by Penny Insurance Agency | Jan 23, 2023 | General Tips
Valentine’s Day is a day to celebrate love and show someone special just how much you care. That often means giving expensive and valuable gifts, such as jewelry. But after the joy of gifting has passed, it’s important to make sure your most precious items are properly protected.
That’s where valuables and jewelry insurance come in. This blog post will explore the importance of properly insuring your valuables and jewelry to ensure you’re covered in case of loss, damage, or theft.
What items should I insure?
When it comes to insuring valuable items like jewelry, it’s important to ensure that you have adequate coverage to replace or repair them in the event of loss or damage. While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to determine which items should be insured, generally speaking, expensive or sentimental items like engagement rings, watches, bracelets, and necklaces are a good place to start.
When it comes to deciding how much coverage you need, it’s important to take into account the item’s current value, as well as the cost to repair or replace it if necessary. While some insurance companies may have a minimum amount of coverage required, typically items with a value of over $1,000 should be considered for additional insurance coverage.
>But remember: these suggestions aren’t only for jewelry—other items worth considering for insurance coverage include fine art, antiques, family heirlooms, and collectibles. If you have questions about what items you own that should have these special protections, make sure to discuss your individual situation with your insurance agent or broker to ensure you have the right amount of coverage for your entire collection.
When should I insure it?
Although it may be the furthest thing from your mind at this point, when it comes to insuring jewelry and other precious gifts, the best time to get insurance is as soon as possible. Ideally, you should purchase an insurance policy before you even make the purchase to ensure that your valuable items are covered from the moment you bring them home.
It’s also important to remember that a standard homeowner’s or renter’s policy typically does not cover precious items like jewelry and engagement rings unless you’ve added a special rider to do so. You may be able to obtain additional coverage through your current provider, but it’s always wise to compare different policies to make sure you’re getting the best coverage for the best price.
In most cases, it’s better to purchase a separate policy for valuable items like jewelry and engagement rings, since they often require more coverage than other items. A standalone policy will provide you with greater peace of mind knowing that your items are fully protected in case of theft, damage or loss. Keep in mind that some insurers offer discounts if you purchase multiple policies at once, so it could save you money in the long run.
How much coverage do I need?
When it comes to insuring your most valuable gifts, such as jewelry, it’s important to make sure you have the right amount of coverage. Determining how much coverage you need can be tricky, but it’s essential in order to make sure your gift is properly protected.
To figure out how much coverage you will need, start by finding out how much the item is worth. This can be done through an appraisal, which will give you an accurate assessment of the current market value of the jewelry. Once you have that number, you can use it as a guide to decide how much coverage you need. Generally speaking, it’s a good idea to get at least double the appraised value in order to be sure you’re covered if anything happens to the jewelry.
Once you have a ballpark number for the amount of coverage needed, you can then talk to an insurance agent about getting the appropriate policy for your jewelry. The agent will be able to go over all of the options and make sure that your jewelry is covered for any eventuality, but don’t forget to ask about any special riders that might be necessary for your specific piece of jewelry—riders could include things like a rider for diamonds or gems, or a rider for replacing pieces if they are lost or stolen.
Insuring family heirlooms
When it comes to insuring family heirlooms, it’s important to remember that these items often carry more sentimental value than monetary value, and so it’s important to research the exact type of item and take into account the age of the item when determining how much coverage is needed. Heirloom items are typically considered collectibles and therefore require special attention and care.
In reality, insuring heirlooms is typically a bit more complicated than insuring traditional jewelry or gifts. To do so, you will need to provide a comprehensive list of the item or items you are wanting to insure, including any known appraisals, certificates of authenticity, purchase information, photographs, or any other documentation, as well as a written description of the item, which should include details about the age and condition of the item. Lastly, you’ll need to know the retail replacement cost for similar items in similar condition—even if you consider it to be irreplaceable.
If that’s the case, you may want a policy for an heirloom for more than its current market value, and therefore you may need to find a company that offers “agreed value” insurance. This type of coverage protects against inflation and guarantees that the item will be replaced at the amount agreed upon by both parties, regardless of what it costs to replace the item today. While agreed-value policies can often be more expensive than standard jewelry or gift policies, they are well worth the extra cost if you want to ensure that your family heirlooms are fully protected in the event of a loss.
Whether your jewelry collection is vast or just starting out, we at Penny Insurance are here to help you keep your most cherished and sentimental possessions safe. Contact us to schedule a consultation or get a quote for any of your insurance needs.
by Penny Insurance Agency | Jan 8, 2023 | General Tips
If there’s anything that the past few years have taught us, it’s that we should always expect the unexpected, and when it comes to the unexpected, there’s no better time to set yourself up for the best possible outcomes than the first of the new year.
As 2023 begins, take a few minutes to ensure that you have the right insurance coverage in place—especially taking into consideration the life changes that may have occurred since you last reviewed your policies. Whether you’re looking for a new policy or simply reviewing your current coverage, this checklist will help you make sure that you have all the protection you need.
Step 1: Review Your Coverage
Starting off the new year, it’s important to review your current insurance coverage and ensure that you are adequately protected. Your current insurance policies will have premiums, deductibles, and limitations on what is covered, and it’s important to make sure these still meet your needs as they may have changed over time.
You should also look into your overall coverage and determine if you have enough liability coverage to protect your assets in case of an unexpected event. If you own a home or vehicle, ensure you have adequate property and casualty insurance coverage to cover any damages. Finally, it’s important to review what your health insurance policy covers and if you need to add any additional coverage.
By taking the time to review your current coverage, you can ensure that you are fully insured for the new year and well-protected from unexpected events.
Check Your Limits
One of the first steps in assessing your insurance needs for the upcoming year is to review the limits of your current coverage—the amount your policy will pay out in the event of a claim. Different policies have different kinds of limits, such as the maximum number of days or the amount of coverage you’re entitled to in a single policy period, so it’s important to understand what your current limits are so you can decide whether they’re appropriate for your needs in 2023.
Additionally, limits can vary from year to year, based on factors like changes in the cost of living, or changes to the rules and regulations related to certain types of insurance. (For example, auto insurance limits may be adjusted depending on local traffic laws or changes to state regulations, and homeowner’s insurance limits can also change based on inflation and other economic factors.)
And, if you’re considering a major life change—such as getting married, buying a home or boat, or starting a business—it’s important to make sure that your existing limits are still appropriate for the new situation. For a comprehensive look at what you have covered already, make sure to get in touch with your agent.
It’s easy to take the first quote you get as a final estimate, but it’s important to shop around and compare quotes to ensure you are getting the best deal when it comes to insurance. That means getting a few different options for policies—and maybe sometimes even reaching out to a different agency.
Keep in mind that while cost is an important factor, the cheapest option doesn’t always mean it is the best coverage, and you should consider not only the monthly premium but also the coverage limits and deductible amounts. It may seem like a lot of work, but it’s worth spending some extra time researching and comparing options as it could save you money in the long run.
Protect Your Valuables
The holidays are a great time for new gifts, and sometimes those gifts—jewelry, vehicles, or artwork—should be protected separately from a regular homeowners or automotive policy. So, as the new year approaches, take a quick inventory of your high-worth assets, and make sure they are fully covered.
If you have acquired new items since the last time you checked, make sure to include them in your policy and increase your coverage if necessary. If your policy does not cover the full value of an item that you think may have increased in value, you will want to get it re-appraised.
Finally, make sure to keep a record of all your valuable possessions in case they are lost or stolen. This may include keeping photos and serial numbers of electronics, jewelry, artwork, and other items. Having these records will make filing a claim much easier and help ensure that you receive the full amount of coverage.Then, make sure to revisit your policy each year to keep up with changes in value and potential risks, so you can be sure that you’re fully covered in the new year.
Prepare for the Unexpected
No matter how much we plan, life can still take us by surprise. That’s why it’s important to be prepared for the unexpected with adequate insurance coverage. Consider protecting yourself and your family from natural disasters, floods, life and other health events with individual and appropriate policies.
As examples, if you live in an area prone to flooding or natural disasters, you should consider purchasing flood insurance. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) offers both flood insurance and mitigation assistance for those living in areas at risk of flooding. For those with health concerns, look into getting health insurance or supplemental coverage to help cover some of the costs associated with medical bills, emergency treatments, and more. Finally, if you have dependents who would be financially affected if something were to happen to you, consider getting a life insurance policy that covers your burial costs and provides financial support for your family during a hard time.
For any policy you’re considering, the main thing is to be sure to read the policy details closely so you understand what is and isn’t covered. By preparing for the unexpected, you can help ensure that you and your family are protected if anything ever happens.
No matter your position in life, we know that protecting yourself, your family and your assets is of vital importance, and that’s why we at Penny Insurance are here to help. If you’d like to schedule an annual check-in and have one of our agents advise you on comprehensive coverage for everything in your life, please contact us and let us know.
by Penny Insurance Agency | Dec 9, 2022 | General Tips
As winter approaches, it’s easy to forgo home maintenance and want to put it off until spring. What you might not realize, though, is that procrastinating on winter-proofing your home (or ignoring it altogether) can cause expensive property damage—and those insurance claims are more common than you think!
For that reason, it’s a good idea to make sure your home is winter-ready and will remain in good condition over the cold season. Fortunately, winterizing your home is a lot like preparing for a storm. You need to be aware of what’s coming and prepare in advance. After all, you can’t close the door on winter weather—even living in the temperate South.
So for a winter season you can enjoy to the fullest, use these tips to keep your home safe and winter-ready all season long. Then, enjoy everything that comes with the cold weather—without having to worry about costly insurance claims.
#1. Avoid the Ice Dam
An ice dam is a sheet of ice that builds up along the edge of your roof, blocking meltwater from running down and away from the edge of your roof, which can cause water to back up and instead leak into your home.
There are many ways to prevent an ice dam from forming on your property, but the simplest is to clear snow and ice off the roof before it accumulates too much weight. Additionally, make sure you have the proper insulation in place and that there’s enough heat inside the house to warm your home from the inside out.
#2. Protect Your Pipes from Freezing
Probably the biggest challenge for most homeowners in the winter—even in the South—is freezing pipes, which can cause a lot of damage and costly repair if you’re not prepared to prevent them.
To get started, keep an eye on external or exposed pipes by wrapping them with insulation or heating tape and make sure any drainage spouts are clear of snow. Regularly check outdoor hoses and pipe connections for leaks, so there won’t be costly damage come springtime when warmer temperatures melt ice off walls, roofs, and other structures where the problem may not have been noticed previously.
Also, make sure you keep a faucet in your home dripping slightly any time below-freezing temperatures come calling—this will keep water moving through your system and help prevent the pipes from grinding to a frozen halt.
Finally—don’t forget your outdoor plumbing! Covering your pool pump will protect it from freezing when exposed; if water has already frozen around the pump, then drain water away first to avoid additional damage.
#3. Clearing the Walkways
When driving conditions get tough, homeowners should be extra cautious about moving around, and one easy way is by clearing the walkways and driveways of any buildup from snow or ice. Not only will this help your family (or friends, visitors or even postal workers) avoid slipping on the ice, but also help you avoid expensive insurance claims should a slip-and-fall happen.
To effectively—and easily—clear your walkways and driveways, simply use a shovel and broom to remove the snow, and sprinkle some salt down to prevent them from freezing over.
#4. Don’t Forget the Inside
It’s easy to consider the outdoor needs of your home when preparing for cold weather, but don’t forget the inside, too!
First, make sure smoke detectors are working properly and have fresh batteries installed—especially if you like the feel of a roaring fireplace during the cold snaps. While you’re at it, replace the air filter so your heat pump can work efficiently, and, if you need a little heating “boost” for your basement or other cold-prone areas, check out insulated curtains or even heated sub-flooring to maintain an even temperature.
From homeowner’s insurance to protect you from the worst that winter can throw your way—to an automotive policy that protects you from icy roads, Penny Insurance is here for you. We’d love to help you with any of your insurance needs – home, auto, life, business, equine, premium and more, so if you’d like to schedule a consultation or get a quote for any of your needs, please contact us and let us know.
by Penny Insurance Agency | Aug 4, 2022 | General Tips
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.
- Is your home at risk for flooding?
- 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 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 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.
by Penny Insurance Agency | Jul 13, 2022 | General Tips
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.
by Penny Insurance Agency | Apr 19, 2022 | General Tips, Valuable Items Insurance, Wedding Insurance
When it comes to your family heirlooms, you can’t help but be passionate about them. You probably also want to ensure that they are safe from damage or theft, especially if you know that they will one day be handed down to future generations.
But when it comes to protecting the irreplaceable mementos of our lives, how can you ensure their safety and security? This guide will show you how to protect your family heirlooms and collectibles, keeping them safe and sound to continue a legacy into the future.
1. Keep a record
To begin with, make sure you have detailed records of the items: their descriptions, costs, and appraisal values. This will not only help you insure them properly, but will provide a comprehensive account in case of theft or loss, which will come in handy when it comes time to make a claim. In addition, this information may be useful in case you are ever audited by the IRS for tax purposes. These records are often requested during an audit; therefore, the more information you have on hand about each item, the better off you’ll be. Be sure to include details such as where and how you acquired each piece of property, including receipts if possible, as well as details about any restoration work that has been done.
2. Store them safely
When it comes to keeping a family heirloom protected, the first rule of thumb is to store it safely. Putting a piece that is worth thousands of dollars in an enclosed space, or even on a shelf where it could be damaged, is asking for trouble. The best thing to do is buy a large, airtight and stable box or chest, take photos of everything, and then store each item separately. You may even want to categorize them by a number or code that matches your written records. The next step? Put that box away in storage where no one can get to it easily. For highly valuable items, store them somewhere secure, like a bank safety deposit box.
3. Get a collectible insurance policy
Collectible insurance policies are used to protect antique and collectible items, and depending on how valuable your collection is, getting one could be a wise decision. For example, if you inherited a hand-carved grandfather clock from an uncle who purchased it from an upscale store in New York City, getting insured wouldn’t just be smart—it might save you thousands down the road. Fortunately, getting a collectible insurance policy doesn’t have to break your bank; most insurance providers offer affordable rates, depending on what kind of coverage you need. So when it comes to protecting your hard-earned treasures, consider adding a collectible insurance policy to your arsenal.
4. Plan to pass them on
There are many ways to plan to pass on heirlooms, but if you’re looking to leave them to others—especially pieces with high-value or a lot of meaning within the family—putting your plans in writing is a good idea. While it may not matter to you at that point, it can mean the difference between keeping your wishes intact and an all-out family feud.
Additionally, you may want to discuss your plans with your insurance provider—they can oftentimes provide customized coverage that protects the item through—or even after—the transition.
Whatever you’re looking to leave behind, what types of coverage you need or the questions you may have, we at Penny Insurance 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.