On the Ninth Day of Christmas Nine Ladies Dancing Raised Concerns About Liquor Liability

New Mexico Homeowner's insurance“On the ninth day of Christmas my true love gave to me nine Ladies dancing, eight maids a milking, seven swans a swimming, six geese a laying, five gold ring, four collie birds, three French hens, and a partridge in a pear tree.”

Just how do I twist this song one more time so that I can write about insurance Christmas?  Well, it’s common for people to invite others to their home for parties and get festivities during the Holiday Season; this may be for Christmas, New Years, or any other holiday.  It is also quite common to serve alcohol at these parties, and this brings up the subject of liquor liability. 

If a drunk driver harms or kills someone that means that somebody is going to be sued.  It doesn’t matter if that person is coming from a business establishment or a residence the last place of his overindulgence is the target. Now, it is important to know that the drunk cannot sue you for his own intoxication but the person that he hit sure can, and you can bet that they will.

You are liable for the accident as a “social host” if you serve alcohol to a minor or if you served alcohol in a “reckless” manner.  A reckless manner is usually defined as serving alcohol to an already intoxicated guest. Your homeowner’s insurance will cover the incident up to the limit of liability on the policy. The typical limit is somewhere between one hundred and five hundred thousand dollars.

Perhaps the best rule is to closely monitor your guests and use common sense.  First of all, serving alcohol to a minor not only puts you in the hot seat as far as liquor liability is concerned, it is also illegal, and that means potential criminal charges; with regard to our adult guests that don’t always act like adults, if “Uncle Harry” has a penchant for overindulgence take that into consideration when you serve him.  Additionally, you should make sure that transportation or lodging arrangements are made beforehand, not only will this prevent the potential lawsuit it will prevent a potential tragedy, we would hate for anything to happen to “Uncle Harry”.

As always, don’t forget to call your insurance agent about any insurance questions that you might have.

On the Eighth Day of Insurance Christmas I Had to Buy EPLI Insurance for My Maids

New Mexico Homeowners insurance“On the eighth day of Christmas my true love gave to me eight maids a milking, seven swans a swimming, six geese a laying, five gold rings, four collie birds, two French hens, and a partridge in a pear tree.”

You’d think by now that I’d get the hint that I was receiving something for the eighth day of Christmas, well I did.  I was in fact scared to death.  The very last thing that I needed in my back yard was eight maids with their eight cows a milking away.  I awoke in the morning in a panic and was relieved to discover that the maids didn’t come with cows. 

However, that doesn’t mean that they didn’t come without problems.  I didn’t have any insurance to cover these household employees.  My homeowner’s insurance specifically excludes all business related activity from coverage under the liability section of the policy.  It provides no workers’ compensation insurance, nor does it protect me if one of the eight maids decides to sue me for:  wrongful termination, discrimination, harassment – sexual or otherwise- and privacy breaches; and I’m just getting started.

The exposures created when you decide to hire a household employee are tremendous and varied.  Some people even go so far as to hire undocumented workers, or fail to make sure that all contractors on the property have workers’ compensation insurance; this exposes them even further to issues of tax and employment practice claims.  None of this, and let me repeat:  None of this is covered by your homeowner’s insurance policy.  These eight maids – without their cows – just created a lot of exposure.  I could be sued for millions. 

How do I protect myself?  I need an Employment Practices Liability Insurance Policy (EPLI).  I can choose coverage limits from five hundred thousand all the way up to five million.  This policy will offer me the broadest coverage.  However, it is not necessarily cheap and I will have a deductible to pay in the event of a claim, this deductible could be as high as twenty-five thousand dollars.

Alternatively, I could ask my insurance agent to endorse my current homeowners’ policy to add employment practices liability coverage.  The endorsement is not overly expensive and the premiums will be lower; but, coverage will be more restrictive and the maximum number of employees allowed will be closer to four or five, more than the eight that my true love gifted me. 

It looks like I need to have a long conversation with my insurance agent.

On the Seventh Day of Christimas I Learned All About Watercraft Coverage

New Mexico Boat Insurance“On the seventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me seven swans a swimming, six geese a laying, five gold rings, four collie birds, three French hens, two turtle doves, and a partridge in a pear tree.”

After a rough couple of days I decided to get away from it all with a trip to the lake.  I know its December and cold, but I can still relax and see if any fish happen to be biting.  I loaded up the boat and headed to the lake ready to enjoy my free time.  It was a great day my true love gave me seven swans while out on the lake and we let them swim and enjoy the view right along with us.

Anyone who has ever been on the lake knows just how fun and relaxing it can be, just make sure that you are properly covered.  If your boat is anything larger than a row boat you should consider watercraft coverage.  Watercraft coverage is simple to purchase and is relatively inexpensive.

Here are some things to consider when buying insurance for your boat.  Make sure that you choose to have fuel spill liability and wreckage removal coverage.  I know that this is not something that anyone wants to have happen at the lake but in the event of an accident, and if your boat sinks in that accident, you will be responsible for the removal of the boat from the bottom of the lake.  It is not ok to just leave it there.  You will be fined if you try it.  Furthermore, you are responsible for all of the fuel and oil that have now contaminated the lake.  Cleanup can be expensive, especially if the lake is very deep, and that is why you want to make sure that your insurance will cover the cost.

Today I won’t be doing any water-skiing, but water sports liability coverage is something that I always make sure is included on my policy.

Another valuable coverage that can really set your mind at ease is on-water towing.  Breaking down on the water is not like breaking down on the side of the road.  Being stuck out is the middle of the lake is not a whole lot of fun.  It’s nice to know that you have coverage for the expensive of being towed back to the marina.  Maybe that fun day at the lake didn’t quite turn out like you’d like it to have, but it sure could have been a lot worse.

Call your insurance agent if you have any questions.

On the Sixth Day of Christmas the Geese Made a Mess of My Life

New Mexico Auto InsuranceOn the sixth day of Christmas my true love gave to me six geese a laying, five gold rings, four collie birds, two French hens, and a partridge in a pear tree”
On the sixth day of insurance Christmas my true love gave to me six geese a laying, and I didn’t know they were going to be right in the middle of my drive way. Can you believe that I ran one over with my car? It was a disaster. I mean the poor goose didn’t make it and I felt really bad about that, but the damage to my car was bad too. In addition to that the remaining geese decided that they need to guard my house and chase all the neighbors, one of the children even got bit and had to go to the doctor. I’ll be glad when my true love stops giving me things for Christmas.
Well, thank goodness I have good insurance coverage. I made sure that I paid the additional premium for comprehensive insurance. Some people call the combination of comprehensive and collision coverage “full coverage”; but, really there is no such thing as full coverage. It will never appear on any insurance documents it is just something that people say. It is also very inaccurate. I could have comprehensive and collision coverage but not have roadside assistance coverage or rental reimbursement coverage, and that only refers to the additional property damage coverage that is available under the personal auto policy.
Thankfully I did have both the roadside assistance coverage and the rental reimbursement coverage. I called a tow truck and had my car towed to the nearest repair shop and then drove a rental car until my car was fixed. It really removed a lot of the headache from my life. I only had to pay my comprehensive deductible of two hundred fifty dollars.
Dealing with my now angry neighbors was a different story. I guess they didn’t appreciate their children being chased and bitten by angry geese. Fortunately, the geese didn’t do any real damage – there were no broken bones or anything like that – just some skinned knees and bruises, more than anything they just really scared the children.
I was happy to offer to pay for any medical expenses that were incurred and even offered to take the children to the doctor, and this seemed to calm the parents somewhat. I knew that my homeowner’s insurance would cover the medical expenses under the medical payments to others coverage. This coverage is designed for cases just like this where it is important to show empathy and maybe the goodwill will prevent a lawsuit.
Its sure is a good thing that I have a great insurance agent to call in times like these

On the Fifth Day of Christmas I Lost Money on My Five Gold Rings

New Mexico homeowner's insurance“On the fifth day of Christmas my true love gave to me five gold rings, four collie birds, three French hens, two turtle doves, and a partridge in a pear tree”.
Guess what? On the fifth day of Christmas I get five gold rings and gold is great. Gold has been increasing in value steadily for the last decade. At the turn of the millennia the price of gold hovered around three hundred dollars per ounce, but now it’s well over one thousand six hundred dollars per ounce, that’s more than a five hundred percent increase in value. Furthermore, with the continued actions being taken by the Federal Reserve experts predict that the price of this precious commodity will only continue to go up.
What does this have to do with my true love giving me five gold rings a day for six days? A lot, those five gold rings will be worth a lot more in the future than they are today, and those rings that were purchased years ago are worth a lot more than you paid for them. This all sounds good we are after all making money and increasing our net worth right, and you don’t see an insurance correlation at all.
Let me explain. If you choose to schedule jewelry on your homeowner’s insurance policy that item is given a stated value and that value hasn’t changed since you stated what it was however many years ago that was, and that means that you are currently underinsured.
I will give an example. This past summer a good friend of mine was robbed. She had insured some jewelry a few years ago when she bought the items. She simply brought her receipt to her insurance agent and asked that they be scheduled onto her policy, and her insurance agent happily complied with the request. When she made a claim this past summer her insurance company paid her what she had agreed on – the amount that she paid for it, but when she went to replace the items she discovered that of the five gold rings she could only replace two of them with the amount that the insurance company had paid her.
At the beginning of the contract both my friend and the insurance company were in agreement as to the worth of the jewelry and what was to be insured. The insurance company fulfilled its end of the bargain, it paid the amount agreed upon, but the value of the item had drastically changed.
Are you in a similar situation? Have you had your jewelry appraised lately? Are you currently underinsured because of the rise in the price of gold? It’s high time you found out. Call your agent today and rectify the problem.

On the Forth Day of Christmas My True Love Gave to Me Progressive’s Pet Injury Coverage

New Mexico Auto InsuranceOn the fourth day of Christmas my true love gave to me four colly birds, three French hens, two turtle doves, and a partridge in a pear tree”.
I have unfortunate news for all bird owners out there – your bird is not considered a pet by some insurance companies, with that in mind I have chosen to change the lyrics in our favorite Christmas Carole to: four collie dogs.
Pets are really just a part of our family, and we often take them with us when we travel. With that in mind, Progressive has chosen to add pet coverage as a part of your auto insurance policy. They offer up to a thousand dollars worth of coverage for your dog or cat if they’re injured while you’re in a car accident, or even in the event of a fire or theft. The better news is that it’s free! That’s right. Progressive’s Pet Injury coverage is automatically included in your Collision coverage.
Let’s suppose that you’re involved in an accident and you could use your collision coverage to repair your vehicle; well, you can use Pet Injury coverage for your dog or cat as well to help offset the cost of veterinarian bills. If the pet is not owned by you, but by a relative that lives with you then the same coverage applies
Once again, Pet Injury coverage is built in to your Collision coverage, that means that there is no added cost if you choose to use it or not use it.
Now it’s important to remember that this is not Pet insurance. Progressive’s Pet Injury coverage provides coverage for veterinarian bill your dog or cat incurs from injuries that result from accidents when they’re inside your vehicle. Pet insurance is coverage that will pay for veterinarian bills when your pet is sick or hurt. With most pet insurance companies, you will pay the bill and are later reimbursed by the pet insurance company. Pet insurance is similar to health insurance for pets; many plans have deductibles, maximums and even coinsurance. Just like medical insurance, Pet insurance does not necessarily cover all medical conditions for your pet and it is very important that you make sure you are aware of all of the ins and outs of the policy before you make your purchase. ABC Insurance Services does not offer pet insurance.New Mexico Car Insurance
With Progressive’s Pet Injury, coverage is built right into your Collision coverage. Progressive auto insurance is one of the very few policies that provide this type of coverage. Remember that your dogs and cats are covered for vet costs up to one thousand dollars when they’re hurt in a car accident.
Remember Pet Injury coverage the next time you sing about the four collie dogs.