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19Nov 2015

So…how much coverage do you need? First, do not expect your landlord to cover your Contents – clothing, furniture, appliances and electronics.

Second, look beyond the fact you were given some of your belongings; you discovered it at a phenomenal price at an estate sale; or you pushed through Black Friday crowds to buy it at “80% Off”. You need to think about the shopping trip of your lifetime.  How much would it cost to replace every item you own, at today’s prices, throughout your rented home?  We have a Household Inventory brochure that may be helpful.

In a previous blog directed at traditional home owners, we recommended Replacement Cost coverage for Personal Contents. We make that same recommendation for renters.

Assuming you have a covered loss, you will still have to pay a deductible. This is the amount you agreed to pay before the insurance coverage takes over the process.

Also, expect some limitations and exclusions for Special Contents such as jewelry, business-related items, guns, collectibles and some other high-value or unusual items. This is a reminder to talk to us about those valuables.  You may be pleasantly surprised by affordable special coverage.

If you have a Replacement Cost Claim Settlement policy, you will be paid the amount to buy a similar replacement item at today’s prices. Typically, you must actually replace the item to be offered the full Replacement Cost settlement.  The carrier may initially settle a claim on an Actual Cash Value basis, paying the difference after you actually replace the covered item.

If you have questions, visit our website’s Consumer Info section (www.wrins.com), or contact us.

12Nov 2015

Owning a store is probably the “picture” of the American dream. Renting a storefront frequently relieves the store owner from worries about the building, parking lot and similar issues.  But check your lease.  You may be contractually responsible, requiring a different approach with your business insurance.

At this point, we’re going to focus on the physical items in a rented retail space. We’ll save Liability concerns and building ownership for another blog.

The most obvious “thing” to insure to a store owner is the inventory…the lifeblood of the business. But other “things” are important as well.  The cash register, computer equipment, copier, postage meter, desks, shelving, and displays would all need replaced as well.

Who owns dividing walls, interior doors, carpeting, storage racks, and display shelving – tenant or landlord? In the event of a fire or other destruction, who is responsible?  Check your lease for those dividing lines.

A cooler or freezer case may be offered “free’ in exchange for displaying a particular product line. But the store owner may actually be required to insure it.

Loss of Income coverage is exceptionally important. This can pay on-going expenses and replace the normal profit to the business owner after a covered loss.  It can even provide funds to continue paying experienced employees to stand by, awaiting the store’s re-opening.  Otherwise, that talent is lost to competitors.  And the business owner is faced with hiring all-new help after rebuilding.

If you have questions, visit our website’s Consumer Info section (www.wrins.com), or contact us.

 

 

05Nov 2015

Building a house is exciting! And it brings challenges, including insurance.

Do you need insurance? Does your builder cover everything? For how long?  Until what stage in the construction?

The answer about whether you need insurance is…maybe! Consult with your builder, closing agency, attorney and your insurance professional.  It differs in many cases.  But ownership usually dictates the need for insurance.

Is a contractor developing an entire new neighborhood in which you choose a model and become the owner only when it is “move-in” ready? Do you already own land and you are contracting with a builder to erect a house?   Are you playing “general contractor”, coordinating specialists to build your new home?  The answers to these questions, along with other factors, will help us determine how soon you need coverage.

If you have questions, visit our website’s Consumer Info section (www.wrins.com), or contact us

02Nov 2015

The good news… your insurance carrier has confirmed your damaged or stolen Contents (clothing, furniture, appliances, electronics and more) are “covered”. But how does that translate into a claim check?

First, expect to pay a deductible. This is the amount you agreed to pay before the insurance coverage takes over the process.

Second, expect some limitations and exclusions for Special Contents such as jewelry, business-related items, guns, collectibles and some other high-value or unusual items. This is a reminder to talk to us about those valuables.  You may be pleasantly surprised by affordable special coverage.

That said, how will the check be calculated? If you have Actual Cash Value Contents coverage, the carrier starts with “cost new” – today’s prices.  But they apply a depreciation factor recognizing age, wear, tear, and/or obsolescence.

If you have a Replacement Cost Claim Settlement policy, you will be paid the amount to buy a similar replacement item at today’s prices. Typically, you must actually replace the item to be offered the full Replacement Cost settlement.  The carrier may initially settle a claim on an Actual Cash Value basis, paying the difference after you actually replace the covered item.

If you have questions, visit our website’s Consumer Info section (www.wrins.com), or contact us.

20Oct 2015

Pennsylvania Personal Auto Insurance policies offer a collection of coverages known as First Party Benefits. There is one exception – Workers Compensation.  If you are traveling for your employer as part of your job, even in your own car, your medical expenses and lost wages due to an accident should be covered by Workers Compensation.

Otherwise, initial protection comes from your own Personal Auto policy. And it applies whether you are at-fault or not; driver or passenger; in your own car or another car; even as a pedestrian or bicyclist hit by a car.

The idea behind choosing limits of protection is to consider your other insurance. For example, if everyone in your household has short-term and long-term Disability Income coverage, you may be less concerned about First Party Income Loss from your Personal Auto Insurance policy.  And you may be unconcerned if no one is working.  Household members working part-time should be considered.  That extra income may make a real difference to the household budget.  And part-timers are rarely covered by short-term or long-term Disability Income coverage.

First Party Income Loss coverage is optional. It tends to be inexpensive.  The available limits range from $1,000 per Month / $5,000 per Accident up to $5,000 per Month / $100,000 per Accident.

If you have questions, visit our website’s Consumer Info section (www.wrins.com), or contact us.

15Oct 2015

Pennsylvania Personal Auto Insurance policies offer a collection of coverages known as First Party Benefits. There is one exception – Workers Compensation.  If you are traveling for your employer as part of your job, even in your own car, your medical expenses and lost wages due to an accident should be covered by Workers Compensation.

Otherwise, initial protection comes from your own Personal Auto policy. And it applies whether you are at-fault or not; driver or passenger; in your own car or another car; even as a pedestrian or bicyclist hit by a car.

The idea behind choosing limits of protection is to consider your other insurance. For example, if everyone in your household is covered by Health Insurance, with affordable out-of-pocket expectations (deductibles, co-pays, co-insurance), you may opt for lower First Party Medical coverage (minimum $5,000) on your Personal Auto Policy to save premium.  Personal Auto Insurance pays first, Health Insurance pays second.

On the other hand, if everyone is not comfortably covered by Health Insurance, you may want to maximize First Party Medical Benefits at $100,000. And you can supplement it with a $1,000,000 Extraordinary Medical Benefit.

If you have questions, visit our website’s Consumer Info section (www.wrins.com), or contact us.

 

14Sep 2015

Thanks to all! The AHA Erie Heart Walk took place this past Saturday at Liberty Park at Presque Isle Bay. We collected over $600 to help advance this good cause. Pap Pap John Rushe always takes a risk walking with the grandkids. One was sick. Another had a conflict with gymnastics. Two granddaughters, ages 9 & 1, came to walk…along with their moms.

In past years, we walked the entire course, or most of it. But the weatherman had different ideas. During the entire month of August, our area only had about 1.5 inches of rain. We received 4 inches on Walk Day! So our strategy changed. We visited with the exhibitors, including the local US Marines promoting Toys-For-Tots. Our 9 year-old granddaughter got her face painted. And we snapped a couple of photos in between raindrops. Thanks again!

01Sep 2015

All of the licensed staff members at the Werle & Rushe Agency regularly enroll in classes, including Professional Continuing Education to maintain our licenses.

Licensed Agent Kathy Wager recently participated in courses sponsored by Erie Insurance. She became the first member of our agency to be educated in Erie’s new Technical Learning Center.  The environment there can replicate damaged homes and cars.  It is a high-tech approach to better educate Claim Department employees as well as Independent Agency personnel, who serve as field underwriters.

02Jul 2015

Agency Principal John Rushe is very active with the Erie Together movement to eradicate poverty in Erie County. Wednedsay evening, John spent time as a guest speaker at a class held at the Erie City Mission. Participants are motivated to become more self-sufficient. The text being used is Getting Ahead in a Just-Gettin-By World.

John offered ideas and tri-fold brochures about how to be better-informed consumers when it comes to Personal Auto and Renters insurance. He was also asked to offer insight as a small business owner. Specifically, he shared expectations when recruiting and hiring.

This is just one component of the Erie Together movement. It teaches the impoverished to step back from the “tyranny of the moment”; create realistic goals; and then follow plans to improved self-sufficiency. The Werle & Rushe Agency is very happy to support this initiative since it benefits everyone.

20May 2015

The yellow tape makes it look like a crime scene…but not to worry. Our front sidewalk, along West Lake Road, is being replaced. This is in addition to PennDOT repaving of the street. The new walk will also feature ADA-compliant access points.

To our knowledge, the original walk dates back to the 1940s. The new one will be much safer for all pedestrians, especially the kids walking to Westlake Middle School.

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