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Personal Injury & Your Homeowners Insurance

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Homeowners insurance is just meant to cover my home right?  Not at all!  There are other coverage options available to help protect your assets that can be endorsed to the home policy.  One endorsement your agent should be discussing is personal injury. Don’t think of it in the literal sense, we’re not talking about physical damage, we are talking about emotional damage otherwise known as slander.

Let’s face it, sometimes we push other people’s buttons when we don’t mean to or we say the wrong thing and hurt other people’s feelings.  Someone can take legal action against you for these actions whether or not you intended harm.  It’s the 21st century and people are allowed to sue you for such actions so why not protect yourself!  Have your agent add a Personal Injury Endorsement to the liability section of your homeowners insurance.  This endorsement protects the policyholder from an “oral or written publication, in any manner, of material that slanders or libels a person or organization or disparages a person’s or organizations goods, products or services or (an) oral or written publication, in any manner,… that violates a person’s right of privacy.”  In simpler terms it covers defamation and/or slander of a third party by an insured.

Who is an insured on your homeowner’s policy?  In homeowners policies you’ll see a reference you “you” and “your” which refers to who is covered under the policy.  ”You” is the named insured or the names on the policy.  ”Your” is a spouse if a resident of the same household, your relatives or other persons under the age of 21 and in your care or the care of a resident relative.  ”Your” is also a student enrolled in school full-time (as defined by the school) who was a resident of your household before moving out to attend school, provided the student is under the age of 24 and your relative or 21 and in your care or the care of a resident relative. – In most cases mom, dad and any children that live in the house (or away at school) are covered.

So, when Johnny is away at college and posts an offensive photograph on Facebook from his 21st birthday party or tweets a non-flattering remark about the university’s staff there would be protection if a personal injury endorsement was purchased.  With social meeting increasing this coverage is more important than ever.  Cost for this endorsement is typically around $20 annual but can vary between insurance companies and depends on the liability limit on your home policy.  Contact our staff for assistance as this type of litigation is on the rise!

 

715-387-4443

info@marshfieldinsurance.net

 

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MUDSLIDES, ARE YOU PROTECTED?

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Coverage for mudslides are not usually covered under ones homeowner’s policy.  Why would something like this not be covered?  Insurance companies usually prohibit coverage for mud-related losses, primarily because policy income in a mud-heavy region would be greatly overshadowed by claim payouts.  An insurance company may not financially survive an area wide loss related to mud and the increase in premium to cover such losses would price the company out of the market or become unaffordable to most consumers.

Mudslides or landslides are one of the handful of exclusions listed in a common home policy which also include earthquake, sinkholes & flood.

It is important to note the difference between mudslide and mudflow.  A mudslide is a movement of earth or rock that travels downhill (also referred to as earth movement in some policies), while a mudflow is a runny, watery stream of mud.  According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, a mudflow is a runny, watery stream of mud, while a mudslide is a downhill movement of water-saturated earth or rock.  A separate FEMA Flood Policy will cover mudflow but not a mudslide, sometimes it can be complicated to determine the difference between the two.

Fortunately, there are insurance products available that cover mudslide / earth movement.  Some insurers will add coverage for earthquake, mudslide and/or earth movement with an additional endorsement.  Separate earthquake or earth movement policies can also be purchased.  Talk to our agents today for a free quote on this coverage (715-387-4443).

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Cyber Liability – Lloyds of London Top Risks of 2013

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With large retailers such as Target finding themselves dealing with a security breach it comes as no surprise that a survey conducted by insurance market Lloyds of London, called the 2013 Lloyd’s Risk Index, identified cyber liability as one of the top risks of 2013. It should be added that small to medium size businesses are at more of a risk due to lessor safeguards, they can become easier targets.

Cyber Liability was the third highest risk. This was a significant move up the list from the last time the report was completed, in 2011.

“It appears that businesses across the world have encountered a partial reality check about the degree of cyber risk. Their sense of preparedness to deal with the level of risk, however, still appears remarkably complacent. Against all the evidence of the past two years, businesses believe they are slightly more able to deal with the risk …. As in 2011, we must ask again if, despite their escalating spend on cyber security, businesses are actually spending money on the right things? Cyber insurance specialists are offering increasingly integrated cyber products, including those that provide cover for data breach costs, forensic analysis and crisis public relations services in one package. While these products are highly effective in an emergency, spending money upfront on risk management – and ensuring recommendations are implemented throughout a company – might go a long way to preventing a cyber disaster before it starts.” – Lloyds of London

Cyber Liability insurance coverage is an inexpensive protection for small and medium sized business that can be used in conjunction with encryption and firewalls to better protect a businesses digital records. Cyber Liability insurance provides protection from the risks associated with the use of technology, including data breaches, but policy forms are not all the same. As an independent agent, we can provide Cyber Liability insurance to all types of organizations and tailor each policy to a businesses specific concerns.

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PROPERTY INSURANCE – COLLAPSE FROM SNOW / ICE

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With the excessive amount of snow, ice and altogether bad weather the Midwest received this year, it’s important to know weather (get it) or not your home policy protects against collapse from snow and ice.

There are multiple types of property policies but a standard home policy, otherwise known as a “special peril policy” or a “form three policy,” does protect against a roof collapse from excessive snow and ice. You’ll want to know what type of policy you have, so it’s important to contact your agent. Some farm polices, commercial polices and other home policy coverage forms may not offer this as an included coverage.

According to the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety, a house should be able to support 20 pounds per square foot of roof space. That’s about 4” of pure ice, 1 foot -1.65 feet of packed snow or 3.3 feet to 4 feet of fresh snow.

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