insurance Group, we don’t want you walking out your door to an empty driveway or leaving the mall only to find broken glass left behind in your parking space. Use caution to avoid these five common mistakes.

  1. Leaving your car running … and unattended. We know it can be hot in the Arizona sun, and nobody wants to wait in a hot car while it cools down. However, a thief certainly wouldn’t mind the heat as he’s driving away in your car while you’re finishing that cup of coffee in the morning. If your car is running, you should be in it. Period. Even if you’re just running over to the ATM to get some cash or dropping off the mail.
  2. Keeping a spare set of keys inside the car. Law enforcement agencies say this is a great way to turn a car prowler into a car thief. They’re already breaking into your car to get a phone or laptop, so what do you think they’re going to do when they find a set of keys? They’re not going to drop them off on your porch with a nice note, that’s for sure.
  3. Placing valuables in plain sight. It may seem simple, but we’ve all made this mistake. You’ll just be in the store for a second, so who cares if you leave your cell phone on the front seat? Or items from your other errands in the back seat? Be smart — if you have to leave items in your car, put them in the trunk or hide them as best you can. And do it before you get to your next destination.
  4. Leaving your car unsecured. The best thieves can work wonders with a window that’s left open even just a crack. And even the worst thieves can steal a car that’s been left unlocked, with no alarm set.
  5. Assuming nobody would want to steal your car. Think your car is too old or too undesirable for a thief to bother? Scrap metal is worth money, so never assume that your car is safe — even if you think it’s just a “junker”.

Keeping thieves away helps to keep everyone’s insurance costs down, so avoiding these five common mistakes helps save you money and stress. Stay safe, not only on the roads, but in the parking lots as well!

Contact Us!

At INW Insurance Group we can work with you to make sure you’ve got the coverage you need while simultaneously using all possible credits and discounts to make that coverage affordable. Give us a call us at 480-626-0797 or send us an email at info@inwinsurance.com. We want to help you meet your goals, and make sure what’s important to you is protected!

Umbrella Insurance: Protection For Your Assets

Protecting your family and livelihood is a top priority for most people, which is why it is so important to have quality insurance. But in the event of a devastating tragedy or lawsuit, do you know if you will be covered? While your current insurance policy may cover some damages or legal fees, an umbrella insurance plan goes further. An umbrella policy is an additional level of protection on top of your existing insurance policies, and it is designed to protect you and your assets from harmful liability claims or judgments exceeding the coverage of those other policies.

Umbrella insurance protects you from a wide range of perils in just about every area of your life. It adds even more security than the liability protection found in your personal auto, homeowner, and boat insurance policies. From being legally deemed responsible for physical injury to another person or property to being sued for libel or slander, umbrella insurance is there for you when you need it most. Of course, an umbrella policy is an added layer of coverage, not a replacement for basic home and auto insurance.

For the protection that umbrella insurance policies provide, they are relatively inexpensive. A typical policy ranges from $200-300 annually, usually starting at $1M coverage. Many people often have assets through home equity. However, this can be at risk in the event of a large lawsuit, which is starting to become a trend in the United States as they become more and more common. In Arizona, the only assets that are protected from creditors and judgements without a trust are $125,000 equity if a person has owned their home for less than five years, and $150,000 equity if a person has owned their home for more than five years.

An umbrella policy also protects you regardless of location. If your dog bites somebody in the park, or you accidently injure someone while driving overseas, umbrella insurance has you covered. There have been cases involving Arizona natives driving their own vehicles while vacationing in Rocky Point, Mexico, and the lawsuits were brought back to the United States. In these types of scenarios, not having an umbrella insurance policy could put your finances and assets at risk.

INW Insurance Group, located in Mesa, AZ, offers a wide variety of umbrella insurance coverage options to protect you and your assets. Give us a call at 480-626-0797 to discuss how you can ensure extra protection, financial security, and peace of mind for you and your family today.

JDRF Golf-A-Thon Fundraiser

Golf Til’ You Drop… For A Cause!

How does a day of FREE golf sound? What if lunch, a golf shirt, golf balls, drinks, and a chance to win $25,000 cash were included?

Join us September 22, 2018, for our first ever 100 Hole Golf-A-Thon benefiting the JDRF Arizona Chapter at the Augusta Ranch Golf Club! Just for participating, each golfer will receive:

  • A full day of golf
  • A golf t-shirt
  • A dozen personalized golf balls
  • Lunch with two free drink tickets
  • A chance to win $25,000 cash

How to Participate:

  • Register
  • Get pledges
    • Your pledge page is ready shortly after registration, so you can begin raising pledges right away! Invite your friends, family, co-workers, and neighbors to pledge you per hole or for a flat amount.
  • Play golf
    • Show up for a day of fun and freebies all while knowing you are contributing to the worldwide effort to end type 1 diabetes.

If you or anyone you know wants to participate in a fun-filled day of golf and prizes while supporting a worthy cause, give us a call at 480-626-0797 or visit http://www.friendsforjdrf.com/ for more information. Golfers of all skill levels are invited to participate. Registration ends August 22nd. We look forward to seeing you on the green!

Why You Should Choose a Local, Independent Agent

Some people think it doesn’t matter where they buy their insurance. However, this common misconception could be costing them money, service, and protection. Buying insurance isn’t like purchasing everyday groceries. Insurance is an important safety net for a family, car, home, or business, so let our team of friendly, local agents at INW Insurance Group help find the right solution for you!

There is a difference in where you buy your protection. Many people don’t realize there are three sources for insurance:

  • Captive Agents — sell you the insurance of only one company
  • Telephone Representatives offer you the insurance of one company via telephone, and are often not dedicated representatives
  • Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers — represent an average of eight insurance companies and research these firms to find you the best combination of price, coverage, and service

Your Independent Insurance Agent or Broker:

  • Is a licensed professional with strong customer and community ties
  • Gives you excellent service and competitive prices because they can access the insurance coverage from more than one company
  • Is not beholden to any one company, unlike other agents; Therefore, you don’t need to change agencies as your insurance and service needs change
  • Assists you when you have a claim
  • Is your consultant working with you to determine your needs
  • Offers you a choice of insurance plans and programs
  • Is a value hunter who looks after your wallet in finding the best combination of price, coverage, and service
  • Offers one-stop shopping for a full range of products: home, renters, auto, business, life, and health
  • Can periodically review your coverage to keep up with your changing insurance needs
  • Treats you like a person, not just another number

Customer satisfaction is the key to an independent agent’s livelihood. This means serving you is your agent’s most important concern. Give INW Insurance Group in Mesa, AZ, a call today to find out how we can serve all your insurance needs.

Why Millennials Need Renters Insurance

Navigating the Arizona renters insurance market can be intimidating, especially if it’s your first time dealing with insurance. Starting your adult life is stressful enough, particularly financially. Even if you choose to rent instead of buy in Mesa, it’s still important to protect your hard-earned assets. Accidents happen and that’s why you should consider purchasing renters insurance. It is an inexpensive way to provide peace of mind and know that if fire, theft, or other damage occurs inside your place, you’re covered. It’s a good precaution against the unknown. There are many advantages to renters insurance, but if a peace of mind isn’t a good enough reason, INW Insurance Group can give you a few more.

Renters Insurance is Low Cost: The average annual cost for renters insurance in Arizona is only $195, which puts your average monthly payment at $16.25. This makes renters insurance affordable regardless of where you live. Chances are you can also increase your coverage for just a few bucks more.

Covers Property: Renters insurance covers the contents of a home including clothing, furniture, and electronics. As a rough guide to the dollar amount of coverage you should buy, add up the cost to replace all the major items in your home: appliances you own, computers, other electronics and furniture, and then double that amount.

Sometimes it is Required: Although renters insurance is not usually required by the terms of some leases, you may be required to have insurance to cover your liability exposure if someone is injured on the premises, or if damages occur from items owned by you, such as waterbeds. The landlord can, in fact, require you to have liability insurance. When signing a new lease or after proper legal notice for a month-to-month rental agreement, the landlord can even lawfully change the terms of the agreement to require renters insurance. This may be particularly important if you have animals, or if the property contains a pool.

Provides Liability Coverage: The liability component might be the biggest reason to get renters insurance because it can protect you from financial loss. Renters insurance can cover you in a lawsuit if someone injured in you home. Some common liability cases include:

  • Dog bites
  • General pet damage
  • Slip and fall
  • Causing a leak or fire in another residence
  • Accidentally injuring another person
  • Libel

Additional Living Expenses: Another feature included in most renters insurance policies is called additional living expenses coverage. If you can’t stay in your apartment after a fire, burst pipe, or other disaster, this coverage will pay for temporary lodging.

Covers Belongings When You Travel: If your luggage is stolen while on vacation, for instance, some policies will reimburse your losses, and it is common practice for insurance companies to cover belongings stolen from your car.

It is important that you take your time and find the right policy. Our agents here at INW Insurance Group will be more than happy to help you find the best rate with the quality coverage you need.

Don’t Get Burned by Cheap Insurance

From shopping for insurance to everyday groceries and everything in between, it’s often tempting to purchase the cheapest option. After all, the average American spends $5,261, or 12% of their annual income, on home, health, life, and auto insurance per year according to a NerdWallet study. However, choosing the less expensive product or service often goes hand in hand with sacrificing quality. With INW Insurance Group located in Mesa, AZ, that doesn’t have to be the case. Knowing the difference between inexpensive and cheap insurance lets you shop smarter, make informed decisions, and get the quality you deserve at a price you can afford.

Cheap insurance often means settling for inadequate coverage, or worse, no coverage at all. According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, 144 fake insurers sold fake health insurance to more than 200,000 policyholders nationwide between 2000 and 2002, resulting in more than $252 million in unpaid claims. Unfortunately, health insurance wasn’t the only type of fraud insurance being sold. There are still numerous companies selling fake auto, homeowners, and rental insurance today.

Cheap insurance could also mean extremely limited options. Even if you have a trustworthy insurer, extremely cheap insurance often has many restrictions that prevents you from being covered in times of need. In the event of a natural disaster or tragic accident, cheap policies will not likely allow you to rebuild in the future. That’s why it’s so important to find a trusted and reliable insurance company, like INW Insurance Group, to help suit your needs.

To prevent you from being burned by cheap insurance, it’s important to research your insurer to make sure they’re the real deal and read your policy thoroughly. Start thinking about worst case scenarios, and double check that you are covered. What matters most is you know exactly what type of scenarios your policy covers—and those it doesn’t.

When you value something, it’s important to protect it. Avoid the temptations and scams of cheap insurance and let our team of agents at INW Insurance Group help you find the perfect policy that fits your lifestyle and budget today. Because as we all know, peace of mind is invaluable.

Do You Value Your Valuables?

Are you certain about what would happen if you lost your ring, a diamond fell out of your jewelry, or if it was stolen.  Many people see the large amount of coverage listed under “Personal Property” and assume they have enough coverage.  Specialty items such as Jewelry, Memorabilia, Collectibles, Sports Equipment, and Musical Instruments have stringent limits on a standard policy.  Review your policy and talk with your professional insurance agent (not the kid answering the phone at a mail order or electronic insurance company).  Your professional insurance agent will guide you through the coverage provided by your specific insurance policy and what may be needed to properly cover your valuable items.  Policies will be very limited to the amount of coverage provided, they type of loss covered, and your deductible will apply.  The advantage to Scheduled Personal Property or an Endorsement, that that Comprehensive Perils or All Risk coverage will apply, as well as a zero deductible.  If you have a wedding ring stolen for example, many policies will limit theft coverage to $1500.  If you have a $1000 deductible, you would receive a settlement of $500.  What if that ring is valued at $5000 or $10,000?  You would be devastated.  The same applies to collectibles, antiques, sporting equipment, musical equipment.

 

Jewelry and Guns, are the top items covered and are the most expensive items to insure, however are still very affordable for the sense of security you are provided in the event of nearly any type of loss.  They can average $8 to $10 per year per thousand dollars of coverage.  Musical instruments and sporting equipment are next on the list and are much less to insure. I for example insure my golf clubs I pay less than $10 a year for the security of 100% coverage.

 

To protect yourself and satisfy the requirements of some insurance carriers, get a current appraisal on items valued over $5000 and keep purchase information for lower value items.  Insurance carriers will have various requirements for the limit at which they require an appraisal.  Most are around $10,000, however having this information at home and your insurance agent’s office can prove helpful.  The last thing you want to worry about at the time of a loss is finding paperwork or trying to prove the value of what you had.

 

Here are some important things to discuss with your agent regarding the coverage of your valuable items.

  • Is there a deductible?
  • Is an appraisal required prior to obtaining insurance?
  • Are the items covered no matter where they take place? Would the policy cover you for a loss that occurs during domestic or international travel?
  • Are items covered for full replacement cost? Must you replace the item, or can you obtain a cash settlement?
  • Does the policy cover repairs to damaged jewelry?

 

Please feel free to add to the discussion, share your experience, or ask me a question.  Thanks for reading.