Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Answers to questions you may have before going on vacation

How can I secure my house or apartment while I'm away?

Create a lived-in look to deter burglars. Do this by stopping newspaper and mail deliveries; asking a neighbor to park a car in your driveway occasionally; and putting lights on a timer or asking a neighbor to turn lights on in the evening. Use a telephone answering machine or call forwarding to quiet ringing telephones. And, make sure all windows and doors are locked to make entry difficult for intruders.

If my home is burglarized or damaged by fire, are all of my possessions covered?

Under a standard homeowners insurance policy for a single-family home, the contents of the home normally are covered for at least 50 percent of the amount of insurance on the building ($50,000 contents coverage on a house insured for $100,000). A renters policy is written for a specified dollar amount, based on what you own, to cover the loss of personal belongings in your apartment. There are special limits of liability on certain items in certain situations, however. Typically, there is a $200 limit on money and $1,500 on securities, passports, tickets and stamps. There is generally a $1,500 limit on watercraft, trailers and outboard motors. For fine jewelry, furs and watches that are stolen, a usual limit of $1,500 is set. And, there is typically a $2,500 limit for theft of guns and a $2,500 limit on theft of silverware, goldware and pewterware.
A home inventory is important to have should you become the victim of a burglary or fire. The inventory is a list of your possessions, including makes, models and serial numbers. Photographs or a videotape of your belongings are other ways of recording what you own. These records should be kept in a safe place away from the house or apartment so they would not be lost in the event of fire.

What if the items I take with me on vacation are stolen?

Your belongings generally are covered by your homeowners or renters policy anywhere in the world, including items in storage facilities, suitcase contents and items lent to friends. Exceptions to this are items usually kept at another residence of yours, which then would be limited to the greater of $1,000 or 10 percent of the personal property limit shown on your policy (some restrictions also apply to theft). Typically, you would have another policy to cover all the eligible property at that location, including loss by theft.

We'll be traveling by car on vacation. Do you have any suggestions?

Check with our agency to make sure that your policy is up-to-date, and make sure the car is in good running condition. While traveling, be sure your passengers wear seat belts and young children ride in car seats at all times. Also, keep cameras, purses and other valuables with you while on vacation; never leave them in the car.

I plan to rent a car for this trip. Is it necessary to buy the insurance the rental agency sells?

It may not be. Prior to leaving for vacation, check with your professional insurance agent to determine if your personal auto insurance policy covers damage to a rented vehicle, as many policies do. You may want to contact your major credit-card company to ask if a rental car charged to that account is covered for damage. If you don't have one of these pre-existing coverages, it may be wise to purchase insurance from the rental agency.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Affordable Insurance for Renters

I rent my home. Am I covered for losses under my landlord's homeowners or landlord insurance?

No. Your landlord cannot insure your personal property - your personal computer, clothes, stereo, television, jewelry, furniture, bicycle, artwork and other items against destruction or loss. Renters insurance, however, will give you both property and liability insurance and it's very affordable, typically costing less per month than a cable bill.

Is a renters insurance policy inferior to a homeowners insurance policy?

No. Renters insurance provides essentially the same coverage as homeowners insurance, but without coverage on the dwelling. It covers personal property, protecting the renter against many causes of loss, such as fire and smoke, lightning, vandalism, theft, explosion, windstorm and water damage from plumbing as well as offering coverage for personal liability.

Does renters insurance cover all of my possessions?

It depends. Some possessions - jewelry, firearms, silverware are subject to a per category theft limit. Most renters policies set a $1,500 total limit on jewelry that is stolen, a $2,500 limit on firearms and a $2,500 limit on silverware or flatware. Many people feel that their pets are their prized possessions. Unfortunately when it comes to insurance, your pets are not covered. Other items money, securities, personal records, watercraft and others are subject to special limits of liability. If your valuables exceed these limits, you may want to consider purchasing a floater, which provides additional coverage for some of your items.

What if my family and I cannot live in our home because of damage caused by a fire?

Your renters insurance will pay for your living expenses that exceed those normally incurred before the loss, if an occurrence renders your home or apartment unfit to live in. This is a true benefit if you are required to live in a hotel for any length of time or pay for meals at a restaurant while your place is being renovated.

Will I be covered under my renters insurance if I am sued by someone who was seriously injured at my residence?

Yes. If a lawsuit covered by your policy is filed against you or against a relative living with you, your personal liability coverage under a renters policy will pay for legal defense costs and attorneys fees. It will protect you if you accidentally cause bodily injury to others or damage someone else's property either at your residence or away from your residence.

OK I'm convinced. What should I be on the lookout for in selecting a policy or in checking my existing coverage?

When purchasing renters insurance, choose a policy wisely to be sure that all your possessions are covered. To begin, renters should take a home inventory, noting the description and value of their belongings. A copy of this inventory should be stored in a safe place outside of the home, such as a safe-deposit box. The inventory will be of great assistance later if you need to file a claim.
Also, be sure to inquire about property not covered under renters insurance, theft limits and other special limits. We'll provide you with a list of standard coverage limits, so you know whether you'll need to buy a floater.

If your apartment or home has a security system, smoke detectors or deadbolt locks, you may be eligible for discounts on your renters insurance. Call us today we'll be happy to explain the many options available to you.

Bryan Insurance Agency, LLC
3068 Route 9W Suite 500
New Windsor, NY 12553

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Bryan Insurance Agency has been named a Best Agency Website Finalist by Property Casualty 360

For more than 10 years, Property Casualty 360-National Underwriter and American Agent & Broker have named top agencies to its Commercial Agency Awards for Excellence program. This year, the CAAFE awards include the category of Best Agency Websites. An independent panel of judges reviewed each submission and graded websites on factors including appearance, mobility, brand awareness and multimedia. Read on to learn how Bryan Insurance Agency was named a finalist.

Bryan Insurance Agency Homepage

For more information on our site, please visit us at or email us at

For more information on how we can help you with your car insurance, home insurance, business insurance or life insurance, please contact us at 845-565-2200 or visit us at Bryan Insurance Agency, LLC | 3068 Route 9W Suite 500 | New Windsor, NY 12553