I’m planning on doing an AirBnB at my home. What do I need to know?

More and more people are taking advantage of the extra income they can make by doing an AirBnB, VRBO or other rental out of their homes. This is a great way to save money for college, pay off your mortgage, pay for a remodel or just make extra money for your savings. But, before you commit and jump into it, consider the risks associated with being a landlord.

Short-term vacation rental properties such as AirBnB, VRBO, HomeAway and others require special insurance. Regardless of whether it is just a room in your house, a trailer or even a separate house, be sure you match your insurance policy to the risk you’re taking on. Believe it or not, you’re a landlord.

Doesn’t AirBnb or VRBO Provide Insurance?

Yes, they do provide liability and property damage protection for third-party claims when they are booked through the AirBnB website. However, you are only protected up to their liability limits. Like many types of insurance policies, there can be gaps that are created.

Example 1: You become chummy with a previous house guest that booked through AirBnB. You exchange numbers and they text you to book a stay instead of booking through the AirBnB website. During the stay, they’re injured. Because they didn’t book through the website, you’re on the hook for the liability.

Example 2: You use Craigslist to get renters into your short-term rental because there is a big local music festival and it will be easy to rent it out for more money during this time. The renter trashes your property and because of repairs, you can’t rent out the property for months. You lose out on income.

Example 3: An excessively bad bodily injury occurs on your property. The medical bills exceed what the short term vacation rental company provides in insurance coverage. You are stuck with the remaining balance of the medical bills.

It’s common to want to make some extra cash from your short-term vacation rental, but we want it to be a safe endeavor for you. By calling an agent in our office, we can help you eliminate the gaps that exist with insurance that may be provided and get you a policy that is the perfect match for you and your family.

We adopted the Vista View Park in Sparks

Heuer Insurance Agency is proud to support our community. Through the City of Sparks, we have adopted the Vista View Park located at D’Andrea Pkwy. The Heuer team helped with general park clean up in June. In addition to general park clean up, our team will assist in weed control, painting and playground maintenance.

If you are interested in adopting a park, please visit: https://cityofsparks.us/resources/culture-recreation/outdoors/parks-community-facilities/

 

 

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Heuer Insurance Agency’s June Newsletter

Greetings

We have had a lot going on the past few months and have struggled a bit to be consistent with our newsletter. We apologize for that and will strive to do better. Things here at the Agency continue to progress with our focus this year being automation. We are working hard on new ways to bring value to our clients while providing the same outstanding customer service you are accustomed to. Most of the changes will be ones you don’t see but on the back end will provide us with a more efficient way to service your accounts. We recognize that time is valuable and we want your interactions with our office to be as quick and efficient as possible. There will be more on this later. 

 

Industry 101

Wow it’s hot and dry out now… what a drastic change from the past few weeks. With all that rain we are sure to have an active fire season. We’ve talked in the past about defensible space between your house and flammable bushes, trees, or weeds and how important it is to keep your yard free of this overgrowth. Now is the perfect time to give your property a hard look again. Are you ready in case a wildfire gets too close to your house?   Besides the whole defensible space conversation, here are “Ten Tips for Wildfire Safety” in the event a fire is coming your way.
    1). Turn a light on in each room
    2). Close all windows, doors and fireplace dampers
    3). Remove curtains and flammable materials from windows
    4). Turn off all pilot lights and shut off propane tanks and natural gas
    5). Seal attic and ground vents
    6). Place outside furniture inside
    7). Prop a ladder against the house for easy access to roof
    8). Connect garden hoses to outside taps
    9). Wet the roof and shrubs within 15 feet of all structures
  10). Continually check the roof, attic and yard for embers, smoke and fire for at least 12 hours

In the event of a loss, call us as soon as possible!   And good luck!

 

Anniversary Corner

Rhonda celebrated her 7th year with Heuer Insurance on May 29th. Rhonda is a true professional when it comes to Personal Lines Insurance and we are incredibly lucky to have her on our team. Thank you Rhonda!

 

Employee Spotlight

It’s with great pleasure (and some sadness) that after 41 glorious years Debi has decided to retire. Fortunately, she has agreed to transition out slowly and will be working 2 days a week for the foreseeable future. This email would be far too long if I took the time to list out all of the great things Debi has done for the Agency over the years. The Heuer Insurance Agency will be forever grateful for the years of hard work, dedication and loyalty that Debi given us all these years.

Debi – we wish you a long and happy retirement!

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Don’t Settle For Cheap Boat Insurance – 3 Coverages to Consider

With summer upon us, many of you will be getting your boats out or maybe even buying a new one. When it comes to insuring your boat, you don’t want a policy that is the least expensive – you want the right coverage. Boating season is so much fun and being on the water carries a certain risk. When you’re shopping for boat insurance, be sure that your policy includes three specific, and sometimes optional coverages:

  1. On-Water Towing: If you’re out on the water and you boat breaks down or runs out of gas, this coverage will cover the cost of: getting you gas, soft un-groundings, towing your boat back into shore, jump starts and more. Don’t go without this coverage. Getting your boat towed on the water can be expensive.
  2. Wreckage Removal: If your boat sinks, and it is required by law to remove it, this coverage pays up to the liability limits of your policy to bring your boat to the surface and remove it from the water.
  3. Fuel Spill Cleanup: If you boat sinks or simply leaks fuel into the water, this coverage pays to clean up the fuel. The amount paid depends on your liability limits on your policy. Be sure you get enough liability insurance.

Owning a boat is a great adventure and the memories built on them are second to none! Give yourself the peace of mind by purchasing a boat insurance policy that not only protects you, but also protects those around you and your passengers. Many optional coverages exist and we can assist you in understanding what each of them means and find the right insurance policy for you.

Can you name every valuable in your home? If not, you need to read this.

Nobody wants to experience a home disaster & it’s not like you can predict when one will happen. If you were to experience a fire, flood, earthquake or other home disaster, would you be able to name every single valuable in your home? If not, you need to create a home inventory list of all your valuables.

Preparing a home inventory can be a large task, but taking the time to do so can make a difference of thousands of dollars when it comes to your claims settlement as well as simple ease of processing your claim.

For many of us, where we live symbolizes us and what is in that house symbolizes our lives. Our belongings represent our memories, personal style and even investments that hold significant value such as art.  When you add up how much all of your personal items are worth, it can be a substantial figure into the many 10s of thousands of dollars or more.

Home insurance claims from disasters such as flood or fire are traumatic. A home inventory checklist can help you remember quickly what items you had. Would you recall exactly how many pairs of jeans you had and what brand they were? Would you recall how many pairs of shoes you had or what brands they were? What about art? Could you recall the name of the artist and how much you paid for it?

The Easiest Way to Create Your List

Taking the time to inventory your home can be useful in the event of theft or damage to the contents of your home.

  1. Take pictures of every room in your home. Then, take pictures of each valuable in the room.
  2. Take a video of every room in your home.

Note: be sure to store these pictures or video in the cloud as a backup so you don’t lose it in the fire or flood too!

If you were to experience a home disaster, having this list will significantly cut down on how much time and stress you deal with when it comes to your claim settlement.

What Valuables in Your Home Need a Separate Endorsement?

Remember, valuables like art, furs, comic books, antiques and jewelry need an endorsement on your current home, condo or renters insurance policy.

The good news is your insurance agent likely gave you sufficient coverage for your personal property. If you feel like you need more, be sure to tell your agent. Home, renters and condo insurance policies typically come standard with this coverage but you might need more.

Do I Need Insurance on My Scooter or Moped?

Riding a scooter or moped isn’t only fun, but you look great riding one. The benefits of using a scooter to get around aren’t only limited to fun, fuel economy and ease of parking. Insurance is cheap too!

There are many situations where you may wonder if you even need insurance on a moped – I mean, what is the worst that can happen, right? Well, the same risks that exist with driving a vehicle exist on scooters as well, so insurance is always required when riding one.

Here are three claims scenarios where having scooter or moped insurance policy would benefit you:

  1. You driving along with your scooter, it starts to rain and you lose control of your moped while going around a corner. While you fall off and manage to avoid injury, your scooter slides up onto the curb and hits a bystander. You would be liable for “failure to maintain control of your vehicle” and be liable for the injured parties medical bills. The same thing that happens in car accidents.
  2. You’re driving around a friend who is visiting you from out of town. The two of you pile onto your Vespa and cruise the town. After a stop at a pub, you think you’re okay to drive. On the way home, you’re driving and rear-end a stopped vehicle. You and your friend are injured and you’re now liable for your friend’s medical bills and potentially lost wages.
  3. You decide to take your moped on a cruise out to the countryside. Unbeknownst to you, you forget to fill up the tank and run out of gas in the middle of nowhere. Fortunately, you purchased a roadside assistance policy and call your insurance company for a fill-up.

Driving a scooter is fun and insuring one isn’t expensive when compared to an auto insurance policy. It is important not only for you to protect your financial future, but to protect those that are around you as well, including any passengers. Be smart, protect yourself with a scooter or moped insurance policy.

Be a Responsible Dog Owner – 7 Tips to Follow to Avoid a Liability Claim

There are few furry companions in this world who can bring joy to your life as much as a dog. For dog lovers, your pets are as much a part of the family as any other member of the family! Along with the incredible fun of dog ownership comes responsibilities. Here are some tips to help you avoid a dog liability claim.

  1. Understand Your Dog Breed

Dog breeds all seem to represent one personality or another. Some are known for being more aggressive than others, however, even small dogs can nip. When you’re searching for a dog, or perhaps you have one already, pick up a dog book and read about the idiosyncrasies that the breed has.

  1. If adopting, talk to the adoption or dog’s caretaker about its behavior.

Adopting a dog is a wonderful gesture and you’re doing a great thing for the pet. You’re taking it out of a shelter and bringing it into your loving home. When you adopt a dog, it is important to talk to the caretaker about the dog’s behavior, interaction with kids as well as other dogs and even cats.

  1. Socialize Your Pet

Socializing your dog from a young age with other animals, children or the elderly can help your dog behave well around these different age groups and animals. It can also curb their aggression towards other animals.

  1. Obedience Training

Even if your animal doesn’t exhibit aggression towards other animals, obedience training can be a great way to train your dog. Obedience training can include a variety of things from command training to behavior, agility and overall better obedience.

  1. Keep Your Dog On A Leash

Most cities & states have some leash laws. These laws vary and you should check with your local municipalities for rules and regulations. These laws typically exist to keep people and wildlife safe. If you’re in a National Park, or State Park, chances are obeying laws here will keep you from being fined. Some states go as far as to charge the owners with misdemeanors for having a dog off leash in State Parks. Regardless if you are in a State Park or walking your neighborhood, keeping your dog on a leash keeps you in charge of your dog.

  1. Avoid leaving your pet unattended & always watch your dog when around children

Pets left unattended can exhibit behaviors that are not typical. If your pet is new to you, never leave a pet with a child unattended. A child could unintentionally agitate the animal, step on its paws or something else that causes the animal to react. If you leave your animal in the vehicle, be sure it is restrained and can’t nip at someone as they walk past. It’s always good practice to keep a close eye on your dog when it’s around small children. If you are closely watching, you can monitor your dog’s behavior & step in if you feel it’s uncomfortable around children.

  1. Monitor Your Dog’s Behavior

If you’ve noticed a change in your dog’s behavior, you should have it looked at. A dog who is sick, in pain or other can become aggressive even when their history says otherwise.

Owning a pet is a joy. Be a responsible pet owner and keep an eye on your animal at all times. Even the best dogs can exhibit bad behavior if they’re put in the wrong situation. We hope that you and your pet always have a great time, but in the event that your pet does cause an injury and claim having the right home or renters insurance policy can help protect you from a lawsuit. Talk to an agent today about protecting yourself from pet caused injury related claims.

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April Newsletter

Letter from Heuer

Greetings to our faithful readers. You may or may not have noticed, but we are a little behind with our newsletters. We have a lot going on here at Heuer Insurance and just haven’t had the time to reach out. We have some big staff announcements to share.

 

Anniversary Corner

Cheryl recently celebrated her 20th Anniversary with HIA! This is a major milestone and one that didn’t go unnoticed. We pulled the staff together for a celebration and presented Cheryl with a custom fire pit from Twisted Steel. Those of you that work with Cheryl know that she is truly one of the best this industry has seen. Please join me in congratulating Cheryl on her anniversary.

Gina, just today, celebrates her 8th Anniversary with HIA! Gina has been the master of first impressions with the agency for quite some time now and we couldn’t imagine anyone better at fielding calls, walk in clients and all the various tasks we throw at her on a daily basis. Please also join me in congratulating Gina.

 

Employee Spotlight

We have a new team member in our Commercial Lines Department. Jenelle comes to us with a couple years of experience and is eager to learn everything about the insurance industry. She has completed most her training and is off and running on her own. We have made a shift to the account split in the office and those of you that were affected have been notified. We are very happy to have Jenelle on the team and are confident you will enjoy working with her as well.

 

Industry 101 – 6 Tips for Preventing Water Damage from Appliances

Did you know that washing machines are one of the main sources of water damage to homes?  Others that top the list include hot water heaters and dishwashers. Fortunately, there are a few easy and inexpensive steps you can take help to prevent these types of losses:

  1. Check for leaks:  Thoroughly check the area around appliances for any signs of leaking every four months.
  2. Check supply hoses: Check the supply hoses regularly to ensure a tight connection, and no breaks or tears. It’s a good idea to replace supply hoses for washing machines and dishwashers every five years even if there are no signs of wear. Sometimes, wear only shows on the inside. Reinforced, steel braided hoses are recommended.
  3. Read the manual: Always refer to your manufacturer’s guidelines for types of soap and load recommendations for the washing machine and dishwasher. Most new washing machines require HE detergents.
  4. Flush your water heater: It is recommended to flush your water heater once per year to ensure you have fresh water and to remove sediment.
  5. Don’t leave running appliances unattended. Try to only operate washing machines and dishwashers when someone is at home.
  6. Replace hot water heater as needed. It’s recommended to replace the hot water heater when it is nearing the end of its life expectancy, even if there aren’t any problems. As the water heater ages, the risk of a slow leak or sudden burst increases.

Leak detection systems are a great tool to monitor your appliances, and even automatically shut off water in the event of a detected leak.  While there are expenses with a leak detection system, it might just score you a discount on your homeowners policy! Leak detection systems can be added to individual appliances or an entire house.

Of course, not all losses can be prevented, but following these tips should lower your chances of a loss. In the event of a water leak, it is important to know where your water shut-off valve is located so that water can quickly be turned off to minimize damage.

 

Calendar of Events

April 21st – Easter
May 12th – Mother’s Day
May 27th – Closed for Memorial Day
June 16th – Father’s Day

 

Everything You Need to Know About ATV Insurance

Four-wheelers, ATVs, UTVs, side-by-sides and more are so much fun! Some are used for work purposes such as around the farm or hunting, but many are used purely as a recreational vehicle for weekend fun! Regardless of how you use your ATV, you may want to consider an ATV insurance policy. We answer the most common questions that come up both in our office and around the country in the claims departments regarding ATV insurance.

Doesn’t My Home Insurance Cover This?

If your ATV is used only on your property and never off, then likely your home insurance policy will provide some coverage. It is always best to check with your insurance agent on how much coverage and what circumstances are or are not covered.

Is ATV Insurance Expensive?

ATV insurance is very inexpensive when compared to an auto insurance policy. In fact, it can be under a dollar a day. Talk to your insurance agent for a free insurance quote.

Am I required to have it?

Typically no. Just because you own an ATV doesn’t mean you need to have insurance on it. However, if you use your ATV on state lands, parks or other public areas, it would be incredibly unwise to operate your vehicle there and many state lands and parks will require riders to have the vehicle insured and licensed for use in the parks.

What discounts are available?

The most common discount available would be a multi-policy discount for insuring other products with the same company. For instance, if your home and auto insurance is already with an insurance company, that same company may offer you a discount on your new product.

My ATV Is customized, is there coverage for that?

Custom parts and equipment can be added to most policies. Some policies will even include some customer parts and equipment into your base rate. If your ATV is customized it is important to keep up to date documentation of custom parts in the event of a claim.

If you’d like a quote on your ATV/UTV or side-by-side, give us a call. Our licensed staff can quickly and easily help you decide what coverage and options are right for your situation.

5 Most Common Boating Claims & Insurance to Cover Them

Boat Insurance Reno, NVAh, boating. Whether you enjoy taking your boat out for a ride, waterskiing or fishing, boats bring joy and relaxation. Like any vehicle, there comes risks with operating a boat and understanding your insurance coverage is crucial. While having a conversation with your local insurance agent can clarify any of your questions, we’ll share the five most common boating claims and the insurance that can cover it.

But first, you may want to know what some boat insurance coverages are. Coverages may include collision, property damage, liability, towing and assistance and comprehensive coverage. If you have a small watercraft, talk to your agent to see if your home insurance provides any coverage and if that makes sense for your situation.

Boat insurance cost varies for each individual such as your boat’s value, size, year, how you plan to use it and how much insurance coverage you want.

5 Common Boating Claims

Injury – Need Bodily Injury Liability Coverage

Injuries on the water are common.  If you caused somebody to get hurt in another boat or one of your passengers were injured, there are insurance coverage options. Bodily injury liability can cover medical bills, lost income, pain & suffering and legal expenses. Be sure you know how much you are covered for. Also, if you plan to use your boat for waterskiing or wakeboarding, talk to your agent about the specifics of your coverage for passengers if they were to get hurt while skiing.

How to lower your risk for a boating insurance injury:

  • Take a boating safety class.
  • Always have a life jacket for everyone on the boat. Be sure they fit the proper requirements.
  • Be a defensive driver. Always be aware of your surroundings when driving your boat.
  • Never drink and drive.

Hitting an underwater object – Need Collision Insurance Coverage

This potentially could cause major damage to your boat. Many boat claims come from hitting a rock or other submerged object you can’t see in the water.

How to lower your risk:

  • If your boat has a depth sounder, always pay attention to it while driving.
  • Follow the proper path for marked channels & be aware of water hazard markers.

Theft or Vandalized– Need Comprehensive Insurance Coverage

Comprehensive coverage will cover if your boat is stolen. It may or may not cover the items inside your boat. Talk to your agent about the details of your insurance policy.

Weather Damage – Check with Your Local Agent

Depending on where you plan to boat, there are always chances of a wind storm, lightning or hurricane. Speak with your agent to know if your boat is covered from any storm damage, as well as flood damage.

Accident with another boat or object– Need Collision Coverage

This may be covered with your standard boat insurance policy. Talk with your local insurance agent to go over specific scenarios where coverage may vary.

Many additional boat insurance options exist. We have policies that will cover your personal items while on the water such as fishing equipment and wakeboards. Want to be sure you get the right boat insurance policy? Call our licensed agents at Heuer Insurance Agency in Sparks, NV. We’ll find ways to save you money & help explain your insurance coverage so you know exactly what you are covered for.