Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Insurance Tips for Home Renovations


Home renovations can be costly, but insufficient insurance coverage can make the process exponentially more expensive. Below are some do's and don'ts that can help keep you protected during a home improvement project.
  1. Double-check your contractor's insurance coverage. Workers' compensation and liability insurance are musts. Ask to see the necessary certificates and confirm sufficient coverage before you sign a contract.
  2. Don't assume subcontractors are covered. If your general contractor is subcontracting work to a plumber, electrician or another professional, make sure those companies carry insurance. The general contractor's policy may not cover them.
  3. Increase your replacement value. Improvements made during a renovation enhance the value of your home. Expanding your insurance coverage ensures your policy fully covers the cost of rebuilding your home as is.
  4. Don't forget to include new items. Add updated appliances and furniture purchases to avoid potential gaps in coverage.
  5. Raise the liability coverage limit. Making this change can help protect a homeowner in the event of an injury while the property is under construction.
  6. Don't neglect an attractive nuisance. Are you adding a swimming pool, trampoline or other feature to your home that might attract and pose a risk to children? Should an accident involving an attractive nuisance happen, you'd be liable -- whether or not you gave permission to use it. Additional liability protection can help ease that burden.


Insurance plays an important role when you embark on a home improvement project. The right type and amount of coverage can help you avoid pitfalls on the road to owning your dream home.
Patrick Patterson 
Cell: 760.566.8544
Office: 619.477.6330
Fax: 619.477.1882
Ca Lic # 0K08985

Auto, Home, Commercial, Motorcycle, Boat, Business, and Renters
Licensed to sell insurance in the following states: CA
The highest compliment you can pay me is to recommend my services to your friends and associates.
If you know of someone who would appreciate my services, simply call, text or email me with their contact details

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Is it time to update your insurance?


When was the last time you thought about your home insurance? If you're like most people, you probably haven't revisited your policy since you first bought it. It's an oversight, though, that can cost you. Here are three scenarios that should prompt an insurance review.

Your Rebuild Costs Have Changed
Any time there's a change in the labor and material costs of rebuilding your home, it's a good idea to consider a review. A renovation is one such scenario. Another is when there's a general uptick in construction costs. Of course, those can spike after a natural disaster, but you can buy an extended-coverage rider now that'll boost your replacement value by up to 30 percent.

You Made a Big Purchase
New jewelry, art and other purchases may be covered by your policy but only in certain circumstances or up to a certain dollar limit. In this event, you can either increase your personal property limits or get specific coverage for the new item (called "scheduling"). This is also the time to decide between actual cash value coverage, which reimburses you for an item's depreciated value, or replacement cost coverage, which compensates you for the full cost of a replacement right now.

Your Risks Have Increased
A new pool or trampoline might make you the neighborhood hero, but it can also increase the risk of injuries on your property. If you're planning such a purchase, check whether your policy protects you against the new danger with enough liability protection, which would help with medical or legal costs if someone were to get hurt.

By and large, it's never a bad time to make sure your existing insurance coverages match up with your current needs. Contact us for a no obligation insurance review.

Patrick Patterson 
Cell: 760.566.8544
Office: 619.477.6330
Fax: 619.477.1882
Ca Lic # 0K08985

Auto, Home, Commercial, Motorcycle, Boat, Business, and Renters
Licensed to sell insurance in the following states: CA
The highest compliment you can pay me is to recommend my services to your friends and associates.
If you know of someone who would appreciate my services, simply call, text or email me with their contact details


Friday, July 7, 2017

Thinking About Listing Your Home on Airbnb or VRBO? What You Should Know

Whether you live in a popular travel destination or just need help paying your bills, renting your home on Airbnb can seem like a great option. But before you jump in, it's important to understand the laws that apply to short-term rentals in your area.
More Communities Are Regulating Short-Term Rentals
The increase in short-term rentals on websites like Airbnb and VRBO has caused controversy in many communities. In places like New York City where apartments are expensive and hard to find, short-term rentals can reduce the supply of affordable housing and drive up rents.
In beach towns and other vacation spots, short-term rentals can cause tensions with neighbors who are permanent residents, especially when rentals are overcrowded with rowdy or inconsiderate vacationers.
As a result, many localities have now passed laws restricting the right to rent homes on a short-term basis. Airbnb provides information on the laws and regulations in 50+ cities, which usually take one or more forms:
  • A minimum number of rental days. In New York City, for example, it is illegal to rent—or even list— an entire apartment for rent for less than 30 days.
  • A maximum number of days per year you can rent out your entire home. In San Francisco, you can rent your entire home for 90 days each year, but you must live there for the other 275 days. This does not apply to people who live in their home full-time and only rent out a room.
  • A requirement that you register your rental and/or obtain a business license from the city. You may have to pay a fee for registrations and licenses, and you may also have to pay occupancy or tourist taxes.
  • Liability insurance needs to be written either as a commercial/business use property or endorsed under current Homeowners policy if available. Coverage may be denied in event of claim if not disclosed. Contact Taylor Company Insurance & Financial Services for quote (see below).
  • Other regulations related to things like parking, health codes, and building safety.
The localities that approve these laws also are responsible for enforcing them. The level of enforcement and the penalties you pay for breaking the rules can vary greatly from place to place.

How to Find Out Whether You Can Rent Out Your Property
If you are thinking of listing all or a portion of your house, condo, or apartment on Airbnb, VRBO, or another rental site, do your research ahead of time. This is especially important if you are considering purchasing a home and are expecting rental income to help you pay your monthly bills. Here are three things to look into:
  • City and state laws and regulations. If your locality has rental restrictions, they will most likely be in the city or county code, possibly in the form of a zoning regulation. In addition to checking the Airbnb site, you can look up your city or county code online or at the local library. Alternately, a call to the local zoning board or administrative offices may give you the information you need. If you list your property in violation of state or local regulations, you may be fined or suffer other penalties.
  • Homeowner's association rules. If you live in a condo, planned community, co-op, or other property with a homeowner's association or board, you're probably subject to bylaws; rules; or conditions, covenants, and restrictions. These may restrict or prohibit you from renting to short-term tenants. If you violate the rules, the association may impose a fine or even place a lien on your home until the fine is paid. Contact your homeowner's association or board for a copy of all applicable regulations before you list your property on any rental site.
  • Lease restrictions. If you rent your home and want to list it on a short-term rental site, check the terms of your lease. Most leases require the landlord's approval to sublet the property, and some leases prohibit subletting altogether. If your landlord agrees to the sublet, get it in writing. If you do a short-term rental in violation of your lease, your landlord may have grounds to evict you.
Renting on Airbnb and VRBO can be a great source of extra income, but be sure you know what laws and restrictions apply to you. And, to minimize the chance of complaints and enforcement actions, be respectful of your neighbors who must live alongside your short-term guests.
by Jane Haskins, Esq., June 2017
We have multiple carriers that can provide Homeowners or Landlord policies covering Airbnb or VRBO, contact us with any questions. 
Patrick Patterson 
President 
Cell: 760.566.8544
Office: 619.477.6330
Fax: 619.477.1882
Ca Lic # 0K08985

Auto, Home, Commercial, Motorcycle, Boat, Business, and Renters
Licensed to sell insurance in the following states: CA
The highest compliment you can pay me is to recommend my services to your friends and associates.
If you know of someone who would appreciate my services, simply call, text or email me with their contact details

Friday, June 23, 2017

Fannie Mae's 3 new rules on student debt, what it means for you....

Friends and Clients —

If you have a student loan or you are a cosigner on one, there is some good news on the horizon.

Fannie Mae, the nation's largest underwriter of mortgages, recently introduced three new rules that affect those with student debt.

These new rules can make it easier to get a mortgage, and they can make it easier to pay off your (or your kids’) student loans.

Here's more detail on all three of the recent changes:

1. For those on income-based repayment plans

Having a high debt-to-income ratio is the No. 1 reason for not being approved for a mortgage.

Now, Fannie Mae is changing how it calculates this number for those who have an income-dependent student loan, which is typically renegotiated every year.

Because of this changing payment schedule, Fannie Mae previously used a very conservative 1% of the total loan instead of the actual monthly payment.

From now on, it will calculate the debt-to-income ratio using the monthly payment, which could easily be several times lower.

If you have an income-based loan, this can drastically lower your debt-to-income ratio, and give you a much better chance of qualifying for a mortgage.

2. In case of third-party student-debt payments

Some folks are lucky enough to have their student debt paid by their parents or even by their employer.

The trouble so far has been that Fannie Mae didn't take this into account when calculating the debt-to-income ratio.

Well, that's the second new change.

If your employer or your parents have been paying off your student debt, and you can show evidence of this for the past 12 months, then this debt won’t be counted in your debt-to-income ratio.

Again, this makes it more likely you will qualify for a mortgage.

And if you can qualify for a mortgage right now, you definitely should. Rates are still at a historical low, and lots of great houses have recently come on the Denver market.

You can check them all out here:

Search here to see all Denver homes for sale

3. Refinancing a mortgage to pay off student debt

Fannie Mae makes it possible to refinance your mortgage for more than the value of your home.

Normally, there is a 0.25% fee that applies to any cash you take out in this way.

The third big change is that Fannie Mae will now waive that fee when you use this cash to pay off a student loan.

This applies whether the loan is yours, or you're a cosigner.

It's important to point out that there are often benefits to education loans which you won't get with a mortgage, such as deferment or income-driven repayment plans.

However, if the mortgage rate is significantly lower than the student loan rate, it can make sense to refinance in this way, and the new rule makes it cheaper to do so.

These three new rules from Fannie Mae can be a big money saver for the right person.

If you have any questions about a loan options please call Ronnie King 858.519.7091 or Diana Gomez-McGurk 310.986.1901

Have a wonderful weekend!

Patrick Patterson 
President 
Cell: 760.566.8544
Office: 619.477.6330
Fax: 619.477.1882
Ca Lic # 0K08985

Auto, Home, Commercial, Motorcycle, Boat, Business, and Renters
Licensed to sell insurance in the following states: CA
The highest compliment you can pay me is to recommend my services to your friends and associates.
If you know of someone who would appreciate my services, simply call, text or email me with their contact details

Monday, June 5, 2017

Tips for an accident free year!



Keeping your family safe doesn't happen by accident. It requires an awareness of potential risks and a focus on prevention. In observance of National Safety Month, here are a handful of tips to help you and your loved ones stay safe in a variety of settings.
Safety on the Road
The causes of car accidents are numerous and varied. Some, like distracted or drunk driving, are preventable, while others such as inclement weather or unexpected animal crossings may be out your control. To avoid an accident in any situation, take it slow, remain focused on the road and abide by all laws and signage. As a driver, you can also enforce that your passengers wear seat-belts and emphasize these rules when teaching others to drive.
Staying Safe at Home
Though our houses serve as personal safe havens, they also come with their own potential hazards, particularly for younger and older individuals. Small actions like baby-proofing cabinets, installing bathtub safety rails and learning the Heimlich maneuver can protect everyone from the most common unintentional-injury-related deaths.
Avoiding Injury at Work 
From overexertion to slips and falls, work hazards threaten everyone regardless of industry or position. To keep yourself as safe as possible while you're on the clock, take short breaks throughout your workday to help you stay alert and be aware of your surroundings at all times. If you spend large chunks of your day at a desk, add occasional stretches to your routine to avoid long-term muscle damage.
Life is risky, no matter the setting. Use this list of safety precautions to help you make smart decisions that prioritize your family's well-being.
Patrick Patterson 
President 
Cell: 760.566.8544
Office: 619.477.6330
Fax: 619.477.1882
Ca Lic # 0K08985

Auto, Home, Commercial, Motorcycle, Boat, Business, and Renters
Licensed to sell insurance in the following states: CA
The highest compliment you can pay me is to recommend my services to your friends and associates.
If you know of someone who would appreciate my services, simply call, text or email me with their contact details

Monday, May 15, 2017

Summer is coming, HVAC tips for optimal performance


Though it may not seem like it but summer is just around the corner. With the inevitable California heat so close now is a good time to look at your HVAC (air conditioning) unit(s) maintenance. The last thing you want to happen is your HVAC goes out in mid-summer which will cause a lot of uncomfortable nights and much higher cost to repair during peak season. 



Here are 3 ways to boost your HVAC system performance.

Don't Neglect Preventive Maintenance
Just like with your vehicle, regularly scheduled maintenance on HVAC systems can help prevent problems and extend the life of your unit. To keep everything running smoothly, stay on track with a checklist of monthly and annual tasks. Start by diligently changing air filters at least every three months or more frequently if you have pets or severe allergies.
Keep an Eye on Landscaping 
Some homeowners may be tempted to camouflage outdoor HVAC equipment with shrubs, grass or flowers to increase a property's curb appeal. If you're not thoughtful about landscaping around the unit, you could be compromising its effectiveness. Regularly clear away debris, including leaves and grass clippings, from the top and sides to avoid damage, and maintain a 2-foot clearance around the machinery so airflow isn't restricted.
Perform Preseason Inspections
Before seasons change, give the system a once-over and pay attention to what you see, feel and hear. Excessive noise, minimal airflow and high humidity can all be problematic. A qualified expert can identify issues as well as remove debris from air conditioner coils, show you how to clean the condensate drain and more.
Ultimately, your HVAC system's ability to perform throughout the year will largely depend on how well you maintain it. With a little time and effort, you can lower summer energy costs and keep your heating and cooling system in top shape.
Patrick Patterson 
President 
Cell: 760.566.8544
Office: 619.477.6330
Fax: 619.477.1882
Ca Lic # 0K08985

Auto, Home, Commercial, Motorcycle, Boat, Business, and Renters
Licensed to sell insurance in the following states: CA
The highest compliment you can pay me is to recommend my services to your friends and associates.
If you know of someone who would appreciate my services, simply call, text or email me with their contact details

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Car Maintenance tips to prevent accidents

Maintenance tips to prevent accidents
To ensure a poorly maintained vehicle doesn't contribute to an accident, we've put together a few ways you and your customers can keep your cars in top condition. Feel free to share this information with your customers.

Tires
According to the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration, 9% of all car crashes in the United States were preceded by some sort of issue with the tires of the vehicle (e.g. tread separation, under-inflation, or blowouts). Properly maintained tires improve gas mileage, stopping ability and handling of the vehicle.

Check the air pressure in your tires (including the spare) at least once a month. This will also give you the chance to check for cracks in the sidewall and the amount of tread on the tires. Rotate your tires every 6,000 miles, or as often as the vehicle's manufacturer recommends. A periodic alignment of the tires will ensure even wear and extend the life of your tires. Check your owner's manual for specific information about tire pressure, rotation and alignment.

Brakes
Fewer accidents are completely attributed to failure or degradation of brakes than tires, but poorly maintained brakes still contribute to thousands of accidents every year. When brake pads wear down too far, they can damage the rotors, leading to costly repairs and possible brake failure. Inspect the pads and rotors for wear annually. Take your vehicle in for repairs if you start hearing squeaking or scraping, your vehicle veers to one side or the brake pedal pulses when braking. These are signs of worn brakes and will lead to diminished braking capability.

Windows and lights
Clear visibility gives you the extra time needed to react in an emergency situation. Keep your windows (both inside and outside), mirrors and lights clear of obstructions and as clean as possible. Try to walk around your car once a month to check that all of your lights still work. You should also change your wiper blades every six months, earlier if they begin streaking. If you are having trouble seeing the road at night, there is a possibility that your headlights are out of alignment. Luckily, this is generally a cheap and easy fix.

Fluids
A fluid leak can cause the steering wheel or brakes to stop working or even cause the entire engine to suddenly lock up or overheat. Check the following fluids to keep a vehicle running smoothly and prevent an unexpected mechanical failure while on the road:
  • Engine Oil - Check once a month - Contrary to popular belief, most modern vehicles don't require an oil change every 3,000 miles. Check the owner's manual for the recommended frequency. Because oil lubricates all of the moving parts of the engine, if not changed at the recommended interval, the engine could seize and cause catastrophic damage.
  • Brake Fluid - Check during oil change - Typically needs to be changed every two years. If there is a sudden drop in brake fluid levels from a leak, the brakes will no longer work. If unchanged for a long period of time, the entire braking system could be damaged from rust, overheating or corrosion.
  • Power Steering Fluid - Check once a month - Check the owner's manual, but most models do not require power steering fluid be replaced, but a leak can cause the steering wheel to stop responding.
  • Coolant - Check twice a year - Generally needs to be changed every two to three years. Coolant keeps a car from overheating during the warmer months and freezing during the colder months. Never check coolant levels when the engine is hot.
  • Transmission Fluid - Check once a month - Transmission fluid should be changed according to the manufacturer's guidelines. Transmission fluid will only be low if there is a leak and should be taken to a mechanic immediately if low in order to prevent damage to the transmission.

In addition to preventing potential accidents, routine maintenance will save thousands in expensive repairs. If your customers are ever involved in an accident, National General's claim team will guide them through the entire claim process and get them back on the road as soon as possible.


Patrick Patterson 
President 
Cell: 760.566.8544
Office: 619.477.6330
Fax: 619.477.1882
Ca Lic # 0K08985

Auto, Home, Commercial, Motorcycle, Boat, Business, and Renters
Licensed to sell insurance in the following states: CA
The highest compliment you can pay me is to recommend my services to your friends and associates.
If you know of someone who would appreciate my services, simply call, text or email me with their contact details