Courtesy of iii.org
Before you consider renting out your home, your guest room—or even your couch—first contact your insurance professional so you fully understand the financial risks and can take the proper precautions. Here's some general information to jumpstart your insurance conversation.
If you are considering renting out your home, your guest room or even your couch your first step should be to contact your insurance professional. Peer-to-peer home sharing opportunities such as Airbnb can be a great way to bring in extra money and are increasingly popular; however, they can also leave you financially vulnerable. If your renter starts a fire and damages your property or is hurt while renting your home, will you be protected?
Peer-to-peer home sharing opportunities such as Airbnb are increasingly popular and can be a great way to bring in extra money. However, they can also leave you financially vulnerable. If your renter starts a fire and damages your property or is hurt while renting your home, will you be protected?
Standard homeowners and renters insurance policies are designed for personal risks, not commercial risks. Some insurers now offer a home-sharing liability insurance policy that can be purchased on a month-to-month basis, but there may be exclusions and limitations, so read the policy carefully. If you plan to rent out all or part of your home on a regular basis, many companies will consider this a business use and you may need to purchase a business policy—specifically either a hotel or a bed-and-breakfast policy.
If you are doing the renting
If you are the one using a peer-to-peer network to rent a space from someone else, check your own homeowners or renters insurance policy. In most cases, if your personal possessions are stolen or damaged off-premises, you can simply file a claim with your own insurer. And if you accidentally injure someone, you should also be financially protected.
There may be times when a major event in an area—the Super Bowl, say, or a graduation at a major university—depletes local hotel space. In these cases, it's fairly common for people to rent out their home or part of it for the extra cash it brings in.
Many insurance companies take this situation into account when creating a homeowners or renters policy and, with sufficient advance notice, will extend your coverage to the renter on a one-time basis. Other insurance companies may require the purchase of an endorsement to the policy to provide broader coverage for the renters in your home.
In both cases, be sure to let your insurance company know ahead of time, so you can be prepared.
Courtesy of iii.org
The western U.S. wildfires and this year’s active hurricane season have highlighted for vehicle owners the importance of having optional comprehensive auto insurance coverage, according to the Insurance Information Institute (Triple-I).
“Comprehensive provides coverage for fire and flood-damaged vehicles. Yet it only accounts for about 16 cents of every dollar a driver pays for auto insurance,” said Scott Holeman, Director, Media Relations, Triple-I. “Consumers need to be cost-conscious when shopping for any insurance product, but comprehensive coverage just makes financial sense, especially if you live in an area where either wildfires or floods are a threat.”
Every U.S. state except New Hampshire requires its drivers to purchase liability insurance to drive legally. Comprehensive and collision coverage are optional coverages nationwide. Nearly four out of five drivers opted to purchase comprehensive (78 percent) and collision (74 percent) coverage in 2017, according to a Triple-I analysis of National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) data.
The typical U.S. driver paid just under $160 a year for comprehensive coverage in 2017. The total average auto insurance expenditure in that same year was $1,004.
Beyond covering fire and flood-damaged vehicles, comprehensive also pays either to repair or replace a vehicle damaged from falling objects, an explosion, an earthquake, a windstorm, hail, theft, vandalism, riot, or contact with animals such as birds or deer. In addition, comprehensive usually covers windshield replacement. Comprehensive insurance is usually sold with a separate deductible, although some auto insurers offer glass protection without a deductible.
Courtesy of iii.org
Many businesses—especially small businesses with fewer employees—depend on a single person or a few key people for their success. If a key person becomes unable to work or dies, the business might lose valuable accounts or be temporarily unable to operate, resulting in lost revenue.
The loss of an important employee can hurt the morale of a business, but the financial impact can be mitigated if a business purchases key person insurance. This type of coverage can enable a business to continue paying its bills and fund the search for a new employee. In unfortunate instances where a business cannot survive without the key employee, the funds from key person insurance can be used to pay severance to employees, distribute funds to investors and close the business in an orderly manner.
Key person insurance is usually owned by the business, which pays the premiums. This coverage is also a requirement of most banks and lending institutions when applying for financing or credit.
There are no hard-and-fast rules for identifying key persons in your business. Generally, anyone who directly contributes to a company’s bottom line or is fundamental to its operations might be considered a key person. Examples include:
- C-Suite Executives—such as a CEO or COO.
- Leading sales personnel.
- Heads of product development.
- Engineers or other difficult-to-replace personnel.
Key person insurance comes in the following two forms:
- Key Person Life Insurance—This type of coverage differs from regular life insurance in that it specifically covers individuals in a business who are crucial to company operations. It provides the business with an infusion of cash if an insured key employee dies, regardless of cause or place of death. These funds can help compensate for revenue lost as a result of the death, as well as pay off debts, buy out surviving shareholders’ interest from heirs and finance the costs of a new employee search or training programs. Key person life insurance can be purchased as term insurance lasting for a defined period of time or as extended universal or whole life coverage. The amount of coverage is based on a key person’s income, overall business revenue and the portion of revenue attributable to the key person.
- Key Person Disability Insurance—This policy will provide funds to a business if an insured key employee becomes disabled and unable to work—partially or entirely. While standard disability insurance covers an employee’s lost salary and medical expenses, a key person disability policy provides funding to a business to make up for lost revenue, the cost of hiring a new employee and other related expenses.
Like other disability and life insurance policies, the cost of premiums for key person insurance depends on the age, health and role of the key employee, as well as the risks the employee takes in their personal life—for example, does the CEO fly her own plane?
A cost-effective option for buying key person insurance is for a group of executives to join together on a “first-to-die” policy that insures just the first of the group who passes away. Once the policy is used to cover the loss of the first person to die, another member of the group becomes eligible for coverage. Thus, the key person insurance continues for the new members of the leadership team, but premiums reflect the fact that only one life is being covered at a time.
This type of insurance can be a useful tool when it comes to succession planning for your business—and having a succession plan is crucial to ensure the successful transfer of your company or business interests.
Your insurance professional can provide guidance on options and costs of individual and first-to-die key person coverage.