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Do You Need Gap Insurance For Your New Car?

If you have just purchased a new car you have probably already obtained car insurance, but is your current coverage enough?  New cars are a considerable financial investment, and in most cases your car insurance will not cover the full replacement cost of your vehicle should you be involved in an auto accident.  Gap Insurance can make the difference in ensuring that your car is protected and will be replaced if involved in an accident, but is it right for you?  Here are some facts about Gap Insurance and whether it is an option that you should be considering.

What Is Gap Insurance?

Gap Insurance is auto insurance that covers the costs that are not covered by your regular auto insurance policy; namely, it covers the difference between the market value of your car and the outstanding loan amount on your new vehicle.  The moment you drive your car off the lot it loses value, and if you are concerned that you are not able to cover the difference between the amount your insurance company will give you and the amount you owe, Gap Insurance may be right for you.

When Should I Get Gap Insurance?

Gap Insurance is always a good idea if you purchase a luxury or very costly vehicle.  Most cars depreciate in value up to 20% the moment you drive them, so the more your car is worth and the more you owe on your vehicle, the more sense it makes to get Gap Insurance.

Finding The Gap Insurance Policy That Is Right For You

Like all insurance policies, not all Gap Insurance is created equal.  Before purchasing a Gap policy it is important to know what to look for and how it compares to your existing policy.  Most car dealerships offer Gap Insurance as part of their up-sell package, but in most cases this policy will cost you considerably more than if you were to get it from an insurance company or broker.  Also, be sure that your existing policy does not already offer Gap Insurance.  Another important consideration is making sure that your Gap coverage covers not only the difference between your car’s value and loan amount in the case of an accident, but covers theft and damages due to vandalism and natural disaster as well.

For most car owners, Gap Insurance is not necessary.  But if you own an expensive car or are concerned about paying an outstanding loan amount should the worst happen, Gap Insurance is probably right for you.

Home-Based Businesses: Including Your Business In Your Home Insurance

If you have a home-based business or you frequently work from home, having both your office space and the business itself insured is an essential part of your overhead as an entrepreneur or business person.  One option that you may be considering is including your business as part of your home insurance.  While it may save you money in keeping your business investments and capital protected, it may not be enough in some cases.  So is home insurance the right choice for your home-based business?  Here are a few things to consider before shopping around for a separate business insurance policy.

What Does Homeowner’s Insurance Cover?

The coverage you receive from your homeowner’s insurance will depend on your policy, but in general it protects your home in case of damage or loss from a number of causes, and will usually include both the property itself and the contents.  Before deciding whether you need separate business insurance for your home-based business you will want to take a close look at your existing homeowner’s insurance policy.  If your contents are not covered, or the contents of your home office are not included in the policy, you will need to either extend your existing coverage or get a separate policy to include items such as your computer and office furniture.  Depending on the type of home business you run, however, this may not be enough to keep your business fully covered.

What Type of Insurance Does a Home Business Need?

One of the biggest considerations in deciding if you will need separate business insurance for your home-based business is whether the issue of liability will ever come up.  If clients enter your home for any reason or you have frequent business-related deliveries to your home, your homeowner’s insurance will not cover any injuries these people may receive on your property.  Also, if you have any employees, even if they work only a few hours here or there, you will need insurance to cover them.

If you run a home-based business your best choice in keeping both your home and your business covered is to talk with an insurance professional and discuss your particular situation.  Your business is your livelihood and your property is your home; ensuring that they are both covered should anything happen is important to both you and your family.

Ensuring Your Homeowner’s Policy Is Up To Date

When your insurance company calculated the cost to replace your home in the event of a claim, they based it on the available knowledge they were given regarding your home.  Things like the square footage, the type of construction, the materials used inside and out, as well as any special features of the home were all included in the calculation.  What many homeowners forget is that updates to your home need to be reflected in the replacement cost.  Here are some key times when you should give your insurance company a call to provide updated information.

A Major Renovation

Whether you give your kitchen an overhaul or redo the master bath, these are high value areas of your home, and your insurance company needs to know you have improved them.  Give them a call and let them know what type of materials you used and what features you may have added, such as a jetted tub or granite countertops.  This will ensure that if insurance ever has to pay to replace your house, you will get those updates back.

An Addition To Your Home

If you add square footage to your home via an addition, it’s important to let your insurance company know right away, as this has a large impact on your replacement cost.  Remember that insurance will only cover permitted additions to your home, so be sure you have all the right permits on file and everything is up to code.  Some additions, such as certain types of sunrooms, do not actually count toward the total square footage, so discuss the coverage for that type of addition with your insurance agent.

New Floors, New Windows

Anything you replace or upgrade should be reported to your insurance company.  Whether you replace your carpet with hardwood floors, or install new windows, doors, or other features, all of these things are important to the reconstruction cost of your home.

If you aren’t sure if a certain upgrade or change has any bearing on your insurance, it’s always best to put in a call to your agent just to be on the safe side.  You don’t want to make a claim down the road only to find out that the policy was outdated and you weren’t covered for the improvements you have made to your home.  Although most policies do have some protection built in for this, the safest bet is to be sure you keep your policy up to date.  It’s always worth a call to your agent or insurance company to let them know things have changed at your home.

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