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Thanks and gratitude

thank youAs we just rounded out our first full year in the amazing Newmarket Mills (Check out this great profile of the mills from NH Chronicle Last week: http://www.wmur.com/new-hampshire-chronicle/friday-november-20th-the-newmarket-mills/36410834),we wanted to take a few minutes to express our gratitude for all the good around us.  Here’s just a few of the things we are so appreciative of off the top of our heads: Continue reading “Thanks and gratitude”

Aunt sues nephew for fall. Where was their home owner’s insurance?

Many of you have heard about Jennifer Connell, the aunt who sued her 12-year old nephew for $127,000 in Connecticut. Sean Tarala was celebrating his 8th birthday when his aunt Jennifer arrived at his house and he ran up to her and gave her a big hug. As he did this, they both fell to the ground and aunt Jennifer broke her wrist. Two years later, she sued him for medical bills. Sounds awful, doesn’t it?

This is really an insurance issue. From the start, this was a case about one thing: getting medical bills paid by homeowner’s insurance. In Jennifer Connell’s case, under the Connecticut law, she could not sue the insurance company to cover her medical expenses under Sean’s parents’ homeowners’ policy. She was forced to sue the individual for negligence in a liability case before the insurance could be brought in for payment. Due to the injury she suffered, she needed to get her medical bills covered, but in the end was unsuccessful.

These situations could potentially happen to you, and it is important to always check with an independent insurance agent to see what is covered and how to go about dealing with these types of situations as there may have been other options to manage these risks. Feel free to reach us at www.keslarinsurance.com or 603-273-0953.

Don’t wait for Renewal to get a quote on your home insurance

Did you know that you don’t have to wait until renewal to switch insurance companies?

Most people wait for a renewal to make a switch, but it is not required and you can change carriers at any time. The insurance policy belongs to you, allowing you to make changes to it or cancel the policy altogether. You are not obligated to wait until renewal to switch insurance companies; it is important to review your current insurance policies and reach out to different carriers for insurance quotes to be sure you are receiving the best coverages at the best rates.

Things to keep in mind if you are thinking of switching insurance companies before renewal:

  • Research and evaluate your coverage needs: Life-changing scenarios such as getting married or having a child can impact your coverage needs; you want to make sure you get the most coverage that you can comfortably afford. There is no shortage of coverage options, limits, and deductibles to choose from.
  • Shop around: Check out what different insurance companies have to offer you; do they provide the coverages that you want? Compare your options and get free quotes.
  • Make the switch: If another insurance carrier provides a policy quote that best suits your needs, you may move forward with a new carrier who can often send an update to your current carrier about the new policy.
  • Cancel/don’t renew your previous coverage: If you decide to cancel or let your current insurer know that you will not be renewing your policy, be sure to ask about any possible cancellation fees, which are rare, and get confirmation that your policy has been canceled and will not be renewed.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss insurance coverages in NH or ME, Keslar Insurance offers free online and over the phone quotes. Call us today to see if we can assist your insurance needs in any way. We can be reached at www.keslarinsurance.com or 603-273-0953.

Why you should Have Hazard Insurance on your home

If you own a home, it is very important to have homeowner’s insurance to protect your house. Mortgage Lenders often call this hazard insurance. Lenders require you buy a minimum level of homeowner’s insurance so you can rebuild your house if disaster strikes. Homeowner’s policies include insurance against fire and other hazards; these policies offer two main types of coverage: Liability coverage and Hazard insurance. Liability coverage protects you in the case that you’re sued due to an accident on your property. Hazard insurance includes coverage of damages from hazards  often including fire, wind, vandalism, snow, and burst pipes. Hazard insurance includes both damage done to the building itself as well as your personal property, including furniture, clothes, etc.

Hazard coverage is important because it takes care of the recovery cost; rebuilding after a fire and trying to replace your possessions can be very costly. There are two types of coverage you can buy:

  • Actual-value coverage: pays what your lost property was worth
  • Replacement-value policy: covers the cost of replacing it

Most often your mortgage lender will want you to have a Replacement Value policy.  Check with your lender before obtaining coverage. Having hazard coverage is important, but it is also important that you have enough coverage. Be sure to read your policy carefully to find out exactly what you have covered.

Some of these decision can be complex. Best way to navigate these waters is to work with a licensed independent insurance agent who can educate you on your options and help you obtain the best coverages at the right price. If you’d like to know more about Hazard insurance, we’d be happy to help.  Feel free to reach us at www.keslarinsurance.com or 603-273-0953.

How to Protect Yourself from Social Media Insurance Claims

umbrella insurance in NH and MEWhen you are active on social media, there is a risk that your posts may be taken negatively. As social media interaction has become commonplace in our society, people who post on social media are becoming more prone to getting sued. What you say on social media may seem fine to you, but someone else may feel that your statement has injured them and they can then file a lawsuit against you.

We are familiar with the concept of insurance protecting you from bodily injury. The reality is that a person can also suffer “personal injury;” non-physical injuries including false arrest and violation of privacy and claims related to social media posts. The standard homeowner’s policy does not cover these claims. Once something is posted on social media, your words instantly become public and if they cross the line from casual observation to defamation, you may be threatened with a lawsuit. For example, someone may perceive your post as an invasion of their privacy which could lead to a lawsuit against you. Since the target has not suffered any bodily injury, your homeowner’s policy will not cover you. You end up having to pay for any legal defense costs, settlements or damages.

In these situations, you should consider an umbrella policy which provides coverage that the standard homeowner’s policy lacks. With the addition of an umbrella policy, it may offer you extra liability insurance to help protect you from these major claims and lawsuits and will help protect your assets and your future. When you have a costly claim that exceeds the limits of your homeowner’s policy, coverage under your umbrella will often kick in for other types of claims too. 

Since children and teenagers are usually frequent social media users, it is important to consider additional coverage for personal injury. We’ve all seen or heard first hand about some of the things our teens are doing on social media. They often do not have the judgment to evaluate the posts before the are publicly displayed. With an umbrella policy, you and other members of your household will be more likely to be covered from lawsuits against you due to social media claims.

Call us today if you have an additional questions the risks of social media insurance claims, homeowner’s insurance coverage and umbrella insurance policies. Feel free to reach us at www.keslarinsurance.com or 603-273-0953.

Tips on Buying a Secondary/Seasonal Home

Thinking of making the plunge for that getaway home? Reasons for buying a second home vary, from recreation and vacation enjoyment to investment and development to retirement planning. Around New England these secondary or seasonal homes are often on lakes, at the ocean, by mountains or rivers or some other place near nature.

If you’re considering the purchase of a vacation home or a second residence, there are a lot of things to consider and plan for:

  1. Make sure your heart is set on buying the secondary home:
  • Ask yourself if the amount of enjoyment you plan to get from it will meet your expectations.
  • Think about how often you expect to be able to visit the home and weight the price in relation to the enjoyment.
  1. Decide if it’s the right time to buy:
  • Access your goals
  • Consider the market conditions, your personal finances and the affordability of the property.
  • Focus on areas with steady appreciation rates.
  1. Be sure to include extra expenses included in buying a second home:
  • Consider maintenance costs, taxes, association fees, lawn care, garbage collection, and other fees that may arise.
  • With a seasonal residence, you will have to put time aside to open and close it down for the season, or pay someone else to do it for you.
  • Be realistic about the additional work involved with purchasing a seasonal home.
  1. Take a good look at your income, debt, credit score, and down payment amount if you’re planning to take out a mortgage:
  • Know your debt-to-income ratio, or how much you owe in relation to how much you earn; it is an important factor that banks will evaluate.
  1. Evaluate how much you can save on your down payment:
  • This will help you determine the affordable price range of the second property.
  • Lenders have become more cautious about loan practices, especially with loans for a secondary residence.
  • The New York Times recently reported that most lenders require a higher down payment for a second home.
  1. Consider your insurance options:
  • Umbrella insurance- acts as a secondary liability insurance in case a claim or lawsuit exceeds your homeowners protection and threatens your assets.
  • Be prepared with enough coverage- be covered in the case of a fire, pipe burst or burglary.
  • Have enough dwelling coverage when you don’t know what’s going on in your extended property.
  • There are many unique risks that come with a second home and it is important to shop for the right coverage. Make sure your agent understands how you will be using the home so they can best assess the risks from an insurance perspective.

Call us today if you have an additional questions on insuring your secondary or seasonal home. Feel free to reach us at www.keslarinsurance.com or 603-273-0953.

Is your condo ready and covered if this winter is like the last?

Last year New England had some really crazy weather. If that happens again this year, we want you to be ready and covered. One way to do so is to make sure your insurance adequately protects you from weather damage. For instance, if you live in a condo and ice dams develop on the roof of your unit, it is important that you know whose insurance is going to cover the damages. Damage as a result of ice dams may or may not be covered loss under the association’s insurance policy. Any damage done to the exterior of the condo, including the roof and exterior walls, is the responsibility of the association and will be covered by the condo’s master policy. On the other hand, damage done to the interior of your condo may not be covered and you may need to go through your standard homeowner’s , or may be called condo insurance, insurance policy to handle those claims. Personal items such as furniture, floorings, and other belongings within the condo may be covered by the homeowner’s policy, but likely is not covered by the condo’s master policy.

Note: The price to remove ice dams and repair the damage they cause can vary, so it is important to make sure that you keep your roof clear of ice during the winter months. Additionally, as ice dams are clearly a costly issue to face, understanding the insurance processes around them is very important.

Call us today if you have an additional questions on your  current condo homeowners insurance coverage. Feel free to reach us at www.keslarinsurance.com or 603-273-0953.

Car Insurance Tips for your New College Student

Is you child going off to college? In the chaos of it all did you consider telling your auto insurance agent to see if any changes need to be made? There are insurance considerations to keep in mind when sending your child off to school. Once your child leaves home, their car insurance may need to change.

Child that is not bringing their car to college:

If your child is going away to college and they are not bringing their car with them, make sure they are still listed on your policy as long as they are household members, especially as they are likely to drive the vehicles when they are home from school. Additionally, removing your child from your policy can have negative effects on your child’s policy of their own later in life.

Tip: Some carriers offer reduced premiums if the child is going away to school over 100 miles away and leave their car at home.

Child is bringing their car:

If your child is bringing their car to school with them, make sure to check to see if the school allows cars on campus. Some schools only allow certain grades to have their cars due to limited parking availability. It also may make a difference if your child is living on campus or way from campus and if they are there during the school year only or year around. Note too, if you child goes to a school out of state, they may not need a separate policy in that state. Ask you agent for details on your particular situation.

Tip: Rural areas tend to have lower rates than cities; if their school is in a rural area you could potentially have a reduced premium.

Child is commuting:

If your child is commuting each day, alert your insurance carrier about the amount of driving they will be doing. It is important to check your policy and make sure that you have adequate liability coverage for your child. Additionally, many carriers offer a “Good Student Discount,” offered to students that maintain a “B” average or better during their time in school.

Tip: Make sure to review details of your policy with your child and encourage them to drive safe and understand the potential risks involved.

Call us today if you have an additional questions on your current auto insurance coverage. Feel free to reach us at www.keslarinsurance.com or 603-273-0953.

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