Flood Insurance Reform Bill Passage

As we all thankfully watch the river waters begin to recede here in Western Nebraska, I am also pleased to pass along information that our government has been hard at work to ensure the continuation of the protections afforded by the National Flood Insurance Program. As a member of the Legislative Committee for the Big "I"  (Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers Association), I have worked closely with senators and congressmen for many years in forwarding legislation that is beneficial to consumers and to trying to prevent changes that would be detrimental to the industry. Below is a new release about the latest Big "I" success:
Big “I” Applauds House Passage of Flood Insurance Reform Bill
Calls on the Senate to enact flood extension and reform legislation.
On Tuesday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 1309, the “Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2011,” by an overwhelming 406-22 vote. The legislation, introduced by Subcommittee on Insurance, Housing and Community Opportunity Chairman Judy Biggert (R-Ill.) and cosponsored by Ranking Member Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), would extend the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) for five years and make needed reforms such as phasing out subsidies for many properties and indexing coverage limits to inflation.

A five-year extension is of the utmost importance to the Big “I,” as are reforms to put the program on sound financial footing. The association was especially grateful that the House rejected a number of problematic amendments offered during floor consideration. Chief among these was an amendment offered by Rep. Candice Miller (R-Mich.) that would have completely eliminated the NFIP by 2013. As there continues to be no evidence of a private market for flood insurance and the program currently protects 5.6 million policyholders who would completely lose all flood coverage, the Big “I” aggressively fought against this amendment. The amendment lost on the House floor by a 38-384 vote. Another concerning amendment was offered by Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and would have removed the inclusion of optional business interruption and additional living expenses coverage. These provisions are meant to better safeguard consumers against flood loss and the Big “I” lobbied against the amendment. A number of conservative interest groups view these coverages as an “expansion” of a government program and have lobbied against their inclusion in any flood insurance reform bill. While the Big “I” ultimately prevailed and the Flake amendment was defeated, it ended up being a relatively close vote. This issue certainly becomes an even tougher battle ahead in the Senate, where a single senator’s objection could be enough to derail its inclusion.

In addition to these concerning amendments which were defeated, there were also some important amendments which the Big “I” supported that passed. Principal among these was an amendment offered by Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) and supported by Financial Services Committee Chairman Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.) which would limit the NFIP Direct program to 10% of total NFIP policies and direct the program to develop regulations to transfer excess policies back onto the WYO carriers. This amendment also includes explicit language protecting an agent’s rights during any such transfer of policies out of NFIP Direct. The Sherman amendment passed by voice vote. Finally, there was also an amendment offered by Rep. Lee Terry (R-Neb.) that would attempt to deal with the “flood in progress” issue affecting many in the Midwest. The amendment would clarify that flood insurance coverage begins immediately upon the completion of the 30-day wait period, even for a “flood in progress,” provided that the building has not already sustained damage from that flood event. The Terry amendment was agreed to unanimously.

The Senate is also set to begin work on flood insurance reform legislation, with consideration by the Senate Banking Committee expected soon. The Big “I” is urging the Senate to work towards a long-term reauthorization with needed reforms before the program’s expiration at the end of September.

John Prible (john.prible@iiaba.net) is Big “I” vice president for federal government affairs.
If you have further questions about flood insurance or other insurance matters, please contact the knowledgeable agents at The Writer Agency, LLC at 308-436-4202 or www.insurance-by-katie.com


My 2011 Summer Newsletter is now available! Click here to read about S.S.O.S. (seepage, sewer, or surface water). Yuck!

Review the seasonal insert for tips on weddings, bbq's, and summer storms. (Do you know how many wedding rings are lost on the honeymoon? BUMMER!) 

Explore some of the fun things to see and do right here in Nebraska, and ways to enhance and protect your summer trips. And much, much more!

You can access past issues of our newsletter on our website: http://www.insurance-by-katie.com/. Enjoy!

Do you have a topic you would like to see addressed in our next issue?

Hail and other Havoc

Reporting Claims: Due to the volume of calls we receive after storms we may be unable to answer your phone call. Please leave your name, phone number, address, & description of the item damaged (property location or the year, make and model of your vehicle). We will submit your claim as quickly as possible and confirm this by mail! You may also email this information at insurance-by-katie@embarqmail.com

Take steps to prevent further damage by protecting your property. Board up broken windows or move property indoors or under cover if possible. Do not dispose of damaged property as your claims adjuster may need to inspect these items in order to determine proper reimbursement of your loss.

Obtain more details about the claim process on our website under the heading: Claims. Or call our experienced agents at 308-436-4202. We are here to help!

The Sneeches...and other Craziness

After the hail storms of 2010, which ironically tracked me down and beat on my vehicle while I was out of town, caused the insurance company to total my vehicle I pondered one of life's most important questions: what kind of car am I?

The decision making and car purchase process can deteriorate into a situation faced by the Sneeches: running in and out chaining my mind until I'm so confused that I can't hardly remember what kind of car I had let alone what I want to buy!

So ~ How does one go about deciding...why, you post the question on Facebook and ask for suggestions, of course!

Unfortunately that worked too well and EVERYONE was more than happy to answer my question....but there was no consensus! No obvious majority.... I still had no answers.

As it turns out, there is apparently no one right answer... No one-size-fits-all vehicle...no matter which vehicle you choose, you have chosen it for a specific reason and are willing to defend that decision--sometimes rather vehemently! (As the Facebook postings demonstrated!)

The same can be said for insurance. Each individual person and/or business presents a unique set of exposures and needs which require a specialized insurance protection plan. At The Writer Agency LLC, our knowledgeable agents are trained to help you tailor a plan to help you "put a star upon yars " or not if that's the way you want it!

Call or click today! (308)436-4202 Or www.insurance-by-Katie.com

By the way, I got a 2010 Ford Escape and I LOVE it! What kind of car do you drive and why do you love/hate it?

Geez Jeanie, We're in France!

Once upon a time, in the dark ages before GPS devices, a young married couple sit in the backseat of a motorhome/camper, her parents occupy the front. They've embarked on a vacation of a lifetime with The Dad is driving on the German Autobahn and The Mom is navigating. Armed with her trusty paper road map, The Mom is attempting to detour around the large town of Karlsruhe, Germany because The Dad is concerned about impending rush hour traffic.

"Take a right!", The Mom announces, confident she has succeeded in avoiding rush hour. Mom smiles, reveling in her superior navigational skills. The joy of the moment is suddenly interrupted by a bellow from The Dad, "Jeanie, the sign have changed .... Geez, Jeanie we're in France!"  The Mom looks forlornly out the window at the road signs which are no longer in German, they are in French!

The young couple in the backseat struggle to comprehend why this is such a heinous crime but are afraid to laugh. (They learn later that they have no French money and some of the roads are toll roads....which is apparently a bad thing!)

The sound of flailing paper resounds from the front seat as The Mom battles the map and exclaims, "France? France! How can we be in France?!!!" (Note: The country boundary line in this map has been manually enhanced...the boundary line on the map used on the trip was NOT this vivid!)  

In the meantime, The Mom pulls herself together and directs, in another confident voice, "Turn Left!" This brilliant move has now placed them in a line of vehicles --- a line of vehicle waiting to board a ferry to cross the Rhine River back into Germany!

Expletives fly from The Dad who is, for some reason, very concerned about taking the camper they are driving onto the very small ferry. (This is not at all like the big, fancy ferry's in New York City!) But there is no way to get out of the line and now the man up front is waving the camper forward. You've GOT to be kidding!

The Dad slowly inches onto the ferry along with a small delivery truck and a number of people on foot or with their bicycles. The ferry begins to pull away from the shore and the camper passengers discover it is an "old fashioned" guy-wire and pulley system that uses the current of the river for propulsion. The Dad's scientific mind is elated - this is fascinating! Almost the best part of the whole trip!

The Mom is forgiven!

Is the above story true? You betcha! It was amazing and we didn't sink but it could have just as easily turned into a fiasco.

Do you know that AAA can help you plan your trips and provide you with maps so you don't end up in France (unless you want to!) AAA can help you if you are stranded with emergency road service such as towing, fuel refills, lock opening services, and tire changing (NO ferry rides, sorry). AAA can also provide you with a myriad of discounts to help you save on your trip or on your everyday purchases.  

Don't end up "up the creek" (or across the river) on your summer trip this year....  Call us or click today: 308-436-4202 or www.insurance-by-katie.com  Find out how inexpensive and valuable your AAA Membership can be!

The Smell of Money (and other "Unmentionables")

As our days get increasingly warmer here in Western Nebraska, the "smell of money" begins to fill the air. Now ~ I grew up as a "big city kid" so when I first moved to rural Nebraska,  I had no idea what people meant by that saying: "the smell of money". All I knew was that it smelled BAD! 

(If you are also a "big city kid" and don't know what I'm talking about, I'll let you in on a little secret....  apparently "money" smells exactly like cow poop!) 

Recently, there was another smell emanating through the Valley and it was coming from my backyard! Spring has sprung and with it the glorious event that takes place every year about this time: It was "pond mucking out day"!  Oh joy! This is an experience everyone should have at least ONCE in their life.....and once is about all you probably can stand!  You see, we have a very small, homemade pond and creek in our backyard that we shut off during the winter. Thus, rain/snow water, leaves, and other "organic material" (dead bugs, worms, and other unmentionables!) collect in it all winter, creating a very special aroma by the time spring comes!

All I can say is that I am eternally grateful that the mess and stench have remained outside my house. Unfortunately a similar mess can happen inside your house. It's called sewer backup and I would imagine it is even less fun than "pond mucking day". An optional insurance coverage for this can be purchased, generally for a reasonable premium. Often the coverage is limited to a $5,000 or $10,000 maximum. However, if your sewer system backs up into your home, I am sure that any amount of coverage would be very welcome.

For more information on this or other insurance coverages, please visit with our knowledgeable agents: call or click 308-436-4202 or www.insurance-by-katie.com .

By the way, my husband has informed me that next year during the blessed "pond mucking event", I will have the happy privilege of serving as the Grand Master of Ceremonies (basically he has turned in his resignation). I am thinking that as Grand Master, my first order of business will be to delegate the duties of "pond mucker". Anyone want to apply?

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day to all the mom's in the world! (Too bad they haven't invented "behavior" insurance....hmmmm!)

Don't forget to hug your mom today!

Customer Appreciation Event was a Success!

Our Customer Appreciation Event was a tremendous success!

Visitors were able to enjoy great food while having a chance to relax and talk with friends.

Brochures and other helpful information were available to aid in understanding their insurance coverages.

Some even tried their skills at completing insurance related crossword puzzles and/or coloring books! (The did pretty darn good, too!) Many people won door prizes and a good time was had by all.

Again, I wish to personally thank all my wonderful customers and friends for making my "job" a pleasure not a chore. You all are the reason I am here and why I am passionate about what I do. Thanks !

Katie  insurance-by-katie@embarqmail.com

Spring 2011 Newsletter

My 2011 Spring Newsletter is now available! Click here to read about how to prepare for an emergency (a natural disaster, a storm, a man-made catastrophe or other situation).  Review the pull out checklist to create your emergency kit (Did you know you need three of them?). Or explore the need for, and steps to take to ensure the safety and care of your family and your pets in a crisis situation. And much, much more!

You can access past issues of our newsletter on our website: http://www.insurance-by-katie.com/. Enjoy!

Do you have a topic you would like to see addressed in our next issue?

Come Heck or High Water

The camera focuses on a family enjoying a nice day out on the lake in a small boat. The camera pans out and we discover not a lake and a lovely day for a picnic...but rather, we see submerged roof tops and water cluttered with debris. The helicopter suddenly appears overhead, extends a lift system and raises the family to safety.

Something like this always "happens to someone else". Watch the video below to see flooding happening to other Nebraskans. This demonstrates that the possibility of floods happening in "land locked", "drought ridden" Nebraska is not so far fetched.

Have you seen the river between Scottsbluff and Gering lately.......

Although we’ve run information about flood insurance in previous newsletters, with ongoing storms in the Midwest and impending flooding in the headlines, it is more important than ever to revisit frequently asked flood insurance questions with answers provided by the National Flood Insurance Program:

Doesn't my homeowners/business/farm insurance policy cover flooding?

No. Let’s say that again, NO, flood damage is not typically covered by a homeowners insurance policy. You MUST purchase a separate policy in order to obtain flood insurance.

If my home is flooded, won't federal disaster assistance pay for my damages?

No. Federal disaster assistance often comes in the form of a low interest loan to help cover flood damage, not compensation for your losses. Even then, loans are only available if the president formally declares a disaster.

Why do I need flood insurance? My community has never been flooded.

Flooding occurs in low-to-moderate risk areas as well as in high-risk areas. Poor drainage systems, rapid accumulation of rainfall, snowmelt, and broken water mains can all result in flood. Properties on a hillside can be damaged by mudflow, a covered peril under the Standard Flood Insurance Policy

Why do I need flood insurance if I live on a hill and will never get flooded?

Floods can occur in any area, although to varying degrees. If you live on a hill or in an area that has never been flooded, your risk may be significantly reduced, but it is not eliminated. Flooding can be caused by heavy rains, melting snow, inadequate drainage systems, failed protective devices such as levees and dams, as well as by tropical storms and hurricanes.

Does flood insurance cover flood damage caused by hurricanes, rivers, or tidal waters?

Yes, a general condition of flood exists if two adjacent properties are affected, one of which is yours. Or, if the flood is confined to your property, the flood water must cover at least two acres.

Is flood damage from wind-driven rain covered?

No. When rain enters through a wind-damaged window or door, or comes through a hole in a wall or roof, the resulting puddles and damage are considered to be windstorm-related, not flood-related. Flood insurance covers overflow of inland or tidal waters and unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of surface waters from any source. However, the flood must be a general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of two or more acres of normally dry land area or of two or more properties (at least one of which is yours). Although flood insurance specifically excludes wind and hail damage, the good news is that most homeowners insurance provides such coverage.

What is covered in my basement?

Flood insurance covers your home's/business' foundation elements and equipment that's necessary to support the structure (for example: furnace, water heaters, circuit breakers, etc.). Flood insurance does not cover basement improvements, such as finished walls, floors, ceilings or personal belongings that may be kept in a basement.

Please make an informed decision about the flood risks you face before deciding not to purchase flood insurance. You may qualify for a Preferred Risk Policy (a lower-cost flood insurance policy). Flood Insurance cannot be obtained when the flood waters are closing in on your property. DON’T WAIT…

Get more valuable information from http://www.floodsmart.gov/ or contact our knowledgeable agents at The Writer Agency, LLC 308-436-4202 or Insurance-by-Katie.com

The DMV Debacle

The woman is driving home from work, happily tapping her fingers to the beat of her favorite song. All is right with the world, until….. she glances in her rear view mirror and sees flashing lights. Bummer.

She didn’t think she was speeding…nope, not speeding. What’s up? She pulls over and nervously gathers her driver’s license, vehicle registration and insurance card.

The officer steps to the window, “Hello Ma’am, do you know why I stopped you tonight?”

“No” she sheepishly replies.

“One of your tail lights is out”, says the officer while taking her license, registration and insurance card. He steps back to the patrol car for a few moments to verify insurance, and whatever else officers do in this type of situation. When he re-approaches the vehicle he is frowning, which is NEVER a good sign!

“Ma’am, do you realize your insurance is expired and that it is illegal to drive in Nebraska without insurance?”

The woman is shocked. Desperately willing herself not to cry, she points out to the officer that her insurance card shows that the coverage is indeed in force. She explains that the premiums are automatically deducted from her checking account so the coverage just can’t be expired. The officer is not convinced and gives her a “Fix-It Ticket” for the lights and orders her to provide proof of insurance right away. (Still frowning).

Is the woman me?….. No, but this exact scenario just happened to a client in our agency. Additionally, I attempted to renew one of my vehicle licenses online today (what a coincidence) and the insurance verification process basically gave me the same response as the officer got in the above story: insurance is inactive and not valid. I was furious, considering I was looking at my renewed insurance policy and the premium that had been automatically deducted from my checking account, just like my client in the story above. I’m an insurance agent for Pete’s sake, I should know if my insurance is valid or not! What was going on?

I put on my detective hat and decided to get some answers. After speaking to a helpful woman at the DMV, she directed me to their website for further documentation. This is what I found:

• The computer system the Nebraska Department of Motor vehicles uses has been in place for a number of years (so this is obviously not a new problem…just the first time I’ve heard of it).

• Insurance companies supply insurance information to the DMV monthly between the 5th and the 10th working day of the month.

• If your policy renews after the 5th – 10th of that same month, the information will not be updated until the following month.

Did I completely loose you? Let me illustrate using my own automobile policy:

• My personal auto insurance information on file with the Nebraska DMV shows a policy in force from July 10, 2010 through January 10, 2011.

• My insurance company uploads their in force policy report to the DMV every month, including the report submitted between January 5th and January 10th, 2011.

• My policy renewed though automatic premium payment effective January 10, 2011.

• My insurance company must have submitted their report prior to January 10th because my insurance renewal information was NOT on their report.

• Therefore, as of today, February 4, 2011, when an inquiry for my insurance data is processed through the DMV database, my insurance on record still shows my policy in force from July 10, 2010 and that it expired January 10, 2011 because the renewal data has not been uploaded yet.

• My insurance data will be uploaded when my insurance company submits their February report between the 5th and 10th of February…..in other words, to the “powers that be”, I look like I am running uninsured and in violation of the law for 1 month!!!

Don't get me wrong, while I admire the Department of Motor Vehicles, the insurance companies, and the law enforcement agencies who are attempting to streamline insurance verification and the enforcement of our compulsory auto insurance laws, it is obvious that the system is not perfect (is any system?) Please let your friends, family, and any law enforcement persons you know about this “glitch” so they may be better prepared than my poor client from the story above who received a reprimand from a police officer that was undeserved.

To have other insurance questions like this answered, contact me at The Writer Agency, LLC.

308-436-4202 or http://www.insurance-by-katie.com/ Drive Safe!

The Groundhog Froze!

Happy Groundhog Day! I don’t know about you but I am pretty sure that shadow or no shadow, the groundhog stuck his little nose out of his hole today and will NOT come out again until June! After all, it’s a balmy minus 16 degrees as I write this post!

Groundhog Day is such as strange tradition (to put all our hopes and trust in a furry rodent that is often more of a garden pest than a desirable critter) that I thought I would find out where this practice came from.

• February 4, 1841, Pennsylvania storekeeper James Morris wrote in his diary in Morgantown, Berks County: “Last Tuesday, the 2nd, was Candlemas day, the day on which, according to the Germans, the Groundhog peeps out of his winter quarters and if he sees his shadow he pops back for another six weeks nap, but if the day be cloudy he remains out, as the weather is to be moderate.”

• The legend comes from poems in Scotland, England, and Germany, that predict longer or shorter winters depending on the weather on Candlemas Day:

If Candlemas Day be dry and fair,
The half o' winter's to come and mair;
If Candlemas Day be wet and foul,
The half o' winter's gane at Yule.

If Candlemas be fair and bright,
Winter has another flight;
If Candlemas brings clouds and rain,
Winter is gone and will not come again.

• According to folklore, Germans originally watched a badger for his shadow on that day. When they settled in Pennsylvania, the groundhog replaced the badger.

• The first official Groundhog Day was celebrated on February 2, 1886, in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. The local newspaper, The Punxsutawney Spirit, printed the proclamation "Today is groundhog day and up to the time of going to press the beast has not seen its shadow."

• Another explanation of the origin of the day is that about 1,000 years ago, before the adoption of the Gregorian calendar, the spring equinox fell on March 16. This was exactly six weeks after February 2.

Regardless of whether or not a shadow was seen today, we all need to continue to protect our homes and vehicles from the weather and other damages they are exposed to.  Call our agents at The Writer Agency, LLC 308-436-4202 or click: http://www.insurance-by-katie.com/ to see how we might help you today!

How many people does it take to change a light bulb?

How many people does it take to change a light bulb?

I'm sure you have heard that joke or some semblance thereof.....but it's a VERY valid question.

Picture this:
  • 22 feet of wiggly, wobbly, spaghetti-like track lighting
  • 6 arms and hands
  • a less than desirable working environment 4 feet above your head so all the blood rushes away from your fingers and they go to sleep (which is preferable to the burning sensation your shoulders and back feel from straining to keep the track aloft!)
Oh, and did I forget to mention the swear words? (No home improvement project is complete without a few of those!)

The good news is that we finally got the lighting up in my kitchen and it looks wonderful! But this got me to thinking about my insurance protection (doesn't everything?) and wondering if I have enough insurance to rebuild my home in the event of some disaster.

Below is the first in a series of articles provided by the Insurance Information Institute providing helpful information on making sure you are properly protected.

Making Sure Your Home Is Properly Covered for a Disaster

For many people, their home is their greatest asset. Yet studies show that 59 percent of today’s homes are underinsured by an average of 22 percent (according to Marshall & Swift). To protect their investment from disasters, homeowners should update their insurance regularly to include improvements, major purchases and increased rebuilding costs.

In particular, the cost of building or repairing a home has increased dramatically in recent years. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, homeowners spent over $218 billion on additions, alterations, maintenance and repairs in 2005, up from $201 billion in 2004. Materials like lumber, cement, gypsum and structural steel products have become scarcer, not only because of the devastation from last year’s storms, but also because of increased global demand. In fact, the cost of lumber climbed 6.1 percent in 2005, according to statistics from the U.S. Department of Labor.

To properly insure your home, it is important to ask your insurance agent or company representative four key questions.

1. Do I have enough insurance to rebuild my home?

Your policy needs to cover the cost of rebuilding your home at current construction costs. Unfortunately, some homeowners simply purchase enough insurance protection to satisfy their mortgage lender. Others confuse the real estate value of their home with what it would cost to rebuild it. Quite simply, you should have enough insurance to rebuild your home in the event that it is completely destroyed. Be sure to consider the following:

• Replacement Cost

Most policies cover replacement cost for damage to the structure. A replacement cost policy pays for the repair or replacement of damaged property with materials of similar kind and quality.

• Extended Replacement Cost

This type of policy provides additional insurance coverage of 20 percent or more over the limits in your policy, which can be critical if there is a widespread disaster that pushes up the cost of building materials and labor.

• Inflation Guard

This coverage automatically adjusts the rebuilding costs of your home to reflect changes in construction costs. Find out if your policy includes this coverage or if you have to purchase it separately.

• Ordinance or Law coverage

If your home is badly damaged, you may be required to rebuild it to meet new (and often stricter) building codes. Ordinance or law coverage pays a specific amount toward these costs.

• Water Back-Up

This coverage insures your property for damage from sewer or drain back-up. Most insurers offer it as an add-on to a standard policy.

• Flood Insurance

Standard home insurance policies provide coverage for disasters such as fire, lightning and hurricanes. They do not include coverage for flood (including flooding from a hurricane). Flood insurance is available through the federal government’s National Flood Insurance Program (www.floodsmart.gov), but can be purchased from the same agent or company representative who provides you with your home or renters insurance. Make sure to purchase flood insurance for the structure of your house, as well as for the contents. Excess Flood Protection, which provides higher limits of coverage than the NFIP in the event of catastrophic loss by flooding, is available from some insurers. Keep in mind that there is a 30-day waiting period before the insurance is valid.

More on this topic will follow in future posts.....

As you can see, there are a myriad of things to consider when ensuring your home is properly protected. Start off the New Year right: review your insurance protection and contact us at The Writer Agency, LLC to discuss your options. Call or click: 308-436-4202  www.insurance-by-katie.com

New Year...New Lawsuits - Protect Yourself!

As we start the New Year, it is always a good idea to take a look at your insurance protection to make certain that you are still properly protected in the event of loss or damage to your belongings. In our "sue-happy" society it is equally, and possibly more important, to also review your liability coverages. My collegue, Jeff Orloff who writes on insurance related topics for the Renter’s Insurance blog has provided the following important information that addresses renter's insurance but is also applicable to home, farm, and business owners as well:

Renter’s Insurance and Liability Coverage

Many people make a decision regarding a renter’s insurance policy based on protecting their personal possessions. Those who opt to forgo a renter’s insurance policy often fail to realize that in addition to protecting their property against damage and theft, renter’s insurance also protects you in the event you are responsible for bodily injury or property damage to others.

Liability is a hard word to define because it is a legal term and there are many different forks that the definition can take like liability in solido, joint liability, and contingent liability to name a few. However explaining liability is quite simple. Liability is synonymous with responsibility. So when it comes to renter’s insurance, if you are responsible for loss or damage that occurs on the property you are renting you can be liable for damages. Let’s look at few scenarios that can paint a better picture of liability for a renter.

• You own a dog and that dog bites a visitor. You are liable for damages that result from that dog bite.

• A visitor slips and falls on a wet floor on the property you are renting. If they are hurt, you are liable for damages.

Photo by Christian Patterson

• You the toaster oven on and a fire starts. You are liable for damages to the building structure.

Misconceptions about liability

Most people ignore the need for renter’s insurance because they are under the impression that the insurance policy that the landlord has on the property will cover any losses or damages. Unfortunately this is one of the biggest misconceptions when it comes to insurance. Insurance policies held by landlords protect them against loss or damage to the building’s structure and protect them for liability damages due to injuries that result from malfunctions or negligence surrounding the building structure. But in a case where the tenant is liable, their insurance will most likely not cover damages, and they certainly won’t protect the tenant.

In each of the cases presented above the tenant is the person who is liable for damages. They were the one who was negligent and without proper insurance coverage they can be sued personally for any damages.

As you can see, it is very easy to become responsible (liable) for damages or injuries to other people and property. Start off the New Year right: review your insurance protection and contact us at The Writer Agency, LLC to discuss your options. Call or click: 308-436-4202  www.insurance-by-katie.com