Tag Archives: insurance

Helping You Understand Your Co-Insurance Clause

NYC apartmentDo you ever wonder why you are required to purchase building limits higher than you believe are necessary? If so, you are not alone. Insurance companies require you to buy building limits of insurance to satisfy the “Co-Insurance” clause in your policy.

Let us tell you more about Co-Insurance and why it’s an important part of your policy.

Co-Insurance requires that a home or business owner have a limit of insurance that is at least 80% of the total replacement cost of the property. Failing to meet this limit of insurance will result in a penalty and you would share in the loss. Here is how the penalty breaks down:

Co-Insurance Formula:

Amount Carried divided by Amount Required, multiplied by The Loss = Payment

Example #1:  80% Co-Insurance with inadequate limits:

Amount Carried: $160,000
Amount Required: $200,000
Total Replacement Cost: $250,000
Loss: $100,000
Payment: $80,000

(160,000 / 200,000) X 100,000 =$80,000 payment. (The insured did not meet the 80% required, so they are a Co-Insurer in the amount of $20,000)

Example #2: 80% co-ins with adequate limits:

Amount Carried: $200,000
Amount Required: $200,000
Total Replacement Cost: $250,000
Loss: $100,000
Payment: $100,000

($200,000 / $200,000)  X 100,000= $100,000 payment. (No co-insurance penalty applies.)

You may initially believe that committing to a conservative building limit would be a way to save money. In the long run, however, it would be unfortunate to encounter a loss and be left without adequate coverage.

If an insurance company determines you have purchased the proper limit, they will sometimes add terms to waive the co-insurance penalty. You can also ask your agent if you qualify for the “Agreed Amount Endorsement” to see if you can void the co-insurance clause.

The time to find out that you are not adequately insured is not the time of your loss. Be safe, protect your assets, and contact us for more information about your co-insurance clause.

Helping You Prepare for the Season of Spring

Spring Cleaning

Spring is here and we can officially look forward to warmer temperatures. As we thaw out from the winter weather, the months ahead will also provide us with the opportunity to open up the windows and start our annual spring cleaning rituals.

As you look to enjoy the season, here are some safety tips to keep in mind:

  • Turning on fans, in addition to opening windows, is also a good idea when using chemicals.
  • When spraying pesticides, wear long clothing for protection and let the given areas air out for an hour or so.
  • To avoid confusion, keep chemicals in their original bottles to help you keep note of expiration dates and remain mindful not to mix things together that may create dangerous gases.
  • As the temperatures warm up, the heavy snow from the winter season will continue to melt. Spring can also lead to rainstorms. Both of these weather conditions could result in potential flooding, so you would benefit from knowing the safe routes in and out of your house. Unfortunately, flood damage is not usually covered under a homeowners policy. You may want to contact your agent about flood insurance.
  • Prepare your home with a first aid kit, flash lights, extra batteries, nonperishable food, and bottled water.
  • Keep contact information for utility and related companies handy in the event of an emergency.

Spring Flowers

Allergies are also common during springtime. Exposure to pollen can result in itchy eyes, runny noses, fatigue, and more. Here are steps you can take to remain healthy:

  • Take an opportunity to plan your seasonal outings accordingly. Going out on non-windy days will help limit your exposure so you can enjoy your day
  • Park your car inside a garage and away from trees, if possible. This will help you avoid pollen and mold spores.
  • In the interest of spring cleaning, washing your hands, vacuuming rugs, and changing sheets often will lessen the chances of pollen clinging to material in your home.

It’s easy to get excited about spring time and the changing of seasons. Keeping the above reminders in mind to ensure your health and safety will make it even easier to enjoy this fun time of year!

Celebrating “Love Your Pet Day” 2017

Heidi's dogs in winter

As we celebrate “Love Your Pet Day” on February 20th, it only seems appropriate that we recognize our President Heidi Petschauer’s love for her dogs. For years, she has demonstrated a selfless passion, donating her own time and money to the care of animals in need. Heidi has volunteered at Pets-Alive animal shelter and works closely with the Tri-State Collie Rescue to ensure a higher level of care and better overall life for dogs.

Heidi has a special place in her heart for senior Collies. Over the last twelve years, Heidi has adopted five different senior Collie rescue dogs. This stems from her belief that such animals are not only deserving, but appreciative of and receptive to the love someone like Heidi provides.

In a true act of dedication, Heidi impressively taught Vanna, a deaf dog and one of her earlier rescues, the art of sign language. She came to understand that the dog was able to communicate through sign and added vibrations as well. She was nine years old.

Heidi currently lives with and cares for two nine year old Collies that she rescued three years ago. Dobie, a gorgeous Rough Collie, is 80% blind. Gracie is a mixed Smooth Collie who maneuvers on three legs after recently going through an amputation of her front left leg. Heidi says that Gracie’s passion to live, much like her own to love and embrace her pets with open arms, has never wavered. Even prior to adopting Gracie, Heidi paid for her care and treatment while waiting for a forever home. She later drove from New York to Cleveland, Ohio to adopt Gracie herself. Heidi took a road trip to Detroit, Michigan to rescue Dobie.

We are fortunate and grateful for the special display of integrity Heidi continues to show through her passion.

Preventing Ice Dams and Winter Roof Damage

Ice Dam

We hope that everyone has remained safe through this snow storm. Now that the snow has fallen, it’s time to think about the ice dams that are likely to form and follow. In an effort to help keep you informed of some of the best practices, allow us to share some helpful tips surrounding ice dam prevention and/or removal.

An ice dam forms when melting snow freezes at the edge of your roof line. If you do not remove the snow, you run the risk of the ice dam growing large enough to keep the water from draining off the roof.  The water could then back up underneath the shingles and find its way to the interior. This can damage your roof, attic, and upper levels of your building.

How do you tell if you have an Ice Dam?

  • Look for large icicles hanging from the gutters and sides of the roof, as this is a sign that water may be trapped on your roof
  • Look for water stains in your attic ceiling or exterior walls

Steps you can take to prevent an Ice Dam:

  • Remove snow from your roof after every heavy storm before it freezes by using a roof rake.
  • Make sure that leaders and gutters are clear of leaves and debris so melted snow can drain properly
  • Insulate your roof and attic.
  • Seal up any holes in the roof that can cause water to seep through
  • Make sure any vent pipes, exhaust fans, chimneys, attic fans, and light fixtures are properly insulated and sealed.
  • Install a leak barrier underneath the shingles to act as an additional preventative measure, as it keeps water from seeping inside your building.

Tips for removing an Ice Dam:

  • Call a roof professional. If this is done incorrectly, you may cause further damage to your roof.
  • Do not use rock salt to melt the ice, as this could lead to even more damage.
  • If you do choose to remove it yourself, you can use calcium chloride to melt the ice.

As the cold winter months continue, please be proactive and prepare for the possibility of an ice dam forming on your roof. Doing all you can to prevent an ice dam will alleviate your stress and bring you closer to a worry-free season. We hope you all remain safe.

2017 New Year’s Message from Our President: Heidi Petschauer

 

new-years-2017

 

In 2016, we at Petschauer Insurance, focused on putting down our roots in our new home here in Garden City. Our goal was to enhance our client experience by promoting our brand of honesty and integrity so that we could continue building strong and trusting relationships.  It was also equally important for us to promote our brand within the Petschauer Team. We believe that being honest, relating with integrity and building trust by using our collaboration skills, enables us to work together as a team so that we can share our knowledge with you. Together, we can build the best insurance protection plan so that all your needs are covered.

I wholeheartedly thank my entire awesome Petschauer Team for their continued dedication and commitment to enhancing their insurance knowledge and for embracing our professional development and values. Their amazing perseverance, independence and team spirit is what fuels our success.

I also thank you, our clients, for giving us the opportunity to help protect you and provide you with the most current information to help you make good insurance choices for you and your family.

As this New Year begins, I wish everyone health, love, happiness and success throughout 2017.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Celebrating Our 2016 Content This Holiday Season

cartoon-santa-dog

The holiday season is one filled with laughter, songs, good food and even better company. As you celebrate with family and friends, we wish you happy holidays and hope that you create wonderful memories together.

The forthcoming new year also provides all of us an opportunity to reflect back upon the highlights of the past twelve months. As we do, join us in looking back at some of our favorite blogs and a special video from 2016. Once again, happy holidays from all of us at Petschauer Insurance.

  1. Travel Insurance for your Dream Vacation
  2. What You Need To Know When Choosing A Health Insurance Plan
  3. Certificate Of Insurance 101: What Business Owners Need to Know
  4. Key Man and Buy Sell Insurance Simplified
  5. How is your car insurance rate determined?

Keeping You and Your Family Happy and Safe This Holiday Season

christmas-gifts

The holiday season is officially here! This is an opportunity to spend quality time with your family and reflect upon the past year’s blessings. As you look forward to laughing, singing, and having fun with your loved ones, allow us to help you prepare with some safety reminders to ensure this holiday season is a happy and healthy one.

Prepare your home for travel: Whether you are logging long hours shopping for gifts at the mall or making a trip to see an out of town family member, it’s important not to tip off thieves and suggest you aren’t home. Nationwide offers various suggestions as to how you can discourage in-home theft. This will help prevent you from giving a burglar easy access or a green light to come in.

Be smart when shopping for gifts: While we may be past the Black Friday and Cyber Monday crazes, the holiday shopping continues all month long. Think Glink discusses the importance of setting (and sticking to) a budget and taking advantage of free shipping offers from notable retailers. As stores get crowded, choosing to ship will keep you off the hectic roads and help you save money on gas.

lori-christmas-rotate

Put a smile on their face with safety: In addition to being safe as the holidays near, exchanging gifts can present you and your loved ones with an opportunity to set the tone and practice safety all year round. AllState provides a comprehensive gift guide, complete with budgeted ideas for those who enjoy spending time at home, on the road, and outdoors.

Create a bright and starry display in a safe way: When getting into the holiday spirit, you may find fun in outdoing all your neighbors with a festive display outside or entertaining your family members inside. Either way, you can take precautions when putting up decorations. Travelers outlines potential solutions for you, including LED lights, battery operated candles, and more.

Wherever you go this holiday season, we also encourage you to be safe on the road. Happy Holidays!

Sports Stars See Value Of Investing In Life Insurance

football-life-insuranceLast month, the University of Michigan agreed to an amendment with head football coach Jim Harbaugh on his existing contract. After a successful first season, the school rewarded Harbaugh with increased compensation in the form of a life insurance loan, according to ESPN.

In addition to his base salary, Michigan will loan Harbaugh $4 million in 2016 and an additional $2 million in each of the five years that follow to support the premium on a life insurance policy. Harbaugh will not be obligated to repay the loan until his passing. When that occurs, the university will be allowed to recoup its original investment. The rest of the payout will go to Harbaugh’s beneficiaries. According to the terms of the contract, they will receive no less than 150% of the policy that has been paid out at the time. Harbaugh himself is also allowed to borrow from the policy while living, though he must keep 150% of the value untouched, in order to protect the school’s investment.

While such a contract provision is unique in the sports world, there’s no denying that Coach Harbaugh sees the importance of valuing (and subsequently benefitting from) a life insurance policy.

Another notable sports figure, former NFL player and current commentator Boomer Esiason, also understands the value of life insurance. After his mother passed away, Esiason watched at a young age as his family struggled. They had not invested in life insurance.

“We were very lucky we had neighbors who could help out and make sure I was being looked after while my dad was at work,” he shared as part of his partnership with Life Happens. “I learned at 7 that no one is guaranteed a tomorrow, so I’d probably look them in the eye and say, ‘Just imagine if something happened to you and you hadn’t done the planning. The people you leave behind will feel the brunt of your mistakes.'”

This year’s spokesperson, professional race car driver Danica Patrick, concurs. “I’ve been fortunate to have a successful career from the beginning, and I want my family to be looked after if something were to happen to me, especially since my parents sacrificed so much for me to get where I am. But going a bit deeper, both my parents lost their dads when they were teenagers, and neither had any life insurance. My mom was one of five kids, and remembers that her mom had to sell most of the farm off as a result. When my sister and I came along, my parents got life insurance,” she said.

Traditionally, the biggest names in sports serve as role models because of their talent on the field/track. As demonstrated here, the choice to raise awareness for life insurance gives fans another reason to look up to them.

We would be happy to discuss your life insurance needs with you. Contact us today!

Why Young Adults Should Buy Life Insurance

Life Insurance letter for blog

Why should young adults consider buying life insurance now? Thinking realistically about death may be difficult for someone in their twenties to do. But death is unpredictable, non-discriminative, and inevitable. Buying life insurance early on gives someone the opportunity to lock in coverage today that may not necessarily be available later.

Allow us to walk you through more benefits of buying life insurance sooner than later…

Life insurance rates are largely affected by age and health conditions, including height, weight, and smoking status. Purchasing insurance at a younger age will save you money in the long run. The rates are more expensive the older you are, and a health condition is more likely to affect the rate as well. Just one trip to the hospital could drastically impact your eligibility. Past events and previous/existing conditions, such as high blood sugar, bi-polar disorder, early strokes, blood disorders, and even DUI’s can impact eligibility.

Life insurance will provide your beneficiaries with a death benefit that can help you pay medical costs, funeral expenses, loans, mortgages, debts, college tuition, monthly expenses, child care costs, and replace lost income.

There are two ways to purchase life insurance: you can rent or own the coverage. When you purchase “Term” insurance, you are renting the coverage for a for a specific period of time (10,15, 20, 30 years). Premiums are typically inexpensive. *For example, the monthly cost for a $500K life insurance policy for a healthy 25 year old male is as low as $21 and $35/mo for a 20 year and 30 year term, respectively. It’s even less costly for women. You can also convert to a permanent insurance plan without undergoing medical underwriting.

When you purchase Permanent Insurance (often referred to as “Whole Life”), you own the benefit for life. The death benefit is permanent, so it provides protection for your entire life and can actually increase over time. The premiums are considered contributions to an asset. Policies can potentially be “paid up” by the time you reach your retirement years.

This is a great way to build wealth on a tax favorable basis. In addition to the pool of money that will be paid upon your passing, there is also a Cash Value that accumulates inside the policy that you can access anytime without restriction. The cash value often grows to a point where you have more cash than what you contributed.   Access to this cash can also be tax free, including gains.

*For example, for $100/mo, a healthy 25 year old male can purchase a $100K policy that would be “paid up” by age 65, when no additional premiums are required. By 65, based on current dividend rates of the top insurance carriers, the death benefit would double and the cash value would be expected to almost triple the total cumulative contributions.

 *If the same person waits 10 years to start the policy (assuming health status hasn’t changed), the premiums would increase to about $150/mo, and by age 65, both the death benefit and the cash surrender value would be about 25% less than starting the policy 10 years earlier.

It pays to get life insurance while you are young, healthy, and a more desirable applicant. The younger you are, the less expensive the premium will be. Make life insurance a part of your balanced financial plan or budget.

Taking care of yourself and your family’s future today will save additional stress and worries tomorrow. Contact us today and we will be happy to discuss your situation with you in more detail.

* The examples in this post are intended to educate the reader generally about the benefits of life insurance for younger people, through the use of hypothetical “details” including coverages, cash values and premium costs. These are approximations based on the author’s experience, but are not facts that would necessarily apply to the reader’s own situation or to that of any other person. Reliable information regarding such items as coverages, cash values and premium costs may only be obtained through formal communications with your broker.

Team USA Sets Golden Standard For Insuring Your Valuables

Untitled designCongratulations to Michael Phelps, the “Final Five,” and all of Team USA for participating in the summer Olympics! All of these athletes have surely set the golden standard by their efforts in Rio, while also seeing to it that their medals are insured.

Have you followed their winning example?

Our blogs have previously discussed the proper way to insure an engagement ring and other valuables that you own. Now, we want to remind you that it is equally as important to review these valuables on an annual basis, as they may increase or decrease in value.

You may have a Personal Articles Floater, Inland Marine, or Scheduled Items Policy already in place. However, the potential increase or decrease in value of different items is something you will want to address with your insurance agent.

Some of these items may be:

  • Jewelry
  • Watches
  • Rings
  • Bracelets and other trinkets
  • Furs
  • Antiques
  • Musical instruments
  • Camera equipment

You can make changes and improve the coverage if you review your policy on an annual basis.

  • What items are covered under your current policy?
  • Are they covered individually, or as a group?
  • Is the coverage subject to specific exclusions or deductibles?
  • If you travel, is the coverage worldwide?
  • What would it cost to replace these valuables in today’s market?

If you want to be up to speed, much like Team USA, these are all questions to ask your insurance agent.