Author Archives: Cappuccino Insurance Blogging Team

Bundle Auto and Home Insurance to Save

Can you Save 15% on your Auto Insurance?

Everyone wants to save money where they can.

If you have a home, condo or apartment insured with Cappuccino Insurance, you could save on both your auto insurance policy and your existing policies by bundling them together.

What are the benefits of bundling? 

1) Save up to 15% on both your home (condo and/or apartment) insurance and your auto insurance.

2 ) Get the convenience of having all your policies under one agency.

3) In the event that there’s a claim on both policies, there may only be one deductible.

It only takes a few minutes to get a quote.

Call us today to get your free quote and get on the road to saving!

 

 

Mudslide

Is a Mudslide Covered under your Home Insurance Policy?

Owning a home in California can raise a lot of insurance concerns: earthquake, fire, and now mudslides.  Are mudslides covered on your home insurance policy?

In short, no.

In our last blog, we covered the topic of flood insurance. At the time, rain forecasts were inconclusive, but by now, it is clear that California is having a wet year.

Many areas hit by fires are at risk for mudslides. The number of Montecito homes destroyed by the mudslides were most recently tallied at 115. At the beginning of December residents among the foothills braced for possible mudslides, as well.

It’s not just that these barren areas lack foliage, but during a fire a chemical process occurs which hardens soil, resulting in a loss of topsoil during rains. How much rain does it take to cause a mudslide? According to a recent LA Times article, “In Southern California’s unburned areas, 10 inches of rainfall during the winter is needed to nearly saturate the ground. After that point, a burst of rain of just one-quarter of an inch an hour can trigger widespread shallow landslides. But in areas that experienced a burn, it only takes an intense rainfall.”

Mudslides are NOT covered by home insurance. Yet you can purchase additional flood insurance.

Those in “high risk areas” or Special Hazard Flood Areas will likely already have flood insurance. But you don’t have to live in a traditional high-risk area to be hit by a flood. According to FEMA, “More than 20 percent of flood claims come from properties outside the high risk flood zone.” This is important to note as “floods are the nation’s most common and costly natural disaster and cause millions of dollars in damage every year.”

Contact Cappuccino Insurance to go over your existing coverage and to learn more about flood insurance.

 

it doesn’t take a catastrophic amount of water to do significant damage to a home.

Flood insurance: Will it be a Wet Year for California?

“Several climate experts,” according to a news report, “are saying they are unsure what this winter will bring” for the state.

While some areas of California were harder hit than others by last year’s storms it doesn’t take a catastrophic amount of water to do significant damage.

Flood is one of the exclusions on a home insurance policy. Because there is a 30 day wait period on flood insurance, you can’t wait until there’s an impending storm to up your policy.  Last year California had record rains and some people were left high and dry (no pun intended).

Flood Insurance Facts

✅ Flood insurance is a separate, additional policy.

✅ Homes in a high risk flood zone can be as inexpensive as a few hundred dollars. (Those in “high risk” areas likely already have flood insurance as the mortgage lender requires it).

✅ Flood insurance includes building (it will repair the damage) and losses.

✅ Although home insurance will cover some types of flooding, it will not cover water that comes from the outside in, which is bad news for owners with sloping yards, clogged drains, or areas that can pool water.

✅ Flood insurance also covers water back up through drains. (This is important because although some home insurance policies do cover “back ups,” up to $5000, you will not have to file a claim through your home insurance).

Contact Cappuccino Insurance for more information on Flood Insurance and other policies for your home, business, and automobiles.

liable for internet slander

Could you be Guilty of Internet Slander? How to Cover your Assets with a Personal Umbrella

It’s very common  to take to the Internet when you have a negative experience with a business.

But could you be held liable for what you post online?

When one Dallas couple took to social media to fight a business grievance, it ended up costing them 1.08 million in damages.

It all started more than two years ago over a $125 disagreement between the couple and their wedding photographer. According to the lawsuit filed by the photographer, the couple used their social media platforms and the media as a “smear campaign,” to “destroy” her business.

The charges were defamation, disparagement, and civil conspiracy, and on August 2nd, “A Dallas County jury found… that social media posts made by Neely and Andrew Moldovan against photographer Andrea Polito amounted to defamation.”

Yikes.

It’s enough to give us pause about our own online activity, like Yelp reviews and Facebook posts.

A recent analysis on Yelp reviews found that out of the million studied, “12.8 percent were 1-star reviews.” The analysis also revealed that customers “tend to leave reviews based on their own personal feelings about their experience, rather than through an objective analysis.” This could be interpreted to mean that when reviews are based on emotions and subjective experiences rather than hard facts, they’re likely to have inaccuracies.

But can we be held liable for a negative social media post?

It’s very possible.

According to a Slate.com article, “Whether a person makes a defamatory statement on a blog, in a newspaper, or on Twitter or Facebook, he or she can be held legally liable for it.”  Furthermore, even “an email sent to a single person can be libelous.”

There is a distinction between slandering a public or private figure. In regards to public figures, “malice” must be proven, but, “In order to be liable for libel against a private figure, a person must have simply been negligent, which means not acting with a reasonable level of care in making the statement in question.”

Even if our own online behavior is squeaky clean and we’re just posting family photos and funny cat videos, we could be held liable for our kid’s online behavior, too.

Your home insurance can include personal injury, and while it’s not standard on most policies, it can be added on and it includes liability. Another option is to have an umbrella policy for this type of liability protection as it covers everything on the under line.

If you have questions about your current policies or you’d like to learn more about adding an umbrella policy to your existing coverage, please contact Cappuccino Insurance.

Airbnb Short Term Vacation Rental Insurance

Hosting on Airbnb? Get Short-Term Vacation Rental Insurance

More homeowners are connecting with sites like Airbnb to rent out a room or their entire house for extra income, but before taking the rental plunge, homeowners need be aware of the risks involved and how their homeowner’s insurance is affected in such enterprises.

Renting on sites like Airbnb can bring potential income but can also come with a whole host of problems. According to one Airbnb host, “There’s one risk that’s even more expensive than vacancy: destruction. If your guest trashes your home, you could (theoretically) lose tens of thousands…”

Horror stories abound, like the story of one Californian women who was left holding the bag for thousands of dollars in legal fees when one guest refused to leave and refused to pay. And according to The New York Times, while Airbnb does come with insurance “for hosts with every stay, the policy has numerous exclusions, and Airbnb requires a host to file a claim within 14 days of a guest’s departure, or before a subsequent guest arrives, whichever is sooner.”

It’s not just damages and potential legal fees that homeowners need to mitigate risks for but liability coverage as well.

Homeowner’s insurance comes with personal liability, which is designated for residential, but by renting the home on Airbnb, the home has become a business. Also a regular home insurance policy won’t cover theft or vandalism caused by renters. Perhaps most poignantly, if the insurer discovers that the home is being rented out on Airbnb or a similar service they may drop the policy and claims might be denied.

To mitigate risks, and not get dropped by their homeowner’s policy, people that are renting their homes out on Airbnb need a special policy: short-term vacation rental insurance. At Cappuccino Insurance, we work with several companies that offer short-term vacation rental insurance. Cost varies by size of home and how much coverage you desire. Please contact us to learn more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Driving for Uber or Lyft? Learn about Gap Coverage!

Driving for Uber of Lyft? What you need to know about Gap Coverage

If you or someone on your policy is driving for a Transportation Network Company, like Uber or Lyft, you need to know about gap coverage and transportation network endorsement.

Most insurance companies will not issue a policy for personal insurance coverage when they know that driver works for Uber or Lyft. Upon discovering your employment they can cancel and/or not renew the policy, or even worse, deny a claim.

This could be the first issue you run into if you are thinking about driving or are already a driver for a TNC. Almost all personal auto policies exclude livery.

The second important issue in this industry is the gap period. Uber and Lyft provide insurance coverage while the driver has a passenger in the car. But the period while the driver is waiting on passengers or in between passengers has been a point of contention since an Uber driver struck and killed a pedestrian in San Francisco in 2013. Neither the company nor the insurance providers would take responsibility for the claim.

The whole point of having insurance is so you’re covered.

Now there are several companies whom we work with at Cappuccino Insurance that provide both personal car insurance and who will “endorse your policy” for gap coverage.

If you or family members on your policy are driving for Uber or Lyft, talk to your insurance agent to look over any exclusions on your current policy and learn about the best companies for gap coverage. Cappuccino Insurance is here to answer your questions!

 

 

New California Cell Phone Law

New California Law: Don’t get caught with a cell-phone in your hand!

California drivers have been familiar with laws that prohibit driving while texting (except through voice operated and hands-free features), but as of January 2017, a new law came into effect.

The New 2017 Law

This new law requires your device to be mounted on the windshield, dashboard or center console. The DMV clarifies that “The driver’s hand may only be used to activate or deactivate a feature or function on the device with the motion of a single swipe or tap of the driver’s finger, but not while holding it.”

The new law seeks to address recent driving behaviors and newer technology. Many drivers are texting behind the wheel, as well as reading GPS directions, reading news articles, streaming videos and taking photos.

“On average, texting takes a driver’s eyes off the road for an average of five seconds: that’s enough time to travel the length of a football field.” CHP officer Jesus Chavez reported to KSBW news that “You’re not paying attention or something happens in front of you by the time your mind thinks about it and you react to it, it is definitely too late.”

Fines and Consequences

In addition to poor driving decisions and possible accidents, the new law carries the consequence of fines.

News source Kron4 reports that “The base fine for a first violation is $20 and $50 for any subsequent violations.”

While $20 or $50 may not sound like much to some, Nolo.com reminds readers that the amount is just the base fine: “The actual amount you’ll pay once assessments are added will be significantly more than the base fine. The total for a first violation will likely exceed $150, and a second or subsequent offense can cost over $250.”

Because the costs of a mount is relatively inexpensive – about the cost of the base fine – it’s well worth the investment to follow the law and purchase a mount.

And while insurance companies don’t currently consider this “non-moving violation” a point on your record, that might change. We want you to be safe and prepared!

Giveaway!

As a gift and incentive to our clients and social media followers, we’re giving away 5 (five) smartphone car mounts.

To be entered into the giveaway, follow the link below to our Facebook page and “share” the post. Please also comment that you have “shared” on the original post so we can be sure to see your shares even if your facebook account is set to private.

  • You may “share” once a week for additional entries.
  • The giveaway ends on May 19th 11:59PM and winners will be announced on Facebook on May 21st.

 

Good luck!