Is Your Landlord Responsible for Your Personal Items?

Do you rent an apartment, condo, or home? What would you do if a fire destroyed everything you owned or a thief took all of your personal belongings? Many tenants believe that their landlord’s insurance coverage would pay to replace these items. Unfortunately, this common idea is wrong. Here is what you need to know.

Your Landlord is Not Responsible for Your Stuff

One of the biggest misconceptions among renters is that their landlord would pay to replace their belongings if there was an unexpected incident. The truth is that Arizona tenants are responsible for their own items. This means that if a claims situation were to happen—such as a fire, theft, or weather event—you would have to pay out of pocket to repurchase your damaged or stolen items.

How Renters Insurance Can Help

For most people, coming up with the cash to replace each and every item inside their home would be a tremendous burden. So, how do you protect yourself financially if your landlord is not liable for your belongings? This is where renters insurance can help.

Renters insurance is purchased in a set amount to help you pay for your belongings in the event of a covered claim. For example, a $50,000 insurance policy would pay out up to that figure to help you repurchase items. Different amounts are available depending on your needs, so it is important to speak with your agent directly to determine which level of coverage is right for your situation.

Some Landlords Require Tenants to Have Renters Insurance

It is also important to note that some landlords and property management companies now require tenants to have renters insurance at the time of lease signing. In fact, most will not even hand over keys to the apartment or house until the renter shows proof of coverage. Why? By making sure renters know upfront that they are responsible for their own goods, the expectation of who pays for damages is set up front and can keep unnecessary disputes from happening.

Of course, personal belongings are just a small portion of the protection you receive with renters insurance. Other facets include liability coverage and temporary housing in the event of a catastrophic loss. For more information or to receive a no-obligation quote, please contact our team at Lifetime Investments LLC today.

How to Make Your Engine Run Smoother and Longer

When it comes to buying a car, unless your filthy rich, you likely put a lot of time into the car you decide to make your own. In fact, buying a car is one of the largest purchases that many people make besides purchasing a home. There is much to be considered when buying a car, including it’s gas mileage, how many miles it already has on it, the maintenance that’s been performed, and lastly, how well the engine runs. The better the engine, the better the car. Here’s a quick look at a few tips you can follow to make sure your car’s engine runs smoother and longer. 

You have to change the oil

It’s not a myth, and it’s not some hidden secret that people have never heard of, but for some reason, there are millions of car owners each year who fail to get their oil changed. What happens? Exactly what they were told would happen … the car’s engine ends up going out. The simplest way to avoid this crisis is by getting your car’s oil changed according to its required maintenance plan. 

Change the spark plugs

When your spark plugs are bad, you’re going to have a bumpy ride. Your engine will put and pout and can even cause your car to shake when idling. To keep your engine running smoother, have the spark plugs changed at least once every 24,000 miles. 

If you think something is wrong, take it to the shop

As the primary driver of your car, you should know it like no one else.  If something doesn’t sound or feel right, take it to the shop for a quick inspection. This can save you thousands of dollars in engine repair work. 

Contact Lifetime Investments LLC to learn more about extending the life of your car’s engine. 

Auto Insurance: Actual Value and Total Loss… What Is the Difference?

Arizona Auto InsuranceAutomobile insurance is often misunderstood, and perhaps one of the most frequent aspects is the difference between actual value and a total loss. It is important for policyholders to thoroughly understand this and plan their coverage accordingly.

A total loss is when the cost to return the vehicle to pre-accident condition would be as much – or more – than the value of the automobile. It’s important to learn how total loss is determined, in order to make sure you obtain the proper protection when purchasing your next auto policy.

It’s also important before purchasing a policy to understand actual cash value (ACV) as it’s related to a total loss. Otherwise, you might find yourself underinsured in the event of a major claim.

Many auto owners mistakenly believe the insurance will pay off the existing loan or cover the entire cost of purchasing a new car, but that is rarely the case. Instead, insurance adjusters estimate the value based upon Fair Market Value determined by various sources such as neighborhood used car dealers, car/truck trader publications, local newspapers, and computer research. Once an average value has been determined the adjuster then modifies the vehicle value to reflect the mileage, condition and other options included in the vehicle. In most instances, this is significantly less than the cost to purchase a new vehicle or even pay off an existing loan.

Most new vehicles lose a significant amount of value as soon as they are driven off the lot. The trade-in value would be substantially less, even if you only owned the vehicle for a short period of time. Likewise, the actual cash value of a vehicle is often much less than the amount owed or even the cost to purchase a similar car.

Jan Vitale
Independent Insurance Agent
Proudly serving her clients and her industry for 30+ years

Five Types of Arizona Home Insurance

Five Kinds of Home InsuranceThere are five types of Arizona home insurance to consider when you are in the process of buying a new home. Homeowner’s insurance pops its head up as one of those responsible challenges that accompanies the excitement of owning your own home. The only responsible choice is researching and maintaining the best coverage to safeguard your asset from natural disasters such as fire and flood, or even flawed information on your ownership documents.

If you are insurance savvy and/or have a lot of time on your hand, you can complete thorough research and find what is right for you in terms of the right coverage, price and service. The alternative is to build a key relationship with an Arizona Independent Insurance Agent who walks the extra mile as an advocate for your home insurance needs. One of the primary benefits of maintaining that relationship is to develop an awareness of five key areas of coverage needed to protect your asset.

  1. Basic homeowner’s insurance, which is required for the protection of your investment in case of fire, theft, someone injured while on your property, and certain instances of natural disasters.
  2. Title insurance is also often required at the time you purchase a home, confirming the seller’s legal right to transfer ownership to you. You are protected against financial loss in the case of deed or mortgage information being flawed; deeds invalidated during a past transfer of sale, claims against the property or owner such as a lien, or claim to ownership made by former owner or spouse.
  3. Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) is required by many lenders if you have less than 20 percent down payment at the time of your purchase.       Your lender will require the PMI coverage until such time as you are no longer considered a high-risk borrower.
  4. Flood Insurance surprises many homeowners who learn, unfortunately after the fact, that homeowners insurance does not cover damage caused by flood (water seeping in from the outside). When you have an Independent Insurance Agent on your side, you can easily discern a) whether the coverage is necessary, and b) what the cost would be if you decided to purchase the coverage.
  5. Mortgage Life Insurance is an optional coverage that would reduce or pay off your home mortgage, if you were to pass away. A coverage that definitely should be considered in order to protect the surviving family members. The benefit may also be used to pay off other debt which makes it very versatile.

As you navigate the maze of insurance coverage available for homeowners in the Metro Phoenix area, make sure you work with an Independent Insurance Agent who is a local professional, thoroughly understands homeowner’s insurance and help make the home-buying process easier by being your advocate for securing insurance policies that properly and adequately insure your investment.

Jan Vitale

Independent Insurance Agent

Proudly serving her clients and her industry for 30+ years

Insurance: The Pitfalls of Buying Insurance Without an Agent

Thirty years of service in the insurance industry has taught me many things – the most important of which is an intense desire to be an “advocate” for my clients. Unfortunately, there are many policyholders who are “do-it-yourselfers” by nature and especially now, with the technology that supports research, allows them to do a certain amount of JANV ADVOCATEdue diligence. I am in a position, however, to know it is the little things that make the biggest difference in selecting the right policy; it is the little things unknown that ensure the right policy is selected. There are distinct disadvantages to buying insurance as a “do-it yourselfer” rather than through an agent, and the one thing you think you are saving – money – may actually be what you lose in myriad circumstances.

With that in mind, I want to share some of the pitfalls that can be associated with doing it by yourself:

  1. Lack of Expert Advice

Unless you are an industry expert, chances are you may not fully understand the complex and confusing language used to describe various programs and alternatives when purchasing a policy.

Working with an agent provides the expertise you need to explore several different types of riders and addendums and also ensures that you get the right protection at the most competitive price without experiencing any gaps or duplicates of coverage.

  1. Lack of a Local Advocate

Insurance is big business, but when it comes time to file a claim or ask individual questions, it’s important to have a personal advocate who is able to provide a single source of contact for all your needs.

Few things are more challenging than attempting to deal with a major loss or injury while having to hunt for the right names and numbers when dealing with insurance. Instead, one simple call to your reliable local agent is all that’s required.

  1. Privacy Problems

Shopping for insurance online sounds convenient, but the reality is that it’s often far less appealing. Teaser websites, privacy problems and a flood of telemarketing calls are just a few of the common pitfalls associated with online insurance quotes.

Trying to make changes or adding specialized riders to a policy can quickly create confusion, if not outright chaos.

On the other hand, when working with a local agent it’s easy to verify the reputation of the agent and office well in advance. Plus, customizing a quote couldn’t be simpler.

Just ask your agent about the desired coverage or policy changes. You won’t have to fill out endless forms and wait for return calls from total strangers.

Obviously, the list is much longer and the stories I can share unbelievable sad, but for today, let’s focus on the positive – you understanding how important having an Independent Insurance Agent as your personal advocate in all things insurance!

I’m a big advocate of the power of positive thinking, particularly for small businesses.

~ Kevin Plank

Jan Vitale
Independent Insurance Agent
Proudly serving her clients and her industry for 30+ years