Don’t forget home insurance costs when home buying

It’s easy to get caught up in the “how much house can I afford” game when you begin your quest to become a homeowner. But don’t forget to factor in the cost of things like property taxes and homeowner’s insurance when purchasing a new home.

On a home valued at $230,000, you can expect to pay $300-$1,500 per year in certain states for insurance; this is in addition to your mortgage payment and taxes. The same $230,000 home could cost over $5,000 annually to insure if it’s on the coast and at high risk for tsunami, loan provisions potentially require mandatory flood insurance. Homeowner’s insurance costs vary greatly from state to state, with the average policy running at around $800 annually.

Be sure to keep that in mind as you shop, and make sure you get multiple quotes from different providers, just as you would a mortgage. As an independent agency, we are appointed with several top rated carriers and can do the insurance shopping for you. Typically, homeowner’s insurance costs are overlooked as borrowers focus on the bigger things like the mortgage.

So what are you getting for the money anyways? The standard homeowner’s insurance policy is separated into two basic categories of coverage: property and liability. These two categories are further broken down into six separate types of coverage. Many more options or additions can be purchased if necessary.

PROPERTY COVERAGE

  1. Coverage A – This covers your “dwelling” or the actual house. You want to insure your house for it’s full value at “replacement cost.” Settle for nothing less.
  2. Coverage B – “Other Structures” insures structures not attached to your home. Picture a detached garage or a shed, which can be connected by a fence or utility line. On most policies, you will be insured for 10% of your coverage “A” amount. If your house is insured for $200,000, your shed is insured for an additional $20,000.
  3. Coverage C – Personal Property or contents. This is your “stuff.” On most policies, you are insured for 50% of coverage “A” under this section (in addition to the “A” and “B” limits, totaling $320,000 for property damage on your policy. This concept is known as “stacking” coverage.
  4. Coverage D – Loss of Use. Loss of use coverage will pay your additional living expenses in the event your home is deemed unlivable as a result of a covered claim (a fire for example). On most policies, if your normal living expenses are $1,500 per month and they are increased to $2,200 per month as a result of your house burning down, the insurance company will pay ONLY the $700 difference until your house is repaired or you have found new living quarters, whichever occurs first.

LIABILITY COVERAGE

  1. Coverage E – Personal Liability. Your insurance company will pay up to the policy limits for damages you’re liable for. Picture someone slipping on your icy driveway and injuring themselves then sueing you for neglegence.
  2. Coverage F – Medical Payments to Others – This coverage is intended to keep you from being sued. Perhaps your dog bites the neighbor’s kid. This coverage will pay for resulting medical bills without having to prove “fault.” It is good will gesture coverage for when accidents happen. Of course, if your neighbor is not satisfied, they retain the option to sue you.

Always secure the reliable protection that will leave your home and belongings safe. Get started on your home insurance policy that will protect your future and finances – Call us today!

How to Conduct Your Home Inventory

Part of keeping your home safe is protecting it with reliable homeowners insurance.

You may think that you know exactly what is in your home. However, when it comes to the aftermath of a disaster, and you have to list which items you’ve lost, valuing your personal property from memory is harder than you think.

For this reason, home insurers ask homeowners to complete a thorough home inventory of all possessions. By having a physical list and photographic evidence of home contents, insurers can match coverage to the value of items accurately. Also, filing a claim is made that much simpler!

Here’s how to get started!

Put It On Paper (Download our home inventory checklist here!)

Write down a list of all of your belongings. The written description should include the date of purchase, original cost, and any improvements. Write down serial numbers for TVs, computers, and electronics, as well as keeping receipts along with the paperwork. As you sell or buy new belongings, ensure to add or remove the items from this list.

Shoot It

If you have a video camera, use it to establish additional documentation of your home and belongings for insurance purposes. Recording valuable items may be used as evidence in the case of theft, fire, or damage. As a rule of thumb, scan all rooms, shoot close-ups of all valuable items, and provide auto-commentary of details that may not be visually apparent. Store this tape in a locked file cabinet and upload it to the computer so that you have a digital copy.

Store It

Once you’ve captured all of your belongings on video and paper, you’ll want to store these files safely. If your home burns down, a home inventory will be of little use if it burns down with it. First, make a digital copy of both and email them to yourself. Secondly, keep the papers and video film in a fireproof box safely in the home or outside of the property.

Update It

Once you have established a complete inventory of your property, it should be easy to update it periodically.

Now that your home inventory is complete, contact Fullhart Insurance today to get your reliable Oregon homeowners insurance.

Tips for Buying Business Insurance

Shopping for your business’s insurance policy? Here’s what you need to consider first.

No two businesses are alike. Similarly, no two companies share the same risks and threats that can impact the stability, finances, and staff. Buying business insurance for your small company can be a frustrating process. Finding the right policy can feel like you’re looking for a needle in the haystack. In actuality, giving up and settling for a mediocre policy can do more damage to your business than it can good. Working with our team of independent commercial insurance agents will ease the burden of insurance shopping because we do the insurance shopping for you!

Before you select one with a low premium and minimum coverage, here’s what you need to know about buying business insurance.

Look past the premium.

Expenses are important to your business, and you will want to keep to a minimum. For small business owners with limited budgets, it can be tempting to make a decision based on the price. Keep in mind that you’re purchasing insurance to protect your business. Always look at a policy to ensure that it doesn’t leave out coverage you may want later on and that it has high enough limits to suit your company.

Evaluate the policy for gaps.

The defining details of each policy are inclusions (covered events) and exclusions (events that your insurance won’t account for). Pay attention to these items because they determine the terms of your coverage. For instance, when reviewing coverage for commercial auto insurance you’ll want to check that you have insurance for bodily injuries, property damage liability, collision coverage, uninsured motorist coverage, and personal injury protection.

Understand limits and deductibles.

Your policy limits are the stated amount that your insurance provider will pay for a specific event, instance, or claim. Your limits ultimately decide the extent of protection your business receives for liability lawsuits and other losses. While you check your limits, ensure that your deductibles are well within your business’s monthly budget.

Skip the search of finding the right business insurance in your area to suit your needs – contact Fullhart Insurance to find out how our policies can meet your business’ needs.

Your Small Business Guide to Avoiding Discrimination and Harassment in the Workplace

Keep your business clear of discrimination and harassment in the workplace.

As an employer, you have the responsibility to maintain a workplace that is free of discrimination and harassment. Not only is this your legal obligation, but it also makes good business sense. If you allow prejudice and violations in the workplace, you will pay a high price in poor employee morale, low productivity, and lawsuits. Most businesses can’t afford the cost of any legal claim, let alone an employment practices liability claim, one of the most costly disputes around. Luckily, there are ways to stay on the right side of the law and avoid discrimination and harassment in the workplace.

Recruit and Hire Correctly
It’s illegal to bar certain individuals or groups of people from employment based on race, color, sex, national origin, religion, age, or disability. Your job postings should not contain discriminatory language and should not hint at discrimination.

Be Fair with Dismissals
While there’s nothing wrong with dismissing an employee for legitimate reasons, ‘wrongful termination’ is something to consider. If an employee feels that he or she has been terminated on unfair or prejudice grounds, he or she could file a suit.

Create Written Criteria
Before you make major decisions within the business, make sure you write out criteria on how you plan to evaluate applicants and employees. That way, you’ll have a physical document to guide your decisions and justify your choices if someone questions your motives.

Adopt Clear Harassment Policies
You can’t enforce your business’ harassment policy if it’s not written out. Your policy should clearly state that harassment of any kind won’t be tolerated. All policies should outline disciplinary procedures, instructions on how to file a claim, and details about how an investigation will be documented.

Train Your Team
The best way to avoid harassment and discrimination in the workplace is to teach your team that it is not okay. Ask every member of your team to undergo workplace harassment training, and always intervene if a situation calls for it!

Issues occur all too easily these days. Fortunately, safeguarding your company has never been easier! At Fullhart Insurance, we work with you to understand your risks, exposures, and insurance protection. Visit our team today to get started on securing your policy! To learn more about HR Insights on discrimination and sexual harassment, click here! We always recommend protecting your business form harassment claims with an Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI) Policy.

Insuring a Coupe vs. a Sedan

Decide on which ride is best for you.

Don’t ever judge a book by its cover! Conventional wisdom might suggest that a bright and attractive coupe might be more to insure than your run-of-the-mill family sedan. However, it’s always important to remember that a lot more goes into calculating car insurance premiums. Aesthetics are just the tip of the iceberg; statistics play a heavy part, as well.

What’s the difference between a coupe and sedan?

This definition is actually fairly simple! A sedan is typically referring to a vehicle with four doors, while a coupe suggests just having two doors. The word coupe actually stems from the French word for “cut” referring to the traditional way that original coupes “cut out” the rear seating areas completely.

Recent coupe models now have the best of both worlds.

They have two rows of seating while also keeping the sleek two-door appearance that drivers love. The coupe is starting to change to appeal to a larger market by increasing backseat legroom. However, sedans almost always offer a roomier backseat than its counterpart.

How well does your car protect its riders?

A car’s safety features can help keep passengers safe while also helping you cash in on discounts on your premium. The idea that you’ll be less likely injured in a crash is both important to you and your insurance company. Theoretically, if your coupe tends to protect passengers more efficiently than a rival sedan, the coupe could pay less for coverage.

How expensive is it to repair or replace your vehicle?

Accidents are far more common than we’d like to admit. It’s the insurance provider’s responsibility to try to make things correct again. Because of that, insurers will consider how pricey repair and replacement costs may be after a major accident. Whether it’s a coupe or sedan is less important than the overall cost of replacement.

Now that you know what type of factors play into the cost of insurance, be sure that you secure the right policy for your needs. At Fullhart Insurance, we’re dedicated to giving each driver the coverage they can count on. Visit us today to get started.

Use These Activities Throughout the Portland Area to Celebrate Father’s Day

Use These Activities Throughout the Portland Area to Celebrate Father’s DayCelebrate your dad for Father’s Day with these activities around Portland.

Father’s Day is here and it’s time to show your dad how much he’s appreciated. From imparting hiss wisdom to teaching you how to ride a bike, your dad has always been there for you. Celebrate your father in honor of the occasion. Check out these ways to celebrate your dad in the Portland area.

Go to Brunch.

Celebrate Father’s Day with a delicious meal. Make reservations at your dad’s favorite restaurant or choose one of Portland’s hottest restaurants to celebrate the big day. From pancakes to farm fresh eggs, brunch is the perfect way to spend quality time with your dad.

Explore the Great Outdoors.

Take advantage of the warmer weather and spend the day exploring one of Portland’s hiking trails. The peace and tranquility of nature serves as the perfect backdrop to spend quality time with your dad.

Check Out a Local Festival.

Summer is right around the corner, and along with it comes plenty of festivals. Attend a local festival with your dad to celebrate Father’s Day. From the Berry Festival to the Oregon Garden Brewfest, there are lots of ways in which you can explore the city with your dad.

Go for a Run.

Be health conscious this Father’s Day and participate in the Grateful Dad Run. Whether you’re interested in running a 5k, 10K, or half marathon, this run offers fun for the whole family. Get decked out in your finest dad’s day gear and enjoy a run along the Columbia River.

Have a Happy Father’s Day! Give your dad the gift of security with the right personal insurance policies. For assistance with your insurance, contact the professionals at Fullhart Insurance Agency. Serving all of Waldport, Reedsport, Sisters, Tigard, Oregon, and the surrounding areas we serve all your personal and commercial insurance needs.

Why Do Car Insurance Rates Vary So Much by State?

You’ve moved across the country, but why did your rate change?

You moved to a new state and have made your way down the checklist; You’ve changed your address, attained a brand new drivers license, and updated your auto insurance policy. However, your premium is different all of a sudden. What happened here? For better or for worse, many factors actually play a part into how much you pay for auto insurance. Read what sort of factors play into a premium change.

The Accident Rate

Simply put, you’re more likely to be involved in a car accident in Los Angeles than if you were driving in Boise solely because of the  population. Because the accident rate may be higher in your new location, you could see an increase in rates. On the flip side, moving from an area with high population density to one with low density could potentially see a decrease in rates.

State-Required Limits

Depending on the state where you live, mandatory coverage you’re required to carry may change. If you’re in a state that requires $50,000 per person in bodily injury liability, you may see a higher premium than someone who’s in a state that only requires $20,000. Some states even mandate extensive protections such as personal injury protection, which may also impact auto insurance rates. Regardless of state requirements we always recommend carrying higher liability limits.

Weather & Wildlife

Moving from the big city to the countryside may have its perks, but that may come at a price. In West Virginia, for example, drivers are far more likely to experience a collision with a deer than in any other state. A great amount of claims drives up the cost of coverage – which helps pay for animal-related collisions, as well as weather-related damage, theft, and more. Inclement weather could also affect insurance premiums.

When you move, make sure you notify your agent and see what sort of premium differences may apply! If you’re moving soon, contact Fullhart Insurance to see how your rates may change.

Minimize Your Risk for an Accident with These Tips to Help You Avoid Common Causes of Accidents

Minimize Your Risk for an Accident with These Tips to Help You Avoid Common Causes of AccidentsLearn about a few common types of car accidents.

Your safety on the road is important. When operating a motor vehicle, it is always important to use caution. However, sometimes accidents happen. In the event of a car crash, it’s important that you have the necessary insurance coverage. Invest in the right auto insurance, and take time to take these simple steps to prevent these common causes of accidents.

Distracted Driving.

Distracted driving accounts for a large percentage of today’s traffic accidents. When it comes to your safety on the road, focus on the task at hand, put down the coffee and keep your phone locked and away so you can reduce your risk of an accident.

Speeding.

When you drive at fast speeds, your ability to control the car lessens. Speeding increases the risk for a traffic accident and often causes crashes. Ensure that you stick to the speed limit so that you can lessen the risk for an auto accident.

Driving Under the Influence.

The use of alcohol and drugs diminishes your decision-making skills and slows your reaction times. Since your perceptions are altered, it increases your risk of a traffic accident. In fact, accidents caused by driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol often are lethal. Never get behind the wheel after drinking or drug use. Plan ahead and find alternate methods of transportation so that you get to your destination safely.

When it comes to your safety on the road, it’s important to take steps to minimize your risk for a traffic accident. Get the protection that you need on the road with the right auto insurance. For assistance with your insurance, contact the professionals at Fullhart Insurance Agency. Serving all of Waldport, Reedsport, Sisters, Tigard, Oregon, and the surrounding areas we serve all your personal and commercial insurance needs.

Tips to Help You Review Your Homeowners Insurance Policy

Get the Right Homeowners Insurance Coverage with These Tips to Help You Review Your PolicyLearn how to best review your homeowners insurance coverage with helpful tips.

Your home is likely your biggest and most treasured asset, it’s important that you protect it with the right homeowners insurance coverage. Such coverage gives you the resources that you need to protect the structure and contents of your home. However, it’s important to review your policy at least once annually. That way you’re able to update your policy to meet your ever-changing coverage needs. As you get ready to renew your homeowners insurance policy, check out these tips will help you review your coverage.

Protecting the Structure of Your Home.

When it comes to the physical structure of your home, it’s important that you have the coverage that you need to rebuild from the ground up. If you have done any upgrades or remodels throughout the year, always make sure to report them to your insurance agent. We use replacement cost tools to help determine your home’s building costs to rebuild from the ground up. Your dwelling coverage should reflect the replacement cost so you have adequate coverage in the event of a total loss. An annual review will help you avoid any coverage gaps in your homeowners insurance.

Keeping Contents Protected.

Not only does your policy give you protection for the structure of your home, but it also gives you coverage for the contents. You’re given coverage for your personal possessions. As you review your policy, ensure that you update your home inventory. By keeping track of your home inventory, you have a record of your belongings in the event of a loss. Additionally, ensure that you have enough coverage to protect your valuable items. In some instances, you need to schedule items for adequate coverage.

When it comes to your home, it’s important that you have the right insurance coverage. Review your coverage so that you can get the best homeowners insurance. For assistance with your insurance, contact the professionals at Fullhart Insurance Agency. Serving all of Waldport, Reedsport, Sisters, Tigard, Oregon, and the surrounding areas we serve all your personal and commercial insurance needs.

It’s Time to Celebrate Mother’s Day – Ways to Help You Celebrate in Oregon

It’s Time to Celebrate Mother’s Day – Check Out These Ways to Help You CelebrateCheck out these ways to celebrate Mother’s Day in Oregon.

It’s always important that you show your mom how much you appreciate her. With our busy lives, we often forget to tell our moms how much we love and appreciate all they do for us. Make time to celebrate your mom on Mother’s Day. Here are some ideas to show your mom that you appreciate her.

Share a Meal Together.

Food is a great way to celebrate Mother’s Day. Share a meal with your family to spend time with one another. Whether you go out to brunch at a nice restaurant or you pack a more intimate picnic for the park, there are many ways in which you’re able to share a meal with your family to celebrate Mother’s Day.

Find Ways to Relax.

Your mom works hard. Give her a break from her busy routine to enjoy a day of relaxation. Whether she wants to spend the day at a local spa or take a yoga class, give your mom the opportunity to find her Zen. That way she gets a little rest and relaxation on her big day.

Go on an Adventure.

Spend the day with your mom exploring a new place. Whether it’s a local museum, garden, or hiking in the Gorge, choose a new activity to try with your mom. It’s a great way to bond and a great way to celebrate Mother’s Day.

Buy Her Jewelry

They say a diamond is a girl’s best friend! A beautiful mother’s ring, a piece of locally made custom jewelry or an engraved custom necklace would be the perfect gesture.

Celebrate Mother’s Day to shower your mom with love and appreciation. Give your mom the gift of peace of mind, knowing that you’re safe and secure with the right personal insurance coverage. For assistance with your insurance, contact the professionals at Fullhart Insurance Agency. Serving all of Waldport, Reedsport, Sisters, Tigard, Oregon, and the surrounding areas we serve all your personal and commercial insurance needs.