Do You Really Need a Home Inventory?

A home inventory can be extremely useful when it comes to making an insurance claim. Having complete documentation of all your valuables makes it easier to make an accurate claim if your property sustains damage or loss due to an event covered by your insurance policy. Making a home inventory enables you to keep better track of your goods and their value. Here are a few reasons why this information is to your advantage.

Ensures Proper Insurance Coverage

Through a home inventory, you gain a better perspective of the value of your personal goods. This makes it easier to select the insurance coverage to protect your interests. After reviewing your home inventory, your Advantage Insurance Network agent in Cincinnati, OH can provide you with insurance options suitable for your situation. Having adequate insurance coverage ensures your goods are well protected against any eventuality.

Facilitates Insurance Claims

A written or digital home inventory provides documented proof of ownership of personal goods covered under your insurance policy. If your goods suffer damage or loss, you can refer to your home inventory to make a claim. Your inventory should include a list of personal effects, date of purchase, receipts (if any), a detailed description of each item and photos of costly goods such as antiques, heirlooms, jewelry, etc. Having this information on hand can help you avoid delays in making a claim. It also serves to verify the value of the item you lost so you can receive its replacement cost under your insurance coverage.

A home inventory is a valuable tool that homeowners can use to their advantage. With a home inventory, there’s less chance of forgetting to claim valuable items lost or damaged in a flood, fire, or other catastrophes. For greater insight into making and maintaining a home inventory, contact Advantage Insurance Network, Cincinnati, OH.

 

Your First Auto Insurance Policy: Here’s what You Need to Know

All states have their own auto insurance laws, including Ohio. If you own a car in Cincinnati, OH, here are some basic things you can expect when purchasing your first auto insurance policy. Many of these topics can be further explained by a reputable insurance agent, however, here are some of the basics to help you gain a better grasp.  

1. Liability Insurance: There are two areas that fall under liability insurance. These are bodily injury coverage and property damage coverage. This only covers other drivers/passengers or vehicles if you are liable. If the other driver is liable, their insurance covers any property or bodily injury you may incur.  

2.  Collision and Comprehensive Coverage: These are considered optional coverage unless you have a loan on your vehicle. If you are financing your car through a bank, then this coverage becomes mandatory. Collision insurance covers damages to your vehicle if there is an accident. Comprehensive insurance covers those less common damages to your vehicle, such as theft or vandalism.  

3.  Uninsured Motorist Coverage: If you are in an accident with an uninsured motorist, this coverage will take care of damages.  

4.  Personal Injury Protection: This insurance pays your medical bills regardless of fault.  

To learn more about these and other insurance coverage options for your first-time auto insurance policy, contact the Advantage Insurance Network. We serve drivers in the Cincinnati, OH area and can be contacted at 513-922-9460. Speak with one of our expert and friendly insurance agents to find the right auto insurance policy for your particular driving situation. At Advantage Insurance Network will answer all your questions, look at different options, and help you compare quotes. 

 

 

Possible Exclusions on a Home Insurance Policy in the State of Ohio

While no one wants something to happen to their home, we all know that things occur. That’s why many homeowners get an insurance policy to cover that risk. Home repairs can get expensive, and the damage can result in higher costs than you might be able to afford. However, a home insurance policy won’t cover everything, so you need to be aware of any possible exclusions.

Possible Coverage Limitations

Home insurance is broken down into four different parts:

•    Dwelling
•    Other Structures
•    Personal Property
•    Loss of Use

While they will cover most of the possible occurrences, there may be some limitations on the following items:

•    Computers, laptops, and other business equipment.
•    Antique furniture and art.
•    Theft of jewelry, watches, precious stones, and furs.
•    Theft of fine silverware and china.
•    Theft of guns.
•    Theft of sports cards and other collectible items.
•    Theft of hand tools.

There may be other items for which there may be coverage limitations, so be sure to reach out to the Advantage Insurance Network in Cincinnati, OH. We have agents who will gladly help you, so feel free to contact our office today!

What May Not be Covered

While there are several items that may have limitations in coverage, there are some things that won’t be covered under a home insurance policy. Some of these may include:

•    Earthquakes
•    Landslides
•    Vandalism
•    Damage caused by neglect
•    Damage caused by normal wear and tear

If you want to know more about what a home insurance policy won’t cover, the Advantage Insurance Network has a team of agents that can answer any questions you may have. If you live in Cincinnati, OH, be sure to get in touch with us today!

Teen Drivers, Learners’ Permits, Licensing and Insurance

Before your teen gets a driver’s license in Cincinnati, OH, you should be aware of how this life change will affect your insurance rate. Advantage Insurance Network can help you get insurance if you are in need of it for yourself or for your teen.

Temporary Permit

Teens in Ohio are able to get a temporary permit, or a learner’s permit, at the age of 15 1/2. This allows teen drivers to learn to drive while under the direct supervision of a parent or other trusted adult. Teens will need to pass a written driver’s licensing test and a vision screening. Drivers can go to deputy registrar licensing agencies to complete the final steps of getting a drivers license. Teens must provide proof of legal name, birth date, Social Security number, citizenship, and Ohio residency. Additionally, parents have to be present with legal ID to co-sign for the temporary permit. When a teen gets a temporary permit, it is the responsibility of the parent, guardian, or owner of the vehicle that the teen is operating to have insurance coverage.  Teens do not have to have their own coverage until they have a regular driver’s license.

Probationary Driver’s License

Before teens can receive a probationary license, they must take a driver’s instruction course and log 50 hours of driving practice under the supervision of an adult. Ten of those hours must be night driving.  They must also hold a temporary permit for at least six months and be at least 16 years old. Teens must also take the road test, demonstrating their abilities behind the wheel of a car. After passing the test, teens will still have to follow certain restrictions until they are 18 years old. 

Once a teen is granted a probationary driver’s license, he must then be added to the parent’s insurance as a driver or get his own insurance policy. Generally, insurance rates will go up with a younger driver on the policy. 

If you have a teen driver in Cincinnati, OH, the helpful people at Advantage Insurance Network can help you figure out the best way to insure your teen driver.

College Bound Auto Insurance Coverage

So what happens when a young person is college-bound in Cincinnati, OH? Well, of course there is the excitement, the amazement of a new place and people, and a little bit of anxiety about going to a new school. But when the fuss settles down a bit, one of the pressures tends to be cost. So the natural reactions tends to be trying to save where possible and getting ready to live on a tight budget or limited means. And that can lead a family or young person to veer towards budget auto insurance as well. However, minimum coverage is not always a good idea when going to college, according to Advantage Insurance Network. Here’s a few reasons why.

First, colleges and universities are full of young people doing dumb things. It’s part of growing up. And that means there can be some knuckleheads who like to play pranks or do worse, like break in cars to steal things. So car intentional car damage happens. Second, students tend to be less-than-stellar drivers which means college areas tend to be more accident prone as well. Third, parking is most likely going to be outside versus a garage, whether living a dormitory or at an apartment. That means exposure raises the risk of things happening to a car parked on the street or in a big parking lot. And, finally, college students love to go on trips with each other for all sorts of reasons, and that means driving in unfamiliar places which also contributes to accidents or problems.

Given all the above, Cincinnati, OH college-bound students are going to be better served with a comprehensive auto policy where possible. To get more details on how to make it happen with different budgets, the folks at Advantage Insurance Network can help. Give them an email or call to find out more.

How Often do Home Insurance Needs Change?

In many cases, the needs of each homeowner as they apply to home insurance are going to stay relatively the same through the course of your living in your home. There are some events however and some instances in which you might need to adjust or change your coverage to help better cover your home. If you are thinking of changing coverage and you live in the Cincinnati, OH area, the agents with Advantage Insurance Network can help.

In most cases, your insurance needs are going to stay the same from year to year unless you do some improvements to your home or unless your specific geographic location dictates a change of some sort. What we mean by geographic area is that if you live in an area where twenty inches of snow is the average before the 30th of December each year, you may want more coverage in the winter and less in the summer to save money.

Similarly, if you do a great deal of home improvement to your home like adding an all new addition or upgrading your home, you are going to need more coverage to build back your house if it is damaged or destroyed. In these cases, you might need to adjust your home insurance coverage so that you have more or less dependent on the situation. If you are unsure if you need to change your coverage, it is always helpful to talk with an agent about insurance policies and what might work for you.

If you live in the Cincinnati, OH area, the agents with Advantage Insurance Network can help you find the policy that is going to work best for you and for your home so that you are covered no matter the situation.  

How Often do Home Insurance Needs Change?

In many cases, the needs of each homeowner as they apply to home insurance are going to stay relatively the same through the course of your living in your home. There are some events however and some instances in which you might need to adjust or change your coverage to help better cover your home. If you are thinking of changing coverage and you live in the Cincinnati, OH area, the agents with Advantage Insurance Network can help.

In most cases, your insurance needs are going to stay the same from year to year unless you do some improvements to your home or unless your specific geographic location dictates a change of some sort. What we mean by geographic area is that if you live in an area where twenty inches of snow is the average before the 30th of December each year, you may want more coverage in the winter and less in the summer to save money.

Similarly, if you do a great deal of home improvement to your home like adding an all new addition or upgrading your home, you are going to need more coverage to build back your house if it is damaged or destroyed. In these cases, you might need to adjust your home insurance coverage so that you have more or less dependent on the situation. If you are unsure if you need to change your coverage, it is always helpful to talk with an agent about insurance policies and what might work for you.

If you live in the Cincinnati, OH area, the agents with Advantage Insurance Network can help you find the policy that is going to work best for you and for your home so that you are covered no matter the situation.  

Risks for New Drivers

Any driver can have an accident regardless of their experience, but new drivers are at greater risk. Teens have the highest incidences of crashes and motor vehicle fatalities on the road. Advantage Insurance Network in Cincinnati, OH would like to share their advice on exposing risks to new drivers because your insurance rates can be affected by reckless teen drivers.

Control Your Speed

Teens are more likely to disobey the speed limit. They do not seem to recognize the dangers that are involved when you are speeding. Following too closely behind, or tailgating is another dangerous situation that could cause an accident.

Distractions While On the Road

Cell phones should not be used by anyone while they are driving. Because new drivers have less experience handling difficult traffic situations, texting could easily interfere with their focus on the road.

Friends in the vehicle make it a lot more difficult for a teenager to pay attention to what is in front of them. Teens are more prone to engage in risky driving behaviors when they are other teenagers in the car.

Drinking and Driving

Intoxicated teen drivers have a greater chance of becoming involved in a fatality than an adult. According to the CDC, in 2010, 1 in 5 teenagers that were killed in a car crash had some alcohol in their system. Alcohol greatly impairs your perception, reaction time, and judgment.  

Seatbelt Safety

Even though seatbelts have proven to save lives, new drivers tend not to wear them. They may feel the belt is unnecessary or uncomfortable. Passengers of teen drivers are also less likely to wear a seatbelt.

Advantage Insurance Network in Cincinnati, OH wants to keep new drivers safe while on the road. Having the appropriate kind of insurance can help protect you if you are involved in an auto accident.

 

How To Handle Being Hit While Parked

While it is more common for a vehicle to be hit while on the road, hit and run accidents frequently occur when your vehicle is parked on the street, whether in front of your home, in the grocery parking lot, or in a parking structure. You may see the event as it occurs or may come back to your vehicle to find damage. The guilty party often doesn’t leave any contact information, leaving you, as the vehicle owner, with the issue of having the damage fixed. When your car experiences a hit and run, it’s often unclear what you should do, and many people are confused about the details of their auto insurance coverage. If your vehicle is hit while parked in Cincinnati, OH, here are some guidelines to help you proceed.

Locate Witnesses and Document The Accident

Make a note of the time you first noticed damage to your car. If you saw the vehicle and person who hit your car, take notes describing the vehicle and driver. If not, there may be other witnesses to the event who can provide information about the make and model of the vehicle, the color, and possibly a partial license plate number. Get contact details from these witnesses, as they may be asked to provide a statement regarding what they’ve seen, even if they don’t have specific information, as they will be able to provide verification that your car was hit by another vehicle which fled the scene.

Take photos or video of the damage your vehicle sustained, and look for paint scrapes which can help support your claim that another vehicle hit your car. Document the immediate area that clearly shows where your car was parked, and include identifying signs and landmarks when possible. If your vehicle was parked on the street, knock on doors of nearby homes and businesses and speak to people who may be able to provide useful information about the incident, the vehicle or the driver.  

Look for closed circuit TV cameras or security cameras in the area that may have captured the event, and request copies of the footage. This is a good approach for vehicles that are hit in parking lots or parking structures.  Call the police and Advantage Insurance Network immediately and make a report as soon as possible, even if there were no witnesses to the event.

Auto Insurance Coverage for Hit and Run Accidents

It is upsetting to come out of your home or back from a movie and find that your vehicle has received damage from a hit-and-run driver. That’s why it’s important to make sure you have the right auto insurance protection. At Advantage Insurance Network, we take great care to ensure that if your vehicle it hit while parked, that you have the correct type and amount of Cincinnati, OH auto insurance coverage to cover your losses. Call our office today!

Essential Home Repairs You Shouldn’t Avoid

If you live on a tight budget, it can be tempting to ignore home maintenance jobs that need to be done on your property in order to save money. While some home repairs can be put off temporarily without serious repercussions, others need to be taken care of right away. By putting off essential home repairs, you increase the risk of causing even worse damage to your property. The following repairs fall under the "essential" category:

Roof Repair

An old roof with damaged shingles won’t hold up against stormy weather. If you delay making roof repairs, you increase the risk of structural and/or interior water damage to your property. Water damage caused by lack of roof maintenance and repair may not be covered by your insurance carrier. By discussing water damage coverage with an Advantage Insurance Network agent in Cincinnati, OH, you can get a better idea of the protection your insurance policy offers.    

Plumbing/Electrical System

Problems with your home’s plumbing and/or electrical system should also be taken care of as soon as possible. Worn pipes or faulty wiring increase the risk of flooding or fire, both of which could utterly destroy your home. If you own an older home, you may need to upgrade your plumbing or electrical system to avoid serious problems.

Cracks in Foundation

Although some cracks in your home’s foundation may be harmless, others could present a problem. When it doubt, it’s best to have cracks checked by a professional, especially if they cause buckling or bulging in the home’s structure. Taking care of the problem early on could save you the expense of costly repairs later down the line.

A comprehensive home insurance policy from Advantage Insurance Network in Cincinnati, OH, will protect your home and personal belongings from unforeseen events that could cause damage to your property.