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4 Things You Should Complete in the New Year for Your Insurance

The start of a New Year always energizes us to start off on the right foot. Whether it’s committing to spend more time with family, exercising more or saving money, New Year’s resolutions are common for everyone. But, what about your insurance policy? Is there something you can do at the start of every year to save money or keep yourself fully protected? We share four items to complete.

Actually Complete a Home Inventory Checklist

Sure, this is always easier said than done. But it doesn’t take as long as you may think. Plus, you would regret NOT doing this if you experience a disaster in your home. You can start by taking pictures of each room in your house. Always include your big ticket items like jewelry, art, electronics, antiques, furniture and anything else you highly value. Get into the habit of taking a picture of your receipts for big ticket items too. To keep your home inventory list safe, store it on the cloud or save your documents on a zip drive that’s stored safely.

Keep In Touch With Us

Always keep us up-to-date with your life changes. Are you driving less? Did you remodel your home to add value? Did you purchase big ticket items? By keeping us in the loop, we’ll keep your insurance policy updated, make sure you are fully covered and may be able to find additional discounts.

Ask Us Questions

When you use a local insurance agent instead of purchasing insurance online, you get guidance and professional advice. Do you know exactly what your insurance covers? If you want the cheapest insurance plan, you may not realize what risks you’re taking by opting for less coverage. We never want you to be surprised if you have to file a claim and find out you’re not covered. Did you know if your home experiences a flood or an earthquake, you would need a separate policy to be covered? Continuously ask us questions. You should always know what you are and aren’t covered for with your insurance policy.

Always Ask Before Shopping Around

Did your auto insurance increase $300 this year? It’s normal to think you need to shop your insurance elsewhere. However, being a local insurance agent, we have MANY insurance companies to quote from and it may be as simple as asking us to shop around for similar coverage with other companies. Let us do the shopping for you! As an independent insurance agent, we can review your coverage and ensure you have the best company for your current situation.

By following the four topics above can keep you informed and prepared for any unfortunate situation.

Heuer Insurance Agency in Sparks has worked with a variety of clients in the Reno area over the years and we are confident in our ability to meet your personal or business insurance needs. We understand how important an insurance policy can be and we take time to match each of our clients with the perfect insurance policy. Whether you are looking for auto insurancerenters insurancehomeowners insurance, or life insurance we can help you. Not only can we provide you with each of these personal insurance policies, but we can also help you find a general liability policy, workers compensation policy or commercial building insurance policy. Give us a call at 775-358-5554 or visit us.

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Consider This Before Jumping into Vacation Property Ownership

Owning a secondary home or vacation property can be a rewarding experience and allow you to build so many memories! While owning a vacation home can have countless advantages, it does bring some unique responsibility and maintenance.

Regardless of whether you’re buying a cabin just a few miles away on the lake or an oceanfront condo in Hawaii, you’ll use twice per year, you’ll want to make sure your property remains adequately protected. Renting the property adds an entirely new level of complexity to secondary home ownership and yet a better reason to review your coverages with your licensed insurance agent.

Consider these items when talking to your agent:

  1. Will you need a separate insurance policy for your vacation property liability?
  2. What liability limits are adequate for a home that is vacant more often than is occupied?
  3. If you’ll be renting the property, consider purchasing additional liability limits as well as an umbrella insurance policy to protect you.
  4. Is your vacation home in an area that is affected by natural disasters such as forest fires, hurricanes, floods or earthquakes? You may need a separate additional policy for these.

Follow these insurance tips to reduce the risk of having a claim:

  1. Keep valuables out of your vacation home. Take them with you when you leave.
  2. Ask a neighbor to keep an eye out for any unusual activity at your home.
  3. Consider getting a video surveillance camera such as a Canary or Ring to alert you if someone enters your home. These do not require service contracts and alert you by phone.
  4. Keep your heater set to 60 to prevent any pipes from freezing.
  5. Turn off your water if you plan to leave for extended periods of time. This takes only a few seconds.
  6. Consider a management company if you want to rent the property. They will help keep an eye on things.
  7. Check for obvious liability concerns if you plan to rent the property such as rotten decking, trip hazards, or other deferred maintenance.

We wish you years of memories and relaxation with your secondary home or vacation property. When you’re ready to insure your property, give us a call.

Heuer Insurance Agency in Sparks has worked with a variety of clients in the Reno area over the years and we are confident in our ability to meet your personal or business insurance needs. We understand how important an insurance policy can be and we take time to match each of our clients with the perfect insurance policy. Whether you are looking for auto insurancerenters insurancehomeowners insurance, or life insurance we can help you. Not only can we provide you with each of these personal insurance policies, but we can also help you find a general liability policy, workers compensation policy or commercial building insurance policy. Give us a call at 775-358-5554 or visit us.

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Home Security on a Shoestring Budget

Monthly bills can be daunting and for many, the choice of having food and shelter is more important than keeping burglars or robbers away from your home. However, when times are tough, the last thing you want to do is leave your valuables at risk of being stolen. Thanks to many modern security companies, keeping your home secured isn’t as expensive as it used to be. Consider these fun, techy options for home security on the cheap!

  1. SimpliSafe: Instead of paying an alarm company $1500 or having to sign up for a lengthy contract at $40 per month, SimpliSafe sells do-it-yourself home security systems starting at just $245. Safe a bundle by going for a refurbished system. 24/7 monitoring starts at $.50 per day at time of writing this. You can also use the alarm locally and not pay an activation fee.
  2. Canary: Canary is a great option for studio apartments, offices or other areas that are mainly one room. Canary is a small, all-in-one video device that detects motion and records video. It can send you text messages immediately and start recording when you’re away. If you want, you can call 911 or set off a local alarm to scare away any intruders. At just $149, it is a great do-it-yourself security option. Like the idea but have a bigger house? Canary offers additional camera options to add to your main device to monitory as many places as you’d like. They do offer a cloud based service to keep videos.
  3. Arlo: With wire-free cameras and weatherproof design, Arlo is a good option for securing the outdoor of your home or recording at night. With HD, night vision cameras, your home can stay secure day or night. You can even talk through them using the Arlo App! Receive alerts along with HD video right to your phone so you can review and take action if necessary. Another great option for the do-it-yourselfer who doesn’t want the monthly fees. Arlo comes with a free 7 day cloud storage.
  4. Ring: A video recording doorbell. Now that’s genius. Ring can record motion and you can talk to people through it like an intercom system even if you’re not away. Ring offers many options for security cameras beyond just the doorbell. Starting at $199 it is a great, simple security protection right at your front door.

Home security doesn’t have to be expensive. Utilizing technology and a little do-it-yourself ambition, you can secure your home and keep your valuables safe and secure.

If you are looking for great home insurance coverage, call us today or visit our website.

Heuer Insurance Agency in Sparks has worked with a variety of clients in the Reno area over the years and we are confident in our ability to meet your personal or business insurance needs. We understand how important an insurance policy can be and we take time to match each of our clients with the perfect insurance policy. Whether you are looking for auto insurancerenters insurancehomeowners insurance, or life insurance we can help you. Not only can we provide you with each of these personal insurance policies, but we can also help you find a general liability policy, workers compensation policy or commercial building insurance policy. Give us a call at 775-358-5554 or visit us.

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Choosing The Lowest Insurance Cost Likely Isn’t Your Best Plan

We’re flooded daily with insurance commercials claiming that shopping with them will get you the lowest insurance premiums of any company out there. Saving money on your insurance is important, but the lowest insurance premiums are usually accompanied by the lowest insurance coverage.

Determining what insurance coverages you need is something that only a qualified local insurance agent can help you decide. We care more about you being covered adequately than simply giving you the cheapest premiums.

Do you need the auto insurance coverages below? Discuss with us & we’ll help determine what makes the most sense for your personal needs.

Collision Coverage: protection for your car from damage whether at-fault or not. Premiums weigh heavily on the value of your vehicle.

Comprehensive Coverage: pays for damage to your vehicle from things such as contact with an animal, fire, theft or vandalism.

Medical Payments: Commonly known as MedPay or PIP, this covers medical bills as a direct results of an accident regardless of fault.

Uninsured Motorist: Coverage for being involved with an uninsured driver. Both physical damage (your car) and bodily injury are offered.

Underinsured Motorist: Coverage to help cover a gap from a motorist who has insurance, but not enough to cover the loss.

When deciding on what coverage options to have, take these situations into account:

Scenario 1: You purchase a low cost, low coverage liability policy with only $25,000 in Property Damage. You rear-end a new, two week old Toyota Camry totaling the vehicle. The Camry’s replacement cost is $35,000. You have to pay $10,000 out of pocket.

Scenario 2: You are t-boned by an uninsured motorist and have extensive medical bills in excess of $50,000. You do not have uninsured motorist coverage or personal health insurance and your auto medical payments only cover the first $10,000. You have to take the uninsured driver to court to pay your $40,000 in medical bills, in the meantime, you’re responsible for the $40,000 in bills.

Regardless of whether you’re shopping for a new home, auto, boat or motorcycle insurance policy if you want the lowest insurance premiums you should be aware that you’re usually lowering the amount of insurance coverage you have. Depending on your situation, this may not be a wise decision because it puts your financial future at risk by carrying low limits. As always, reach out to Heuer Insurance Agency for all your insurance needs!

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Educating Your Child About Insurance Before They Leave For College

Attending college is an exciting time for your child. Whether it’s deciding where to go, what to major in or figuring the finances, there are a lot of decisions to think about. Before your child leaves the nest, here are three things to consider when it comes to having the right insurance policy.

1.) Auto Insurance Policy

  • If they are taking their car to college, be sure to update their auto insurance policy. This can easily be taken care of by reaching out to your insurance agent! You’ll want to ensure your child is protected if they get into an accident or experience theft. If your child is attending college out of state, talk with us to see if anything changes on their auto insurance policy.
  • Not taking a car? We suggest still keeping them on your auto insurance policy if they plan to drive when they return home for a visit or in the event they need to borrow a friend’s car on campus.
  • Ask for discounts. See if your child qualifies for any additional discounts.
    • Discounts may include:
      • Good student discount
      • Distant-student discount.
      • Pay in full discount
      • Safe driver discount
      • Data tracking discount

2.) Educate On Liability

College is an amazing social and learning experience. Be sure your child understands the serious consequences of drinking and driving, buying alcohol for kids underage or the other risks that are associated with drugs and alcohol. One poor decision could impact the rest of their life.

3.) If worried about theft while living off-campus, invest in a renters insurance policy.

  • If your child owns valuable items like laptops, televisions, printers, cameras or other expensive items, invest in a renters insurance policy.
  • Construct a full inventory of your child’s items that include model and serial numbers.
  • If your child is living with roommates, remember each child needs their own policy.
  • A renters insurance policy offers more than just covering your property. It can provide important liability coverage.

If my child experiences theft, will I be fully reimbursed?

This is where actual cash value and replacement insurance coverage comes into play. Replacement cost is very simple: It is literally the cost to replace your item with an item of similar quality. Replacement cost policies tend to be a bit more expensive since you are essential getting a brand new item for one that may have otherwise depreciated. Actual cash value is the cost to replace the item minus any depreciation. So, if your child had wear and tear on an expensive electronic device, your insurance would pay out the cost of the electronic minus the depreciation. Talk to your agent for clarification.

Whether it’s changing your child’s auto insurance or investing in renters insurance, let our local experts at Heuer Insurance Agency help you find the best insurance to fit your needs. For more information about Heuer Insurance Agency, visit our website.

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Do You Know What Determines Your Car Insurance Rate?

We bet you’ve wondered how car insurance premiums are calculated. Do you ever have discussions with friends of similar age and driving history and find you’re all paying very different premiums for what would appear to be similar coverage?

Insurance premiums are based off of many factors, all of which play a role in your total premium for your auto insurance. A single difference of any of these can give dramatically different outcomes. Some factors insurance companies use to calculate premium can include:

  • Gender, age & marital status
  • What’s your past driving history?
  • What’s your claim history?
  • Your Zip Code where the vehicle is garaged
  • Your credit score
  • How many miles you commute
  • Will you or do you have other policies with the same insurance carrier such as home or renters insurance?
  • Are you currently insured?
  • What types of overage do you want? What limits?
  • What limits did you have on your previous insurance policy?
  • Type and age of vehicle being driven (think safety equipment)

Insurance companies do their best to determine a premium for your situation and calculate a premium that will be profitable for them. It may surprise you to know that many insurance companies try to earn just a few cents on each dollar of premium they collect.

While it is impossible to guess what you are going to be paying each year, you can improve your odds of getting a great rate and terrific coverage by calling a local independent insurance agent. Heuer Insurance Agency represents multiple insurance companies, so we can provide you with comparison quotes from several of the top insurance companies in your state.

If you have questions about your car insurance, call the agents at Heuer Insurance Agency. Heuer Insurance Agency in Sparks has worked with a variety of clients in the Reno area over the years and we are confident in our ability to meet your personal or business insurance needs. We understand how important an insurance policy can be and we take time to match each of our clients with the perfect insurance policy. Whether you are looking for auto insurancerenters insurancehomeowners insurance, or life insurance we can help you. Not only can we provide you with each of these personal insurance policies, but we can also help you find a general liability policy, workers compensation policy or commercial building insurance policy. Give us a call at 775-358-5554 or visit us.

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Hosting a Special Event This Summer? Consider a Special Event Insurance Policy.

Planning a wedding or a special event can seem like a full-time job. Between determining your guest list, vendors, food choices and the small details, there is so much to consider to make your dream wedding or event perfect. The last thing you think about is having an insurance policy for your special event. A special events insurance policy acts as your protection from a myriad of claims that might occur on your big day and can even include cancellation or postponement of the event so your deposits are protected.

Consider these claims situations:

  1. A guest is over-served drinks and decides to drive home. He hits a pedestrian on the way out. While his insurance company is likely on the hook for most of it, you or the venue could be held liable for over-serving this guest.
  2. You decide to have a winter wedding, but the morning of, the airport is closed and the highways are impassable. You and your guests can’t make it.
  3. A vendor for your event goes bankrupt the week before and won’t be there.
  4. The bride or groom is active military and is called to deployment unexpectedly.

Wedding insurance or special event insurance is one of the greatest and affordable insurance policies. Typically starting around $185, this simple insurance policy can mean the difference of getting the wedding you want or settling for what is left after the loss of deposits and other expenses. Protect your special day with this affordable insurance policy. The peace of mind alone is worth the cost!

To learn more about a special event policy, contact Heuer Insurance Agency. Heuer Insurance Agency in Sparks has worked with a variety of clients in the Reno area over the years and we are confident in our ability to meet your personal or business insurance needs. We understand how important an insurance policy can be and we take time to match each of our clients with the perfect insurance policy. Whether you are looking for auto insurancerenters insurancehomeowners insurance, or life insurance we can help you. Not only can we provide you with each of these personal insurance policies, but we can also help you find a general liability policy, workers compensation policy or commercial building insurance policy. Give us a call at 775-358-5554 or visit us.

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Heuer Insurance Spring Newsletter

So how happy are you to finally see some sunshine and warm weather?! It’s been a heck of a winter and who would have guessed we now have to worry about flooding. Nice to see our lakes and reservoirs full, but that’s a lot of water this early in the year. PLEASE show the Truckee River the respect it deserves and stay away until it stops raging…..and that might be well into the summer…so be careful if you are near moving water.

Do you have plans for some great BBQs? Read more

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Understanding Auto Insurance Premium Increases

Many of you may have noticed that the auto insurance industry seems to be continually increasing premiums. While Heuer Insurance Agency represents many of the top insurance companies in the country and we can quote you with several companies, the trend for premiums is up. There are many reasons why this is happening and it is important for you to understand.

  • There are more new cars on the market that are expensive to repair.
  • The technology in vehicles today is much more expensive to replace than it used to be.
  • More people are driving. In 2015, miles driven increased 3.5% which is the most annual increase in 25 years.
  • Drivers are increasingly distracted. One out of four car crashes involve cell phone use.
  • Medical payments are increasing due to the complexity of the health insurance industry.
  • Claims severity (payments) overall is increasing.

Is there anything that you can do to control your costs?

Yes, contact us so we can shop for you!

Unfortunately insurance premiums are pooled. The premiums are calculated off of risks and data from other drivers just like you. Age, gender, zip code, vehicle driven and driving history are just some of the factors that determine your premium. Here are some things you can do to ensure you’re getting the best rates.

  • Review your coverage and determine if it is the correct coverage for your current situation
  • Review discounts you may be eligible for with your current carrier
  • If it isn’t already, consider bundling your insurance coverage (home, auto, specialty insurance)

If you have specific questions about your auto insurance coverage, remember to reach out to our agency. As an independent insurance agent, we can review your coverage and ensure you’re current carrier is still the best carrier for your situation.

Heuer Insurance Agency in Sparks has worked with a variety of clients in the Reno area over the years and we are confident in our ability to meet your personal or business insurance needs. We understand how important an insurance policy can be and we take time to match each of our clients with the perfect insurance policy. Whether you are looking for auto insurancerenters insurancehomeowners insurance, or life insurance we can help you. Not only can we provide you with each of these personal insurance policies, but we can also help you find a general liability policy, workers compensation policy or commercial building insurance policy. Give us a call at 775-358-5554 or visit us.

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Parental Liability

Our children quickly become the most important parts of our lives and our dreams suddenly become the dreams of our children. As we look at our own childhoods, we see the seemingly endless shenanigans we caused and while most of these things were harmless, they could be looked at now as liability concerns or outright against the law. In nearly all states, parents are solely responsible for the actions of their children. Not only property damages, but also personal injury that may be caused.

As parents it is important to ensure that your children understand the implications of their actions at an early age. While we can easily make the excuse that they’re just being children, we need to understand that as the adults we ensure their safety and the safety of others around them. Here are some simple examples where our children’s judgment can cause you a liability insurance claim.

  1. Swimming pools: The child who grows up with the swimming pool at their home becomes awfully popular in the summer time! Those hot summer days have other children begging to come over and take a dip! Ensuring that your child understands that other children are only allowed to come over when there is a parent there to supervise could save you not only from a tragic loss of life, but also a massive liability insurance claim. Consider a lock on your pool cover for those times when parents are not available.
  2. Matches, fireworks and other flammable materials: Children just seem to be drawn by the awe of fire. As a country we celebrate our independence with fireworks across the country. When children are allowed to have fireworks, there is a possibility they may use them in an unsafe manner when adults are not present. This could cause fires in neighborhoods, trees and fields – or even worse, personal injury. Be sure to keep your fireworks and other fire materials in a safe spot away from the curious eyes of your children.
  3. Swing sets: Your home may have the Taj Mahal of all swing sets. It is the talk of the neighborhood kids! If your swing set or playground is open to the neighborhood, be sure to routinely inspect it. Loose boards, bolts or brackets could easily cause a child to become injured while playing on your property, even if without permission you can be held liable.
  4. Firearms: Children grow up watching firearms used on television or in videogames. Even cartoons, new and old, represent firearms being used in an innocent and humorous fashion. Being sure your firearms are kept locked away with both a safe and a trigger lock is of upmost importance. Your child may want to show off the firearm to friends or worse, bring it to school to show there.

We hope your child is exempt from any of the above examples and enjoys the fun, careless childhood most of us were able to enjoy. It is important to understand that the actions of your child fall under your liability. Having you properly insured for these unforeseen, seemingly innocent actions is our job to recommend.

If you have questions about your liability insurance, call the insurance agents at Heuer Insurance Agency. Heuer Insurance Agency in Sparks has worked with a variety of clients in the Reno area over the years and we are confident in our ability to meet your personal or business insurance needs. We understand how important an insurance policy can be and we take time to match each of our clients with the perfect insurance policy. Give us a call at 775-358-5554 or visit us.