Dogs and Umbrella Insurance

Love Bites—Get Umbrella Coverage

 

In today’s economy, everyone is pinching pennies. So why worry about umbrella coverage? Shouldn’t a home and auto policy leave you adequately covered?

 

Unfortunately, we live in a world of lawsuits. Large damages can be awarded, be extremely expensive and have long-term financial impact. Those lawsuits can come from unlikely sources, such as our furry friends.

 

Take Herschel for instance. Herschel is a much-loved, rather timid labradoodle who enjoys taking naps on the driveway while his owner mows the lawn.

 

Herschel watched from eight feet away as his neighbor, a 39 year old man, showed off his rollerblading skills to his kids. The man wiped out on the sidewalk in front of Herschel’s house and broke his leg. He required surgery, costing around $35,000 in medical costs and $18,000 in lost wages.

 

Fair or not, the man brought a lawsuit against Herschel’s owner, suing for $220,000 in damages. He alleged that Herschel had caused the accident by getting in his way, despite multiple witnesses to the contrary.

 

But Herschel’s owner was lucky–a jury vindicated Herschel. However, lawsuits such as these can easily exceed the limits on a homeowner’s policy, leaving the insured responsible for the remainder. An umbrella policy would prevent that, giving you an extra $1 million to $5 million in coverage.

 

Our furry friends can put your assets at risk in other ways as well.   According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 4.7 million people are bitten by dogs each year, with half of those occurring on the owner’s property. Dog bites, according to the Insurance Information Institute, account for about a third of all homeowner’s insurance claims, which only cover limited damages.

 

Protect what you love. Call us at Deleski Insurance to talk about your umbrella options.

Storm season

How to Check Your Property for Damage After a Storm

 

When a big storm hits in Roseville, MN or St. Paul, MN, you hunker down inside, relying on your home to protect you and your family. Once that storm passes, though, it’s time to repay the favor — identifying damage and protecting your home from further issues.

 

The National Storm Damage Center has a number of resources and tips for homeowners. Here are four major things we, at Atlas Insurance Brokers – Deleski Agency, recommend you check after a storm:

 

  1. Your roof: If you see holes, split seams or missing shingles on your roof or if you notice leaking inside or out, it’s a good idea to have a qualified inspector come assess the situation.

 

  1. Your exterior: Siding, brick and stucco are all vulnerable to storm damage. You’ll want to look for cracking, chipping or dings and dents in siding, and for holes in stucco. Look closely and at different times of the day. Some homeowners don’t notice damage until it’s too late to file a claim, and different lighting can reveal damage you didn’t see before.

 

  1. Driveways and walkways: Cracking and splitting can create safety hazards, as well as reduce the lifespan of the concrete.

 

  1. Trees: According to the National Storm Damage Center, fallen trees and limbs cause more than $1 billion in damage annually. Check roofs, vehicles, fences and machinery for fallen limbs that may have caused damage or could pose a risk. Clean up what you safely can and rely on a reputable tree removal service to handle the rest. Depending on the circumstances, your homeowners insurance policy may help with tree removal and damage repair costs – if you experience a covered loss, that is.

 

A few more helpful tips:

  • Keep trees well maintained and trimmed. Also notify neighbors if you see any overhanging branches on any of theirs.

 

 

  • Know your insurance. Take a look at your policy so you know what’s covered, what your limits and deductibles are, etc. This will prevent any surprises during the claims process.

  • Take pictures. Photographs can help you show the cause and extent of any storm damage that occurs.

 

Of course, if you’ve suffered through a major storm, don’t hesitate to call us at Atlas Insurance Brokers for help with an insurance claim or with finding a professional property inspector.

Classic Car Show in St. Paul, MN

Make the most of a classic car show

As the weather warms, you’re likely to start seeing announcements for a classic car show in Roseville, MN and Saint Paul, MN. These automotive events are a great way to kick start your weekend or vacation. Classic car shows are held all across the country, from small rural towns to large metropolitan areas, and they draw classic car enthusiasts from near and far.

 

Some people attend classic car shows as spectators to check out unique and rare vehicles. Others go to connect with fellow car buffs or to show off their prized possession. And some attend shows to shop or to sell.

 

Whether you’re planning to shop, sell, show, or just go, here are some tips for making the most of a classic car show.

 

  • Family fun. Larger classic car shows typically feature entertainment, food vendors, raffles and more. Bring the whole family for a day of fun.
  • Plan. Take note of the event schedule, plan before you go, and make sure you’re aware of the hours for check-in.
  • Be the early bird. If you’re entering your automobile in a competition, sign up early. Most are limited to a certain number of entries, and it’s usually first come, first served.
  • Know the value. If you are planning to sell or buy, you must be well versed on the value of the vehicle and the market conditions. Buying or selling a car—especially a classic—can be an emotion-driven experience. Knowing the facts is essential if you are to get the right deal.
  • Need parts? Some larger car shows also feature a swap meet. Before you go, research the show and take note of car accessories and parts you might need.
  • Get some rest. Larger car shows can sprawl for miles upon miles. Make sure you’re rested, hydrated, and fed so you have plenty of energy for a long day of roaming.
  • Pack a bag. Be prepared to get the most out of the day by bringing along what you might need for the weather – from coats to sunscreen – and for your basic needs – from water to snacks.

And most importantly, contact Deleski Insurance Agency at 651-633-0400 to make sure your classic car has the coverage it needs so you can enjoy yourself at the classic car shows.

Distracted Driving

Avoiding distractions while driving could save your life

 

You’ve seen them on the roads; you might even know a few of them.

 

And you could be one yourself.

 

Distracted drivers in come in all shapes, sizes, ages and experience levels. Even if you’re not one today, you could become one at any moment — in the time it takes you to answer your cell phone or check the kids in the back seat when you’re driving through {neighborhoods}.

 

If you or someone else you know thinks you can drive just fine while talking on your phone, think about this: More than 450,000 people were injured in crashes that reportedly involved distracted driving in 2009, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. More than 5,000 of those people died.

 

Distractions on the road come in many forms, according to www.distraction.gov, a U.S. Department of Transportation website. There are three main kinds of distractions:

Visual – taking your eyes off the road

Manual –taking your hands off the wheel

Cognitive – taking your mind off what you’re doing

 

To help you avoid all three kinds of distractions the next time you’re behind the wheel of your car here are a few tips:

Put your phone in silent mode and store it away from the front seat or in a purse or bag. This helps reduce temptation.

Have a passenger answer your phone or return text messages for you.

If a call or a text can’t wait, pull over in a safe spot before using your phone.

This one seems obvious, but finish shaving or applying makeup before you get in the car!

If you’re emotional, wait until you’ve calmed down before hitting the road.

Avoid road rage. You’ll be happier and safer.  We at Deleski Insurance Agency want you to arrive safely at your destination.

Pizza Delivery

If you think commercial auto insurance is just for businesses, think again.

Do you deliver pizzas, newspapers, food or other types of products in your vehicle? If so, you may need to insure it with a commercial auto policy. Your personal auto policy may specifically exclude these actions from coverage, which means an accident or other loss may not be covered by your insurance if it’s not a commercial auto policy. These actions are considered part of conducting business, which is why they would be covered by a commercial auto policy instead of a personal auto policy.

You need a commercial policy and we can help

At Deleski Insurance, we help pizza delivery drivers find the coverage they need in the Minneapolis, Saint Paul, Roseville, and surrounding areas.  Don’t be left with a bill if and when an accident occurs.  Get a commercial policy today and save your tips for yourself!

 

 

 

 

Roseville, MN Home Safety

Daylight Savings Time is also Daylight Safety Time.

 

We here at Deleski Insurance want to remind you that Daylight Savings Time is a great time to improve your family’s safety.

 

Be safe in your Roseville home

 

Health and safety agencies often use the approach of Daylight Savings Time to remind people to change the batteries in their smoke alarms. The American Red Cross suggests you test your smoke alarms and talk with your family about your fire escape plan. Whether you live in Minnesota or elsewhere, practice the plan too – at least twice a year.

 

Daylight Savings is a great time to check your emergency preparedness kit to make sure it’s fully stocked with fresh supplies.

 

Carbon Monoxide a concern too

 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 400 people die annually in the US from carbon monoxide poisoning. The CDC recommends changing the batteries in your CO detectors when moving your clocks forward this Sunday.

 

The CDC says the most common symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain and confusion.

 

See the CDC’s site for more ways to prevent carbon monoxide exposure.

 

We here at Deleski Insurance hope these tips help and that you’ll consider sharing them with the people you care about so they can live safer lives too.

Much of your home’s value is what’s inside

There’s a popular saying that goes like this: “Home is where the heart is.”

 

That saying rings true for many who find “home” a safe haven and a place to cherish, convene with family and friends, raise children, cook meals, rest, retire and celebrate.

 

Most will agree a home is not just a pile of bricks and mortar. Rather, a true “home” comprises much more, including everything inside it.

 

Some of the things inside your house that helps make it your home include your furniture and appliances, clothing, sports equipment, and electronic goods. These items are considered personal property – and it’s really important to protect it all.

 

How do I protect what really makes my house a home?

 

Protecting the important stuff inside your home begins with an understanding what you have. If you’re like many people, you may find your home contains much more personal property than you realize.

 

To understand how much stuff you have, develop a careful inventory of your personal property following these tips.

  • Use a video camera to record and audibly describe items as you move through your home. If you don’t have access to a video camera, use a standard camera or phone camera.
  • Whether you use still photos or video to develop your inventory, include brand names and descriptions where possible, especially on high-cost items.
  • Keep any and all receipts on high-dollar purchases. Keep these receipts filed together with any instruction booklets, warranties, etc. that accompany the items.
  • Store your video or photo inventory offsite on a cloud or back it up with an additional drive.
  • When you make new purchases, be sure to add them to your inventory.

 

If you have high-value items, be sure to check with us at Deleski Insurance in Roseville, MN so we can review your homeowners coverage to make sure you’re properly protected. We understand that your home is not just a house, and we are here to help ensure that everything important to you is protected—both outside and inside your home.

 

Contact Us! 651-633-0400

 

At Deleski Insurance, we can work with you to make sure you’ve got the coverage you need, while at the same time using all possible credits and discounts to make that coverage affordable. Just give us a call at 651-633-0400 or send us a note at bdeleski@aibme.com. We want to help you meet your goals, and make sure what’s important to you is protected!

 

Winter car accidents

How to Stay Safe After a Winter Car Accident

The days are short. The air is cold. And, roads are often slick with rain, snow or ice.

 

It’s winter driving season in Minneapolis and St. Paul. And, while most people know what to do to try to avoid an accident, many don’t know what to do after one. It’s vital knowledge to have, because the aftermath of a crash can be just as dangerous as the crash itself — especially when it’s cold and snowy.

 

Here are five things to do (or not do) if you’re in an accident this winter to help keep yourself and others safe:

 

  • Make sure everyone’s OK — then get off the road if you can. The safety of everyone involved in a crash is the first concern, of course. So, check on the occupants of each vehicle and call for emergency assistance if it’s needed. Then, if the vehicles are drivable, get them off the road as soon – and as carefully – as possible.

  • Stay in your car if you can’t safely move away. If you can’t get your car off the road, but you can get off the road, wait until there’s no traffic around and then move well out of the way. Otherwise, stay in the car so you’re protected from other vehicles.
  • Stay visible — and warm. Turn on your hazard lights and put up road flares so other vehicles know something is wrong. And, grab your vehicle emergency kit (you have one, right?) for blankets and extra clothing. If you’ve run off the road and you’re still in your car, make sure nothing is blocking your exhaust pipe. Otherwise carbon monoxide may build up.
  • If you’re stranded, stay put. Running off the road in a remote area is scary, but resist the urge to try to walk for help. You risk getting lost, especially during a storm, if you set off on foot.
  • See a crash? Don’t always stop to help. Being a Good Samaritan could cause more problems than it solves. So, if those involved aren’t in immediate danger, call 911 and let the professionals help with medical aid and traffic control.

 

 

It’s not always easy, but keeping a cool head after an accident will do more than help everyone get through a stressful situation — it will help keep everyone safer, too.

 

And, remember, if something does happen on the road this winter, your agent from Deleski Insurance is here to help with your auto accident claim.

Proof of auto insurance in Minnesota

Proof of Auto Insurance Now Required 

 

Starting January 1, 2016 Minnesota vehicle owners will actually have to prove they have insurance to renew their tabs or transfer ownership of their motor vehicles or motorcycles.  Due to the work of a legislative task force on uninsured motorists, the state legislature directed the Department of Public Safety to reinstitute previous procedures that require proof of insurance while registering your vehicle.  The directive was part of a larger transportation bill that mostly will take effect in July.

 

Required proof of insurance was curtailed over a decade ago during one of the state’s billion dollar budget shortfalls.  The Department instead simply asked registrants to attest that they had motor vehicle or motorcycle insurance.

 

Minnesota law requires drivers to possess proof of insurance at all times and maintain insurance when they operate a vehicle.  The task force found more than one in 10 Minnesota drivers don’t have insurance on their vehicles and lawmakers hope beefing up the documentation requirement will reduce that percentage of uninsured drivers.

So now the state won’t be just taking the word of vehicle owners. It now will request specific policy information that includes insurance company name, policy number and expiration date.

 

According to the Department of Public Safety, the new requirement will be outlined in annual renewal notices.  Vehicle owners will be able to provide the information in an application online, in person or by mail.   Some renewals are already in the mail.

Jewelry coverage

 

Have some new jewelry in the house? Protect it!

Ah, Valentine’s Day is near, and love is in the air. Well, love and a few other things, such as chocolates, romantic dinners, candy hearts that say “Be Mine” – and, of course, jewelry.

 

It’s exciting to receive jewelry from a loved one — or to give it as a gift. But if you’re lucky enough to have some new jewelry in your Minnesota home this Valentine’s Day, you should take a few minutes to think about something you probably don’t find exciting or romantic: insurance.

 

Don’t know where to turn? Don’t worry. At Deleski Insurance Agency, we think it is exciting to help our customers protect what’s most important to them — so we’re ready to help and can answer all of your questions.

 

Things to consider when insuring jewelry:

 

You may need to purchase additional coverage. Your homeowners policy covers valuable items such as jewelry only up to set amounts. If the cost of replacing your jewelry exceeds that limit, you will want to purchase scheduled personal property coverage. You can check your policy or give us a call at 651-633-0400.

Do you need an appraisal? You may need to have an independent appraisal if the insurance company requires it or if you don’t know the value of your jewelry. Each item should be listed with a description and value. Color, cut, and clarity is very helpful.

What kind of coverage is offered? You’ll want to determine if items are covered no matter where they are, whether they’re in Minneapolis or St. Paul, or on an international trip, and if the policy offers full replacement cost. You also should ask if you will be required to replace your jewelry if lost or stolen, or if you can simply keep the cash settlement.

Pictures can be helpful. Lost or stolen pieces of jewelry sometimes can be recreated if the jeweler has a good photograph to work from, but the appraisal is always best to have as well.

Should I go with a company that specializes in jewelry insurance? There are companies that specialize in jewelry insurance. Whether you choose one of these, or a company that we represent, you’ll want to make sure they are reputable and stable.

Is the value of your jewelry mainly sentimental? Is an item irreplaceable? If the answer to either of these questions is “yes,” you might consider foregoing insurance. But please, talk to us at 651-633-0400 before making that decision. That’s what we’re here for.

Is is covered if I lose it or a stone falls out? Yes, it is covered, but only if you schedule it separately on your homeowners policy. It is not covered if you lose it without listing it on the policy or “scheduling” it.

 

Of course, it’s important to store your jewelry securely when it’s not in use; a safe in your home or a safe-deposit box is best. We want your jewelry to be replaced if it’s lost or stolen, but we’d rather your sentimental and valuable pieces stay with you and your family for years to come.

 

Here’s hoping your Valentine’s Day is full of fun and romance. And if there’s no jewelry involved, well, there’s always next year! Happy Valentine’s Day Twin Cities!

 

Contact Us!

For further questions and assistance, please contact Deleski Insurance at 651-633-0400.