Running a Home Business and Insurance Coverage

Lots of folks are running businesses from their home these days, using a spare bedroom as a converted office and bringing in additional income doing so. And, like many micro or small businesses, these folks in Annapolis, MD and elsewhere frequently assume their homeowners insurance is more than enough coverage for what may be contained in that home office. The problem is, however, that most homeowners insurance policies are specific to private property and assets, not those associated with a business. And that can be a rude, shocking surprise if something happens to the house and office, and there is no real recovery available realized after the fact.

According to Ramsey Insurance, homeowners insurance policies are intended for and written in terms specific to a private residence. And that’s an important distinction. Read literally, assets and materials associated with a business will not automatically fall within the definition of a private residence. So an insurance provider could very well limit its coverage agreed to without doing anything wrong by denying a claim with thousands dollars associated with the home office since that function of the house is not existing as a private residence per se.

Fortunately, however, Annapolis, MD home businesses can solve the above problem with some minor changes. Ramsey Insurance can help recraft or update homeowner coverage with an add-on policy addition or a separate, specific business policy, both being written specifically for protecting the home office. If you’re realizing you may need some additional help insuring your home office and protecting your business assets, give Ramsey Insurance a call to discuss the details. Their expertise will be invaluable and helpful; you won’t be disappointed making the connection.

Home Upgrades That Reduce Auto Insurance

Looking for a new home upgrade? Why not consider something that reduces your auto insurance costs? Yes, it is possible to save on your auto insurance by what you do with your home. At Ramsey Insurance, we know how important both your home and vehicles are. That is why we want to help you both protect your investments and save money with Annapolis, MD insurance. 

Garage

Where you park your vehicle most often does play a big role in your auto insurance costs. If you don’t have a garage, park on the street or only have an overhang, all of these options leave your vehicle susceptible to possible theft or weather damage. Consider installing a garage instead of having your vehicle exposed. Even a small, non-finished garage without insulation can cut down on auto insurance costs.

Security System

A home security system monitors not just the house but the property. This means if someone tries to break into the vehicle or the garage on the property you’ll know about it (as will the police). As home security systems reduce the chance of auto theft (or a smash and grab), you may just save on auto insurance as well. 

Fence

Fencing in your property helps establish the property lines. It also protects what is inside the line as well. By using a full fence (including a driveway gate) you’ll lock in your vehicle when it’s not in use, increasing its level of protection.

By taking advantage of these home upgrades, you’ll not only improve the property value of the house but reduce the costs of auto insurance as well. It’s a win-win. At Ramsey Insurance, we are here to help point out the best ways to protect your investments while saving on insurance in Annapolis, MD. 

Insurance options in Annapolis, MD

The small town of Annapolis, MD is an idyllic place for people who want to get away from the big city but are still a short commute away to live. However, despite the fact that the Maryland rural and suburban lifestyle has less risk than living in a big city, people in Annapolis will still need insurance policies to protect them in the event of the unexpected. Below are some insurance options worth considering in a place like Monroe, through a local insurance broker like Ramsey Insurance, who can tailor a policy for their local customers.

HOME INSURANCE

Most people who live in Annapolis, MD own a home and will need some form of home insurance to keep their homestead safe and able to rebuild in the event something unpredictably terrible occurs. These events can include fire in the area, burst pipes in very cold winter weather that often settles in Annapolis, MD or even the tail end of a powerful storm that rolls up the East Coast, as tends to happen more and more often these days in the United States of America. Local insurance agents will best advise you on what you will need on the home insurance front in Monroe when you are trying to insure your property.

AUTO INSURANCE

If you are going to plan on legally driving in Annapolis, MD, you will need auto insurance of some kind, namely liability insurance at the very minimum. This will protect you from incurring insane amounts of cost for damage that is found to be your fault in the event of a collision. It will also protect against lawsuits from other vehicles involved in that collision, as well as medical bills and property damages. Other larger policies will be able to cover your vehicle as well, though a local broker will be able to help you with the details of that. 

Important Auto Insurance Adjustments Many People Overlook

If you live in Annapolis, MD you will most likely need a car for easy transportation around the area, namely from a local broker like Ramsey Insurance who serves the Annapolis area. However, depending on your driving record, how much you drive and what type of vehicle you drive, these policies can be quite expensive. However, there are some important insurance adjustments that most people overlook that may save you a lot of money on your policy. A few of the very best ones are listed below.

SAFE DRIVING

With a clean record, an insurance company deems you to be much less of a risk and therefore will give you a lower insurance policy overall. So the safer you drive, the fewer accidents you have and the fewer tickets you receive for moving violations, the cost of your insurance will obviously drop. Ideally, you have no accidents or moving violations at all, and it stays low for an extended period.

AGE

If you are over 50, you can join the AARP program and get discounts on your insurance that way as well. There are other programs out there based on older age that will make you insurance much cheaper on a monthly basis.

TRACKING DEVICES

While some people don’t want tracking devices put on their vehicles, doing this will cause insurance companies to reduce rates noticeably, because it allows them to find the vehicle if it is stolen. The cost of installing these will save you money on insurance in the long run.

ADD PEOPLE TO YOUR POLICY

The more good drivers you put on your policy, the cheaper it will get for everyone. Most of the time this is only family, with very few exceptions.

Three Ways Your Home May be Underinsured

Mortgage lenders require homeowners to have insurance that protects the bank’s investment in case of a loss. The State of Maryland doesn’t force people to carry insurance, but it’s in your best interest to have protection. The challenges that property owners face is understanding how much and what type of policy they need. At Ramsey Insurance, our professionals are available to help members of the Annapolis, MD; community gets the detailed coverage that can provide thorough security. We’ll work closely with you to avoid common misconceptions that cause some homeowners to be underinsured.

High Rebuilding costs

Many homeowners gauge their replacement costs based on the value of the home. That seems to make logical sense on the surface. But the difference between rebuilding a home at today’s materials and labor costs can be vastly different than the value of a home. Some properties depreciate, and the Real Estate market fluctuates. Today’s home construction costs can run about $150 per square foot and that may not include demolition work and removing damage. Add on the costs of permits, inspections and other hidden items, and you could very well be taking money out of pocket if there is a total loss.   

Natural Disasters and Floods

Many people aren’t aware that floods and other natural disasters are not a standard part of homeowners insurance. In fact, you will likely need to have flood insurance added to your policy. Considering that the Annapolis MD community has Seven River on one side and South River on the other, protection of rising waters may be prudent.

New Building Codes

People that own older homes are commonly tripped up by the expense of changing building and fire codes. Existing homes are not subject to updated safety codes. However, if you suffer damage that requires new construction, that work must meet today’s inspection standards. This is an important aspect to consider when you decide how much coverage to carry. The last thing you want is to pay out of pocket.

Choosing a homeowners policy or upgrading and existing one means making a number of informed chooses. At Ramsey Insurance, we take pride in serving members of the Annapolis, MD community. Our professionals are available to discuss a detailed policy that will provide you with a sense of home security.

Items to Include in Your Home Emergency Kit

No one every expects an emergency to happen in their town or in their home. However, even in Annapolis, MD, anything can happen. To prepare for the unexpected, you should have a home emergency ready at all times. If you have never created a home emergency kit before, use this list to ensure you have the necessities:

  • Food. You will definitely need food if you are stranded at your home during an emergency. You should have enough food for all of the people in your home for at least three days. Consider getting non-perishable food as well as food you can eat without cooking it in case you lose power. 
  • Water. Water is another item you need to have in your home at all times. You should have at least a gallon for every person to drink per day. 
  • Flashlights, batteries, candles, and matches. If you do end up losing power during an emergency, you will need a way to see around your home in the dark and these are the best items you can have on hand. 
  • A first aid kit. You can get one of these from a local store but make sure it is fully stocked in case you need it. This is a great way to take care of minor injuries if you are stranded at home.
  • A portable charger. If you need your phone and you do not have power, you will thank yourself for having this on hand.

Creating a home insurance kit is not the only thing you can use to protect yourself and your home. You should also have a great home insurance policy from Ramsey Insurance. For more information on home insurance policies and to get a free quote, be sure to contact Ramsey Insurance serving Annapolis, MD today. 

Oldest Driving Age in Maryland and Limitations

Most people are familiar with minimum driving ages, with most states allowing limited driving for learning at 15 years of age and then fully-licensed driving at 16. However, driving ability and permission doesn’t last forever, and as a person age’s there comes a limitation on how long that person can continue to drive legally. After all, there is no entitled to being allowed to drive a car on public roads.

In Maryland the age limit on legal driving doesn’t exist per se. That means, in theory, a person could be 100 years old and still be able to legally drive. However, it’s not a simple matter of having a license. At the age of 70 years of age, drivers have be on record that the person already has a Maryland driver’s license, and needs to be able to prove medical competence to drive from a licensed physician. The thinking here is that people’s biological age varies in terms of their capabilities for eyesight, control, reaction time and similar. Some people have issues at the age of 55 while others do just fine at the age of 90. So, instead of applying an arbitrary cut off age on everyone, Maryland’s laws were designed to put the burden of proof of being able to drive on people themselves. After 70, if the person can gain the support of a doctor certifying physical ability to operate a car properly, then licensing is allowed.

The Maryland age limit of 70 is not on seniors alone. After age 40, drivers in Maryland must have a vision test at every license renewal. Maryland can also apply restrictions case-by-case. To find out more, those in Annapolis, MD can contact their local auto insurance provider for up-to-date information.

Home Insurance Add Ons to Consider

Depending on your property, there are different home insurance add-ons you need to consider. These added forms of home protection will offer additional forms of protection. So, when living in and around Annapolis MD, we at Ramsey Insurance want to do everything in our power to show you potential home insurance additions that can protect your home. 

Flood Damage

Maryland can still be hit by big storms coming off of the coast. In addition, it is also prime for heavy snow as well. Depending on where you live, flooding can occur, which may not be covered by your home insurance. Additionally, with the colder weather comes frozen pipes, which in turn can lead to burst pipes. Flood damage insurance protection can pay for this damage. 

Valuable Items Insurance

Depending on the policy, you may need to list the kind of valuables you have in your home. For other forms of insurance, you’ll need to insure everything separately. Replacing electronics, computers, and other items can be costly. A quick smash and grab into your home can result in tens of thousands of dollars of lost electronics. If you have expensive valuables on hand, this is an insurance add on to consider. 

Personal Umbrella Policy

Maybe someone looking for a quick payout fakes a slip and fall on your property and tries to sue you. Even if you know it is fake you’ll likely still need to hire an attorney, which is pricey. The personal umbrella policy will help pay for this. 

Not all home insurance add-ons are right for everyone. It can often depend on where you live within the community, what is around your property and several other factors as well. At Ramsey Insurance, we want to make sure your Annapolis MD property is protected. So, feel free to contact us regarding any questions you have about these (and other) potential home insurance options. 

Getting More From Your Home Insurance in Annapolis

Besides making sure your doors stay locked and your storm windows are up this winter, there are a number of other ways that you can protect your property in Annapolis, MD besides the routines you likely already have. Your home insurance works to be the ultimate in protection, covering you from practically everything you can possible think of. Learn more about how you can get more out of it all. 

Consider Everything 

There are so many events that happen everyday, and most are entirely harmless. But it really only takes one second for everything to change, and when it does, you’ll be glad you took the time to be prepared. The precautions that you take today can determine the course of your whole life. In order to really make good decisions about home insurance in Annapolis, MD, you’ll want to go over not just the most obvious scenarios (e.g., theft, storms, blizzards, etc.), but also the slightly less common (e.g., vandals, flooding, etc.) Staying calm is all about taking care of the details. 

Choose the Right Company 

The large insurance companies have a number of employees and they never seem to be working when you need them the most, and they typically do not lead you to believe that you’re getting the most out of your home insurance. When you’re forced to tell different people the same story and listen to them tell you the same restrictions and clauses of your policy, it can be a truly maddening experience. You don’t need this at a time when you’re already facing enough confusion and turmoil. Calling Ramsey Insurance can give you the means to both understand what you should be covering in your home, as well as giving you direction if it all comes crashing down. Talk to us if you’re looking for a quote, or just hoping to have a few more of your questions answered. 

 

Fall Checklist of Things to Do to Avoid Plumbing Problems and Water Damage

Winter weather can cause water damage and plumbing problems when the temperature gets below freezing.

Here is a list of things to check to avoid having any plumbing problems or water damage during winter:

  • If there are any systems that will not be in regular use during winter, turn the water supply off, drain the system, and drain the supply pipes. Examples of these systems are external central air-conditioning units, landscaping irrigation, garden hoses, water connections to exterior kitchens, water features in the garden, outdoor ponds, and swimming pools.
  • Make sure there is adequate insulation in place to protect any water pipes that remain in use.
  • Clean gutters and downspouts. Check for any roof damage, such as missing roof shingles. Make repairs as necessary. This prevents water from staying on the roof and causing leaks.
  • Clean sewer drains to make sure there is no blockage by tree and plant roots that impairs the water flow. The best drain cleaning systems use high-pressure water to blow the debris out of the pipes.
  • If you have a septic system, winterize it with the proper chemicals to keep it functioning well. Wrap any exposed parts of the connecting pipes with heavy winter insulation to keep them from freezing.
  • Check the foundation for any cracks that allow water to enter. Repair any cracks, because any water that freezes in the cracks can break the foundation.

This is also a good time of year to conduct a home insurance coverage review with your agent at Ramsey Insurance, to make sure the coverage is adequate. Be sure to tell your agent of any significant life changes that occurred over the past year. Things to mention include any major home repairs or renovations, new appliance purchases, and adding new expensive personal items to the home such as a wide-screen television.

We hope these tips are helpful and that you have a safe, happy, and enjoyable holiday season.