Insuring Your Art Collection: Everything You Need to Know

Insuring Your Art Collection: Everything You Need to Know

Insuring Your Art Collection: Everything You Need to Know

How to insure your collectibles and collections

Your art collection is probably one of your most prized possessions, but it can also be one of the most difficult to insure. That’s because art insurance often comes with high premiums and plenty of exclusions, and you’ll need to take the proper steps to protect it from damage or theft.
The good news? If you have enough appraised value in your collection, you may qualify for extra protection from your home insurance provider—or even full coverage under certain circumstances. So whether you’re looking to start or expand your collection, here are some of the basics you should know about insuring art collections and collectibles.

What’s a collectible insurance policy?
A collectible insurance policy is a premium policy that covers art and collectibles. This type of policy is designed to protect your investment—whether that be antique art, legacy jewelry or a priceless vase—in case of damage or theft. However, while collectible insurance policies are usually more expensive than standard homeowners or renters insurance policies, they also offer more comprehensive coverage specific to the needs of the owner, as well.

Considerations for Policies
If you’re considering getting an insurance policy to cover your collectibles, it’s important to know that it’s not as simple as a one-size-fits-all policy. In fact, there are a lot of coverage areas you should consider, so if you’re in the consideration phase, make sure you sit down with a trusted agent to go over your options. Here are a few things you should review when shopping for a collectibles policy:

  • Coverage Settlements
    When you itemize your pieces of artwork, many insurance companies will cover them for the agreed value. That way, in the event of a total covered damage or loss, you receive the full amount of the agreed value, with no depreciation. However, other policies allow for market appreciation and may pay over the agreed value if the value has increased considerably. Another option is to receive a cash payout in the event of damage or loss if an item is irreplaceably damaged.
  • Newly Acquired Items
    Still building your collection? You’ll want to ensure you have immediate coverage for new acquisitions. Then, within 90 days, you’ll be covered for at least some of the total itemized coverage.
  • Pairs, Sets and Parts Coverage
    When dealing with sets (like antique chess or even jewelry) you always have to consider the value of the item alongside its other pieces. With Pairs, Sets and Parts coverage, you can hand over the remaining pieces, and coverage will be paid out for the entire set.
  • Loss of Market Value
    Sometimes, if a work of art is damaged, it can lose a lot of market value—quickly. With Loss of Market Value coverage, your insurer may not only pay to repair the item, but also compensate for any loss to value.

How much does collectible insurance cost?
On average, collectible insurance policies cost between 1% and 3% of the total value of the collection. That means, if your art collection is valued at $100,000, you can expect to pay between $1,000 and $3,000 per year in premiums. However, it’s important to note that these are just averages, so it’s worth getting a quote from your trusted insurance broker, first, before committing to a particular policy.

While there are many things to consider when insuring your art collection, one thing that shouldn’t deter you from doing so is cost. When deciding how much collectible insurance costs, it helps to remember that owning valuable artwork provides financial security as well as emotional benefits. After all, we all want our collections to grow in value over time!

Hiring a professional appraiser
One of the first steps in insuring your collection is knowing its market value, and the best way to do that is through a professional appraisal. Hiring a professional appraiser is the best way to do this, as they will have the expertise and experience needed to accurately assess your collection. Fortunately, the cost of having an appraisal done is small (especially when compared to the value of your collection) and ranges from $200 to $500, depending on the size and type of items in your collection.

Whether you’re an accomplished collector or just starting out with your first purchase, we at Penny Insurance are here to help you keep your most valued possessions safe. If you’d like to schedule a consultation or get a quote for any of your needs, please contact us and let us know.

Don’t Be Unprepared: A Homeowner’s Guide to Flood Insurance

Don’t Be Unprepared: A Homeowner’s Guide to Flood Insurance

If you’ve followed recent news about Yellowstone, you may have realized that floods are one of the most devastating natural disasters to exist. However, they also happen to be the most common, and occur far more often than people realize. In fact, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), there are approximately 500 flood-related events in the U.S. every year. What’s more, major floods can cause billions of dollars in damage and destroy countless homes, so it’s important to know whether you live in an area that’s at risk of flooding and what steps you can take to protect your home.

But even if you don’t live in an area with an especially high risk of flooding, it’s important to make sure you have considered flood coverage on your home insurance policy before disaster strikes. If you need it, flood damage can be surprisingly extensive and hard to cover out-of-pocket, so there’s no sense in taking unnecessary risks when you don’t have to.

What is flood insurance?

Flood insurance is a type of insurance coverage that helps protect your home from damage caused by flooding. Most standard homeowners insurance policies do not cover flood damage, so it’s important to purchase separate flood insurance if you live in an area at risk of flooding, or you suspect that a singular flood in your area will damage your home or other property.

What does flood insurance cover?

Flood insurance is vital for homeowners in flood-prone areas, but many people don’t know what their policy covers. Generally, there are two types of insurance that can protect you against this danger: building and contents insurance policies. Building insurance will cover any damages caused by flooding during a storm event, including damages to your home itself as well as any fixtures inside it (such as plumbing). Contents insurance will cover anything that was damaged by water or ruined due to wet conditions during the event (like clothing).

When pricing out a policy, insurance companies consider your risk level—the higher your risk level, the more expensive the policy will be. That means if you live in a flood plain, or your property has a long history of flooding during big weather events, you may find it to be quite expensive.

How do I know if I need flood insurance?

As a homeowner, you should always be prepared for the worst, and in some cases, that means having insurance to cover you in case of a flood. But how do you know if you need flood insurance?

A homeowner will likely know they need to purchase a policy when they see changes in their neighborhood that could indicate an increased likelihood of flooding, or if they notice that their own property has flooded previously. For example, if a water pipe broke upstream and water levels started rising or there was an increase in river levels or heavy rain storms near their home, then they may have some indicators that they should purchase this type of coverage.

More generally, there are two important questions to ask yourself before purchasing a flood policy.

  1. Is your home at risk for flooding?
  2. What would happen if it did flood? How much money would I lose?

If either of these questions can’t be answered with a positive and reliable outcome, then flood insurance may be something you should consider.

What policies are available?

There are two standard types of flood insurance available for homeowners: the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and private flood insurance. Depending on the level of risk, homeowners may consider either or both of these options for coverage.

The NFIP

The NFIP is a government-backed program that is available through participating insurance companies. NFIP policies are available through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and have standard coverage limits. NFIP insurance may be required if you have a government-backed loan for your mortgage.

Private Insurance

Private flood insurance is offered by some insurance companies and may provide additional coverage not available through the NFIP. You can get this type of insurance through a variety of different insurers, who will offer a variety of flexible coverage options. Private insurance is a great way to cover all types of risk for any type of home. 

If you’re concerned about flooding at your residence, or any other type of coverage to protect it, we would love to chat with you further. Whatever your needs, we at Penny Insurance are here to protect what you hold dear. If you’d like to schedule a consultation or get a quote, please contact us and let us know.

8 Cyber Security Tips to Keep You Safe Online

8 Cyber Security Tips to Keep You Safe Online

Just as you lock your doors and windows to prevent thieves from entering your home, you should take steps to protect yourself online as well. In fact, according to the Pew Research Center, more than half of American adults are concerned about their online privacy and security. And it’s no wonder—with hackers, cyberbullies, and other online threats constantly lurking around every corner, it’s not difficult to understand why people would be worried about their safety and security on the Internet.

However, when it comes to staying safe online, the main thing you need to know about security online is that if you don’t take steps to protect yourself, you’re putting yourself at risk. That means you could become the victim of an attack or crime and lose your money, your reputation or your peace of mind in the process. To help you protect yourself against these kinds of threats, here are eight cyber security tips you should follow as much as possible.

1) Stop Password Reuse

As dangerous as it is, many people have a single password for all their accounts, or at least very similar passwords. This is a recipe for disaster if any of your accounts are compromised; the thief only needs to access one account to see that same password on others, and all it takes is one hacker with a big enough bank of stolen passwords to get in.

To keep your passwords safe, follow these tips:

  • Use different passwords on each account
  • Never use words you’ve used before
  • Avoid overly simple ones like 12345, pet names or other identifiable info
  • Change your password regularly—at least every six months or so, and
  • If you ever suspect an account has been hacked, change your password immediately

2) Avoid Phishing Scams

Phishing scams are among one of the most common ways that hackers steal information. These scams work by tricking you into visiting a website that looks legitimate, but instead steals your login credentials or other private information. To avoid phishing scams, take some time before entering any personal information online—even if it appears on a trusted website. Think about what types of websites you’re comfortable sharing information with and stick to them for as long as possible, and never re-enter sensitive info unless you’re absolutely sure that site is actually where it claims to be.

3) Do Not Click On Links From Unknown Senders

This is one of those pieces of advice you should take from time to time, regardless of how often you think it applies. It’s almost impossible to look at a strange text or email and not click—especially if you’re curious! But clicking links or attachments from people you don’t know can land you in trouble. The reality is that if someone asks for any of your personal information, whether it be passwords or social security numbers, they’re probably up to no good. Do not engage with them—block their number and delete texts/emails asking for sensitive info immediately.

4) Change Passwords Regularly

To stay safe online, experts recommend changing your passwords at least once every six months. Longer than that and hackers could have enough time to crack any passwords you haven’t changed recently, which is especially risky if you use a password across multiple accounts. So when it comes to passwords, less is more. Try using a password manager like LastPass that creates complex passwords for you, then stores them in an encrypted database so you only need to remember one master password.

5) Use Two-Factor Authentication

Two-factor identification is a security measure that requires two different forms of identification (hence, two-factors) to gain access to a user’s account. This means that someone attempting to access your account will need not only your password but also some additional information from you—think an SMS code or a unique secret key—to get in. Set up two-factor authentication on all your accounts and you’ll be far more secure than most people are online.

6) Stay Away From Rogue Wi-Fi Networks

Public wi-fi is dangerous, especially when it comes to using your personal devices. Hackers can easily access unprotected public Wi-Fi networks and steal private information like passwords, credit card information and other sensitive data you may be transmitting. To avoid these risks and stay safe online, use a VPN whenever you are on an unsecured network (such as public wi-fi at a mall, store or an airport). A VPN creates a secure connection between your device and the server, preventing hackers from accessing your data.

7) Backup Your Data Regularly

While backups won’t necessarily prevent a problem online, backups of your data can help you get your system back on track if you’re hacked or a device is damaged. It can also help you prevent data loss in case something happens to valuable information.

8) Insure Yourself against Cyber Threats

In an age where cyber threats are getting more sophisticated by the day, it’s essential to be proactive in protecting yourself online. A cyber insurance policy can help you guard against potential online disasters, whether it’s hacking into your accounts or identity theft. And since most of us are novices when it comes to online safety and security, cyber insurance can take some of the guesswork out of keeping you safe online. Whether it covers identity theft, online personas or your own stored information, think of your cyber insurance policy as a proactive investment that will pay for itself in case something goes wrong.

Whatever your needs, risk tolerance or online lifestyle looks like, we at Penny Insurance are here to help you stay safe. If you’d like to schedule a consultation or get a quote, please contact us and let us know.

A Guide to Insuring and Protecting Your Vacation Home

A Guide to Insuring and Protecting Your Vacation Home

A vacation home can be the perfect place to get away from the constant grind of the week. But while your primary home has certain protections and insurances in place, a vacation home may not be quite as protected. With more and more people deciding to own vacation or secondary homes, it’s important to protect those investment properties as much as possible. Here’s what you need to know.

What is Homeowner’s Insurance?

Homeowners insurance is a type of property insurance that covers damage or destruction to your home. If your home (whether primary or secondary) is damaged by fire, flood, theft, or other disaster covered by a standard homeowners policy, you’ll be able to recoup some of your money spent on repairs.

As an owner of multiple properties, it’s important for homeowners to know what their home insurance covers them for—and what it doesn’t. While every policy varies slightly from company to company (and person to person), there are a few key details all homeowners policies must cover:

  • major catastrophes;
  • accidental damage;
  • vandalism and theft;
  • natural disasters such as storms and floods;
  • repairing damage caused by excluded perils (think earthquakes);
  • water leaks; and
  • mold remediation after natural disasters. 

How is Insurance Different for a Second Home?

Insurance on your vacation home is important for a variety of reasons. A large investment like a vacation home, along with its contents, can mean having some peace of mind for yourself and your family. 

Primarily, you don’t want your hard-earned money spent on an unexpected repair or other similar expenses if something unexpected were to happen while you’re away. In addition, vacation homes tend to be located in more remote areas like lakes, forests, beaches or mountains, so there may not be nearby resources if you need help immediately in an emergency situation, meaning more time for damage to occur. And finally, because they are more remote and often uninhabited, vacations homes can be a beacon for burglaries or vandalism, so you’ll want to make sure you’ve covered yourself—and your home—well.

Unfortunately, many second homes are not covered by the primary homeowner’s insurance policy, so you need to take steps to insure and protect your vacation home in order to get the coverage you need at the best possible price. When you’re considering insuring a vacation home, there are three main areas to focus on: the dwelling itself, the contents of the home, and any additional liability.

Dwelling

This type of coverage ensures that the building itself is covered from damage and loss, in cases of fire, burglary or other damages. (However, it’s important to note that if your second home is in a high-risk area—like for hurricanes or floods—that you carry additional umbrella coverage as well.)

Belongings

This covers the items within the home—furniture, electronics, clothes—ensuring that they can be replaced if lost, damaged or stolen.

Liability

Because many vacation homes are hubs of activity, having an additional liability policy to cover any accidents is a good idea. That way, if anyone is injured or an item is damaged—you have the coverage to make it right. In some cases, you may be able to extend your liability coverage from your first home over to your second—so you’ll want to talk to your agent about what is preferable, as well as what is the most cost-effective option for you. 

How to Determine your Insurance Needs for a Vacation Home

Having proper insurance guarantees that you won’t have any issues when it comes time to make repairs or replace items that are damaged or destroyed due to unforeseen circumstances, but it can be complex to determine how much coverage you need, what types of coverage and what policies you should consider.

For this reason, having an insurance agent with specialized concierge service can help. At Penny Insurance, our agents are positioned to be your trusted advocate in the journey, and can walk you through every option available to you to help you find the right insurance. Not only that, but because Penny Insurance is an independent agency, you can be sure you’ll always have someone on your side—even when something goes awry.

Whatever your needs, what types of coverage you need or questions you may have, we are always here to help you along the way. If you would like to schedule a consultation or get a quote, please contact us and let us know. 

Boat Insurance Basics: What You Need to Know

Boat Insurance Basics: What You Need to Know

If you own or are thinking about purchasing a boat, there’s one thing you need to understand above all else: boat insurance is a necessity. No matter what kind of boat you own, there is always a chance that it could be damaged or lost at some point, so it’s important to ensure that your investment and your lifestyle are protected.

We’re not going to sugarcoat it—boat insurance is expensive. But that doesn’t mean you should skimp out and try to save a few bucks on coverage. With insurance, as with many things in life, you typically get what you pay for, and because watercraft damage can be unpredictable and pervasive, it pays off to spend a little more on your policy and know that you have comprehensive coverage for all possible dangers. That way, if your boat does come into harm’s way, it’ll get taken care of quickly and effectively, with less hassle and frustration from all parties involved.

Fortunately, you don’t have to end up in deep water. Here’s everything you need to know about boat insurance basics before heading out this summer.

What is Boat Insurance and What Does It Cover?

Just like having automotive insurance covers many aspects of owning and operating a car, boat insurance is similar for all types of watercraft. While many states don’t require insurance policies to be held for personal watercraft (although many marinas do), boat owners should always ensure that they have coverage for whatever may come their way. Fortunately, most insurance policies are comprehensive, and cover some or all of the following:

  • Sinking
  • Fire
  • Theft
  • Storm Damage
  • Collision
  • Liability (damage to other boats or structures)

How Do I Choose a Policy?

The key to choosing a policy is to first look at your budget and determine how much coverage you can afford. In some cases, insuring your boat may be a part of a larger insurance package that also includes auto, homeowner’s or renter’s and life insurance policies.

In general, a boat insurance policy should cover three things: property damage, medical payments and collision/collision liability. To fully understand the risk and options available to you, you may want to sit down with an insurance agent to discuss your own circumstances, needs and considerations. Then, they will be able to review your needs carefully before coming up with an actionable plan that fits your lifestyle.

10 Things to Consider (along with Your Insurance Agent)

There are a number of things to consider when purchasing boat insurance (or simply before purchasing the boat itself!) When you sit down with your insurance agent, make sure to talk through the following items so you can make sure you are fully covered.

1. Am I already insured?

Because some policies will cover watercraft as part of a larger policy, check with your current insurance provider if there is any chance that you are already covered under your general home/auto policy, or if it would be better to consider stand-alone coverage.

2. Do I have enough liability protection in case someone gets hurt while using my boat?

Most states require boaters to carry at least $100,000 in liability protection—but some require more than double that amount! In addition, if you are renting a slip at a marina or have a membership there, there may be additional (read: higher) requirements for liability insurance. Make sure you not only understand the thresholds you need to maintain, but have insurance that covers you for the full amount.

3. How much will it cost to replace my boat if something happens?

It’s always better to over-insure than under-insure, but knowing how much your vessel is worth makes a big difference in calculating how much you should spend on protecting it. Fortunately, it’s not hard to determine the value, and an insurance agent can help you along the way.

4. How long am I covered for?

Just like car insurance, boat insurance policies typically last anywhere from six months to one year. To guarantee you always stay covered, make sure your policy will auto-renew so you don’t have a lapse in coverage.

5. What deductibles are involved?

Deductibles are just like those found on auto policies; higher deductibles mean lower premiums. Compare policy options alongside your agent to ensure that you’re balancing these two costs against each other, and won’t end up in a bind if something happens.

As you hit the water this summer—whether it’s at the local lakes or the open sea, make sure you’re covered along the way. We at Penny Insurance are always here to help you navigate the sometimes complex world of insurance coverage. If you would like to schedule a consultation or get a quote, please contact us and let us know.